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Characteristics Of Gifted Children

Posted by Sinead Cowins on February 20, 2017

giften children can be described using various sets of characteristics

Gifted children are often discussed in terms of their intellectual ability and rarely in terms of their behaviors, needs, difficulties and feelings. This often oversimplifies their capabilities; disregards the barriers they face and fails to provide them with the strategies needed to help them reach their full potential. Based on the research of Maureen Neihart & George Betts (2010), the following provides examples of giftedness. Parents can look to these examples to assess for giftedness in their children and individualize their needs.

The Successful

Characteristics

  • Complacent
  • Dependent
  • Well liked
  • High self-esteem
  • Self-Critical
  • Hardworking
  • Eager for approval
  • Driven by external reward
  • High IQ & Standardized test scores

Behaviors

  • High achieving
  • Prefers teacher approval
  • Avoids risks
  • Accepts and Conforms
  • Gets excellent grades
  • Consumes knowledge

Needs

  • To be challenged
  • To learn to accept deficiency
  • To take risks
  • Assertiveness skills
  • Independent learning skills

portrait-of-child-looking-closely-with-magnifying-glass_rtOSTyCro.jpgThe Creative

Characteristics

  • Highly creative
  • May have domain specific strengths
  • High IQ
  • Easily bored and frustrated
  • Impatient & Defensive
  • Sensitive
  • Follows inner convictions
  • Energetic

Behaviors

  • Expressive
  • Challenges authority
  • Is honest and direct
  • Emotionally reactive
  • May be in conflict with peers
  • Stands up for convictions

Needs

  • To relate to others
  • To learn tact, flexibility, self-awareness and self-control
  • Support for creativity
  • Less pressure to conform
  • Interpersonal skills to learn how to deal with others
  • Strategies to cope with potential psychological vulnerabilities

The Underground

Characteristics

  • High scores on non-verbal measures of intelligence
  • Desire to belong
  • Feel unsure & pressured
  • Unsure about achievement

Behaviors

  • High IQ and grades
  • May deny talent
  • Refuse gifted or advanced classes
  • Reject challenges
  • Moves from one peer group to the next
  • Not connected to the teacher or the class

Needs

  • Freedom to make choices
  • Help with understanding conflict
  • Gifted peer group network
  • Support for abilities
  • Role models
  • Self-understanding & self-acceptance
  • To be heard

kian-261-579.jpgThe At-Risk

Characteristics

  • High IQ
  • High achievement test scores
  • Resentful & angry
  • Poor self-concept
  • Defensive
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Unaccepted
  • Resistive to authority
  • Not motivated for teacher driven rewards

Behaviors

  • May create crises and cause disruptions
  • Thrill seeking
  • Intermittent Attendance at School
  • Pursues outside interests
  • Low academic achievement
  • May be self-isolating
  • Often creative
  • Criticizes self and others
  • Produces inconsistent work

Needs

  • Safety and structure
  • An alternative environment to learn
  • An individualized program
  • Confrontation and accountability
  • Alternatives
  • Professional counseling
  • Direction and short term goals

The Autonomous Learner

Characteristics

  • High Standardized test scores
  • May be well liked and nominated for giftedness programs by teachers and peers
  • Self-confident
  • Self-accepting
  • Optimistic
  • Self-motivated
  • Ambitious & excited
  • May not view academics as highest priority
  • Willing to fail and learn from it
  • Shows tolerance and respect for others

Behaviors

  • Appropriate social skills
  • Works independently
  • Sets SMART goals
  • Seeks challenges
  • Strongly self-directed
  • Follows strong areas of passion/interest
  • Good self-regulators
  • Stands up for convictions
  • Resilient

Needs

  • More support not less
  • Advocacy
  • Feedback about strengths & possibilities
  • Facilitation of continuing growth
  • Support for risk-taking
  • On-going, facilitative relationships

Topics: Focus, Reading, Math, Education, Writing, School

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