Can a child be gifted but not an early reader? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My middle DD seems very gifted in a lot of ways, but she's 2/3 the way through kindergarten now and after doing a couple quick online assessments it appears she only reads at about a 5th grade level. She went into kindergarten probably only reading at a 1st/2nd grade level. My oldest was the same way. It wasn't until the summer between kindergarten and first grade that reading really "clicked" for DD1 and she could suddenly read anything and everything. She could of course read before that point, but probably only somewhere in elementary school level. She's definitely made up for lost time though and reads almost nonstop since that summer. LOL! I read about so many gifted kids who could read the newspaper at 2 years old and it makes me wonder if maybe my girls are more "bright" than gifted, but then again so much of the other gifted characteristics fit them perfectly.

TIA for any advice.

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#2 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Everyone is different and gifted spans more then just reading. If she's in kindergarten and reading at a 5th grade level, I probably wouldn't worry about it.

BTW, I heard that it's recommended for most publications directed at the masses, it's best to stick to around a 4th grade reading level so your DD could probably read a newspaper.

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#3 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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My daughters and I are all extremely gifted; all of us learned to read at age 6 (not before) and all of us were reading several grade levels ahead, starting around age 7.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#4 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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Goodness--I hardly think reading at a 5th grade level in K would mean your child is "not gifted"! That sounds pretty gifted to me. In fact, I have a friend whose K child just tested as highly gifted (IQ 140+) and her kid is reading about 5th-grade level books--perhaps she *could* read harder ones, but she does not choose to.

ETA that my child just turned 5 (not in K yet) and is reading probably at the 2nd grade level (she just started reading about 3 months ago). I actually was slighly surprised that she waited this long to learn, but anyway, I think she is gifted, and professionals who have had contact with her do too.

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#5 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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Um, so she's in K and currently reading at a 5th grade level? She *IS* an early reader. (Indeed!)

I have a 2E dd who was not even quite reading at K level during K. NOT an early reader - nearly a late reader. She's MG (moderately gifted), according to her last IQ test two years ago, before we knew about the 2E issues. Having addressed her issues for the time being, now in 2nd grade, she's probably reading around a 3rd-4th grade level (I don't know exactly at the moment). Does this help provide any perspective?

On the subject of early reading, it can be a sign of giftedness but not all gifted people are early readers. However, it would seem your dd is quite the early reader. I don't think you have anything to worry about in that area.

Even amongst gifted kids, I'd say that reading the newspaper at 2 y.o. is way more the exception than the rule. Perhaps you need to familarize yourself with the levels of giftedness and realize that gifted does not always mean Einstein (a common misconception). This misconception leads to a lot of problems - among parents of gifted kids, that would be denial and the corresponding lack of appropriate schooling - and among the wider world, well I don't even want to go there, but it makes getting an appropriate education even more difficult.

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#6 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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Remember that this forum is skewed toward exceptionally/profoundly gifted kids, and naturally so, because the parents of said children need tools and support for kids who are drastically, dramatically different than typical in some, sometimes almost all, ways. And finding IRL support would be even harder for them--there are a lot fewer profoundly gifted kids out there than moderately gifted kids, and they often have to deal with the differences at a much earlier age than parents of moderately gifted kids. Me--I don't need as many ideas, because my kids aren't as far from typical as many on this board, and I can just lurk and grab what ideas are useful to us.

Just increasing in reading level from grade 1/2 to grade 5 (all while actually in kindergarten) in less than a school year--by definition, that's supposed to take 3-4 years, so 6 months is not typical.
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#7 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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Yeah, "only" reading at a fifth grade level in kindergarten, I can see why you might be concerned...

I shouldn't laugh, though, because I actually had similar thoughts once. BeanBean started kindergarten barely reading at an early emergent level. If it wasn't something that might appear on a map, he couldn't read beyond a few CVC words. A few months later he was reading, and well. Now he's reading very well. He's definately gifted, profoundly so even, and he didn't learn to read until right before he turned five.

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#8 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Yes, I'd agree with pp. Dd1 didn't start to read until K, and now at first grade is chugging her way through the second Harry Potter book (6th grade level) and comprehending it too.

I kind of gather it's not how early a child reads in as much as it how fast they progress once they've started and of course, also critical is how much they understand as well. Kind of like a runaway train, you know?

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#9 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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Fifth grade level means typical fifth grade reader. She's in kindie. My math says way out of norm .

The other thing is that reading is a constellation of abilities. The eye mechanics alone are a fine motor skill, and the typical human eye is not developmentally prepared for that close, fine work. So some kids may have the cognitive and decoding skills to read young, but not the eye strength to take on the text work.

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#10 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm still in shock at the whole concept of a "kindergarten reading level." When I was in kindergarten, we were "taught" the alphabet (even though I already knew it from years of Sesame Street.) Reading wasn't taught until 1st grade. I was in shock when DD1 learned to read during kindy, but then she was already 6yo because of when her birthday is. She was one of two girls in her kindy class who could read, and both were 6yos. DD2 wasn't taught to read until 1st grade either.

DS was taught to read in kindy, and he was clearly not ready. I'm still mad at the school (which has since closed) for pushing reading so young, because it damaged him. I'm sad to see that other schools are pushing reading in K, because a great deal of children aren't ready yet.

IMO, entering kindergarten at a 1/2 reading level IS being an early reader!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#11 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I'm going to reiterate what everyone else said. If your child is in K and reading at a 5th grade level, she is reading at the level of a "normal" child TWICE her age. Clearly that makes her an early reader.

