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Gifted preschoolers?


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#1 kh79

Posted 01 July 2011 - 04:10 PM

I have been toying with writing this post for quite a while but have refrained for fear of being slammed.

I would really love to have contact with other parents who are quite certain that thier child is gifted.

I have posted quite a bit on the gifted primary school thread and found this to be extremely beneficial, on the other hand my ds is still a couple of years away from school, so my posts are not 100 per cent relevant to the group.

I find the experience of having a child who is different quite isolating and with giftedness comes a range of issues that my ds is facing. I am looking for the support of other parents who might be in this position.

Many thanks in advance for each persons help.

#2 mum850

Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:50 PM

QUOTE (kh79 @ 01/07/2011, 04:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have been toying with writing this post for quite a while but have refrained for fear of being slammed.

I would really love to have contact with other parents who are quite certain that thier child is gifted.

I have posted quite a bit on the gifted primary school thread and found this to be extremely beneficial, on the other hand my ds is still a couple of years away from school, so my posts are not 100 per cent relevant to the group.

I find the experience of having a child who is different quite isolating and with giftedness comes a range of issues that my ds is facing. I am looking for the support of other parents who might be in this position.

Many thanks in advance for each persons help.


Hi kh79,
I have seen your posts on the other gifted group.
My preschooler has just turned three. She talks her head off, long complicated sentences,  has known her letters since she was about 15 months, and is reading quite a few words, very interested in literacy. People have asked  me if she is going to school next year, and I laugh and say, well she's two (she just had her birthday). Her two siblings are gifted and also read well before school. Unfortunately she is still 2.5 years off from starting school unless I try for early entry, which is a Giant Hassle. Although she is not old enough to be in the three year old kinder room at creche, she has been put in it and is allowed to join the 4-5 year old group when they do letterland etc, and she is one of the most advanced. This is by far the most accomodating child care centre any of my kids who have been in. All of the others (we moved a lot) were very unsupportive of young kids who wanted to be reading etc. The worked actually mentioned the gifted word to me recently. This never happened before!!!
She plays with the 4  year olds at creche and I know she will be sad when her friends go off to school next year and she doesn't. And then the year after when it happens again that will be worse. Ah well,  because it's happened twice, I won't be surprised!
At this stage though, I would not say that she has any issues. I suspect that she might be bored with preschool by next year (in 3yo kinder) and the year after (in 4 yo kinder). Because she is my third, I am not worried about her at all although I guess I am expecting that she will have issues with boredom soon as that's what happened with my other kids. I guess I have very low expectations of preschool years for gifted kids.... so I am not going to be disappointed! Thinking that the child care centre would believe that your reading preschooler was reading despite the evidence in front of their noses, and take any sort of interest has lead to disappointment in the past! I have no plan or expectation that they will teach her any literacy or numeracy, creche is just playing and social stuff which is totally fine. I just got unhappy in the past when child care centres were kind of opposing the reading thing. I dont' expect them to promote it.  
She is happy, funny  and well behaved.

What issues is your DS having?

#3 kh79

Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:52 AM

Hi mum850,

thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It is lovely to hear from someone with such a wealth of experience:) your daughter sounds very special indeed!!

ds doesn't have any behavourial problems at this point, he has always been very even tempered and easy to reason with. The main things are things I have raised on the other thread- being worried as ds plays on his own constantly at childcare and doesn't seem to interact with the kids and the activites unless he chooses to. The centre raised it as a little bit of an issue. The centre is not particularly great so they have not tried to help him with this and I have no idea how to help him.

The other thing on this note is that we have decided to take him out of childcare for the next 6 months and get a nanny. This decision was made prior to understanding the issue at care. The aim is to help him impove his second language.

The other thing that you touched on already is being worried about what stage he will be at by the time he reaches school. Like your little one my ds could read all letters and numbers at 16 months. He was obssessed with number plates (just at the right height for him!)

at 13 months he Began being obssessed with the world map. My 18 months he knew where over 120 countries were. Nowdays he has forgotten dime of them but has increased his knowledge of facts about the country and it's culture.

