I've been wondering if it's possible that our four year old is gifted despite her special needs . At 24 months, she was testing ahead physically but also had a profound speech/social delay, with her expressive speech testing at 15 months though her receptive was either at or a little ahead of her chronological age. She was also prone to huge temper tantrums (often an hour or two hours long) and sensory meltdowns.
At 3 years old, after a year of early intervention, her vocabulary had caught up but still had significant pronunciation issues, and while initial testing made them think she was still socially delayed, it turned out that her interactions (vastly preferred adults to peers) was testing close to 5 1/2 years old!
She's now almost five years old. While she has pronunciation issues, she's got an incredible vocabulary and sentence structure, way beyond her peers in pre-k, with questions that seem beyond what I'd expect from most preschoolers. She's very detail oriented (you can't get past a page in a book without her asking questions about some detail in a picture), has an incredible memory (she can recall a movie she saw only once more than a month ago, scene for scene, in order, for example), and is very creative.
She is also the most intense kid I know. She doesn't let go of any idea very easily, tending to "lock on" to a line of questioning or subject until she gets what she's looking for. She is curious to the point of exhaustion as she pings questions off of the adults in the household. She's fascinated with an array of subjects, from superhero trivia to anatomy to global warming.She's insanely creative and really marches to the beat of her own drummer. (When her friends invited her to play pretend tea party with her, she happily joined the game as their... cat.) She's always had great gross and fine motor skills, beyond that of her peers. She had a bit of an explosion this past summer, going from scribbles in May to more recognizable drawings by June to drawings of dinosaurs where she includes not just the body but a skeleton, circulatory and nervous system by September. She also taught herself to write some letters.
Her intensity means that she can be a real handful at times. She's very hyperactive, always "on". We had her evaluated for ADHD a few months ago but since she wasn't yet 4 1/2 a definitive diagnosis couldn't be made, though the psych said it was "very likely". But we also noticed that she *is* able to settle down/concentrate when a challenging (but not too challenging) task is put in front of her. I was very surprised when she began teaching herself to write that she stuck with the activity for near an hour and a half, especially considering that she's a kid who cannot sit still if her life depended on it.
While she was in EI, I requested that she be tested for autism since her speech and social abilities were so delayed, plus she had some sensory issues (sensitivity to sound/noise, always in motion. etc.). They ruled out autism, which was a relief though I was a bit surprised. At the time, the psychologist noted on the report that my daughter seemed to have "average to below average intelligence" which was a bit of a shock to me but I didn't dispute it. But when her preschool teachers and speech therapists are always commenting on how bright she is, particularly in comparison to her peers. The possibility that her social "delays" may be more a result of her talking about things her friends just can't understand.
Is it possible that she is gifted? I know that for some families, the fact that their kids talked and/or taught themselves to read, count early were their signs. She was so delayed but she caught up and surpassed her peers quickly. The initial assessment of "average to below-average intelligence" from the psychologist when she was 2 had me doubting her abilities. Mostly I'm curious just for my own peace of mind and a possible explanation for her more eccentric behaviors, many of which are reminsicent of both me and my husband's quirks. (We were both identified gifted as children.) I know our local public school's GATE program is just about non-existent (budget cuts) which is a real shame.
Edited by lilempressmommy - 12/12/12 at 7:17pm