How do you know if your child is gifted?

Parents are among the best identifiers of gifted children.

You clearly know your child better than anyone and your input should be welcomed and valued by any school you are considering for your child. 

Typically, parents of gifted kids will notice characteristics of giftedness in their child at an early age. At Sycamore School, we call these “The Twelve Signs” of a gifted child. They include: 

  • Early language development
  • Excellent memory
  • Curiosity
  • Rapid learning
  • Sense of humor
  • Intensity
  • Long attention span
  • Sensitivity
  • Observational skills
  • Preference for older playmates
  • Perfectionism
  • Strong sense of morality and justice

If you have noticed some of these characteristics in your child, you might want to seek out a more formal evaluation. This evaluation process may include:

  • Feedback from parents about the signs of giftedness
  • Feedback from a current teacher about the child’s classroom performance
  • Measures of school performance such as a current report card and achievement test scores
  • Formal assessment through intelligence testing, which measures a child’s intellectual potential

At Sycamore we also include a shadow visit in the child’s current grade level so that our teachers, who are trained and experienced in working with gifted children, can give us feedback about each child and his/her probable fit with our school.

Lots of factors can influence the identification process. Testing may be influenced by age, mood, health, or readiness. Very bright only children can be overlooked because parents have no basis for comparison, thinking all children spontaneously read at 3 years old. A very gifted first child can make parents doubt that their other children are gifted because they don’t seem as smart as the first child. Some gifted kids aren’t great test takers or their test scores may be affected by perfectionism or low tolerance for risk taking. If you want to know if your child is gifted, it is wise to seek out professionals who are experienced at testing and identifying gifted children. 

For more information about the signs of giftedness, identifying gifted kids, or gifted kids in general, please visit  

Susan Karpicke, EdD
Director of Admissions
Sycamore School

Brought to you by Sycamore School.


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