What is High-Potential?
Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally.
25 descriptors were selected as representative of the majority of children tested as having high learning potential: Learns rapidly, extensive vocabulary, excellent memory, reasons well, strong curiosity, compassion for others, vivid imagination, long attention span, concern with justice and fairness, emotionally sensitive, high energy level, perfectionist, questions authority, perseverant in interests, wide range of interests, good at puzzles, ability with numbers, quirky or grown-up sense of humor, morally sensitive, prefer older companions and/or adults, keen observer, early or avid reader, highly creative.
1. Advantage of early detection
2. How to identify a child with high-potential
A. Informal identification of gifted children
Informal identification means keeping a record of your child’s behavior with notes about any advanced development and achievements. Informal identification is low cost, because you can record information about your child’s behaviour, advanced development and achievements yourself. Sometimes an informal identification might lead to a formal identification later. This record might include:
- Your child’s drawings, writing and other work.
- Videos of your child’s skill in playing the piano or performing advanced routines at gymnastics.
- Advanced or insightful questions that your child has asked.
- Details of your child’s passionate personal interests child care, preschool or school reports.
- Comments about your child’s development, for example, from your own observations, or from your GP, child and family health nurse, or family and friends.
B. Formal identification of gifted children
If you think your child might be gifted, you can see an educational psychologist for an IQ test and a report on your child’s advanced learning. This report is likely to focus mostly on academic learning. Look for a psychologist with experience in identifying gifted and talented children.
Another way to get a formal identification is to look at your child’s school results in standardized literacy or numeracy tests. If your child seems to have very high scores, you can make an appointment with your child’s teacher to talk about these. Or your child’s teacher might even get in touch with you.