The gifted child: Characteristics and identification
- L Erik von Hahn, MD
L Erik von Hahn, MD
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- Tufts University School of Medicine
Gifted individuals have exceptional abilities in a particular domain or domains (eg, mathematics, music, athletics). In addition, they typically have high degrees of self-motivation, curiosity, perseverance, and enjoyment in developing and expressing their talents .
This topic review will discuss the terminology, characteristics, and identification of gifted children. Educational interventions and primary care management are discussed separately. (See "The gifted child: Educational interventions and primary care management".)
●Giftedness – There is no universally accepted definition for giftedness, which can manifest in a variety of ways. However, there is broad consensus that giftedness cannot be defined solely by an intelligence quotient (IQ) score on a standardized test [1,2]. IQ scores do not take into account creativity and practical intelligence.
The United States Department of Education (DOE) definition for giftedness is widely accepted by researchers and practitioners in the field of giftedness (table 1) . The DOE definition is similar to that provided by the National Association for Gifted Children . In the United States, most state boards of education provide definitions for gifted/giftedness, but the definitions may differ from the United States DOE definition . The definitions used by individual states are available from the National Association for Gifted Children.
- Landesman S. Defining giftedness. Pediatr Ann 1985; 14:698.
- Volker MA, Lopata C, Cook-Cottone C. Assessment of children with intellectual giftedness and reading disabilities. Psychol Sch 2006; 43:855.
- National Excellence: A case for developing America's talent. 1993. www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED359743.pdf (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- National Association for Gifted Children Position Paper: Redefining Giftedness for a New Century: Shifting the Paradigm. March 2010. Available at: www.nagc.org/index2.aspx?id=6404 (Accessed on May 09, 2012).
- National Association for Gifted Children. Gifted in the States. www.nagc.org/GiftedByState.aspx (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- Gagné F. Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. High Ability Studies 2004; 15:119.
- Pfeiffer SI. The gifted: clinical challenges for child psychiatry. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2009; 48:787.
- Winner E. Gifted Children: Myths and Realities, Basic Books, New York 1996.
- Winner E. Exceptionally high intelligence and schooling. Am Psychol 1997; 52:1070.
- Robinson NM, Olszewski-Kubilius PM. Gifted and talented children: issues for pediatricians. Pediatr Rev 1996; 17:427.
- Ruf DL. 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options, Great Potential Press, Scottsdale, AZ 2009.
- Webb TJ, Amend ER, Webb NE, et al. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders, Great Potential Press, Scottsdale, AZ 2005.
- Rock M. The gifted child. In: The Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care, 3rd ed, Augustyn MA, Zuckerman B, Caronna EB (Eds), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia 2011. p.234.
- Liu YH, Lien J, Kafka T, Stein MT. Discovering gifted children in pediatric practice. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2005; 26:366.
- Hoover-Schultz B. Gifted underachievement: oxymoron or educational enigma? Gifted Child Today 2005; 28:46.
- Guénolé F, Speranza M, Louis J, et al. Wechsler profiles in referred children with intellectual giftedness: Associations with trait-anxiety, emotional dysregulation, and heterogeneity of Piaget-like reasoning processes. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2015; 19:402.
- The social and emotional development of gifted chidlren. What do we know?, Neihart M, Reis S, Robinson N, Moon SM. (Eds), Prufrock Press, Waco, TX 2002.
- Reis SM, Renzulli JS. Current research on the social and emotional development of gifted and talented students: Good news and future possibilities. Psychol Sch 2004; 41:119.
- Neihart M. The impact of giftedness on psychological well-being. Roeper Rev 1999; 22:10.
- Robinson A, Clinkenbeard PR. Giftedness: an exceptionality examined. Annu Rev Psychol 1998; 49:117.
- Webb J. Dabrowski’s Theory and Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults. 2009 Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Available at: www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10554.aspx (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- Schuler PA. Perfectionism and the gifted adolescent. J Secondary Gifted Educ 2000; 11:183.
- Assouline SG, Nipcon MF, Whitman C. Cognitive and psychosocial characteristics of gifted students with written language disability. Gift Child Q 2010; 54:102.
- Neihart M. Gifted children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Gift Child Q 2000; 44:222. Available at: www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10167.aspx (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- Kral MC. The gifted child. In: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Carey WB, Crocker AC, Coleman WL, et al (Eds), Saunders-Elsevier, Philadelphia 2009. p.506.
- National Association for Gifted Children. Common Gifted Education Myths. Available at: www.nagc.org/commonmyths.aspx (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- Lovett BJ, Lewandowski LJ. Gifted students with learning disabilities: Who are they? J Learn Disabil 2006; 36:515.
- Lovett BJ, Sparks RL. The identification and performance of gifted students with learning disability diagnoses: a quantitative synthesis. J Learn Disabil 2013; 46:304.
- McCallum RS, Bell SM, Coles JT, et al. A Model for Screening Twice-Exceptional Students (Gifted With Learning Disabilities) Within a Response to Intervention Paradigm. Gifted Child Q 2013; 57:209.
- Lind S. Before referring a gifted child for ADD/ADHD evaluation. 1996. http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/before-referring-a-gifted-child-for-addadhd-evaluation (Accessed on May 08, 2012).
- Ford DY, Grantham TC, Whiting GW. Culturally and linguistically diverse students in gifted education: Recruitment and retention issues. Except Child 2008; 74:289.
- Pfeiffer SI. Current Perspectives on the Identification and Assessment of Gifted Students. J Psychoeduc Assess 2012; 30:3.
- Pfeiffer SI. Professional psychology and the gifted: Emerging practice opportunities. Prof Psychol Res Pr 2001; 32:175.
- McCoach DB, Kehle TJ, Bray MA, Siegle D. Best Practices in the Identification of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities. Psychol Sch 2001; 38:403.
- Mandelman SD, Tan M, Aljughaiman AM, Grigorenko EL. Intellectual giftedness: Economic, political, cultural, and psychological considerations. Learning and Individual Differences 2010; 20:287.
- Ford D. Culturally and linguistically diverse students in gifted education: recruitment and retention issues. Exceptional Children 2008; 74:289.
- Webb JT, Kleine PA. Assessing gifted and talented children. In: Testing Young Children: A Reference Guide for Developmental, Psychoeducational, and Psychosocial Assessments, Culbertson JL, Willis DJ (Eds), PRO-ED, Austin, TX 1993. p.383.
- Lohman DF, Gambrell JL. Using Nonverbal Tests to Help Identify Academically Talented Children. J Psychoeduc Assess 2012; 30:25.
- Feiring C, Taft LT. The gifted learning disabled child: not a paradox. Pediatr Ann 1985; 14:729.
- PRESENTATION AND CHARACTERISTICS
- Developmental characteristics
- Emotional characteristics
- Social characteristics
- Behavioral characteristics
- COEXISTING CONDITIONS AND DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- Learning disability
- Behavior disorders
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Anxiety or depression
- Intellectual giftedness
- - Intelligence quotient
- - Qualitative measures
- - Pitfalls in identification
- Nonintellectual giftedness
- ROLE OF THE PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER