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Psychological Dangers of Raising a Child Prodigy


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I have a friend who use the Glenn Doman method and computer aided flash cards, videos etc. in order to get their ds to read. By the age of 3 he reads books at the level of a 9-10 year old child. I've read about these methods and the use of computers and technology to create child prodigys. Some even start with babies. Though the results look fantastic, I'm not sure what the long term effects are on the child's psychological well-being. Does anyone know what the potential cost is for parents who try to raise a child prodigy with the Glenn Doman or similar methods?

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I got to type a paper on this once. Basically, it was the writer's theory that high pressure programs, including the Doman one, led to eating disorders in teen girls, based on what he'd seen in his clinic. I have to say, his figures were enough to make me not even consider such a program, because basically, he had a lot of kids who were ahead in early elementary, started leveling out as the curriculum moved to more application, and who, when they hit a class where memorization didn't work, crumbled. And all these kids had parents who had taught them extensively before starting school. Correlation doesn't imply causation, but I do think he had a reasonably supported hypothesis, just one that really wasn't testable.

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I think there is a huge difference between being able to read...as in being able to decode words and understanding what is read especially when kids hit the age where they need to understand more than the plot of a story. I read about the Glen Doman method when my kids were little before deciding against it. I figured my kids would learn to read when they were ready and our time could better be spent exploring the world and playing.

 

I am not so sure methods like Glen Doman can help with the comprehension of what is read making the children who learn to read through the method more like hyperlexic kids who read much higher than their average peers without the comprehension necessary to read at that level.

 

Early reading is not an absolute indicator of high IQ. A "gifted" child may be more likely to read early but an early reader does not necessarily have a high IQ. So, I think like the previous poster mentioned, those kids who learn to read using that method (unless of course they were gifted) will eventually level out with peers in reading...eventually everyone learns to read (decode) and reads fairly well.

 

I imagine there are can be psychological consequences to being seen as gifted and to having people make a big deal about a skill like early reading only to discover in later years that you are no longer above everyone else especially if that one ability (being able to read early and better than kids your age) was a big part of who you saw yourself as being or the way you got attention from others.

 

As to the psychological consequences of raising a "real" child prodigy...I'm sure that could be another discussion entirely.

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I would say that if the kid is 3 and actually reading on the level of a 9-10 y.o. it wasn't because of the Doman methods. My hunch is that he's one of those kids who can naturally intuit the phonics rules without ever being formally taught them. Apparently I was one of them myself (I can't remember a time before I could read but this is what my mom swears happened).

 

Doman likes to trot out cute kids as "success" stories but there's never been any objective research to support use of his methods.

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Early reading is not an absolute indicator of high IQ. A "gifted" child may be more likely to read early but an early reader does not necessarily have a high IQ.

 

I think there is a definite disconnect between IQ and achievement. Neither of my kids were particularly early readers. It was jumping 4-5+ grade levels over their kindergarten year that was the big indicator. They intuited reading rules without actually being taught, and just needed a little encouragement to leap. My kids attended play based preschool. We did quite a bit with them before kindergarten in terms of outings, music, exposure to things, open ended toys. But ZERO academics. If they asked a question I answered. My son understood plumbing and electronics as a preschooler and figured out adding fractions. My daughter would dress up and play as ancient characters. They had the intensity all along. Had I done things a little differently and sacrificed some park time for reading time, I have no doubt they would have been earlier readers. My 4th grader reads at high school level and is doing algebra now. No one would have picked him out of a line up as a preschooler to be where he is now. Both my kids have a lazy gene.

 

There are programs to get children with Downs reading before kindergarten. Reading (or any other skill) is a factor of ability vs. exposure level. There were MANY kids in my son's kindergarten class that were reading (he went to 2 years of PS). And very few are above grade level now as 4th graders. I just think there are lots of great things preschoolers can be doing. And spending hours on programmed learning to read might mean lost time on motor and social skills building. I know plenty of parents work with their littles which is fine and great. Some little ones want to listen to books for hours which is a great set up for early reading.

 

I do agree a 3 year old that is decoding AND comprehending as a 3rd or 4th grader is certainly gifted. But the degree probably remains to be seen, if he had hours and hours and hours of exposure.

 

Doman is a wingnut.

:iagree:

Edited by kck
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A friend of mine used Doman's method to teach her dd to read. She read early in two languages. HOWEVER, she is an advanced child and was made that way by her genes. What she was able to learn and who she has become were not due to Doman, but instead, to her family.

 

And Doman's method doesn't make a prodigy. It makes a sightword reader. That's all.

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kck quote:

I do agree a 3 year old that is decoding AND comprehending as a 3rd or 4th grader is certainly gifted. But the degree probably remains to be seen, if he had hours and hours and hours of exposure.

 

zaichiki quote:

And Doman's method doesn't make a prodigy. It makes a sightword reader. That's all.

 

The parents did spend a lot of time, and it was sightword based flashcards and activities. Though I'm told the kid can decode.

 

Interesting posts, thanks for your replies.

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Hm. Funny, the thing I thought when I read this was about how much Doman stressed (at least in the books I read 10 years ago) the *connection* between the child and caregiver while doing *any* of his recommended activities. While it's easy to look at the methods and think, as a PP said, "wingnut" ;), what I really came away with from his books was his tremendous love and respect for children, their ability to learn, and the deep importance of the connection between caregiver and child -- far and away beyond any academic learning. ... I just *can't* square that with dvd and computer learning for babies. I'm not a luddite. I don't think that all screen-oriented media is evil. But for small children? I have very strong objections.

