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Early Learning Interventions for Gifted Kids

gtchat 04192018 Early Interventions

Is it possible to provide early intervention for gifted children without formal identification? Very young children have difficulty paying attention during testing and easily distracted. A young gifted child’s performance on tests can be highly variable and thus deemed not as reliable as for older children. That said, not only is it possible to provide early intervention without formal identification; it is often necessary.

There is strong support for early intervention for gifted children based on developmentally appropriate practice; taking both age and individual appropriateness into account (Bredekamp,1987; Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1992). Informal identification should be based on teacher and caregivers’ observation across domains – cognitive, aesthetic, social-emotional, motor, language – taking into consideration expected behaviors for the age of the child.

“Early intervention is critical to support students’ cognitive and affective growth. Enriched and engaging environments during early childhood years can lead to enhanced educational success. Early enrichment as a form of intervention is even more critical for bright learners who come from poverty or traditionally underrepresented populations.” (Keri M. Guilbault, Ed.D.) “Early educational experiences of many young gifted children provide limited challenge and hinder their cognitive growth rather than exposing learners to an expansive, engaging learning environment.” (NAGC)

Characteristics ‘usually’ associated with early giftedness include excellent memory beyond expectation for a specific age; mature thinking on complicated tasks; or precocious development of a specific skill. Early giftedness may be expressed by self-management of personal learning; seeking new and novel experiences; early reading; delight in problem solving. Young gifted children may seek older playmates; engage in imaginative play; display an advanced vocabulary; demonstrate asynchronous development.

Special activities and/or accommodations provided in the early childhood classroom or child care environment  may include providing opportunities to interact with mental peers; opportunities to think both divergently and convergently – experiences with more than on answer. Very young gifted children need exposure to social situations which respect the contributions of less-able children and foster recognition of the worth of all abilities. Young gifted children are individuals with different needs. They shouldn’t be expected to take on additional tasks or those beyond development capabilities. Consider exposure to a variety of experiences.

What can parents do to make sure their child receives needed interventions during early childhood? They can create a portfolio of their child’s work to serve as a basis for consideration in later identification. They can keep a diary of milestones and skills attainment. Parents should take care not to place unnecessary expectations on their child. They can provide opportunities for exploration of interests with trips to the library, visits to museums and cultural events, and nature experiences. A transcript may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Gifted Children Have Special Needs, Too

AUS: Identify Gifted Children

AUS: Gifted and Talented Education – Identification (pdf)

The Gifted and Talented Child: Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students (pdf)

NZ: E-Portfolios as a Tool for Supporting Gifted Children in New Zealand Early Childhood Education Centres A Critical Appraisal

Early Enrichment for Young Gifted Children

Psycho-Pedagogical and Educational Aspects of Gifted Students, Starting from the Preschool Age; How Can Their Needs Be Best Met?

Small Poppies: Highly Gifted Children in the Early Years

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

A Different Perspective to the Early Intervention Applications during Preschool Period: Early Enrichment for Gifted Children

Serving Twice-Exceptional Preschoolers: Blending Gifted Education and Early Childhood Special Education Practices in Assessment and Program Planning (pdf)

Appropriate Practices for Screening, Identifying and Serving Potentially Gifted Preschoolers (pdf)

Growing Up Gifted: Developing the Potential of Children at School and at Home (8th Edition) (Amazon)

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum: Best Practices in Early Childhood Education (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Early Intervention Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

How to Recognize a Gifted Child

gtchat 05092017 Recognize

Recognizing giftedness in a child often depends on how one defines ‘gifted’ and whether you are considering it educationally or psychologically. Terms such as ‘precocious’ – having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual – or unusual qualities such as being hyper-attentive to adult conversations may signal giftedness.

Although an almost universal measure of entrance to gifted programs by schools, IQ scores are not the sole indicator of giftedness; and parents and teachers may rely on them too much. IQ scores serve as part of the identification process, but don’t tell the whole story. Too many schools approach IQ scores like their zero-tolerance policies; score one point below the 130 cutoff and services are denied.

It is well accepted within the gifted community that a student can be gifted and exhibit learning differences at the same time. However, this may come as a surprise to school personnel who are not familiar with the concept of twice-exceptional children.

