No parent of a gifted child likes the word 'gifted'

There are many definitions out there for what ‘gifted’ means. Here is a list of the definitions we use at National Center for Gifted Services.


Glossary of Terms


Asynchronous Development –

“Asynchrony is the term used to describe the mismatch between the cognitive, emotional, and physical development of gifted individuals.” (National Association of Gifted Children)


Gifted –

“Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.  This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.”  (The Columbus Group)


Gifted Child-Literate –

“A practitioner or service provider who understand the intellectual, social, emotional, physiological and other unique characteristics and needs of gifted children.” (National Center for Gifted Services)

High Ability Learner –

“A high ability learner is a student who gives evidence of high performance capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, or artistic capacity or in specific academic fields and who requires accelerated or differentiated curriculum programs in order to develop those capabilities.” (The Ralston Group)


Profoundly Gifted (pg) –

“Profoundly gifted individuals score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ tests and have an exceptionally high level of intellectual prowess. These students score at least three standard deviations above the norm on the bell curve, so they are at the extreme end of the intelligence, or IQ, continuum.” (Davidson Institute)


Twice Exceptional (2e) –

“A 2e child usually refers to a child who, alongside being considered intellectually above average, is formally diagnosed with one or more disabilities.” (National Education Association)


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