1 year old and I'm already worried - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I'm new here. wave.gif I have a little boy who has just turned 1.  I was hoping to get a second opinion on my little boy really.  If it is thought that he is not gifted, then I can put that thought away.  If he is thought as gifted, then I'd really appreciate some suggestions on reading material for myself maybe.  I know he is very young, but he is my first and I'm a worry wart and I'm quite worried that I'm going to mess this person up.  :S  Oh, and if there's any other mums with possibly gifted toddlers about his age, I'd quite like to chat, as I'm finding I'm having to keep quiet all the time when others want to share what their little one has recently learned, when I'm actually quite a chatty person.  - People don't seem to like it if a child has learned something before their little one has.  Anyway, I'll go through some of the main milestone points; A few minutes after he was born, they passed him to me and he was crying.  I said 'hello *name*' and he shut up and stared directly into my eyes.  The day after, they took him for an x-ray (he had a chest infection) and when they brought him back into the room, he was able look directly at me from the door to where I was laying, sat up with a perfectly straight back, holding himself up with 1 hand against the nurses chest.  He was able to hold his head up from birth as well.  He rolled over back to front at 3 weeks and front to back when he turned 3 months.  He was never happy to be laid down and we would have to carry him everywhere in a way that he could see everything.  He could sit unaided at 14 weeks, could stand holding onto something at 15 weeks, began cruising at 17 weeks, stood alone at 7 months, but he's still not walking.  He started coming out with words at 5 months and related the word to the object or action.  He said his first 2 word sentence at 10 months and is coming out with them every day at present.  My mum noticed he responded to his name at 4 months, but I never noticed him not pay attention to his name.  He seems to have a fascination for letters and started naming some letters at 11 months, he knows at least 7 letters now and sometimes joins them together in speech when he sees them together.  He hasn't said any numbers, but he's trying to hold up the right amount of fingers when you say a number.  He was naming some shapes at 8 months, but no colours yet.  He completed his shape sorter at 10 months and began building with lego duplo around the same time.  He has some sensitivities, such as the hoover, the hair dryer, any creamy textures, some coarse textures, sand, blue lights, bright lights of any colour and seems very sensitive to the emotions of others.  So, am I just a proud mum, or is he possibly gifted and do I have some reading to do?  Many thanks.

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#2 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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Hi, and welcome to mothering! greet.gif Your baby sounds a lot like DD when she was that age, aside from the cruising at 17 weeks (wow!). She was very verbal, very early and at two she now speaks very clearly and can understand abstract concepts that many of her peers have not yet been able to grasp. Her vocabulary is expansive and she is extremely dedicated to doing everything "right".

 

You are going to get a lot of posts of people telling you that it is WAAAAYYYY too early for anyone to know if your child is gifted. And maybe "gifted" isnt the right word to use for kids this little, but what exactly are we supposed to call it when our kids go to playgroup with kids who are so far behind them verbally that they are bored or have nothing in common with them (when DD was about 1.5 we had this problem- kids her own age didnt talk and kids older than her were way too physical. Now, she is typically just silent at playgroups and plays alone). Typically we are told to "just wait and see" but that doesnt help us address the problems that arise from our children understanding non-age appropriate things, people expecting them to behave like a 5 year old just because they can use some words that a 5 year old uses, and them being mentally old enough for lots of things that they are not old for enough by the rulebook. Sometimes, it is obvious that your child is not on the same level as his peers- that doesnt mean he is "gifted" but he has definitely developed faster than most other children. That may slow down and level out, and it may not, right?

 

It sounds like your DS is pretty far ahead, and I wouldnt worry about the sensitivities- most kids are sensitive to hair dryers and vacuum cleaners. I've been trying to arrange playdates with kids who are more on her level, reading books that she is more interested in, and let her make most of the rules as far as what she wants to learn about. When we go to libraries or book store, I dont pick anything out for her anymore, I let her do it. I did find a 3 year old preschool check list and have been working with her on some of the things on there when she turned two, like drawing a face, hopping on one foot, and saying her name and address. But basically, we encourage her to play and create and learn in whatever way she feels like it each day, which is what we've been doing since she was able to walk.

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#3 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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Well I'll say it's way too early to tell. My kids were both early talkers, but that's not indicative of anything except they were early talkers. I'm sure you've heard that old saw about Einstein didn't talk until he was 4, right? I'm not sure that's exactly correct, but I do think certainly gifted kids may talk early and they may talk late. And early talking and reaching physical milestones early is not indicative of future academic success. 

