Is my 21 month old showing signs of being gifted? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-21-2012, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 21 months old and can speak in full sentences.  He repeats anything you say to him with 99% accuracy and remembers peoples names months after seeing them.  At a year old we would name a stuffed animal that was in the backroom and he would bring it to us with 100% accuracy.  We did this one night with ten stuffed animals and he picked the correct one each time.  He loves books and could listen to us read him books all day long.  At 18 months he started memorizing the words at the end of a sentence.  We ask him every night what he did today and he tells us various things he did though out the day.  We took him to the zoo and he could name every animal and describe what they were doing. He said "The polar bear is licking the ball" and was correct. He can count to 10 correctly and can count to 20 but missed sixteen on occasion.  He almost has the alphabet memorized and knows his basic shapes.  What I find fascinating is time out.  When he gets in trouble for inappropriate behavior he pretends to be hurt to get out of it.  He will say hit hand or hit toe and really sells it when we know he is just trying to get out of the time out.  What do you guys and girls think?  Thank you for your time! 

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#2 of 16 Old 05-22-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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What is it about the number 16!  I remember a whole thread somewhere on MDC where every kid was skipping 16 or getting confused at that point.  My DS counted reliably to 20 for months and then started missing 16 for awhile -strange!  

 

Anyway, he sounds very birght and similar to my son at that age.  I don't think it's the norm to know the alphabet before 2.  Of course, I can't tell you for sure, but it seems possible given the things you describe. 


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#3 of 16 Old 05-23-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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I think it's pretty common for kids to be able to say or sing the alphabet at that age. It's less common for them to be able to recognize letters, associating them with their names and/or sounds. If you're talking about the latter, yes, he's ahead of the curve. Gifted? No way to know at that age.

 

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#4 of 16 Old 06-01-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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Funny I was just poking around wondering if my son might be ahead of the curve. He is 20 months, and still has a hard time talking with many things, but is starting to really grasp letter names and sounds and will point at letters and say either a litter sound or name and often get them right. He also loves reading and will bring me books and say "mama read book" and we will do many many many books. lol Then he will "read" to me, either talking about the picutres or saying things he's memeorized. like "Good-bye. Good-bye" at the end of Go Dog Go Its adorable. I know he's too young to know where he's at but its just fun to see how bright he is! 


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#5 of 16 Old 06-06-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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My almost 18 month old as an aversion to the number 3.  He'll only say it about 50% of the time.  He recognizes it to see it, but when he counts, he usually goes straight from 2 to 4.  Little goof. :)

My DS also memorizes the end of sentences!  It's hilarious and annoying at the same time.  It started out just being the last word of the sentence that he would repeat, but now it's the last few words.  He's my little echo :)

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#6 of 16 Old 06-06-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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The time out thing sounds pretty age appropriate :) It kind of depends on what you mean by memorizing the alphabet. Memorizing it (to sing) is generally age appropriate and could be due to exposure. If he is picking out the actual letters and recognizing the sounds they make then that is not. DS knew all his upper case letters by that age without us realizing it (daycare pointed it out and we had never worked with him on it). By the time he turned two he recognized all the lowercase letters as well along with the sounds each made. He could also sight read some words (three letters or less and names of people he knew). He read his first "real" book (one that wasn't written for kids learning to read) when he was 29 months. I can't remember how high he was counting, but he was doing basic addition (one digit addition problems). The 20-30 month range was crazy for us. He just seemed to pick thing up out thin air! If he is showing early signs be ready for a crazy year :)

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#7 of 16 Old 06-07-2012, 01:09 AM
 
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lol, i have no idea. my baby is only 8 month old.
 

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#8 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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There is another thread about whether a mom should worry about her child having a label of "gifted." I will give a much shorter answer here, and it's just food for thought based on my personal and professional experience.

 

The label "gifted" is used for a very wide range of abilities, from "smart enough but nothing unusual/no learning problems/well educated for his age" to "smarter than average but not a genius by any means" to "much smarter than average and maybe ten points from genius" to "clearly a genius and very rare."

 

Most of us when we use the term mean the second or third category. Most "gifted programs cover the first three categories and the third category doesn't necessarily get challenged but they may be content. Sometimes teachers' kids or other special status kids who are in the first category might get placed in the gifted program and helped along due to their parents' urging and status. Kids in the fourth category may never be encountered by a career educator and will never be challenged by the so-called "gifted programs." But, they will be used to win awards for the school, and their parents will be discouraged from placing them elsewhere. If they stay in the school they will heavily supplement their education with advanced learning opportunities they create themselves or that their parents help create for them. Valedictorians are often from the third category for big schools and the second category for small schools although the very rare fourth category kid can show up anywhere.

