Under the new rules, children as young as 3 could be identified as gifted. This has prompted some critics to complain that 3 is much too young to start labeling kids, gifted or otherwise — even though such arguments are at odds with how the state treats other students whose circumstances are in some way different, such as those with learning disabilities or physical or emotional disabilities. Virtually every study suggests that early identification of such children allows educators to intervene in ways that benefit these youngsters and that the benefits continue throughout their school careers. Why should it be any different for those who are uniquely gifted in music, mathematics, art or science? Moreover, the regulations do not require districts to identify such young children as gifted but merely create a framework for doing so if they choose.