Key Indicators

What are the Key Indicators and Characteristics of Gifted Children?

No gifted individual is exactly the same, each with his own unique patterns and traits. There are many traits that gifted individuals have in common, but no gifted learner exhibits traits in every area. This list of traits may help you better understand whether or not your child is gifted.





Keen power of abstraction Creativeness and inventiveness Unusual emotional depth and intensity Spontaneity
Interest in problem-solving and applying concepts Keen sense of humor Sensitivity or empathy to the feelings of others Boundless enthusiasm
Voracious and early reader Ability for fantasy High expectations of self and others, often leading to feelings of frustration Intensely focused on passions—resists changing activities when engrossed in own interests
Large vocabulary Openness to stimuli, wide interests Heightened self-awareness, accompanied by feelings of being different Highly energetic—needs little sleep or down time
Intellectual curiosity Intuitiveness Easily wounded, need for emotional support Constantly questions
Power of critical thinking, skepticism, self-criticism Flexibility Need for consistency between abstract values and personal actions Insatiable curiosity
Persistent, goal-directed behavior Independence in attitude and social behavior Advanced levels of moral judgment Impulsive, eager and spirited
Independence in work and study Self-acceptance and unconcern for social norms Idealism and sense of justice Perseverance—strong determination in areas of importance
Diversity of interests and abilities Radicalism High levels of frustration—particularly when having difficulty meeting standards of performance (either imposed by self or others)
Intellectual curiosity Aesthetic and moral commitment to self-selected work Volatile temper, especially related to perceptions of failure
Non-stop talking/chattering

Source: Clark, B. (2008). Growing up gifted (7th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.