How to Know if Your Child is Gifted


At some point in your child’s life you might wonder if they are gifted or not. It’s important to know as gifted children can often be overlooked and can sometimes underperform at school as well. Here we’ve pulled together some basics to help you to identify whether your child has the traits of being gifted to help you in dealing with a gifted child.


What does gifted mean?

The term “gifted” is used by different schools, organisations, and cultures in different ways, with some using the term strictly to indicate people with well-above average intelligence as measured by IQ scores, and others embracing a broader range of criteria. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) has the following definition:

“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10 percent or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance or sports).”


What are the signs of being gifted?

Often IQ tests and other assessments are used on school-age children to identify whether they are gifted or not as well as observations by families, teachers and friends.

Below are some of the characteristic traits of gifted children in terms of general intellectual ability, adapted from a detailed checklist from Austega. It’s important to know that no two gifted children will always portray the same traits.

  • Learns quickly, easily, and proficiently
  • They have an exceptionally large vocabulary for their age
  • They show unusual reasoning powers
  • Has an unusually good memory, however they get bored with memorisation and reciting
  • They show a great amount of self-discipline and don’t need much outside control
  • They like structure, order, and consistency
  • They are extremely flexible in thinking patterns and make unusual associations between different ideas
  • They have extremely curious minds about objects, situations, or events. They will often ask challenging questions
  • They get good grades in most subjects
  • Their concentration levels are exceptional and they show intense concentration excluding anything else
  • They are extremely alert and provide quick answers to questions
  • They are highly resourceful and solve problems in creative ways
  • They’ve got exceptional interest in science or literature
  • They are extremely original in both their oral and written expressions
  • Has a power of abstraction, conceptualisation and synthesis
  • They are emotionally secure
  • They tend to dominate peers or even different situations
  • They use a lot of common sense
  • They are open to complex ideas
  • They are perceptually open to their environment

Austega also provides lists of giftedness characteristics in other categories such as specific academic aptitude, creative thinking and production, leadership, psychomotor ability, and visual and performing arts which you can take a look at.

Parenting a gifted child can be hard work as they constantly need to be stimulated, so the sooner you identify whether the child is gifted the sooner they can begin to thrive in their environment with the right support of both schools and at home.

Do you have experience with dealing with a gifted child? We’d love to hear from you to understand your journey and how you managed.

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