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Reality check - 4 y.o. abilities


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What's with the ads?

#51 ErinE

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:20 PM

No doctor ever asked me those questions. The closest they ever asked to that was along the lines of do you have any concerns about your child's development.


With electronic medical records, there's a large list of questions to answer. Some offices hand me a packet of paper and enter my answers in the computer. Other offices ask me the questions directly as they type it in.

I've noticed a significant increase in the number of questions asked in the seven year gap between kid 2 and kid 3.
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#52 gardenmom5

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:52 PM

I will look into this. I will say the eye crossing is entirely voluntary and within her control.

 

voluntary is different.

 

why is she doing it, is a question that should be answered.  does it make it easier for her to see things up close or far away?   does she think she is expressing anger and trying to manipulate an an adult?  those are extremes, and plenty of places in between, but it would be good to make a determination.



#53 BlsdMama

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:10 PM

My youngest just turned 4. I'm writing for a reality check of whether I should be worried or not. My oldest was advanced with reading/writing, and slower with gross motor skills. She turned out fine. My middle was advanced pretty much in all areas. She's turning out fine. My youngest is apparently on the "very low end of normal" with some skills, which is surprising me. I never really worried too much about this stuff, but now I'm wondering if that's a mistake.

 

She just turned 4. She's pretty good with her colors. She talks up a storm and tells long elaborate stories. She likes making people laugh and she's good at it. She can pedal a bike, brush her teeth, put on her clothes mostly right.

 

She is a little unsure of shapes. She was asked to draw a circle (she could), a square (she couldn't) a plus sign (she couldn't). She was then asked to draw a face, and she did, although was reluctant. The face was an oval with eyes, nose, mouth, and hair. The doc asked her to draw the rest of the body and she said "no thank you."

 

She doesn't recognize her name, and doesn't know what letter her name starts with. She's not interested in tracing anything, and definitely not letters.

 

I need hive wisdom. I really thought she was fine, but now I'm wondering if I need to up the pre-k skills focus.  TIA!

 

 

This sounds completely normal and fine UNLESS you have been actively teaching this to her and regularly reviewing it for months.

 

For example, if, since she was 3.5 or so, you have been writing her name and actively teaching her what the letters were and what they look like, then she should recognize her name at this point.

 

One of the things I think we dismiss out of hand is that we are constantly actively engaged and teaching our oldest. We want them to be "advanced" and we have the time, energy, forethought to not only plan teaching moments but to take advantage of them as they present themselves.  As we gain a few kiddos or pick up other activities, we do still teach and engage (of course) but not as actively or as rigorously as we did our oldest.  That's just my experience.  

No, I wouldn't be worried about what you listed.  And, the truth is, if there are learning difficulties like working memory, etc., it will manifest itself more soundly in the years to come.  


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#54 rainbowmama

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:50 PM

My youngest just turned 4. I'm writing for a reality check of whether I should be worried or not. My oldest was advanced with reading/writing, and slower with gross motor skills. She turned out fine. My middle was advanced pretty much in all areas. She's turning out fine. My youngest is apparently on the "very low end of normal" with some skills, which is surprising me. I never really worried too much about this stuff, but now I'm wondering if that's a mistake.

 

She just turned 4. She's pretty good with her colors. She talks up a storm and tells long elaborate stories. She likes making people laugh and she's good at it. She can pedal a bike, brush her teeth, put on her clothes mostly right.

 

She is a little unsure of shapes. She was asked to draw a circle (she could), a square (she couldn't) a plus sign (she couldn't). She was then asked to draw a face, and she did, although was reluctant. The face was an oval with eyes, nose, mouth, and hair. The doc asked her to draw the rest of the body and she said "no thank you."

 

She doesn't recognize her name, and doesn't know what letter her name starts with. She's not interested in tracing anything, and definitely not letters.

 

I need hive wisdom. I really thought she was fine, but now I'm wondering if I need to up the pre-k skills focus.  TIA!

