What is Giftedness?
Giftedness refers to a child’s intellectual or other abilities are significantly above that of other children their age. Typically, a child is considered to be gifted in a certain area if their ability in that are is in the top 10% of their age-matched peer group. A child can be gifted in any number of areas, such as intellectually (thinking and reasoning at a high level), creatively, artistically, mathematically, or physically, for example.
The Ministry of Education and Training for the province of Ontario has adopted a definition of “giftedness” which is as follows:
“An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth the breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.”
This means a child is deemed gifted if their overall level of intelligence is significantly higher than age-matched peers such that the child requires more challenging learning activities than is typically provided at their Grade level.
Should I have my Child Tested?
Does your child show…
- Unusual alertness (even in infancy)
- Quick learner; puts thoughts together and solves mental problems quickly
- Excellent memory, attention, problem solving, vocabulary, or math skills
- Learn skills quickly and with little practice (tying shoelaces, dressing self, learning to read)
- Deep, intense feelings and reactions
- Highly sensitive
- Preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer
- Highly developed curiosity
- Keen sense of humor
- Vivid imaginations
If so, a giftedness screening assessment may be helpful. If identified as gifted, our psychologists can work with you and your child’s school board to help them access a gifted program, where your child can develop their strengths and talents further.
Exceptionally capable learners are children who progress in learning at a significantly faster pace than do other children of the same age, often resulting in high marks in school or exceptional sports performance. Early identification in school improves the likelihood that gifts will be developed into talents.
Why do some Gifted Students Still Struggle?
Without extra challenge in their schooling, gifted students are at risk of becoming bored and frustrated with school, which can lead to low marks, disinterest in school, or unhelpful work habits.
Some gifted students also have learning disabilities that can mask their giftedness, and vice versa. Often these “twice-exceptional” students go undetected because their learning disability and giftedness mask each other, making them perform with “average” marks. In addition to a giftedness screening assessment, our psychologists offer comprehensive psychoeducational assessments to identify and diagnose learning disabilities and other conditions (such as autism spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety) that can affect learning.