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New Zealand Association for Gifted Children

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What is Giftedness?

Giftedness is involuntary – a natural gift. It gives no cause for claims of elitism.

Out of every hundred children, approximately five can be classified as “gifted”, yet only a small proportion may be identified as such in school.

Some may be very lonely because their interests do not match those of their peers. They may have difficulties at school because of their unconventional behaviour and questioning attitude. They can become distressed through frustration and boredom, or through imbalance between their intellectual and emotional development. They may deny their intelligence and underachieve so as to become more acceptable to their peers. They may become troublemakers.

We need to recognise and cater for gifted children to ensure this does not happen.

The following are some signs of giftedness:

  • an early interest in surroundings
  • super-sensitivity to surroundings
  • strong curiosity and powers of observation
  • an extensive vocabulary
  • an exceptional memory
  • may talk early and fluently
  • the ability to read early – often self-taught
  • can choose to concentrate for long periods
  • the propensity to ask shrewd/unusual questions
  • the ability to grasp ideas quickly
  • a “quirky” sense of humour

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