 

Our doctor has our kids do these kinds of things. My young four learned to write his name like a month after his well-check, but at the time, he couldn't do anything beyond write an E. When I asked his doctor, his doctor said that they ask, but for a later birth order boy, he's happy if they know their capital letters by five. My kid did not draw a face on his person: just a head, body, arms, legs, and a sword. 


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#55 scoutingmom

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:23 PM



Then the doctor have him a baby doll and a bottle and he put it down. The doctor gave it back to him and asked him to feed it. He put it down on the exam table and held the bottle to its lips for about a second. Apparently ds didn’t think the doll was incredibly hungry.


My son would have (if co-operating) likely put the bottle down and put the baby to his chest (possibly lifting his shirt or just putting the baby under his shirt....) wonder what the doctor would decide from that

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#56 wonderchica

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:46 PM


My son would have (if co-operating) likely put the bottle down and put the baby to his chest (possibly lifting his shirt or just putting the baby under his shirt....) wonder what the doctor would decide from that

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I do developmental testing, and I’d give him credit! That sort of item is usually testing pretend play, and/or knowledge of how objects are used.
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#57 Okra

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:47 PM

She sounds fine!  I remember my four year old was very much like this on some test he took way back then.   It was something that had to do with shapes.  He just "barely" passed.  He ended up a National Merit Finalist.

 

My point is that you should continue to not worry about DD.  You cannot predict what will happen based on a developmental test your four year old took!  

 

Continue on as you would normally.


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#58 SKL

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:23 AM

It all sounds good to me, unless you've been working on teaching her letters i.e. daily exposure and she has little or no recall shortly after reviewing the info.  That was the case with one of mine, and I had her tested for vision problems which she did have.  Vision therapy was very helpful, moving her from one of the most behind to one of the most advanced in her pre-K within months.  But she also has memory problems, which continue to be an issue.


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#59 4Kiddos

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:29 AM

When the nurse at my peds office asked my four year old daughter last month what a plus sign was, she stared at it for a long time and then finally said "39". She also said that the circle was a plate.

 

When my now 9 year old son was asked about the alphabet he was aghast when they asked him and said "I don't know that language" in a loud voice. And then... then they asked him about the alphabet song, to which my boy replied that he had never heard that song. Boy howdy, you should have seen the shocked and condescending looks in my direction from both the nurses and another parent nearby. I lamely tried to explain that I teach the alphabet phonetically first and that he could actually read chapter books but that fell on deaf ears. I called my husband in the parking lot and sobbed about how I was failing our children. My husband thought it was funny.


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#60 TechWife

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:45 AM


My son would have (if co-operating) likely put the bottle down and put the baby to his chest (possibly lifting his shirt or just putting the baby under his shirt....) wonder what the doctor would decide from that

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The doctor would have been fine with that approach. What the doctor is looking for is a bit of pretend play along with a little bit of empathy and mderstanding of practical needs. At least I think that’s what they are looking for, but that may just be what I’d be looking for if I were to do that. I doubt the doctor was too concerned with my ds’ response either, as there were no younger siblings in the house to feed and he only randomly saw babies being fed. However, he would have gladly fed a teddy bear applesauce at that point, because, well, that’s what Teddy Bears in our house ate.

At one appointment, I think ds was about four, and the dr asked at the end of the appointment if there was anything else he wanted to talk about before he had to go. My son looked at him very seriously and said “I have bones.” The doctor responded “I know, and I’m glad you do!”

I miss being able to take him to a pediatrician.
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#61 Tammi K

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 03:40 AM

Nothing at all sounds surprising or 'abnormal' to me.  

 

The nice thing about being on the far end of raising 6 children is that I've seen a lot of variations of 'normal'.   Everything you said makes it sound like she is a bright, outgoing kid who is developing at her own pace.


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#62 Diana P.

