How to Determine if your Toddler is Gifted

Most parents think their child is the best and brightest and certainly all children have unique talents and stengths. But only a few children will actually turn out to be truly gifted with a superior IQ. I wasn’t the smartest kid in town but my wife was and we now have a daughter who is gifted. She is 10 years old now but we knew early on that she was different that most kids. Here are some things we noticed about her as a baby and toddler:

1. She met developmental milestones much earlier than expected. She was walking unassisted at 8 months and talking in complete sentences by 18 months.

2. She needed less sleep than other babies. She stopped napping completely at around 9 months of age and only slept about 8 hours per night. Even so, she was bright, alert, and happy.

3. She developed an early interest in books and reading. She knew all her letters by 2 years old and taught herself to read at 3. She would spend up to 2 hours at a time sitting on the floor with a pile of books.

4. She had an extremely long attention span and would occupy herself for long periods of time.

5. She developed interests far above her age level. By age 3, she was fascinated by musicals. We took her to see the stage production of Oklahoma and she sat, mesmerized, through the entire 3 hour show.

6. She understood advanced concepts. Also at age 3, she explained to my wife that the birds she drew were different sizes because some were far away and some were close. And speaking of art, she was able to draw a figure with eyes, nose, mouth, arms, and legs at 18 months.

7. She had, and still has, a very vivid imagination with lots of imaginary friends. She often put on elaborate plays with them, assigning each one a part and doing all the speaking herself.

8. She skipped some of the usual milestones other babies experience. She went straight from pulling up to walking and did not crawl. She never had an oral fixation and we never worried about her putting things in her mouth. Her development seemed to be at a breakneck pace overall.

These are just a few things we notice about our child. Our pediatritian predicted she would test as gifted once she hit school and he was right. Other gifted children might have other characteristics but these are some common ones.