Extremely high intelligence, talents in music, sport, making things, art, IT, creative thnking.
Intellectually gifted children are, by definition, unusual. They have usually shown precocious development in speaking, or reading, or maths. They are very keen to find out more about the world, and often have passionate interests and expertise before starting school.
Paradoxically, many gifted children also have specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, AD(H)D, autistic spectrum conditions, especially Asperger syndrome). This is because different areas of the brain have matured at different rates. These children can be described as neuro-diverse.
For example, the gifted child with mild dyslexia may ‘guess’ and skim their way through a story when reading, if they are unable to read all the words in isolation. They may be able to write legibly, but not spell well, and their written English often lacks structure and is poorly organised.
The gifted child with mild dyspraxia can easily express complex and creative ideas when speaking, but very often cannot write them down legibly and quickly. He / she is often clumsy, and poor at some sports.
The gifted child with dyscalculia may be brilliant at creative writing, and fully competent at reading, but unable to remember and apply number bonds, times tables, arithmetic procedures etc.
The gifted child with AD(H)D may be unable to sit still in class, appears to be “off task” and goes off at a tangent with ideas and impulsive behaviour. He / she may be very physically active and need little sleep.
The gifted child with mild Asperger Syndrome may have difficulties in learning and using social signals, so the child can mis-stinterpret body language. He / she may not make friends easily. The child may prefer the company of adults, rather than other children. The child can have obsessive interests and expertise, and be didactic and pedantic when speaking. These attributes mark them out as “different” from their peers. They do not easily learn streetwise behaviours and find playtimes at school particularly difficult.
Gifted children are very often bored and frustrated in class, and can be isolated in the playground.
We can help by, firstly, giving a full, standardised IQ test that will confirm whether or not the child is “gifted”. To be classified as Intellectually Gifted, the standardised IQ score (Full Scale IQ or General Cognitive Ability) has to be 2 standard deviations above the mean, in the top 2.2% of the population.
Secondly, we take a detailed developmental history from the parents, covering all areas of growth and development from birth onwards.
Thirdly, we ask the school for information on the child’s academic and social progress, and look at the work in class if possible. We may observe the child in a work and in a play situation.
Fourthly, we test educational attainments (reading skills - word recognition, phonic decoding, comprehension and speed), spelling, handwriting formation and speed, creative word fluency, prose writing - grammar, punctuation, content, maths - written arithmetic, mental arithmetic and mathematical reasoning. All of these tests are standardised, so any underachievement can be quantified precisely.
Finally, we ask the child for their views on school and their learning.
The diagnostic assessment is the first step towards planning effective, targeted teaching and enrichment programmes for the child that address the complexity of the learner’s needs.
If you think your child may be gifted, please look at the following websites:
and then contact us for a discussion with one of our team.