Characteristics of Gifted Children

Parents who usually the first to recognise that their child is bright for his or her age, and then aren’t sure what to do next - especially as “bright” is not necessarily the same as “gifted.” Here the National Association for Gifted Children helps to explain the characteristics of gifted children.

There are many checklists of gifted characteristics. In general they contain several common elements. Compared to other children your child’s age, how many of these fit your child?

No one will show all these characteristics, but very bright children will fit a significant number of them.

Some parents find it difficult to understand the difference between a bright child, and a gifted child.

The following table hopefully will show how to differentiate between the two

Bright child Gifted child
Knows the answers Asks the questions
Is interested Is extremely curious
Pays attention Gets involved physically and mentally
Has good ideas Has unusual “silly” ideas
Works hard Plays around, yet tests well
Answers the question Questions the answers
In the “top” group Beyond any group
Listens with interest Shows strong feelings and opinions
Learns with ease Already knows
Needs 6-8 repetitions to master a concept Needs 1-2 repetitions to master a concept
Understands ideas Constructs abstract theories
Enjoys peer group Prefers the company of adults or older children
Grasps meaning Draws inferences
Completes assignments Initiates projects
Is receptive Is intense
Copies accurately Creates a new design
Enjoys school Enjoys learning
Absorbs information Applies/manipulates information
Is a good technician Is an inventor
Good at memorising Good at guessing
Enjoys straight forward sequential presentation Thrives on complexity
Is alert Is keenly observant
Is pleased with own work Is highly self-critical

What can parents and teachers do for the gifted child?

Gifted children often need more support than others, but this does not necessarily mean that they need more structured activities. Sometimes it means they need more freedom and a little more guidance instead.

More able children can be better supported by giving them:

Find out more

NAGC (the National Association for Gifted Children) is the UK's foremost membership charity that deals with all aspects of giftedness in children. Its Helpline can be contacted on: 0845 450 0221.


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