Originally Posted by Kincaid
So in a playgroup with white kids, asian kids, and african-american kids... how reliable are "early verbal skills" as an indicator of higher intelligence?
Anyone besides me think this is VERY biased toward white middle class kids? How can this be a reliable indicator of "giftedness" if on the other hand we know it to be culturally based?
Do we know for a fact that white middle-class American children are speaking significantly earlier and with more complexity than other groups or are we just speculating here? I'm white, American and middle-class. I did all the "right" things: talked to my child like he was an adult, explained lots of things to him, etc. He didn't talk until he was 22 months old. It's just how his brained was wired. I'd have to see hard evidence that there's a significant difference in verbal development between the groups we are talking about before I consider a cultural angle to this.
Also, as CB said before, it's important to note how much of a deviation it is from the norm. Catching up and evening out and all that occurs within reason. But if we're looking at significant deviation from the norm, then yeah, it's hard to dismiss that.
Other random stuff, as it relates to things in this thread:
Those lists can be very useful, I think, as an after-thought. I mean, if the parent already has a good "big picture" view of what's going with the child, the checklist might confirm a few things OR if the parent has little contact with other children, the checklist might give an idea of what to expect. But I think that, like lots of things, the checklists can be misused by parents who are looking for tiny advancements anywhere they can find them. Like, if you go on an advanced baby list elsewhere, you sometimes find people talking about how their baby sat up unassisted at 5 months or rolled over a bit early and they now think their baby is advanced. It lacks a big picture feel, because it's then just a random collection of slightly advanced milestones. Giftedness, IMO, is a larger and more abstract thing and the milestones are often an awkward way of showing that. Also, I believe the thought with the checklists and "giftedness" is that the child should meet most of the things "ahead" or most things in a particular area. YK, if your child sits alone at 5 months and draws a circle a few months early, that's not really saying anything.
Uh oh, I had more to say, but dh is done getting ready for bed and I have to go too. I will read more tomorrow on this thread and collect my thoughts a bit better. Before I go, I wanted to say that it's not just Einstein who spoke late. There's a big list of esteemed individuals who spoke very late, most of them musicians and mathematicians. I can post their names if anyone is interested. I was interested, because my son spoke so late, but he had strong spatial and symbolic skills.
Ok, off to bed!