About Giftedness

  • Definition of Giftedness:

    Children who are gifted possess abilities, talents and potential which are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. Gifted students are capable of accelerated learning, high performance, and exceptional production. Students who are gifted need to be challenged with a rigorous, differentiated and challenging curriculum suitable to their special advanced learning needs.

    Characteristics of Gifted Children:

    The following is a list of characteristics typical of gifted children. A child may exhibit both the positive and negative behaviors of a characteristic depending on the environment. The listing is not exhaustive, but is intended to represent some significant cognitive and affective characteristics of students which, taken collectively, represent strengths, needs and tendencies observed in students with high intellectual ability.

    While it is rare for a gifted child to exhibit all characteristics, it is common for a gifted child to manifest many of these behaviors.


    • 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, www.greatpotentialpress.com.



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