But yes, even if she wasn't an early reader, she could still be gifted. My DH is both gifted and dyslexic and did not read fluently until he was an adult. And there are certainly a number of other reasons a gifted child might not learn to read early.
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#12 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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Certainly, many children are gifted but not early readers. Just like many aren't early speakers. My son tests in the gifted range but he is a reluctant reader and very reluctant writer at 5.5. But he is highly gifted in the spoken language and when it comes to logical thinking...wow!...he is extremely high. I don't worry about the reading because he has such a strong interest in books that I know once it clicks, he will take off. That is the same thing that happened with his speech. He didn't speak more than a couple words before he was 21 months, then by 22 months he was speaking in complex sentences with superb pronunciation and continues to thrive in that area. Until that happens with reading, I wait patiently. Pushing only holds him back.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#13 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

The other thing is that reading is a constellation of abilities. The eye mechanics alone are a fine motor skill, and the typical human eye is not developmentally prepared for that close, fine work. So some kids may have the cognitive and decoding skills to read young, but not the eye strength to take on the text work.
oh, I guess that explains why dd2 (5.5) has learned how to read on her own, but gets TIRED after reading a while.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#14 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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oh, I guess that explains why dd2 (5.5) has learned how to read on her own, but gets TIRED after reading a while.
DS could read and spell many, many words at three, and could read really big words at 4 when they were in isolation. I could not figure out why he didn't read. Finally at 5 we took him to a developmental optometrist and learned he had some mechanical issues (convergence insufficiency), which were entirely missed at an eye test with a regular optometrist at 3.5. Even now he fatigues pretty quickly. I have no idea what his reading level would be if he had any stamina.

DD's very, very near-sighted, and the dev optometrist suggested that it was potentially partly due to early reading and the many hours she spends engaged in the activity. Of course, she's also inherited near-sightedness from both sides as well.

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#15 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!! I guess reading my own post, makes it sound pretty silly. I'm certainly not worried about her reading level, it's just that everyone at the school talks about how gifted the girls are and I guess I just had a different image in my head of what gifted might be. Thanks again!!

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#16 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Some of us dyslexic people were even late readers, but still tested gifted in school.


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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
If it wasn't something that might appear on a map, he couldn't read beyond a few CVC words.
I thought DS was the only one . He can read "Montana" or "Connecticut" if it's on a map, but when it comes to books we're still on begining Bob Books.

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#17 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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I thought DS was the only one . He can read "Montana" or "Connecticut" if it's on a map, but when it comes to books we're still on begining Bob Books.
I used to laugh because "longitude" and "equator" were right there, but "tree" might as well have been written in Greek.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#18 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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#19 of 24 Old 03-15-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momtokay View Post
My middle DD seems very gifted in a lot of ways, but she's 2/3 the way through kindergarten now and after doing a couple quick online assessments it appears she only reads at about a 5th grade level. She went into kindergarten probably only reading at a 1st/2nd grade level.
In what sense is she not an "early reader"? She was reading a grade or two ahead when she entered kindergarten (the "grade" where they first introduce reading).

But yes, of course a child could be gifted and not an early reader. My oldest is certainly gifted and didn't read till she was 6, which I believe is neither early or late. My middle child is quite bright too, and she is just beginning to read at age 6.

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#20 of 24 Old 03-16-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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I thought DS was the only one . He can read "Montana" or "Connecticut" if it's on a map, but when it comes to books we're still on begining Bob Books.
sounds like a certain visual-spatial learner I know
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#21 of 24 Old 03-16-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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I'm with the others--if she's reading on a 5th grade level in K, she's almost certainly gifted!

My DS is highly gifted and didn't read well until close to 6. I don't know what his reading level is right now, but I would guess 9th grade or higher? He reads pretty much as well as an adult. He's 7.5 now.
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#22 of 24 Old 03-16-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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I think most people learn in fits and starts, and have occasional "explosions" of learning. I think it has to do with interest level and acquiring the amount of experience needed to go to the next level and beyond.

I think most early readers are gifted (but not all), but it certainly isn't any type of pre-requisite. Being an advanced reader is an indication that your daughter is gifted. Also, I do not think you should say "only" with respect to your daughter reading at a 5th grade level. I don't think that is proper language to address her skills.
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#23 of 24 Old 03-16-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Also, I do not think you should say "only" with respect to your daughter reading at a 5th grade level. I don't think that is proper language to address her skills.
So true, and kids pick up on language like this, particularly gifted kids who tend to be perfectionistic and critical of themselves. Not that you've said this around her, but she might pick up on this attitude from other things you say if you're thinking this way. Reading on a 5th grade level is wonderful for a Kindergarten student--probably 75% of my son's K class last year couldn't read AT ALL at the end of the school year.
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#24 of 24 Old 03-16-2009, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I do not think you should say "only" with respect to your daughter reading at a 5th grade level. I don't think that is proper language to address her skills.
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So true, and kids pick up on language like this, particularly gifted kids who tend to be perfectionistic and critical of themselves. Not that you've said this around her, but she might pick up on this attitude from other things you say if you're thinking this way. Reading on a 5th grade level is wonderful for a Kindergarten student--probably 75% of my son's K class last year couldn't read AT ALL at the end of the school year.
Eek. Good point. FWIW, I don't have any doubts about their abilities. Nor do I think they should be doing things faster or more than they are. I think all three of my kids are super bright. Plus, my second -- the one this post is mostly about -- is such a master of divergent thinking. She just comes up with the most brilliant solutions to problems. If she can carry that trait on to adulthood, I can only imagine what sorts of things she'll come up with throughout her life. I just wasn't sure if the gifted label would fit them, though after the replies to my question and given what else they do, I'm quite confident it does. Thanks again everyone!!

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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