Giftedness: Everything You Need to Know

This refers to a person whose IQ is above average, usually above 130. It also refers to people who perform certain tasks or activities above the average expected level. In other words, gifted students perform or have the ability to perform at higher levels than others belonging to the same age group, having the same experience, or coming from the same environment. 

Since these gifted students outshine their peers in their ability to think, reason, and conclude, they need special educational services and support to realize and develop their full potential and talents. Unusually, identification of giftedness is done through a blend of gifted tests and assessments.

Gifted students can come from all economic strata and all ethnic, racial, and cultural populations. They can have learning and processing disorders (such as ADHD, dyslexia, or autism) that necessitate specific intervention and accommodation. Apart from appropriate learning opportunities and support, these gifted students also need guidance and support to develop emotionally and socially.

No two gifted students are exactly the same. Each has its own unique traits and patterns. Though gifted students can have several traits in common, they don’t exhibit traits in every area. Traits of giftedness can be broadly categorized into creative, cognitive, behavioral, and affective. Creatively gifted students can display an ability for fantasy, intuitiveness, self-acceptance, independence in social behavior and attitude, and moral and aesthetic commitment to self-selected work. 

Students with cognitive giftedness can be voracious and early readers, have an extensive vocabulary and intellectual curiosity, display a keen power of abstraction, possess a range of diverse interests and abilities, and show persistent, goal-driven behavior. Some common traits noticed in people with behavioral giftedness are limitless enthusiasm, spontaneity, and an intense focus on passions, where resistance to changing activities crops up when the individual is engrossed in his own interests. Such gifted people typically show insatiable curiosity, are extremely energetic and need little downtime or sleep, and constantly question a lot of things. They could even be chatterboxes and have a volatile temper, particularly with respect to their perceptions of failure.

Traits of affective giftedness include empathy or sensitivity to others’ feelings, unusual emotional intensity and depth, high expectations from self and others that often lead to frustration, idealism, need for consistency between personal actions and abstract values, and advanced levels of moral judgment. Such people can also have heightened self-awareness accompanied by feelings of being different. They also tend to get easily wounded and need emotional support.

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