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Doctor said my baby = "genius" --- wha-wha-whaaaaaat???

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

OK, a little context:  I have a 3 year old son that is pretty bright.  He learned to read at age two (we read to him a lot, and he pieced things together quite readily himself and starting picking up new books and reading them to us by the time he was 2 1/2).  He's good with math - basic math problems.  Above average art, music, and creative skills etc.  He's big on making up his own jokes now.  Some are funny, most are only funny if you are three.  ;) The doctor has never used the "g" word with him.

 

My 16 month old is a bit unusual.  Now, she as an older brother that delights in teaching her things.  She can read and recongize all letters, about 100+ sight words, counts to about 15.  She recites the entire alphabet, in the right order.  Her vocabulary is unusually large - we lot count a while ago but she has thousands of words.  She puts together two words, sometimes three. 

 

After speaking with her and she started reading the numbers off the ruler on the exam table, the doctor had a rather "frank" discussion with us.  She said DD is most like a "genius" and we should start thinking about resources for her now - like special schools and the like.  It wasn't like a "oh how fun, your DD is really bright" - it was more like a "this is going to be an issue and you should prepare now" kind of thing.

 

So, questions for you all... Is it really reasonable to think my daughter would need special services?  She's only 16 months -  how could we possibly predict future intelligence?  She has a bright older brother that loves to teach her things, so she just gets a lot of stimulation that way. Maybe her older brother is, in effect, "hothousing" her.(Not sure I used that term right.)

 

What are your thoughts?  Anyone else have a 15/16 month old like I describe?  Did they sort of "level out" as they got older?  If I need to prepare for her being a "genius" (not a fan of labeling her, especially this early!) what do I need to do?  Any suggestions on where to start as a clueless mama?

 

BTW- we do have some extremely/profoundly gifted people in the family... they may be a resource, but I feel really funny talking about this with family for fear of sounding like I'm somehow bragging.  Like I have anything to do with how smart my kids might be! 

 

 

Thank you for your time.

post #2 of 28

Hm...When my DD2 was beginning to show that she was PG (around 16 months, when she started reading) I was in a similar situation. I figured she was just having an early start and would stop later on...When she was reading fluently at 20 months I realized I was inaccurate. DD2 is now 5 years old and very PG, and 2E to top it off.

 

Your DD seems a lot more advanced than the average 16 month old, and you might want to start looking into gifted services available in your area, but don't set anything in stone yet-see how she progresses.

post #3 of 28

"So, questions for you all... Is it really reasonable to think my daughter would need special services?  She's only 16 months -  how could we possibly predict future intelligence?  "

 

It's not FUTURE intelligence.  I think she's showing you she's incredibly intelligent.  She has it already.  And yes, she has special needs.  My sons are in an HGT program and the teachers are gifted specialists-- classified in the special ed department. 

 

My boys  "only" started to read at 3 1/2 years old.  They could read words before that-- but definitely not before age 2. Your dd is 16 months.  Think about that.  If my boys are HG (in the 99th pct) what is your dd? Most kids can't even read until Kindergarten!  That's 5!    When my boys were little and people commented on their abilities, I'm ashamed to say, I thought their kids were just below average.  They were my first (twins), so I didn't realize they were outliers.  But it sounds like your dd is far beyond that.

 

I hope you do look into your dd's special needs (and your son's).  They will truly need it.    My dd just started K. She was a better reader last year in Pre-K than all the K'ers.  We're looking into skipping her out of K into 1st because she's flabbergasted that other kids still can't read.  She's faced that since she was in the toddler 3's class and she's ready to have some peers. 

 

Have fun-- my kids always amaze me.  But it can be a challenge for sure.  

 

 


Edited by chaimom - 9/2/11 at 10:35pm
post #4 of 28

I like to lurk in this forum because my kids are "bright", but I don't know that they qualify as gifted. They've been in a hippy private school until this year and they didn't differentiate that way, so they haven't had an opportunity to be labeled in the system that way before. They're in public school this year (in a highly educated university town) so we'll see what happens with that. But I'm un-lurking from my slightly above average vantage point, to say yes, this is really very highly unusual. I would educate yourself about your options. I don't know that you have a future "college graduate at age 9" on your hands (maybe), but I'm sure you'll definitely need to know about all the gifted resources in your area and you very well may want to know about some outside your area, too. This forum is great place to lurk!


