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Gifted Kids Are Special Needs Children

Updated on July 3, 2011

Because there is no one definition for giftedness, it can be difficult to know if your child is one of the gifted kids and therefore needs gifted education designed especially for gifted and talented students. Your job as the parents of gifted kids is to get them access to all the gifted resources you possibly can. 

Getting your gifted child special education

Although gifted students may have the potential to achieve far beyond their peers, special gifted education is important for them to make the most of that potential. Gifted children are special needs children required special services from the school. It is crucial to work within your school system to get the appropriate assessment testing, achievement documentation, interviews, or whatever else is required in order to have your child identified as gifted.

How to tell if your child is gifted: the Federal Definition

In Title IX, the US government defines gifted and talented students as follows:

GIFTED AND TALENTED- The term gifted and talented', when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.

Know, though, that while many states and school districts adopt this definition, they are not required to do so. A key difference from district to district is the number or percentage of students identified as gifted and talented. Resources are almost always scarce. If your child is “borderline gifted” you may have to fight harder to get access to the gifted education.

How to know if your child is gifted: Intelligence Tests

There are a few different ways gifted and talented education professionals define gifted children. IQ tests play a big role because they are the easiest to administer and are objective. If your child takes a cognitive abilities test and scores over 130 or 140, he or she may be defined as gifted. This score represents two or more standard deviations above the norm score, and puts your child roughly in the 2.5% of the population.

Maybe you think your child is gifted, but he or she has never received assessment testing. How do you know? If your child is gifted he or she is probably excelling in one or more areas at school. It’s important to note that gifted children can be very advanced in some areas and deficient in others. Many gifted children work above grade level in some subjects, but not all. (If your gifted child struggles with language, make sure to do dyslexia testing.)

Intelligence tests are not the only determinants of giftedness. If you think your child may be gifted, read How to Know if Your Child if Gifted and then find out about determination with How Gifted Children Are Assessed.

Image Credit: Tom@HK, Flickr


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  • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

    DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

    Lela Davidson, Very helpful hub! Gifted children benefit greatly from a good educational program that challenges them and rewards them... A good teacher will be aware that they have a tendency to be quite sensitive and very hard on themselves and desire to work together with the parent(s) in order for the child to optimize their potential. The challenge is keeping a balance. Thank you for sharing! Peace & Blessings!

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 7 years ago

    I am grateful that one of the teachers in the public elementary school where my son went had him take that test, to confirm. It made all the difference in his schooling. You are right, they are special needs children.

    I took engineering when I was in college. One day I was trying to fix one of the gates to our chain link fence in the backyard, lol. He was seven at the time. He said, very casually, Mom, you're turning the screws the opposite of what you wanted to accomplish, lol.

    Then I taught him chess. I only play to win. After a couple of games that I beat him, he beat me seventeen times in a row.

  • wavegirl22 profile image

    Shari 7 years ago from New York, NY

    Excellent Hub once again. . .!