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How early did you know?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
How early did you know or notice something was different with your child?

I am noticing my 9 month old seems MUCH more advanced than his (nearly three year old) brother was at the same age. I mean, today, he crawled to the easel, pulled himself up, picked up a pen and started drawing scribbles on the board. DS1 didn't "get" the concept of drawing until he was nearly 2.

DS1 is bright, definitely, but in specific, focused ways. I think he may be moderately gifted in certain areas but it is way too early to tell.

DS2, I SWEAR, has been saying his brother's name since age 7 months, and he definitely has been saying mama since around that time (in contrast, ds1's first word wasn't until around 10 months and it was "bath").

I am not alone in saying this - my dh, our au pair, my SIL, and my aunt have been noticing that he is unusually alert and perceptive for a baby.

Of course, I am also hyper aware of the dangers of comparing them to each other. But all in all, it is so much fun to watch them both develop - but in such different ways.

post #2 of 23
I didn't notice as early as I could have, because my highly gifted child was my first baby. In retrospect, it is obvious. Other people kept telling me how smart and alert he was, but I had nothing to compare to. So I guess I didn't really "notice" for real until he turned one and started writing letters, which even I knew had to be unusual.
post #3 of 23
I noticed that dd was different and ahead of her agemates as a baby and toddler, but didn't really think of it as gifted until later. She started talking at 6 months and full sentences at 9 months - it was strange the looks we would get when she'd bf and then say "other side please". LOL

She was also very alert even at a month old - and was overly sensitive to light, textures, and noise.

My second is also gifted but because her development was more physical (crawled and walked early, but still can't read at 4, didn't talk until almost 1, etc.) it was different than her sister. So for her it is sometimes harder to remember that she is - only because she is not as advanced as her sister, and is younger too.
post #4 of 23
Not really until kindergarten when the teacher was blown away, had him tested, and found that he was reading and comprehending at a high school level. By second grade it was college level. His math abilities have always been off-the-chart. He was my first so I really wasn't as aware as I could have been. I knew he was very verbal and had a remarkable vocabulary. I have to say, when the school started testing him, I was not too thrilled. I've never been fond of labelling. He has had this "highly gifted" label for about 10 years now (he's 15). We pretty much ignore it.
post #5 of 23
I guess it was all the comments from strangers and friends that really clued me in- he was about a year old and speaking paragraphs. As a 15 month old, he had the words "condensation" and "esophagus" as regular parts of his vocabulary, among other 4 syllable words. By that point, though, I was able to look back and recall other atypical milestones, like rolling over at 6 days old (!), crawling at 6 months and walking before 10 months...none of my friends' kids had done any of that.
post #6 of 23
When our first ds, Taro, was an infant, I figured he was pretty smart, but "gifted" entered the picture when he was a toddler-- in a sort of uncomfortable way.

When Taro was 17m, we moved across country, and shared a house with my best friends from college. They have a son exactly a year older than Taro; we hadn't seen each other in a couple of years.

I knew from letters and phone calls that their little guy was healthy and bright (and quite cute ). He was developing "just right."

Of course, we all spent lots of time together. I was surprised to see that Taro's development was comparable to our friends' ds, or in the case of language development, very far ahead.

When we'd go places together, people would comment that Taro was "so small for his age," thinking he was also 2 and a half (or older). The g-word came up a few times.

It could have been a really sticky situation, but fortunately my friends had enough confidence in their boy and themselves to take it in stride. Now we live a day's drive apart , but our boys are still friends.

Our friends' ds, incidentally, is in the gifted program at his school. Our son is now a grade ahead of him (Yay homeschooling ).