Edited by beanma - 9/3/11 at 5:35am
post #5 of 28
My ped has told me that my DD is "extremely bright" and that she is "way ahead of the game" on most things. She has over 100 words and says several sentences, knows how and when to make people laugh, and can feel empathy for people. But, no, she is nothing like what you are describing. She can count to 5, but not anything as long as reciting the alphabet or being able to recognize words in books.

I would start thinking about what kind of special requirements she might need for sure smile.gif
post #6 of 28

My oldest is PG (actually 2E.)  She started reading before she was three, and her verbal skills have followed that path all along.  In her case though, because some skills came SO easily for her, other skills never really had to be used, and in those areas (mostly physical) she's decidedly NOT gifted. (Dear Goodness, please let none of those tapes of her running in 'races' with the other kids survive to be revisited by her adult self....)

 

What you describe in your oldest is very advanced.  Your 16 month old is demonstrating extraordinary need for support.  One of the things that seems to get set aside with 'gifted' kids, is that they are as much in need of support as kids who are severely delayed are.  Also, be aware that sometimes, PG kids don't demonstrate that early on, things come up as they get older.  Additionally, siblings tend to be fairly close in terms of where they will score when tested, but often it doesn't present the same way. 

 

My oldest is PG, her sibling presented with a tested iq in the 70s.  The reality is that his results are much higher than that, but he's NOT a verbal kid, and presents with verbal delays (his testing was not thorough, and was only pretty basic testing through the school system when he aged through EI.)  However, at age three (just barely) his spatial/number skills are unreal.  His grandfather didn't speak until he was 6, and went on to become a very famous inventor/mechanical engineer.  Funny how these kids develop. 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

I feel like I'm in a bit of a shock.  I really thought a lot of people here would say "oh, that's totally normal"  or "my bright kid was doing that same at that age" or ... I don't know what.  Maybe I had/have a little bit of denial going on.   I have to be totally honest that my stomach is in knots right now.  I guess the doctor should have been a wake-up call, but for some reason hearing you all affirm DD is extremely unusual feels even more real.

 

Other than reading the archives here, where do I begin?  Do I need to get an educational psychologist to consult with or something? Should I just simmer down and keep doing what I'm doing and wait until my children are school age to really see where they fall compared to other children? I know our local public schools have a gifted program, but it doesn't start until the third grade I believe.  There is a special private gifted school that is PK-8, but it is a good 50 minute drive from our house. 

 

Holy moly.  Why do I suddenly feel overwhelmed?   I knew she was different, and I don't know why it didn't sink it when the doctor said she'd need special programs/services. Like I said, I guess I sort of thought she surely wasn't that unusual.  

 

 

post #8 of 28
Quote:

Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post

 

There is a special private gifted school that is PK-8, but it is a good 50 minute drive from our house. 

 

My kids go to a private school and several families travel that far for it. It's an amazing school, and all the families who do the brutal drive tried other schools first.

 

We planned a move around the school. We had to relocate for my DH's job, but had a choice about where to go. He took a job with less pay and less opportunity for advancement so we could live here -- where the amazing school is. Our situation is a little more extreme than some because one of my kids is 2E -- gifted and on the autism spectrum.

 

But a lot of families do fairly extreme things to get their kids in a school situation that works for them.

 

 

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post

I know our local public schools have a gifted program, but it doesn't start until the third grade I believe.  There is a special private gifted school that is PK-8, but it is a good 50 minute drive from our house. 

 

Consider it. Don't write it off due to distance. But on the other hand, don't assume it will be appropriate or sufficient. Do your research. Consider early enrollment. And seriously consider homeschooling.

