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When did you suspect your child was gifted, and what did you do about it?


Guest PinkLemonade7503
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Guest PinkLemonade7503

We have a just turned five month old who we suspect might be. Of course, we don't tell many people this, because as soon as we do she starts teething on a chair leg! ;):lol::001_huh:

 

My husband is a peds resident, so I feel like we are being realistic and conservative about the idea that she is advanced. Also, he is insanely brilliant, and I am relatively smart, so it is not too crazy to think she might be as well. He started reading, completely on his own, at age three. His parents literally left him in front of the TV all day, and didn't read to him or anything. His theory is, if we even try a little bit with dd, she will take off.

 

I know it is hard to know perfectly, for now, but it is nagging at me for a few reasons.

 

1) She is not very interested in the toys I have for her. I had to go up a "level" and get toys geared towards older kids (toddlers), and that are more interactive. (She does not quite have the motor skills to "do" these alone yet, so I hold her in my lap.)

 

2) I want to challenge her appropriately. My philosophy is more of a wait to do school, where my husband is a big fan of having them in college at 12. ;) I think we have compromised on following her lead, and so far that is looking like she will be an early reader, etc.

 

So, where do I go from here?

 

Thanks!

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Just play, talk, and read with her. Don't stop her from trying to do things typical for older children, but don't push her to, either. Just have a variety of levels of toys and books around and let her pick what she wants to engage in. Don't make too big a deal of it if she does things early--be proud of her for all her accomplishments, but you don't want her to learn to rate her self-worth relative to others. Explain what you are doing and when she begins to speak, answer her questions. She may or may not understand all you tell her, but don't assume she doesn't understand.

 

Just meet her where she is. This works for all kids. Gifted kids may learn faster and differently than other kids, but that doesn't mean they need different parenting. There are lots of other parents more experienced than I on these boards who can give you great advice on how to keep an advanced kid learning and challenged without speeding them through to college too young.

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Just enjoy your baby.

 

:iagree:

 

I haven't done anything different with my gifted kids than I would with a non-gifted kid as babies. With all, I try to avoid a lot of electronic toys (the kind that play for the kid rather than the kid using thinking skills to play with it) and read engaging picture books. My kids loved Sandra Boynton at that age, and I still have The Going to Bed book and Horns to Toes and Inbetween memorized. :D

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Guest PinkLemonade7503

Ok, well I looked up what troll means.

 

Sheesh, I thought this would be a safe place to ask. She has a vocabulary of about ten words, and I have a OT background and know what to look for. Obviously it is not conclusive, but after working so hard with our special needs blind child, it is a bit shocking when milestones are being met quite early.

 

I guess I did not articulate what I am asking very well. I am not looking for a learn to read at six months curriculum. I was just curious as to what people did for children that seemed to be advanced. It's not like it will hurt her if I am wrong. I have no idea where to start. I was looking for suggestions of toys that you thought had value, or CDs, or even DVDs.

 

We are teaching her Spanish, and attend Church in Spanish. Thank you for that suggestion.

 

We are also Sandra Boynton fans. Snuggle Puppy is a favorite here.

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FWIW, some of the earliest comments about my DD's focus and awareness were at about 5-6 months, by pediatricians and pediatric nurses when she was in a children's hospital due to pneumonia. She apparently was simply far more engaged in what they were doing and far more focused on one thing that was typical of a baby, to the point of being remarkable. She was also an early talker, and was very comprehensible by 5-6 months of age, stringing words together. By 9-10 months she was capable of carrying on a conversation with multiple word sentences and demanding specific books again...and again...and again... She could also entertain herself for long periods of time in her crib or while playing on the floor. I was convinced that the milestone books were just trying to encourage parents, and that surely it wasn't that DD was doing things a year or more ahead of where she "should" be.

 

She's told me since that she was reading before she could talk, and completely spooked me by recall of printed materials that she HAD to have seen before she was 18 months of age, that had not been read aloud to her.

 

It wasn't until she started showing behaviors typical of a 4-5 yr old at 15-24 months (and since I've taught preschoolers for years and worked with preschoolers in group settings, I KNEW what the typical range of preschool behavior was, on both ends) that I started to question whether her developmental differences were more than just a good, middle class, stimulating home environment.

 

But I can believe that a parent who has extensive experience with infants could pick it up earlier and at least have their antennae twinging a bit. In 20/20 hindsight, I have to wonder how I missed it, because DD's baby book from her first couple of years of life reads like a Ruf case story!

