Signals giftedness, giftedness and high sensitivity

How do you know if your child is extra gifted or sensitive? At a very young age, we cannot determine that exactly. We are still talking about a development lead. You notice that your child is ahead of peers, both cognitively and in feeling and being. However, this does not always result in being highly or more gifted. Good to know: giftedness and sensitivity often go hand in hand.

Indicative test

Is your child gifted, gifted or highly sensitive? We have made an indicative self-test for young children. Fill it in and you will have more certainty. You will hear the result during a no-obligation telephone appointment that we will plan immediately. (To avoid misconceptions, we don’t provide automated results.) Start the indicative self-test >>

Some characteristics of giftedness or giftedness

  • Rapid cognitive development
  • Consciousness in being and feeling
  • Feeling is often very intense, so are the expressions
  • Development phases follow each other in quick succession, sometimes phases are skipped
  • Are quickly ready to discover something new
  • Learning a new skill by observing
  • Strong will
  • Great need for autonomy
  • Lots of Energie

Some characteristics of high sensitivity

  • Irritation from loud noises, bright lights, crowds, labels in clothes, seams in socks or clothing fabric
  • Discomfort with surprises
  • Nervous or fear of failure with high expectations
  • Scared by an angry atmosphere and anger after fright
  • Strong need for peace and quiet, but at the same time find it difficult to give in to it
  • Great empathy for the emotions of other children and adults
  • High involvement in events in the environment

Fast and intense, sometimes slow and intense

In general you can say that these children go through the phases that each child goes through more quickly from birth. Sometimes skip phases. For example, he or she does not babble and immediately speaks well, does not crawl and immediately starts walking.

But things don’t always go faster. It also happens that these children take longer than average to reach the next stage. You do see an extra intensity.

Usually the babies reach milestones earlier, such as making eye contact, lifting head, smiling, being awake. Sometimes even so much earlier that the mother is looked at with a bit of pity by her friends when she shouts joyfully that her two-week-old child was smiling at her. Parents can then start to doubt what they see and sometimes interpret signals differently.

I’m not even two yet and I’m already saying ‘no’

Parents often see an enormous willpower and urge to decide for themselves what happens. In combination with an often sky-high energy, this ensures that parents experience raising their child as quite spicy. Your schedule and that of your child can really be completely at odds with each other.

You really have to start communicating with your young child, it also takes some searching. Mind you, many of these children understand a lot at an early age. Sometimes you manage to talk calmly and explain why you are going to grandma’s NOW and not be able to pet a walking dog first.

And sometimes that doesn’t work and then your child learns that he or she can’t always get what he wants. The child’s meltdown in response can be extremely intense.

The autonomy of these children, their drive to investigate what they find interesting, is very great. Not being able to do what is felt with such necessity is painful for them.

The awake look

Often parents observe an alert, awake look in their small child. A baby follows birds in their flight, looks directly at people, is present in a clear way. This characteristic is often so obvious that others see it and name it. The baby also wants to explore and seems determined and tireless.

It is also striking that young children have a good memory and can ask their parents about something that happened a year ago. There are also children who already know their way around the playground at a young age – and hang upside down in the pram when they see that they are only three blocks away. If it turns out that the playground is really not on the program, that is sometimes a huge disappointment.


Overstimulation is one thing, understimulation often produces the same picture. In short, young children can become busy or lethargic and tired of a stimulus problem. It is a great art to recognize whether more or less stimuli are desired.

In general, these children need challenges and new things, sooner and more than other children. A toy that was fun yesterday is boring today. But it can also happen the other way around, if yesterday was a busy day with new impressions, your little one needs today to undergo different experiences to process all those stimuli.

More than a cognitive development

Giftedness, giftedness and developmental advantage are more than just rapid cognitive development. We only see a part of the child if we do not also include in the observation the characteristics that say something about feeling and being. Many gifted children are also extra sensitive. We have to take all these aspects into account if we want to see the child as it is. And offer what it needs to be able to develop in an environment that is sometimes not quite appropriate. It is slightly different for every child.

It seems like my baby is in a hurry

With giftedness, it is not only the accelerated cognitive development that stands out. Feeling and being are also fundamentally different. For them, an experience can be more intense than people around them expect. At the same time, they whistling about some things that are very complex for others. Development is often asynchronous, meaning faster than average in some aspects, slower or age-appropriate in others. “He doesn’t really ride a bike yet, does he?”