What is Gifted?

There are numerous definitions for the term “gifted.” In essence, “gifted” means that an individual displays advanced abilities in one or more of the following domains:

Intellectual ability
Academic achievement
Visual and performing arts
Leadership ability

A gifted child may often display several of the characteristics listed below:

  • Rapid learner with very good memory; may be impatient with slowness of others; may resist mastering foundation skills; resists practice or drills
  • May be frustrated or bored at school; may not perform to potential
  • Concern with social and political issues and injustices; may become discouraged or overwhelmed with the problems of the world; may be highly critical of self and others
  • Asks probing questions; goes beyond what is being taught; may ask limitless questions; may be strong-willed; argumentative
  • Keen and sometimes unusual sense of humor; sees absurdities of situations; may become “class clown” to gain attention
  • Large vocabulary and complex sentence structure; advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors, and abstract ideas
  • Unusual emotional depth; intense feelings and reactions; highly sensitive; may feel different and alienated; emotional and intellectual development may be out of sync
  • Longer attention span, persistence and intense concentration when interested; may neglect duties or people during periods of focused interest
  • Tendency to put ideas or things together in ways that are unusual or not obvious (divergent thinking); may disrupt plans or reject what is already known

(adapted from: “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children”, Webb, Gore, Amend, DeVries, 2007)