 

My suggestions-follow your child. Provide what she needs. If she needs more stimulation, more content, more interest, she'll let you know. For my DD as a baby, that meant spending a lot of time away from home, going to the park and botanical gardens and local museums and zoos and stores so she had something to look at and talk about. It included going to the library regularly, and bringing home stacks of books to read/look at, and in some specific areas (dinosaurs being a big one), going into adult content with a child who wasn't even kindergarten age yet. It included ignoring age-labels on toys from pretty early on. And it included trying to keep in mind that a 2 yr old who can argue with you in complete sentences is still 2, a 3 yr old can read may still have trouble understanding context and get upset over something she sees, a 4 yr old can be doing multi-digit math mentally, but still need prompting to use the bathroom, and so on.

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I do understand what you are asking, but there is really nothing special to do.

 

I took them to the park and built sand castles and pushed them on the swings. I went for long walks with them in the stroller and talked about everything we saw. I read lots of books to them. I listened to music almost all the time we were at home. (Music I liked, mostly folk music or rock. I can't stand squeaky violins!) I went on with life and included them as much as they (and I) were able to.

 

My kids were not interested in DVDs and were bored with the tv so we didn't do much of that. They had mostly normal physical skills so at five months, they were working on sitting and starting to figure out how to crawl.

 

I just did the things I liked to do and let them tag along.

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As far as toys-

Little people were a hit around here, and kept their play value for a long time. We started Duplo blocks by about age 1, and moved to legos at about age 3. Books, lots of books, and we moved away from board books pretty young. Puzzles from about 2-3-a favorite at that age was the 50 states one. Books in different languages and alphabets. Alphabet tiles and letter blocks. The Leapfrog Talking Word Factory was one of the few electronic toys we had, and DD LOVED it, although she quickly moved beyond building 3-4 letter words to simply using the giant letter magnets on the refrigerator. A play kitchen and toy food and costumes and imaginative play. A sandbox outside (ours was literally an under bed storage box filled with sand). A swing set and a swing on the porch. Cardboard boxes and plastic containers. Small musical toys and rhythm instruments.

 

IOW, not a lot different than you'd have for any other child-the only real difference was that we jumped to the older toddler/preschool toys earlier (and some are still around now-her lego collection is still going, and growing, strong five years after moving to big legos, and the duplos and little people still sometimes get played with as well). DD wasn't a "mouthy" kid-she simply didn't put objects in her mouth, so choking wasn't a big concern. I know other kids who are as gifted based on testing as DD is, though, for whom that WAS a concern, especially if they're hyposensory (DD tends to be hypersensory), so keep that in mind when picking toys/materials, but once toys in the mouth is no longer a concern, pick materials based on developmental/cognitive readiness, not chronological age.

 

In general look for open ended items that have a lot of flexibility in play-and go from there. NAEYC has a lot of publications and information on setting up classrooms for different stages of development that are helpful-and so is simply looking at a Lakeshore Learning catalog.

 

Regardless, congratulations on your baby, and enjoy this time. Sometimes I really miss those infant/toddler days!!

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Just enjoy your baby.

:iagree:

 

Both of my accelerated kiddos were preemies, so they hit their developmental milestones months later than normal. I wouldn't rely on that as an indicator of giftedness (neither of mine are PG, though, so that may be a factor). For me I began to suspect it when they were between the ages of 4-5, when their skills shot past their peers. Other indications were my oldest being able to hold a conversation at 13 mos. (although my youngest didn't say a word until almost 3yo), and my youngest's memories of events that happened when he was less than 2yo (spontaneously mentioned, clear, accurate memories).

 

All of the normal stuff...read to her, play lots of different types of music, talk to her like a person (not just baby talk), provide toys that can be manipulated, no TV (it is not interactive, so it is no more educational than blinking Christmas tree lights)...all of these things will help any baby develop and grow, regardless of giftedness.

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Well, I didn't have custody of my kids that young, but I do believe some kids show gifted tendencies that young.

 

I would recommend giving her lots of varied experiences, having baby-safe imaginative, manipulative toys (dolls and puzzle toys were big with mine), and having lots of inviting books. I would NOT recommend pushing her to focus on print before she decides to do that on her own. For some kids, this can damage their eyesight. If she's wired for that, she'll be doing it on her own quite early. (I have pics of my kid intently "reading" the tags on her xmas gifts at 11mo. She ended up an early reader.)

 

Varied experiences would include going to lots of different places and talking about stuff, having a rich variety of world music to listen to, going on nature hikes and getting hands-on, cooking together, bla bla bla - the stuff often recommended for kids, but at a higher concentration (if she can tolerate it). Letting her play around with a piano or other sturdy (but real) intstrument. I also recommend as much large-muscle play as you can manage. This was something my kid did not enjoy, so I had to make a point to do it every day. If she likes dance, yoga, etc., these can be intellectually stimulating.