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:27 AM

This screening was done on my oldest 20years ago in the pediatricians office. The NP who did the check was quite alarmed and stated our journey of raising a 2E kid.

I don't remember doing this with DD, but everything she did fell in the typical or just above typical range. And at that age she was having siezures and her younger brother had multiple health issues, so any unremarkable testing would not have gone into my memory.

#63 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:36 AM

My son was always asked stuff like this in his well check ups. They are looking to see if the child is meeting developmental milestones. Good pediatricians care for the whole child. He always had developmental tasks to complete. The doctor came in the room with a “bag of tricks”during those preschool years. It was a lot of fun, honestly.

I remember the two year old checkup particularly well. The doctor gave him some locks and he made a stack with them. Then the doctor have him a baby doll and a bottle and he put it down. The doctor gave it back to him and asked him to feed it. He put it down on the exam table and held the bottle to its lips for about a second. Apparently ds didn’t think the doll was incredibly hungry.

If the pediatrician didn’t have any issues with your daughter’s evaluation, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. She sounds totally normal.

 

Yeah apparently we always had crappy docs because none of them asked those questions specifically.  Honestly, except for the vaccines, I never understood the point of going there.


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#64 eternalsummer

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:39 AM

Yeah apparently we always had crappy docs because none of them asked those questions specifically.  Honestly, except for the vaccines, I never understood the point of going there.

 

It's like 90% of prenatal checkups - weight, blood pressure, listen for heartbeat, ask you if you're having any problems.  I can do all of these things myself!  But alas, they get grumpy if you miss a visit.


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#65 Ailaena

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:45 AM

It's like 90% of prenatal checkups - weight, blood pressure, listen for heartbeat, ask you if you're having any problems. I can do all of these things myself! But alas, they get grumpy if you miss a visit.


At dd’s 5yo check up, the ped said, “You know, she’s doing great, you don’t have to come every year.” And we never went again.

Shots were done at a shot clinic and broken bones were handled by an ortho and we were pretty lucky that she didn’t need to go back!
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#66 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:59 AM

It's like 90% of prenatal checkups - weight, blood pressure, listen for heartbeat, ask you if you're having any problems.  I can do all of these things myself!  But alas, they get grumpy if you miss a visit.

 

Exactly!  And then they'd say if you have X, Y, or Z symptoms let us know.  So you'd let them know and they'd tell you nothing.  Ok, so why ask me?  LOL


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#67 emmaluv+2more

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:33 AM

Like a few others have said, she could be just fine or there could be something going on. We just don't know enough of the story or your dd.

I have 4 children, a degree in special ed, a long history working with children. My oldest child has always been a bit advanced. At almost 13 I'm just now, in the last year or so, beginning to suspect ADHD/executive function issues.

My 10 year old has always been an average child/student. I have no concerns.

My 7 year old has always concerned me. She began talking just a wee bit on the late side. I was told not to worry. It took years to teach her colors, shapes, letters, numbers. I was told not to worry. Learning to read was a huge struggle. I was told not to worry. I finally had her tested at 6. She fell within "normal" limits for her age. I was told not to compare her to her siblings and to give her more time. At 7.5 I now know she struggles with dyslexia, ADHD, and possibly CAPD.

My almost 4 yr old appears to be very bright. She has known her colors and shapes for a year or so, can name most of her letters and numbers to 10, can draw better faces/people than I can (but I am a horrible artist, so that's probably not saying much) etc, etc. But I have worked on these things with her.

She cannot do some of the things you list: she cannot draw most shapes (just circles), she has no interest yet in tracing anything (but she does claim she can do it by herself without tracing, which she cannot), she would not recognize her written name (she would recognize the first letter). I have not worked on these things with her nearly as much as the things she does know/can do.

So, it really depends on how much exposure she has had to the things she cannot do. If you have been working on these things then you might have cause for concern. If she hasn't had very nuch exposure then everything might be just fine. As I think my story shows, relying on other people's opinions, even professional ones, won't always point you in the right direction.

