Checklist: Is your child gifted?

Most, but not all, of the following questions apply equally well to children of various ages. No one child will exhibit all of these. They are intended to serve as a checklist of the abilities revealed by many gifted children.

  1. Did your child walk and talk earlier than most other children of his age and gender?
  2. Did she show a comparatively early interest in words?
  3. Does he have an exceptionally large vocabulary for his age?
  4. Did she show an early interest in clocks, calendars, jigsaw puzzles?
  5. Did he show an early interest in numbers?
  6. Did she show an early interest in reading?
  7. Does he express curiosity about many things?
  8. Does she have more stamina and strength than other children of her age and gender?
  9. Does he tend to associate with children older than himself?
  10. Does she act as a leader among children of her own age?
  11. Does he have a good memory?
  12. Does she show unusual reasoning power?
  13. Does he have an unusual capacity for planning and organizing?
  14. Does she relate information gained in the past to new knowledge she acquires?
  15. Does he show more interest in creative effort and new activities than in routine and repetitive tasks?
  16. Does she try to excel in almost everything she does?
  17. Does he concentrate on a single activity for a prolonged period of time without getting bored?
  18. Does she usually have a number of interests that keep her busy?
  19. Does he persist in his efforts in the face of unexpected difficulties?
  20. Does she figure out her own solutions to problems and show uncommon “common sense”?
  21. Does he have a sense of humor that is advanced for his age?
  22. Does she show sensitivity to the feelings of others?
  23. Does he show a comparatively early interest in questions of right and wrong, religion, God, and/or justice?
  24. Does she make collections that are more advanced or unusual than those of others in her age group?
  25. Does he show an intense interest in some artistic activity, such as drawing, singing, dancing, writing, or playing a musical instrument?
  26. Does she make up stories that are vivid and dramatic, or relate her experiences with a great deal of exact detail?
  27. Does he like puzzles and various kinds of “problem” games?
  28. Does she have exceptional abilities in mathematics?
  29. Does he show an unusual interest in science or mathematics?
  30. Does she show awareness of things that are new or novel?


15 Responses to Checklist: Is your child gifted?

  1. Danielle Downing on October 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I answered ‘yes’ to almost all of the questions above. My son is 6 and in Kindergarten at Chanhassen Elementary School. I am having him tested outside of school soon. What can I do to get him in to the proper programs at school? Any help or advice is welcomed.

    • Rebecca on October 7, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Test him and if he’s in the 99th percentile apply him to gifted schools or have him placed in a gifted program at his school if he is gifted and if your school district offers one

  2. Efipania on February 25, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Answer is yes in 25 out of 30 and my son just turn 3 last valentine. What should we do?

  3. Ella on November 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    My daughter is 12 and I answered yes to all the questions. What should I do?

  4. Kirstin Daniels on December 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I answered “yes” to 22 out of 30 of the questions for my three year old daughter.

  5. Nicole on July 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Gross motor skills and intelligence do not have a direct correlation. Walking early is often a sign of ADHD, and current psychological research supports this. In fact, many gift children, in comparison to children with behavioral or emotional disorders, walk later.

    Nicole – (I happen to have PhD in developmental psychology)

    • Krysten Maxwell on April 4, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      This makes sense as my daughter Nicolle just turned 3 a week ago. She has excelled in every way imaginable, especially math and launguage, exept for walking. She did not start walking completely until she was 14 months but was forming complete sentences at 18 months. Well she also refuses to potty still lol.

  6. Nihad on August 3, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Hello, my child is very gifted although he has 20 months only (less than 2 yrs) he can draw a sun, moon , star, apple and balloon. he plays memory game (similarities) very well, the problem is we are from Sudan and there is no special care for gifted babies. Please help me, what can i do? i do not want to waste his talents.