 

My dd learned very early what the rules of the house were, so I didn't have to restrict her movements much. I designated certain cupboards that she was allowed to play in. She'd go do her daily "inventory" of all the stuff in the "safe" cupboards, etc. These contained the boxed noodles, plastic storage dishes, etc., cans - fun sensory "toys" to build concepts. I gave her lots of time to just sit and do her own thing.

 

I rarely allowed screen time before my dd was 2, but when I did, dd was very easily "sucked in." She would intently watch hours-long movies as well as some kids' music videos that I bought. The kids' music videos encouraged her to speak (she was not a very early talker).

 

Be prepared to be very patient with the millions of questions you will get as her speech gets fluent. And don't say anything you don't want her to hear, understand, and ask about later. In front of Grandpa. ;)

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Just enjoy your baby.

 

and

 

Just meet her where she is. This works for all kids.

 

:iagree:

 

If your little one is gifted, you have a few years before the real whirlwind hits. Just enjoy your time together and follow the above advice, and you will be fine for a while. :)

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I guess you could do whatever you need to, taking her lead. Just think of it as parenting vs. "challenging her" or as anything "academic".

 

I think I always knew there was something different but I coudn't really put my finger on it until someone clued me in to learning differences many years later. The boy is my only and prior to having him the only other care-giving experience I had was with my dogs and I guess I did inadvertently treat him like I treated my pets...lol. I talked to him a lot. And I talked to him like I would with an adult. It just seemed natural. I did that with my pets too. :001_smile:

 

Sang to him every single night, hugged him lots and lots, and told him over and over again how special he was (difficult labor and birth, he was born not breathing etc and I just couldn't get over that at the time), and how lucky we are to have him. I read to him a lot. Every.single.night. (the one thing different from my pets!). It wasn't with a view to teach him. It was because I loved books and another experienced mom told me to just do what I did best. And lo and behold, my sleepless and frequently colicky child responded so well to being read and sung to that I just continued from there.

 

I heartily agree with what previous posters have said about meeting her where she is and making her feel loved and giving special attention to her self-worth. And also, speaking to her in a different language if at all possible. This is the one thing I regret...I can speak, read and write in three languages but I only spoke to my son in English and this is the only thing I would do differently if I could.

 

Chances are, she will start asking questions early. Encourage them and learn with her. Expose her to all sorts of people and teach her to be brave to ask them questions too.

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Ok, well I looked up what troll means.

 

Sheesh, I thought this would be a safe place to ask.

 

You had one post and it's asking about a 5 month old being gifted. This particular board has had issues in the past with trolls coming on and trying to stir up trouble.

 

I didn't want to automatically assume that you are one, which is why I did answer your question.

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I have no idea where to start..

 

The library. Get a card, check out some kid's books and read to your baby. Sing songs, put different sorts of music on, talk about your day, tell your baby what you are doing while you are doing it (ie. making dinner, folding clothes), go outside for long walks...just regular stuff!

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My DD just hit all her milestones very early - both physical and language milestones months ahead of where they should have been - only her fine motor seemed to be less advanced though still a few months advanced according to the books.

 

Basically I just read ahead in the milestone books so that when she rolled at 6 weeks I knew what to do and what she might like to do. I talked to her a lot, involved her in everything I was doing (so she got a running monologue while watching me make supper or wash the dishes or when going for a walk) and I let her play with toys intended for older toddlers and children and made sure there were plenty of puzzles from beginning size to beyond what she was doing right then so she could advance faster if she chose to.

 

If she starts asking questions then answer them being careful to provide the information she wants and not what you think she is asking (and this can be difficult as it differs for different children - the classic example is not to give an in detail explanation of sex to a child asking where babies come from no matter how gifted they are - rather wait for a more direct question - gifted children tend to ask more anyway)

 

Toys we used: duplo, blocks, puzzles, dolls and stuffed animals, but mostly just normal things around the house - so at 12 months she was loading and playing DVDs by herself and working the remote, trying to hang washing with pegs, doing arts and crafts (painting and drawing) and so on

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She may or may not understand all you tell her, but don't assume she doesn't understand.

 

This is such great advice. I had people regularly tell me my oldest didn't understand what I was saying, and I was wasting my time. :001_huh: Yeah, she did understand me. Goodness, even if she hadn't understood, it would have been good for her to have that interaction. But she definitely understood.

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Let's see.