 

So I guess I'm just Very Surprised that this could fit into a Doman-oriented method at all.

 

Now... Hm... I did read most of his books when my first was a baby. I never followed them as written, though I did find certain things interesting or perhaps even useful starting points. As I said, what came through mostly in his books for me was his love and respect for children (of *varying* natural abilities) and their desire to learn. I think someone might easily discount his books based on a summary of his methods without seeing the real heart behind them. And I think that's a shame. ... That said, I think it's also easy for parents to get caught up in the idea of "creating a genius" and lose sight of the *child* beneath. Of the need for an emotional connection with parents, of the need for *lots* of time spent playing with bubbles and rolling in the grass and singing songs and reading silly stories and squashing playdough together and walking backwards and staring off into space and practicing sword-fighting with plastic hangers while wearing a tutu made of a pillow case and...

 

But I think one *could* use some of Doman's methods (the ones that involve direct parent-child interaction -- I'd be VERY leery of anything that plunks a small child in front of a computer or tv screen for longer than it takes for Mom to fit in some of the basics of self-care) along with a level head and a genuine joy in their child and not do any great harm.

 

That said, my oldest was reading on a 2nd grade level at age 3 withOUT really following Doman methods. He was also doing all of the other things I mentioned above. I have no regrets about his early academic bent, but also because we took great delight in those years in other ways, he had lots of time for play, etc, etc. I don't think all of those things are mutually exclusive. A child *can* read early and still have an active imagination. They can be writing stories at 3 or 4 and still roll down grassy hills. My second child didn't read fluently 'til she was 5. Now, at 8, I think she reads more and better than her brother did at 8 (though I'd certainly describe them both as voracious readers).

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yall are making me worry about my early readers!

 

I LOVE having early readers - I love seeing how much they love to read, I love being read to, I love not having to read ALL the time...but you're making me worry about how they are going to crash & burn in the future :(

 

Any early readers that turned out to be fine?

 

btw, dd1 is almost 4.5 & is reading at a 5th grade level and dd2 just turned 3 and is just starting to be a fluent reader (about where dd1 was at her age) and we learned through puzzles, leapfrog, starfall.com, and OPG, NO sightwords, if that makes a difference :confused:

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basically, he had a lot of kids who were ahead in early elementary, started leveling out as the curriculum moved to more application, and who, when they hit a class where memorization didn't work, crumbled.

 

this part scared me a bit - who wants their kids to 'crumble'? :001_huh:

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this part scared me a bit - who wants their kids to 'crumble'? :001_huh:

 

Honestly, unless you're giving your kids A's without asking them to do anything that is NOT memorization, I wouldn't worry.

 

In PS, you can get through most of elementary just through being good at memorizing. If you're used to doing this, when you're first asked to NOT memorize but actually think, you may crumble.

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I suspect the problem isn't teaching a child to read early. It's that, when you push a child early in any area, you're showing the child that this is important to you. If the child has too much built up in being the best X, and they're suddenly not, that's going to be more of a psychological crash than if being good at X is simply one thing that they do, and that there are a lot of other things they're good at, too, plus some they're not good at.

 

I imagine there are many, many families who buy the early reading books or kits and end up having more or less success without problems. I'm equally sure that for every child who ends up with emotional problems due to early academic pressures, there are many who end up with emotional problems due to athletic or artistic pressures. Eating disorders are a lot more associated with the gymnastics, dance, or figure skating worlds than with the high school Latin club or college Engineering department, after all.

 

I really don't see any difference between sitting with a preschooler who is eager to read and giving them some tools and putting a preschooler who is eager to dance in Ballet-and as long as the parent treats it as a relaxed, fun thing for their child to do, I don't think any harm is done.

 

And realistically, when your child starts turning flips out of trees, you put them in gymnastics to hopefully help keep them safe. When your child starts picking out words all over the place, it's not a bad idea to make sure that they know that letters make sounds and spend a little time on decoding, for the same reason-no matter HOW old they are, or aren't!

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yall are making me worry about my early readers!

 

I LOVE having early readers - I love seeing how much they love to read, I love being read to, I love not having to read ALL the time...but you're making me worry about how they are going to crash & burn in the future :(

 

Any early readers that turned out to be fine?

 

Most of the kids I know who were early readers turned out just fine. :001_smile:

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I LOVE having early readers - I love seeing how much they love to read, I love being read to, I love not having to read ALL the time...but you're making me worry about how they are going to crash & burn in the future :(

 

Any early readers that turned out to be fine?

 

 

 

I certainly didn't mean to set that tone. If you have happy, well adjusted, learning kids than you are definitely doing great IMHO! :001_smile:

 

I have a kid that wasn't exposed to things like star fall or early readers before kindergarten. I didn't know he was GT and homeschool was not on my radar at the time. He did have plenty of enrichment and engagement in whatever he asked for. And by age 7 he had "caught up" or surpassed kids that started reading at 2 and 3. And I don't think any of those kids reading in my kid's class "crashed". I just think at age 10, they're mostly normalized. Some of them are definitely gifted and ahead, and some are bright students with engaged parents. Either is a good thing!

 

Early reading just may not be indicative of anything more than the fact that your child is an early reader IMHO. In our area, it is extremely popular to get your child reading ASAP so I'm watching dozens of these kids approach their teens.

