Late-talking children (Einstein Syndrome) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 83 Old 08-23-2007, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If any of you (whose child/children have this syndrome) are interested in participating in Professor Camarata's parents' group then here are the instructions he just emailed me:

Quote:
To join the group, send your mailing address to

Mary Camarata
1114 19th Ave South
Bill Wilkerson Hearing & Speech Center
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nashville, TN 37212

her e-mail is:

mary.n.camarata@vanderbilt.edu.

If you e-mail her, just send your regular (snail mail) mailing address, if
you have specific questions, e-mail me (stephen.m.camarata@vanderbilt.edu).

You will be sent a survey that is similar to the one Dr. Sowell used and
some articles I have written on late talking children. If you wish to join
the group, simply return the survey. If you return the survey, you will
then be sent a current list of families. If you do not wish to disclose
your name to other families, but wish to participate in the survey, be sure
to indicate that you wish your name to remain confidential and not be sent
out to the group.

Also, I will not disclose your identity to anyone outside of the group. If
you join the group, you must also agree to keep any information you receive
>from other families confidential (from anyone outside the group), unless
specific, written authorization for disclosure is obtained. This is very
important.

Also note that I will answer questions and provide information to anyone
who asks, regardless of whether they choose to join the group. The main
focus of the group is to help families and to provide information.

Also, there is a bulletin board for the group at:

latetalkkids@yahoogroups.com.
If you want to know more about this syndrome, then read: The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late
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#2 of 83 Old 08-23-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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I assume it's for kids who are still in the midst of this? I would have loved to do this when my oldest was a toddler. I had that book and it was him to an absolute "T". When I read the part about intense interest and early ability in puzzles, in addition to the lack of expressive speech, I almost cried. That book saved my sanity during a very hard time when our x-ped was heavily pressuring us, against our better judgment, to have ds1 evaluated.
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#3 of 83 Old 08-23-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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I agree about being part of the study, Leftfield! I would have found it very enlightening. This was the first book I read that *finally* described my ds.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#4 of 83 Old 08-23-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Leftfield, I'm not sure it's only for toddlers. I think a lot of people are interested in hearing from people who's children are older. Everyone's curious to find out if it ends well...
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#5 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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Hmmm... I may have to pick up that book. Is it only about kids who don't speak at all, or is it about kids who are behind where the milestone charts say they should be?

My 17 month old can load and turn on a dvd (figured it out on his own, he likes to turn on music so he can dance : ), but he has maybe 6-8 words. He gestures very expressively, though. He adores books and likes puzzles too, but I'm not sure his puzzle ability is that striking-- with the very earliest puzzles he can figure out where the piece should go, usually, but has trouble with orientation.

I know that intellectually he's fine, but I've been assuming he'll need some kind of speech therapy at some point.

Well I just did a little online research, and apparently he is right at the bottom of what is considered normal, in the most lax lists. My older girls were speaking in clear sentences at this age. I'd rather think he's special I guess, he's got me wrapped around his little finger.

ZM
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#6 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it only about kids who don't speak at all, or is it about kids who are behind where the milestone charts say they should be?
Both. I'd read the book if I were you.
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#7 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
Leftfield, I'm not sure it's only for toddlers. I think a lot of people are interested in hearing from people who's children are older. Everyone's curious to find out if it ends well...
Yes, I am curious to find out more about a lot of things...does this sub-group of gifted kids have needs/traits specific to them? How do they learn to read? What (if any) are their specific issues in school? What are their most beloved toys and enrichment activities? Or maybe they aren't that different from other gkids?

I know some of this is covered in the book but I am always wanting more.

Should we have an ongoing thread?

I've been reading about dd like crazy so maybe I'm thinking too much...
Thanks Vanessa for all the info!!!

Mama to dds, Juju(7) and Bea(4)
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#8 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've applied to join the yahoo parents' group. I'll update after I've read some of the messages what the group's really about.
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#9 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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Wow, I wish I had known about this book when my son was 2-3. From what I have read (don't have the book) it describes him perfectly. When he was about 15 months old he could do my 4 year olds puzzles (better and faster than she could) and was obsessed with any and all types of puzzles. He also went through a phase where he loved mazes. You know how restaurants have mazes on the back of the kids' menus? Well, he loved them and so we bought him books and he would go through the books so fast he would ask us to "make" mazes on paper. He is still into them a little (he is 5 1/2 now).

Anyway, he didn't talk much AT ALL until he was about 3. I had his hearing checked at 2 and had a great ped. who really felt he was fine...he didn't really show any other signs of autism or dev. disorder so I just tried to not worry about it...he was great at receptive language...he just didn't talk.

I think I'm going to buy the book!
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#10 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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My son, now 4, didn't talk until he was 2 1/2. I mean no sounds. He just didn't babble or coo. We started evaluations when he was 15 months because of the absence of babble. He did great with speech therapy which he still continues. Before he learned to talk he was very frustrated because he couldn't tell us what he wanted. We had already started baby signs and he grabbed onto that like a life line. He knew about 100 signs before we started getting verbalization.

He is testing at a 5 1/2 year old's level for cognitive language skills and logic but still testing in the 3 year level for expressive language skills. He is extremely bright and very sensitive.

In the beginning they were worried about his hearing, his muscles around and in his mouth, spectrum disorders, apraxia...the list goes on. It was scary not knowing what to do for him. Thankfully he is doing great. We're just worried about Kindergarten next year because he is so bright but doesn't pay attention to things if he isn't interested. Since he already knows his ABC's, how to write his letters, can count to 20, etc... I am worried he'll get into trouble by not paying attention. I guess we'll see how preschool goes this year.

