Is your child exhibiting signs of advanced skills and development? Are they picking up things faster than their peers and excelling at the things they do?
If this is the case, your child might be gifted or talented. It’s every parents’ dream to have a smart kid but how do you know if your child is truly a prodigy or just somebody above average? If they are gifted and talented, what should we do as parents?
Today, we’ll explore the ways you can get your child to be tested and how you can support them as a parent.
Why Knowing If Your Kid is Gifted and Talented is Important
If your child is considered talented or gifted at an early age, it will help parents understand what they need and how you can support them.
For gifted and talented kids, continuous learning is synonymous to healthy wellbeing. Some of them may enjoy starting school early, while others can still wait until they are at the right age. Some schools can even offer challenging classes for these kids to enrol into, while others would prefer skipping a grade to match their level.
If your child has been identified early, research about the learning opportunities schools offers for gifted kids. You should also help them develop their talents and ensure they won’t get bored while at home or at school.
Many parents, in fact, homeschool their child or seek a home tutor so that their lessons can be customised according to their learning level.
How to Identify Gifted Children with Formal Methods
If you are uncertain if your child is gifted and talented, there are two ways to do so.
The first formal identification your child can take is an IQ test given by a psychologist. Search online or ask friends if they know psychologists who can conduct IQ tests for gifted or talented kids.
If you cannot find one, you can ask the school where your child is enrolled to if they can arrange the IQ test. Alternatively, Mensa can direct you to the nearest one.
IQ tests work best if your child is six years old and older. Kids grow at a fast pace and they can still change in terms of their talents and interests. If they take the IQ test while they are young, it may show a different result if they took the IQ test at a later date. Young children may also rush their IQ tests because they are usually 60 to 90 minutes long.
The second way to identify your child’s gifted status is through numeracy or literacy tests. If the scores are high, you should reach out to their teachers and discuss how to go from there.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Formal Identification
Getting a formal identification that your child is gifted and talented comes with pros and cons.
If you want to enrol your child into a special program for the gifted or get an early entry pass to school, getting a recognised IQ test is the way to go. Your child’s IQ test results can also help your child’s school to determine how your child’s classes should be structured.
Sadly, IQ tests can be very expensive and you have to pay it yourself (especially if your child is under the age of 14). IQ tests only test a child’s intellectual abilities, not their creative, physical and social abilities.
Even if your child is gifted, they will still need lessons on how they can socialize and improve their physical health.
How to Identify Gifted Children with Informal Methods
If you do not have the funds to have your child take an IQ test, you can still identify your child’s development with the help of a record.
To begin with your records of your child’s behaviour and development, you must include the following:
– school reports of their progress
– samples of their writings, drawings and other school work
– list of questions your child tends to ask and the subjects that have caught their interest
– comments from teachers and doctors about your child’s behaviour and activities
– comments from friends and family about your child’s behaviour
Advantages and Disadvantages of informal Identification
Using informal identification to determine if your child is gifted or not has some plus and bad sides.
It is good to use this method if your child is still young and under the age of 14. It is also perfect to determine if your child is also gifted in the arts, physical and social activities. IQ tests only test one’s intellectual abilities so it is not really a good measure of a child’s overall abilities.
Using informal identification is also cheaper than formal identification. You only need to collect the data about your child’s activities and speak to the people your child interacts with regularly.
The cons that it might be inaccurate because your child may be held at varying intellectual standards by different people. You certainly don’t want to perceive your child is a genius and find him struggling in gifted classes a year later!
How to talk to your child about their gifted status
As parents, we know our children better than anyone. We know how to explain things to our children, especially when it comes to understanding what they can do and how to talk about it.
Some gifted children tend to feel isolated from everyone else, especially from their peers. A good way to help them cope is by helping them feel loved and accepted.
When you talk to your young child about their current abilities, make sure to answer their inquiries in a way they will understand. Don’t go all scientific in explaining why they are different. If they ask why, you can say something like “Your brain learns faster than your classmates’ brain.”
Explaining it in a way your child understands would also help them understand that every person is different. Even if their peers are not brilliant academically, they are talented in their own way. If they have siblings, point out their talents to show that being gifted and talented can be seen in different ways.
If your child understands these differences, it will help them get along better with others. They can even assist their peers if they have problems understanding their lessons.
Remember, being different can be difficult and frustrating for your child. Showing him that you are supportive will trump over anything.
If you have a gifted child, you will definitely feel proud and excited for your child.
There are a lot of opportunities that are now open for your child to explore and as their parents, you can help them out through the journey. But, you may also feel concerns when it comes to your child’s interactions with others and how your child will adjust.
Don’t be afraid to speak to your child’s school about these concerns. It can help you discover other ways on how to adjust to your child’s status and help your child understand their abilities.
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