Davidson Institute - Getting Started for Parents

Is my child gifted? There are many definitions of giftedness and equally as many ways to formally identify whether or not a child is gifted. The best place to start is to determine whether or not your child demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • an extreme need for constant mental stimulation
  • an ability to learn and process complex information rapidly
  • a need to explore subjects in surprising depth
  • an insatiable curiosity, as demonstrated by endless questions and inquiries.
  • More...


What kinds of educational options are available for gifted students? There are many options to consider based on the unique needs of the individual student. Since there is no federal mandate for gifted programs, there is significant variability in the content and quality of gifted programs offered throughout the United States.

Even if there’s not a gifted program available in your child’s school or district, there are a number of things you can do to create opportunities for him or her. Educational advocacy is a big part of parenting a gifted child. We recommend reading:


Should I have my child tested to determine his/her IQ? Having a child tested solely to assign a number to his/her abilities is not recommended, particularly in very young children. Rather, it makes the most sense to have an assessment in order to inform educational placement and to identify relative strengths and weaknesses that play a role in how well a child processes information.

An optimal testing experience will include both IQ and achievement tests, as well as other relevant tests, which will help to determine the most appropriate academic placement, and provide a greater understanding of the child’s overall intellectual abilities.

You may find these articles helpful:


How do I parent my gifted child? While there is not one prescribed “best method” for parenting a gifted child, there are certain strategies that work well for exceptionally bright children. The articles listed below offer ideas you may find beneficial. The Tips for Parents articles touch on a number of challenges common to this population, which you may encounter in raising your gifted child. Examples include perfectionism, difficulty finding intellectual peers, and a constant need for mental stimulation.

You may wish to continue your reading by searching our online Davidson Gifted Database. In addition, connecting with other parents of gifted children can provide support and insight to help you along the journey. Check with your local state gifted association in our Gifted Education State Policy Database to find local families or read about the Davidson Young Scholars program for profoundly intelligent young people.

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