Listed below are the state definitions for Colorado. While the state definitions include age requirements, it is important to remember that these ages are defined only for the purpose of receiving services.
The state definition in the Colorado Exceptional Children’s Education Act CRS 22-20-202 (6)… “Gifted child” means a person from four to twenty-one years of age whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishments are so outstanding that he or she requires special provisions to meet his or her educational needs.
The state rules for Exceptional Children’s Education Act (1CCR 301-8, Section 12) expand the definition to…. “Gifted and Talented Children” means those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted and talented children are hereafter referred to as gifted students. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, cultural populations.
Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:
- General or Specific Intellectual Ability,
- Specific Academic Aptitude,
- Creative or Productive Thinking,
- Leadership Abilities, and
- Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities.
The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act of 1988 is the federal education act for gifted and talented education. The Javits Act defines talented and gifted students as those who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity or in specific academic fields.
The Columbus Group states, A dynamic expression of “gifted” is often expressed by the term “asynchronous” development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create experiences that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching, and counseling in order to develop optimally.
Giftedness can also be understood by looking at a list of “common” gifted characteristics. But please keep in mind, these characteristics might present very differently in each child.
Aside from these definitions, it is of utmost importance to know the student, his/her interests and family priorities to understand a student’s area of strength and gifted capabilities.