Giftedness or high potential in children
Separately child is individual and grows at their speed. However, some children show, from preschool age, learning skills that are clearly above average. Also Read: X Words
What is giftedness or high potential?
There are different definitions of giftedness, but generally, we speak of giftedness. When the abilities of a child are superior to others, that is to say in the best 2% to 10% of children of the same age. In Quebec, at least 25,000 school-aged children are considered gifted or high-potential. The natural skills or “gifts” of a child with high potential are revealed. In at least one of the following four areas:
Intellectual abilities (understanding of complex problems for his age, knowledge, ability to make connections, memory, reasoning )
Creativity (problem-solving, imagination, originality, artistry, or self-expression)
Socio affective (leadership, empathy, conflict resolution, insight, influence on others)
Perceptual (absolute pitch, sound perception, sense of direction, vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and proprioception )
Intellectual abilities and creativity are therefore not the only manifestations of giftedness. However, the socio-affective and perceptual domains are more difficult to identify since they are less emphasized in school life and society.
It is important to know that giftedness is not a diagnosis, since it is not strictly speaking a disorder or a disease. Asking for a giftedness assessment for a child is especially relevant in a school context.
Children with high potential, just like those who experience great difficulties at school, require supervision and teaching adapted to their particular needs of speed, diversity, complexity, and depth. However, this can be difficult to achieve in a regular classroom.
What are the characteristics of high potential children?
All gifted children are unique, and a list of behaviors or traits is not enough to describe giftedness. However, children with high potential have a common characteristic: a different brain that leads to the spontaneous appearance of certain behaviors from early childhood. Here are some examples:
A natural curiosity, a desire to understand how things work;
A thirst for learning combined with an ability to do it on their own;
Creativity and certain originality in their way of solving problems;
A precocious and more elaborate language than that of children of their age;
Challenges Gifted Children May Face
Giftedness may appear like a present to kids, while sometimes it comes with its own set of challenges. A positive way depends on the child’s environment. Moreover, these children may, like all other children. React very to reproaches or criticism, lack organization, and method in their work. Have uneven school results, etc.
Moreover, it is not because a child is gifted that he will necessarily have great success in school or that he will excel in life. Giftedness can support but is not the best aspect to believe.
High-ability children may also “mask” their giftedness with problematic behaviors, such as restlessness, impulsivity, or behavioral problems. For example, a kid usually gets analyzed with Awareness Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder if he is antsy because he is too bored. This misdiagnosis affects 25% to 50% of children with high potential.
Gifted children, however, are more likely to have at least one other condition or disorder. In this case, we speak of double exceptionality.
Because of their very high ability to know and comprehend, gifted people manage to develop difficult characters. This is the reason why some gifted people may suffer from depression. Or existential depression despite the advantages of their giftedness.