Children can be surprising with how much they absorb.
Their minds are like sponges—especially in their early years.
They can pick up information, language, and habits in a blink of an eye.
While all children are prone to absorbing information from an early age, some children go beyond what the average child typically is capable of.
These children are gifted and exhibit the qualities that suggest they possess a higher IQ than the average child.
It can be difficult to identify a gifted child. The younger they are, the harder it is.
What may seem as just a knack for a skill may be a sign of a deeper intelligence and understanding.
According to Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard University professor in the 1980’s, there are eight different kinds of intelligence that can be measured.
A gifted child might exhibit excellent or an innate apt for one or more of these eight intelligences:
Linguistic intelligence (language and words)
Logical-mathematical intelligence (numbers and reasoning)
Spatial intelligence (visual intelligence such as art and pictures)
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (physical or body)
Interpersonal intelligence (social intelligence and understanding people)
Intrapersonal intelligence (intelligence of the self)
Naturalist intelligence (nature)
Here are 6 ways to identify if your child is gifted:
Many children are alert, especially young children when they are processing the world around them for the very first time.
However, unusual alertness might be a sign of a gifted child. If they are paying specific and concentrated attention on what is happening around them, even as infants, they might be gifted.
Alertness can be a sign of any of the eight intelligences, but paying attention to what stimulates your child’s interest and attention most might give you a hint as to their proficiency.
If they are particularly alert and show signs of advanced interest in music, they might be gifted in musical intelligence; if they are alerted by nature, it might be naturalist intelligence; etc.
2. Quick learning
Children often learn very quickly at a young age, but rapid processing and assessment can be a sign of a gifted child.
If they can process information and put their thoughts together rapidly, that is not common in children—especially young children.
Most have a wait time while they piece the information together, process it, and craft a response.
A wait time is typically while their brains are developing and learning how to process more complex information and learning language to understand and communicate with others.
Children who are able to do this rapidly show a gifted proficiency toward linguistic intelligence and/or logical-mathematical intelligence.
An excellent memory and recall of information, events, and people can be a sign of a gifted child—especially if their recall is near exact and contains specific details.
A detailed memory can be a sign for a proficiency in spatial intelligence, but is not limited to it.
4. Complex Sentence Structure
Learning language is a natural process children go through but it takes time to be able to learn the structure of language and to build a vocabulary—even for adult language learners.
If a child has an expansive vocabulary beyond what is common or average for a child in their age group, they might be gift.
Another key to identifying this is their sentence structure.
Most children use simple sentences as they learn the structure and how to make complex sentences and thoughts verbally.
If a child is able to do this beyond the expectations of their age group, they might be gifted in linguistic intelligence.
5. Advanced understanding of abstract concepts
The brain develops at a steady rate, and most young people don’t begin to grasp abstract concepts such as metaphors or nuances until their pre-teens (around age twelve.)
If your child is grasping and understanding abstract concepts like metaphors, nuances, symbolism, and idioms, that can be a sign that they are gifted as these are very difficult concepts for children to grasp especially those younger than twelve.
This can be a sign of linguistic and/or interpersonal intelligence.
6. Asking probing questions to develop understanding
Most children go through a “why” phase where they ask “why” about everything.
Usually, it’s because they’ve recently discovered that that word will keep you talking and get more information out of you, but they don’t really care what that information is.
They just like the cause and effect that the word produces.
However, children who ask probing questions—questions that are beyond “why” and are in pursuit of developing their understanding—are exhibiting traits of a gifted child.
When they are capable of seeking knowledge and understanding and are able to process the information you are giving them and provide an appropriate and relevant follow-up question, that is a sign of gifted behavior specifically logical-mathematical intelligence but it can be a sign of other forms of intelligence.
It can be difficult to assess if your child is gifted or just learning at a normal rate,
but paying attention to these traits and skills that your child displays might help you figure it out.
Because of the different types of intelligences, there are many traits to look for that might show an aptitude toward one kind of intelligence or another.
Your child may not be prone toward linguistic or mathematical intelligences, but that doesn’t mean they’re not gifted or advanced in another way.