He is also obsessed with dinosaurs and gathers all the facts he can on every dinosaur.

He has memorized countless picture books (long ones) and recites them to himself.

Currently he is enjoying playing with puzzles. It's only been a few weeks and he ha moved from 20 piece puzzles to 200 pieces.

I think all of this equates to having an exceptional memory...because none of these things have been learnt because of lots of repitition, he i'd told once and never forgets.

Like you I have no expectation on the normal childcare system to support him, I also just want him to have a carefree life filled with fun and simple toddler things.  It's more a fear if the future.

I also find it impossible to speak to people about this in real life because people either think you are boasting, which is not nice.

Many thanks for your reply

#4 mum850

Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE (kh79 @ 02/07/2011, 07:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi mum850,

thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It is lovely to hear from someone with such a wealth of experience:) your daughter sounds very special indeed!!

ds doesn't have any behavourial problems at this point, he has always been very even tempered and easy to reason with. The main things are things I have raised on the other thread- being worried as ds plays on his own constantly at childcare and doesn't seem to interact with the kids and the activites unless he chooses to. The centre raised it as a little bit of an issue. The centre is not particularly great so they have not tried to help him with this and I have no idea how to help him.

The other thing on this note is that we have decided to take him out of childcare for the next 6 months and get a nanny. This decision was made prior to understanding the issue at care. The aim is to help him impove his second language.

The other thing that you touched on already is being worried about what stage he will be at by the time he reaches school. Like your little one my ds could read all letters and numbers at 16 months. He was obssessed with number plates (just at the right height for him!)

at 13 months he Began being obssessed with the world map. My 18 months he knew where over 120 countries were. Nowdays he has forgotten dime of them but has increased his knowledge of facts about the country and it's culture.

He is also obsessed with dinosaurs and gathers all the facts he can on every dinosaur.

He has memorized countless picture books (long ones) and recites them to himself.

Currently he is enjoying playing with puzzles. It's only been a few weeks and he ha moved from 20 piece puzzles to 200 pieces.

I think all of this equates to having an exceptional memory...because none of these things have been learnt because of lots of repitition, he i'd told once and never forgets.

Like you I have no expectation on the normal childcare system to support him, I also just want him to have a carefree life filled with fun and simple toddler things.  It's more a fear if the future.

I also find it impossible to speak to people about this in real life because people either think you are boasting, which is not nice.

Many thanks for your reply


Hi KH,
I have a vision of your future!!
My oldest son sounds exactly the same. He really was never very good with "playing" and no good with kids his own age. (My other kids play.) He was obsessed by numbers and letters very early. As he was my first I didn't realise how unusualy this was. He actually started reading before we realised he could read, we knew his alphabet by the time he was two (obviously he knew it before that but I never chcked) and he was reading quite well before he turned four. ANd yes, with comprehension! We thought he was reciting for a while before realising.
With adults he is very engaging and great with older kids. Certainly every now and then I have thought, I am deluding myself, does he have an autistic spectrum disorder, but I am really confident he does not. Am I reading into your post a subtext that you or the childcare centre are concerned about this aspect of things too? If so we need to call on the fabulous badmammajamma who is the queen of highly gifted plus quirks kids.
He struggled socially through primary school, he had one really close friend but hates groups and group activities and constantly complains that the other children are immature even though he is grade skipped a year.
This year he moved to a very small school, he is in grade 6 and has just turned 11, and he really enjoys being with the year 7 and 8 kids who are 2-3 years older than he is, and he is POPULAR for the very first time ever!
I have to say his academic performance is not as stellar as it was when he was younger, or perhaps the velocity of his improvement has slowed. He has always been an amazing reader but despised writing. His maths is brilliant but careless so he gets stuff wrong. I do not think he's going to be one of those kids that gets amazing school scores, but I hope he's able to find a field he loves and is happy in, as if he does, he will do brilliantly.

