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What was your gifted baby like? - Page 3

post #41 of 47

My ds1 was totally different as a baby. He slept a ridiculous amount of time (we barely saw him awake the first 6 months!) and was very behind physically. I found his baby book the other day and at 8 mo he wasn't sitting unassisted or rolling over. He was however very happy looking at books and stacking bricks (went ape if they fell over though). He didn't crawl until nearly a year old and wasn't talking until he was 2.5. He could recognise all the letters and numbers before he was a year old (hard to say when he was reading words as he wasn't vocal but we were certainly aware that he recognised what quite a few words meant by 18 months). He is very gifted (and on the spectum).

 On the other hand my dd was physically precocious - very like your baby. She was insanely alert and aware and never slept. She is bright but I wouldn't say unusually so.

 

Kids all do things differently bless them! I think they just like to keep us guessing....

 

post #42 of 47

So interesting to read your posts!  My daughter also has sensory processing disorder and is gifted. She was a VERY difficult baby!  She seemed to need zero sleep, cried constantly for months, and could only be somewhat calmed by a dark room with water running (white noise).  I always assumed she'd grow out of her colicky stage, but she didn't really.  She hated the grass, being on her stomach, being wet, having water on her face, tags, shoes.  I could go on forever. She is very emotionally reactive and always has been. She always cried at family gatherings and we'd always leave early.  She wasn't a baby friends and family enjoyed visiting.  She was very alert and observant.  She was also very serious and didn't laugh much.  She had a great attention span, loved books, loved sorting very young, had an impressive vocabulary and new over 200 signs by age 2.  She had an intense desire to learn.  At her 2 year check-up at a University hospital, the doctor went and got other doctors to "come see this 2 year old who acts and talks like she's five!

 

She is almost 8 now. She is lovable, creative, artistic, and has a HUGE heart.  She is very empathetic, but has major meltdowns over things that seem insignificant to others.  She starts the gifted program in the fall and I'm wondering if she'll meet some kids with similar issues. 

 

I have to mention that a Gluten Free diet has helped her.  She is still emotional, but doesn't have the dark feelings she was having before we started.  She is enjoying things that she didn't before (birthday parties, small rides, festivals).  Before she could only focus on the negatives after these events.

post #43 of 47

DS5 was an unusually alert baby, too.  (Seems like almost everyone is saying that!  I wonder if it's a more common characteristic of gifted children, or if the broader MDC population would say their babies were "alert" in the same proportion.)

 

One thing I remember was taking an infant class at Isis Maternity, when DS was a few weeks old.  The other few-week-old babies mostly lay down passively, cooing, staring, sleeping, and generally being content.  But not my kid.  No, he wanted to sit up and look at everyone!  He paid attention the whole time, making eye contact with other class participants and tracking all that was going on.

 

His attention span continued to impress us throughout his babyhood.  I recall him holding a small toy -- a torus with a tiny ball inside it -- and gently tipping it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for ages, watching that little ball on the inside roll around.  Later, as he developed fine motor control, he would experiment with rolling ring-shaped or disk-shaped items on the floor to see them roll and wobble.  (In fact, it became kind of an obsession, which led us to have him evaluated for autism spectrum disorder.)  Today, his attention and focus manifests itself when he builds with train sets or Legos. wink1.gif

 

He walked a little bit late, and he talked quite late.  And he never really picked up baby signs, nor did he ever use his hands to wave at people or point to anything (again, ASD indications).  No other delays to speak of, though.  Sleep?  No, he never did much of that!  He was wakeful and hard to put down for months and months.  Then, finally, he got the idea that sleep was his friend, and it suddenly became much easier for him to just lie down happily and fall asleep within minutes.  Cosleeping helped a lot.  (Not that we would have done it, but we are 100% convinced that crying it out would never have worked for DS -- too stubborn and easily wound up!)

 

 

He was, and still is, extremely volatile emotionally.  When things go wrong for him, they quickly go Really Really Wrong, and his extreme upset is hard for him and for us to handle.  It's getting better now that he's 5, though; 4 was kind of awful...  The flip side, however, is that he has an enormous capacity for delight!  His smile is brilliant, and his laugh is utterly contagious.  Many things in life bring him joy, including his remarkable abilities to read, manipulate numbers, identify plants and clouds and such, remember obscurities, and master knowledge quickly. 

post #44 of 47

A long time ago (!) I had a gifted baby. I didn't know I did for thirteen months. She was born a few weeks early and was jaundiced and sleepy for the first six weeks. She then perked up and did well. On reflection she did enjoy shape sorters and puzzles early and was very alert  generally . I did nothing special but I was a very happy new mum.

 

At 12 months she had about 12 words and could walk well. Completely normal. At thirteen months I was surprised to discover that an 8 year old neighbour had taught her all her letters with words attached in one afternoon! I discouraged it as I thought she would be confused between letters and words. But she went into overdrive after that! By two she was making up long stories and reading the Mr Men books without having to sound out anything.

 

When she started kindy at three she was called "The Professor". She won many scholarships and prizes throughout school. At medical school many years later she was called "scary smart" . Her IQ is well over 160. She is now a very bright doctor with 2 separate first class honour degrees and a university medal. She is a happy, fulfilled adult with lots of friends and a baby of her own. She enjoys her work, continues to study, to  learn things just for fun and to enjoy passing passions in recreational activities. 

