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How do you know..or find out, if they're "gifted"?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
I think maybe my DD has some "gifted child" traits..especially with language, memory, and sensitivity to emotions.
I've been a nanny and worked it daycares for the past 15 years, so I've seen a lot of children...and only a very few like her, though I haven't loved any like I love her, lol. She's not even 2 yet, and is not in daycare, so I don't even know where to start (her pediatrician?). I'm not looking for info because I want a gifted child..I just, I want to make sure we're handling her properly and meeting her needs if this is the case. Thanks.
post #2 of 50
Personally I didn't bother to "find out" until my kids were much much older (like, age 14, the first point for us when it became relevant for schooling). At age 1 I suspected, but it didn't change a thing I did. I just did my best to be an involved responsive parent and support the kid in front of me. Nothing more is needed, IMO.

Miranda
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I just did my best to be an involved responsive parent and support the kid in front of me. Nothing more is needed, IMO.
Agreed. One of my DDs has special needs, and her IQ was tested as part of figuring out how her brain works. It turns out she has an extremely high IQ in addition to being autistic.

My other DD homeschooled when she was young, and started school at age 10. Her teacher suggested we test her IQ to see if she qualified for the gifted program. She qualified.

I'm not sure how accurate IQ testing is in young children, and I can't imagine what it would be useful for. What would you do different?
post #4 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Agreed. One of my DDs has special needs, and her IQ was tested as part of figuring out how her brain works. It turns out she has an extremely high IQ in addition to being autistic.

My other DD homeschooled when she was young, and started school at age 10. Her teacher suggested we test her IQ to see if she qualified for the gifted program. She qualified.

I'm not sure how accurate IQ testing is in young children, and I can't imagine what it would be useful for. What would you do different?
I guess nothing, really, at this point. We interact with her often. She's home with one of us every day, so she gets a lot of attention and we teach her things, but we dont' go overboard trying to "teach" her..she just learns through play and whatnot. I guess I just wanted to make sure we didn't need to be doing anything more with her, if she is in fact gifted. Thanks for the input.
post #5 of 50
My only point of departure from the above would be that if you do not plan on homeschooling, you may want to start thinking about your school options and reading up ahead of time. School and preschool can be problematic for gifted kids. Hoagies is the place to start whenever you're ready to read more.

Oh, and wrt the pediatrician, I hear a lot of people saying that their pediatricians gave them advice about giftedness, but personally I wouldn't put any stock in what a ped says on that topic. It is absolutely not something they are trained in.

Welcome to the board.
post #6 of 50
Thanks for posting this question. I've been kind of struggling with this a bit. Some days I worry I'm not stimulating him enough & other days I realize that the gifted label is nothing more than a label (DS is 17 months). And what I really just need to do is breathe & follow his lead.

the one thing I do have to add is that our sons pediatrician called his language development "scary" (in a good way) and told us to keep him very stimulated otherwise he was likely to start getting into trouble (as in inventing things to challenge himself - which is exactly what our vet warned us about with our border collie, and I don't really want to repeat that evolution of skills). No way am I going to go sign him up for a bunch of classes, but we do make a lot of outings (museums, farms, natural areas, public transportation, cities, travel, the beach, the forest - I end up driving a lot), exposing him to different experiences/environments/activities in a non-structured way.

I've actually starting giving him jobs that he can handle at home & he seems to love them. He hands me dishes from the dishwasher & I let him vacuum. He moves the laundry from the washer to the dryer or hands me clothes pins when we are hanging clothes up outside (all with supervision, of course). He picks the veggies in the garden. He likes to call the dogs and feed the cats & fill bird feeders. I wouldn't call it responsibility yet, but he seems to like contributing.

I don't know if that helps or not, or how old your DD is. I don't know that my kid is gifted either. But maybe somewhere in there something helps. Maybe.
post #7 of 50
I would suggest just reading up on characteristics of gifted kids. I agree that if you're providing a basically rich, stimulating environment as you would for any child, you're fine...don't overthink it at this age. But it was really helpful for me to realize that many of DD's quirks and intensities were very normal for gifted kids, and to learn more about things like overexcitabilities, sensory processing stuff, etc. This may not apply to your kid, of course. I have two, and while the second also seems quite bright, he has not presented the parenting challenges that my first has (or maybe we're just better at this now--but that's surely not all of it).

FWIW, my ped suggested that DD was gifted at her one-year visit, and all indications are that she was right...so sometimes they do see it.

ETA that when I wrote this post, we did not have DD's test results back...now we do, and she tested gifted. So way to go, ped!
post #8 of 50
How do you know, or find out? You hang out here and discuss her with us!