I love the idea of supporting second language acquisition. I am really happy with the primary school my DD attends and my DS used to attend  (she is working 2 years above grade in class) but I am thinking of sending DD3 to a different bilingual school.

Can you tell me his month and year of birth and what state you are in? There's not much worrying to do at this stage but it would be great to be a bit careful in choosing his school. I didn't and my son had two disasterous early school experiences too tedious to go into. He was reading chapter books before starting school and the school didn't like it and couldn't deal with it!


#5 kh79

Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:56 AM

Hi there,

There have been times where I have questioned an austic spectrum disorder but have had him checked by a paediatrician and spoken to the school and all have said he is incredibly engaging.

He is very engaging with adults and with children 5 and over. The childcare raised it as an issue for him rather than because they think of asd.

The reasons I have questioned this in the past is because his abilities are so far from the norm I have been searching for reasons.

He has a little thing that he has been doing since he was 18 months old. When he meets a new person he creates a little game or picks up on a word they say often and when we sees them again he will enage them by using his little 'in'' he has with them. It is incredibly complex thing to iniatiate at his age.

He is 2.5yrs old with a birthday at the end of nov and we are in tassie.

#6 mum850

Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:04 AM

Right, so he will start at just over 5. I do not imagine early entry is a possibility. Cutoff in Tassie is I believe 5 by 1st Jan so he will be young for grade. Could be a lot worse!
My DD is just turned three and she will start at the same time.
She will be old for grade.

#7 tenar

Posted 02 July 2011 - 04:13 PM

Hi there,

I think my daughter may be moderately gifted, but it's hard to be sure at her age.  She isn't doing much that is spectacularly different to other kids her age, but she does many things well.  She is very like me in many ways.

The clearest indicator that I've noticed suggests to me that she may be musically gifted.  She is obsessed with music, could clap in time when she was 10 months old (this amazed me at the time), constantly requests music to be put on at home and tunes into it wherever we are, whenever she hears a tune or a beat.  She recognises many different instruments and tunes (which I also find pretty amazing because I can remember learning as a young child to recognise the different orchestral instruments, I certainly wasn't a toddler when that happened)  I'm trying to gently encourage her interest, but basically hoping that this turns out for her, as it is for me, to be a lifelong interest and a source of joy but not the focus of her life (I've known too many musicians - it's a seriously tough field to make a career in).  Anyway, I'm not going to discourage her either.  

Other than that, she is just starting (26 months) to be interested in learning to recognise written letters and numbers.  She loves books and has memorised many of hers, but I don't think she's reading at all yet (unlike both her father and I at this age).  She likes to count in both her languages, but only goes up to about 15 (not that this is a problem, obviously), she loves jigsaws and seems to me to have a talent for solving mathematical type problems, which she could easily have inherited from either or both of her parents.

DD has an easygoing nature and I don't think that she's going to be one of those gifted kids who is so far ahead of their peers that it causes major problems at school.  That said, I really don't know yet.  I am certainly already considering the question of where to send her to school and how to try to find a school that will be able to extend her and challenge her appropriately.  

I am also torn between the idea of encouraging her to learn things she will also learn at school or whether I should focus much more on things she won't be able to learn at school.  I think that in the end her own interests will dictate what we do these next couple of years, and we'll see how it goes.  I'm certainly not going to discourage her from reading, writing, doing maths, etc.  But since it's quite possible that she'll go to school old for her year group (it'll have to be old or very young - she's right at the cutoff), I'm a bit worried about how far she may be ahead by then.  

Anyway, time will tell.

#8 kh79

Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:06 AM

Tenar, your daughter sounds amazing! I am not very musical myself so am amazed to hear your daughter's skills at such a young age.

I agree with you that it can be hard to know what to encourage.  Like with everything i am 'child' led. I think that is why DS is so far ahead in somethings and then some other 'normal' every day things he is average or behind.  For example he wouldnt feed himself with a spoon until he was 2.  Family members told me to push him harder on it.  I dont like to push him at all so i didnt and he just decided one day that he wanted to and then did.

I would like to know from either of you if your children go through phases of interests quite intensely?