 

If kids are excited to learn to read, I think it's great to follow their lead for sure. Had I known my oldest was GT, I might have thought to encourage it more. My kids started music lessons as preschoolers and plenty of people thought that was nuts. But they were both anxious for that and it's been a fantastic outlet for them. I think ultimately parents know their own children best.

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Most of the kids I know who were early readers turned out just fine. :001_smile:

 

Actually, most early readers do more than fine...they do great, and stay ahead all the way through school. There was actually a statistically sound study about this, but I did not write it down, I found it early on in my research and study of reading and phonics and have since lost the reference. I did not keep track of things as well at first, I was just learning them for my own enjoyment and knowledge and to help with my volunteer tutoring efforts. Now that I have a website, I keep track of things in case I ever want to link to them or quote them.

 

But, while I think it is fine to teach an interested child early, I also think you should use phonics and not Doman's sight word methods, I have seen too many problems later on from sight words for some children.

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Any early readers that turned out to be fine?

Yep. :) Kiddo that was reading fluently at 3 is fine. Kiddo that waited 'til she was 5 to read fluently is fine too. :o) Both are voracious, curious readers. They're only 11 and 8 now, and certainly they may develop awful attitudes as teens or some other such wretchedness, but I see no signs of crashing and burning yet. :)

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I suspect the problem isn't teaching a child to read early. It's that, when you push a child early in any area, you're showing the child that this is important to you. If the child has too much built up in being the best X, and they're suddenly not, that's going to be more of a psychological crash than if being good at X is simply one thing that they do, and that there are a lot of other things they're good at, too, plus some they're not good at.

 

This is a very good perspective to have for all gifted kids. It can only be beneficial. The big fish/small pond thing scares me. What happens when someone is used to being "the best" at something and then is suddenly not.

 

I'm absolutely driven to make sure my kids don't have that experience. They're not "the best" at anything anyway, but my two oldest are driven in their areas of passion. I consciously put them in situations where they are not the best in that area. It can take some work, but I think it's very important. (It would be easy to sit back and let them swim around in the small pond, being very proud and letting them take in all the accolades.)

 

It's also important to my family that the kids be well-rounded. They regularly participate in activities in areas that are not strengths. We also aim for variety.

 

 

And realistically, when your child starts turning flips out of trees, you put them in gymnastics to hopefully help keep them safe. When your child starts picking out words all over the place, it's not a bad idea to make sure that they know that letters make sounds and spend a little time on decoding, for the same reason-no matter HOW old they are, or aren't!

 

I like that last bit! Teaching defensive reading! :D You know, you could generalize that to so many areas. That gymnastics comparison is classic! I actually know children who were put in gymnastics (and blew the socks off of everyone) for that very reason!

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I don't think it's having a prodigy child per se that leads to problems down the road, but the idea that the child is loved because s/he is a prodigy can lead to problems. The child should learn that s/he is loved unconditionally, not because of his prowess.

 

Likewise, early reading isn't a problem in and of itself. But it doesn't really give a child any great advantage.

 

Many young children are not ready for it in terms of their eyesight and their ability to concentrate and attend to a task. It's better to wait until they are physically and psychologically ready for it instead of forcing on them before they are really ready.

 

Any child who is pushed too much at an early age can run into problems down the line. There should be adequate free time/play time for the child, time for the child to explore his or her own desires, not just be directed by adults all the time.

 

An enriched environment is beneficial. However, excessive early schooling isn't beneficial. Homeschooling works great because the education is so much more time-efficient. You can do a great deal in a short period of time, so there is plenty of time left for free play.

 

Ideally, much of the parent-child interaction should be mutually enjoyable, not just the parent imposing his will on the child. Playing together, reading books to the child, interacting with the child are all examples of this. Spending large amounts of time on early academics is not generally a mutually enjoyable use of time, and can backfire down the road.

 

That said, my dd did Suzuki violin starting at age 3 or 4 and has continued playing- now she's 12. These were mainly once/week individual lessons by a teacher who also had a master's in early child education, so she was very age-appropriate with our dd. She made it fun for her, and my dd learned to play the violin early on.

 

We didn't force her to practice when she was young. She mainly just listened to the cds between lessons to learn the songs by ear. And she was always homeschooled, so she had the comfort of home and her mother. So, psychologically, it was not a difficult time for her- she really flourished during this time when she was 4-5.

 

So, now she is some sort of music prodigy- plays violin very well, and plays several other instruments. But with homeschooling and lots of free play time, it hasn't been difficult for her psychologically.

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Actually, most early readers do more than fine...they do great, and stay ahead all the way through school.

 

From what I've observed, the kids who were "natural" early readers often do stay way ahead of their agemates. The ones who merely had pushy parents (in my neck of the woods the Jr. Kumon crowd) typically wind up "normalizing" by about 3rd or 4th grade. This is where I suspect the whole "they all even out by 3rd grade" myth in education comes from.

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Any early readers that turned out to be fine?

 

I have two early readers who turned out just fine. Both love to read and write. One asked to learn so I taught him using a phonics based program and the other just picked it up almost intuitively and was suddenly reading fluently one day without any formal instruction.

 

Like many of the other posters mentioned, I think the difference is that some parents teach their child to read because their child is asking to learn (either verbally or showing the signs of readiness) whereas others push their children to read early using the methods like Doman or Kumon.