My advice to you, an experienced mother who knows her child better than anyone else, is listen to your gut. Work with her, see a developmental optometrist, see where things go in the next couple of years.
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#68 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:38 AM

Totally normal.  

 

Our doc generally asks me the questions:

 

Can X walk up stairs on his own?

Can X recognize his name?

Is X drawing simple pictures?

Does X know his colors?  

Can X dress himself (Nope, sorry, none of my kids could dress before age 5...  I am a parent with very little patience...lol)

 

I guess he trusts me... LOL.  

 

 



#69 Pam in CT

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:46 AM

I'd also take a slightly different note than most of the chorus here -- not of *fear* -- what you're describing is within developmental norms for the population at large -- but I'd step up my vigilance a notch.

 

 

In particular, I'd start informally checking -- through read alouds, games in the car, messing around in the kitchen -- with her *oral* pre-literary skills.  Reading a familiar rhyming book like Cat in the Hat, can she (orally) work out what rhyming word will fill the sentence?  

 

Can she "hear" the word pattern of cat / bat / mat / rat / "something that goes on my head is _____" ?

 

Can she "hear" the initial sound pattern of Fat / Far / Frog / Fin / "something I hold in my hand and use to eat my food is _____" ?

 

(and eventually -- this is substantially harder -- the ending sound pattern of piN / faN / teN / "not boy but a grown up _____" ?

 

 

And I'd also flood her with opportunities to do *any activity at all* that entails holding a pencil or marker or pen in her hand -- drawing, coloring, tracing, so she has opportunities to develop motor coordination.  

 

 

She may well be fine -- an off day, or a bit dreamier than your other kids and a bit slower to pick up preK skills, or relatively stronger in other (maybe gross motor, it sounds like?) skills.

 

If she has trouble with the oral pre-reading skills, and/or avoids all real-implement pre-writing over long intervals of time (as opposed to a one-off in a doctor's office)... that is a red flag for reading and writing.

 

 

(I'm certified in special ed; and also have two daughters who were early & voracious readers with a dyslexic son in between.  It is a hard row to hoe, to be a kid with reading problems plonked in a family of advanced and early readers.  He;s 19 now and he got there, but it took *intensive* intervention and  -- this is so critical -- the earlier issues are uncovered and intensively addressed, the better the outcomes.)

 

 

 

:grouphug: You're a good mom to take this seriously.


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#70 lauraw4321

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:59 AM

I'd also take a slightly different note than most of the chorus here -- not of *fear* -- what you're describing is within developmental norms for the population at large -- but I'd step up my vigilance a notch.

 

 

In particular, I'd start informally checking -- through read alouds, games in the car, messing around in the kitchen -- with her *oral* pre-literary skills.  Reading a familiar rhyming book like Cat in the Hat, can she (orally) work out what rhyming word will fill the sentence?  

 

Can she "hear" the word pattern of cat / bat / mat / rat / "something that goes on my head is _____" ?

 

Can she "hear" the initial sound pattern of Fat / Far / Frog / Fin / "something I hold in my hand and use to eat my food is _____" ?

 

(and eventually -- this is substantially harder -- the ending sound pattern of piN / faN / teN / "not boy but a grown up _____" ?

 

 

And I'd also flood her with opportunities to do *any activity at all* that entails holding a pencil or marker or pen in her hand -- drawing, coloring, tracing, so she has opportunities to develop motor coordination.  

 

 

She may well be fine -- an off day, or a bit dreamier than your other kids and a bit slower to pick up preK skills, or relatively stronger in other (maybe gross motor, it sounds like?) skills.

 

If she has trouble with the oral pre-reading skills, and/or avoids all real-implement pre-writing over long intervals of time (as opposed to a one-off in a doctor's office)... that is a red flag for reading and writing.