I am not sure if it is something all toddlers do but my DS will discover a passion for something and be obsessed with it for a certain length of time and then finds something else and moves onto that.  It is not like he is unable to play or focus on anything else but its just his main love.  For example he fell in love with the classic winnie the pooh stories about 2 months ago.  For about a month he just wanted me to read it constantly.  They are very long stories but his attention for them was limitless.  Then a month later he still likes it but has moved onto a love for puzzles.  Like I said he went from doing 20 piece puzzles to 200 piece puzzles within a few weeks.  I suspect in a few weeks times he will find another passion.  Has anyone had experiences of this?

Can someone tell me the difference between moderately gifted and highly gifted.  I have seen these terms thrown around but dont really understand the differences.


#9 tenar

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

kh79 I think it's normal for toddlers to have phases of intense interest in particular things.  Certainly my DD does so.  For example, she hasn't been interested in jigsaws much recently but the last couple of weeks she's been really into them, doing harder and harder ones (I'm changing them weekly at the toy library plus we have some of our own, but at the moment I honestly wish we had about 20 more of the things as she's getting bored of each one too fast).   I expect this will last another few weeks, maybe, and then she'll be onto something else.

The fascination with a particular story is also completely normal, I think.  I've spent months reading the same book over and over and over, up to several times a day, before she moves onto something new (a relief to me).  I think toddlers gain a lot from repetition of stuff, whatever level it's at.  

If you google you'll find some descriptions of moderately gifted, highly gifted, etc.  My rough understanding is that moderately gifted kids tend to stand out in their class at school, might be the "one in a hundred", but they're not "one in a thousand" and they can often be catered to in a fairly normal school environment with good extension activities offered.  This was the case for me (well, I had good extension through the gifted program at my high school, not so much in primary school, which was a problem).  A highly gifted child, however, is more like one in a thousand or less and may be difficult to cater to in anything like the usual way when they are in school.  So maybe these kids need to be working a grade or two (or more) ahead of their age group, or maybe they need more specialised attention than that.  

I'm sure that you can get much better advice about that from the "G&T school age" thread.  I don't know much about it.  

I don't think that anyone can accurately assess the level of giftedness of a toddler, but I gather that highly gifted toddlers are the ones who are more likely to be doing stuff that is really off the charts, rather than a bit ahead of their peers.  

My daughter, I think, is good at some stuff, but not off the charts at anything, which is why I think she's probably not highly gifted (and being honest with you, that's a relief).  But I'm not going to make assumptions about her until she's much older and we know more about what she is like.  Mostly I just want her to be interested, happy, challenged.  What any mum wants for her child.

#10 BeezMum

Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:20 PM

Hello I might join in this discussion too.  Perhaps if there are sufficient numbers we can make it into a buddy group similar to the school years one?

I suspect that my DS is gifted. He doesn't have musical or jigsaw abilities nor astounding memory like kh79's son (wow at the world maps) but he has met all his milestones miles early (even non-intellectual ones like first teeth at 3 months and walking at 10 months) and has quite amazing language and mathematical skills. Like mum850 I didn't actually realise at the beginning that what he was doing was unusual as I have only one child and no one to compare against. He knew shapes and colours from 18 months (at 18 months I thought 'hmm' when he called a 50c coin an octagon and then asked me what it was actually called). Just before he turned 2, he knew every letter of the alphabet by sight (both name and phonetic sound, upper and lower cases), could count to 20, and was starting to spell out words. I thought it was some kind of memory thing until he started spelling out street signs for pizza and milk bars.

Now at 2y3m he is a joy. Tiring, absolutely (no day nap since he was 2 and he still doesn't sleep all night) - the constant questioning drives me batty. But every morning I wake up and I can't wait to see what he is going to say next. wub.gif Tonight he was packing away some things in some shoe boxes and he told me that the boxes were 'red' and 'black'. They were both blue so I was puzzled, until I saw that the colour of the shoes were printed on the boxes.  ohmy.gif

kh79 DS also goes through stages of 'obsession'. Sometimes it is with a particular book and other times it is with a particular task. At the moment it is the process of sharpening pencils. wacko.gif

Fortunately DS is a real 'boy' and I try to focus his activities more on climbing and throwing balls etc and less on the computer (he has his own login on my computer and can load up his favourite website by himself for the last few months).

