As an author, coach and consult in the field of giftedness, I receive many emails. Some are questions, some are speaking or consulting/coaching requests and some are specific to my books. One of the most common questions I receive is “How can I tell if my very young child is gifted?”

First, it is essential to understand what giftedness refers to in general. Giftedness relates to how a child’s brain is hardwired. It involves both cognitive development and affective traits characterized by an intense interaction with the world. While there is very little literature on gifted preschoolers, there are several specific characteristics that can help you determine if your child may be a child with high-potentiality. Some of the more typical things to look for in young children (0-5) include:

  • Early walking and talking
  • Very alert to the environment
  • Gets fussy if facing in one direction for too long
  • Strong desire to explore the environment
  • Strong preference for new things
  • Easily frustrated with familiar objects/toys
  • Highly intense
  • Early language skills
  • Early interest in letters and numbers
  • Highly sensitive to the environment

While these attributes aren’t conclusive indications of giftedness, they are very typical patterns of development among gifted children. If your young child is demonstrating many of these characteristics, consider giftedness. While a well-enriched environment filled with visual and language stimuli is crucial for all children, it can be particularly important for our gifted children as a way to not only enhance their natural development but begin to strengthen their emotional development.

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