 

 

(I'm certified in special ed; and also have two daughters who were early & voracious readers with a dyslexic son in between.  It is a hard row to hoe, to be a kid with reading problems plonked in a family of advanced and early readers.  He;s 19 now and he got there, but it took *intensive* intervention and  -- this is so critical -- the earlier issues are uncovered and intensively addressed, the better the outcomes.)

 

 

 

:grouphug: You're a good mom to take this seriously.

 

Thank you - this is helpful. 

 

My oldest was reading quite easily and fluidly at 4.5. But she LOVED books. She would happily sit in my lap for HOURS and pick out book after book to read.

 

Youngest is far too busy with her play and pretend dance parties to be read to. So in light of all of this, I am being much more watchful and aware, and the entire family is purposefully engaging in more reading with her. The great thing about older siblings is that they love to read to her as well, so there's lots of opportunities. 


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#71 Bluegoat

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:03 AM

At dd’s 5yo check up, the ped said, “You know, she’s doing great, you don’t have to come every year.” And we never went again.

Shots were done at a shot clinic and broken bones were handled by an ortho and we were pretty lucky that she didn’t need to go back!

 

That would be normal in mt province.  Once kids finish the vaccine schedule at five, they don't do yearly checks again.  And at 4 they have no shot, so they don't come in that year as a scheduled visit.  Even the 13 year old vaccinations are done in schools, so they don't come in for that.

 

Most kids see the doctor various times after 5 of course, but it's when they are sick or there is some particular reason to come in.


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#72 Pam in CT

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:20 AM

Thank you - this is helpful. 

 

My oldest was reading quite easily and fluidly at 4.5. But she LOVED books. She would happily sit in my lap for HOURS and pick out book after book to read.

 

Youngest is far too busy with her play and pretend dance parties to be read to. So in light of all of this, I am being much more watchful and aware, and the entire family is purposefully engaging in more reading with her. The great thing about older siblings is that they love to read to her as well, so there's lots of opportunities. 

 

 

Another thing I did with my son that over the very long haul had a very huge effect is audiobooks.  From a very young age, I'd just plonk on a tape, without asking, as background to his lego- and Kapla-block constructions (at your daughter's age, stories like Jim Weiss).  

 

When he was about 6, I got him his own player, and -- I'd already read them aloud once through, so they were familiar -- I doled out audio versions of the Harry Potter books as they came out, so he could listen to them over.and.over.and.over on his own as he (still) built stuff out of his various construction materials.

 

We spent about a billion hours over the course of his childhood driving to distant appointments and remediation, and used that time to listen to the whole of LOTR and the Narnia series.

 

On family roadtrips we listened through first the children's classics, then on through Orwell and Vonnegut and David Mitchell ( :laugh: a personal favorite).

 

By the time he got to high school, he was well remediated, but reading was still -- will always be -- something of a chore.  He can read, fluently aloud, with good comprehension, without extra time -- but he rarely chooses reading for pleasure, as all the rest of us in the family do.  But -- and I attribute this to all those hours and hours of being flooded with rich language and high level vocabulary and good models -- his vocabulary, his insight into literary conventions, his grounding in classic storylines and metaphors -- was as solid as any of his classmates'.

 

 

He's now started the architecture program in a terrific university.  He spends hours and hours and hours in the studio, making stuff out of glorified legos and Kapla blocks.  He still listens to audio books, now downloaded in an instant from his library back home, as he works.

 

:001_wub:


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#73 bagel270

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:45 AM

She sounds normal. And she said no thank you. :) Normal and polite.


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#74 J-rap

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

 I wouldn't be concerned yet, but I'd keep an eye on it.  You can re-evalutate in 6 months.  My #5 was very different than my others.  Not only did she catch on to things more slowly, but everything was physically harder too.  She couldn't open our back door until she was about 6 of 7.  (She didn't have the muscle strength to turn the knob, which granted was stiff, but still...)