  7. Lissa on October 7, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I was a gifted child. When I was in preschool I much more advanced than any other 3-4 year olds in the class. I used to get on the blackboard and teach the children how to spell long words such as “superstition” or ” sensitivity.” I was very commpassionate to others feelings and picked up on anything taught to me almost instantly. I always prefered the company of adults and they seemed to enjoy my company as well. I used to listen to my sister practice her accordian and when she would leave the room after practicing, I would pick up her accordian at 5 years old and play what she had just been playing. When I entered the first grade the principal of my grammar had me tested. I was tested at a score of 166. Everyone began treating me differently thereafter. Unfortunatley my mother wasn’t pleased with the results and pressure it put upon her. She didn’t want me to be a gifted. I was placed in the M.G.M program (Mentally Gifted Minds), which I believe later became the G.A.T.E. program (This was in the 70’s and early 80’s).
    Growing up gifted had many challenges mostly in part because my parents had no idea what to do and how to deal with a gifted child since neither of them graduated high school. My mother became angry with school adminstrators who wanted to advance me quickly through grade levels while she protested to “let me just be a kid.” The public school system was very unstimulating, restrictive and boring to say the least. As a result, I made bad choices and had many troubles as a teenager and in my 20’s.
    While there are many programs that support remediial or average children we do not have enough prgrams supporting the truly gifted and guiding them to reach their potentials. If we did, imagine what a wonderful world we would live in. While, we need to focus on slow children or average children there is a “peak” to their potential. Gifted childrens potentials are endless and so diverse. Let’s put more programs in place for them.
    I understand that most parents wish to believe their child is gifted. The love and desire for ones children is very powerful and unique to any other relationship. The responsibility of having a truly gifted child is immense. Parents should become educated on how to positivly parent a gifted child and embrace that there are things about having a gifted child that they will never understand. Although, helping your gifted child develop to their true potential should be a very rewarding position as a parent. As for me, I turned out just fine. I’ll never know what might have happened had I been supported and developed in my gifts and not have had a rough road to toll. Although, here I am at 44 years old and preparing to begin my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience. As long as were alive we can oly start from from right where we are; the important thing is to start. A person is never to old to embark upon thier goals. Good luck to all those parents who believe their child is gifted and thank God we now have more knowledge, educators, and research to benefit the ones whom I believe need it the most.

  8. MiLisa McDaniel on November 14, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks, Lisa! You articulated what I feel as a parent and it is very difficult to get others to see Gifted children as Exceptional. For clarity, exceptional doesn’t always mean disabled, by the way. It simply means your brain processes information in a very unique way and often at a faster rate than those of your peers. Giftedness is a wonderful thing but it can be overwhelming for a child and their parents. Gifted students most definitely have unique academic ,emotional, & social needs. I hope & pray that we will do a good job of providing that environment for my daughter and her peers !

  9. Beth on November 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I am 11 years old, answering for myself, and I said yes to all of these. What does it mean?

  10. Krysten Maxwell on April 4, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this prespective from the other side. I myself am not gifted, i exelled in science and athletics but was not anything worth calling gifted. My 3 year old on the other hand is exeptionally gifted, much as you are. She is self taught and extreemly independent and im considering a montessori school. What are your thoughts on this type of schooling?

  11. Norwood on July 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    My 2 children are both thriving in a gifted program that has curriculum accelerated by two years. There test scores are consistently very high. I answered yes on 2 or 3 of these items for each child, and the rest were a strong no’s. I guess we failed. This questionnaire is great for parents of young children, but after that, not so much.

  12. julie paul on November 19, 2016 at 9:03 am

    This is ver helpful. My daughter is 5. she started talking at 4 months, yes 4 moths she said mama and no one believed me until they heard her as i got up to bathroom at a restraunt and she called out to me. she walked at 10 months, she would walk herself to her bed and go to sleep by herself at night. Literally would grab her blanket walk up to us and say “im go nite nite” and give us kisses and walk to her bed and get in it, she was barely a year. We were outside playing when she was 15 or 16 months and said “oo i need go teetee” and went and sat on the regular toilet and teeteed but that was didnt last long we went back and forth on that for a bit. My point is since 4 months we knew she was going to be smart as every loving parent thinks. Now she is 5 has conversation with us asking what this word means what this means or that, she recalls things from when she was 2 or 3. has loved puzzles since just 8 or9 moths old still works them faster than I can. Her teacher says she is very artistic and musical anf therefore lacks in social skills because she does not play well with her classmates. She has been in daycare since 3 months of age and never had behavior problem. They loved this kid and stll take her by to see the teachers because she was so smart and fun. Now she is calling a girl fat a mother called her a bully she doesnt like kids close to her or touching her. SHe does not like anyone helpign her with her puzzles she does not like anyone doing anything better than her. Teacher said she is brilliant and will be submitting her for GT. Does this behavior come from being more mature than her peers or she just a brat period ? LOL

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