Is My Child Gifted?

American educational psychologist Dr. Joseph Renzulli, defined gifted and talented children as the place where three characteristics: academic giftedness, creativity and persistence intersect. Dr. Renzulli expressed the concept of giftedness most frequently in the form of a venn diagram or three overlapping circles “emphasizing that the coming together of the three attributes is what provides the fertile ground for the development of gifted behaviors”. In his definition of giftedness, a child with natural abilities or just plain academic smarts would need the motivation and the ability to be “open to experiences”, in order to truly be described as gifted.

At The Weiss School, we base our gifted education on the research of Dr. Joseph Renzulli. We have had the privilege of both Dr. Renzulli, and his colleague, Dr. Sally Reis as keynote speakers for our faculty and families over the years.

When considering The Weiss School for your student, reflect on your child to determine if they exhibit these characteristics, keeping in mind that gifted students may demonstrate many of the following characteristics, but not all.

Signs that your child may be gifted:

  • Advanced vocabulary
  • Asks intelligent questions
  • Has extensive and detailed memory, particularly in area of interest
  • Has communication skills advanced for age
  • Learns information quickly
  • Is reflective about learning
  • Observes relationships and sees connections
  • Emotional Sensitivity and intuitiveness
  • Uses analogical thinking, problem solving, or reasoning.

Renzulli, J. S. (1978). What makes giftedness? Re-examining a definition. Phi Delta Kappan, 60(3) 180-181.

Gifted Organizations and Resources

NAGC: National Association for Gifted Children
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, teachers, educators, other professionals, and community leaders who unite to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences.

FLAG: Florida Association for the Gifted
The mission of FLAG is to support educationally appropriate programs for gifted students through exchanging information, promoting research, supporting constructive changes in all areas of gifted education, and cooperating with local and state organizations in reaching mutual goals and objectives in support of students who are gifted.

SENG: Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

WCGTC: World Council for Gifted & Talented Children
The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc. (WCGTC) is a worldwide non-profit organization that provides advocacy and support for gifted children. The WCGTC is a diverse organization networking the globe with an active membership of educators, scholars, researchers, parents and others interested in the development and education of gifted and talented children of all ages.

Hoagies Gifted Education:
All-things-gifted website, full of resources, articles, books and links to help and support parents, teachers, and gifted children alike.

Summer Institute for the Gifted: Summer Programs for gifted & talented youths ages 5-17.

Gifted Child Society:
The Gifted Child Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the cause of gifted children. Through their website, parents can find helpful information and learn about seminars and workshops they can attend.

The Governor’s Program for Gifted Children is a seven-week residential summer enrichment program for gifted students. Parents can learn more about the program, held at McNeese State University, from their website.

Mensa for Kids:
Mensa embraces younger members through this fun website, offering up monthly themes to get kids reading and learning at an advanced level.

Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration:
Find out more about the latest research being done into academic acceleration through this organization’s site.

Center for Talented Youth:
Located at Johns Hopkins, this organization engages gifted kids and their families through programs, summer classes, and even a bi-monthly magazine.

Exquisite Minds:
Parents and teachers who work with gifted children can find resources, online games, tips, tools, and more on this site.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development:
A national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students 18 and under.

Duke Talent Identification Program:
Duke TIP is a global leader in identifying academically gifted students and providing them with opportunities to support their development.