Understanding high intelligence in kids

While we typically associate the title of genius with adults (like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking), the truth is that those people started off as children. They may have developed their IQ over time, but they were born with a high intelligence level. Raising a gifted child, especially one with extreme intelligence, can be puzzling for some parents. Fortunately, you're not alone – many others have helped foster growth and natural intelligence in their bright kids. With that in mind, here are some facts to help you better understand a high IQ in your kids: 

They may demonstrate asynchronous development
Having an incredibly intelligent child (especially one with a genius IQ of 140 or greater) can be a confusing experience. At one moment, your child could be quoting a medical textbook or discussing scientific theory but then exhibit childish behaviors the next. Going from a high-level conversation to one suited to your child's age can seem jarring – this child refusing to eat broccoli was just correcting my grammar?

Psychologists call this dual behavior asynchronous development. It basically means that your child's cognitive skills are developing faster than his or her emotional and social abilities. Be aware of this trait in your very gifted child in order to better understand him or her and prepare yourself to help.

Traits of a highly gifted child
While looking for certain traits isn't the most reliable way to gauge your child's intelligence, parents of exceptionally intelligent kids generally list a few characteristics they noticed in their little ones. For instance, being very alert as an infant, learning language quickly and early motor development are common among gifted kids.

Taking an IQ test
If you believe your child is gifted, you can have him or her take an IQ test. While some tests, like the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, do work at age 2, waiting until your child is age 4 will yield more accurate results. Before your child goes into the test, you should know what various scores mean. A score of 100 indicates your child has an average intelligence compared to other kids his or her age. If the score is between 130 and 138, your child is gifted. In the 138 to 140 range is highly gifted, and above 140 is exceptionally gifted or genius.

Your child's score can change over time, as learning new information improves IQ. The score your child earns at a young age may be different than the one he or she gets after graduating from high school.

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