Source : Valerie Valdez , ehow.com
The National Association for Gifted Children defines gifted as, "someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression." Gifted children possess certain traits like advanced intellect and creativity that parents and educators may overlook. Early detection of gifted children is crucial in order to put them into the proper educational environment to meet their needs.
According to Dr. Linda Karges-Bones, Professor of Education at Charleston Southern University, gifted children have an excellent memory. They comprehend difficult concepts in science, math and other subjects easier than many other students. They focus intensely on a specific topic and then study it to gain a full understanding of it.
A hunger for knowledge is one of the main traits of the gifted. Their desire to discover new information is strong. They strive to understand a topic instead of just memorizing facts. Many children disassemble a toy to see how it works or build models and puzzles with ease. They are avid readers of many different types of books, including adult level books.
These children often enter a mental "zone" that focuses their concentration on a topic for a long period of time. Their behavior appears as myopic or obsessive. They may require less sleep than average children. They work hard to explore the deeper meaning behind an idea or concept.
Some gifted children are sensitive to noises and prefer working in silence. They take criticism personally and cry easily when their feelings are hurt. They may get depressed, withdraw and refuse to speak. According to Dr. Katges-Bones, gifted children empathize with other people--and their problems--more than normal children. A gifted child tends to have an interest in social issues like world hunger, wars, abused animals and people.
Joan Franklin Smutny, author of Your Gifted Child, states that, while advanced in other ways, gifted children lack maturity in social settings. They generally struggle with establishing friendships with children who do not share their interests and advanced skills. This leads to frustration and boredom that may cause a gifted child to withdraw even more.
Art, music, photography and drama are areas that come easily to many gifted children. They may have a special ability to play an instrument with little training, draw detailed paintings and portray different characters in a play. Gifted children seem to shed their inhibitions when using their creativity, according to Smutny.