dd is 33mo. for a few days now i have been seriously considering having her evaluated for autism as i have always felt something was a little off or different about her. i had never really felt this strongly until i recently noticed her sister doing things and behaving in a way that she never did (her sister is the typical textbook child).
i first noticed things were different from when she was born. at one day old, the lady that did the hearing test for newborns in the hospital told me to "please leave the room, as my daughter cannot relax enough to allow her to conduct the test". it turns out she kept focusing on my every move, tracking me moving from place to place in the tiny room. she would not stop looking at me with great interest. i had to hide so that she could do the test. when mama was no longer in view, her mind relaxed enough for the hearing test to start. she then told me that babies are her job, and that she could tell straight off the bat that my baby was very alert and probably going to give me alot of trouble over the next few months. she said that melia was behaving in a way that her 3rd child, who is now gifted, behaved as a newborn. sure enough, she did give me hell. never slept, always wanted to be in arms or at the boob. nothing else could keep her quiet. she was very fussy, very high needs. she started to scoot on her back at 9 weeks old. as in, she could go all the way from the bottom of the bed to the top in a matter of seconds. she rolled over at 10-12 weeks from back to front and vice versa, began crawling at 5.5 months, mastered crawling at 6m1w, was climbing the stairs at 7m and it's a little sketchy but i think she first walked at 11 months? developed and used the proper princer grasp (thumb and finger) at 5 months. she never played with toys, they were just tossed to the side. she always preffered real things. we were very much a CC family... we didn't talk to her much actually... we just let her do her thing. we never read to her, or sat down and 'played' with her. just went about our things and she went about hers. we also had no TV. she never saw a single minute of TV until she hit 14 months or so. she developed alot of things what i could call early.. she could hold a normal (not tri side) pen or pencil the way an adult does (as in the proper grip) at 13 months? she could draw a perfect closed circle at 17-18 months. when she first drew circles, she was somewhat obsessed and had pages of rows and rows of small perfect circles... there were circles everywhere.
she potty learned all by herself (we didn't even try to teach her) at 18 months. this wasthe loveliest surprise of all i think! she just decided to one day get up and go to toilet and was dry within a couple of weeks. she has an excellent memory. we gave her a book last christmas (2 20page books actually) and she had all the names and pictures memorised within a day! she memorised the book back to front. we tell what something is once or twice and that's it, bam, she memorises it forever. she has always been interested in letters and so i started to write them out for her. at 24 months she wrote out the letter D from memory. around that time, i also noticed a very distinct face had been drawn on her table (she drew it) and i had only started to draw faces for her. at 28 months, she grabbed a paper and pen and asked me to write 'A', i did, then she took them both off me and copied it exactly - there was no distinction between mine and hers. she will be doodling and then suddenly write out a letter and say "look mama, i wrote H" for example and i had not written H to her in a long time (she just remembers the form). she knows the entire alphabet upper and lower case and recognises them everywhere we go. we did not directly teach her the alphabet. i pretty much just only used to write out the letters when she would ask me to. she figures out puzzles within a day or two and tosses them to the side. she doesn't play with toys as normal toddlers do. i bought some blocks for her sister and when she saw them she just stacked about 20 or so and lined several up. she cuts with my cook's knife.. she will now cut parsley and onion finely for me, when i am prepping dinner. she recently unscrewed daddy's computer case with his screwdriver. again, we never show her this stuff. she just looks at us while we are working, grabs the equipment and copies it almost perfectly from the word go. one thing that makes me laugh is she washes her hands like a surgeon prepping himself, does. she also cuts paper in a straight line and can make a sandwich for herself.
