I know there are a lot of these posts but I wondering about my daughters vocabulary. I know that early talking doesn't always equal gifted but the sheer number of words my daughter speaks is well over the top of all the milestone charts. I've also seen however that the way language is used can be more of an indicator of giftedness rather than vocabulary alone. And whilst her use of language is a little advanced (I think), it's not that advanced (or is it?) Thoughts?
- 8-9m: 4 words
- 10m: 7
- 11m: 20
- 12m: 30
- 13m: 40
- 14m: 100
- 15m: 200
- 16m: 350
- 18m: 700
- 19m: ~900 (I have written down about 800 things she says but there would be plenty I've missed)
She only started joining words together into 2 word sentences at about 15months and now at 19months 3-4 word sentences are common (maybe some longer but I can't think of any offhand). She added plural 's to words at 15 months, 's possessive at 16months and -ing at 16.5months and only a few days ago I heard -er (colder, hotter).
Some of the things she has said recently:
- "Kiss it better boy" (a boy hurt his finger in the book)
- "Oh! There you are" (looking for me in the dark and finally found me)
- "I'll take it" (referring to the book we had just read, when I was looking for somewhere to sit it down)
- "That's (name)'s, baby. Mine, mine! This one yours baby" (her baby doll was trying to use the wrong scarf during their play session apparently, lol)
- "Girl sleeping in cradle"
- "mari, (name) eat it ... Come on! ... mari! mari! mari! Lady bring it" (she loves calamari and was a little impatient at the restaurant)
- "Fairy wings.... ferry boat" (She was talking about her fairy wings but then made the word connection to ferry - we'd been on one a month prior)
Other things she can do: She has known her colours since 15months. She also knows her upper & lower case alphabet and phonics sounds (since about 17 months). She counts to 12 (skipping 8 and 11) each time. She has been able to identify men, ladies, girls and boys with surprising accuracy since about 16months (even men with long hair). She remembers the titles of books and is able to correct me if I say a wrong word (after each new book is read she turns to the front cover and memorises what it looks like). She has known her major body parts since 12m and now knows parts like hip, thigh, heel, palm, knuckles etc.
Her gross motor skills are below average but she may be hypermobile (waiting next appt for this). Also her fine motor skills let her down and cause frustration whilst doing puzzles (moved on from peg puzzles but has trouble with interlocking pieces)
She is in daycare 4 days a week and I am starting to get concerned that if she is gifted, she may not receive the stimulation she needs.
thanks for any thoughts/tips
First, it may be difficult to know for sure whether your child is gifted (evidenced by and IQ test of 130 or above) until she is older. For a stable score, it's best to wait until she is in kindergarten (kindergarten teacher input may be important). My son (gifted intelligence) did many (not all) of the things your daughter does. A few things that may tip a parent off:
1. Early and/or precocious intellectual development. Reading, math, puzzle solving, writing, or music/art for creative. Some gifted kids learn to do things at the average time, but then quickly leap far beyond their same age peers. My son was one of these when it came to learning to talk.
2. High levels of energy and the ability to focus (often seems like hyper focus) on topics that interest them. Obsessive interests that have depth (i.e. they learn everything they can about the topic) and last for a long time. Kids become little experts on a particular subject.
3. Excellent memory and early ability synthesize learning. I recall that my son was about 18 months when he learned his shapes and then would call them out when he saw them in his environment (e.g. street signs were "rectangles," arched windows were "half circles' and the moon was a "crescent.") He was doing this when most children were learning to talk.
Stimulation is important, and takes a lot of forms. Every child should be in a stimulating environment, but gifted kids may be prone to acting out if they are bored.
1. Books, books, books with a lot of variety
2. Plenty of fresh air and gross motor activities (my high energy son needs to be moving anywhere between one and three hours a day). We try to keep it unstructured (playgrounds, parks) and some structured (taekwondo, swim team). Kids need to play and the playground is the best forum for kid-to-kid socialization.
3. Puzzles and objects of interest.
4. Fine motor activities (art, crafts, etc.)
5. A supportive adult who guides activities and interactions in a positive way. My son tended to be difficult for teachers by the time he hit preschool. He didn't transition from his favorite tasks easily, and often became so involved in what he was doing that he seemed to ignore instructions. Add to that manipulative, high energy, and easy overstimulation and he was quite a little package for his teachers (and his parents). It's important that teachers be patient and innovative and flexible.
Good luck on your journey.
I have a slightly different spin on this issue. I think that such children can indeed be prone to acting out if they are bored, but I also think that sometimes parents, in their zeal to provide stimulation, take on the responsibility of solving their child's boredom for them. Instead I think it's a good idea to allow the child to learn how to solve her own boredom. Sometimes this means tolerating a little acting out and redirecting, reminding, enforcing limits as needed. It means giving them choices as they figure out how to occupy themselves. It means modelling the process of figuring out appropriate activities. And it means expressing confidence that they have what they need to figure it out.
I guess I just see situations where the habit of constantly stimulating and entertaining a child becomes a factor that actually contributes to the difficulty of acting out while bored. I'm not talking about anyone here -- obviously I have no real idea what's going on with your kids -- but in real life I've seen kids become who have become dependent on their parents for constant entertainment, usually due to the very best of parental intentions and a belief that this is the only way to keep them from getting into trouble.
Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
Thanks for the comments
CamMom - What was your son's speech development like?
If my daughter continues along the same lines I would be looking to get her tested before school as she is just past the cut off and early entry may be suitable. But that is years down the track.
For the moment:
- We read a lot of books and she gets excited when she sees me bring the library bag home "New books!" she exclaims. I cant find enough non-fiction written at a suitable level so I just summarise what each page says as we read them.
