Signs of Giftedness
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
We had our daughter checked by a developmental pediatrician at age 3
because she doesn't turn her head when we call her and she doesn't like
company of other people. She was suspected to have Asperger's Syndrome.
We put her on an early intervention class. After 6 months she was
re-evaluated and the 1st diagnosis was lifted. She's normal. Now after
her 3rd assessment, biological age is 4, her cognitive age is 6y.o,
vocabulary 5.5y.o. She learned to read before age 4. Math skills like
addition, subtraction, fraction at age 4, can memorize a song in one
passing, learn a tune in one passing. We don't know if she can be
classified as gifted. All we know is she's different from other
children. We try to challenge her every now and then so that she will
not get bored.
It is not uncommon for professionals to quickly make diagnoses based on
a few symptoms of young children. However, we need to be very cautious
with labeling as it may exert undue pressure to both child and parents.
Having said that, it is good to check if a child is not developing
normally as a professional would be able to give an indication of a
possible concern, and more importantly, intervention can be started as
early as possible.
It does appear that your daughter is developing at an advanced rate
based on the developmental milestones for a 4 year old. As to whether
she may be gifted or not is hard to tell with the limited description
given and especially at such a young age. She is definitely
intellectually advanced - in fact only based on her cognitive age, she
may be placed in the gifted category. However, I would leave it to a
professional to observe, interview parents and perhaps look for more
There are in fact no universally accepted traits that you can look for
and no definitive signs that will tell you for sure whether your child
is gifted. However, many gifted children share some distinct and common
characteristics. Do an internet search to find these common
characteristics as a good place to start.
Furthermore, as parents are the best judges of high ability in their
child, you are doing the right thing by being aware that she is
different and challenging her to maximize her potential. This is surely
give good results and help her further cognitively. Your insight and
instincts as parents, along with those of your daughter's teachers (if
in school), can often be most valuable to truly understand her unique
gifts and potential. For activities to nurture her gifts further please
go through the recommendations given in earlier newsletters. All the
best in your journey!