Is my child gifted? That’s a question that frequently parents ask their child’s teacher at conference time. Many students achieve at high levels, but high achievement does not equal giftedness. Only approximately 2.5% of the population would be considered gifted which requires an IQ score of 130 or above. Average IQ scores range from 90 to 109, whereas high average ranges from 110-119, and superior intelligence scores span from 120-129.

    So, how can we differentiate between “bright” and “gifted”without determining a child’s IQ? Janet Szabos Robbins has created a chart of behavioral markers in both types of children:

    Bright Children

    Gifted Children

    Know the answers

    Asks the questions

    Are interested

    Are very curious

    Pay attention

    Get involved mentally and physically

    Work hard

    Can be inattentive and still get good grades and test scores

    Answer the questions

    Question the answers

    Enjoy same-age peers

    Prefer adults or older children

    Learn easily

    Often already know the answers

    Are self-satisfied (when gets right answers)

    Are highly self-critical (perfectionists)

    Are good at memorizing

    Are good at guessing

     We often hear parents say their child tells them they are bored in school. Does boredom mean that the child is not being challenged enough? Actually, boredom can be the result of many different factors:

    ·The subject matter might not be engaging to the child.

    ·The child would rather be playing with friends or doing other preferred activities.

    ·The material may be out of the child’s comfort zone (too difficult).

     Boredom is a normal human reaction when people would rather be doing something different. It’s important to teach children that we all have to do things we don’t necessarily like. After all, how can schools compete with video games and television shows? In my experience, most gifted children rarely express boredom; they will often create their own mental challenges to entertain themselves.

    Giftedness does not mean guaranteed success in your child’s future. The most important factor of success is effort. According to Dr.Kenneth Ginsburg, a leading authority on resiliency, children who are constantly praised for being smart will often underperform. They rely on their natural ability and rarely question their own thinking. However, children that receive praise based on their effort continue to work hard and perform above expectations. 

    If you still would like to determine if your child would qualify for gifted services, please talk to your child’s teacher first. Often teachers can give you input based on their knowledge of typical grade-level performance when compared to your own child. Your child’s teacher will then contact me to get the paperwork together to initiate a screening to determine whether your child might fit the criteria for the gifted program. Once that testing is completed, we can discuss whether further testing by the school psychologist is warranted.