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Potentially Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son seems to be different compared to other 4 year old. When he was only 2 he was able to sing a complete 3-4 minute lyrics of a song. He was able to speak very clearly at a very early stage. He learned to read and spell before he turned 4 upon entering nursery level. He even constructs his own sentences. His teacher told me that he is indeed very smart but misbehaves a lot.

He also excels in math. I was told in school that if he is taught something he doesn't want it to be repeated anymore cause he already know it. He likes to paint and draw and his illustrations are just amazing. He spends most of his time drawing. He also seems to be a bit hyper. Right now he is studying about astronomy and geography. I made him take an online game about flags and he got 196 out of a 200 the level I selected was difficult.

He even wants me to teach him about Anatomy. We think he is gifted but we don't want to assume. Are all 4 year olds like this? Is it normal? How do we deal with him? Hoping for your response.

A: From your description, it certainly is not the case with other 4 year olds! You may have a potentially gifted child in the making. You may want to check his developmental progress and distinct characteristics (do a search on the internet). Bear in mind that a child does not have to exhibit every characteristic in order to be gifted due to the fact that gifted children are not all alike.

There is a slightly different way to dealing with potentially gifted children. Remember that he would need constant stimulation, variety of activities, and most importantly – whatever he does needs to be meaningful to him. That explains his behaviour in class - he is probably bored as the school may not be able to keep him with his high energy levels and quick absorption of materials. You are doing the right thing – keep up the good work and you also need to do research for resources to help him further. The following article is excellent for the young gifted: Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children.

Here is wishing you all the best!


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