Sometimes I'm quite scared of what the next few years might bring. And the whole schooling issue too. It is so early to be thinking of these things but if you have a toddler who reads then what will they do when they go to school? And DS is born right at the cusp of the school cut off, so he is already going to be the youngest in his class (and I know a lot of people recommend holding boys back for another year!)

Looking forward to chatting with you all.

#11 baddmammajamma

Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:47 PM

KH79:

Popping over from the G&T primary group to share this with you original.gif :

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm

Hoagies is a great place to check out for articles and information.

You (and others here) might also want to check out the Davidson forums -- the Davidson Institute for talent development is a U.S.-based organization, known for its support of profoundly gifted children. They also have some of the best gifted-sub forums I've ever seen -- age specific, one for twice exceptional children, one for testing/assessments. The crowd is international with a heavy American presence.

Here is the preschool board. Some of the regulars really know their stuff. I am mainly a lurker on the 2E board.

http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/...Pre_school.html

#12 tenar

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:07 PM

Actually, there is something I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts on, especially if any of the parents here with gifted toddlers are themselves gifted (or maybe have older siblings who are gifted?).  If so, do you have any thoughts about what "milestones" to expect from your kids?  

I was worried a few months ago about DD's language skills simply because she wasn't talking as much as either her dad or me were at that age.  I was (apparently) saying sentences at 13 months, and her dad was also a really early talker.  DD is bilingual, but that isn't supposed to actually slow them down much if at all.   I was worried because she was approaching 24 months and not really talking in sentences.  

Now her language has taken off (the English, anyway) and seems quite sophisticated to me, probably ahead for her age.  So I've stopped worrying about it.  But it still makes me think: if you believe your child may be gifted, how do you identify if they have some problem like a language delay, that is being "obscured"  or compensated for by their overall intelligence?   Obviously you'd still want to get your child whatever help they needed, but it's not like they aren't going to meet the usual milestones anyway, so how do you approach it?  

For the record I don't think DD has a language problem, but I did start to think about the issue of identifying relative weaknesses in gifted children.  Does anyone else have thoughts about this?  

(I am worried that I'm going to come across as paranoid or something by even mentioning this!)

Edited by tenar, 04 July 2011 - 11:08 PM.


#13 sebela

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:22 PM

Tenar I am quite concerned that my 16 month old is gifted with a speech delay. I actually took her to a speechy at 12 months old, knowing full well they would laugh at me, and they did. I'll go back at 18 months... No doubt they'll laugh again because I would guess she'll be advanced for her age by then. Sigh.

My issue is that I have one gifted plus learning delayed (CAPD in particular is relevant here) and one just straight gifted. #3 is at least on a par with her sisters in receptive language for age and speed of learning new things, but her speech is significantly delayed compared to her sisters' and I can't tell if it is an auditory issue or a physiological problem (there has been talk of a cleft larynx since she was about 6 months old, but it's unconfirmed). It will become clear enough in time I guess but early intervention would be nice for either issue.

#14 sophia7

Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:40 PM

How do you even test for "giftedness" in a child under 5yrs?

I am just curious because I have had one carer mention to me that my 3yr old may be gifted. Walked at 9mths and was saying hr alphabet by 14mths. She has amazing social skills, engages in complicated role-play, (That her little friends get roped into!) talks in full sentences and can memorize pretty much any song she hears.

She has just learnt how to write her name and is starting to recognise letters and read a little.

Wicked sense of humour too... she argues with me about turning out her light for bedtime and the other night she started singing Enrique Iglesias' song "So don't turn out the lights... I don't want to be alone tooonight...."

