No two gifted children are the same. Early testing and identification can be a controversial subject, but many advocates of gifted children believe that they should be identified as soon as possible so that their unique needs and talents can be acknowledged and nurtured right from the start.

Early identification is also important when a young child is showing behavioral or social differences – not fitting in, being highly focused on unusual interests, appearing more distractible or inattentive than others of the same age – and parents want to understand the cause. These characteristics may be features of giftedness or may be signs of an emotional problem or such conditions as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) such as Asperger’s Syndrome. Knowing a child’s IQ can allow insight into a child’s atypical development and help to avoid potentially harmful misdiagnoses.

Some gifted children may not be particularly high achievers in the classroom. These students may have problems with attention (which may or may not be related to ADHD), have poor organizational skills, or simply not “mesh” with the teaching style in the classroom, and therefore may be overlooked when it comes to selection of gifted program candidates.

What are the Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

According to the National association for gifted children, here are some traits and qualities of gifted children:

  • Unusual alertness, even in infancy
  • Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
  • Excellent memory
  • Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
  • Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
  • Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
  • Often self-taught reading and writing skills as preschooler
  • Deep, intense feelings and reactions
  • Highly sensitive
  • Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful
  • Idealism and sense of justice at early age
  • Concern with social and political issues and injustices
  • Longer attention span and intense concentration
  • Preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer
  • Learn basic skills quickly and with little practice
  • Asks probing questions
  • Wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)
  • Highly developed curiosity
  • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
  • Puts idea or things together that are not typical
  • Keen and/or unusual sense of humor
  • Desire to organize people/things through games or complex schemas
  • Vivid imaginations (and imaginary playmates when in preschool)

Reproduced by permission from: Webb, J., Gore, J., Amend, E., DeVries, A. (2007). A parent’s guide to gifted children.Tuscon, AZ:  Great Potential Press,

Test/ Assessment To See If My Child Is Gifted

Sometimes the only way to be sure is to have your child assessed by a specialist.  But if you wanted to gauge first whether or not your child should be assessed in the first place, click on the link before and take the test.  It takes less than 5 minutes to complete

The test was designed by Child Psychologist Dr. Tali Shenfield with the Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles.


Wishing you happy parenting!

Jana Moreno