The research shows that while children are born with the potential to be gifted, the environment and nurture plays an important role in developing those innate abilities. In fact, researchers estimate conservatively that environmental influences can add 20-40 points on measured intelligence.
The development of high ability is influenced both by characteristics of the child (including genetic predispositions and aptitudes) and by environmental factors. Giftedness is therefore always subject to genetic influences, although these influences are not exclusive.
While we like to think everyone is special, some people have extraordinary abilities — intellectual, artistic, social, or athletic. Many experts believe only 3 to 5 percent of the population is gifted, though some estimates reach 20 percent.
Signs of Giftedness in Children Include:
an insatiable curiosity, as demonstrated by endless questions and inquiries. ability to comprehend material several grade levels above their age peers. surprising emotional depth and sensitivity at a young age. enthusiastic about unique interests and topics.
A gifted child's IQ will fall within these ranges: Mildly gifted: 115 to 130. Moderately gifted: 130 to 145. Highly gifted: 145 to 160.
Because of their intellectual complexity, a gifted child can imagine a vast range of life scenarios that are unthinkable to the average child. They can and do feel with great intensity the emotions that are attached to each scenario and this can lead to them being overwhelmed by anxiety and fear.
Are smart people more likely to have smart kids? Yes. IQ is mostly genetic/hereditary, and the environmental factors early on that can decrease IQ are generally not an issue for smart couples, as they know (and can likely afford) good nutrition and safe housing practices.
When do signs of giftedness appear? Signs of giftedness can appear as early as infancy and continue during the toddler and preschool years. Testing for giftedness and high IQ, however, usually takes place around age 5.
Gifted children often struggle socially and emotionally. Social interactions are difficult and they don't always know how to behave or read cues from others.
With these unique characteristics, gifted children may have adverse reactions to intense stimuli, which can look like problematic behavior on the surface. For example, a child might withdraw from socializing at lunch if the smell of the cafeteria overwhelms them, which may lead some to think they are unsociable.
While some gifted children may have a flair for the dramatic, that does not diminish the intensity of their emotions. These children may be experiencing what psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski called an emotional overexcitability. 2 That means that they actually do experience emotions more intensely than others.
Many gifted children may exceed the academic ability of their peers, but lack other basic skills. For instance, a student may be able to multiply, divide, and tell time early on, but struggle to tie their shoes, ride a bike, or remember to bring their backpack to school.
When the conditions listed above do not exist, gifted adults will also suffer greatly. They will most likely experience high levels of stress, anxiety, agitation, depression and depletion. Major bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings are also not uncommon.
Early and rapid learning - One of the most common characteristics of gifted students is their ability to learn things early and rapidly.
On its own, giftedness is not defined as a disability or special need. Some gifted students do have special needs (known as "twice exceptional" or "2e"), but most don't.
Smarter than Einstein? Albert Einstein likely never took an IQ test but is estimated to have a 160 IQ—but even that can't stand up to these masterminds.
They are extremely curious about objects, ideas, situations, or events. They often display intellectual playfulness and like to fantasize and imagine. They can be less intellectually inhibited than their peers are in expressing opinions and ideas, and they often disagree spiritedly with others' statements.
As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school. Gifted children often read widely, quickly, and intensely and have large vocabularies. Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice.
Making friends is often fraught for gifted children. They may find it difficult to find friends in a typical school environment or extracurricular activity. The more gifted they are, the more difficult it may be for them to find social connection with other children their age, and understandably so.