A common misunderstanding about gifted children is that their giftedness does not become apparent until after they start school. Gifted traits, however, can be recognized in toddlers. If you know what to look for you can also recognize gifted characteristics in infants!
Characteristics of Giftedness in Infants
- Extremely alert -- always looking around
- Needs less sleep than most other babies
- Needs almost constant stimulation when awake
- May begin to mimic sounds earlier than other babies
- Tend to be exceptionally sensitive to sounds, smells, textures, tastes and may cry vigorously in response to unpleasant or stong ones. (These are early signs of Dabrowski's "supersensitivities."
A baby does not have to have each of these signs in order to be gifted, but many babies who turn out to be gifted children will usually display more than one.
The most recognized trait is extreme alertness. The hardest trait to recognize is the exceptional sensitivities. When these babies cry as a result of these sensitivities, it may seem as though they are crying for no apparent reason, so parents believe they have a "difficult" baby. Sometimes parents may even believe the baby has colic. The babies, however, could be crying because they don't like the feel of their clothing or of the diaper, or perhaps the smell of dinner is too strong.