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Is My Child Really Gifted?

Published January 17, 2008        by Kim

Have you ever wondered if your child is gifted? Then the advice of child development experts finally registers on your radar screen. Maybe your infant professionally flips through baby board books, or perhaps you have just been told that your child is gifted as measured on a standardized IQ test. Whether you already suspected this or not, finding out that your child is gifted can give rise for some immediate questions and concerns. What do you do now? Do you have to start looking for special programs or a special school for your little genius? Will your child be labeled as a geek or a nerd and never fit in socially with his or her peers? What impact will this have on your other children, especially if they are not as gifted?

Certain parents are overjoyed at this news. They consider their child to be a new status symbol, an accessory to their own brilliance. Other parents are in denial. They decide that this is un-welcome information can and should be ignored, or at least taken lightly in relationship to other family issues. And still others recognize that they have been given some enormous responsibility and they want to do the best job of being a parent that is humanly possible. I hope you fall into this category.

Understanding Giftedness

Before anything else, you must try to understand what it means that your kid is gifted. This can be a difficult task for countless reasons, but two stand out:

  1. There is no agreed upon definition of the qualities of intellect and personality necessary to categorize a child as gifted.
  2. There are many powerful and confusing myths in our society about gifted children and adults.

Both reasons are huge factors in why it is often difficult to recognize and understand gifted children. Let's look at each reason in a little more detail.

Measuring Giftedness

IQ is often used as a basic measure for giftedness. The most common standardized tests used on an individual basis to measure intelligence are the Stanford-Binet Intelligence test and the Wechsler Scales of Intelligence. IQ scores of between 132 and 145 are considered in the gifted range: the 98th percentile in a statistical sample.

The Standard-Binet and the Wechsler Scales are used to measure general intellectual abilities. But many practical professionals who work with children think that there be a way to test for multiple intelligences, a more refined and diverse theory of intelligence. They are looking for a definition of giftedness that will apply to all children in all areas of intellectual, musical, scientific, or artistic endeavor. Obviously, musical talent differs from mathematical talent, which differs from abstract reasoning and the ability to express oneself in writing or speaking. Unequivocally, there is no one-size-fits-all definition that can be used to describe the gifted child.