 

Okay, then there is the concept of every child being gifted in their own way, and I fully support that in every way. But, back to the technical definition of giftedness. If you are a master teacher and are sent by your district to a program in teaching gifted children, you will come back and realize that you have never, ever had a gifted child in your classroom, or perhaps you've had one in thirty years, despite teaching tons of doctor's kids, etc. (This may vary if your school is full of kids of Tier 1 researchers who may themselves by highly gifted.) But, usually, those kids just don't exist most places or they come so rarely there is no accommodation for them.)

 

All this to say that if you are talking about the rare type of giftedness that experts (not your local school staff usually) study, you will know it since they are a very young infant, period. There is no way to miss it if you're paying attention at all. They simply do things no other babies do, and your physician will comment on it at their well baby checks. It will become more obvious to others as that child gets older, but you will know. A rare gifted child at age two may converse with adults using extremely complex sentences and start them out, "Actually, Mom..." and give you a logical point to counter what you just said. He may converse with more complexity and logic than your average eight year old even though he can't read, still poops his diaper and so on. Some gifted kids don't talk much for a while and may not read until "late," but most will do things very early to the extent that adults do doubletakes when they speak.

 

My recommendation is simply to keep the TV turned off, provide a rich educational environment, talk to the child as though he is very intelligent, asking for responses and listening to whatever answers you get, reading him a lot of books and teaching him numbers, colors, letters, shapes, animals, etc. Do not ever dumb down what you say to him or any other child. They can understand more than we think. And, don't worry about whether he is gifted. Gifted children and average children both need a lot of intellectual stimulation, but gifted children will demand it, consume it voraciously, and use it creatively. You will know when he needs more and you will know when he's had enough. The label does absolutely nothing so long as you're providing him stimulation so he always be challenged. I mean, are we going to plop "nongifted kids in front of TV and read books to "gifted kids?" No, do the same for both and the gifted kids will demand more. Just run to keep up with him or her.

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#9 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 08:10 PM
 
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Anyway, all children are gifted but uniquely. Think about the kids who can always read your mind versus the kids who can understand anything academic but you have to explain to them the social undercurrents of an interaction. Don't put down either kid. Just nurture them both and shore up their less strong areas for adaptability while making the most of their strong areas.

 

Are IQ tests helpful? In my opinion, only if the child's potential is not being recognized and is therefore not being served with knowledge and opportunity. Even if every kid had his/her IQ tatooed on their forehead, we wouldn't sort them by that as IQ is only one dimension of giftedness.

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#10 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Governess View Post

 

 But, back to the technical definition of giftedness. If you are a master teacher and are sent by your district to a program in teaching gifted children, you will come back and realize that you have never, ever had a gifted child in your classroom, or perhaps you've had one in thirty years, despite teaching tons of doctor's kids, etc. (This may vary if your school is full of kids of Tier 1 researchers who may themselves by highly gifted.) But, usually, those kids just don't exist most places or they come so rarely there is no accommodation for them.)

 

What? Are you saying that your definition of "gifted" is such that most of the children ID'ed as gifted via IQ tests don't count as gifted? 

 

Gifted is a specific IQ score. One can argue about how accurate IQ testing is, but it really all comes down to IQ.

 

Both of my children are officially identified as gifted based on IQ testing. One of my children had significant delays as a toddler and is also identified as being on the autism spectrum. She wasn't identified as gifted until she was 13 because she wasn't able to comply with IQ testing before then.

 

You might want to read up on Temple Grandin, another gifted person who is also on the autism spectrum.


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#11 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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I think she is referring to profoundly gifted children versus highly or moderately gifted ones. I personally don't think that eliminating TV from your home will do much about your kid's giftedness, though it certainly changes the tone and flow of our house when we turn it off for a few days,
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#12 of 16 Old 06-14-2012, 10:30 PM
 
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Actually he might be. I remember my son being introduced to my coworker Brian at that age but never seeing him again. Years later, my son asked, "Why did Brian call me Chris?" Indeed, Brian had called my son "Chris" at that meeting, but then again that may have simply been something that impressed him. There are kids who can memorize very well very easily but struggle put things in context and understand very complex concepts while some kids integrate knowledge readily but don't memorize and don't care to. Remembering versus memorizing. Some people asked me if my son had a photographic memory, but in fact he does not. He simply understands easily and integrates quickly so that if you ask him about the content of a page, he instantly has the answer, but if you asked him what was on page whatever or what order it was presented in, he likely won't know. He doesn't know what many of the books he's read actually look like as he's read so many and doesn't care about the covers, but if you ask him about any fact inside of them, he likely can instantly tell you. So, these are different kinds of intellectual traits. We can't really map intelligence on a two dimensional spectrum. Perspective is everything. I love the way the kids in the very most challenging universities are universally brilliant but wildly different in personality, interests, and so on, yet they readily understand each other and very often have read the same books, books that most people have never heard of and would never want to read. They are in heaven having found their tribe so to speak, but of course they are also in hell because the workload is brutal and the content is something so difficult that these students who have never had to have to had any jelp with homework can't get through problem sets without working together, which is encouraged by the university. Well, that's Caltech. But, yes, he easily could be gifted but of course in his own unique way like all kids and he really could benefit most likely from daily time talking with an adult about all kinds of things in his environment. Crazy things like looking at the old wood panelling in the closet and asking him if the grooves are the same distance apart or if some are closer than others. Asking him why we put food in the refrigerator and then talking with him about that. Why does the dog pant? Were is the sun at night? They learn so much more than they can acknowledge. Helping him count objects until he can do it himself. Just start with 1, 2 and 3. Then help him add them together. Then subtract them. Then ask him what sounds like cat. Later when you teach him to read, you can bring that up again and show him how cat and bat and that and fat and rat all have a-t at the end and that it makes the same sound in each word. Start building a base so when he is ready for the next thing neurologically, he's got the knowledge and skill base to build it on.