Seriously, this place is a goldmine - welcome to the forum!
At this point of course and until they're 5 or 6 or so, all you can really tell is that they're "developmentally advanced", as they're still developing in leaps and bounds and plateaus, so giftedness as it is commonly defined (97th or 98th percentile in an IQ test) cannot be determined reliably as relative development isn't stable until much later. But if you read up on what others post about their toddlers, you'll find out whether your child apppears to fit right in, unlike most other places IRL, where they never seem to do so. Personally, I find it refreshing to feel my child to be "normal" wtr to cognitive and verbal development, intensity, sensitivity, death fears etc, in fact to be on the low end of normal (as manifested in this forum) with some of these, as opposed to always be at the very end or off the proverbial chart.

I disagree that it is "just a label" - it may turn out to be one, and an unhelpful one at that, in a school setting, but it describes a reality for us - a syndrome", as it were, individual to every child in its various manifestations, but with lots of similarities.

OP, in addition to checking out preschools, I'd recommend reading up on th challenges of asynchronous behaviour and on reactive hypoglycemia (ie behaviour spiraling out of control simply due to low blood sugar), which seems common among gifted children, so you can react appropriatela when the time comes.
post #9 of 50
We were advised to do testing after a difficult year in school and it was really helpful because ds1 turned out to be 2e. Without the testing, I would never have suspected that he was gifted or that he has vision difficulties, even though I had a nagging feeling that something was not right. The testing was our starting point and after a year and a half, we have a much better understanding of his sensory needs, vision difficulties and mild dyslexia, all of which I probably would not have done anything about until much later if we did not test him. DH was actually quite skeptical about the gifted tag before he was tested, and then about the various issues, until ds2 hit 2 and the differences were so clear. As it is, I have been able to bring ds1 to almost average range now and i'm relieved to catch these while he's still so young.

I also find the information on gifted kids and their social/emotional issues really helpful because some - at least mine - needed help on that and you can't really find it under other labels. His EQ defnitely needed some coaching.
post #10 of 50
I didn't worry about it or frankly even think about it much until we were applying to schools and did the testing as part of that. At first I wasn't even planning to but eventually I did b/c it opened up some otherwise closed doors. (Though my DS is *not* PG or anything, and he would probably do fine in a sufficiently individualized and stimulating elementary school, being in a school for "advanced learners" has so far been great for him).

We also lived in a graduate student housing community, so most of the other kids around were pretty darn smart. And the families were interesting, and valued intellect. Lots of very cool kids.

I would advise as others have, that you follow the needs of your child and pursue testing only if you need to, at least when your child is so young- either to address concerns/problems, or for school admission.
post #11 of 50
For us, thinking ahead has been important. We have known our kids were gifted by 18 months of age. My first was gifted AND diabled. And then I kept finding out about cut-off dates AFTER I HAD MISSED THEM!! They were crazy early sometimes!

For preschool, we loved our play based coop. We did do some traditional pre-school and he was SOOOOO frustrated and bored. For school we are still struggling. We are now homeschooling our oldest and have the twins in Kindy. I am not sure what next year will look like!

I found the developmental charts at www.pbs.org very helpful. They are very detailed and tell you things like, "at this age, 25% of the children will be able to ID all of the letters, 50% will know 6-10 . . . " hoagiesgifted is really vital too!

It is also good to know that your child's abilities shouldn't be compared to other kids and how to respond to parents' when they express concern for their children. (Wow, kids can ride bikes at 3 without training wheels? I guess I should take our tw's off.)
post #12 of 50
IMHO, a young gifted child shouldn't be doing anything different than they would otherwise.
That being said, it can sometimes be daunting to meet the needs of a gifted child especially when their interests are far beyond their physical abilities. You might even have a safety issue on your hands as with the child who wants legos but still mouths things.
Determining whether or not your child is truly gifted probably isn't that big of a deal at this point. You said you wouldn't do things differently so I'd suggest just hanging out here. Read some and post some and you'll find there are lots of great resources here. I think, most importantly, allow your lo to be a child while she still is one.
GL!
post #13 of 50
As a slight "aside" and not to hijack the thread... I've been hanging out here a while and as no surprise, a lot of these "how do I know/what do I do" threads regarding toddlers come up and most people say (at the toddler level) just keep meeting his/her needs and don't worry.

It makes me think- when DS1 was a toddler and I too was going through that, I think more than anything, I think I may have been asking for resources for myself though I didn't know the words to ask or even that I was asking. All I knew was that I had this adorable little 20 month old that was spelling his name and talking in 8+ word sentances and driving me batsh*t crazy. And I think my friends were maybe giving me dirty looks and the grandparents seemed a little overly excited. WTH was going on?

