Gifted & Talented


The term gifted is used to describe a child who was born with above-average natural abilities.

These abilities can range on a spectrum and tend to be seen in a way that the child is learning or developing. Giftedness in an area is often genetic.

Children can be gifted in any area of ability such as intellectual, social & emotional maturity, physical coordination and can be gifted in more than 1 area.

A few examples of skills that a child can be gifted in can be:

  • problem solving

  • in a specific subject area

  • vocabulary

  • in a specific athletic ability such as flexibility or endurance

  • leadership ability

  • ability to empathize


The term talented is used to describe a child who has developed their natural abilities to a high level.

Gifted students become talented when supported and encouraged to use their natural gifts.

For example, if your child is gifted athletically and you give them opportunities to learn and practice tumbling, they might develop a talent for doing back flips.

Talents can be noticed starting at about 6 years old all the way until adulthood.

There are many factors that influence whether a gifted child's natural ability will become a talent: family values, educational opportunities, personality & motivation, health, chance opportunities.


Common characteristics of gifted and talented children include:

  • demonstrates an advanced ability or potential in one or more specific areas when compared to their peers of the same age, experience, and environment

  • ability to focus well on specific tasks

  • learn quickly

  • strongly curious

  • ask sharp questions

  • have a good memory

  • advanced speech

  • imaginative and creative


There are many factors that can result in a child performing at an above-average level in the classroom including environmental and early exposure to topics. Just because a child performs strongly does not necessarily mean they are gifted.

Formal testing can identify if the a child is truly gifted in an area or not. Formal testing can be done through most schools.

Research suggests that testing in 3rd grade yields the most accurate results regarding giftedness. This is because effective testing compares a child to their peers of the same age, experience, and environment. Since their peers will have likely had similar schooling experiences K-3, it provides a more level playing field and accurate results.


If you think your child may be gifted, you can request formal testing from your school. While formal testing for a learning difficulty or disability can happen any time of year, that is not always the case with testing for giftedness. Be sure to keep a look out as some schools only host the opportunity once a year due to the fact that assessing giftedness requires not just assessing the child but comparing the child's abilities to the abilities of their peers at that same moment.


Providing a gifted child with opportunities to strength those gifts can look like the following

  • schools providing in class extension opportunities for gifted children to dig more deeply into a subject area

  • enrolling your child in after school and summer programs that allow them to explore a skill area

  • hiring a private instructor to work with your child in a specific subject area to teach them skills regarding how to dig deeper into a subject area or introduce them to more in depth concepts related to the subject area they are gifted in

  • providing your child with resources to explore their skill area such as private music teachers, private coaches

  • purchasing books, movies, games for your child to explore a skill set

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