What do I do if my child is “gifted”

Supporting your child when they seem to have above average potential.

Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical. Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance. The key word is potential, being smart isn’t enough; a child needs support and guidance to achieve his/her gifted potential. Supporting and encouraging gifted children is often exactly where home and school collide.

Teachers, can identify gifted children through their own observation and instincts. Often as parents we just know there is something “extra” about our child, and don’t mix this up with every child is spectacular in a parent’s eyes it should be based on their questions, their insights. It may be instant grasp of patterns and numbers, and comments from a kindergarten teacher who may have stop them answering so other children have chance. 

The frustration is that where we fail to identify gifted and talented (G&T) students, we can risk damage to the ones that turned off by rigid education and they voluntarily opt out, sitting well below the attainment radar, on their way to dropping out. We risk damage to society by not encouraging these students to fly and value add to society through their exceptional abilities.

Sadly, schools do not always meet the needs of students with exceptional potential, or miss the under-achieving gifted child due to inadequate identification and pressure on resources (money, time & staff can only go so far). We can’t afford to assume G&T students will be all right, are easy to spot, just need more work, and don’t need the nourishment that other SEN students need.

G&T child must see that they are valued, through giving them appropriate academic challenge and also chances to be together, to feel less isolated. The following strategies do work:

• Acceleration – Students can be accelerated.

• Differentiation – an over-used term, it means creating something to extend the child in your class; richer or more challenging tasks

• Teacher-student matching – matching personalities as well as learning styles

• Independent Negotiated Programs – student interest and skills determine the scale and scope of the project, negotiated with staff regarding resources, 

• Competitions – individual, team, internal, external – there are heaps of them!

What good is it to know if you have an IQ of 90 or 130… if, in the end you can’t do anything?” We must make sure gifted and talented children get the chance to do something fabulous.

Kids Full Educational Services offer Gifted and Talented programmes covering maths, English and Science programmes for children. These programmes challenge each child to achieve beyond curriculum and use their skills effectively. Please give us a ring if you would like us to assess your child for potential as a gifted child. 

Tel: 04 566 5723