 

I was a teacher for many years and have seen some terrible attempts to pressurise gifted children and many who were not really gifted and must have had a hard time indeed living up to their parents' expectations. Here is my advice:

 

. Talk to your children, read to them even when they can read themselves, play with them , have fun together as a family in whatever ways you enjoy.

 

. Allow your children to enjoy all stages of being a child without pressure. If they are truly gifted they will seek out ways to learn through books and real life experiences without being coached or pushed.  Going to university at 12 with parents in tow is theft of childhood and risks their overall development, maturity, independence  and balance.

 

. Allow them lots of spare time and space to think up things to do on their own or with friends. You may be surprised what they think up. Fortunately, gifted children do not need to study for too long! Leaving plenty of time for mischief!

 

. Hobbies and pastimes are very important too. Music is especially good for gifted children as it requires effort no matter how gifted they are. Also something that involves helping others .

  

. Encourage them to spend time with friends. It will help them stay sane if they stay connected to other people and, as they become older, networking is very important and will provide opportunities. Being able to get on with all kinds of people is very important. So is empathy!

 

. Encourage travel and independence. My daughter went off to Europe on her own with a youth orchestra at nine and had a great time. Every time she went away she returned more mature and more confident.

 

. Enjoy your children for who they are , not as possessions you can boast about.

 

. Most important of all, remember that you cannot live vicariously through them. They own their own lives.  

post #45 of 47

My son who is 8 months has been extremely alert since birth... other than a brief colicky period, which we figured out stemmed from dairy sensitivity (which I eliminated from my diet til he was 6 months), he has been an extremely energetic, bright-eyed, curious, intrepid, happy baby.  At four months he could listen to me play an entire Beethoven Sonata movement on my cello, without his attention being broken at all.  He also amazed us and shocked us a little by speaking very early-- he said "na" for nursing starting at 3 months and "mama" since about 4 months.  He said "wa" for walk a few times before apparently forgetting it, but has also said his sister's nickname "noona" perfectly clearly a number of times in reference to her.  He grunts "uh" with a head nod for "yeah", and makes an "eh-eh" sound for no.  He said "no" perfectly clearly a couple of times but has regressed a little with language since he started moving about on grand crawling adventures!

He also does a few signs... he has surprised me by doing the sign for milk quite frequently while nursing... and has done so while holding a bottle as well.  He responds to us signing all done or more or will respond when we ask him which book he will like to read (reaching for it and picking it up).

This week he amazed us because started playing a game we used to play with his sister while reading "Goodnight Moon"- "where is the kitten?" but instead of pointing to the picture of the kittens playing, he pointed to the word "kitten".  He did this with two more words...with "mouse" and "bear".

 

His sister tested as profoundly gifted (she is 14 now) and as a baby was also extremely alert- she was wide eyed and calm from birth, starting standing at 3 weeks (with support), did everything a little early, and spoke in full sentances her first year.  She started memorizing books from cover to cover when she was 2 which made me think she might be reading but it was an oral memory.  She did waldorf preschool and kindergarten so didn't read until 1st grade but then she quickly skipped many levels within a few months.  By age 13 she tested for the CTY talent search and recieved "high honors", and was awarded a full scholarship to attend University this summer.  The main thing I remember her doing as a baby was being extremely reasonable and alert.  She understood what everyone said but amazingly used telepathy with me to tell me what she needed, so she very seldom cried.  The only time she was difficult was when she had food allergies and after her father took her to be immunized against my permission, she was catatonic for a week (back when the vaccines still had thimerosal in them.)

 

I did mostly homeschooling/unschooling with her but wish there was a gifted program she could have attended.  I was a low income single mother for much of her raising so I feel like she didn't get enough educational opportunities, except for music, art, and love of reading from her home environment.

 

I don't think it's much fun to compare special children to other more average children... even if your child is advanced you'll end up feeling embarassed, or their symptoms end up being so different, that it's hard for other parents to relate to you, and can be alienating.  I stopped sharing my son's accomplishments with most people I know because I don't know how to share the amazingness of it without seeming like I'm bragging.

 

I would like to find more support from other moms about how they dealt with their children's giftedness-- I'm thankful for this thread.
 

post #46 of 47

My gifted ds was just a normal baby.  Honestly I don't remember anything "outstanding" that he did early.  He met all of the milestones on time, was a bit late in walking (walked at 13 months).  My non-gifted ds was the one who seemed to do everything early, sitting, walking (9mos), etc.  But he's also the athlete in the family, I think he just couldn't wait to MOVE haha.

 

From my experience I can see why they put age limits on making decisions if a child is gifted or not.  Oh, and my gifted ds' IQ is in the 130's.

post #47 of 47

I have no idea if DD who is almost 3 is going to hit the magic 130 to be officially considered gifted in many districts but she is quite out there as far as cognitive and academic aptitudes go. In her areas of strength, she is functioning closer to 6 to 8 years old. 

 

As a baby, she hit milestones either early or on time. Doctors and nurses made a huge fuss over DD after birth but I thought they were just trying to be reassuring. When she could stay focused on books for as long as we were willing to read to her at 2 months, we didn't know that was unusual. We just wanted her to go to sleep instead. 

 

So in retrospect, there were many signs from day one but we were completely oblivious and we are glad that we were. We were already anxious enough being first time parents so we probably would have cracked under the added pressure of parenting a "gifted" child properly. 

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