How to identify a gifted child: Tips for Filipino parents

How to identify a gifted child: Tips for Filipino parents

It is important to identify a gifted child as soon as possible because they are at risk in the early years of school. Intellectually gifted children are held back in their learning to conform to the pace of other children in their class.

How to identify a gifted child: Tips for Filipino parents

Dr. Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, who holds a PhD in Educational Psychology (Gifted Education) from the University of Cambridge and has been working with gifted individuals or those with high abilities since 1996, shares her insights on how to identify early giftedness.

Why do we need to identify a gifted child?

It is important to identify a Filipino gifted child as soon as possible because he/she is at risk in the early years of school, through misidentification, inappropriate grade-placement, inadequate curriculum, an early awareness of being different and consequent attempts to conceal their ability for peer acceptance. More often than not, intellectually gifted children are held back in their learning to conform to the pace of other children in their class.

How do we spot a Filipino gifted child?

Research findings indicate that even in infancy, potentially gifted children often proceed through developmental milestones up to 30% faster than other infants. Advanced development in the areas of gross motor, fine motor and language skills has also been observed in potentially gifted infants. Profoundly gifted infants and toddlers (IQs of 167 to 230+) were reported to have higher energy levels, longer attention spans and higher sensitivity to tactile sensations than their age mates.

For preschoolers, characteristic traits of giftedness fall under 3 categories:

1. Language and learning

A gifted preschooler will exhibit his/her  unique learning styles and have long attention spans. They will learn easily and are able to retain what they have learnt. They will have accelerated language development: large vocabularies, enjoyment of self-expression through discussion, and the use of advanced grammar or sentence structure.Gifted preschoolers are curious and are able to sustain interest in a subject of their own choosing for extended periods of time.

They have a more mature sense of humour than age mates. They have the ability to comprehend sophisticated jokes and word puns, long before their age mates are developmentally ready to think at these abstract levels. These kids have interest in factual information books over fantasy and make-believe and also seek out information related to the abstract concepts of time and space and they are usually proficient in the fine and creative arts such as drawing and music.

2. Psychomotor development and motivation

For psychomotor development and motivation, the kids will have high energy/activity levels. They will have a wide range of consuming or passionate interests on which to expend those energies. They may sleep less than other children and can be extremely independent -- wanting to master their own environments and  driven to explore the curiosities of the world around them.

3. Personal-social characteristics

Gifted children exhibit early empathy development and a deep caring for the pain of others. They may feel different than other children and display one or more of several characteristics termed “overexcitabilities” or emotional intensities. These include psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual and emotional overexcitabilities. Emotional intensities include shyness and difficulty adjusting to new situations. It is important to remember that while all young children may display these types of behaviors, the young potentially gifted child appears to exhibit these traits to a much greater degree.

How gifted is gifted?

Based on how far a Filipino gifted child is from the norm of 100:

  • Mildly Gifted: 115 to 129
  • Moderately Gifted: 130 to 144
  • Highly Gifted: 145 to 159
  • Exceptionally Gifted: 160 to 179
  • Profoundly Gifted: 180


If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.

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