Seriously! LOL!  wub.gif

#15 BeezMum

Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:06 AM

sophia7 I am pretty sure it is not recommended to test until around age 4 and even then the results can be inaccurate (depending on which test and how it is administered). But I am not sure what is the point off testing unless you are trying to go down that path of early entry into school.

tenar I get what you mean but I haven't got any answers. I used to worry that DS was slow to feed himself with a spoon or that he showed absolutely no interest in potty training. But then when I expressed my concern at DS's daycare they looked at me like I was daft - apparently he had been feeding himself with a spoon for months and was invariably the neatest child about it too. rolleyes.gif My nephew hardly spoke either at age 2 but pretty much went from not speaking to speaking in full sentences. He is still like this now; he won't do something unless he knows that he will be able to do it well - we call him The Perfectionist.

#16 melajoe

Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:56 AM

Just wanted to pop in and say I've been asking similar questions about my DD recently too.  She is definitely advanced for her age and has always reached milestones early - not sure on the giftedness at this stage as like others have said it is probably too early to really tell.  We've always had comments about her vocabulary - she was talking very early - started with the usual mum-mum and bub-bub at around 7 months but by 9 months she was saying words like "Panther" (our cat) clear as a bell and by about 15/16 months she was talking in 5-6 word sentences.  now at 3.5 she is recognising letters and numbers, writing her name, knows all her shapes - even the complicated ones like octagons, hexagons, crescents.  She has expressed a desire to read so we're slowly teaching her some simple words.  She is obsessed with counting - I was actually worried about the counting for a while as she has to count EVERYTHING - steps, items of clothing she is wearing, how many prams we are passing in the shopping centre, how many mini-wheats she has in her bowl each morning.  She also likes to add up and subtract things, un-prompted - her sister recently had her 1st birthday and we had a combined party with her 4 year old cousin.  DD1 said "Ellie is 1 and Milly is 4, and together 1 and 4 is 5" or she will say "Mum, I had 6 mini-wheats and I ate 3, and that equals 3 mini-wheats left."

She gets bored easily and it is exhausting because I find I have to be "on" all day with her, she has to be engaged constantly or she starts to play up and do silly things to seek attention.  My mum says I was very similar when I was her age.  I was writing before I started pre-school and mum was actually told off by the teachers because "that was their job."  I know that attitudes have changed somewhat and there are a lot of kids around like this now (when I posted a couple of weeks ago many people thought my DD was average-normal, but I still don't think she is average or normal for age group - maybe not gifted but definitely advanced).  I do worry that her behavioural issues may continue into school if she gets too far ahead, but I also worry that we're often not stimulating enough for her, and maybe I should be encouraging her a bit more.

Anyway, not sure what the answer is, but as always it is great to hear about other people's experiences!

#17 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:31 AM

I just wanted to chime in as someone who was given the label "gifted" at 2-3yo. I did attend a regular church-based nursery school, but the teachers often gave me more advanced projects in reading, very basic math, animal identification, art, etc. My parents worked with me, too, but all in a very light-hearted way. Mom never once uttered the words "But that book is too hard for a <insert age>". They exposed me to languages and cultures, as that was my particular area of strength, and step-dad spent many a weekend trucking me around to historical sites where we'd take photos and then put together historical storyboards...for fun wink.gif Dad took another tack and kept me occupied with nature hikes, animal track identification, leaf and flower field guides and so on. They were really quite amazing with it all. If I showed an interest in something, they used every resource available to feed the fire, so to speak.

My traits at the time: Extremely talkative, very social but then sucking into a book or solo game for hours on end, fibbing/fantasizing, very detailed (and long-lived) imaginary friend, gravitating toward adults rather than children in a mixed setting, and being easily frustrated by more age-appropriate play and education. I'm sure there were others, as well.

Luckily, due to my birth date, I was able to start FYOS at 4, but yes, I did often get bored and find no logic in some of the typical school assignments like Notebook Checks or Homework, when I could ace the tests without practice. I was officially tested in FYOS and placed in the gifted/talented weekly class and, later, subject-integrated gifted classes in Music, Computers, English, History, French, and Math. Mom was offered the chance to "skip" me up by a grade or two, at different stages, but declined due to her own personal beliefs on the matter. I think I probably would've benefited from it, though.