ok, so your probably wondering about the autism part. well, the circles for a start... but now it's triangles and squares (which surprise, surprise she draws perfectly).. she draws them all the time. she won't draw anything else but letters, shapes, some numbers too. she will draw rows of them everywhere, it has me concerned. she will scribble too, and draw lots of lines in rows. when she paints, she paints in rows aswell. she understands counting objects, all the colours and varying shades too. she doesn't have an extensive vocabulary, or at least i don't believe she does. now before i go on, i need to say that for the first year of her life, i HARDLY EVER spoke to her (probably nothing more than "why won't you sleep?!?". had very bad PPD, i could barely just take care of her. we had no TV, no plastic sound making toys, played no music, never saw anyone, she always just heard the birds or silence 24-7. actually, there was music, when her dad rocked her to sleep.. but that was all. i have also only read to her a whole maybe 8-10 times in her 33 months of life. that's pretty bad, i know. we don't go to playgroup and she doesn't have any friends her age (always just sits with adults). YES, i know - her life has been very, very boring. but despite it, she could speak in 5-7 word sentences since she was 24mo, which i guess is OK. but then again, considering we have never really talked to her and she hasn't heard much of the english language overall, that's pretty good. sometimes she can say up to 13 or 15 words in one go. she will say things like "i don't want to eat chicken, but i would like to eat some bread" and sometimes she will say "mummy, please put the baby down on the floor and come wipe my bum bum!!" LOL. she does alot of funny things that i wonder where she picked up from, like when she was almost 2 and her fingers were dirty from eating, she wanted to grab her cup of water but not dirty it, so she picked the cup up with her clean palms, drank from it and set it back down the same way so her dirty fingers wouldn't touch the cup. sometimes she acts mature for her age. for example, she calls out to us when the baby is doing something dangerous or about to fall to come put her back down and will say "no baby, that is dangerous! mum, mum, quick come lift her!". every morning when we wake up (we co-sleep), she gets out of bed, grabs her chair and stands on it to turn on the light on for the baby, goes over to her and gives her a kiss, then gives her a toy to play with and sits with her and says "shhhh, mummy is sleeping", and she patiently waits for me to wake up and get out of bed. if the baby pulls on my hair, she will take my hair out of her palm and say "don't pull on mama's hair!". she takes care of her sister the whole time. a few times i have fallen asleep unexpectedly after waking up and i wake up again and they are still both on the bed playing and waiting for me. it melts my heart! for a 33mo that is a pretty mature thing to do (at least IMO). before i had the baby, if she would wake up before me and it was clear i wasn't going to wake up, she would go inside to the lounge room and put a dvd on for herself to watch while i sleep - she knows the buttons and how to put it in correctly. oddly enough, she never ever did anything dangerous even though it was all there for her to do. she has never done anything dangerous other than try to freefall from the top of the couch. so many times i woke up to find her sitting on the couch laughing at some movie she put on for herself (she was obsessed with elf and pippi for a while).
she puts the washing in the dryer and sets it to dry. oh, also when she was very young she knew which plugs went in which hole (like the laptop charger or the phone line). also recently i have been singing her to "you are my sunshine". i sang it about 5 times i think before she popped up and just sang it back to me word for word! we have always recieved comments on her being alert and smart, but i am not sure exactly where her intelligence lies if that makes sense. for one, she doesn't have much of an imagination (as in she doesn't pretend play). she will sometimes with her bear or doll, but not much and certainly not the amount that other kids do. as in if she had a play kitchen, she'd play in it a whole five minutes. she prefers to do real things, puzzles and go out. last night she lined up her pencils perfectly... she also has a fit if the baby takes a block out of her perfect line... it's late and i cant think of much more.. she hops, skips with a rope, dresses and puts her shoes on the right way, has been using an adult size glass cup since she was 10 months old. can pour herself juice or milk with no spills, has been feeding herself with adult utensils since she was a year? never was a messy eater when feeding herself either. it always went from plate to mouth. oh, the other night we were lying down in bed and dd said to dh "look daddy, there is ant"
"on the ceiling. look!"
we searched for about 2-3 minutes and sure enough there was the tiniest of tiny ant walking across the ceiling. how in the hell did she see that???? she picks planes in the sky and they are so far away they are almost dots... she has a good eye for detail. anyway, i guess i wanted to know what the mamas of gifted children thought. now granted, she doesn't read
or know another language so it's not blantantly obvious that she is gifted, but i also know that she is definately not normal either, at least not from the kids i've seen. the repetitiveness of the circles or whatever she is drawing, painting and the lining up - not playing with toys properly and the lack of pretend play make me point to borderline autism, but then i wonder how in the heck she could copy and memorise so easily if she wasn't gifted in this area. i don't know. i need some perspective i guess. and before anyone mentions it, we are working on doing more one on one activities with her. our AP parenting with her was excellent but our one on one attention is pretty shameful. she turned out ok though.
so yes, perspective please!