With our 2nd ds, it was a simple matter of "Oh, another one."
post #7 of 23
I probably should have figured something out when DD was not yet a year and started finishing lines out of books for us. I didn't know this was that unusual, though. (Someone said something, but I was clueless.) When she got to be about 14 months, though, and became extremely verbal, started counting and understanding numbers, and learned the alphabet and numerals within the space of a week, we sat up and took notice. When she had dozens of bird and plant species memorized before 18 months, we took notice again. Also, after a generally textbook first year (although she smiled, laughed, and spoke early, other milestones were very average) the milestones rapidly started sounding totally off, and I felt very confused.
post #8 of 23

just from the other side of the tracks...

just wanted to say, sometimes early indications dont mean much...

at least where i am they say that learning early is the sign of a bright child, not necc a gifted one...

my daughter (6 yrs old) didnt start walking until 13 months, was behind in speech (tested at 9 mo level when she was 18 months- although this was because of a hearing problem since corrected)

she tested g/t last year in school where she was at the top of the reading chart and off the chart on the math... just wanted to say sometimes life doesnt give you all the clues...
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by mgaige
just wanted to say, sometimes early indications dont mean much...

at least where i am they say that learning early is the sign of a bright child, not necc a gifted one...

my daughter (6 yrs old) didnt start walking until 13 months, was behind in speech (tested at 9 mo level when she was 18 months- although this was because of a hearing problem since corrected)

she tested g/t last year in school where she was at the top of the reading chart and off the chart on the math... just wanted to say sometimes life doesnt give you all the clues...
true mama v. true.

i did not really even think about it till our ped. at 18 months said something. not because my dd was an early talker but by how she was following commands from teh ped (the only reason she even mentioned this casually was because we had become friends), looking in her mouth searching for the uvula (knew 50 body parts just because she asked me their names including detailed parts of her vagina) and kinda talking in her way about concepts ped. didnt expect her to grasp.

i suspected then (when she hit most of her milestones early i didnt think much of it - she was a large healthy baby so i just assumed she was physically stronger) but became more sure when i looked at teh ruff estimates when she was about 3 1/2.

the key that leads me to believe she is 'different' is her grasp of complex subjects - her understandings and connections which kids her age are not doing. it wasnt that she memoriesed things easily and the volume and speed of stuff she memorised or even her advanced speech or intensity and tenacity but just the type of questions she asked and the details into which she goes into things that interest her.

for instance i never did numbers adn alphabets with her. with numbers her dad taught her 1 -12 by just counting the steps and the older kids in teh park taught her 13 - 20. by learning all the bus numbers we take she figured out after twenty it is all a repeatition of one thru nine. so one day she experimented and asked me if she said it correctly except that she said twenty ten insted of 30. and then one day she made teh connection with herself she found thirty sounded like thirteen, that bus 55 sounds like fifteen and thus came up with the rest of the numbers. of course she was saying nineteenthy till she heard it somewhere said correctly. one day while experimenting on the potty during constipation she learnt how to say 1 - 20 backwards.

she does not show any interest in reading. she knows every single line from spiderman1, men in black one and two and my friend totoro - yet shows no interest in reading.
post #10 of 23
This is going to sound ridiculous and crazy and weird, and possibly some will think I'm making it up or exaggerating, but I knew with my dd when she was born. She only scored an 8 on her first Apgar in the hospital because she wasn't crying. She was awake and totally alert, and looking around. They placed her on my tummy, and I held her, nursed her, admired her, and she stared into my eyes the entire time. They then wanted to place her in the little warmer thingy, and when they did she kicked her right foot out in a very determined way, several times, and my mom and I both realized that she was looking for her "footrest," my rib. During the last month or so of my pregnancy she kept her foot on my rib, and at times it was very painful. We could see all five toes, and I would pry them off to no avail.

Well, after that she stayed awake and alert after birth for over five hours. My mom kept remarking that her level of awareness seemed unusual. I had nothing to compare it to. The next day my parents came to the hospital to visit. I was in the bed, and my mom was holding dd at the foot of the bed, and holding her facedown while supporting her neck under her chin. It was Thursday night (Must See TV) and I wanted to watch my favorite show at the time, ER. I turned the television on, and the sound came out of the speakers that were located in the bedrails. DD TURNED HER HEAD towards the sound of unfamiliar voices. My mom and I exchanged a look that I will never forget, a chill went down my spine, and mom said, "They're not supposed to be able to do that."

Over the next few weeks I really began to wonder about the advice I had been given, especially the "sleep when the baby does" line, because I couldn't figure out when the baby was supposed to sleep. She was awake and alert for 12 hours a day, and wanted constant physical and visual stimulation. I was very young, and I parented her instinctively, which included bfing, babywearing, cosleeping, etc. So, maybe I'm crazy, but I really think I knew from the beginning.

