Synonyms in a broader sense

Talent, high talent, special talent, genius, special talent, high intelligence, highly intelligent, highly gifted, high performance, achiever, underachiever, Giftedness.

English: highly gifted, highly talented, endowment, giftedness, achievement, achievment, underachievement, underachievment.


From a scientific point of view, giftedness is understood to mean the potential ability to achieve high intellectual achievements. A prerequisite for this, in turn, is a high level of general intelligence, which is characterized by extraordinary information absorption and processing, as well as extraordinary skills in the area of ​​thinking and problem solving. Since giftedness cannot be visualized directly, this is done using an intelligence test. If the result is around or above a value of 130, it is assumed that they are gifted. However, this does not necessarily mean that giftedness is symptomatic or reflected in performance.

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Symptoms of giftedness

Already on the basis of the various models that attempt to clarify the term “gifted” and gifted behavior, value is placed on the distinction between internal and external influencing factors. Heller and Haney in particular emphasize that the ability to achieve highly gifted achievements can even wither under certain circumstances, but that favorable influencing factors can certainly also strengthen the ability to achieve special achievements.

Below you will find one List of different behaviors that can be seen in different phases of life. If certain behaviors or combinations of behaviors occur, it does not mean that a child is gifted. Nor does it necessarily mean that a gifted child will exhibit these behaviors got to.

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Possible indications of giftedness - symptomatic behaviors

Ability to think and learn

  • expressive language that draws on a vocabulary that seems rather unusual for the respective age.
  • have an increased need to learn
  • critical thinking ability, which evaluates problems neutrally and independently according to one's own level of knowledge
  • logical thinking is strong
  • spatial imagination
  • Quickly looking through the cause and effect mechanisms
  • quick storage of (interesting / general) facts
  • See through connections
  • Compare similar processes / incidents, ...
  • provide transfer services by looking through the underlying principles and connecting them to existing knowledge.
  • can generalize learned processes / knowledge based on the example
  • ...

Work behavior

  • intrinsic (internally self-controlled) motivation: thirst for knowledge and motivation
  • Independent work, also independently of others
  • strive for perfection
  • seem bored with routine tasks
  • prefer complex tasks in return
  • usually have a high working pace
  • work with determination
  • appear very self-critical, for example with regard to the problem-solving process, the pace of work or the result
  • Interest in topics from the adult world
  • flexible working (weighing up alternatives, rethinking strategies, ...)
  • targeted work
  • do not like to give up (tough stamina)
  • Ingenuity
  • ...

Social behavior

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  • often have older friends who have a knowledge advantage over their peers
  • rarely have friends of the same age
  • would like to be the “determiner” and would like to try to take command.
  • Therefore, we are happy to take responsibility
  • Accept the opinion of others (including those of authorities) only after thorough examination
  • have great sense of justice
  • ...

Are some of the symptoms familiar to you? You can also read more on the subject of "giftedness in adults".

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It is particularly understandable that conditional factors that do not harmonize with one another can not only atrophy the ability to achieve special achievements. People can only rarely accept that external factors have a negative impact on the overall constellation and thus inhibit people as such. A “suppressed” ability to achieve particular intellectual achievements can also have a negative effect on the child's development. Behavioral problems and even learning difficulties are particularly conceivable.

It is therefore not necessarily possible to assume that gifted children will always be noticed as such. Gifted children can stand out - in both positive and negative ways.
In addition, the occurrence of a Partial disordersuch as dyslexia or dyscalculia, do not rule out the possibility that a child is gifted. In contrast to the assumption that gifted children do not also have problems in certain areas, there is even the definition of partial performance weaknesses that mention the occurrence of problems in certain areas despite normal to even above-average intelligence.

Because of their intellectual abilities, gifted children often appear to be “little adults” and think about their peers. The problem, however, is that this is usually not the case on the emotional level. The social skills of a gifted child are therefore very important, otherwise the fact of being isolated as an outsider becomes very likely.

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It happens again and again subjective misjudgments, especially on the part of the parents. Due to the fact that education seems to be becoming more and more important, the desire for special talent combined with the desire for active support is quite understandable. However, as can be seen from the percentage distribution, very few children are supposedly gifted.

