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Characteristics of giftedness

(39 Posts)
var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 07:10:16

I was filing some paperwork and I found this list in a booklet from potential plus. Its a list of characteristics that gifted children typically have, as found in a study in 1984 by Dr Linda Silverman.

90% of parents reported these characteristics:-

learns rapidly
extensive vocabulary
excellent memory
reasons well
strong curiosity
mature for age
good sense of humour
keen observation
compassion for others
vivid imagination
long attention span
ability with numbers
concern with justice, fairness
sensitivity
wide range of interests

80% of parents reported these characteristics:-
ability with puzzles
high energy level
perfectionism
perseverance of interests
questions authority
avid reader
prefers older companions

How many of these characteristics do your children have?

var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 07:17:33

DS1 has 12/15 of the 90% ones and 4/7 of the 80% ones.

DS2 has 11/15 of the 80% ones and 4/7 of the 80% ones.

Putting together all the things I could strongly say about each child from the list, its actually quite a good description of what they are like.

Tzibeleh Sun 09-Nov-14 07:38:23

10/15 of the 90% (plus suspected Aspergers), 7/7 of the 80%.

Tzibeleh Sun 09-Nov-14 07:44:26

Another of my dc, not identified as G&T, has 13/15 of the 90% and 7/7 of the 80%.

JustRichmal Sun 09-Nov-14 08:40:04

I looked at the list as how it applies to my dd compared to other children. (Eg, most children have high energy levels, so for her age dd is somewhere around average).

Dd had 4/15 for the first list and 2/7 for the second. Does this mean dd is not G&T?

var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 08:46:56

JustRichmal - I seriously doubt it in your DD's case!

It either means that the list is merely indicative or your Dd is the exception that proves the rule. (I suspect the former).

iggly2 Sun 09-Nov-14 08:51:28

DS has all other than perfectionism for both the 90% and 80% lists. It is just what parents report though and DS is my only child.

iggly2 Sun 09-Nov-14 08:53:11

I could very well be underestimating energy levels in other children etc.

var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 08:59:22

True, but I only have two children and hand on heart I can't say either have a vivid imagination or especially high energy levels. I think you know when your children are unusual in some way.

e.g. I know DS1 has a remarkable memory because he can remember tiny details that normal people can't / wouldn't even try to remember e.g. by-election results from three years ago or where we parked the car when we visited central London in March.

JustRichmal Sun 09-Nov-14 09:02:34

Thanks Var.

I tend to take such lists with a pinch of salt. I wonder if there was a control group of parents with non G&T kids reporting their children to be immature, unobservant dullards.

Tzibeleh Sun 09-Nov-14 11:12:38

It's a very subjective list. I don't have an extensive familiarity with or knowledge of children other than my own, so how can I compare them?

'An extensive vocabulary' - my children's vocabulary is normal for my family. I did not realise that our vocabulary was anything special until other people expressed surprise at the way our dc talked, and I was invited onto quiz teams as the 'literacy' member. It doesn't mean that any of us are geniuses!

Dh is far cleverer than me, and far quicker at picking up new concepts, but I am the faster reader with the wider vocabulary. He's the high achiever, would definitely have been identified as G&T at school (had they recognised such things) yet I'd say he has only 7 of the 90% attributes and 3 if the 80% attributes.

Longdistance Sun 09-Nov-14 11:30:01

Dd1 (5) is pretty much all of them, except the extensive vocabulary as dds speech was slow developing. She won't go to sleep til well after 9pm. We've tried everything, but she cannot switch off.

She's bright, but not G&T.

Mistigri Sun 09-Nov-14 14:12:42

I'm not sure how useful these lists are as a lot of those could easily apply to most of the kids I know!

Age also makes a difference. For DD as a young child it would have been 9/15 and 4/7 (objectively gifted child, read novels at 3, IQ measured >150, but comparatively poor attention span and low perseverance). Now - at age 13 - I would score her 12/15 and 4/7.

For her younger brother - probably G&T by the UK definition but not by the stricter (top 2%) criteria usually used elsewhere - it would be 12/15 and 4/7.

lljkk Sun 09-Nov-14 17:42:46

10+ yrs Out of date, Ruf's 2004 Levels & checklists are much more fashionable now. Or has that been superseded, anyone know?