And honestly, I've been questioning whether I really belong in this forum, but as I recall all of these little moments, I'm pretty sure I do.
post #11 of 23
Originally Posted by mgaige
just wanted to say, sometimes early indications dont mean much...

at least where i am they say that learning early is the sign of a bright child, not necc a gifted one...

my daughter (6 yrs old) didnt start walking until 13 months, was behind in speech (tested at 9 mo level when she was 18 months- although this was because of a hearing problem since corrected)

she tested g/t last year in school where she was at the top of the reading chart and off the chart on the math... just wanted to say sometimes life doesnt give you all the clues...
I agree, especially for kids who are really different or twice exceptional. Our son is disabled and was developmentally delayed in many respects. He certainly was viewed by the other parents at playgroup as the "slow one" and people Turns out he's PG and is radically academically accelerated.

Another thing I think worth mentioning is that sometimes parents who themselves are gifted or come from families full of gifted folks may view early indications differently. They may simply expect kids will talk early, etc. and puzzle why other kids aren't. In retrospect I can see that certain aspects of my child's early behavior were unusual, but at the time they just seemed like what a lot of kids do.
post #12 of 23
With my first, while he always seemed very observant as a baby, he was not physically-inclined and did not speak. The only thing I knew about babies came from my sister's kids. And they walked at 9 months and spoke before a year. My son walked at 12 months, never was interested in climbing on things, couldn't figure out how to get up on the couch until nearly 2 and didn't speak until 22 months. He appeared "slow" and people were always saying patronizing things, like, "Oh you can see those little wheels turning in his head!".

Outside of the delays, we started raising questions about his attention span and focus around 12 or 15 months. I think it started with his weird preference for toy-matching at around 12 months. He would only carry toys that matched in color or function (preferably both). He was into sorting. He wanted to be read to for very long periods of time and could give his complete attention. He wanted to know what all the details were, saying, "da? da?"

Playgroup situations made me *really* feel distressed, because he was *very* unlike other kids his age. I can't express how different he just seemed and how other people were kind of weird about it; I'm not even sure how to concretely describe it. He wasn't interested in physical play, he had very precise fine motor skills and he spent long periods of time staring at other kids as though he was studying them. In Gymboree, while other 1 year olds gleefully ran and climbed, mine would make me carry him around to examine the decorations on the wall. He held up the jungle-gym line by staring at the shapes on the stairs.

I think we recognized it around 18 or 19 months, when he learned uppercase letters and their sounds. Because our ped was pressuring me to have him evaluated for a speech delay, I quizzed ds with foam letters in the tub, in an effort to determine if he could hear me and make the sounds. He apparently learned those letters and their corresponding sounds. Then, he spent a great deal of time pointing out letters in books, signs, cards, etc. He also received some peg-puzzles at that time and we discovered that he knew most shapes and could retrieve any requested number (1-9) from a pile. I have no idea how he learned the numbers. When he started doing jigsaw puzzles at around 2, rapidly advancing in piece number/complexity, then we felt reasonably sure about it.

If I look back in his first year, I notice that his attention span for visual things was pretty unusual. Plus, he used to do odd "experiments" as an older baby like try to balance odd things and yell really angrily if they fell.

With my second, I only knew my first child's experiences; my second child did not do the early academic things. My second was average on walking, average on talking, etc. When he would "read" lift-the-flap books at 10 months old for 20 minutes at a time, precisely manipulating the flaps, it raised our suspicions. When he started trying to write letters at 24 months, and spontaneously wrote letters at 27 months with no coaching, videos, Leapfrog, etc, ...we realized that he's probably gifted on some level too. He subsequently did some very detailed drawing for a 2 year old and did very advanced puzzling.

