According to neuroscience experts, there are many signs your kid is highly gifted. These include asynchronous development, superior problem-solving and critical thinking skills, heightened concern for existential issues like death and poverty, a more intense emotional response to the world around them, and better socialization abilities than kids their age.
Asynchronous Development: Most gifted kids have faster developmental rates than their peers. For instance, an 8-year-old can demonstrate the reading skills of a seventh grader, the math skills of a fifth grader, and the social skills of a grade school student.
Gifted children can also process information more rapidly than their peers, exhibiting superior problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. These skills allow them to grasp better the big ideas of science, history, and other topics.
Often, a gifted child has an insatiable curiosity and appetite for knowledge. They’re always asking questions and finding things interesting — they may have an uncanny ability to remember the details of a novel or the plot of a movie.
They’re more concerned with issues like poverty and injustice than their peers — even a kids’ book or movie about bullying can prompt them to question the nature of society.
These kids also have a more acute sense of fairness, sometimes with an intense desire to help others in trouble. These feelings can be challenging to control, so they might find it difficult to understand shows where a character is hurt or sad.
This isn’t a bad thing because these kids have the potential to make essential contributions to the world. But they need a lot of support and guidance.
Several factors are used to determine a kid’s intelligence, including IQ tests and other objective measures. Educators and parents also look at a child’s personality, intellectual interests, and other factors to see if they match the description of being highly gifted.
In some cases, gifted children also have learning or developmental challenges, such as ADHD, dyslexia, or autism. Unfortunately, the challenges can mask the giftedness, and the child’s learning needs in these cases.
The best way to recognize this is through a neuropsychological evaluation. The results of these tests will help educators and families decide the best course of action for their kids.
Once identified, twice-exceptional (or 2e) kids need more intensive, individualized support than their peers to reach their full potential. The proper support can boost their self-esteem and help them to excel in school.
If you suspect your child is twice exceptional, ask their teacher or educational psychologist for a neuropsychological evaluation recommendation. They’ll be able to create a comprehensive picture of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and provide the necessary tools to help them succeed.
Davidson Institute: The Davidson Institute was founded by former educational software entrepreneurs who believe highly gifted children (or kids who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ tests) are underserved in our schools. They offer a variety of resources and services to help them reach their highest potential, from scholarships and think summer institutes to free consulting and access to nationally known experts.