Little consensus exists among professionals as to what defines a gifted child. According to the results of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test, a child can be gifted intellectually (where the most frequently used defining score is an IQ of 130) or academically (a ninety-fifth percentile ranking). But a gifted child may also show exceptional talent in creativity, the performing arts, or athletics. Most definitions of giftedness include multiple categories, incorporating social or creative talents as well as intellectual and academic abilities. Selection of children for gifted programs depends on the definitions schools employ. Thus, a creative, poor, or underachieving genius may not be discovered if a school's definition relies solely on IQ scores. Intellectually gifted children are usually intrinsically motivated and demonstrate exceptional abilities in math, language, or art at early ages. They sometimes suffer socially, mostly in relating to peers, but not always. Because profiles of gifted children are quite diverse, understanding and identifying giftedness should take this complexity into account.
See also: INTELLIGENCE; SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Davis, Gary, and Sylvia Rimm. Education of the Gifted and Talented, 4th edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1998.
Winner, Ellen. Gifted Children. New York: Basic Books, 1996.
Vanessa C. Gallo