Features of giftedness in different age groups

Characteristics of giftedness in teenagers

Whether young people benefit from or suffer from their giftedness depends, among other things, on the support they received in their earlier school days. While they usually enjoy learning new skills, the pace in a normal school is often too slow for them and they are bored with repeating and practicing new material. They concentrate unusually well and intensively on things that interest them, but the necessary learning of less exciting topics is much more difficult for them. As a result, many highly gifted teenagers even have bad grades in school and problems in their social environment, which makes it much more difficult to recognize high intelligence. If those affected are therefore not diagnosed in childhood, they often fall through the cracks as adolescents. They often suffer from social exclusion and find it difficult to make friends, as their high intelligence also influences their behavior and they do not always get along well with their peers. So while gifted teenagers with the right support can show enormous achievements at an early age, they suffer enormously from their giftedness without professional support. Special schools and boarding schools that specialize in gifted young people can help those affected deal with their talent.

Also read our topic: Problems of giftedness

Characteristics of giftedness in young children

Giftedness is usually noticed for the first time in small children. It is particularly noticeable through accelerated development, such as by learning differentiated language at an early age and questioning many things that people of the same age are not even interested in. Some children even skip entire development phases, e.g. start to run straight away without crawling in front of it. Gifted children have one good powers of observation, demonstrate great interest in their surroundings and ask a lot of questionsto quench their thirst for knowledge. You have one excellent memory and can concentrate well on the things they enjoy. For many gifted children this is what Frustration tolerance low and patience is not one of their strengths. They are often stubborn, want to be independent early on and are irritable about activities that they find boring. There is also a pronounced sensitivity in many gifted children, which means that they can hardly cope with rejection (e.g. from other children in kindergarten) and feel excluded and "different". With insufficient support, giftedness can be lost again, especially with small children. early funding is therefore advisable.

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You might also be interested in this topic: Giftedness

Features of giftedness in adults

Gifted adults are capable of tremendous achievement when they have learned to use their talents. To do this, they have to have received appropriate support and training and enjoy their work. However, if they were not promoted because the giftedness was not recognized or recognized late, for example, or if they work in a job in which they cannot use their talents properly, their high intelligence gives them more disadvantages than advantages. Because not every gifted person expresses itself conspicuously, those affected do not necessarily have to be “geniuses”. Many do not consider themselves particularly gifted because they often underperform and attribute failures to inadequate rather than exceptional skills. They cannot exploit their potential and are therefore so-called "underachievers", i.e. underperformers who achieve less than they actually could. It is not easy to think of giftedness as a trigger for the problems at this stage. However, if the talent is still determined, there are various offers from doctors, associations and other agencies that help the person affected to still exhaust their potential.

You might also be interested in the following topic: Adult Giftedness, Autism Spectrum Disorder

Features of giftedness in babies

Identifying high intelligence in baby age is almost impossible, and most of the developmental steps in which giftedness would become noticeable are still ahead of the children. Recognizing giftedness in babies is therefore very difficult and in many cases not feasible. However, im In retrospect, many children have common abnormalities as early as infancy. Parents report a low need for sleep and constant screaming for attention. The babies are reluctant to be alone and want to be constantly entertained. They maintain close eye contact from an early age and are very attentive, but are often perceived as exhausting due to their high need for attention. Recognizing giftedness at this age would be beneficial because this would ensure early support. However, a developmental lead can also disappear again and effective support can begin in kindergarten at the earliest, which is why the Intelligence testing in infants is of little importance.


gifted - yes or no?

Based on the Measurement of the intelligence quotient With the appropriate test procedures, about 2% of the people examined in a comparison group (= same test, same age) can be found in the IQ range of 130 and higher. The 2% relate to the people examined and not to the general population.
Roughly estimated and from a purely statistical point of view, it is assumed that there is a highly gifted child in roughly every second grade of primary school.
The intelligence quotient (= IQ) determined by means of an intelligence test is not a generally valid result.It reflects the intelligence that a person possesses at a certain point in time and in relation to their peers. In particular, the external factors influence further development in a special way. Viewed symbolically, an IQ - similar to the body weight of a person - can increase or decrease due to external factors.
The Gender distribution in the area of ​​giftedness is the same. Girls are just as often gifted as boys.

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Gifted children and young people are not little adults!

Problems arise especially when
if with the gifted children and adolescents
is handled incorrectly

Underchallenge in school

Gifted children learn faster and better than her classmates but are also much more boredwhen the school pace is too slow for them. In addition, many can only really use their special skills in areas that they enjoy. For frequent repetition and practice, as is necessary for normal students, they therefore have mostly no patience and the Frustration level is low. So if you do not attend a suitable school that can cater to your individual needs, the gifted children will lose interest in class and prefer to deal with their own thoughts and wander. So they don't notice much of the material, lose touch and at some point no longer understand what it's about. As a result, they write poor grades and perform below average, although they are actually capable of more than their classmates. In the end, this under-challenging leads to a loss of the initial joy in learning and at some point the children are overwhelmed rather than under-challenged with everyday school life. Special schools and boarding schools solve this problem with small classes, individual support and an adapted learning pace that enables the children to live out their potential.