- She is finding puzzles that do not interlock much easier to handle (just wooden pieces cut into shapes that butt up against each other to form the overall picture). I will ask her daycare if they have any puzzles like this in the older rooms and to make them available for her. Also I will look into some things to help her fine motor skills. I'm not sure if hypermobility affects fine motor, or just gross motor. She gets frustrated very quickly when she cant do something and throws it on the ground. Or refuses to try and asks me to do it for her. Could this be a bit of perfectionism coming through?
- I'm not sure if her focus levels are longer than normal or not. Her main areas of interest revolve around books primarily, then baby dolls and doll house stuff. I have many open ended construction type toys but she is simply not interested.
- She does have an excellent memory and often recalls things that happened weeks prior, or things I've said we need to buy next time we are at the shops. She seems to be able to move information from one situation to another (I havent heard her say shapes while out yet though, letters and numbers yes).
- I do need to take her on more excursions out and about. She loves being outside.
- Until recently she was not able to entertain herself but now (given she has a few toys) she can create a little scenario and play with her doll etc. She will also ask for what activities she wants to do next - gluing, painting, reading, go outside etc.
I will keep daycare informed of her latest interests and ask if they can put out toys that align with them. I'm not sure what else I can do. She is in a 0-2 room, so while I often give her toys for older kids at home, they would not be able to give her anything that isnt safe for under 3s (eg some puzzle pieces can be quite small).
I was also thinking of starting a "daily planner" type thing with pictures on the wall, so she can better understand which days are home days, daycare days (she attends 2 diff centres unfortunately), grandparent days etc.
Any other thoughts or tips?
I would keep it activities simple- we went out to eat or to the store. Risky excursions for toddlers, but full of things to observe and learn! The playground and anything to experience nature. Children's museums, botanical gardens, etc. are good.
We did not allow screen time until my son was closer to four, and I think it helped him immerse himself in other more beneficial activities. I'm not opposed to tv and he's allowed it now, I just don't see the benefit for young children.
I'll be honest- unless you're concerned that your daughter is under stimulated at her childcare facility, I would continue doing the great parenting that I'm sure you are doing. If she is profoundly gifted, it will announce itself soon enough (mine is not at that level). If she is moderately or highly gifted, it will be more apparent between the ages of 3-5 with early or advanced intellectual development. Some kids are not recognized as gifted until kindergarten or later.
On the other hand, if she begins to exhibit behavior problems, take her to see someone and mention that she is showing signs of a high intellect. Mine did have some behavioral problems as a preschooler and it's not uncommon for that to happen with gifted kids. The intensity level and asynchronous development of gifted kids can be pronounced. It leveled out some in pre-k and kindergarten, but he is still challenging.
I agree with mooninmamma- character development and resourcefulness are important. We have had to explain in clear terms what is productive activity and what is not. The line "find something productive to do, or I will find something for you," works when they get older;)
My only other comment is to place her in the best school that is feasible and makes you most comfortable. I send mine to a private school, but our public schools are very good and the reason we chose to live where we do. Make sure that the district has a GATE program if she's going to public school.
We allow TV and sometimes I ask her if she wants it on and she'll say no. Rarely (maybe once or twice a month) she will request it. I do however put it on at the end of the day if I'm trying to get dinner ready and she is a bit cranky etc.
I guess the reason I have been thinking about her stimulation is that she is in a 0-2 room at daycare. Parts of her brain already seems to be operating at a 2yo level and I'm wondering if she will become bored as she gets older and her development further accelerates past the age range the room accommodates. If that makes sense? So I just want to make sure (however I can) that they provide the care/toys etc that she needs. But I am unsure of how to go about this. She is only just starting to tell me about her day but it is pretty limited info (eg she played with the big car, someone threw the ball up high, who patted her to sleep and who gave her a hug etc)
I looked at the Ruf's Levels of Giftedness and she fits best into Level 2 at the moment. I don't think she is PG. But only time will tell I guess :)
I hear you- school should be stimulating and interesting. My only comment is that very young children (especially the gifted and/or mischievous) will manage to find entertainment in funny ways. We would buy these expensive learning toys that my son would ignore in favor of grocery bags. He would carry a paper bag around the house counting and putting random objects into the bag- it was a major pastime for awhile! When he was three he took some of his crafting stretchy bands and made a spider web stretching the length of his room (he was fascinated by by spiders). The world of everyday objects is a laboratory for bright toddlers.
With such a young class, it may help to let her teachers know to talk with her- so that she continues to develop those advanced verbal skills- or to show an interest in her projects. My son was flush with pride when he would show an adult his accomplishment or project. It kept him motivated to continue his creative ideas. I don't know now to broach it diplomatically with a teacher because his teachers have always been so great- but if you notice that they are not engaging, it may be time to dialogue or consider another, better environment.
DD is 20mo and her language seems very similar. (12mo 30; 15mo 500: 18mo 1000 ish words). At 15mo she could count to 20, recognise all letters. Over the last months her average sentences have gone from 4-6 words to a 8ish. Recently she said 'I jump very very high into the sky and see the planets' as yesterday seeing and a-frame house said 'it looks as though it's a triangle'.
Obviously I don't know for sure if she's 'gifted' but she certainly seems much further ahead than any of her peers on language.
Her gross motor skills are quite behind - walked at 18mo. But her fine motor skills are very good - she holds a pen properly and can colour in without gaps, draw circles and straight line etc.
I've also been thinking about possible early entry to school. It's all a little overwhelming. I don't want her to be bored and lose interest, but I don't want to push her too hard. And it's far too early to tell what she'll be like in a few years. Luckily I've got a year before needing to make a decision.
Anyways, I've wanting to find parents of similar kids that I can chat to that have similar issues ( it's hard mentioning to other friends as I think it can be taken as bragging) so feel free to PM me if you want to chat.
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