The Highly Gifted Child

........Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
...........................................--Benjamin Franklin

Who are the highly gifted?

"The definition of extraordinary precocity differs from study to study. Some researchers cite IQs above 145 as indicating highly gifted abilities, while others reserve the label for children whose IQs exceed 165 or even 180. Some define extraordinary giftedness in terms of scores on other types of tests, such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or in terms of high level creative productivity. Whatever the definition, there is general agreement that highly gifted children are more susceptible to some types of developmental difficulties than are moderately gifted or average children. Areas of vulnerability include uneven development, perfectionism, adult expectations, intense sensitivity, self-definition, alienation, inappropriate environments, and role conflicts" (Roedell 1984).
Roedell, W. Vulnerabilities of highly gifted children. Roeper Review. Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 127-130. 1984
"Highly gifted children tend to be those who demonstrate asynchronous development. Due to their high cognitive abilities and high intensities they experience and relate to the world in unique ways. These children are often found as a result of extremely high scores on an individually scored IQ tests, generally above the 140 IQ range. Others may be prodigies in areas such as math, science, language and/or the arts. Profoundly gifted children can score in excess of 170 IQ.
Highly gifted children demonstrate characteristics such as the extreme need to:
  • learn at a much faster pace
  • process material to a much greater depth
  • show incredible intensity in energy, imagination,intellectual prowess,
  • sensitivity, and emotion which are not typical in the general population.
The child of 160+ is as different from the child of 130 IQ as that child is different from the child of average ability. Current research suggests that there may be higher incidence of children in this high range than previously thought. Due to their unique characteristics, these children are particularly vulnerable. Highly gifted children need a specialized advocacy because very little has been done to develop appropriate curriculum and non-traditional options for these children."
From The Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children

Click the links below for more information about Highly Gifted Children:

Annotated Bibliography

Case Study


Highly Gifted: Book Review

Child Prodigies: Videos

Landmark Study of the Highly Gifted by L.S. Hollingworth

Another Wiki Page on the Highly Gifted