We believe they are both gifted in the visual-spatial area, with our second son flying under the radar most of the time and thankfully not having the asynchronous development issues and sensitivities that his older brother has. My older son is extremely sensitive and needs help coping sometimes. I should have caught that in early infancy when his brief daycare stint resulted in him refusing to nap for an 8 hour period (i.e. every day). My youngest appears very "normal" and I find that I don't worry about him dealing with stuff.
post #13 of 23
I agree that physical milestones are not necessarily correlated to degree of giftedness. My son's gross motor skills were perfectly average. He was actually drawing letters before he was walking fulltime! My daughter had very early gross motor skills--crawled at 5 months, walked at 8 months, etc--but is not as intellectually gifted as her brother (no worries, they are both plenty smart!).
post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by mgaige
just wanted to say, sometimes early indications dont mean much...

at least where i am they say that learning early is the sign of a bright child, not necc a gifted one...

my daughter (6 yrs old) didnt start walking until 13 months, was behind in speech (tested at 9 mo level when she was 18 months- although this was because of a hearing problem since corrected)

she tested g/t last year in school where she was at the top of the reading chart and off the chart on the math... just wanted to say sometimes life doesnt give you all the clues...
I agree. My son didn't speak until 22 months but at 3 and 4, was using words like "ambling" and "entangled", respectively. I have a relative who, at K entry, didn't know letters and couldn't write his name. He almost immediately flew ahead of most of his class, including kids who did these early. I have another relative who appeared like your average kid until 5, when she started memorizing the Latin names of various human bones.

I am a huge believer in the late-bloomer phenomenon. There are so many variables, including personality, perfectionism, and personal interests. Also, some learning styles don't lend themselves to early learning. I am really interested in the visual-spatial learning style, since it's the style of both my kids (particularly my oldest). VS learners often have to collect a large amount of jumbled information in their heads before they sort through it and make the connections. They often dislike or have a hard time with sequential, piece-meal methods. But when they make the big connection, they make a huge leap. I've heard it described as "plateau to plateau" learning. You have periods of what look like low activity and maybe even "slow" progress, interjected by startling periods of "eureka!".
post #15 of 23
I'd say that I still don't know, because my daughter's only 16 months old. But I have pretty strong suspicions.

When she was 4 months old, she was incredibly keyed in to words that rhymed. If I read a new-to-her poem out loud and it had a strong rhyme scheme, she would laugh and laugh. Rhyming poetry calmed her down when she was fussy, in a way that soothing lullabies just didn't. I thought that was odd. (I don't even like poetry!)

When she was 8 months old, we gave her a shape sorter with individual compartments that locked with a set of keys. She reached in through one of the shape holes, put a couple fingers inside the open bottom of the shape block, and levered it out through the hole with a completely fluid motion - no fumbling or trial-and-error. I thought that was a little odd, too.

Now that she's a toddler, it's more and more apparent that her interests and enthusiasms are unusual. For the last couple of months, she's been obsessed with colors - she wants to label the color of everything she sees, and most of her conversation involves labeling colors. Now she's starting to get very involved with letters. When we're riding in the car, I hear her picking out letters she recognizes in store awnings, or whatever. She'll look out the window and say excitedly, "A! A! J! O!" Her interest in colors and letters seems deeper, more intense, and more joyful than "normal" - not just earlier.
post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by Fiestabeth
This is going to sound ridiculous and crazy and weird, and possibly some will think I'm making it up or exaggerating, but I knew with my dd when she was born.
Me, too. I didn't see my son until he was 20 hours old because he inhaled meconium and was taken to NICU while I had complications from preeclampsia. The very first time I saw him, I said, "Is he really mine?" and he turned to the sound of my voice and looked me right in the eye, through his little NICU box. : There was, very obviously, a person in there looking back at me, studying my face. He recognized my voice, his father's, and my best friend's right away, and would look at the three of us more than other people.

The NICU nurses told me that he was very, very alert for a newborn, but I thought that it probably had more to do with the fact that he was older and healthier than most of the babies they saw than anything else. Mike was shocked when BeanBean followed my voice with his eyes and head as he was lifted out of his box and passed to a nurse to be weighed, and then passed back to me. Two weeks later at his bris, the mohel said, "I've got one of those jobs where I don't expect people to remember me, but this one's looking at me as though he will." BeanBean was staring intensely at him, and honestly looked as though he was trying to memorize every line of this man's face.

He said his first word around one month; I thought that I was imagining things, until he did it again for half a dozen other people. Three weeks later came his first sentence, and he pretty much hasn't shut up since.

