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A guide to identifying and supporting a gifted child

Have you seen your child completing activities in a different way to others around them? Or are they excelling in maths, music, or something very niche? There are a number of signs to look out for to assess whether a child is gifted.

What does it mean to be gifted?

Intellectual ability is one way. However gifted children can also excel in areas such as arts, music and leadership skills. Giftedness can be particular to one type of skillset or intellect, or it can be a more general gift that covers many skills and their overall intellectual being.

While it can be an exciting time discovering your child is gifted, it can also be a little daunting, especially as children navigate what might be unfamiliar territory. It’s important for parents to remember to keep providing a safe environment where their child can be challenged in a fun, stimulating and non-competitive way.

How do you know if your child is gifted?

Sometimes it may be pretty obvious that a child is gifted. It could be as simple as them being able to look at a homework question and know the answer off the top of their head, or pick up a paint brush and create a masterpiece without having to think about it.

Sometimes giftedness is not that easy to recognise. Luckily, there are a number of professional indicators to look out for, to help you determine whether or not your child is gifted. These include:

  • Curiosity: A gifted child is sometimes seen as a child who is very curious and wants to know as much as possible. They will ask lots of questions, experiment with different things and look at how things work. These questions help them to understand and build their knowledge.
  • A preference for adult conversations: A gifted child usually has a higher vocabulary for their age and prefers to take part in adult conversations. They use their increased vocabulary to be able to speak with adults and communicate on their level.
  • They are cognitively advanced: Children who are gifted, tend to teach themselves new skills, before they are required for their age. This can include reading and writing and solving maths problems. They are able to take the tasks in front of them and put their minds to work quickly to determine the solution. Their intellectual level is higher than those in their age group and they are able to use the intellect to further themselves and their skills.
  • They may be underachieving: It might sound a bit ironic, but gifted children can often become bored in class as they find the work too easy and look for additional stimulation or distraction. Underachieving, or being labelled a ‘trouble-maker’ could be a sign that camouflages their giftedness.
  • The development of asynchronous skills: The more highly gifted a child is, the more asynchronous they might be. For example, some gifted children may be excellent in maths but poor in reading or vice versa. And to make matters more complex, the individual traits of one gifted child may be extremely different from another.

How to support a gifted child

If you believe that your child is gifted, there are a number of ways that you can help them succeed and grow even further. Encourage your gifted child as much as possible. Provide them with resources that can further their growth, such as books, instruments and art supplies, and nurture the gift they have. Secondly, seek out testing to determine their IQ and whether they may be gifted.

Specific programs for gifted kids

PLC Sydney Futures Extension Centre has a qualified team dedicated to identifying, testing and supporting gifted and talented children. The Centre offers a number of courses for gifted primary school aged students from any school. The courses are engaging, hands-on and integrate a wide variety of teaching and learning techniques. The teachers write detailed programs incorporating specific learning outcomes.

Classes for gifted children are conducted on Saturday afternoons during the school term, from 1pm to 4pm. Classes are available for Kindergarten/Year 1 and Years 2 – 6.

If you have seen your child completing activities in a different way to others around them, or you believe that they are gifted, an assessment is a great place to start. Get in touch with the PLC Sydney Futures Extension Centre to arrange a consultation.

Semester 2 enrichment program for gifted children

Term 3 Programs commence on Saturday 17 July and finish on Saturday 11 September 2021. (9 weeks)

Term 4 Programs commence on Saturday 9 October and finish on Saturday 27 November 2021 ( 8 weeks)

*Entry requires a psychometric assessment identifying child as gifted.

All courses start at 1 pm and finish at 4pm. Each course runs for one hour and twenty minutes with a 20 minute break in between.

Enrolments close on Sunday 11 July 2021.

To find out more: https://www.plc.nsw.edu.au/microsites/extension-centre/saturday-enrichment-classes

This content was supplied by PLC Sydney.

 

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