Tampa Florida Psychologists: What it Means to be a Gifted Child

Gifted Child | Rice Psychology Group in Tampa

As a parent of a gifted child, do you sometimes feel as if their school lacks the resources that your child needs to be successful? This is why Tampa Florida psychologists agree it’s so important to understand what “giftedness” truly means. Following the right steps can be a factor in helping your child reach his/her true potential and understanding what giftedness means for them.

Being Gifted

Would you believe that there is no universal, agreed-upon definition of what it means to be gifted?  States and schools can vary widely in how they measure giftedness and how a child qualifies for admission into a gifted program or school. For example, in some Florida schools, a child needs a particular score on an IQ test to be considered for the academically gifted program while at other schools, also in Florida, kids need that IQ test score along with high scores on tests of academic achievement.

We love and trust the Davidson Institute (www.davidsongifted.org) and with gratitude for their expertise, share some snippets from their website below:

Gifted children come from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as economic status. While no two gifted children are the same, many share common gifted characteristics and traits, such as:

  • Advanced thinking and comprehension above their age peers
  • Emotional intensity at a young age
  • Heightened sense of self awareness
  • Highly developed curiosity
  • Excellent memory

When schools require students to excel across the board, it can be difficult for some very advanced thinking kids to get into gifted programs. This is because gifted kids are notorious for showing uneven or asynchronous development. This means that they may excel intellectually but are behind their peers socially or emotionally. Some are verbally gifted with extremely large vocabularies and exceptional skills at understanding high level ideas but struggle with more visual or spatial concepts and patterns.  These kids can be bored in their regular classrooms because they learn so much faster than their classmates, often called asynchronous development

When considering a gifted child, some experts base their abilities on comparisons to other kids their age. Others, however, base the idea of giftedness on the needs that are beyond what a typical classroom setting offers.

Sometimes a child’s giftedness is missed because of gifted child may not express the characteristics associated with the term. This can be due to the following:

  • Poverty
  • Discrimination
  • Cultural barriers
  • Motivational, social or emotional problems
  • Physical or learning disabilities

Areas of Strength

You may be wondering which areas a gifted child is especially strong in academically. According to the National Association for Gifted Children, a gifted individual is one who demonstrates “outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.”

This can include areas like mathematics, language, music or sensorimotor skills such as dancing, sports and painting. Many schools in America require that students demonstrate intellectual abilities within the top 2% when compared to others of the same age. This means that these students usually are required to earn a standard score of 130 or higher on an IQ test such as the WISC-V or the RIAS-2.

Our Tampa Florida Psychologists are Here for You and Your Kids

Having a gifted child can feel a bit overwhelming at times. This is especially true when parents start thinking about the years of schooling that lie ahead.  Our Tampa, Florida psychologists use a variety of approaches to identify giftedness including intelligence and academic achievement testing as well as working with parents and/or schools to identifying other gifted traits.  We’ll do whatever we can to create a welcoming and comfortable environment when an assessment is performed, so you won’t have to worry about the process overwhelming your loved one. Contact our Tampa Florida psychologists today, to learn more.

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