FWIW, I think I'm a pretty typical adult. No crazy NASA careers or going off to pillage Egyptian burial sites. I just have a lot of, shall we say, unique private study interests. Quantum and Astrophysics were ones, in particular, that caught my dad off-guard.

#18 kh79

Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:39 AM

Its lovely to have so many replies.  Like Beezmum said maybe we could form a buddy group if a few of us are interested?

I loved hearing about your little boy sharpening pencils...so cute! I remember loving that sort of thing as a child as well original.gif

Thank you bmj for the link.  I have had that recommended in the school age forum and did find it useful.  I also found it quite scary because its like entering a whole other world.  A wonderful source of information as well.  Thank you much.

Tenar - I dont believe I am gifted, however, my DH was identified as gifted as a child.  We generally go by the normal developmental milestones that are given in the blue book.  We know that our DS is doing things that are certainly not regarded as 'normal' but we dont expect that he will excel in all areas.  It is only if he is lagging behind the standard that I would be personally worried.

Unlike many gifted children my DS has always been very average with his gross motor skills.  i think its easy to expect of a child who is so exceptional in some areas to display advancement in all areas but I just dont think it works that way.  So i use the standard milestones for everything and obviously would seek assistance if he was behind according to them.  Another important point is that we are all experts on our own children,  you would be the best judge of if you think there is actually an issue rather than just a normal pace of development.

My DS is also bi-lingual.  His speech was always advanced in english but lags a bit in his second language (more to do with my DH being a lazy teacher)  

kpingitquiet - thank you so much for sharing your story.  it sounds like you had a really enriching childhood and your parents were very mindful of assisting you develop at your own pace.

A question I have about my DS is that as I have written he loves books and likes to recite books to himself. I noticed when he was about 18 months he started to reference books if he came across something that reminded him of the book.  For example if we were walking through a puddle he might quote a line from a book like 'The farmer stepped into the duck pond splosh, and the farmer woke and said golly gosh'.  

Since then his language skills have improved and he has interwoven all these books he knows into conversation.  i sometimes wonder if he knows how to separate reality from the book.  Its hard for me to describe it but for example this morning we were talking about how we went to the snow and how we were playing on the sled.  Ds talked about what he did at the snow but then it sort of morphed into him reciting a book about the snow where the character has a snowball fight and puts a snowball in his pocket for after.  I couldnt quite ascertain if he thought if that actually happened on our trip to the snow or simply that he is referring to the book.

DS has a great imagination and all of his toys have complex personalities that he has created.  He spends a lot of time role playing and creating different contexts for his play etc so I am not concerned that he is just parroting books with no deeper understanding of their meaning etc.

He has the ability to have conversations that are not interwoven with books but it does come up fairly often.

The reason I feel concerned about this is that if you dont know the books then you would have no idea what he is talking about.   i worry about his ability to create friendships as he is drawing off references from books that most children of his age would not be reading.

He does it with non-fiction books too which is far easier for people, mainly adults to relate to.  Like he was playing with a dinosaur and telling his grandma 'This is T-rex grandma.  He is a carnivorous animal with teeth the size of bananas'  In that sense he just looks knowledgeable.

I know its probably not very clear what i am trying to say but I am hoping that someone may have a similar experience and understand what i mean.

i dont want to make him sound like a crazy person.  I have had many comments from different people saying 'He is a such a well balanced child'  He is delightful and you can really 'talk' with him, he's not out of touch with reality, I can just see this may be a hinderance to his abilty to make friends.

#19 TiredbutHappy

Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:50 AM

[quote name='kh79' date='02/07/2011, 07:52 AM' post='13399841']
My 18 months he knew where over 120 countries were.


Wow. I'm hard pressed working out where 120 countries are.  cclap.gif

#20 kh79

Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

haha i was too until I learnt them with him original.gif

I am still amazed when I watch the film of him doing this that we made.  He is still a tiny baby in it...sooo cute!

