Giftedness in Children
General Behavior Characteristics
Gifted children's behavior differs from that of their age-mates in the following ways:
Many gifted children learn to read early, with better comprehension of the nuances of language. As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school.
Gifted children often read widely, quickly, and intensely and have large vocabularies.
Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice.
They are better able to construct and handle abstractions.
They often pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that other children need to have spelled out for them.
They take less for granted, seeking the "hows" and "whys."
They can work independently at an earlier age and can concentrate for longer periods.
Their interests are both wildly eclectic and intensely focused.
They often have seemingly boundless energy, which sometimes leads to a misdiagnosis of hyperactivity.
They usually respond and relate well to parents, teachers, and other adults.
They may prefer the company of older children and adults to that of their peers.
They like to learn new things, are willing to examine the unusual, and are highly inquisitive.
They tackle tasks and problems in a well-organized, goal-directed, and efficient manner.
They exhibit an intrinsic motivation to learn, find out, or explore and are often very persistent. "I'd rather do it myself" is a common attitude.
• Very Observant
• Extremely Curious
• Intense interests
• Excellent memory
• Long attention span
• Excellent reasoning skills
• Well-developed powers of abstraction, conceptualization, and synthesis
• Quickly and easily sees relationships in ideas, objects, or facts
• Fluent and flexible thinking
• Elaborate and original thinking
• Excellent problem solving skills
• Learns quickly and with less practice and repetition
• Unusual and/or vivid imagination
Social and Emotional Traits
• Interested in philosophical and social issues
• Very sensitive, emotionally and even physically
• Concerned about fairness and injustice
• Well-Developed Sense of Humor
• Usually intrinsically motivated
• Relates well to parents, teachers and other adults
Language Traits (See Language Development in Gifted Children)
• Extensive Vocabulary
• May Read Early
• Reads Rapidly and Widely
• Asks "what if" questions
• Enjoys learning new things
• Enjoys intellectual activity
• Displays intellectual playfulness
• Prefers books and magazines meant for older children
• Skeptical, critical, and evaluative
• Asynchronous development ( development in some areas far exceed development in other areas)
Giftedness in Adults
Are you an undetected gifted adult who needs more information on adult giftedness?
As a gifted adult, you may know you are different but not realize why. Many gifted people experience:
• a sense of humor and creativity few others understand
• a sense of alienation and loneliness
• outrage at moral breaches that the rest of the world seems to take for granted
• being out-of-step and on a separate path
When you were a child, how many of the following characteristics were descriptive of you:
• Were you advanced in your development of speaking, reading, or other skills in early childhood?
• Were you fascinated with words or ideas?
• Did you ask a lot of questions?
• Did you have an unusual perspective of things and events?
• Were you a good problem solver?
• Did you have a good memory?
• Were you exceptionally sensitive?
• Did you have a great sense of humor?
• Were you insightful?
• Were you perfectionistic?
• Were you intense?
• Did you collect things and organize your collections?
• Were you a rapid learner?
• Did you show compassion for others?
• Did you enjoy older playmates and the company of adults?
• Were you argumentative?
• Did you have a large vocabulary?
• Did you have a creative imagination?
• Were you an avid reader?
• Did you have a wide range of interests?
• Did you like puzzles, mazes or numbers?
• Did you have a great deal of energy?
• Did you have a long attention span?
Gifted Adults: Characteristics and Emotions
Marie Annemarie Roper, Ed. D.
• Differ intellectually from others.
• Retain childlike emotions.
• Often feel fundamentally different about self and others feel about them.
• May be overwhelmed by the pressure of their own creativity.
• Often have strong feelings in many areas of life: death, future, fairness.
• Are not necessarily popular.
• Need solitude and time for contemplation and daydreaming.
• Search for meaning in both the inner and outer world.
• Often develop own methods of learning/grasping concepts.
• Able to predict consequences, see relationships, and foresee problems.
• Able to see patterns of development and growth, thus recognize trends.
• Often react angrily to being subjected to public relations methods of image building - propaganda.
• Are perfectionists.
• Often confronted with having too many abilities into many areas in which they would like to work, discover, and excel.
• Often have feelings of being misunderstood, being outsiders, and being unable to communicate.
• Have difficulty understanding the seemingly inconsistent and short sighted behavior of others.
• Perceive a difference between justice and equality.
• Many find it difficult to take risks because they realize what's at stake.
• Outstanding feature is their sense of humor.
• Can develop emotional problems related to abilities, but also they also have greater resources they can access.
• Often have difficulties with authority figures.
• Have a strong moral convictions and try to use their specific talents, insights, etc., for the betterment of the world.
Conclusion: Giftedness is an ongoing process, not a product.
Giftedness in Children
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