 

With my daughter, we started really noticing when she was eight or nine months old. She started talking -- recognizable words, not baby talk -- at nine months, which threw a lot of other people for a loop. At that point, I was trying to follow along in What to Expect: The First Year, and I kept having to page forward from my daughter's actual age by a few months in order to find descriptions that sounded like her. By the time she was 18 months old, she was speaking in complex sentences, with correct grammar.

 

My son was a whole different animal. He didn't talk at all -- meaning he wasn't even saying "ma-ma" and "da-da" discriminantly -- until he was two. We did teach him some sign language, which was wonderful, but he just didn't seem to have a lot of interest in talking. He also got bored with toys very quickly and always preferred to play with "real things" like kitchen utensils, rather than kid versions. Physically, he was consistently ahead of the WTE explanations, and I realized that he grasped the concept of numbers well before he was talking. In other words, I would tell him to take one cookie or three crackers or whatever, and he would take the right number. Once he did start talking, which happened while we were waiting for the appointment for an evaluation, he skipped baby talk and single words and went right to sentences.

 

Both of my kids also sang early. I remember my daughter running around the living room singing to herself when she was two-ish. One of my friends, who was at that point teaching music in a preschool, was over that afternoon. We were chatting away, when suddenly she stopped and looked at my daughter and said, "She's not supposed to be able to do that!" I didn't have a clue what she meant, but she explained that kids my daughter's age generally couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and that they rarely actually sang all of the words of a song. Apparently, when she sang with little ones, they usually chimed in only on the last word or two of each line. My kiddo, though, was singing, on pitch, all of the words.

 

And before my son was even walking, I used to play a game with him where I would sing a pitch and wait for him to "aaaaaahh" back at me. Then, I would move up or down a couple of steps, and he'd match me.

 

What did we do about it? We chose to homeschool.

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I just recalled, both of my daughters loved small-sized hardbound books at about your daughter's age--like the individual volumes of the Beatrix Potter books. They loved being read to, but I think they especially enjoyed those books because they were real (not board) books that were easier to manipulate with their little baby hands, so they could scoot across the floor to choose a book for themselves and then sit leafing through the pages looking at the pictures.

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I suspected with one child in infancy because he needed constant stimulation and was very much a high needs baby. With another child I didn't start suspecting until around age 3. They have very different personalities, but their "level of giftedness" is pretty similar.

 

As to what to do? Play, play, play. It isn't so much about the toys, but the interaction with you. Your child's favorite toy could be a cardboard box. Pretend play is an excellent way to develop future cognitive skills. A baby might not be ready to engage in a grand play sequence involving things like pirates and treasure, but you can start off with developing pretend play skills with things like pretending to drink from a toy cup, patting a toy doll, or pretending to go to sleep.

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I suspected with my oldest at 3 months, and my youngest right away. (Both have since been tested and are PG. Older is 2E with giftedness and two disabilities.)

 

Read, read, read! Engage, even as a baby, by pointing to pictures while you read, changing your tone of voice and facial expressions, and asking questions.

 

Always ask questions. Ask more than you tell! Don't pour information into that little brain... let that little brain soak up information from the environment and problem solve itself into a genius. A child who craves knowledge and knows how to seek it out will be much happier than one who is shown flash cards until they drop.

 

Don't baby-talk. Use full sentences and normal vocabulary, even when talking to a baby. (Sure, you can call your child "pookie" or whatever, but don't say "does pookie want a na-na?" Say, "Hi, Pookie... are you hungry? Do you want a banana? Mmm! I love yellow bananas!)

 

Don't spend all your time and money on flashy toys with songs and batteries and stuff. Simple toys like cardboard boxes, pillows, stuffed animals, wooden blocks, etc. are great. (Obviously you have to be more careful with little ones putting things in their mouths, but even when the baby reaches 2-3 years old, don't plop the kid down in front of an ipad and walk away.)

 

Mostly, just sit back, watch, and enjoy. Kids are a blessing, and they grow up WAY too fast... especially the gifted ones.

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My son is not gifted like your child but he very much paid attention to books for long periods of time as I read to him at 6 months old. He loved puzzles. First I put up colored shapes around age 9 months and he would crawl and touch the color I asked for. I did the regular baby puzzles at 1 year but he quickly had a talent for them so by 15 months he did 12 piece puzzles, 18 months 24 piece and 2 yrs old 48 piece puzzles. I explained to him at one year old to put the corners up first and work from there and he just understood the rules I told him. I had a Melissa and Doug ABC puzzle board and he would point to letters and have me say them over and over and he'd move to this next one. He was reading small words by three. Everything was initiated by him. Buying plastic toys for my son was the last thing he wanted. Mainly just books and puzzles, but every kid is different.