 

And just a little heads up. If your ds was reading new books to you at 2 1/2 without having had direct instruction in reading, he's almost certainly highly-to-profoundly gifted himself. They're both way, way off the charts.

 

Miranda

post #10 of 28

I see a lot of my own experiences in yours...

 

A 50 minute drive isn't really a lot. I need to drive 2 hours to get DD2 to her gifted school. Investigate that school, see what they are. Do early enrollment if you can. Nurture your daughter's gifts, she'll thank you for it later on.

post #11 of 28

Yeah, you should look but keep this in mind:

(1) What is the purpose of the programs you are finding, and what is the evidence that they meet their purpose better than a neighborhood school or home schooling? 

(2) Aptitude for special training may be there at school age, but interests may lie elsewhere.

(3) A lot of gifted programs give kids *more* instead of giving them the same amount as any other prep program, just faster.  Choose which you like better.  These days more means MORE.  Our county's high acheivement magnet for 4th-5th might have them make a poster over the weekend cutting things out of magazines.  Of course a lot of the kids are going to spend 3 hours on it to get a good grade since neatness counts.  And other large volumes of homework. 

 

Your kids do sound quite a bit different than my globally talented, but not PG kids. 

 

My personal approach to schooling is to home school the basics at the child's pace and not have it take very long while immersing them in multi-age sports and performance arts. 

 

 

post #12 of 28

Yes, it is unusual. It doesn't mean it is bad or that your kids lives won't turn out to be wonderful, but it does mean that it is a very reasonable thing to start investigating your educational options. A lot of what determines what will work for an individual child isn't just IQ but personality. Kids vary in how flexible, social and motivated they are and those will all come in to play when you evaluate what will work.

 

Here are some resources you may find to be helpful.

 

1. http://www.amazon.com/Parents-Guide-Gifted-Children/dp/0910707790

Buy this book. It is a great overall guide to gifted kids and you will find it helpful.

I'm not a huge fan of the following book by Deboarh Ruf but her book might be a good place for you to start to understand where your kids are relative to typical milestones for different ranges of giftedness: 

http://www.amazon.com/Levels-Gifted-School-Educational-Options/dp/0910707987/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315061671&sr=1-2

 

2. The Davidson Young Scholar program is a free and wonderfully helpful service for profoundly gifted children. Your kids are too young to qualify right now but it would be a good idea to keep in mind for when they are the right age to apply (over 5 I believe). Also, they have a huge public database of articles about gifted kids and I think you'd find many articles that you will find useful. http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

 

Good luck and keep asking questions!

post #13 of 28

Welcome :).

 

In addition to the suggestions above, I think it would be very helpful to find a gifted expert in closest proximity to you.  You can find them listed on hoagiesgifted.org.

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/psychologists.htm

 

If you can't fine one listed, you could ask here or on davidson gifted forum. 

 

You can't actually test either child for a while yet, but I think getting informed support early on would be great.  Even if it's one meeting where you feel heard and get some insight, I think it would be better to be ahead rather than behind.  Oh, yeah, and your son is significantly ahead of curve as well.  :)

 

post #14 of 28

My 5 year old (middle child) is gifted-- started reading at 2 and read at a 2nd-3rd grade level at 3. He skipped a grade and is still one of the top 2 readers in 1st grade. But no, he was not doing anything like that at 16 months. He had 75-100 words and could speak in short sentences, with oodles of personality, but did not know numbers, letters (except maybe O around that age), or numbers. My 13 mo. old seems fairly bright and has a lot of words, but isn't anywhere near learning any of that stuff. She's working on animal noises. I would be shocked if your child did not turn out to be at least highly gifted. 

post #15 of 28

I think it is reasonable to think your DD is gifted. It will depend on how she progresses. 

 

Though a 'standard' Pediatrician that can dx GT is rare. I would look into a developmental pediatrician in a year or two.

 

But right now,t follow her interests and enjoy- follow her lead to what she is interested in. At a minimum- programs for little ones start at age 3 ( we have a preschool for G&T at the local GT schools that starts at age 3). Most areas start at K (private) or even later in public schools. It will depend on your area and state. and your DC personality.

