Gifted 101

What is giftedness?

According to the Colorado Department of Education, “Gifted and talented children” means those persons between the ages of five and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services.  Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, cultural populations.  Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:

  • General or specific intellectual ability.
  • Specific academic aptitude.
  • Creative or productive thinking.
  • Leadership abilities.
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities”

Current best practices for gifted and talented education incorporate definitions of gifted that use the multi-criteria approach – they have broadened from the very narrow basis of intellectual performance to a much wider basis that encompasses many areas of human achievement.

Why Identify Gifted Students?

It is important to identify gifted students so that teachers and staff can properly meet their educational needs. It is important to recognize the unique abilities and interests of all children.  While some children require ESL services, some literacy support, gifted students require instruction at a different level and pace as their age mates.  By identifying gifted students, schools are able provide for their special needs.  Identification is actually a needs assessment so that schools can provide proper opportunities to help students develop their gifts and talents.

Asynchronous Development

      • gifted children may appear to be many ages at once
      • motor skills, especially fine-motor, often lag behind cognitive conceptual abilities
      • may know what they want to do, construct, or draw; however, motor skills do not allow them to achieve the goal
      • become frustrated by asynchrony and emotional outbursts may result
      • it can be hard for the to find and maintain friendships due to differences in development

An Often Asked Question: Is My Child Gifted?

Is your child bright or gifted? What are the learning and creative characteristics of a gifted child? Does your child differing from children of the same age connote gifted?  Read Is My Child Gifted? (Download PDF)

Where to Start – What Books Should I Read First?

Check out this blog post by Terry Bradley. If you are a BVGT member you can check out these books and many more in our Gifted Lending Library.

Choosing The Right School

Additional Resources