 

He couldn't stand being in the church nursery and would just go in circles like he was going crazy. I begged them to let him move up to the next age group because at least they had better toys in there, he was happier.

 

It became more apparent as he got older that he was different when he was 3 and he preferred not to wrestle outside with the other boys but would rather do those neat geography puzzles of Africa and tell his other 3 year old friends all the countries in Africa by memory.

 

If I were you I would just be very excited and assume she does understand!

Edited by roanna
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Another thing, and one that a pp mentioned, is to sing a lot. I sang foreign songs while I nursed DD and to help her sleep. I read so much to her because she hated to eat food and I needed a diversion, which may explain why she was an early reader and a good translator. Just for my Dd, and I don't know what other babies are like, mine could not be put in a playpen or anything like that. She had to be carried around everywhere because she wanted to participate in everything. She would not go in a stroller, and we had to use those front packs/backpacks so that she could see at an adult's eye level. Maybe she was just spoiled? :tongue_smilie: But those days were a lot of fun.

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Older boy is intense,sensory and has contact allergy, younger boy is intense and failure to thrive as babies. The first few years were like living through a whirlwind with two under twos.

 

We just meet them at their level and visit the library many times a week to cater to finding books on all their special interests. We also got fami;y memberships to the science museums because that is their favorite handouts.

 

And don't say anything you don't want her to hear, understand, and ask about later. In front of Grandpa. ;)

 

And it can be embarassing when using the shopping mall restroom and your toddler can read the grafatti on the toilet door in a loud booming voice.

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I can see if you are used to working with kids you may pick up on this early like that. I mean if you can pick up that a child is different in a SN kind of way from such a young age (I have known since my oldest was a few months old something was wrong with him) but we do get posts like these here from time to time from a snert just trying to stir things up.

 

With an infant even if gifted they are still a baby. I would read read read to her. Stretch away from the board books (though we love sandra boynton here), and read poetry etc. She may get it she may not but it is a good introduction to it for any baby/child just to listen while mom or dad reads. The same for most other print materials. Read the newspaper outloud, read chapter books, read your spiritual books etc. Followed closely by that just talking about your day as you go about it. Outtings/walks while talking about all you see in teh world around you.

 

Offer new experiences as she is physically and emtionally ready even if intellectually she seems ready sooner. No point rushing ahead academically if maturity and physical abilities are more typical. That's where the reading and talking all the time helps.

 

When not reading to her, spend time learning more about raising gifted kids. There is as much challenge in that as there is in raising special needs ones.

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Honestly, I got chewed out online for this, but when my first was 9 months old I bought a posterboard and box of crayons. I'd put him in the poster now and then and he'd (unintentionally) make dots, which led to intentional dots, which led to scribbles over time. I did this because a school aged mother, friend of mine, said her son never liked to color and now he didn't like to write. I bought crayons and a poster board on my next shopping trip. I got an online tongue lashing for Hothousing handwriting at nine months old. My second child was born into a household with dry-erase boards and buckets of markers already available, coloring books, papers, crayon, pens, pencils, paints, cheap canvasses.

 

There's a video at target called "mamma and baby yoga". There is a baby stretches and massage section that my son loved for a long time. My daughter wasn't impressed. My MIL was tickled because when my baby was fussy gassy I'd do one of the stretches, stretch his legs and push his knees into his chest and "fart the baby".

 

Another video my son, hubby, and I loved was "phonics for babies" by Mallory Lewis, also from target. We didn't have cable back in the day. It's Sherri and Lambchops daughter, who's also a ventriloquist. It also has a phonics song on it "a-a-apple, b-b-ball, c-c-cat, d-d-dog". Phonics is more than just learning to read, it's learning the sounds that make up words. My son has always enunciated clearly. I have to think our family's love of this song might have something to do with that. My daughter was born into a house with cable, a DVR recorder, and a family full of people who each have our own favorite shows. She never knew the joy of a single DVD for entertainment.

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There is as much challenge in that as there is in raising special needs ones.

 

Maybe in some cases. My friends with kids with autism would love to have my dd's issues. But that's another subject for another day.

 

I got an online tongue lashing for Hothousing handwriting at nine months old.

:lol:

 

 

To the OP, dd9 was in a Chinese orphanage and foster home for 14 months. Despite the lack of stimulation, toys, songs, experiences, etc, she still turned out ok. Some post-adoption issues but nothing too severe. We haven't done anything different with her than we did with our other kids who are not gifted/accelerated (not even sure dd9 is). We are a music-rich, word-rich, numbers-rich family. Our kids will be who they are without much intervention by me. I follow their lead most of the time.

 

HTH!