 

I don't believe the actual act of decoding the words is the thing that sets apart the gifted from the average (level out kind of kids). The comprehension is where I look at the kids' grade levels because really what is the use of being able to decode at a high level when you don't understand what you are reading. When finishing 100EZ lessons it says the child is reading at a 2nd-3rd grade level but that is decoding skills not necessarily comprehension skills.

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From what I've observed, the kids who were "natural" early readers often do stay way ahead of their agemates. The ones who merely had pushy parents (in my neck of the woods the Jr. Kumon crowd) typically wind up "normalizing" by about 3rd or 4th grade. This is where I suspect the whole "they all even out by 3rd grade" myth in education comes from.

 

I don't believe the actual act of decoding the words is the thing that sets apart the gifted from the average (level out kind of kids). The comprehension is where I look at the kids' grade levels because really what is the use of being able to decode at a high level when you don't understand what you are reading.

 

 

he had a lot of kids who were ahead in early elementary, started leveling out as the curriculum moved to more application, and who, when they hit a class where memorization didn't work, crumbled.

 

 

This is exactly what is happening to my older DD. I was that pushy parent teaching her to read at age 3 (via phonics). She had some natural ability (an amazing memory), but would never have learned to read if I hadn't taught her. Her ability to comprehend has always lagged behind her ability to decode. She's in 2nd grade now, and using a 3rd grade language arts program. There is no way she'll be ready for the next level by next year. I suspect that she'll end up decidely average in language arts.

 

That said, I have *no* regrets about being that pushy parent teaching her to read when she was younger, and our (10 minute!) lessons were enjoyable for both of us. She's been able to entertain herself with reading these past years, a great skill on long car trips and for waiting rooms. She's been able to fill her mind with far more stories than I'd have time to read to her. She still enjoys reading, and I often have to tell her to put her book down. She would still have comprehension problems, even if she hadn't learned to read at a younger age.

 

It is saddening to watch my daughter change from a very advanced reader to a mediocre one. However, the change is due more to her over-reliance on memorizing and difficult with other types of thinking, rather than me teaching her to decode early or having unrealistic expectations.

 

ETA:

I taught my daughter *zero* sight words. Any sight words she learned, she learned on her own. I did not and do not push my daughter when it comes to memorizing. She just memorizes so effortlessly that it is hard to get her to try other methods of looking at things.

Edited by Kuovonne
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It is saddening to watch my daughter change from a very advanced reader to a mediocre one. However, the change is due more to her over-reliance on memorizing and difficult with other types of thinking, rather than me teaching her to decode early or having unrealistic expectations.

 

Donna:

I don't believe the actual act of decoding the words is the thing that sets apart the gifted from the average (level out kind of kids). The comprehension is where I look at the kids' grade levels because really what is the use of being able to decode at a high level when you don't understand what you are reading. When finishing 100EZ lessons it says the child is reading at a 2nd-3rd grade level but that is decoding skills not necessarily comprehension skills.

 

I think it's easy to loose sight of the big picture, if we just focus on mastering the skill of reading. I agree with Donna, that the goal of decoding is comprehension. Which leads to better understanding, and a deeper level of thinking and reasoning on a subject matter. To be able to reflect and correct ones thinking and misconception, should the end goal. Perhaps once they've mastered the skill, we should encourage our kids onto the logic and rhetoric stage of education.

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It is saddening to watch my daughter change from a very advanced reader to a mediocre one. However, the change is due more to her over-reliance on memorizing and difficult with other types of thinking, rather than me teaching her to decode early or having unrealistic expectations.

 

I think it's easy to loose sight of the big picture, if we just focus on mastering the skill of reading. I agree with Donna, that the goal of decoding is comprehension. Which leads to better understanding, and a deeper level of thinking and reasoning on a subject matter. To be able to reflect and correct ones thinking and misconception, should the end goal. Perhaps once they've mastered the skill, we should encourage our kids onto the logic and rhetoric stage of education.

 

My daughter used to be a very advanced reader because simply decoding is advanced for a young child. She still is accelerated in language arts, because even work a year ahead is still mostly a function of memorization. However, she is rapidly approaching the point where memorization isn't enough.

 

I know that the goal of reading is understanding. I desparately want my daughter to understand what she reads. Unfortunately, she will happily read chapter after chapter without understanding what is going on. It doesn't help that that she can "read" books that are far above her grade level, and the few tests that she has taken for reading comprehension give her similarly high marks.

 

So how do you reach that big goal of comprehension? Simply reading more doesn't seem to do much for DD. Reading comprehension worksheets don't help her. Narrations produce either paragraphs quoted verbatim, or tears. So now I'm just waiting.

 

I suppose that this question doesn't even belong on this board, even though DD is currently accelerated because she soon won't be.

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I always thought prodigies were born not bread.

 

A prodigy is simply a person who does something in such an extraordinary way that other people are amazed or struck with wonder. Hence, a prodigy can be entirely natural, with no undue outside effort, or a combination of nature and nurture.

 

A certain level of natural ability is required, but a completely 'natural' prodigy is pretty rare (the easiest example here is a math prodigy who can perform complex computations without being taught). Most famous (and truly wonder inducing) prodigies certainly had their natural talent nurtured, with much time, effort, and money being expended by their parents. William Sidis and John Milton, for example. Both were undoubtedly born gifted, but their early achievements may not have been nearly as startling if it weren't for the intense involvement of their parents. Even the genius of Mozart might have gone unrecognized till he was, oh, say, a teenager ;), if his father hadn't been a professional musician himself, willing to spend hours each day working with him.

