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How can you determine if your baby/toddler is gifted?

Gifted Parenting and Strategies

We recently received the following message from a parent of a precocious baby:

Q: I’m reaching out because I have a 7-month-old baby who, I believe, is gifted. From day one she was very alert and seemed aware in a way most babies aren’t. She has been reaching most of the milestone 1.5 to 2 months early. She recently turned 7 months old, has been crawling for weeks, can crawl up stairs, can stand for very long, using whatever she founds to pull herself up, pushes things to take steps and is working really hard on balancing on her own! She has been feeding herself since she was a 4-month-old. Her verbal skills may not seem advanced, which I know is a better sign that gross motor skills but I think it is because she is raised bilingual. I mostly speak to her in French but our social interactions are in English and sometimes Spanish. Is she at a normal rate of development or is there a possibility that she is gifted? Do you had any advice or resources to share to help me support her?

A: It can be difficult to determine giftedness at such a young age because many gifted identification tests and assessments are aimed at students who are two, three, or four years old at the earliest. However, the research shows that gifted kids tend to gain skills with ease and at a particularly fast rate, and this is why a differentiated school curriculum is required for such children. The following charts developed by GERRIC have been gathered over many years of research and are presented here as a guideline. What you should be looking for is broad consistent advancement, rather than the odd isolated advanced ability.

General Motor Examples

AbilityNormal AgeGifted Age (30% Advanced)
Sits up alone7 months4.9 months
Stands alone well117.7
Crawls upstairs1510.5
Walks upstairs1812.6
Turns pages of a book1821
Walks on tiptoes3033.6
Skips with one foot only4833.6
Throws ball4833.6
Skips with alternating feet6042

Fine Motor Examples
Keep your child’s drawings and date them!

AbilityNormal AgeGifted Age (30% Advanced)
Plays with rattle3 months2.1 months
Pulls strings adaptively74.9
Holds object (Finger + Thumb)96.3
Holds crayon adaptively117.7
Scribbles Spontaneously139.1
Folds paper2114.7
Draws a person with 2 parts4833.6
Copies a triangle6042
Draws a person with neck, hands and clothes7250.4

Cognitive-Language Examples

AbilityNormal AgeGifted Age (30% Advanced)
Social smile at people1.5 months1.05
Searches with eyes for sound2.21.54
Vocalizes 2 different sounds2.31.61
Says "Dada" (or equivalent)7.95.53
Responds to name and "no"96.3
Looks at pictures in a book107
Has vocabulary of 4-6 words1510.5
Follows directions to put object on chair etc.17.812.46
3-word sentences2416.8
Gives full name3021
Counts objects to 33625.2

(Source: The Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre [GERRIC], The University of New South Wales, SYDNEY Australia).

Other Resources

You may also find the article, How to Get Your Child Tested for Giftedness helpful for information on how to find someone to test your child. In the meantime, you may find the following resources of help:


Anischa Van Rooyen

my baby boy was 6 months when he says his first words, turn a page of a book and show us where his feet are when we have asked for it... 3 months old when he was starts moving on music and drinking out of a cup..

Lita lusher

Now I’m looking at the chart above and not sure what to do. My daughter, she just turned 2.5 years old had surpassed many of them on the Advance/gifted chart. She stands by herself at 6 months old and start walking at 8 months old, she literally was able to engage in book reading since 4 months old, open the page by 5 months.
And tonight she wrote a letter “H” (which is first letter of her name)
Many more. We always record her milestones


My daughter is 10 months old and says around 30 words, including 3 word sentences such as "I did it","I love dada", Get up now", and "I want that". At times we can have entire conversations with her although her vocabulary is still limited at this point (and she still speaks some gibberish too.) She pointed at me and looked back and forth in our directions as we were taking turns talking to her in the hospital at 1 day old. The nurses said she was very alert. Ever since she was 4 months old, she will intently watch videos especially with classical music for over 20 minutes at a time. She started playing peekaboo with me at 6 months old by hiding behind a cloth and then pulling it down and laughing. I never taught her that or thought she was old enough to play it yet. When I hand her clothes she will attempt to put them on by pulling them over her head or setting them on her legs. She can successfully put on scarves. She has boxes and boxes of toys because she gets bored so quickly, I cycle them around.
She pretends to "read" books with her finger moving over the words and can turn the pages by herself. Here is the real kicker, they say she has down's syndrome. I am not sure how any of this is possible. My older son was advanced and only started speaking 2 word sentences at 13 months and did not play games with me like this. Based on tests he took, he was placed in advanced courses in high school which he refused and later got a scholarship to study engineering at a prestigious college.

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