WELCOME TO THE ALL 4 KIDS UK BABY & GIFTED CHILDREN'S PAGE. BELOW YOU'LL FIND HELPFUL TIPS AND ADVICE KINDLY SUPPLIED BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED CHILDREN
General enquiries: T 0845 450 0295
Helpline enquiries: T 0845 450 0221
There are many definitions of a ‘gifted’ child, and other words that are in common use in schools include ‘more able’, ‘highly able’, or ‘exceptionally able’. Schools and Local Education Authorities often now have a designated coordinator for ‘Gifted and Talented’ education.
Very often parents are the first to recognise that their child is bright for his or her age. The following characteristics are typical of many highly able children, though you would not expect to find them all in one child:
- Never stops asking questions
- Walked and talked early
- Has never needed much sleep
- Is very demanding and has great physical and mental energy
- Possesses a vivid imagination
- Has a wide vocabulary
- Likes to take the lead when playing with friends
- Could read from a very early age
- Is always reading
- Pays extraordinary attention to detail
- Loses interest when asked to do more of the same
- Has a lively mind
- Quickly grasps a new idea
- Shows surprising powers of concentration when interested
Many very able children are delightful to raise, and thrive at school and at home. However, for some, life may not be so straightforward. Bright children sometimes experience frustration, which can lead to tantrums or difficult behaviour, either at school or at home, or sometimes both. This may happen when a child’s intellectual needs are not being met, or because the child’s emotional maturity is out of step with his or her cognitive ability.
Some highly able children experience social problems, and there can be a sense of not ‘fitting in’ with children of the same age, perhaps because of different interests or an advanced sense of humour. A child like this might gravitate towards older children or adults, with whom they can share jokes or conversation more easily. However, as school is a highly social organization, this can lead to problems there, and some bright children might suffer isolation or bullying because of being perceived to be different. Social pressure can also lead some students to ‘dumb themselves down’ in school, so as to fit in better.
The National Association for Gifted Children is an organization that was set up in the 1960s and so has nearly four decades of expertise in this field. It is concerned to support families of children who have all kinds of potential, whether achieving in school or not. There is a helpline for anyone who would appreciate the chance to talk about these issues, and local Explorers clubs for children (these also provide a forum for parents to chat and exchange experiences, which can be very valuable). The NAGC website contains a wealth of information, and there is a fun test which you can do to see if your child might have some of the characteristics of a bright or gifted child.