Gifted Children and Prodigies are two completely separate things.

I wonder if this is why its taking so long to identify and cater for gifted kids in our society and education system, is it simply because we confuse gifted kids with those who are considered prodigies?

What is a prodigy?

Well put very simply a prodigy is a child who is extremely skilful at something that usually only adults can do. From what I gather a prodigy will have one area of talent for example music, and will have started playing and having lessons from a very young age, around three.  It is the one area that they excel at and spend several hours a day practicing.  I have heard it said that it takes 10 years to become an expert in any field, so the child who starts playing music at age three would be at expert level by age thirteen.

What is a gifted child?

Again put very simply a gifted child learns earlier, faster and differently than children of the same age. Gifted children can excel in one or more areas; they usually have a wide variety of interests. Gifted children sometimes have difficulty in the classroom as the pace is too slow for them. Often parents  who have had their children assessed and have come away with the ‘gifted’ label find that when they talk with the school about this they are told ‘we see no sign of anything exceptional’ and I wonder if that is because they are looking for and thinking gifted = genius?

Would love to hear some opinions on this one.