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I know that the goal of reading is understanding. I desparately want my daughter to understand what she reads. Unfortunately, she will happily read chapter after chapter without understanding what is going on. It doesn't help that that she can "read" books that are far above her grade level, and the few tests that she has taken for reading comprehension give her similarly high marks.

 

So how do you reach that big goal of comprehension? Simply reading more doesn't seem to do much for DD. Reading comprehension worksheets don't help her. Narrations produce either paragraphs quoted verbatim, or tears. So now I'm just waiting.

 

I ditto this question. When dd1 reads simple stories, she does a great job with narration. When I read something to her, she doesn't do well, but I think that she just needs to concentrate. However, we just started reading chapter books. She did a good job with Five Little Peppers but with the Laura Ingalls Wilder biography, she can't get the succession of time - the fact that babies grow up to get married...she doesn't get that...how do we move towards that? (just explain it until she does?)

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As an interesting aside, Glenn Doman does not have an academic background; rather, he is a trained physical therapist who first gained fame for his methods in working with brain-injured children. He founded The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in 1955, and his brain-injury methods earned just as much praise and flames as his baby-teaching methods.

 

He works on the theory that an injured brain/body can be taught, via near-endless repetition, how to perform certain actions; peforming these action correctly helps repair the brain. For example, a brain-injured child might spend hours each day being 'patterned,' that is, having other people maneuver his body in the 'correct' format for crawling, etc. After so much patterning, the child would eventually be allowed to creep, then crawl, in therapy sessions.

 

I know that, in the 70s, it was considered essential that each stage of physical development be done correctly and imprinted on the brain before the next stage could be achieved 'correctly' and the brain injury improved. Walking without crawling first? Bad, very bad. I'm not up to date with his institute, but I would imagine this still holds true, as patterning still has pride of place among the methods.

 

Most of the criticism stems from two aspects: few professionals believe that physical development must go in a certain order, and few families can carry out a therapy regime that is the equivalent of a full-time job, and that cannot be done without numerous volunteers. Their stance on epilepsy is particulary controversial; they state that seizures are not, in and of themselves, harmful to the brain, and require their clients to be weaned off of anti-convulsants.

 

The baby stuff is an extension of these methods: if the brain of a special needs child can be 'repaired' and improved, then surely the brain of a 'regular' child can be improved as well. Doman has stated that he believes every child born has a greater potential intelligence than Leonardo da Vinci ever used.

Edited by katilac
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A prodigy is simply a person who does something in such an extraordinary way that other people are amazed or struck with wonder. Hence, a prodigy can be entirely natural, with no undue outside effort, or a combination of nature and nurture.

 

A certain level of natural ability is required, but a completely 'natural' prodigy is pretty rare (the easiest example here is a math prodigy who can perform complex computations without being taught). Most famous (and truly wonder inducing) prodigies certainly had their natural talent nurtured, with much time, effort, and money being expended by their parents. William Sidis and John Milton, for example. Both were undoubtedly born gifted, but their early achievements may not have been nearly as startling if it weren't for the intense involvement of their parents. Even the genius of Mozart might have gone unrecognized till he was, oh, say, a teenager ;), if his father hadn't been a professional musician himself, willing to spend hours each day working with him.

 

I agree. I don't think a prodigy is born, but made. Good point that there needs to be natural ability -- I do believe that some children learn certain skills more quickly and easily than other children. (As an example -- I have one who picks up physical skills with ease and one who is more of a klutz.) Although there may be natural ability, a prodigy needs hours and hours of focused practice in order to attain advanced skill (thinking musicians here).

 

Definitely nature plus nurture.

 

:iagree:

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My daughter used to be a very advanced reader because simply decoding is advanced for a young child. She still is accelerated in language arts, because even work a year ahead is still mostly a function of memorization. However, she is rapidly approaching the point where memorization isn't enough.

 

I know that the goal of reading is understanding. I desparately want my daughter to understand what she reads. Unfortunately, she will happily read chapter after chapter without understanding what is going on. It doesn't help that that she can "read" books that are far above her grade level, and the few tests that she has taken for reading comprehension give her similarly high marks.

 

So how do you reach that big goal of comprehension? Simply reading more doesn't seem to do much for DD. Reading comprehension worksheets don't help her. Narrations produce either paragraphs quoted verbatim, or tears. So now I'm just waiting.

 

I suppose that this question doesn't even belong on this board, even though DD is currently accelerated because she soon won't be.

 

To be honest, I have nothing helpful to add :confused:. You might want to start a new post specifically addressing your concerns. I hope you find what you're looking for.

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I know that the goal of reading is understanding. I desparately want my daughter to understand what she reads. Unfortunately, she will happily read chapter after chapter without understanding what is going on. It doesn't help that that she can "read" books that are far above her grade level, and the few tests that she has taken for reading comprehension give her similarly high marks.

 

So how do you reach that big goal of comprehension? Simply reading more doesn't seem to do much for DD. Reading comprehension worksheets don't help her. Narrations produce either paragraphs quoted verbatim, or tears. So now I'm just waiting..

 

For my early reading kids, some of the comprehension type skills like inferencing and predicting seemed to need life experience to develop more than being something we could specifically work on. I saw this most clearly with my dd, who when assessed by a reading specialist (I think she was 6 or maybe a young 7 at the time...don't remember) was decoding at a 12th grade level but comprehending at a 7th grade level. The questions she was missing the answers to were those that required her to have knowledge outside of the passage itself.

