NIAS-Education for the Gifted and Talented works closely with parents of identified students to provide them support at home. These workshops intend to involve parents in their child’s mentoring, review the NIAS-EGT programme and provide suggestions to improve the programme. In general, parents have expressed satisfaction and have been happy with the NIAS-EGT programmes.
Parenting a Gifted Child
1) My child is different. How can I find out whether s/he is gifted?
A child can appear to be different from the "norm" in many ways. Some gifted behaviours overlap with behaviours demonstrated by children with special needs. Read this article on twice-exceptional children to find out more. Comprehensive identification of a gift or a special-need or the coexistence of both relies on behavioral observations, psychometric testing, portfolio analysis (review of the child’s productive work, including work undertaken independently outside class), and checklists rated by parents/teachers/peers. There is no single measure or method that can be used to identify giftedness.
To know about the NIAS identification process, refer to the FAQ Section. Sample profiles of gifted children can be found here. To provide us with more information about a child who you think might be gifted, please click here for the nomination form.
2) If my child is gifted, will s/he always achieve at a high level?
Giftedness, or high ability, is correlated with achievement or performance to some extent. High ability is only one of the numerous factors that affect performance. Other factors include interest, the environment at home, education, parental and socioeconomic variables, and personality variables (including persistence and resilience). A child’s ability level and his/her performance do not correlate perfectly. Further, identification as gifted today is by no means a guarantee of high performance in any later stage of life.
3) If my child is gifted, what should s/he study? Will s/he be a good doctor/engineer/scientist etc.?
Recognising a child as gifted does not mean s/he “can” or “should” pursue any particular line of study. As with any child, the best course of study for a gifted child depends on the combination of ability in a given area, interest, and opportunity. While different abilities (e.g., verbal, mathematical, musical) are quite highly correlated with each other, a child can show different abilities and interest across area/s.
4) How can I make sure my child develops his/her abilities properly?
To make sure the child develops his/her abilities, parents need to first recognise the areas in which the child is interested and with the optimal parental support, these abilities can further be nurtured and developed. Parents want their children to succeed despite the ability level of their children. However, “succeeding” and “not wasting their ability” often means pursuing and excelling in a career chosen by the parents. Parents, teachers, and society as a whole categorises some occupations as “successful”, and other occupations as suitable only for individuals with lower-ability. These categories are completely arbitrary and do not reflect the scope for challenge and excellence offered by a vast range of occupations.
5) I think my child already knows that s/he is different. Teachers, relatives, and his/her friends also seem to know. Should I discuss giftedness with the child, or will the label negatively affect his/her development?
It is a common belief that labelling a child has adverse consequences. Part of the potential dangers of labelling comes from the fact that our understanding of giftedness is vague. In the short-term, the child’s adjustment and family dynamics may indeed change because of the labelling. However, research suggests that in the long run, gifted children adjust to the label.
6) My child has no friends. What should I do?
Many gifted children get along better with older children, adults, or other bright children of their age. The child will benefit from interactions with a mentor – an adult (or older child) with expertise in the child’s areas of interest. The mentor may be a teacher, a family friend, or a relative; frequently the child will locate the mentor on his/her own. Alternatively, a parent, friend or relative can identify a mentor for the child. Mentors are important not only for intellectual development, but also for the socioemotional development – so encourage the child to get along well with the mentor.
It is common to see gifted children with peer adjustment difficulties. A neighbourhood group of children that meets every weekend can fulfill some of the socioemotional and intellectual needs of gifted children.