#21 tenar

Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:23 PM

kh79 my daughter does a similar thing with books.  She will use sentences from books she knows well when they apply, more or less, to things that she experiences.  She also uses sentences that I've repeated to her, relates the same story over and over using much the same words, for example she will tell me repeatedly that we saw "Jane and Tony and Karen and we had coffee and cake", stuff like that, describing a past event, sometimes weeks after it happened.  

I have not considered this to be something to worry about, personally.  I think that she is still a baby really and just getting to terms with the whole "language" thing.  So if she knows a sentence or a group of words that apply to a situation she reaches for those words because it's easier to do that than to work out her own words to describe the situation.   I also think this is part of normal toddler learning about how a sequence of events goes and being able to tell stories about past and future events.  I use the book thing myself to describe things to her (specifically I often use lines or key words from books I want her to remember: at the moment it's often the one about being a big sister because #2 is due any day now, and I want her to remember what the book says about what it's like having a new baby in a family).  Given a cue such as "someone new is coming to our house" DD replies "it's our baby", which is straight from the book.  

Hmm, I'm rambling...

I think I remember reading somewhere (in an article about TV watching, most likely) that kids this age don't really distinguish between reality and fiction.  I haven't thought much about it - maybe you can do some reading yourself?  Anyway, I really don't think I'd be worrying about your son's engagement with books, kh79.  It seems like a normal toddler with a healthy imagination, to me.  

The question of him being interested in things other kids his age can't grasp is definitely an issue though, might be an ongoing thing for you.  I don't have any advice there, but surely other mums of gifted kids will do so.

#22 sebela

Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:42 PM

From my experience with my own children they also simply remember a great deal of their experiences and bring those experiences out to reprocess and ruminate on quite regularly. Presumably because they are continuing to add context and depth of understanding. They are building their mind maps.

Sometimes remembering meeting with friends and having cake is simply a case of re-enjoying a happy memory. Or retelling those stories can be an indirect way of the child indicating an experience they want to have again. The missing words being "I liked... xxxxx ...I would like to do that again soon please mummy."

I don't think there is anything to be concerned about in a child seeing and making all those connections between things. We all, everyday, make assumptions based on past experience and context, and the people around us rarely share that exact same context. If they haven't read the same books as us or watched the same TV shows they may not get a joke in quite the same way (but they may still find it funny), or they might think we are really clever (or really stupid). Adults are  less direct about using their cultural references, and have lots more of them. But because you know YOUR child you know almost everything that goes in, you recognise all of it when it comes out. You may be missing another child's cultural references in the same way that you worry people might miss your child's.

The ability to see deep connections between things is fundamental to giftedness I think, worry less (about that one at least) enjoy more :-).

edited for clarity

Edited by sebela, 05 July 2011 - 12:44 PM.


#23 kh79

Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:51 PM

Thank you girls:) I have been known to be a bit of a worry wart at times;)

I was thinking the same thing that I may miss oter children's references because my own lak of knowledge in their area of interest.

Thank you, my mind is put at ease

#24 tenar

Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:58 PM

And just for the record, re-reading my post (this is EB, after all) let me clarify that while most of the adults in my social circle do drink coffee, DD has milk, but considers this to be "having coffee" with friends.  

Just in case anyone is wondering original.gif

She does get a bite or two of cake, if we are having it, though...

#25 BeezMum

Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:08 AM

kh79 my DS is the same, he regularly recites sections of books he has enjoyed or sings songs to himself. And no, no one else would know to what he was referring. I agree that this is normal and they are consolidating their memories and experiences, and as Sebela put it, building their mind maps.

A few months ago DS when DS was not yet 2, he was learning about how animals have 4 legs and often a tail  at child care. He came home and pointed at the stars on his bed. He said 'That a star!' to which I said 'yes it is'.  He said 'it got no tail' (very seriously). I stifled a laugh and agreed, thinking that he did not get it at all. Then he said 'it not a shooting star'.  ohmy.gif




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