 

If a very young child is decoding at a high level, they tend to end up reading books meant for a more mature child so they don't understand the inuendo or the figures of speech, etc... until they've been exposed to them. I found often she didn't understand that characters would have an ulterior motive or might be being dishonest. She was just too innocent to even think along those lines.

 

Some of the things we did/do to work on comprehension are to read and discuss deeply books way below their decoding level...along the lines of Classics in the Classroom and Suppose the Wolf's an Octopus' higher levels of questioning. We intermingle well written picture books with chapter books and novels because there are so many great books out there to read. I tend to think along the lines of "so many books, so little time," so we didn't rush to chapter books and forget about picture books as soon as the kids were able. I also had them work through a couple of the Reading Detective workbooks to learn to find the answers to questions with backup from the text. Learning how to take apart a story by discussing the parts of the story and outlining the action in a story seems to help.

 

But really those much deeper ways of thinking about a story still seem to need maturity and more exposure to life. Though I am saving many of those really great classics for when she is a bit older and will be able to fully enjoy them, we do pick some to work on now and then that I think she may enjoy reading more than once in her life. I still find myself appreciating a book differently when reading some books with her that I enjoyed in high school. It is really neat to think about how the change in perspective affects how you read a book.

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Doman was mentioned in a reading specialist's conference that I attended many, many years ago. I was intrigued by his theories and bought the book. I used the method for a few days with ds (then 18 months) and well, I'd prefer not to go into a lot of details because I'd prefer that no one get any ideas from me about how to implement his program, suffice it to say, I consider the method to be a little dangerous. It was very, very obvious that ds was going to read and read very young. But, because his reading (ability to read based on memorization - which I will say that in the pre-school age range, kids are absolute sponges and memorize extraordinary amounts of information) was going to be on a level in which his language skills and ability to comprehend would be low but his desire to constantly attain more and more difficult words would be high. The end result being a child that wants to "read" high school level material at the age most children are just learning to decode consonant vowel consonant patterns.

 

I stopped immediately because the consequences are, in my opinion, an 18 mo., 2 - 2.5 year old child demanding reading material that they can not begin to emotionally assimilate. I felt like it would end up stealing his childhood. I dropped the program within a week of beginning and with no further coaching, he was reading with assistance at four and independently at five. I was quite happy to have a four year old reading "Where the Wild Things Are" instead of "Robinson Crusoe" or begging for a high school history text while not mature enough to handle the information.

 

I also read a book about a young mother (she and her husband were both engineers) of two children with precocious abilities from birth who used his method before her children were even a year old...now these children were speaking sentences at 9 months and paragraphs before 12 months so their vocabulary and comprehension were already unbelievably advanced.

 

She did it because they were such difficult children to entertain and thought that if they could read, it would help them be more content. It worked and they were reading everything in sight by 18 months and doing high school level work in 2nd and 3rd grade. Though capable of algebra by age 7, she did delay that so she wouldn't be dealing with college level science courses when they were so small. The boy graduated with a degree in chemistry at age 11 or 12 and then went on to grad school. The girl was very, very shy about her abilities and though equally precocious, didn't graduate college until around 16 if I remember correctly. At any rate, I saw the mother in an interview and she expressed some regrets at having used the program. She felt that though her children were naturally prodigious, by pursuing reading in their infancy, they ended up completely losing their childhood because they kept demanding more and more difficult materials. They were so young when they entered college that she had to attend with them and her life was CRAZY!

 

The interesting thing is that though she doesn't share a huge amount about her own childhood, it appears that she was on at least the high end of gifted if not genius. Both of her children had to have their IQ's extrapolated because they were off the charts. I have a feeling she may have been very close herself. The comments she did make about her childhood and education weren't too pretty and it appears that she was always craving advancement that wasn't available to her. She also had an eating disorder that was bad enough that she had a very serious problem controlling it in order to have healthy pregnancies. So, I find that interesting since there seems to be some correlation statistically between prodigious females and eating problems. I've never been able to find any follow up information on her children. I have wondered if her daughter developed the same issue.

 

At any rate, I think that Doman's methods might be useful for retraining an older child, teen, or adult who has suffered a brain trauma. I think he is a nut job for promoting this for babies!!

 

Faith

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I also read a book about a young mother (she and her husband were both engineers) of two children with precocious abilities from birth who used his method before her children were even a year old...now these children were speaking sentences at 9 months and paragraphs before 12 months so their vocabulary and comprehension were already unbelievably advanced.

 

She did it because they were such difficult children to entertain and thought that if they could read, it would help them be more content. It worked and they were reading everything in sight by 18 months and doing high school level work in 2nd and 3rd grade. Though capable of algebra by age 7, she did delay that so she wouldn't be dealing with college level science courses when they were so small. The boy graduated with a degree in chemistry at age 11 or 12 and then went on to grad school. The girl was very, very shy about her abilities and though equally precocious, didn't graduate college until around 16 if I remember correctly. At any rate, I saw the mother in an interview and she expressed some regrets at having used the program. She felt that though her children were naturally prodigious, by pursuing reading in their infancy, they ended up completely losing their childhood because they kept demanding more and more difficult materials. They were so young when they entered college that she had to attend with them and her life was CRAZY!