 

 

I would also say your 3 yr old could benefit from extra look too.

 

 

Our DDs at that age were stringing two-three words and had high vocabs. But both also had delays (gross motor). 

 

I do have a cousin that was reading very very early. He likely had hyperlexia- he has a PG IQ, but also struggles with social concerns and is likely on the ASD spectrum. Now, he is a successful graduate and done well. I will say, though he was very very intelligent- he did not do well in school (private or public) or college. He had a very supportive family that enriched his life and have always been there for him.

 

Our family has quite a few GT people. They all presented diffferently-- my siblings and I are all within points IQ wise and all had very different schooling paths due to our learning styles and personalities.

 

 

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all your responses!  I ordered the books suggested above and I'm looking forward to reading them.  Thank you also for sharing some about where your own kids were "at" at this age.

 

My husband and I were discussing what we would be willing to do if the local schools couldn't meet the educational needs of our kids.  We love our home and wouldn't mind growing old together here, but we would be willing to move if it was in the best interest of the kids. We are fortunate to have some flexibility in that regard because DH works at home and I'm a SAHM.

 

I will have to look into what resources are in our area in terms of psychologists and the like.  I don't know if my pediatrician would have referrals or not, but I may ask at the next check up if she has any advice.  At least giftedness is on her radar since she brought it up, so she could have some resources in mind.

 

When I look at our local schools, what do I even ask?  I was thinking of saying something like "Do you have the resources to offer special education to a profoundly gifted child?"  (Of course, I have no way of knowing if DD is PG or even HG, but if she is I would want her to be at a school that can have a plan of action for her education.)  Maybe that is a silly question to ask because most schools would say that they would try to accommodate all children.

 

I did learn from some reading today that my state doesn't require, nor does it fund, gifted education. :(  So, my guess is that the public schools are rather lousy when it comes to gifted education.  (I live in northern illinois right now - very close to the wisconsin border. )  All public schools are really struggling right now financially, and if the state isn't providing funding or requiring any sort of program than I tend to doubt it would be a priority.

 

Thanks for letting me "talk" through this all.  I'm already learning so much reading the archives here. :)

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Score!  I followed the link for Hoagies gifted and found a psychologist specializing in gifted assessment and counseling that is just 20 minutes away from us!  What great luck!    Thank you so much.  I plan to send her an e-mail tonight to see if I can get in to see her. (Not to assess the kids, but more to offer me some advice!)   Thank you again for that link!

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post

Score!  I followed the link for Hoagies gifted and found a psychologist specializing in gifted assessment and counseling that is just 20 minutes away from us!  What great luck!    Thank you so much.  I plan to send her an e-mail tonight to see if I can get in to see her. (Not to assess the kids, but more to offer me some advice!)   Thank you again for that link!

 

Hooray!!! I hope you'll keep us updated on how that goes.

 

It is lucky that you are already a SAHM so homeschooling may be an option if it needs to be. Our state sounds similar to yours in the availability of gifted programming. It just wasn't going to happen for us in public schools so we homeschooled from k-12. For us having a pretty clear heads up early - before school age - helped us make some choices that avoided a lot of frustration. So, even if it feels a bit weird to explore the gifted stuff so early there can be a lot of benefit to doing so particularly when you have kids who may be HG or PG.

 

One other thing you may want to do in the next bit is to Google around and find out what homeschooling groups there are in your area. Often you can find them through yahoogroups. A quick look through the groups and read through the archives might give you some sense what sorts of activities are available. Where I live there is so much for elementary age kids - field trips, park days, plays, PE classes, art classes, etc.  There are plenty of opportunities to meet other people. It may not be a great fit for academic subjects but in most areas you can find families to hang out with and that makes all the difference.

post #19 of 28



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post

OK, a little context:  I have a 3 year old son that is pretty bright.  He learned to read at age two (we read to him a lot, and he pieced things together quite readily himself and starting picking up new books and reading them to us by the time he was 2 1/2).  He's good with math - basic math problems.  Above average art, music, and creative skills etc.  He's big on making up his own jokes now.  Some are funny, most are only funny if you are three.  ;) The doctor has never used the "g" word with him.

