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?
I have briefly discussed this in my earlier article – the one on
characteristics distinct to
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
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.