Gifted children are children with above-average capabilities and intelligence quotients (IQs). In Italy, they are thought to make up approximately 5% of the population, which amounts to around one child per class.
These little prodigies are often mistakenly thought to be hyperactive, unsociable or suffering from attention deficits. This is because they tend to get bored in class and they seem emotionally unstable and restless due to the fact that they feel out of place, as they are a step ahead of their peers.
In actual fact, they are extraordinarily gifted. For example, Kuala Lumpur-based Ainan Cawley gave a talk on acids and alkalis in a Singapore school at the age of 6. Nicole Barr is a Roma girl from Essex who could solve algebra problems at the age of 10 and has a higher IQ than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Alexis Martin has the same IQ as Nicole and at just 3 years of age (straight after she learned her mother tongue) she learned to write and speak Spanish. Among the many other examples is Aelita Andre, who has been internationally renowned for her abstract paintings since she was 2 years old.
These bright children are called “gifted” because they have a “gift”, and it is something that should be nurtured and stimulated from a young age or their exceptional capabilities may diminish as the years go by, possibly leading to frustration or making them want to drop out of school.
Below is a list of signs that can help you to work out whether your child is gifted.
- Excellent memories: they remember notions easily.
- Learning by themselves: they are often self-taught and precocious learners.
- Articulate thinking: they use “grown-up” language to convey intricate concepts and make complex connections.
- Curiosity and need for constant stimulation: this may emerge in any sphere for which children take a liking and they are likely to ask lots of questions in order to find out more.
- High levels of concentration: if they are interested in something, they can interact with it from an early age without getting distracted.
- Imagination and intuition: they are able to grasp how things work – from tools to complex political and ecological matters – simply through reasoning, without any prior experience.
- Perfectionism: they may suffer from a form of performance anxiety.
- Preferring their own company: they may realize that they are different from their peers and prefer to spend time on activities that are “unusual” for children.