Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness in early childhood


Can signs of high cognitive ability be detected in early childhood?

An inquisitive mind and a persistent desire to learn new things, a remarkably good memory, an ability to understand new concepts quickly by applying familiar principles, and a very extensive and differentiated vocabulary at an early age may be the first indications of a child’s higher cognitive ability. Care should be taken, however, not to draw premature conclusions from such observations: Prognoses on further development are all the more uncertain the younger a child is. Furthermore, these observations only provide indications of a child’s general learning ability and disregard other personality traits and environmental characteristics that are relevant for the development of talents and abilities. Many parents have reported unusual behaviors in their children, such as a low need for sleep and a high sensitivity to sensory stimuli (sensory impressions) in infancy, which they view retrospectively as the first indicators of their children’s later identified giftedness. This may well be true in some cases, but these experiences cannot be generalized or applied to all gifted children.


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