Hi, I'm not really sure if I am looking for advice in the right place, I apologise if that's the case, but I daren't post this in the general forum that I usually use as I've seen the reaction to similar types of questions!
My DD is 27 months, and I've always thought she was bright, but the past month or so she has been obsessed with letters (she was like this with numbers at 16-18 months, but not quite so intense). In this time she has learnt upper and lower case, the names and sounds of letters and has started reading and spelling out simple, phonetically spelt 3-4 letter words. The only thing I taught her was how to sound out the letters in a word and 'squash' them together to make the word. She then started doing this on her own.
This is when I started to think she was maybe something other than a bit bright. I came across a lot of sites talking about the characteristics of gifted children, and my DD doesn't really display many of them at all.
I know no one can tell me whether she is gifted or not based on this post, but I'm not sure what to think at the minute. Is it more common than I realise for children to be doing this? I don't really care much whether she is gifted or not, but I feel that if she is, I should be educating myself and finding out what challenges she might face in the future etc. Is this the right thing to do, or should I just take a 'wait and see' approach?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I'm sure you must get fed up with posts like this on this board!
I don't want your post to go totally unanswered. Obviously, she sounds like a smart cookie but I'm afraid there isn't much I can personally offer. The range of what qualifies at gifted is substantial. How giftedness is displayed, diverse. What works for gifted individuals, anything but standard. I will say that it's not common for 27 month olds to put letters together to spell and read a word but I couldn't tell you with certainty whether that makes her "bright" or "gifted." The good news is, at this point, it doesn't really matter. You know your child and I suspect have a good idea of what she needs right now. Certainly, it never hurts to research your community for future educational options but don't make any decisions until you have to as what your child will need and want can change as they grow. Expose her to interesting things. Take her to museums. Do messy kitchen science. Take her on nature hikes. Play games. Talk. Read. That's the best advice I can give you and what I did for mine.
I do want to pass along a great website with a wealth of information on giftedness. I also wanted to add that I have 2 gifted kids who never match up to the lists of "gifted traits" but yet have the achievement and scores that say they are. Take them with a grain of salt.
It sounds like she is absolutely bright and could very well be gifted but not something I could really affirm for you.
I agree with WNM :).
What I found my kids needed at that age was love, attention and attachment. I really, really enjoyed those years of wonder with them, just going along for the ride and watching them develop.
If anything, I would look at her "style" of interacting with her world if you're thinking about preschool. Different preschools may fit her style better than others.
Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.
Thank you for your replies. Looking back at what I posted, I can see that there isn't really an answer to what I have asked. I just got a bit overwhelmed (I have another DD (16 months old) who is deaf, so I'm trying to educate myself on the different services and communication methods to make sure that she has all the extra support she needs.) and needed to tell someone my concerns.
I am a little worried about what will happen when she starts school if she's so far ahead of her peers, but I am also aware that they could catch up with her in the next few years. I just worry how she is going to fit in if she is.
I've already noticed other parents staring and commenting when they see her pointing out words and letters that she sees, and find myself pointing out areas that she struggles in to 'even her out' a bit (I'm not sure why I do this, I just never know what else to say).
These are the things that concern me, rather than trying to work out whether she is or isn't gifted.
If it makes you feel better, these early years really are the most overwhelming. Parenting alone is new with a sharp learning curve. Throw in a child who doesn't follow the "What to Expect" line of development and it just adds to the uncertainty and stress. Parents of more typical children can feel isolated and alone. Parents with atypical kids even more so. Most BTDT parents can tell you that "gifted" concerns do start to diminish and one day you'll look back and marvel at how frightened it made you in the beginning.
I know it's hard but do your best not to worry about the future. You really don't know what it will be like until you get there. Neither of my kids have taken paths I had anticipated. I didn't think I'd have a tri-lingual 11-year-old who is half-way done with algebra three weeks into 7th grade. I didn't anticipate that I'd be driving my 15-year-old to college every morning. Opportunities I never thought would be available when they were little always popped up when we needed them. Things I assumed wouldn't work did. Things I counted on saving the day, failed miserably. Neither "fit-in" all that well with the norm but they have managed to develop quality friendships and earn the respect of their peers. Once I accepted that raising my kids would be a series of trial-and-error, I was able to just enjoy them more. I can honestly tell you that my biggest concerns at the moment is DD entering the dating world and whether DS will EVER bring his P.E. clothing home to be washed.
You have a full plate with your two. Make the best of it all. Learning sign language is fantastic stimulation for a potentially gifted tot. Outside of mental and physical abuse, you aren't going to waste your children's ability. It's not going anywhere.
Your child may very well be gifted, but of course we can neither confirm nor deny that here. I will say that the years before kindergarten are the hardest as a parent as far as dealing with other parents' reactions. Once kids are in school, their peers' parents don't seem to take as much interest in what mine are doing, and, for better or worse, kids learn to hide themselves a bit to fit in.
I just want to say that this forum has been great for me when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I may or may not get the answers I need - but people here will at least hear me out and share their similar experiences and then I at least feel like we're not alone. That cannot be undervalued when IRL you're given dirty looks for having a walking 6-month-old or a 4-year-old who is reading Trumpet of the Swans to a friend. On other boards you would just be called a liar, so it can be a lonely, shocking experience for a new mom and I'm really glad this little place has been here for me.
As to reading in particular, I would just continue to provide a print-rich environment and share YOUR love of books and words and learning with your child, which you surely will. Looking toward the future, keep in mind that your children will never be too old or too accomplished readers to be read to and continue to read to them. If your child stays far ahead of the curve into the school years, you will likely find that the school will not teach your child at her level and that is where your academic challenges will really begin. Also, finding books that are appropriate in content and reading level will be a challenge, but the ladies here are so great with recommendations. Also, keep in mind that these cognitive leaps are just that - leaps. Your child may be ahead in one area now because that is where her interest lies, but she may sit with that for a long time before making another leap, or she may become so interested in numbers or art or animals that her reading skills are just left to get dusty in the corner. All of that is fine. Just be open to your child being who she is and follow her lead and ENJOY being with her.