Confirmation on Giftedness
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter displays many of the characteristics of being gifted, but I
have no idea how to gain confirmation of this. Who would I need to
I have spoken to my daughters Head Teacher about her behaviour at home
which is getting worse, but she is fine at school. I have also been in
touch with the School Nurse who has suggested parenting courses and one
to ones at school.
Please help! I'm at my wits end with her! She is only 8.
The single best predictor for giftedness for a child would be an
intelligence test. A standardised intelligence test would be able to
help you gauge her cognitive abilities. Obviously the more comprehensive
the test, the more detail the description. It is best to seek help from
a gifted education specialist but there are many educational
psychologists who are able to administer a test. Ask the school to refer
you to a recommended one.
As you have not indicated her behavioural issues, it is hard to advise
here. Gifted children come with specific issues and mainly behavioural
issues are due to some of the distinct characteristics they have. For
instance, gifted children who are perfectionists find it hard to
tolerate imperfection is everything they do or others do. They also
easily bored with routine work and rote learning. Some are cognitively
very advanced but emotionally age appropriate but adults expect similar
development; causing disagreement between adults and child. All these
would be manifested in their behaviour. As for your daughter, she is
very young and probably not capable of handling her emotions. She may
not be challenged, or may be unhappy with something, or starting to feel
differently or even being bullied at school. As she is comfortable at
home, she only manifests such behaviours at home.
If you feel that you are not able to understand her behaviour or handle
her, do seek professional help before it gets worse. Read up about
parenting gifted children - there are many helpful sites that offer
tips. More importantly, if she is gifted, she may have heightened
sensitivity and yelling or punishing her may not be of much help. Talk
to her when she is calm and show her that you are trying to understand
her. Explain your feelings as well. A good number of gifted child do
hurt easily due to heightened sensitivity, so more than anything else,
they may need your love, time, attention and understanding. Being
involved in what she enjoys and spending time together helps a lot.
Wishing you success in your journey!