Gifted individuals are those with innate high abilities and particular personal qualities that may be seen in different domains - intellectual first and foremost, and also creative, social, cultural, physical, spiritual. Giftedness can be nurtured which may result in outstanding achievements, in and out of school. It can also co-exist with other neurodiversities like ASD, ADHD and dyslexia.
How do I know my child is gifted?
High interest in their surroundings from very early days
Asking a lot of unusual questions
Early and advanced use of language or languages
Early reading and/or writing, often self-taught or with very little instruction
Strong and detailed memory, especially in areas of interest
Strong concentration, when interested, for long periods of time
Grasping complex ideas quickly, with a keen desire to learn more
A ‘quirky’ or unusually keen sense of humour
Strong emotions that may be difficult to regulate
A sense of difference from same-age peers
Should we get onto this early?
Being neurodiverse is a lifelong journey: our kids are born with brains wired to see and experience the world differently, and they will continue to grow and develop their different brains throughout their lives.
At NZCGE, we encourage parents to recognise and seek support for their child’s gifts as early as they see them - and that can be as young as 12-18 months. Girls in particular show their gifts early. Parents can begin to offer their young children stimulating opportunities to explore their world and, when they are ready, to enter into a pre-school learning environment designed for them like MindPlus PreSchool.
Growing up with a sense of being understood, with an identity as gifted, helps our tamariki to go on to explore and extend their gifts at school and outside it, rather than to hide them or feel confused by them, which often leads to significant distress.
Who can I talk to about it?
Gifted children are all very different, and may not have been - or felt - able to express their gifts fully, particularly if their brains are different in other ways (for instance if they have ASD, ADHD, dyslexia etc).
They may also have to work hard to fit into an environment that doesn’t support their gender, cultural, socio-economic or other differences. Trust your instincts - the Gifted Development Center in the US has found that 85% of parents are right about their child’s giftedness.
You can explore more resources on the Ministry of Education’s website here. If you are after a formal confirmation (which you don’t need for MindPlus), there are a number of psychologists or other professionals around New Zealand who do assessments.
Yes, gifted kids are intense! Gifted people really do react quickly, more strongly and for longer than neurotypical people to different types of stimuli, whether they be:
Intellectual (of the mind)
Sensory (of the senses)
Psychomotor (of the body)
Emotional (of feelings)
Find out your top intensity in our super-quick online questionnaire!
Common Myths About Gifted Kids
Gifted kids achieve exceptionally high in everything.
Gifted kids can develop different skills at different times - some areas can be underdeveloped.