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Honestly, I got chewed out online for this, but when my first was 9 months old I bought a posterboard and box of crayons. I'd put him in the poster now and then and he'd (unintentionally) make dots, which led to intentional dots, which led to scribbles over time. I did this because a school aged mother, friend of mine, said her son never liked to color and now he didn't like to write. I bought crayons and a poster board on my next shopping trip. I got an online tongue lashing for Hothousing handwriting at nine months old. My second child was born into a household with dry-erase boards and buckets of markers already available, coloring books, papers, crayon, pens, pencils, paints, cheap canvasses.

 

Wait, nine-month-olds don't color? I mean, I know they don't really color, but mine both loved to scribble by that age. My second daughter would crawl over to open the cupboard and pull out the paper and colored pencils all over the floor to color every day at that age.

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Wait, nine-month-olds don't color? I mean, I know they don't really color, but mine both loved to scribble by that age. My second daughter would crawl over to open the cupboard and pull out the paper and colored pencils all over the floor to color every day at that age.

 

My gifted kid couldn't crawl at that age, LOL. But I bought those fat little plastic crayon holders from Crayola and let them write on their high-chair trays. I also let them do this with washable markers as long as they didn't try to eat the markers. One would scribble and the other would just make a little mark here and there. The funny thing is that, 5 years later, their artistic styles are still like that - one over-does it until a picture is overly dark and busy, while the other does "less is more" compositions that are quite pleasing IMO. :) And here I just thought my kid had no idea what to do with a crayon. :tongue_smilie:

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Wait, nine-month-olds don't color? I mean, I know they don't really color, but mine both loved to scribble by that age. My second daughter would crawl over to open the cupboard and pull out the paper and colored pencils all over the floor to color every day at that age.

 

No. Neither of my boys would hold a writing instrument let alone scribble at that age. That might be a difference in girls vs. boys though and their development of fine motor skills. My boys were too busy cruising and trying to crash every thing in sight to sit still for a moment and try to color.

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No. Neither of my boys would hold a writing instrument let alone scribble at that age. That might be a difference in girls vs. boys though and their development of fine motor skills. My boys were too busy cruising and trying to crash every thing in sight to sit still for a moment and try to color.

 

:iagree: My boys didn't color until they were forced to in the 18mo-2yr old Bible class at church, and even then it was just a tiny bit of scribbling. I'm now TEACHING my younger two how to color and actually fill something in. It is beneficial for their handwriting and fine motor skills, but it's not something they tried to do on their own.

 

My boys would rather pull books off the shelves at that age. Sometime around 9 or 10 months, I have a picture of DS2 having pulled over his fire truck to a bookshelf so he could stand on it and pull books off a higher shelf. He couldn't walk yet (had just started crawling), but he could pull up and climb. :D

 

Btw, as far as age ranges on baby toys go, I think those are there for safety purposes, not necessarily what kids will be interested in. I don't think it would be unusual for a young baby to be interested in a toddler toy, regardless of IQ. We always disregarded ages and just matched toy to developmental ability and interest. Baby #1 wasn't that mouthy (though he went through a brief mouthy phase at age 3), Baby #2 was mouthy and still is (at almost 6 :rolleyes:), and Baby #3 was not mouthy... he was playing little Legos as soon as he was physically capable of it, since he had big brothers playing with them. I had to chuck the "baby toys" pretty quick for #3, not because he's gifted, but because he knew big brother toys were way better. ;)

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My gifted kid couldn't crawl at that age, LOL. But I bought those fat little plastic crayon holders from Crayola and let them write on their high-chair trays. I also let them do this with washable markers as long as they didn't try to eat the markers. One would scribble and the other would just make a little mark here and there. The funny thing is that, 5 years later, their artistic styles are still like that - one over-does it until a picture is overly dark and busy, while the other does "less is more" compositions that are quite pleasing IMO. :) And here I just thought my kid had no idea what to do with a crayon. :tongue_smilie:

 

My girls didn't like crayons. They loved colored pencils that had been used and sharpened down until they were short, so I bought a pack of pencils and sawed them all in half.

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My eldest son, who is now 16, had about a dozen words at five months. He could also whistle, and imitate simple melodies and a few bird calls. He stayed on that curve for quite awhile, and was reading before he was three.

 

I didn't do anything different. I just thanked my lucky stars he didn't have to go to daycare and I could be home, loving on him and nurturing him, all day long. We spent our time following daily routines including music, books, blocks, cooking, lots of time visiting locations in our small town and in nature, and sitting on the front porch watching cars and trucks go by for hours and hours. We didn't have a television and DH was working and going to school, so it was just Mama and Baby most of the time. We just played. We rocked in the rocker and sang lullabies for a long time every evening, and ds would pop his baby head up and ask for his favorite songs.