How can you recognize giftedness in kindergarten?

In kindergarten, the children do not have to perform any demanding tasks as they do in school, so determining a high level of intelligence is not that easy. However, gifted children develop much faster than their peers. Often they are already showing a differentiated language in early childhood, high interest in the environment and accordingly ask challenging questions. They are therefore ahead of their age, often get along better with older children and may have trouble interacting with their peers. Some teach themselves to read, write and do arithmetic or pick up other skills from just watching. A.However, due to their enormous thirst for knowledge, they require a lot of attention and are perceived as more strenuous than average. So gifted children stand out in kindergarten because they are ahead of their age in terms of development and abilities, but difficult in the social environment and possibly strenuous.

What tests are there for giftedness?

By definition one speaks from an IQ of 130 points from a gifted person. The IQ test is therefore the first way for most people to determine giftedness. These tests are offered by various official bodies and measure the so-called "intelligence quotient", which compares one's own performance in the test to a sufficiently large comparison group of the same age. So one cannot measure intelligence as such, but only compare with the normal population and draw conclusions from it.
One disadvantage of the IQ test is that it cannot cover all aspects of intelligence. For example, it tests the ability to combine logical combinations and similar skills, but no creative talentwhich also represent a facet of intelligence. Therefore, in addition to the IQ test, there are also a large number of more specific intelligence tests that cover smaller sub-areas of cognitive performance and are used when a gifted person needs to be differentiated further or the IQ test turned out unexpectedly bad. Exactly which tests are used for this depends on the age and individual talent of the person to be tested and is determined by the examiner.

For more information, see: Test for giftedness or Intelligence test


Why should you warn against a misjudgment (supposed giftedness)?

If one assumes that it is better to "suspect" too much of giftedness than to overlook giftedness, one forgets it Effectsthat such behavior can have on the children. If such a suspicion is expressed to the child, it may imply the attitude in the child: “I am special”.
This alone is not necessarily to be assessed as negative, but it is bad for the child when it has to realize that its performance is at best in the average range and it cannot live up to the expectations of the parents or its new self-image.
In the interests of the child, a warning is given at this point against overly euphoric misjudgments, overly euphoric wishes and overactive support. Give your child the opportunity and the opportunity to be a child!

Promotion of giftedness

To an existing Giftedness are to be funded Concentration games particularly advisable.
For this purpose, we have developed a game in combination with a game manufacturer, which can playfully promote giftedness.

Through the combination of concentration and play, various goals can be achieved very well.

We particularly value the high quality and workmanship of this game.

Only the correct interplay of high intellectual ability to think (IQ greater than / equal to 130), creativity (for example when solving problems), perseverance and motivation to achieve performance is based on various components and is influenced by many aspects or side effects. Due to these influences, giftedness can go undetected. Particularly in connection with ADD or ADHD, or with dyslexia or dyscalculia, giftedness may go undetected. The extent to which genetic dispositions (= individual factors) actually develop depends in a special way on the external factors that have a considerable influence on these predispositions. Even if a person can only lose their intelligence through illness, the level of training depends crucially on the accompanying factors (family, domestic support, friends, ...). Developmental advantages can manifest themselves on different levels. Advances in the intellectual - intellectual area are conceivable, but also in the musical - aesthetic, motivational or social area.

Please also read our topic: Support for gifted people


Achiever is the name given to those highly gifted children and young people who, due to their high level of intelligence (IQ from 130), perform well which they are expected to do due to their high level of talent.

Due to their high talent, Achievers can also have some problems with themselves and the environment, but the performance is in line with expectations.


There is a certain proportion of gifted people who go undetected because their academic performance does not give the impression of being gifted. This group of gifted people is called underachievers - they achieve less than their intellect could allow them to. They cannot convert their intellectual abilities into (school / cognitive) performance.

In addition to underachievement, there are also children and young people among the gifted who have problems in a school area. Even gifted people can suffer from dyslexia or dyscalculia.

Read more on the subject of underachievement and partial performance impairment despite giftedness:

  • Problems of giftedness

More pages on giftedness

Here you will find further information on the topic of the Giftedness:

  • Giftedness
  • Giftedness in adults
  • Causes of giftedness
  • Problems of giftedness
  • Diagnosis of giftedness
  • Intelligence test
  • Support for gifted people
  • Educational games

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