Reading Many gifted children learn to read early. However, early reading is not a sign on its own: some gifted children struggle to learn to read, and many early readers aren’t gifted.
Walking and talking Gifted children tend to walk and talk early. They have large vocabularies, and an unusual interest in words.
Questions, questions Asking questions is perhaps the clearest sign of a budding genius. Gifted children are fascinated by how things work. They have an eye for detail, and are quick to spot inconsistencies.
Arguments The flipside of their analytical minds is that many gifted children question authority, and argue about every request or instruction. Joe Dennerly is a charming but iconoclastic six-year-old. “He has an answer to everything, including why he shouldn’t go to school, and why he shouldn’t work when he gets there – because he’s so bright, his arguments are always very well considered,” says his mother Shelley.
Bad handwriting So many gifted children have problems with handwriting, the NAGC has produced a special booklet to help parents and teachers. Often, the problem is caused by the child trying to write too fast, but it can also be a sign of a developmental delay such as dysgraphia or dyspraxia.
Sensitivity Many gifted children are super-sensitive, physically and emotionally. They empathise readily, and some are oversensitive to environmental factors such as noise, and visual stimulation. This can cause them to react badly or retreat in to themselves in ‘busy’ situations.
Creative thinking Gifted children enjoy an intellectual challenge, particularly puzzles, mazes and strategy games such as chess.
Energy level They have high energy levels: many give up naps early, and as a rule, they’re not great sleepers.
Experiments Gifted children love to experiment. They get a real kick out of working things out for themselves.
Your job Finally, you’re more likely to have a gifted child if you or your partner are involved in: engineering or electrical engineering, IT or computing, science, mathematics or music.