 

The interesting thing is that though she doesn't share a huge amount about her own childhood, it appears that she was on at least the high end of gifted if not genius. Both of her children had to have their IQ's extrapolated because they were off the charts. I have a feeling she may have been very close herself. The comments she did make about her childhood and education weren't too pretty and it appears that she was always craving advancement that wasn't available to her. She also had an eating disorder that was bad enough that she had a very serious problem controlling it in order to have healthy pregnancies. So, I find that interesting since there seems to be some correlation statistically between prodigious females and eating problems. I've never been able to find any follow up information on her children. I have wondered if her daughter developed the same issue.

 

At any rate, I think that Doman's methods might be useful for retraining an older child, teen, or adult who has suffered a brain trauma. I think he is a nut job for promoting this for babies!!

 

Faith

 

And she attributes her kids' appetite for challenge and the accompanying difficulty of raising PG kids to to Doman?! Insane!

 

Obviously unrelated.

 

I guess it's nice to have a program to blame, though.

 

Sad.

 

That's all I have to say about that.

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She felt that though her children were naturally prodigious, by pursuing reading in their infancy, they ended up completely losing their childhood because they kept demanding more and more difficult materials. They were so young when they entered college that she had to attend with them and her life was CRAZY!

 

And she attributes her kids' appetite for challenge and the accompanying difficulty of raising PG kids to to Doman?! Insane!

 

 

I do agree it is unrelated. But I could see that this parent MIGHT look back and maybe taken a more laid back approach to her children's early childhood.

 

I have a kid that tests above 99.9 percentile consistently. First in IQ and later in achievement. And I have no intention of attending college with him. My kids are challenged daily at their level in several areas - not just academic but in music and their athletics of choice. But I definitely go wide and deep and let them pursue learning on their own. If one of my kids at 12 or 14 came to me and said they were interested in college full time, I'd pursue. But if they don't, we're holding off as long as possible! Just because a child CAN go to college very young doesn't necessarily mean they SHOULD. There are many emotional and social ramifications to consider. My kids enjoy their age peers and are quite laid back and have lots to learn in terms of work ethic. There are other kids where that might absolutely be the right decision.

 

BTW - I'm not insinuating my kid is as gifted as the kids mentioned above. But he is definitely a kid that could attend college by high school age if that were a concerted goal. My DH and I both have engineering degrees though. :001_smile: It's really hard to say where he'd be had we done academics with him early and he went to 2 years of PS. There are many ways to parent these kids. I'm very glad we're able to homeschool.

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I do agree it is unrelated. But I could see that this parent MIGHT look back and maybe taken a more laid back approach to her children's early childhood.

 

kck,

I dunno. A PG child (and I have met other PG kids like this, so I'm going to assume it is common in that group) is going to push and push and the parents just have to keep up. I don't think there is a choice like "I am going to take a laid-back approach and you're not going to read and constantly seek intellectual stimilation." I have a strong suspicion that the author's kids were of this type. It *sounds to me* like the author was regretting using the Doman method of teaching them to read and lamenting that the early reading caused their appetites for intellectual stimulation. I think that's bogus. Anywho...

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I have a strong suspicion that the author's kids were of this type. It *sounds to me* like the author was regretting using the Doman method of teaching them to read and lamenting that the early reading caused their appetites for intellectual stimulation. I think that's bogus. Anywho...

 

:iagree: A PG child will find a way to get their intellectual stimulation no matter whether they were taught to read early or not. The early reading using the Doman method didn't cause the appetite...really, don't give Mr. Doman credit and another wacky claim to put in his commercials. ;)

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:iagree: A PG child will find a way to get their intellectual stimulation no matter whether they were taught to read early or not. The early reading using the Doman method didn't cause the appetite...really, don't give Mr. Doman credit and another wacky claim to put in his commercials. ;)

 

Not all PG dc read early, either, with or without the Doman method.

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Not all PG dc read early, either, with or without the Doman method.

 

I guess this was my point too. My PG kid did not read early. My 2nd didn't either, although I'm not quite sure she's PG. She's probably at least HG. I never had early readers around the house - just wasn't on my radar. My husband and I are both HG-PG, but were never IDed. We read plenty, but not for hours and usually more big chapter books as a family. I answered many, many questions and let them follow their interests when they were younger. My son had tons and tons of info on dinosaurs, sea mammals, electability and plumbing as a preschooler. Nothing that would have have shown up on an early achievement test. I never knew he was even gifted until we had a very problematic time in PS and discovered this over the course of several IQ and achievement rounds.

 

But I don't regret not knowing those years at all. He was a very happy and engaged preschooler. He just wasn't doing typical "school" things. It wasn't until we tried to fit him into a regular school that we really start to have problems. He's doing algebra now as a 4th grader, but understood many of the concepts conceptually a long time ago. Now he has the writing skills and patience to tackle it on his own. I still let my kids use quite a bit of their time to take side roads and explore and create. I do race wildly to keep up with my kids. But not necessarily always in a coherent, school centered way. We just take one year at a time!

 

I'm not insinuating this is the right road for everyone at all. I just got the feeling maybe the parents in the previous story had some regrets. I know there are kids that have the intensity, drive, maturity, and all the skills to be in college that young. My kids are more asynchronous.

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And thinking "psychological dangers (to the parent who is) raising a child prodigy"..... :lol:

 

But really.... there are a lot of factors. Early reading; age-inappropriate reading material; flashcard/ memorization methods; parent-led (vs. child-led) education; parental priorities and values....