I was tagged as PG at an early age & feel pretty sure I ticked relatively few of those boxes in OP. Or in Ruf's lists, for that matter.

var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 20:20:16

Potential plus are still publishing this list though. I posted about it because it reminded me of this post on thread:-
CovetingAFiat500 Mon 27-Oct-14 20:13:24
To learn how to fail is the biggest lesson my DDs need.

Do you think that would come naturally if they were challenged properly?

Question to OP: How did the lecture define "Highly Able"?

We were given a list of developmental milestones which 'gifted' children tend to reach earlier.

Then we were given a list of things a highly able child may do or may have the potential to do during primary school.

- uses advanced vocabulary, in speech and in written work
- uses advanced metaphors or analogies
- spontaneously makes up songs
- creates symmetrical patterns
- modifies language when talking to younger children
- can solve difficult puzzles
- has skill in ordering and grouping
- has an advanced sense of humour
- makes connections between past and present experiences
- often very sensitive to others' needs and feelings
- can carry out complex instructions
- is highly observant and notices subtle changes in the environment
- uses verbal skills to handle conflict
- becomes totally absorbed in one area of interest

Is that good/bad/indifferent?

And after today's horrible wait on a cold, wet and windy station platform I am coveting any sort of vehicle which gets me from A-B! grin

var123 Sun 09-Nov-14 20:35:16

I just googled the Ruf list. Its the perfect answer for all the mothers who post asking if their toddlers are G&T!! It even subdivides into levels of giftedness. www.pps.k12.or.us/files/tag/Ruf_Estimates.doc

Mistigri Mon 10-Nov-14 07:59:06

I'd wonder about the objectivity and accuracy of a list based mainly on parental recollections.

My DD (who was reading 200 page chapter books before she turned 4) met almost none of the non-reading criteria on those lists, which appear to relate more to a very maths-and-logic oriented subgroup of gifted children. I laughed at the stuff about Santa - so gifted kids aren't allowed an imagination? My daughter learnt the truth about Santa and the tooth fairy from her younger brother ;)

iggly2 Mon 10-Nov-14 08:16:11

Are you saying there is no Santa shock

A really gifted child would work out the number of children in the world, the gifts to be given and how to make the most of the time zones. They would then work out how he manages it. grin

var123 Mon 10-Nov-14 10:25:46

Surely parents are the people who know their children best? If it were left to teachers/ other educational professionals to spot ability and nurture it, then the results would be very hit and miss.

The 1984 simply asked parents of children (who presumably had subsequently been proved to be highly able) to describe their children. If they had only asked a dozen parents, then the study would not have been valid. If they asked 60+, and 90% said the same things, then you've got something to work with.

All people fit every criterion to an extent. For example, everyone digs their heels in sometimes, but you only say someone is stubborn if they tend to be more doggedly determined than usual. I think the same logic would apply here.

tenderbuttons Mon 10-Nov-14 11:26:57

Mistigri - your DD sounds very similar to mine. Reading is her thing, not maths, and she has just accepted a pound from the tooth fairy without a qualm, despite being eight. She wouldn't be interested in doing any calculations about Santa at all, although she might make up a very complicated fable to explain it.

And I think that the further that they diverge from the norm, the harder it is to generalise, especially in the case of 2e children - a child with ADHD may be brilliant, but they won't have an unusual capacity for attention, for example.

Madcatgirl Mon 10-Nov-14 11:28:16

14/15 and 5/7.

Tzibeleh Mon 10-Nov-14 18:57:15

A gifted child may well have the subtlety not to let on that they've worked out the truth about FC, for fear of no longer getting stockings.

So the fact that little Jonny still 'believes' in FC at 8 means absolutely nothing at all.

lljkk Mon 10-Nov-14 20:34:30

I think Ruf's levels might be a scorecard for parents with amazing levels of recollection; who in the world can remember all that stuff so precisely?

var123 Mon 10-Nov-14 21:52:37

not me! Also I keep confusing which baby story corresponds to which DC. It irritates them no end!

Wailywailywaily Mon 10-Nov-14 22:35:34

This thread is fascinating. I read the OP and counted up DS's attributes and then I realised that I'm being very subjective e.g. I think that he has an excellent memory but then my own memory is very poor so I would, however compared to my brothers eidetic memory DS is fairly average. In the end I could only conclude objectively that DS does not have a great vocabulary, but then he doesn't talk much so of course he has a poor spoken vocabulary however he understands everything I say and I never talk down to him (he is 5), in fact, scratch that, I can't measure it.

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