Cinco de Mayo 2011
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Characteristics

Gifted children display a variety of gifted characteristics, which are listed below. Keep in mind that gifted children will display a combination of these characteristics rather than every single one.

Gifted characteristics include

  • Unusual alertness
  • High verbal ability
  • Accelerated thought process
  • Long attention span
  • High activity level
  • Less need for sleep
  • Rapid learning ability
  • Keen sense of observation
  • Extreme curiosity
  • Excellent memory
  • Early and extensive vocabulary
  • Ability to simultaneously process information
  • Intense interest in books
  • Ability to quickly grasp new knowledge and concepts
  • Abstract reasoning
  • High degree of sensitivity
  • Perfectionism
  • Excellent sense of humor
  • Preference for older playmates
  • Advanced ability in play with puzzles, mazes, or numbers
  • Advanced progression through developmental milestones
  • Advanced comprehension
  • Large quantity of knowledge and information
  • Able to generate original ideas and solutions

When identifying these characteristics in a child, it is necessary to consider similar characteristics in same-age peers. For example, a young child's humor may not appear funny to an adult; however, the word play and use of particular joke formats may be unusual for that child's age. It is also important to consider the context in which these characteristics may be displayed. A child is likely to have a long attention span if delving into a topic of interest, but is more likely to be easily distracted and show high level of energy if the topic is not of interest or at an appropriate level. A child may have a large quantity of information about a particular topic - a passion area - and not as much about a non-passion topic. Gifted characteristics are displayed in children at an early age and assist with the identification of giftedness. Other factors contribute to formal identification; however, recognition of gifted characteristics is the first step.