BooBah was a bit different-- her physical skills were the ones that showed up first. She was born by emergency c-section, so I didn't get to see her right away, either, but Mike followed her the whole time. He said that when she was propped on her side, she rolled onto her belly and then lifted up on her arms so that she could stare at him-- all within the first hour of her life. She rolled over deliberately on her 5th day, back to belly and then belly to back. From then on, it was consistant. Two weeks later, she army crawled right off the bed. : (It's not as bad as it sounds-- we sleep on matresses on the floor. ) She didn't say any words until she was closer to three months old, but before she was five months old had several 2-word sentences. She crawled & sat up on her own around 4 months, started cruising shortly thereafter, and walked independantly at 9 months. For her first birthday, I took the baby gates down; she had learned to climb right over them. (I tried putting two up, but she'd climb to the top, perch on it and then SHRIEK at the top of her lungs; I decided that it was probably safer and definately quieter to just give up on them.)

I'm still not sure about Bella. She didn't look anyone in the eye at birth, in fact she didn't do that for at least a month afterwards. She does have some words now, but most of her speech is babbling. I guess the jury's still out on her. She's a lovebug, though, and she's my biggest, roundest baby (50th percentile for hieght and weight!). Such a snugglebug!
post #17 of 23
He started speaking at 6 mos and by 9 months was using sentences. His language skills are the most prominent. The other day he told me "mommy stop being so neurotic" and "that is the most asinine thing I have ever heard."
post #18 of 23
The G word has been thrown around here lately for DS1. I knew he was bright and an early talker but I honestly always attributed that to teaching him signs at 6 months. I guess being my first I had no point of referrence. He potty trained at 18 months because he hated being wet, he learned how to open and unlock almost everything by 2, now at 2.5 he speaks beautifully and in complete sentences. I still remember taking him to the zoo where a sweet little old lady asked if he liked the "big grey animals" and got a lesson on elephants from this tiny boy.

For a while I was told that my expectations were too high. There's no way he could know all he knows, it must just be me pushing him. But at a recent doctor's visit for an infection he made quite the impression. His doctor started asking him questions about colors, shapes, animals, and the such. After about half an hour she said that she would place him 2 years ahead of his age.

I'm so not comfortable with this. I was in all the gifted programs and advanced classes as a kid and just burnt out big time. I'd rather not have a label on him and just go with the flow.
post #19 of 23
I noticed Chase was gifted when he began talking in full sentences at not even a year old! Eek! It almost scared me. His first "sentence" was "Do it again!" at 10 1/2 months old.

My daughter is just now 10 1/2 months old and is not putting words together quite as well as my son did at her age, but she is saying a few single words, and she seems brilliant in other ways. She plays with things like kids' kitchen play centers, for one thing, opening doors, putting plates in microwaves, etc., and has been doing this since 6 months old. She also started putting a telephone up to her ear when she was 6 months old. She just seems to "get" things more than other babies. She can do the hand motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Bunny Foo-Foo. She shakes her head no and says "no no mama." She just seems to understand things in a way most kids her age don't. I will not be surprised if she is even more advanced than my son.
post #20 of 23
Looking back, I guess our dd did almost everything early. She was extremely alert when she was born and my mom kept joking with us that we brought home the wrong baby because she was nothing like any newborn she had ever seen. At 8 weeks she had worked out a little sign language type thing to let us know when she was hungry. We were first time parents and didn't really know what to expect, but we were stopped almost constantly when we were out because she started talking so young. She was saying all those normal first words (mama, dada, baba for bottle, cup, eat, paci, up please) at 4 months, started talking in sentences at 8 or 9 months. At 14 months my teacher friend and I were in the mall and dd was crying. I stopped to ask her what was wrong and she said "Mama, my left ear hurts really bad!" My friend stopped and basically told me that she was worried that I didn't realize that my daughter was a kindergartner wrapped up in a 1 year old's body. Her pediatrician has always made a big deal out of her and said she's just not encountered a child quite like her. She is a very personable, and magnetic little being. Can I say that?? When she learned to walk, she would go to all the cars in the driveways and just trace the letters and numbers with her fat little fingers. She was infatuated with numbers and letters, I mean obsessed, and still is. She is a good little reader, and loves to spell and figure out new words. She amazes me how she's learned to sound them out. So, I guess around a year old is when we started thinking that maybe we weren't crazy.
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