 

My 16 month old is a bit unusual.  Now, she as an older brother that delights in teaching her things.  She can read and recongize all letters, about 100+ sight words, counts to about 15.  She recites the entire alphabet, in the right order.  Her vocabulary is unusually large - we lot count a while ago but she has thousands of words.  She puts together two words, sometimes three. 

 

 



Just to share/compare our ds1, since you mentioned wanting to know what other kids on this board looked like at that age -  I looked back at my notes from when he was a baby (he's now 6), and at 16 months he could recognize 9 letters.  I wrote down about 140 words in his vocabulary at that point. I didn't note any counting by then.  By 21.5 months he was more where your daughter is: he recognized all letters and knew their sounds, although only recited parts of the alphabet in order, and he was counting to 12, but only really counting objects one-to-one up to 3, then it was cute random pointing while counting.  :)   At 22 months he could sing his whole alphabet  At 2.5 years old he was reading.   So, he was advanced but not doing what your baby is doing.    But, I have noticed he's different in how he thinks and how much information he craves, and we haven't needed anything special for schooling in particular for him up to this point.  He went to a play-based half-day preschool.  He found enough stimulation with being the higher-level ability groups in his kindergarten class last year.  He does tons of reading and learning at home, asks questions, does math workbooks because he enjoys it, etc.  

 

Your daughter is clearly way advanced.  But remember she is just a toddler and is obviously doing great in the environment she is already in.   Take it slow, research future schooling options, and try to relax for now! 

 

post #20 of 28

Wow, OP, you're the first person I've seen posting in this forum with a DD in line with what mine was doing the same age.  I usually avoid comment on this board with toddler questions because the normal "ahead of the curve" wasn't like the "ahead" we experienced.  Her reading sounds slightly better, and the talking slightly behind what we experienced (DD had full, complex, adult like sentences by one year and would even make up long and complicated stories about toys or the books she was reading with us but didn't read independently until two years, but with no sight word stage, straight to reading actual books).

 

Anyway, I wanted to say that actually my DD doesn't even go to a gifted school (we have none where we live) and we actually had great luck with teachers finding ways to teach to her level.  They didn't even bother with cognitive testing, just achievement testing, and they had to pull in teachers from the higher grades to coordinate school work.  Despite very ahead language abilities, my DD's math only runs about two years above her age/grade level (and that's despite that she could count change before age 3) so that did level out, but her language related abilities are still very significantly ahead of her peers.  We do a lot at home to keep her stimulated (find great reading, share studies we've read, introduced her to logic and puzzle games that adults often play, etc) and make sure she stays well-rounded by encouraging exercise and social time.  I guess what I'm saying is, you should prepare for your DD having special needs in terms of needing additional mental stimulation, but it might not have to mean "Oh boy, look out for what's ahead!"  My second cousin (although he's more like a nephew to me) is formally tested as profoundly gifted (global IQ of 180) and he has now graduated from a regular public high school (but with lots of accommodations for his ability set in place) and is in Officer's College.  His grandmother (my aunt) graduated from school at a very young age due to grade skipping for ability.  She was very unhappy from the experience and when her own daughter (my cousin) was herself identified as gifted, she decided that she would let her daughter take the lead as to how far "ahead" she needed to be placed, and my cousin appreciated this and took the same approach with her son.  Be prepared, but use the reality of their child and what they want and what's working for them as they grow as the guideline.  For example, at this point, by my daughter's wishes we are now looking at a boarding school that offers excellent gifted programming and an IB program for when my daughter reaches Junior High age, but what she wants right now is to stay in her community with her friends.  I have a lot of meetings to deal with with her teachers, and need to be more involved with her learning than average to keep her engaged (and with one 2E son and one son with a language based learning disability I'm already doing a lot of this, so it's not easy), but we're keeping her happy and it works.  Be  prepared but give yourself time to see how she develops, and remember that there is no one way to deal with giftedness.

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