What does "gifted" mean?
How do I know if my child is gifted?
Giftedness presents in many ways; some of the characteristics of gifted children are listed below. Oftentimes, a teacher will notice that your child is displaying some of these characteristics in the classroom. On the other hand, these characteristics are just as likely to present themselves at home — a rich inner life, imaginary friends, and a distinct sense of justice and ability to empathize with others, for example. If you think your child may be gifted and want some specific clarity on that term, you can meet with a psychologist to participate in further testing. Ultimately, giftedness is a developmental designation that encompasses a wide swath of traits, personalities, and strengths, even as it only represents a small portion of the population.
What kind of testing indicates a gifted child?
An intelligence quotient (IQ) test, administered by a qualified tester, such as the WPPSI-IV (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence) and the WISC-V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) can provide an indication of giftedness. These evaluations provide a snapshot of your child's cognitive skills at a particular point in time and can also provide important insights into your child's approach to different types of tasks.
What are the cutoffs and categories of this testing?
We have found that students that meet a certain cognitive profile are most likely to be successful at Mirman. Therefore, applying to Mirman requires students to receive a Full Scale IQ score of 138 or above. However, this is only the first step in determining if Mirman is a potential match for your child. When we receive a report indicating a score in our accepted range, we work with parents and students to determine if Mirman will be the best fit.
What’s the best way to challenge gifted kids — acceleration, differentiation?
At Mirman, we believe that no school should put a limit on what a child can learn. For that reason, our curriculum model is based on a combination of acceleration and increased depth and complexity. Each of our classes is accelerated by one academic year, meaning a 3rd grade class will cover what is traditionally 4th grade material. Those grade-level standards are then taught through a thematic lens that encourages students to explore the topics with greater depth and complexity. This allows for our students to be challenged academically while still being in a class of same-age peers that is designed to promote and support their social and emotional development.
How can I support my gifted learner at home?
As awe-inspiring as it can be to interact with a gifted child, supporting their academic and social-emotional needs can certainly be challenging. Giftedness is an asynchronous development, meaning that certain skills and coping mechanisms may be developed well in advance of others. At the core, it’s essential to remember that when you’re dealing with gifted children, you’re still dealing with children — and that comes with all the typical highs and lows of parenting. By visiting our gifted resources page, you’ve taken a good first step to understanding your child and the unique needs of gifted learners. We encourage you to access the links below for further resources, reading, and online support networks. Whether you augment your child’s education with exercises and activities at home or seek placement in a specialized gifted program, advocating for your gifted child should be an evolving and ultimately rewarding process.
Characteristics of Gifted Children
Follow the links below to read more about characteristics of gifted children and individuals.
- Characteristics of highly gifted preschoolers
- Linda Silverman's Gifted Development Center checklist
- National Association of Gifted Children traits of giftedness list
- NAGC's list of common characteristics of gifted individuals
Challenges of Gifted Children
- "Myths about Gifted Students," National Association for Gifted Children
- Strengths and perceptions of gifted students
- National Association for Gifted Children
- SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted)
- California Association for the Gifted
- California Gifted Network
- Hoagies' Gifted Education Page
Supporting gifted children
Read on for curated and original content concerning giftedness.
As The New York Times explores giftedness, they also offer a window into the standard measure for admission into gifted programs: the IQ test.
If you're confounded by the contrast in your child's academic ability and his organizational prowess, you're not alone.