The Gifted and Talented Child
Identifying a musically, athletically, or artistically gifted child is often less difficult than identifying the intellectually gifted child. An intellectually gifted child is characterized by a pattern of attributes in her/his approach to learning. The gifted child challenges generalizations; sees relationships between diverse subjects; has a curious, questioning attitude; shows a propensity for creative thought; has an intense sense of justice and morality; has multiple and varied interests; exhibits a strong commitment to task; is persistent and tenacious; has keen powers of observation; has the ability to abstract, conceptualize, and synthesize; is skeptical and critical; has rapid insight into relationships; and often has a keen sense of humor.
Gifted children learn to read earlier, often before entering school, sometimes on their own, and with a greater comprehension of the nuances of the language. They usually have large vocabularies for their age. They learn basic skills more quickly and need less practice. They display an ability for abstract thinking in advance of their peers. Their concentration and attention spans are longer. They often have a wide variety of interests and experiment with them. They have a highly developed sense of curiosity and a limitless supply of questions. They are good guessers. They can construct relationships between things that are not readily obvious. They can retain a lot of information.
The ideal school program for the gifted child fosters his/her ability to evaluate facts and arguments critically; to create new ideas and originate new lines of thought; to reason through complex problems; to associate and interrelate concepts; to understand other situations, times, and people; to work independently on research projects; and to develop an interdisciplinary approach to subject matter.
Intellectually Gifted with Learning Difference
Some intellectually gifted children also have learning differences and become particularly frustrated with their inability to produce in the classroom in exactly the same way as their peers. Parents must be strong advocates for their children in order to enable these young people to find satisfying expression of their special gifts.
Reprinted with the permission of the Department of State.
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