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Appropriate Age Range to Identify Gifted Children

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: What is the appropriate age range when one can reasonably accurate in identifying whether a child is gifted or not?

A: I have briefly discussed this in my earlier article the one on characteristics distinct to gifted individuals.

One can actually reasonably tell a child's level of intelligence at a very young age before even turning 1! However, since at this stage, children are not able to take tests, be it oral/written, the only way to tell is by monitoring the child's interest and activity, which is rather subjective. Sometimes, parents want so much to see certain qualities in their children that they may unknowingly "force" those characteristics upon their children. I must stress here that at times, you may not see any of those qualities in your child at say, up to 3 years of age but your child may still be gifted in other ways. Different children develop their skills at different speed, unfortunately, the late bloomers are usually at risk of being neglected. Therefore, the guidelines given on characteristics of gifted children serve as a useful indicator, but again, there will always be exceptions to the case.

A more accurate measure is to test your child using a standard reliable intelligence test when s/he is able to read and write. These tests are specially constructed for different ages. Comparison is done based on average peer IQ. Unfortunately, I am not able to tell which test may be the best since these tests are highly confidential and not very easily accessible. Perhaps, you may want to contact the MENSA Society. For the fun of it, you may want to try online tests available on the world wide web quite a number of them that are free of charge. I wouldn't say that there are very accurate, but at the same time, they are not too bad the items are quite similar to the standard ones.

The best way to nurture your child's intellectual ability is to focus on the strengths (through challenges) and give guidance and support to their weak areas.


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