10 Ways to Determine if Your Child is Intellectually Gifted

Today we have a guest post on ways to determine if your child is intellectually gifted. I find it interesting that many of the things on this list describe my son, although the last time I wrote about his school performance it was about how I had just gotten his first preschool assessment and he had been deemed performing below expectations in many areas. I am happy to report that he has since improved dramatically, and is currently doing great in kindergarten.

Read on to to see if your little one is displaying signs of genius, but don’t fret if they aren’t. My experience taught me that kids will learn at their own pace, and to support whatever pace that is.

Photo by Max Fischer from Pexels

10 Ways to Determine if Your Gift is Intellectually Gifted

Having an intellectually gifted child is both a huge responsibility as well as a great blessing. I know we all like to think that our offspring are future award-winners and will thank us in their various acceptance speeches, but the fact of the matter is that some children are simply smarter than others. Knowing if your child is smarter than their peers requires a certain level of objectiveness. Below are 10 of the most common ways to determine if your child truly is a cut above the rest.

1. Curiosity 

Children like to ask questions, it is in their nature. You need to pay attention to what questions they are asking and how they are asking those questions. A curious mind is often a sign of higher functioning intelligence, be patient – even after the 30th follow-up question. Try and answer your children as best you can, and if you don’t know the answer then Google it – the important part is that they learn that asking questions is a good thing.

2. Vocabulary

Having a big vocabulary is a dead giveaway in children who are intellectually gifted. This is especially true if your child speaks in full sentences from a very young age. If your child is able to speak in full sentences before their first birthday then you can safely consider them to be highly intelligent. A rapidly expanding vocabulary is another characteristic of an intellectually gifted young mind, particularly if they are able to include abstract and figurative language with ease.

3. Early Reading

Children who learn to read at a very young age are incredibly gifted. Most children learn to read slowly and steadily in early elementary school. Gifted children pick up the ability to read a lot faster than other children their age. Gifted children easily grasp the more intricate pre-literacy skills like recognizing letters and sound patterns without any issues.

Babies reading

4. Pattern Recognition

Gifted children often have no problems with puzzles and pattern recognition. There are many studies surrounding this phenomenon amongst gifted young children, including one with a 4-year-old girl who could build a 250 piece puzzle… upside down. Instead of relying on the image alone to put together the puzzle, this little girl recognised the pattern and could easily put the pieces together with no visible picture. Some of the best private schools in Utah offer programs for intellectual children, to foster their natural abilities and help them grow.

5. Strong Feelings

Gifted children are often very in tune with their feelings; they are very opinionated and like to share their thoughts and ideas freely. These children have what may seem like a wild imagination, and they are easily able to make up sophisticated scenarios and stories. These scenarios often contain complex language and show an advanced appreciation of humour.

6. Creativity

A very common characteristic of a gifted child is creative skills that you wouldn’t expect from a child of that age group. Unusually high levels of creativity don’t just apply to art; creative children can act out vividly imaginative stories with ease. Being a stay-at-home-mom affords you the opportunity to see what your children get up to during the day, especially when they think no one is watching, but don’t think children with working parents can’t be equally gifted.

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

7. High Energy

Gifted children, more often than not, are described as “intense”. With so much going on in their brains and the wheels constantly turning, this leads to a lot of excess energy. They constantly need to have their brains engaged and are almost always keen to be a part of adult conversation. As a result of this, gifted kids often get bored easily if their minds are not adequately stimulated, which can result in them acting out if they get too bored. Don’t have a panic attack, just stay calm and find something to absorb their intense energy levels.

8. Ability To Focus

Super smart kids show an extraordinary ability to focus once they learn to channel their high energy levels. As long as their minds are kept busy, gifted children can spend a lot of time doing the same thing, like building a tower of Lego bricks or drawing a picture. If your toddler is able to stay focused on one activity far longer than their peers then you can be certain your child is showing signs of being intellectually superior.

9. Advanced Reasoning

Advanced reasoning is another characteristic of a highly intelligent child. If your child shows a remarkable ability to rationalize from a very young age, chances are they are intellectually gifted. This can’t be simply arguing for the sake of arguing or because they don’t want to follow your instruction – they should rather be able to fully explain their position and be able to counter any counter-argument you may have with sound reasoning. Your child should be able to view everything from every possible angle and consider all of these angles when reasoning.

10. Cognitively Advanced

Children who are gifted may teach themselves how to read and write before they are officially taught to by an adult. Some studies have proven that children with advanced cognitive reasoning also have a good memory. A child of average intelligence needs to hear something approximately 12 times before memorizing it, whereas an intellectually gifted child only needs to hear or read something once or twice to remember it.

In Conclusion

There are many tests your child can take which will accurately determine whether or not they are intellectually gifted. Many experts classify an IQ of 130, or more, to be indicative of whether or not they are gifted. The important part is to love and nurture your child, regardless of how gifted they are or are not. Do not put unnecessary pressure on your children, it is tough enough being a kid and going through the rollercoaster of emotions that they do as they learn and grow. They need to feel loved and appreciated, no matter how intelligent they are. Most children are sensitive to their parents approval or disapproval, they need to be in an environment where they can thrive without feeling like are forced to succeed. Smart kids will be natural winners, stimulate them and don’t stifle them.

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2 replies »

  1. Having a child who is gifted and now getting ready to graduate high school I can tell you the times he did not do well in school were the times he was bored. If he thought it was to simple or not worth doing he wouldn’t do it. He was in kindergarten adding 3 and 4 digit numbers and starting simple multiplication while the rest of the class was counting. I pushed his teacher to help him with what he needed. She hated me most of the year but at the very end I will never forget the note she wrote me about how she was grateful for me pushing her to be the best teacher for my son and all kids. Look to see if he needs more stimulation.


    • This is SO true. By 4th grade my school wanted to skip me ahead a grade and my over-protective mother said no because I was already the youngest in the class. (I started Kindergarten at 4.) So I spent the entire year bored to tears and reading books tucked under my desk. Some kids need a good challenge.


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