Gifted 3.5 year old? If yes, so what? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-02-2012, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My little boy is 3 years old, will be turning 4 in 3 months.  I always knew he was smart, but recently he started reading 3 and 4 letter non-complex words phonetically, without being taught.  None of his other friends are even close to doing this.  I do read to him, but I dont think more than an average child, and I dont point out the words when reading.  He has been fascinated with letters and numbers since he was 20 months old and learned all the letters.  He then learned all their sounds and finally started putting them together to spell and read words.  He can hand write all the upper and lower case letters and can write words like his name, mommy, stop, daddy, and now lots of 3 and 4 letter non-complex words as well.  He can recognize all numbers up to 100 and will even say 1100 is eleven hundred.  He is fascinated with space - loves planets and knows all their names and facts about them.  He can do simple addition and subtraction.  He starts up conversations everywhere we go with anyone he meets.  The other day in the store he went and sat beside an older lady and said so how is the weather?  And then started telling her all about what we were doing, and all about him.  He talks ALL the time.  He has a strong sense of right and wrong and wants things to always be done the RIGHT way.  If it is done the wrong way, for example the alphabet out of order, he gets very upset.  He dropped his nap at 2.5 years old completely (though there were days without a nap before that) and it takes a LONG time for him to wind down to sleep at night - will not stop talking.  The only way I can get him to stop talking and go to sleep has been a pacifier.  I am supposed to get rid of it by now, but I can not stand how long it takes for him to sleep without it.  He made up a game where he pretends to be a letter and we have to guess which one.  Everything is about letters and numbers.  He gets sooo excited if there is a program on or he sees a sign with interesting letters or numbers. His language has always been very good for his age and better than his peers.  He has never been to school or been taught formally in any way.  So I looked it up online and am really resonating with the posts about gifted children.  My son has a lot in common with the kids and I am finding helpful information on how to deal with some of his antics.  However, if he is gifted, what does this really mean?   Do I do anything different?  He is going to kindergarten next september.  Do I have to worry about him not fitting in (he makes friends easily though since he is so social and friendly) or getting easily bored?  Should I have him tested?  And if so why?  what difference does it make?  Will he be treated differently with that label put on him?  

 

In the meantime I am glad I found this forum.  I read the post on sleep and a few other posts and I sooo relate.  So nice to know there are others going through the same things :) 

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#2 of 6 Old 02-02-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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 wave.gifWelcome!!!

 

I only have one DD who is a bit younger than your son, so I am not as familiar with your son's age group as many on here, but he sounds wonderful!!!nod.gif

 

I saw no one had posted a reply yet, and there are some here that can probably give more experienced information to you, but I thought I'd give you my thoughts on some of your questions.  I kind-of took it from the standpoint of your son probably being gifted and my experiences with my daughters "giftedness" (she has not been tested-yet).

 

However, if he is gifted, what does this really mean?  

 

biglaugh.gifROTFLMAO.gif              duck.gif       (sry had to do that)....ummm, there are sooooo many different definitions for gifted and what it means but I generally go by the 130+ IQ or equivalent ...or highly advanced in an area or talent...

 

Do I do anything different?  

 

Probably different than "normal", but probably not any different than you are already doing. If he is gifted, and happy, my guess is that you are already having to do somethings "differently".  You have probably just been doing what you think he needs, and haven't noticed that it is what he needs that is different, which in effect makes what you are doing different already.

 

He is going to kindergarten next september.  Do I have to worry about him not fitting in (he makes friends easily though since he is so social and friendly)  

 

If he is social and friendly with kids his age, and vice versa, than this may not be a problem for him.  However, one of the reasons this can be a problem with gifted children, is because there becomes a realization by his peers that he is different, and vice versa, and it causes a separation and awkwardness between them.  The social awkwardness that a gifted child experiences is not necessarily dependent upon their socialization skills.  My DD is a social "butterfly", however if put in an environment consisting of only her age group peers, she will not be the same "butterfly" she is naturally.  

 

or getting easily bored?

 

My guess would be yes, especially to the bored part.  Gifted kids (very generally speaking) learn faster and therefor by default will tend to get bored in a traditional classroom setting.   

 

Should I have him tested?

 

Only you can decide that in the end.   duck.gif

 

 And if so why

 

You can test for personal reasons, IE:  I feel like there is something going on and I would like to know what is going on so I can help determine what he needs.  Or, if you think he is gifted and will need to be accepted to a gifted schooling environment, that requires proof of his "giftedness", or entrance into certain programs....

 

what difference does it make?

 

Depends on your DS.   As each child is different, so is each gifted child, and the "difference" will be determined by the variations that your son presents from the "norm".  Side note:  If you can relate to many of the threads in this forum, then that is some of the differences being gifted makes.  Having your DS tested could provide you with a resource to help provide him with the things he may need, and help you understand more about what his needs are.