So, I think my response to the OP is, your *child* may not need a whole lot different right now, but it doesn't hurt if you start switching your bedtime reading to include some books from the library on giftedness. Knowing I wasn't delusional and wasn't alone and having some real info on it really helped me when DS1 was a toddler.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
It makes me think- when DS1 was a toddler and I too was going through that, I think more than anything, I think I may have been asking for resources for myself though I didn't know the words to ask or even that I was asking. All I knew was that I had this adorable little 20 month old that was spelling his name and talking in 8+ word sentances and driving me batsh*t crazy. And I think my friends were maybe giving me dirty looks and the grandparents seemed a little overly excited. WTH was going on?

So, I think my response to the OP is, your *child* may not need a whole lot different right now, but it doesn't hurt if you start switching your bedtime reading to include some books from the library on giftedness. Knowing I wasn't delusional and wasn't alone and having some real info on it really helped me when DS1 was a toddler.
ITA!!!! I'm a mom of a toddler who hangs out here. DH and I were both gifted and so it wasn't a complete shock to us when DD was always advanced when it came to hitting all her milestones. That being said, there are so many questions that come up. What does this mean when she hits school? Do I need to be doing anything extra? When does she get tested? Is she just a bit advanced or way out there? How in the world can I keep this insanely intense kid from driving me batty all day and actually get her to sleep at night? Why can she speak so well but her pronunciation is so poor? What sort of toys/books would she be interested in?

I still don't have the answers to many of these questions but reading this board has helped. I also picked up Ruf's levels of giftedness (don't take it as a Bible of giftedness but rather an interesting read) and Genius Denied. I'm glad I did this early because it helped me understand many things that I went through as a child. That in and of itself was worth it for me! Plus I just love researching things like this so even if DD isn't gifted I've learned a lot in the process.

FWIW, the one thing that comes to mind that I do differently is not to put age expectations on her. We might introduce things early that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise (for instance, picking up longer books at the library or more difficult puzzles). Otherwise it might not have occurred to me to try that.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post
FWIW, the one thing that comes to mind that I do differently is not to put age expectations on her. We might introduce things early that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise (for instance, picking up longer books at the library or more difficult puzzles). Otherwise it might not have occurred to me to try that.
Exactly!
I'm not into putting labels on DD, but she too is a 20 month old who can spell her name, name her letters, animals, colours, shapes, count to ten, sort like things, and speak in complete sentences in two languages, and is delighted to sit through books that are meant for much older children. I rarely discuss this in real life, because I end up sounding like I'm bragging, which isn't the done thing in our neighbourhood.

It hasn't been an issue until now though. My DD gets frustrated playing with her peers because they can't communicate as fluently with words, so her questions and suggestions fall flat, so she ends up hanging back and not wanting to interact.
She also finds other toddlers unpredictable, and so doesn't want to get in there and play with them, which worries me.

I do think it's about going with their interests right now, and supporting them to access the resources and inspiration that will foster their excitement for the things that they are passionate about.

Right now, we spend a lot of time at the aquarium, learning about the various species there and watching the goings on in the big tanks. Lots of time at the library, where she picks the books she wants to read. Lots of time naming things and organizing things, which gives her pleasure.

I was in a toy store and asked about alphabet flashcards, thinking she'd love something like that, and was berated by the proprietor for "pressuring my child towards perfection when at this age they're just supposed to be playing." Well, for my DD, a box of ABC flashcards would thrill her and keep her happily PLAYING for ages.

I guess I'm nervous to be in this forum, but am here because I'm even more nervous in real life to talk about these things with my parent-friends. I don't want to be that 'stage' mama for giftedness. I just want DD to be engaged and excited about the world around her.

Thanks for listening, and thanks to the OP for being brave enough to open the discussion for us other nervous nellies!
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post
I disagree that it is "just a label" - it may turn out to be one, and an unhelpful one at that, in a school setting, but it describes a reality for us - a syndrome", as it were, individual to every child in its various manifestations, but with lots of similarities.


Truly gifted kids (as opposed to simply smart ones) have brains that work differently from everyone else's. The differences are magnified as one goes from gifted to very gifted to profoundly gifted. So a lot of times understanding that your child is gifted (in the technical 98% and above sense) is the key to understanding many of his traits and issues.

This was absolutely true for us. When ds was in preschool, his preschool teacher came to me and said, "I've been teaching preschool for 15 years and I've never seen anything like this." "This" meaning his panic attacks. In a 3 year old. Gah.

