Do you want to answer the unanswered questions?
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I'm the father of a 2 years and 4 months old daughter. I can't understand if she's gifted or just very bright. We live in Italy, where giftedness is not recognized by law and there are no special programs for gifted people. I'm gifted myself and going through school was extremely painful for me. My parents never realized that I was gifted therefore they never took action or did something to help me.

I never failed anything in school but I was always extremely bored and sometimes I skipped entire months and stayed at home instead. This was really painful for me, and I'm afraid that my daughter might experience the same thing. She can do a lot of things, but a the same time we taught her all of that and we spend a lot of time with her just playing, talking, reading or teaching something.

She can read about 100 words and the amount of words she's learning grows at an exponential rate (We actually measure this).
She can count up to 10 both in Italian and English and she can do simple arithmetics.
She can understand both Italian and English with ease, she only has troubles with abstract things like the idea of space, but after a little while she even got that.
She's pretty good with puzzles and problem solving in general. She can type words with a computer and use a mouse with some patience.
I understand that all of this stuff is what a gifted kid can do BUT, and I can't stress this enough, we spend A LOT of time with her. I don't get if she's just very good at learning (and she usually enjoys that) or if there's some kind of internal process that actually gives her additional insights on the world. Here in Italy we have no possibility to test her, I'm trying to create some metrics to understand that, but I feel like I'm a little biased (I feel that she's not gifted). My issue is that being gifted is not necessarily different from having a problem. Gifted kids need a specific treatment and because of the lack of support here in Italy it is crucial to me to understand that. I'm not worried about her being successful or anything else, that is not the reason why I need to understand this! So, if she's bright I'm ok, if she's gifted I need to find a way to help her.

What can I do to better understand the situation? How can I help her if she's gifted for real?

2 Answers

0 votes
(I'm going to focus on how to help her, rather than determining if she's gifted according to an external set of criteria.) Whether your daughter is considered "gifted" according to the person/methodology used to test this, go ahead & TREAT her as if she's gifted. In other words, do what you're doing now: spend time with her, help her find things she wants to learn about and focus on, and try to make her educational experience as fulfilling as possible. This will likely mean finding activities at home to further what she learns in school, along with other focuses that are completely separate from school.

Luckily, we live in an age where these resources can be more easily attained than 20 or 30 years ago (I grew up in the US and was part of a nascent gifted program, but it didn't do much for me; if it weren't for my parents, who encouraged the voracious reading I did, and gave me other things to learn about and develop outside of school, I'd've gone nuts from the boredom). So use the internet to find age-appropriate activities for learning opportunities, and guide her in how to pursue a field of interest and learn more about it. If you can find a forum with parents with similarly-gifted children, join in and discuss how they encourage their kids to develop their interests.

Even if she's not considered gifted at this minute by the school system, your encouragement of and participation with her learning could help develop that ability quicker than if she were left to her own devices.
0 votes
The widely used WAIS intelligence test has a version for children that can be taken from the age of 2 and a half; any professional psychologist should be able to administer this test. Also, if there are no special schools for gifted children in your area, try to find a school that allows bright children to skip a year. It's a simple but apparently effective solution. If only my parents had agreed to this when it was suggested by my teachers (at different ages), it might have spared me from years of boredom and alienation, and saved me a fortune on psychotherapy and medication in adult life.