Characteristics of a Gifted Child

Characteristics Related Challenges
Keen power of observation; naive receptivity; sense of the significant; willingness to examine the unusual Possible gullibility; social rejection; value system and its defense
Power of abstraction; conceptualization; synthesis; interest in inductive learning and problem solving; pleasure in intellectual activity Occasional resistance to direction; rejection or omission of detail
Interest in cause-effect relations, ability to see relationships; interest in applying concepts; love of truth Difficulty in accepting the illogical
Liking for structure and order; liking for consistency, as in value systems, number systems, clocks, calendars Invention of own systems, sometimes conflicting
Retentiveness; retains knowledge easily Dislike for routine and drill; need for early mastery of foundation skills
Verbal proficiency, large vocabulary; facility in expression; interest in reading; breadth of information in advanced areas Need of specialized reading vocabulary; early parental resistance to reading; escape into verbalism
Questioning attitude; intellectual curiosity; inquisitive mind; intrinsic motivation Lack of early home or school stimulation
Power of critical thinking; skepticism; evaluative testing; self-criticism and self- checking Critical attitude toward others; discouragement from self-criticism
Creativeness and inventiveness; liking for new ways of doing things; interest in creating; brainstorming; free-wheeling Rejection of the known; need to invent
Power of concentration; intense attention that excludes all else; long attention span in certain areas Resistance to interruption
Persistent; goal-directed behavior Stubbornness
Sensitivity; intuitiveness; empathy for others; need for emotional support and a sympathetic attitude; ego-involvement; need for courage Need for success and recognition; sensitivity to criticism; vulnerability
High Energy; alertness; eagerness; periods of intense voluntary effort preceding invention Frustration with inactivity and absence of progress
Independence in work and study; preference for individualized work; self- reliance; need for freedom of movement and action; need to live with loneliness Parent and peer group pressures and nonconformity; problems of rejection and rebellion
Versatility and virtuosity; diversity of interests and abilities; many hobbies; proficiency in art forms such as music and drawing Lack of homogeneity in group work; need for flexibility and individualization; need for help in exploring and developing interests; need to build basic competency in major interests
Friendly and outgoing; exceptional interpersonal skills Need for peer group relations in many types of groups; problems in developing social leadership