How can I tell if my child is gifted?

December 22, 2008 at 12:00 am 3 comments

I heard this question asked a couple times when I was helping at the NPN Fair.  Mainly from parents who mentioned that people commented that their child should be tested for giftedness (and I think they meant people other than the grandparents.)

I just happened upon this interesting article that talks about the 5 levels of Giftedness.  Level 1 (which probably describes many of the kids in the CPS gifted programs) are the “bright” kids.  Level 5 is astounding.  You’ve heard stories about them and I assume there are some at schools like Edison.  Or maybe they’re in extra-special gifted programs that people like me don’t know about or are taking college classes or something.   But this article lists specific behaviors that you can use to eyeball your own child.

Level 1 kids know most letters, colors and can count by age 3.

Level 3 kids know many sight words by age 3 – 3.5

Level 5 kids read chapter books by age 3.5 – 4.5.  And sadly, question the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy by age 2-3. (I STILL cannot fathom how my son buys into this – clearly he’s not Level 5.)

The problem is that many Level 1’s won’t make it into a CPS Gifted Program, just because there aren’t enough spaces.  That’s where the luck of a good mood/good test day comes into play.  The good news is that there are a lot of Level 1’s in the neighborhood schools, who’s parents should be making sure the school is challenging them adequately.

Entry filed under: Gifted kids, Regional Gifted Program. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Adele  |  February 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Not every deserving child can get a seat at a gifted regional center — there are too few centers.

    But CPS has a Comprehensive In-School Gifted Program for neighborhood schools. Contact the Office of Gifted Education for more information.

    Parents can investigate this program and ask their LSC to consider adding it to their neighborhood school’s curriculum for top-performing students.

    I know this program is in place in a number of schools, Westcott Elementary among them. Ask the Gifted Office to tell you what schools offer this program to their students, then as those schools’ parents, teachers what they think of it.

    If you think the Gifted Office isn’t forthcoming, send in a FOIA request.

  • 2. Laura  |  December 11, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Those level 5s are at Science & Arts in Des Plaines, Latin, Francis Parker, Lab School and Quest Academy in Palatine.

  • 3. Laura  |  September 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Hmm, my son was reading at 2.5 and chapter books at 4, and now at 8 most of the other kids in his class have caught up. I would say he is smart not gifted

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