 

I did the same kind of things with his little brother who is not gifted or even advanced. It's just parenting. :) It's just nurturing. The difference for my eldest son is that the connections being made in our daily life were on a higher order. His questions and observations were different. His ideas about what to play or do were unique.

 

As I said, he was reading long before he was three. He read the same things that all children read when they are learning. Lots of Dr. Seuss, Little Bear, Frog and Toad. I read Winnie the Pooh to him, and Where the Wild Things Are.

 

I felt a little at a loss about math for toddlers, so we just did whatever made sense to me at the time. We colored, sorted, counted, and worked through Ray's Primary Arithmetic just with me asking the questions conversationally as we manipulated beads and blocks.

 

We had a sandbox, a little garden, and lots of riding toys. Bathtime was science time, and as I mentioned earlier he played at cooking a lot. With all this and our time in the yard and woods, we found that most of the homeschooling curriculum for science was redundant. I remember getting all excited when he was four when I realized we hadn't done anything for weather yet, so we had a big time that fall making windmills, rain gauges, and the like.

 

The connection between Mama and child is such an important part of homeschooling gifted children. That level of trust and mutual respect...the way the child knows that he can trust you 100% with his ideas and wonder...to me, that was the biggest thing. It's also what remains to this day.

 

Speaking for myself and my son only, I believe that gentle, attachment parenting methods of breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and gentle discipline created that relationship where my gifted child could really develop to his best potential. Safety. Trust. Consistency. Gentleness. It was all just as much a part of our homeschooling life in those early years as the nature walks and wooden blocks.

 

Later on, when I was teaching great big children at home, I learned about Charlotte Mason's methods and ideals. She validated what I had seen for myself in my relationships with my children.

 

I've really rambled here. I hope some of it is useful! I just wanted to say, from my perspective 'way down the road, that I do understand and believe you about the special things your baby can do. But your child is more than a brain. Your child has every right to develop physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. I want to encourage you to focus on fostering excellent relationships and on creating a special learning environment at home and in your community. Grow the whole child. You won't regret it.

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We have a just turned five month old who we suspect might be. Of course, we don't tell many people this, because as soon as we do she starts teething on a chair leg! ;):lol::001_huh:

 

My husband is a peds resident, so I feel like we are being realistic and conservative about the idea that she is advanced. Also, he is insanely brilliant, and I am relatively smart, so it is not too crazy to think she might be as well. He started reading, completely on his own, at age three. His parents literally left him in front of the TV all day, and didn't read to him or anything. His theory is, if we even try a little bit with dd, she will take off.

 

I know it is hard to know perfectly, for now, but it is nagging at me for a few reasons.

 

1) She is not very interested in the toys I have for her. I had to go up a "level" and get toys geared towards older kids (toddlers), and that are more interactive. (She does not quite have the motor skills to "do" these alone yet, so I hold her in my lap.)

 

2) I want to challenge her appropriately. My philosophy is more of a wait to do school, where my husband is a big fan of having them in college at 12. ;) I think we have compromised on following her lead, and so far that is looking like she will be an early reader, etc.

 

So, where do I go from here?

 

Thanks!

 

Laughing that you want to challenge your FIVE MONTH old! She will challenge herself, figuring out how to get around, and how to get into all your stuff.

 

Seriously, I have an insanely brilliant husband, am rather smart myself, and we had those kids, who are now teens. My daughter began speaking dozens of words at six months old, and had an incredible memory. She was reading by four, if I recall. She had memorized every book I ever read to her very early on, and showed an incredible sense of humor...she got jokes, sarcasm , other things young children don't really get early. Son focused on patterns and order very early...he lined up his stuffed animals in order in his crib every day or he couldn't sleep. He did math as an old baby...I kid you not.

 

At any rate, all we did was easy going schoolwork at the pace they wanted to go, after reading dozens and dozens of books to them, even as young babies. Daughter wanted to do Kindergarten level work by age 2.5, so we did. We just slowly moved on from there. We read to son just as much, but he was more interested in how things worked, creating patterns and doing math...so we did that.

 

They always got everything very easily. But each had different strengths. I thought daughter was NEVER going to do math or get it. She hated it. She decided she wanted to go to a local classical high school in order to take AP Latin (loves Latin), so she did 8th grade math in two weeks, after blowing it off all year. Motivation has to come from inside.

