Human intelligence is the capacity that allows a person to learn, understand, reason and make decisions in relation to his or her surroundings. When these capacities are innately superior to those of other people, we can speak of giftedness .

Gifted people are those who enjoy superior intelligence, remarkable creativity and extreme curiosity. All this makes these people with special needs and requirements, and in the case of children, a specialized professional orientation is of great importance.

What is super gifting?

The term intellectual giftedness refers to those people with superior intellectual abilities compared to the average abilities determined by the various IQ assessment tests. Specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) establishes that a gifted person is one who has an IQ of more than 130 points .

Likewise, a distinction must be made between giftedness and a person with remarkable specific skills, since the former is considered innate and cannot be achieved through practice, and the latter is achieved through teaching and/or repetition.

However, giftedness does not have to be at a general level; it can occur in a specific field of knowledge. A person may be born with special skills or gifts for music but not for mathematics.

Model of the three rings

Gifted specialist Joseph Renzulli (1936) developed a model called the Three Ring Model, which examines the characteristics that a child or gifted person should have in order to be distinguished as such.

According to this model, a gifted person must possess a perfect and balanced combination of these three qualities:

  • High intelligence : the person must have high capacities in terms of his information processing system.
  • Creativity: you must be a creative person with divergent thinking.
  • Involvement in tasks : the person must be sufficiently motivated to ensure the success of his/her potential.

Types of giftings

Within the framework of Spanish legislation, specifically in the Ordering of Students with Special Educational Needs, the existence of different types of giftedness is distinguished.

This distinction is made on the basis of whether the person has a creative giftedness or a high IQ giftedness.

1. Creative giftedness

People who are attributed a creative giftedness are characterised by a hyper-developed sense of humour and a playful disposition that is extrapolated to all areas of their lives.

Professionals usually find it very difficult to recognize this type of giftedness, since traditional intelligence tests are not useful for it. However, there is a little known test to evaluate people with this type of ability and it is The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTTC).

The traits examined in this test are

  • Originality
  • Fluidity of ideas
  • Elaboration
  • Sense of humor
  • Vision of unusual perspectives
  • Rich in imagination
  • Imaginative quality
  • Resistance to closing
  • Abstraction of titles
  • Ability to extend or break full-form joints

2. High IQ giftedness

People with an IQ score above 140 points are considered to have a high general intelligence. But within this category three groupings can be distinguished:

2.1. Gifted with a privileged context with an IC around 140

These people understand teaching as something playful. In children, they are able to keep the mind active and attentive for much longer than the rest of their peers who have a closer to average intelligence. They are able to sustain their activity for longer and tend to have a sleep pattern with fewer hours than usual.

As for personality traits, they are usually confident and non-conformist, and show very critical attitudes compared to other children, sometimes even overestimating themselves.

In addition, they enjoy a great talent for problem solving, as well as a high capacity for reaction and endurance in tense or stressful situations. Although, occasionally, they fail in their sensitivity due to their high self esteem and self confidence.

2.2. Gifted with scarce economic resources

Unlike the previous ones, gifted people but with scarce economic resources possess a considerable emotional sensitivity , to the point of blaming themselves for possessing abilities at a much higher level than their peers.

This emotional sensitivity makes them much nicer to their peers and develops a great sense of friendship. In addition, they often feel the need to make a good impression and please as many people as possible.

Because of all this, they are usually highly valued by peers and teachers, and tend to end up being the group leaders but without presenting positions of authority or dominance. Likewise, they are characterized by being more conformist and less spontaneous, possessing a much higher integration of norms and rules.

Gifted people raised in resource-poor contexts have a great fear of failure, so they usually do not have to take too many risks. In children, they are usually much more aware of the reality around them, and this vision can be reflected in different settings:

  • High esteem for school and the different learning media
  • Learning in an articulated way , relating all the theories to the surrounding context
  • Tasks , less childish occupations and interests.

2.3. Extremely early gifted

The third subgroup of this category is made up of those people who, along with their giftedness , present some type of severe personality disorder , which in most cases presents as schizophrenia.

These people shelter in intellectual occupations and hobbies that separate them from psychosis and help them to simulate an ordinary way of life, one could say that it is a defense mechanism in the form of regulatory therapy.

During the childhood stage, these children have great obstacles to maintain any kind of relationship with their peers, so that, generally, they end up being marginalized by their peers, even to the point of suffering some affective disorder.

In addition, they are able to relate everything they have learned to reality, sometimes displaying strange behaviour and sudden and unexpected reactions. This ability to understand leads them not to tolerate certain behaviors, and being aware of their high abilities they respond in an aggressive and biting way.

In spite of this, they enjoy a significant learning speed, as well as outstanding communication skills , being the elaborated and concise speech very characteristic of these people.