 

Wait and see, mamas, wait and see...

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#4 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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He may or may not be gifted but honestly, I wouldn't put too much effort in trying to figure it out at this point. At this age, the range of "normal" development is quite huge. Some gifted kids are consistently early, some are not. Some average kids are early, and some not. I wouldn't tag him with sensitivities yet either. Everything is new and it's very normal for infant/toddlers to not like loud noises, bright lights and unusual textures. In a few years, you'll have a better idea if he has true sensitivities unusual to his age or not.

 

The good news is, you really don't need to "know" at this point. What he needs is no different from what any other toddler needs... love, healthy diet, interaction and a safe but stimulating environment. You are clearly giving him all that! He's going to learn by seeing, feeling, hearing, playing, tasting. Get him out in the world. Take him interesting places that you enjoy yourself. Talk to him. Read to him. Listen to him. That's really all he needs to develop. Barring physical and mental abuse and neglect, you aren't going to take away his mental abilities. They will develop how they are meant to develop. 

 

Motherhood can be nerve-wracking the first time around but this is one thing you really don't have to "worry" about. If you want to read up on giftedness in general. I recommend the Hoagies site for gifted. 

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#5 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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Thank you everyone for your replies.  I've taken a while to reply to you all because I'm having trouble getting a new password, so I've set up another account (sorry I'm not sure if that's allowed).  Thank you to you all, you're very welcoming.  :)  I suppose the things that I'm worried about are not relating to the now, but his future.  I know it's years away, but I'd like to be prepared.  When I read up online about possibly gifted toddlers, I am finding plenty of things to be worried about, but no points on how to help or prevent those situations.  So, thank you whatsnextmom, I'll have a look on that site.  My partner and I have issues ourselves (I was bullied for being smart, I was the one who was disruptive through boredom, I was the one who eventually failed because I wasn't used to needing to put the effort in) and so do other members of my family and we were hoping that these issues wouldn't arise in our little boy.  And yes whatsnextmom, it is nerve-wracking the first time around, but moreso if you're a nervy person anyway and then you find that you can't speak to anyone about it (which is why I've found this site:) ).  Thank you ladies for saying about the sensitivities too, our families seem to think it's odd how he reacts to certain things, making me think it wasn't normal, I can relax about that now.  smile.gif  

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#6 of 9 Old 08-15-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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Hi!  Your DS sounds wonderful :)  Completing a shape sorter at 10 months! Wow!   I can definitely relate to staying quiet about accomplishments around peers.  Some of my best friends just flat out didn't believe me.  That's what's so great about this site.  You can post anything you want and we will share your joy and amazement.  Keep reading too - especially the posts from people with school aged children.  It helps to put the toddler and preschool years in perspective, and it's also neat to hear about what cool people MDC mamas are raising. 

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#7 of 9 Old 08-15-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cheesenonion2 View Post

 I suppose the things that I'm worried about are not relating to the now, but his future.  I know it's years away, but I'd like to be prepared.  When I read up online about possibly gifted toddlers, I am finding plenty of things to be worried about, but no points on how to help or prevent those situations. 

 

I do understand how you feel but you just can't predict what issues, if any, your child will have. You can spend years trying to prevent one issue only to have something you never predicted happen instead. Personally, I take it one year at a time. As a family, we evaluate regularly. We look at whats working and what it not and make course corrections when needed. Sure, I have my moment of personal panic before every big transition.... my 15-year-old just started an early college program yesterday and certainly, I'm feeling it! However, it's important to have "moments" of panic and not live in it. It's important to understand your own history but not to assume it will repeat in your child. I can tell you my kids have had none of the issues I assumed they'd have based on my own history and what I read. You have no idea how many times I got worked up for no reason at all lol.

 

I just hate to see parents spend these early years in worry when, in many ways, it's the easiest time to give your children what they need (though the most isolating as a parent.) The very best thing you can do for your child is give them connection, reason to trust and confidence in their abilities. At age one, you give them that by interacting, listening, showing them the world is filled with interesting and wonderful things. You are already doing this! As hard as it is, try to live in the moment with an eye out for the single year to follow. Don't stress about 3rd grade now... truly, you can have NO idea of what the reality of that situation will be when the time comes. I know, you are looking for answers but there really isn't any at this point.

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#8 of 9 Old 08-17-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beanma View Post

Well I'll say it's way too early to tell. My kids were both early talkers, but that's not indicative of anything except they were early talkers. I'm sure you've heard that old saw about Einstein didn't talk until he was 4, right? I'm not sure that's exactly correct, but I do think certainly gifted kids may talk early and they may talk late. And early talking and reaching physical milestones early is not indicative of future academic success. 