In recent years, it has become glaringly apparent that we must do a better job at identifying low-ses, minority, and ELL students for gifted programs. The NAGC’s new campaign reminds us, ‘Giftedness Knows no Boundaries’. Universal screenings are absolutely necessary; no exceptions. Gifted identification needs to be de-mythologized and the ‘whole child’ must be supported.

Gifted students can be geniuses at going undercover … aloof, disinterested, unengaged, or oppositional. Though they may excel in elementary school, they will go into hiding in later years to avoid bullying or to ‘fit in’.

It is important that all stakeholders in gifted education be able to recognize a gifted child; regardless of achievement, age, socio-economic status, native language, or minority status. A transcript of this and all #gtchats may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Defining Giftedness

Perceptions Mired in Mythology

Remarks at the Washington State Legislature Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee (pdf)

Giftedness Knows No Boundaries (website)

See Me! (YouTube :15)

Why Gifted May Not be What You Think: Michelle Barmazel at TEDxHGSE (TED Talk 6:50)

Is Your Child Gifted? What to Look for and Why You Should Know

Is My Child Gifted?

UK: Just What is Gifted & Talented?

Giftedness Defined

Intellectual Giftedness

What is Highly Gifted?  Exceptionally Gifted?  Profoundly Gifted?  & What Does It Mean? 

In Pictures: How To Tell If Your Child’s Gifted Gifted Development Center: Is Your Child Gifted? (Quiz)

Characteristics of Giftedness Scale (pdf  checklist)

How to Identify Gifted Students in Your Classroom

11 Early Signs Your Kid Will Be Smart

How to Determine if Your Child is Gifted

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: Beginning the Journey – Gifted 101

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and “Diversity in Gifted Education”


Global #gtchat welcomed Dr. Joy Lawson Davis as we discussed “Diversity in Gifted Education”. Dr. Davis is the  author of Bright, Talented and Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners; the Director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette; and Chair of the National Association of Gifted Children’s Diversity & Equity Committee. The complete transcript of this chat can be found here.

The opening question was, “What would you like us to know about the lack of diversity in U.S. gifted education programs?” Her reply, “Inequity affects certain groups more than others: Black, Hispanic, Native American, in particular. Gifted classrooms in some areas are the most segregated in America! The huge challenge before us ALL is to ensure that Gifted Education & Equity co-exist peacefully. Radical changes in attitudes about racially diverse students and those who come from low SES (socio-economic status) backgrounds can make a difference. Performance-based assessments, use of ‘talent spotting’, and universal screening are just a few of strategies.”

Next, we asked Dr. Joy ~ “What modifications should be made to assessments/identification process to be more culturally sensitive?” She replied ~ “Using culturally unbiased testing; some verbal tests that were not normed on a diverse population will not give the best results. Assessing students in their native language, training more diverse personnel in gifted education can help. If teachers are culturally insensitive; then they will overlook, misdiagnose, and simply ignore giftedness in diverse children.”

In closing, Dr. Davis reminded us that “We can do this!! Working together we can ERADICATE under-representation of culturally diverse students in gifted education worldwide!” We at #gtchat believe this is a timely and important topic that must be kept on the front burner! Special thanks to Dr. Davis for joining us!


Dr. Joy Lawson Davis website 

Bright, Talented and Black (Amazon) 

Senginar w/ Dr. Joy Davis ‘Addressing Unique Challenges of Culturally Diverse Gifted Learners’ Feb 12th

An Introduction to the Topic of Cultural Diversity and Giftedness 

We Are Gifted2 (Dr. Joy’s Blog)

Identifying and Nurturing the Gifted Poor 

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students

Eradicating Under-achievement and Under-representation of Diverse Learners ~ one Community at a Time

Excellence versus Equity: Political Forces in the Education of Gifted Students (Duke TIP) 

Interview of Dr. Davis on Ingeniosus

SENG Conference to Highlight Diversity in Gifted Education

Education of Special Populations of Gifted Students (.pdf  355 pgs)

Diverse Gifted Populations Committee (IAGC) 

Fostering Diversity in Gifted Education 

Understanding Culture 

Joy Lawson Davis @ Great Potential Press 

Joy Lawson Davis Bio on Amazon

Cybraryman’s Multicultural Celebration Page

Cybraryman’s Culture Page 

NZ: Gifted and Talented Online ~ For Parents and Whānau

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