All children are special, but being a ‘genius’ is an innate ability, an aptitude of a different league that sets the Einstein’s, Steve Jobs and Marie Curies apart. Professor Joan Freeman explains how to identity extraordinary intelligence in children and how to help gifted young children make the most of their brilliant minds.

Joan says: “There’s no magic formula for giftedness. It is in the genes – you need to have it for it to be developed – but without the opportunity to develop, a child’s extraordinary abilities are unlikely to be recognised. So, do what you can to encourage your child’s instinctive curiosity and love of learning. If they are indeed gifted, this will become apparent.

Below are some tell-tale signs taken from Mensa’s advice which, when combined, may indicate that your child is gifted.

  • An unusual memory
  • Passing intellectual milestones early
  • Reading early
  • Unusual hobbies or interests or an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects
  • Intolerance of other children
  • An awareness of world events
  • Set themselves impossibly high standards
  • A high achiever
  • Prefers to spend time with adults or in solitary pursuits
  • Loves to talk
  • Asks questions all the time
  • Learns easily
  • Developed sense of humour
  • Musical
  • Likes to be in control
  • Makes up additional rules for games
  • Extrovert/introvert

If your child is over the age of ten, the Mensa Supervised IQ test can suitably test your child to find out if they are gifted. Younger children, however, can be assessed by an educational psychologist to find out their IQ score – your local health authority or education authority can help you to find the most suitable professionals in your area.

To find out more about gifted children, visit the following sites:

Mensa, The High IQ Society –

Professor Joan Freeman’s Advice –

‘Gifted’, A film exploring a parent’s discovery of his child’s special talent –