Welcome! :)

There is a metastudy that has indeed found that there is a strong correlation between unusually early verbal development in a toddler and the child being IDd as gifted at some furture date - in fact the study found that it is the only indicator that has some validity (unlike physical milestones or decreased need for sleep, for instance). I am happy to link (have done so before in this forum, might be a year or two ago) but unfortunately it's in German. And of course there is anecdotal evidence all over this forum - this particular debate comes up regularly...

That not talking early is not an indicator that the child is not gifted is true but has absolutely no relevance whatsoever.

Now whether giftedness, in turn, is indicative of future academic success...lots of factors go into this! But that is not what you are worried about at this point I am sure.

Adaline's Mama has already pointed out the distinction between a formal ID of giftedness and calling a child developmentally advanced.

There is a scientific consensus that a child should not formally be IDd as gifted before an age when IQ test results may be said to be reasonable valid and stable, usually starting from about 6 or 7, others say 8 or even 11 years. the reason for this being that IQ tests at a young age have much more to do with how compliant a child is and how enriching their environment has been, and that young children develop in leaps and bounds and then hit long plateaus, so you never quite know how the snapshot of a young child really compares to age norms.

However, if a child consistently and widely exceeds age norms, you can expect the child to continue on that trajectory.

I recommend checking out the PBS development tracker http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/ for what typical one-year-olds do - you will find norms for typical kids ("most one-year-olds can..."), somewhat advanced kids ("some one-year-olds can...") and very advanced kids (" a few children may..." or even "at the the end of this year, a very few children may..."). If you find yourself having to consistently check years ahead in order to find even a few children who do what your child does, you'll know you're on to something!

And you have already found out the hard way that it is better not to talk to other parents about what your child does. Come here and talk to us!

Some other stuff I find it's never too early to read up on:

asynchronous development

- meaning that cognitive development, fine and gross motor development and socio-emotional development may (in fact, with most gifted children, will) all happen at different speed, which is often hard both for the child and parents and educators to cope with. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a toddler who can talk about emotions like a much older child should have the emotional maturity to regulate these emotions like an older child, or that a toddler that can easily converse about anatomy and potty training should be ready to go potty, too. A child that has a very early interest in letters may be very frustrated at their inability to form those letters due to age-appropriate fine-motor skills. And so on.

- reactive hypoglycemia

meaning that for some reason, gifted children are much more likely to experience sudden drops in blood sugar and react adversely -   by having tantrums, meltdowns, turning aggressive ect, everything but realizing that they are hungry and need to eat. If you notice these signs in your toddler just before lunch, snack or dinner, a high protein diet with regular snacks to stabilize blood sugar will do the trick, but nothing else will!

Also, I'd use the next year to find out about what kind of preschools you have in your area even if you don't think you will want to send your child - your child may want to go, or you may change your mind. Developmentally very advanced children usually have trouble in strictly age-segregated settings and do much better in mixed age groups, either play-based or Montessori, and it's worth having the info when application time rolls around.

The sensitivities sound very familiar to me. In our case, most of these appear to have gotten better or gone away with maturity, but we do have some sensory issues with our oldest which were definitely strong enpough to warrant a round of OT. You may want to read up on sesory diets.

 

Most of this info you will find on this board, but there is also a sticky with recommended books.

Enjoy the ride! It is such fun to hear what goes in in a toddler's mind, a privilege only the parents of very early talkers have!

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#9 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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Thank you so much to you all.  Writing out my worries definitely helped.  The fact that you are all so kind, welcoming and understanding has helped a lot, I could hug you all.  smile.gif  I should have said before, Adeline's Mama, that hearing from someone with a child with similarities, I think I needed that, thank you.  Whatsnextmom, I think your way of dealing would be best, thank you.  I was always worried about development delays, as there was a fairly high chance of this with my genetics, I had no idea I would be worrying about possible giftedness.  Tigerle, you have given me loads of information, thank you.  smile.gif  I tend to fear the unknown a lot, reading the information you have suggested will certainly help.  I wasn't sure about taking him to a preschool at all, but I think I will let him decide in the next year.  I had read a little about Montessori preschools, I think that would be the route for us, if and when he decides.  I had expected a bit of negativity, but there's none here at all, I think I will stick around, although I'll probably mostly be lurking in the near future, and there's some other forums here that would be suitable in the meantime too.  thanks.gif

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