Gifted Children

It is difficult to determine the mental development of a child. It is particularly difficult to assess in very young children. Educators recognise two types of skills - intellectual and creative - and programmes for gifted children today are labelled ‘gifted and talented’. Bright and healthy children from stimulating environments often cannot fit into these classifications. Usually, they are very inquisitive about the world around them, are creative with words as they learn to speak and, while they are playing, are creative with toys.

Some love books and learn to read well before school age. They are eager to learn and some show early indications of interest and a special talent for music, art, theatre or dance. The fantasy world is a strong call for some who use their imaginations in creative ways.
If you’re a mother or father of a child who may be gifted, you’re probably happy about that, but at the same time, maybe, also concerned. You may be torn between pushing too hard and challenging enough to stimulate your child’s brilliance. A formal evaluation is the most reliable way to determine whether the development of a child lies in the official classification of ‘gifted and talented’.
The evaluation of a gifted child should be performed by a person or a service that has experience with young children and also with tests and methods of appropriate interpretation.
This involves the use of certain standardised tests which measure the development of skill levels and talent, but almost never involve evaluating the use of intelligence tests, because of the instability of IQ at early ages.
The results of an evaluation indicate, which areas of learning that a child may begin to dominate at an early age and the reading level appropriate for him/her.
Many gifted and talented children do not read before going to school. Early reading is not the sole criterion for mental or exceptional creative ability. An assessment of your child is a good idea to accumulate evidence or information.
Keep a written record of his/her observation. Use examples and note these features:
Early talking with a vocabulary similar to that of an adult and exceptionally insightful questions or comments or cunning,
Excellent memory,
Knack for drawing or other artwork,
Ability to focus on an activity for long periods of time.
Educators also suggest that you continue to encourage your child’s natural curiosity, without pressure or force. Provide any enriching experiences as possible, especially that your child likes. Take advantage of opportunities in bookstores, children’s museums and the like. Try to find other parents willing to join you and share your knowledge and enthusiasm and lead children to appropriate educational tours.
Remember that the most gifted children are children first, then gifted. It is easy to treat a gifted child as if she were much older, however, they are immature for some things.
All children, whatever their abilities and potentials, need love, attention. Parents should not try to turn them into miniature adults.

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