Characteristics of Gifted Students

A large group of Student Services staff members with Superintendent Don Haddad

Characteristics of Gifted Students

Characteristics of Gifted Students and Gifted Students with Learning Difficulties

General Characteristics of Intellectually Gifted Students*Characteristics of Gifted Students with Learning Difficulties
Accelerated pace of learning; retain information with less repetitionMay struggle with basic skills and reading due to processing deficits; may need compensatory strategies to ease learning
High verbal abilityHigh verbal ability but problems with written language; may use language inappropriately
Keen powers of observationStrong observational skills; however, may have deficits in memory skills
Strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skillsStrong critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills; excel in solving “real world” problems
Long attention spans, persistent, and intense ability to concentrateFrequently have problems with concentration but in areas of interest are able to focus for long periods of time
Innovative; creative in generating thoughts, ideas, and actionsUnusual imagination; extremely  divergent in thinking; generate original but sometimes “bizarre” ideas
Take risksOften unwilling to take academic risks; take risks in non-school-related areas sometimes without considering consequences
May mature at different rates than same-age peersSometimes appear immature due to use of anger, withdrawal, and/or crying in dealing with difficulties
IndependentRequire teacher support and feedback in deficit areas; can be more independent in interest areas; may appear stubborn and inflexible
SensitiveSensitive toward own deficits; can be critical of self and others; may engage in antisocial behaviors, though generally sensitive to the feelings of others
May have problems with friendships; may be isolated due to lack of intellectual peers or students with similar interestsMay have problems with friends due to poor social skills; may appear to be loners since they do not represent a typical model of giftedness
Exhibit leadership abilitiesMay emerge as a leader among less traditional students; demonstrate “street smarts”; deficits may impact leadership abilities
Wide range of interestsWide interests but deficits may hinder ability to follow them
Passion for particular topicsPassion for particular topics to the exclusion of others; interests often not school related

*Nielsen, E.M., et al. Characteristics of Intellectually Gifted Students and Gifted Students with Learning Difficulties.  In an unpublished manuscript.  Albuquerque Public Schools, 2000.