Pediatricians may face questions from families about a child’s exceptional abilities and the special services available for such a gifted child; familiarity with the issues can facilitate a supportive and helpful conversation.

Although most commonly associated with intellectual abilities, giftedness in children may present in various ways. Child development specialists find that gifted children can manifest exceptional skills in one or more particular domains. The areas of superior ability may be academic, for example, mathematics, or may take form in other areas, such as in the arts, music, or athletics. No widespread consensus exists for a single definition of giftedness, but in addition to having advanced skills, children with giftedness also make connections easily, display curiosity or love of learning, and acquire new skills rapidly.

Discerning how to measure giftedness may be even more challenging. The National Association for Gifted Children defines gifted individuals as “those who demonstrate outstanding levels...

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