I'm looking for some insight on the topic but first a bit about my son. Sorry if this is long! DS just turned 5 and we (along with his teacher) believe he is gifted. No formal testing has been completed yet but he certainly meets many of the typical markers i.e. knew letters/numbers by 16 months, strong interest in letters/numbers, has a remarkable memory, speech was early and spoke in sentences at a young age, continues to speak very well with a large vocabulary, early with most fine motor and gross motor milestones and currently reading at a Grade 2 level. DS also has many other atypical characteristics that I'm learning can also be a part of being gifted...but I know they can also be signs of other exceptionalities. He has some sensory issues (i.e. covers ears for hand blowers and public toilet flushes but no other loud noises, doesn't like tags in his shirts, is ALWAYS moving and likes to hang upside down off our couch). I'm addressing the sensory issues by doing some heavy work activities with him which helps a bit. Socially - he loves hanging out with other kids. He is always asking me if he can play with his friends and really enjoys their company. That being said - I do find that during play dates he will sometimes go off on his own to play and needs some gentle reminders that his friend is over to play with him and then he will right away go over and ask them to play hide and seek or some other engaging activity. Imaginary play is something he has struggled with a bit - but through demonstration from me/DH or watching other kids at school (he is the oldest) he seems to have made some great progress there. His teacher has no concerns with him at all and her only comment she has made is that he is a "bit wiggly" and at times when he is very focused on an activity he does not seem present with the rest of the class. DS is very intense. He tires DH and I out as he moves from one activity to the next and his presence really does dominate the house. He is always reading and telling us facts he has learned and for some reason (maybe its just part of being 5?) he constantly asks us questions about things that he already knows the answer to! I've started just turning those questions back on him :) He is a perfectionist and is EXTREMELY hard on himself. No amount of praise or encouragement I give him will help when he feels he has not done a good job on something. He has a wide range of interests (space/the solar system, dinosaurs, books (right now especially the Mr. Men series of books...he loves drawing the characters and making up new stories with them), writing short little stories, cars (various makes/models), doing word searches, playing games on the computer and loves riding his bike and playing baseball with DH in the backyard). He is really drawn to numbers and seems to find interest in anything that involves numbers. Everything he is interested in he puts his whole self into it. Nothing is a casual interest - its "lets learn every possible thing I can about the subject" not just a casual flip through a book. And there is no one thing he is interested in more than the rest (although when something is new he might be ultra-interested for a few days) and he often goes back to re-visit old interests on a regular basis. That being said he has one interest that is a bit different and others don't understand why it interests him. He is really interested in buildings. He finds it very interesting to look at a building from the inside and then the outside to try and figure out which window leads to which room. Also he loves looking at buildings that have numbered doors (e.g. schools). If we come across one on a walk he will make me walk around the outside with him finding all the numbered doors. Then at home he will build schools with his lego and will number the doors as well (we have lego that has numbers on it). Yesterday when we went for a walk my younger son had pooped and needed a diaper change so we were rushing home and I would not let him walk around the school to look the numbers and he got really upset and angry with me. I've never seen this before - he normally has no issues at all with transitions or changes to our plans. It just got me thinking at what point are these strong interests/passions of gifted children something to be concerned about? At what point is it an indicator of something more going on? Is what I have described typical?
Edited by J1379 - 8/13/13 at 9:40am