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Intellectual Child

How to know if your child is gifted

Mar 21, 2022

Gifted and talented children exhibit unique characteristics. Some may excel in academic subjects while others may be more interested in the arts. Some may show leadership skills while others may demonstrate creativity. There are different definitions and interpretations of giftedness and talent. The United States Department of Education indicates that gifted and talented children are students who give evidence of high performance in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas, have advanced leadership skills, and have capabilities in specific academic fields that require services that are not provided in the regular classroom.

Gifted children exhibit different characteristics:


  • Has advanced vocabulary for their age or grade level
  • Masters and quickly remembers factual information
  • Wants to know what makes things work
  • Captures and is more observant of a story, a film, etc.
  • Reads on their own and prefers higher level books
  • Solves things by themself


  • Is deeply involved in certain areas of interest
  • Is easily bored with routine tasks
  • Needs little external motivation to continue an activity of interest
  • Strives for perfection and is self-critical
  • Prefers to work independently and requires little direction
  • Is very interested in "adult" issues such as religion and politics
  • Is stubborn in their beliefs
  • Worries about right and wrong, good and bad


  • Asks questions constantly
  • Offers unusual, unique, and intelligent answers
  • Is uninhibited in expressions of opinion
  • Takes risks, is adventurous and speculative
  • Displays a great sense of humor
  • Shows emotional sensitivity
  • Is individualistic and not afraid to be different
  • Questions authoritarian rules


  • Is responsible
  • Is confident
  • Uses correct expressions with others
  • Easily adapts to new situations
  • Is sociable and prefers not to be alone
  • Generally directs activities

There are different models to identify and provide services to gifted and talented students. In the United States, some states only recognize students to be intellectually superior, while other states recognize students who excel in academics, creativity, leadership and performing/visual arts. Typically, gifted children have a qualifying score of 130 or higher in a standardized IQ test, with 100 being the average. Only two out of every one-hundred children have this intellectual level, but many children with high average intelligence can also demonstrate need for advanced services. English learners and historically marginalized children may have different qualifying criteria.

Florida public schools require that a child who demonstrates need for a gifted program is given a test of intelligence by a school psychologist at school or in private practice before a child can participate in the program. Some school districts require additional assessments that may include teacher checklists. Private schools have different criteria, but they typically also require an intelligence test given by a professional.

If your child has gifted characteristics, assessing their intelligence will help determine the appropriate educational program that would ensure that they develop their talents. It is imperative that the assessment of children who have a language other than English at home is given by a bilingual school psychologist who speaks the child’s language and/or has the training in nondiscriminatory assessment. Sometimes, however, evaluation instruments and/or evaluators are not available in the child’s target language. It is possible for a monolingual school psychologist to administer the assessment, although they must have the appropriate training. It is important to select a knowledgeable psychologist for gifted testing.

At Monica Oganes & Associates, our team of school psychologists in Miami and Orlando can evaluate your child’s cognitive skills to determine if they meet criteria for the gifted program at school. Dr. Monica Oganes is an expert in the assessment of bilingual children, and she can help select the best test to identify your child’s skills. Contact us at (305) 800-9399 in Miami and (407) 809-5680 in Orlando for an appointment.