Parents are usually the first ones to identify their children’s differences. This is a broad overview of some signs of early giftedness. More information is available in our FAQspage as well as our Library
How will I know if my child is gifted?
Parents usually know their children better than anyone consequently they are an excellent resource for educators and psychologists in determining a child’s giftedness. Early signs of giftedness could be evident quite early in the child’s life, early signs might include:
A high level of alertness.
An unwillingness to sleep.
Deep engagement in play for sustained periods.
In early childhood signs might include:
Speaking in sentences earlier than age peers.
A deep interest in watching and learning from others.
Strong passions or interests.
Reading before school via media, the public domain or other voluntary means.
A lack of social connection with same age peers.
A preference for adult company.
Wanting to do things perfectly.
Displays of high-level creativity through play, art, music or other means.
An unorthodox approach to tasks.
Poor organization skills.
Breaking abstract word and letter codes.
A love of strategic games, like chess.
Making unexpected verbal connections.
Curiosity with numbers and mathematical operations.
A child may be gifted in one domain or many. As parents we want our children to be happy and challenged in life and learning. If this is not their experience and you believe your child might be gifted, it is important to seek help. An educational psychologist may work in a school or may work independently. They should have the skills to assess your child and determine their level of academic potential. These assessments can be empowering and liberating for the child and their parents, they can provide excellent support in mapping future educational pathways for gifted students to support them in their educational journey.
VAGTC Frequently Asked Questions from PARENTS of Gifted & High Ability Children Resource
VAGTC are pleased to launch this Resource for parents.
Every day, parents of gifted and high ability children are faced with new challenges. Navigating these challenges raises many questions, questions with wide, varied and often complex answers. This Frequently Asked Questions resource is the outcome of these ideas, challenges and thinking. It is also a response to the many questions that parents have asked at VAGTC parent seminars in recent years.
The resource is written in simple English with key terms explained. Interrelated questions are cross referenced and links to further resources are provided throughout.
The sole purpose of the VAGTC is to support gifted and talented children in Victoria to achieve their true potential by actively advocating on their behalf.
The focus of the VAGTC includes:
Providing professional activities to schools and educators to identify, support and educate gifted and talented children.
Showcasing childrens’ achievements in publications, at conferences and workshops, and in the wider community.
Hosting competitions to provide gifted and talented children a space to exhibit their particular strengths.
Developing community awareness of the educational, social and emotional needs of gifted and talented children.
Linking agencies and families to facilitate appropriate support and provisions for gifted and talented children
Promoting activities that engage gifted children, and facilitate their meeting of like-minded friends.
Providing resources for members to learn about the nature of giftedness.
Frequently asked questions
VAGTC 2016 Resource Book: The ultimate resource for parents, educators and students
The VAGTC is pleased to announce the launch of the sixth edition of the VAGTC Resource Book- in time for the 2016 AAEGT National Conference for Gifted and Talented Children in Sydney during October. Published biennially, the sixth edition includes up to date links and recommended programs, opportunities and resources for parents, educators and students.
“Characteristics of gifted and talented children include their extreme thirst for knowledge and their ability to draw information from a variety of sources, some of which can be less authentic or well researched. This is where the VAGTC Research Book becomes ‘gold’, as its contents are compiled, edited and authenticated by qualified and experienced educators of the gifted and talented”. Carmel Meehan, VAGTC President, 2016
Distribution is via subscription; subscribers and members of the VAGTC receive a copy of the Resource Book as part of their membership fees.
The VAGTC Resource Book is available to purchase for $25 via contact with the VAGTC Administration Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Kindle digital edition is available for purchase via the Amazon Kindle store here.
What can this association do for educators?
The VAGTC welcomes all teachers interested in enrichment and extension education. We believe that effective curriculum for these special students needs to be built on a real understanding of characteristics of gifted and talented learners, and requires a focus on higher levels of thinking beyond acquisition and memory.
The VAGTC conducts in-house professional development seminars for educators across Victoria. We are currently working alongside with the Department of Education to deliver VIT-approved regional seminars on the identification and support of gifted and talented students, with a focus on identifying students from diverse backgrounds.
We also run in-house customized programs for educators, schools and organizations. We also have a pool of experienced speakers and presenters who are available on request to work with your needs.
We support the recommendation that curriculum development needs to be focussed across all aspects of the curriculum, including content, process, product and environment. (Maker, 1982) We commend to you a range of gifted education goals of curriculum enrichment including:
investigation of real problems or topics using appropriate methods of enquiry,
students taking an active part in formulating problems to be investigated and methods by which the problem will be attacked,
students using as raw data rather than simply reporting about conclusions reached by others that inquiry be directed toward some tangible product (Renzulli,1977)
Low-income children start out on a relatively even footing with their higher-income peers in terms of innovation ability, but fall behind over time, perhaps because of differences in their childhood environment.
Research has shown that disadvantaged children are at higher risk of falling through the educational attainment ‘gap’ by their limited access and exposure to programs, opportunities and educational resources.
For much of Yvonne Perret’s career, her work focused on assessing and supporting disadvantaged children with learning and behavioural difficulties in the UK and Australia. Many of the children she worked with highlighted the need to support disadvantaged children, and to support disadvantaged children who were also gifted and talented.
Upon her retirement, Yvonne Perret created two scholarships in her name to encourage and enrich the opportunities of disadvantaged students across Victoria. In collaboration with the VAGTC, educators from all school sectors were contacted and encouraged to nominate a student who they could identify with a “demonstrated gift, passion or skill in their chosen area of endeavour, and show potential for this activity’s future development.”
The Yvonne Perret scholarship provides two secondary school students from rural and metropolitan Victoria, with up to $2,000 to spend on items or programs that enable and enrich their learning. Administered and selected by a panel of VAGTC committee members, the Yvonne Perret scholarship is awarded at the VAGTC Annual General Meeting each year in October.