 

Could any of those be damaging? Sure. For some kids. Could any one of them be fine? Sure. For some other kids. It's not as cut and dried as "that's bad" -- some kids will do well with things that are disastrous with other kids. I think if you know your own kid, and you're paying attention, and you're willing to change course when things don't go as planned... you're probably not going to do lasting damage by trying something. But if you're going by someone else's experiences without regard for what you already know about your own kid, and you're bound and determined to make it work come hell or high water... then even the most perfectly normal and unremarkable approaches could be a disaster.

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I guess this was my point too. My PG kid did not read early. My 2nd didn't either, although I'm not quite sure she's PG. She's probably at least HG. I never had early readers around the house - just wasn't on my radar. My husband and I are both HG-PG, but were never IDed. We read plenty, but not for hours and usually more big chapter books as a family. I answered many, many questions and let them follow their interests when they were younger. My son had tons and tons of info on dinosaurs, sea mammals, electability and plumbing as a preschooler. Nothing that would have have shown up on an early achievement test. I never knew he was even gifted until we had a very problematic time in PS and discovered this over the course of several IQ and achievement rounds.

 

This was my point. Even not reading early, your PG kids found ways without reading to get intellectual stimulation. Even before they started reading, my kids found ways to learn...by exploring, taking things apart, asking questions, asking to be read to, listening to music, etc...and mine are not PG.

 

I read a study in a journal, while my dd was having an assessment and the results were not what I would have expected so I always think of it during these types of discussions. The author of the study did a long term study of a large number of early readers...followed them through their school years. He found the majority were not more advanced than their peers in their later years. (I read it a long time ago so don't remember the details.)

 

That is one reason why, in my very 1st post on this topic, I said early reading does not guarantee a gifted child and not reading early does rule out a PG child. I have seen hyperlexic kids during my work who could read (decode) anything but didn't even understand basic language spoken or read...couldn't follow a one-step command. (Strange but it happens)

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This was my point. Even not reading early, your PG kids found ways without reading to get intellectual stimulation. Even before they started reading, my kids found ways to learn...by exploring, taking things apart, asking questions, asking to be read to, listening to music, etc...and mine are not PG.

 

I read a study in a journal, while my dd was having an assessment and the results were not what I would have expected so I always think of it during these types of discussions. The author of the study did a long term study of a large number of early readers...followed them through their school years. He found the majority were not more advanced than their peers in their later years. (I read it a long time ago so don't remember the details.)

 

That is one reason why, in my very 1st post on this topic, I said early reading does not guarantee a gifted child and not reading early does rule out a PG child. I have seen hyperlexic kids during my work who could read (decode) anything but didn't even understand basic language spoken or read...couldn't follow a one-step command. (Strange but it happens)

:iagree: My ds was a late reader, but he was asking deep questions at an unusual age & we had to go far deeper into some of these topics than you'd expect from a 4 yo. My dd's did similar things, but not the same way. However, my middle dd doesn't usually appear gifted to most people; she's more concerned with looking & acting cool even though she has told me that it's a lot of work to do that.

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This was my point. Even not reading early, your PG kids found ways without reading to get intellectual stimulation. Even before they started reading, my kids found ways to learn...by exploring, taking things apart, asking questions, asking to be read to, listening to music, etc...and mine are not PG.

 

My DS probably isn't PG (or if he is, it's masked by 2E issues) but the bolded is what drove me nuts about him during his toddler/preschooler years!

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Does anyone know what the potential cost is for parents who try to raise a child prodigy with the Glenn Doman or similar methods?

I'm a bit late to the conversation, but it is my understanding that you can't hold back a true prodigy, nor can for force someone who is not a prodigy to become one. You can encourage them or discourage them. I don't think that there is any method that will create one. The issue of psychological danger to the prodigy of raising them as a prodigy is moot. It might be psychologically dangerous to hold back someone who is a prodigy or to try to expect someone who is not a prodigy to act as if they were.

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Guest AshleyWilis

hi,

Well I think pressure reading should be avoided just It seems harsh for teaching kids.. Every person have their own capablities to learn and tounderstand things. No one can analyze this things in a kids of two or three year. Pressure reading technique is some what like training brains of kids ...I don't know the long term effect but surely can tell.. Its completely inhuman...

:angry:

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I'm a bit late to the conversation, but it is my understanding that you can't hold back a true prodigy, nor can for force someone who is not a prodigy to become one. You can encourage them or discourage them. I don't think that there is any method that will create one. The issue of psychological danger to the prodigy of raising them as a prodigy is moot. It might be psychologically dangerous to hold back someone who is a prodigy or to try to expect someone who is not a prodigy to act as if they were.

 

You can easily hold back a prodigy by denying them appropriate tools and training. Imagine a potential musical prodigy born into the Amish community, which forbids the playing of musical instruments. The inherent talent would still be there, but with no outlet. Mozart's genius certainly could not be forced, but I would say that the extensive early training and constant exposure to music and instruments that he had goes beyond 'encouragement.'

 

Other than those who can perform complex calculations in their head with no training, can anyone name any prodigies that didn't have extensive, deliberate training?

 

It's an interesting question. One can come up with examples of people who seem to prove that 'genius will out,' but it's obviously more difficult to come up with examples of thwarted genius. Because, well, the genius is hard to spot, what with the thwarting and all.

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