By subsequently understanding that Ds was highly gifted, we were able to understand all the aspects of giftedness and make sense of and help our panicking 3 year old. Books on giftedness continue to provide an assist to help him navigate through life. A road map, if you will.

Hope this helps...
post #17 of 50
ITA. There is so much *more* to it than "what sorts of games should I be playing?" type stuff. When DS1 was 2, he ended up with a speech disfluency (stutter) and had a severe poop withholding thing that made all of us miserable. Turns out that both were conencted to the emotional intensity, perfectionism, and frustration that gifted little dudes get. At the time, we had our first meeting with a psychologist who specialized in gifted kids. While the speech and potty were eroding our lives and here I am thinking "What is GOING ON here? What have I done wrong? What is with this kid? What is wrong with my baby?" and she very easily told me that these were not uncommon at all for kids like DS1 and started to describe these emotional components of this type of gifted. It was like a weight was lifted and a light went on. I realized that as the mom of a gifted toddler, I didn't need to be shoving puzzles in his face or enrolling him in french classes, I but I DID need to know more about what life had in store for him in the many other ways he needed (and still needs) support. I needed to know what was normal *for him* (and, of course, everyone is different, but it's helpful to have a ballpark of expectation).

Also, you will also experience weirdness with your friends and family who somehow interpret this as a competition, no matter how much you try to not have that happen. Knowing that you'll be looking for non-confrontational but honest words that honor your child while trying to reframe the conversation is not easy. And, you'll probably loose friends over it, no matter how hard you try because they will be unable to break out of that mindset. Knowing that others have BTDT is helpful.

So while I totally agree with others as to not to stress the cognitive part, games, etc. and not to worry about labels or testing, I DO believe that if you are thinking your toddler is gifted, to start educating yourself and finding supportive resources.
post #18 of 50
It can be very hard having an advanced toddler. As children get older, it isn't quite as pronounced that they are different. But when you have a 2 year old talking in paragraphs next to another 2 year old who is still staying, "Go Bye bye!" there is no way to avoid the conversation.

It is isolating because when you try to talk about the frustrations of your child wanting to potty train at 19 months, but can't push his pants down, other parent's think you are crazy or pushy to even entertain such an idea. Or if you complain about your 20 month old wanting to count and read letters and numbers all day, they think you are lying or hothousing or bragging (and exagerating).

I have learned to downplay some of my kids talents because it is so hard for others parents to see just how far ahead another child can be . . . and maybe there is something wrong because their child isn't there yet. Or I am a bad parent for forcing my children to ride bikes without training wheels WAY too young.

I am mostly rambling because I haven't had much sleep in the last week, but I think you may understand. A lot of the moms here are very laize faire about it (Don't worry about it, it doesn' t matter, follow their lead), but for some of us it is incredibly hard! Our children are sooooooooo intense and high energy and vocal and loud and precocious. They aren't content to play quietly by themselves. . . ever. They aren't content to stay at a small park, when across the street is a whole different place to explore. They aren't willing to sit and listen to another child say "twain" when they KNOW the right way to say it is "train".

This board can be the only safe place to look for real information and understanding. I get that. That is why I am here too. Just keep asking questions and you will get the info you are looking for.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
All I knew was that I had this adorable little 20 month old that was spelling his name and talking in 8+ word sentances and driving me batsh*t crazy. And I think my friends were maybe giving me dirty looks and the grandparents seemed a little overly excited. WTH was going on?
I remember that experience so well. The look of shock tinged with some kind of horrified disdain you get when a stranger who has leant in close to the baby in the sling and said "and how old are you?" while looking at the adult and not expecting a response from the child gets a deadpan "I'm 20 months old." is pretty isolating. I think it's important not to be too dismissive of these threads as there isn't anywhere else to talk about advanced toddlers.
Welcome OP
post #20 of 50
This board has been a wonderful resource for me as well. The comments from others was hard for me as if I was sitting him down and quizzing him as a baby when really he was doing it all himself. I was going along with his interests. The choice of what school and whether to put him in young was also very stressful. I can happily say that right now he is a young Kindergartner in a very academically advanced private school and he LOVES it. Everyday he comes home with his latest science project and is signing songs in Spanish. He can't wait to go! Reading everyone's experience on this board really helped us make some tough decisions. It is so nice to hear others stories. I am now starting to think that my DD might be gifted as well but just not so outwardly as her brother.

When you all say you got them tested, where did you go to get them tested? I think my DD is struggling with a bit of dyselxia or something but she is very bright. I wonder where to take her to get test for it if it continues.

Thanks!
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