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#13 of 16 Old 06-15-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Governess View Post

 

The label "gifted" is used for a very wide range of abilities, from "smart enough but nothing unusual/no learning problems/well educated for his age" to "smarter than average but not a genius by any means" to "much smarter than average and maybe ten points from genius" to "clearly a genius and very rare."

 

You seem, both here and in your other post, to be implying that "giftedness" is a question of being smart, doing well in school, achieving in numerous areas and being one of the kids who is a natural for a Tier 1 college. Giftedness says more about how the brain is wired than about what is in it. It's not about achievement or academic prowess; an incredibly disproportionate number of homeless street kids are actually gifted. Personally what I've observed is that specialist gifted teachers tend to have skills suited to teaching moderately to highly gifted academic achievers who enjoy group project work and learn in an tidily sequential and observable fashion. They are less adept with the real outliers: the kids with stark asynchrony, the profoundly gifted, the highly divergent thinkers, those uninclined towards academic achievement, the highly introverted who don't like to share their thoughts, those who learn in huge, undocumented leaps, who arrive at places through the back door, or skip many destinations entirely. I also disagree with you about grade skipping; it's never the whole answer, but it's been a crucial part of the answer for me (as a child) and for at least two of my kids so far. As a homeschooling parent I don't put much stock in the age-levelling of kids at the best of times, and I don't see what the big deal is with "being the youngest" in a group or hanging out with people older than you. I do it all the time. My elder dd lived thousands of miles away from home at age 17 in an apartment unsupervised and it was absolutely The Best Thing for her that year. My younger dd's social group is entirely made up of kids 2-5 years older than her. When a child's social and intellectual affinities are for older kids because of common interests and abilities, what's the point in holding the child back with a younger crowd because of a birthday?

 

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#14 of 16 Old 06-15-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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the kids with stark asynchrony, the profoundly gifted, the highly divergent thinkers, those uninclined towards academic achievement, the highly introverted who don't like to share their thoughts, those who learn in huge, undocumented leaps, who arrive at places through the back door, or skip many destinations entirely

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#15 of 16 Old 06-28-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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Came back to this thread because my now 21 month old is astounding me with what he knows. He knows more letters (some names and some sounds) than my 3 year old nephew (who is just NOT interested). He also knows a ton of colors, (in fact I'm having to looks up names of shades of colors because he know they are not quite red or purple.... and needs a new name for it). He is starting to count and recognize numbers, but he always starts a number 2. It was always 2,3,2,3,2,3.... Lil. But now he's saying 4 and 5 (but five is hard for him to say). 

 

Its just going too fast! He could just be in a "Metal growth spurt" he tends to have those once in a while, where he masters several new skills, then he kind of levels off. I've just never seen a kid under 2 know this many things! Its freaking me out! :P He tells me about dinosaurs and how they come from eggs, and shows me the dinosaur mama's in his books. 

 

He's pretty shy and won't say a lot of these things to many other people (he also doesn't speak in full sentances very much yet, he struggles a lot with a few sounds like "sss" and "fff". Anyway, I'm just wondering what to look for that actually makes a kid "gifted" or if its just too early to tell. He's bright, that's for sure! 


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#16 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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All children develop at different levels.  Yes, your child may be gifted, but it's too early to know for sure. 

I like this comparison chart between gifted and bright
http://www.bownet.org/BESGifted/brightvs.htm


I've known some toddlers who at age 2/3 can recite the alphabet, know the letter sounds, count to 100 and then level out academic wise and remain average
I've known some toddlers who at age 2/3 can't even recite the alphabet, but then around 3/4 or even 5/6 just take off with knowledge and advance quickly
I've known some toddlers who at age 2/3 are advanced with academic knowledge and just keep progressing at a rapid pace

It's just really hard to tell until they are older.

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