Gifted Defined


Illinois Definition of Gifted and Talented

Children/youth with outstanding talent who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other children/youth of their age, experience, and environment. A Child shall be considered gifted and talented in any area of aptitude, and specifically, in language arts and math, by scoring in the top 5% locally in the area of aptitude.

Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Compiled Statues Section 5, Public Act 094-0151, Article 14


While some commonalities exist across giftedness, one size does not fit all.  Gifted learners exhibit different characteristics, traits, and ways to express their giftedness.  Various issues must be considered for identification:

  • Giftedness is dynamic, not static. Identification needs to occur over time, with multiple opportunities to exhibit gifts.  
  • Giftedness is represented through all racial, ethnic, income levels, and exceptionality groups.   
  • Giftedness may be exhibited within a specific interest or category—and even a specific interest within that category.   
  • Early identification in school improves the likelihood that gifts will be developed into talents.

To get more information about identification, characteristics/traits of gifted, test assessments, and domain/level of giftedness please visit the National Association for Gifted Children Website


Advocacy is an important part of ensuring that your child is provided the best learning environment based on their learning abilities.  The national organization, National Association for Gifted Children is an excellent advocacy resource for working with you teachers, school, administration and/or congressman. 

The federal government plays a small role in gifted education policies and funding. Decisions are made at the state level, which then requires localities to follow the state’s guidelines on identification and programming or allows localities to make independent decisions about gifted education. Each state and, in some states, each district or school will have differing policies and practices related to advanced learners - The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has information on advocacy at the state level.