What is “Gifted”?

With nearly every expert in the field, you will encounter slightly or very different definitions of what it means to be gifted. Webster’s offers a very broad definition of the word “gifted” as “having great special talent or ability” or “having exceptionally high intelligence.” The  Ohio Department of Education is much more specific on what it means to be gifted:
Superior Cognitive Ability
Score two standard deviations above the mean minus the standard error of measurement on an intelligence test, perform at or above the 95th percentile on a basic or composite battery of a nationally- normed achievement test, or attain an approved score on an above grade-level standardized, nationally-normed test.
Specific Academic Ability in a Field
Perform at or above the 95th percentile at the national level on a standardized achievement test of specific academic ability in that field. A child may be identified as gifted in more than one specific academic ability field.
Creative Thinking Ability
Score one standard deviation above the mean minus the standard error of measurement on an intelligence test and attain a sufficient score, as established by the Department, on a test of creative ability or a checklist of creative behavior.
Visual or Performing Arts Ability
Demonstrate to a trained individual through a display of work, an audition, or other performance or exhibition, superior ability in a visual or performing arts area and attain a sufficient score, as established by the Department, on a checklist of behaviors related to a specific arts area.
We recommend several sources for you to learn more about giftedness in general.  These sites also offer links to many other sites, so that you may broaden your search or delve deeper into a specific topic of interest.
  • Davidson Institute for Talent Development This organization’s site offers information for parents and educators. One of its unique characteristics is its Gifted Education State Policy Database. Be sure to check out their Article Library in the GT-CyberSource section.
  • Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page This is one of the most comprehensive gifted websites you could hope to find. Beginners should check out the Gifted 101 and Gifted 102 pages.
  • Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted As their name implies, SENG focuses on the emotional needs of gifted children and adults. Among other things, their site offers a comprehensive Articles Library.

The myriad of questions asked by parents always includes the debate of schooling options for their gifted child. If this tops your list, you are not alone. In fact, The Super Saturday Program began in 1981 by a handful of parents who felt compelled to provide enrichment for their gifted children because they were not being served in regular school. Most of us face considerable challenge in learning about and considering the various options for our eager learners.

Because our children and family circumstances differ, schooling decisions are highly personal and unique for every family. As such, we do not recommend nor endorse any particular option or organization. However, we suggest that your research include the following:  Ohio Department of Education.  The ODE site contains a wealth of information, and parents can learn what the state is doing in regards to gifted education.