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Gifted and talented children
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Does your child seem particularly advanced for his/her age and understand everything very quickly? Your child could be gifted. We take a look at the signs and identification of bright children and how to support them.
What is a gifted child?
- Note that gifted children are also more susceptible to behavioural problems. They are often more sensitive than others, experience psychosomatic problems (headaches, stomach problems and eczema), have sleeping problems, suffer from anxiety, hyperactivity, OCD, stuttering and addictions.
Besides a child's behaviour and performance at school, there are two techniques used to detect giftedness:
- IQ tests carried out by a psychologist. IQ is measured using psychometric tests such as Wechsler (one for 3-6 year-olds, one for 6-17 year-olds and another one for adults). This comprises an analysis of reading level, a personality test and analysis of a drawing.
- Identification questionnaires comprised of comparative tables, used to differentiate gifted children from normal schoolchildren, and used in particular by teachers who want to clarify a child's ability.
- It’s important to understand that a gifted child won’t necessarily be brilliant in all areas. If he/she is particularly gifted at maths or in music, he/she won’t necessarily be gifted at art, for example.
Educational and psychological support
As soon as a child is diagnosed as gifted, it is essential for parents to learn about their child’s particularities, both intellectual and emotional, and inform the school and teachers. Then a number of different educational options are available.
- It's quite possible to leave a sociable child in mainstream education and take them out of one or two classes for special support, and you can also give them private lessons at home.
- If a child feels a real difference between his/her peers, you can put them in a specific programme designed for gifted children run by specialists.
- Another solution is summer camps for gifted children, where the goal is to meet other similar children and take part in stimulating activities together (science, IT, art) to prevent boredom.
- Psychological support is also recommended to enable the child to express himself and to flourish in daily life.
- Finally, associations like the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) and NAGTY (The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth) can help parents support their gifted children and help their development by giving specific advice. More information is also available on the DirectGov website www.direct.gov.uk.