Experts generally agree that both genetics and environment play a role in a child developing giftedness. However, while it is unclear which aspect is more important, any child who does not receive appropriate levels of intellectual stimulation and nourishment is unlikely to reach their full potential.
Although there is no such thing as a 'typical' gifted child, there are some characteristics which many gifted and talented children have in common. According to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) a gifted child is likely to:
Although it is not uncommon for gifted children to appear talented in almost everything they do, it is possible for gifted children to only excel in certain subjects. Occasionally a child may be gifted in one area and have a learning difficulty in another. This is known a twice exceptionality.
It is also important to remember that despite their intellectual maturity, gifted children have the same emotional and social needs as any other child of the same age, or even younger, so it is important not to become too focused on their gift at the expense of their emotional development.
Although most children aren't officially 'diagnosed' until they enter school, many parents will notice that their child has advanced abilities long before they reach school age. For most it comes as little surprise when they discover that their child is indeed gifted.
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