 

Will he be treated differently with that label put on him?  

 

Ummm.....(delicatly)....yes.  However, (IMHO) if your DS is gifted, he is gifted.  Taking a test or not taking a test will not change that.  And being gifted is simply different, and it is the difference that will make him who he is.  If he is gifted, trying to force him to go to a "normal" school, and live a "normal" life, all in the hopes that he doesn't get treated differently, is probably going to end badly.  Because the simple truth is gifted children typically need different learning environments and different...well, treatment.     

 

 

Well, that's my "Newbie" advice. or...2cents.gif Good luck! And hope you get some good reply's.   I know mine is probably lacking for an "older" kid.
 

 


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#3 of 6 Old 02-04-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccuthbert View Post

  However, if he is gifted, what does this really mean?   Do I do anything different?  He is going to kindergarten next september.  Do I have to worry about him not fitting in (he makes friends easily though since he is so social and friendly) or getting easily bored?  Should I have him tested?  And if so why?  what difference does it make?  Will he be treated differently with that label put on him?  

 

 

 

Welcome.gif

 

There may not be many replies because your questions are asked fairly frequently and there are quite a few similar threads. It occurs to me that this subforum would probably benefit from a wiki article with links to resources. 

 

However, if he is gifted, what does this really mean?  

 

There are different criteria for declaring a child "gifted", but generally people are referring to children who are unusually and extremely able learners. These children often demonstrate asynchronous (uneven) development. Their cognitive processes, physical abilities and emotional maturity are progressing at different rates. 

 

Do I do anything different?  

 

If you don't yet have a library card, that's a good thing to get now, assuming you have a library nearby. If not, it's a good idea to set up a budget for used books. I'm not sure if that's doing anything different, really. 

 

He is going to kindergarten next september.  Do I have to worry about him not fitting in (he makes friends easily though since he is so social and friendly) or getting easily bored?  

 

It's always a good idea to remain aware of whether there's a good fit between a child and his/her learning environment. That "fit" includes a sympathetic teacher who encourages a child's passion for learning new things and classmates who provide a healthy social network. It's also a good idea to nurture a child's emotional development, to provide him with inner resources if that "fit" isn't perfect.  

 

Should I have him tested?  And if so why?  what difference does it make?  

 

Do you feel there's a need to test him at this point? Is testing necessary for admission to special classes or programs? Do you need some additional information about how he thinks and learns? Is he demonstrating confusing learning patterns and you need to sort out any potential exceptional cognitive issues that might be interfering with his learning? Those are typical reasons for testing. You may want to keep in mind that testing is usually more accurate with older children. 

 

 

Will he be treated differently with that label put on him?

 

If he is gifted, it's likely he will be treated differently whether he is labeled or not, unless he hides his abilities.

 

Some teachers will enjoy having an advanced learner, some will be irked because they think it means extra work, and some will be threatened by a kid who knows answers that they don't know themselves.

 

Some classmates will be friendly, some will want to borrow his homework all the time, and some may be nasty.

 

Some parents will be supportive of you and others will be ....otherwise. 

 

 

I'm not sure how helpful my answers are, but you'll find lots of useful information by reading through the threads in this forum. 

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#4 of 6 Old 02-06-2012, 04:07 PM
 
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As a teacher, I appreciate the FYI when a child is way ahead of what is normally expected at a particular grade level.  It can take me time to figure it out and less time is wasted if a parent lets me know.  That being said, many parents think that their K child is very smart and so it helps to be specific rather than just saying the child is gifted (even when they are).   Rather than just saying a child is reading - give examples of what he/she is reading.  

 

Another part, is that even with the FYI it takes time for teachers to get to know all the students at the beginning of the year and what they need.  It isn't as bad after the first year in a school because the teachers pass information on to the next teacher so not as much time is wasted. 

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#5 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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There's a big difference between being technically "gifted" and being an early reader, very bright, or very eager to learn child.  A lot of how he is helped will depend on the school he attends and what kinds of programs are in your area. At 3.5 I wouldn't much worry about it. I would encourage all of his interests and help him to pursue them in ways that are fun, interesting and challenging for him. For now, make academics fun, introduce him to reading and math skills that are fun and interesting but not overwhelming in any way. Visit museums and places that are interesting and fun for both of you, go to the library a lot and let him pick out his own books.

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#6 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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I always tell people not to do assessments until they're getting ready to start 1st grade. The tests are more accurate at that age and it's the age when school generally starts to have a real academic focus.

 

I'm strongly opposed to "normalizing" gifted children, but there's really not much point or documented advantage in pushing academics prior to age 6.

 

 

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