The gifted child: Educational interventions and primary care management
- 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 educational interventions for and the primary care management of gifted children. The characteristics and identification of giftedness are discussed separately. (See "The gifted child: Characteristics and identification".)
There is no universally accepted definition for giftedness, which can manifest in a variety of ways. Other terms that are used to describe giftedness include "outstanding talent," "gifted and talented," and "high-ability." (See "The gifted child: Characteristics and identification", section on 'Terminology'.)
The United States Department of Education (DOE) definition for giftedness is the most 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 DOE definition . The definitions used by individual states are available from the National Association for Gifted Children.
Overview — The development of intellectual or school-house giftedness, like any form of giftedness, is a long-term endeavor, fostered by early identification, supportive and encouraging parents, and teachers and mentors who place high expectations on the student . Gifted students need to be challenged to maintain interest and high achievement . Those who are not sufficiently challenged may develop maladaptive behaviors, mental health conditions (eg, depression), and/or academic failure [7-9]. Lack of challenge can inhibit the development of self-confidence that comes from mastering difficult material and can lead to poor study habits, which may be difficult to overcome in higher education .
- Landesman S. Defining giftedness. Pediatr Ann 1985; 14:698.
- 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).
- Feldhusen JF. Giftedness. Parents and schools should provide for gifted children. BMJ 1993; 307:1088.
- Kral MC. The gifted child. In: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Carey WB, Crocker AC, Coleman WL, et al (Eds), Saunders-Elsevier, Philadelphia 2009. p.506.
- Robinson NM, Olszewski-Kubilius PM. Gifted and talented children: issues for pediatricians. Pediatr Rev 1996; 17:427.
- Reis SM, McCoach DB. The underachievement of gifted students: What do we know and where do we go? Gift Child Q 2000; 44:152.
- Siegle D, McCoach DM. Issues related to the underachievement of gifted students. In: Leading Change in Gifted Education: The Festschrift of Dr. Joyce Vantassel-Baska, McFarlane B, Stambaugh T (Eds), Prufrock Press Inc, Waco, TX 2009. p.195.
- Pfeiffer SI. The gifted: clinical challenges for child psychiatry. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2009; 48:787.
- Robinson NM. Educational options for gifted children. Pediatr Ann 1985; 14:745, 747, 750 passim.
- Ziegler A, Raul T. Myth and reality: A review of empirical studies on giftedness. High Ability Studies 2000; 11:113.
- Gallagher JJ. Unthinkable thoughts: Education of gifted students. Gift Child Q 2000; 44:5.
- Renzulli JS. Applying gifted education pedagogy to total talent development for all students. Theory Into Practice 2005; 44:80.
- Grant B. Justifying gifted education: A critique of needs claims and a proposal. Journal of Education for the Gifted 2002; 25:359.
- Rogers KB. Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 2002.
- Shore BM, Delcourt MA. Effective Curricular and Program Practices in Gifted Education and the Interface with General Education. Journal for the Education of the Gifted 1996; 20:138.
- Swiatek MA, Lupkowski-Shoplik A. Elementary and middle school participation in gifted programs: Are gifted students underserved? Gift Child Q 2003; 47:118.
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Available at: www.davidsongifted.org/ (Accessed on May 09, 2012).
- 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.
- Winner E. Exceptionally high intelligence and schooling. Am Psychol 1997; 52:1070.
- Freeman J. Teaching gifted pupils. J Biol Educ 1999; 33:185.
- Colangelo N, Assouline S, Gross M. A Nation Deceived: How schools hold back America's Brightest Students. www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/Get_Report.aspx (Accessed on May 09, 2012).
- Rogers KB. Program provisions (grouping) within the school. In: Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 2002. p.205.
- Robinson A, Clinkenbeard PR. Giftedness: an exceptionality examined. Annu Rev Psychol 1998; 49:117.
- Winner E. Giftedness: Current Theory and Research. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 2000; 9:153.
- Kulik JA, Kulik CC. Meta-analytic findings on grouping programs. Gift Child Q 1992; 36:73.
- Gross MU, van Vliet HE. Radical acceleration and early entry to college: A review of the research. Gift Child Q 2005; 49:154.
- Ma X. A longitudinal assessment of early acceleration of students in mathematics on growth in mathematics achievement. Developmental Review 2005; 25:104.
- Gagne F, Gagnier N. The socio-affective and academic impact of early entrance to school. Roeper Rev 2004; 26:128.
- Hoogeveen L, van Hell JG, Verhoeven L. Social-emotional characteristics of gifted accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands. Br J Educ Psychol 2012; 82:585.
- Slavin RE. Achievement effects of ability grouping in secondary schools: A best-evidence synthesis. Review of Educational Research 1990; 60:471.
- Liu YH, Lien J, Kafka T, Stein MT. Discovering gifted children in pediatric practice. J Dev Behav Pediatr 2005; 26:366.
- Shore BM, Kanevsky LS. Thinking processes: Being and becoming gifted. In: International Handbook of Research and Development of and Talent, Heller KA, Monks FJ, Passow AH (Eds), Pergamon, Oxford, UK 1993. p.131.
- Hannah CL, Shore BM. Metacognition and high intellectual ability: Insights from the study of learning-disabled gifted students. Gift Child Q 1995; 39:95.
- Freeman J. Teaching gifted pupils. J Biol Educ 1999; 34:185.
- Winner E. Gifted Children: Myths and Realities, Basic Books, New York 1996.
- Volker MA, Lopata C, Cook-Cottone C. Assessment of children with intellectual giftedness and reading disabilities. Psychol Sch 2006; 43:855.
- McCoach DB, Kehle TJ, Bray MA, Siegle D. Best Practices in the Identification of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities. Psychol Sch 2001; 38:403.
- Baum SM, Cooper CR, Neu TW. Dual differentiation: An approach for meeting the curricular needs of gifted students with learning disabilities. Psychol Sch 2001; 38:477.
- Schuler PA. Perfectionism and the gifted adolescent. J Secondary Gifted Educ 2000; 11:183.
- Neihart M. Dimensions of underachievement, difficult contexts, and perceptions of self. Roeper Rev 2006; 28:196.
- Garn AC, Matthews MS, Jolly JL. Parents' role in the academic motivation of students with gifts and talents. Psychol Sch 2012; 49:656.
- Moon SM, Hall AS. Family therapy with intellectually and creatively gifted children. J Marital Fam Ther 1998; 24:59.
- Gagné F. Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. High Ability Studies 2004; 15:119.
- Beyond Terman: Contemporary Longitudinal Studies of Giftedness and Talent, Ablex Publishing, Norwood, NJ 1994.
- Barron F, Harrington DM. Creativity, intelligence, and personality. Ann Rev Psychol 1981; 32:349.
- Renzulli JS, Park S. Gifted dropouts: The who and the why. Gift Child Q 2000; 40:261.
- Renzulli JS, Park S. Giftedness and high school dropouts: Personal, family, and school-related factors. National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. December 2002. Available at: www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/renzpark.html (Accessed on May 09, 2012).
- INTELLECTUAL GIFTEDNESS
- Types of intervention
- - Acceleration
- Grade skipping
- - Enrichment
- - Ability grouping
- Out-of-school programs
- - Meta-cognitive skills and self-regulated learning
- - Social and emotional development
- Special populations
- - Profoundly gifted
- - Gifted with learning disability
- NONACADEMIC GIFTEDNESS
- ROLE OF THE PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER
- Anticipatory guidance
- - For the child
- - For the family
- - Assessing program quality
- Monitoring for vulnerabilities