 

She's the top student in her trig class at a gifted high school now and has made straight A's in math (she did NOT get this from me). She's in college 3rd year Latin, as well as other college classes. Go figure. I thought son was NEVER going to read. He finally did, at 7.5 years old. I thought he was never going to write. He finally did, like last year...at 12, writing decent papers. I worried a bit along the way, as each kid was different, and when your kid can't do something another kid can at the same age, when you are a young Mom, you worry.

 

He's now in difficult high school classes, at 13, and he's getting A's on his papers. Go figure.

 

So, the advice I'd give you now is to just relax and have fun with your babies. Talk to them all the time. When I read the paper in the morning, I'd say, Hey, X (kid's name), guess what is happening in the middle east (or whatever topic, always using large words, because I have a good vocabulary). Well, those kids got those large words, quickly, from context. Daughter scored in the 99th percentile on language arts on the PSAT practice exam last year. Son is off the charts in math and science and has been every year, and in low 90's in language arts. Their gifts showed up very early.

 

Just don't dumb anything down. I remember going to an event with a friend and her kids. The kids said to me, "You always use big words and your kids understand what you mean!" like they were surprised. They were just used to it. You will use that sing song voice you use to talk to babies and young children, but don't ever dumb down the language, though it is fine to explain the meaning of the word you just used, and I did.

 

My two cents. And I'm envious. I miss babies! My daughter says, "MOM! I'm ONLY 16.....you are NOT having grandchildren any time soon!" But I'm in my mid fifties! Time for grandchildren! :tongue_smilie:

Edited by TranquilMind
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This is such great advice. I had people regularly tell me my oldest didn't understand what I was saying, and I was wasting my time. :001_huh: Yeah, she did understand me. Goodness, even if she hadn't understood, it would have been good for her to have that interaction. But she definitely understood.

 

I always knew that mine understood me also, even as babies.

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im not sure this is what i should say, but i am looking for a thread in which to drop some remarks on recognizing mathematically gifted people. for one thing they are nothing like that doofus on "Numbers", who is giving mathematicians a bad name.

 

The real model for a mathematician is the Asperger's character of Monk, on the show of the same name. Im not sure how early this manifested however.

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My suggestion is to start researching what it means to parent a gifted child and find options for support and resources for the future (books, websites like Hoagies, follow a blog, attend of conference). The baby stage is fun and delightful. Enjoy it.

:iagree:Trust your instincts. You know her the best.

In our experience, my daughter is gifted in languages (as in she quickly learns Latin, etc.) and mathematics. I noticed things in her an early age (around 9 months) and then when she was about 3 or 4, she was putting together 100-piece jigsaw puzzles. I also remember a time (early elementary or so) when she was shown a wooden brain teaser 3D puzzle and she solved it in minutes while some of the adults around her never did figure out how to solve it. She also shows a strong sensitivity to light and noise.

 

For your situation, I would look for books on giftedness to be prepared and for help in choosing curriculum and games down the road. Your daughter is still very young. ;)

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I always knew that mine understood me also, even as babies.

 

Kids are so underestimated in this regard. Even "average" kids. Just because they can't repeat something doesn't mean it doesn't register! Last month my sisters were talking (grown-up talk) about my BIL and someone said "he's crazy." His 2yo dd, who was playing nearby, piped out, "he's not crazy, he's just funny." Foot in mouth!

 

My eldest probably isn't "gifted" as we define it. And her language development was delayed by the fact that she was adopted internationally at 12mos. At 13mos she was playing (sitting) across the room and someone mentioned "if she leaned over any more, she could scratch her head with her toenail." She immediately leaned further and scratched her head with her toenail. Now if you'd asked me, I would have said she had no idea what any of those words meant, leave alone the sentence, but I would have been wrong.

 

It's good to remember this for many reasons, least of which is the child's further development.

Edited by SKL
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SKL: Kids are so underestimated in this regard. Even "average" kids. Just because they can't repeat something doesn't mean it doesn't register! Last month my sisters were talking (grown-up talk) about my BIL and someone said "he's crazy. His 2yo dd, who was playing nearby, piped out, "he's not crazy, he's just funny." Foot in mouth!

 

 

 

Exactly. They understand far more than people think, at a very early age.

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Mmm.. Hmmm... And remember it for years unless I'm mistaken about small children. They'll tell you something from a year or two ago when they're two or three years old. It will catch you off guard when they start describing stuff and you're like "you never did that" and then you remember what your toddler's describing wasn't from yesterday but from last year.

 

I came back because I just remembered Eebie's Adventures DVD, also from Target. So cute! It's just babies and parents and one puppet playing simple games with a ball, and some scarves, stacking yoga blocks to make a fort, all set to a great soundtrack of great (IMO) kid tunes. If you like bright colors and simple play check out this movie.

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