 

She did end up working with a PT for awhile, and it turns out she also had a hearing loss, so then she needed speech lessons for a time too.  But mostly, I think her brain -- for whatever reason -- was just developing more slowly, and I suppose what concerned me the most was that it was developing at such a different rate than my other four.  

 

But she's an A-student at college now and is doing great.  So, nothing was ever diagnosed, and I don't think there was ever a real problem.  She just needed a little more time (and muscle!)  

 

This is all to say that some kids do develop at very different speeds in some areas.

 

 


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#75 Bluegoat

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:51 AM

The thing that strikes me is that none of these things I would consider slow, at all.  Not even a little bit.  So - a kid who is doing absolutely normal 4 year old things.  So - I don't really see any reason to be more watchful than with any other kid developing completely on schedule.


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#76 eternalsummer

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:22 PM

Exactly!  And then they'd say if you have X, Y, or Z symptoms let us know.  So you'd let them know and they'd tell you nothing.  Ok, so why ask me?  LOL

 

 

I told my last OB a couple of concerning symptoms (regular blood pressure readings at various local drugstores of 140/90+, exhaustion, headaches, etc.) and they just said, nothing to worry about!



#77 Sadie

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:07 PM

The thing that strikes me is that none of these things I would consider slow, at all.  Not even a little bit.  So - a kid who is doing absolutely normal 4 year old things.  So - I don't really see any reason to be more watchful than with any other kid developing completely on schedule.

 

:iagree:

 

I do think it's hard when you have one or more children who are extremely and obviously 'ahead' in quantifiable ways, to have a good idea of 'normal'.

 

(I thought my second child was slow...she read two years after her sister, her art was non-advanced, she was resistant to studying...until she went to school, they said 'oh, she's gifted', stuck her in the gifted stream and away she went becoming very academic. I had no idea. Same with the third. I thought for a long time he was slow too. Turns out he's fine.)


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#78 HTRMom

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:57 PM

One of the things I think we dismiss out of hand is that we are constantly actively engaged and teaching our oldest. We want them to be "advanced" and we have the time, energy, forethought to not only plan teaching moments but to take advantage of them as they present themselves. As we gain a few kiddos or pick up other activities, we do still teach and engage (of course) but not as actively or as rigorously as we did our oldest. That's just my experience.


I’m noticing this too... Do you think it’s a disadvantage for the youngers that we should correct?

#79 LMD

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:56 PM

I’m noticing this too... Do you think it’s a disadvantage for the youngers that we should correct?


I just had a similar conversation with my children's violin teacher, who has 5 children of her own. Her oldest (a girl) had all her hyper focused attention and was winning violin competitions at age 3! Her youngest, a boy, is 5 and is only just starting music lessons. I really understand, there's a difference in being the youngest that has both positives and negatives. With my first it's all 'speak clearly no baby talk', with my youngest it's 'awww that's adorable and he's still so young!' So one child speaks clearly and the other needs remediation and I feel guilty lol. One reads earlier, because we had vast amounts of time with no siblings to just read read read! Now my youngest has older siblings to read read read to him!

The OP sounded exactly like a normal 4 year old to me.
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#80 Bluegoat

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:36 PM

I’m noticing this too... Do you think it’s a disadvantage for the youngers that we should correct?

 

I wouldn't generally say so - there are also real advantages of having some older kids around and less direct surveillance.  


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#81 Elizabeth86

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:41 PM

I say your kid is fine. I have been struggling with this as well with 2 year old milestones. My 2nd was WAY advanced to the point that people pointed it out every where we went. He and my first are 17 months apart and fair or not we have not meaning to treated him like his older brother and he has pretty much always kept up. Dd my 3rd is 2 1/2 years younger than 2 and we have always treated her like a baby. I have been so frustrated at how behind she seemed and literally overnight she went from barely saying a word to having a big vocabulary. She is learning everything all in one big spurt. Your child seems fine to me. They all develop differently.