So, for all of you that are still waiting to hear "Mama" from your 2 year olds,
there will be a time when your late talker will talk your ear off and you'll remember the days of the quiet past.
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#11 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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here will be a time when your late talker will talk your ear off and you'll remember the days of the quiet past
That is so true. Yesterday he was talking my ear off and I just thought: Why won't he be quiet? Then I cringed.

For those of you wanting some more testimony, here is our story:

My son is currently 28 months old. He said his first word (Daddy) at 13 months and then only added three more words until 23 months when he said Mamma and his speach really took off. Since then his vocabulary is improving and includes words like: street car, subway train, helicopter, airplane, apple slice, Special K, cornflakes, walrus, etc. His articulation and grammar aren't very good but he does use 2-word sentences (since about 26 months).

When he was 20 months old we started to panic and dragged him to pediatricians, dentists, audiologists, and family doctors in the hopes that someone could explain why our oh-so-smart son couldn't speak. They all checked him out and said, "He seems fine other than the talking."

He's very stubborn and strong-willed (I've never seen anything like it) and has huge temper tantrums on occasion. He also likes to act out (hitting, throwing things) if he doesn't get his way. He has an amazing attention span. He's very charming and cute and likes to cuddle, hug, and kiss and it's hard to stay mad at him for very long.

He can do 200-piece puzzles on his own in under an hour's time and is a whiz at LEGOs, building wooden train sets, memory, and picture dominoes. Also, when we sing "If your happy and you know it" or "I'm a little teapot" or some such song, he sings along (albeit with terrible enunciation) and makes all of the correct movements. He knows his alphabet and can recognize all letters in upper and lower case. He's starting to teach himself how to read. He can count to three and tell you how many of something there is up to three. He knows his colors (even the difference between silver and gray) and when we go for walks or car rides he'll describe what he's seeing: "big purple truck", "small apple tree", etc. He still will not talk around other children or strangers, he just points and grunts. I get a lot of pitying looks from people.

His fine motor skills are quite advanced but his gross motor skills are average (can't jump or hop and just began climbing stairs correctly last week). He could climb with 6 months but couldn't sit until 8 months. Was walking well with 13 months. However, he could hold his head up in the delivery room already.
He's left handed.

We're living in Germany and raising him bilingual so we thought for a while that that was causing his speech problems but we're not so sure anymore. I, my husband, and my father are all engineers and my FIL is an electrician. I don't play a musical instrument but I took voice lessons as a child and my mother and I both sang in a choir. I was in the GT program at my high school.
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#12 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, checked out the naturallatetalkers group. Looks like a nice support web specifically for these children. But you have to formally apply to join (including giving a short bio of the children).
Actually, the above group is the informal one. The one linked to the research team is: latetalkkids but it doesn't get as much traffic.
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#13 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did some more reading. Apparently the naturallatelaters group is with mostly younger children and the latetalkkids has a lot of older children. So, the latter seems a better place to start.

Interesting tidbit I've already gleaned: multiple posters have said that learning to read boosted their kids vocabularies exponentially. I've also noticed that my son can pronounce words clearer if I write them down and teach him what letters it contains (that's actually why we originally taught him the alphabet).

Okay, gotta go cook dinner now...
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#14 of 83 Old 08-24-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Is this group only for children identified as gifted? How is that determined - self-reporting or as a dx from a professional?

Just wondering....I'm pretty sure that my DD is not an Einstein kid but I know her dad talked late and she is in a SN preschool since her speech is so atypical (suspected auditory processing disorder) - we have lots of analytic types on both sides and DD tested ahead of her age group on puzzle solving but I don't think she was in the range of gifted (wow 200 piece puzzles in under an hour?!)....so I'm not sure if she fits or not. Is it just a group for speech delayed parents or only those that fit this profile?

peace,
robyn
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#15 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the book describes the children as "bright" but not necessarily as "gifted". At such a young age you usually can't do formal testing yet so the opinion of the parents is what counts. I don't know if my son is gifted, that won't be determined until he's school age. But there are signs. You should read the book to find out more.
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#16 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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I wonder about this. While both of my girls (and I) were very early talkers, according to dh's family he didn't say anything at all until he was 4. I am quite certain that he's an intelligent person b/c he has very astute thoughts and I find him interesting to converse with on topics of politics, religion, and all kinds of things. He, on the other hand, thinks that he is a moron.

I think that his self-assessment comes from how he was interpreted by his school and family. His siblings, who are quite a bit older, have told me that his mother thought he was "retarded" and took him to be evaluated by an "expert" in San Francisco when he was young. Apparently nothing wrong was turned up, but it sounds like he was just assumed to be the slow one in the family. I asked him about puzzles and he said that he never had any, so he has no idea if he would have been good at them. He apparently didn't have many toys at all and spent a lot of time watching logs burn in the fireplace and just being a shadow of whatever the adults were doing -- the concept of not changing your life to accomodate the child, but rather expecting the child to behave and fit into whatever you did prior to his arrival.

I feel for him in that our older dd shares with him the trait of being more deep and methodical than fast. My younger dd and I are fast. Speed and intelligence are oft confused. While I am, and was, gifted, I have come to realize in my association with dd and dh that my means of processing through things at lightening speed is not the only way to be gifted. Dd has tested on an IQ test as gifted despite an average processing speed.
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#17 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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My daughter has only just turned two, so she's a bit young to know if she really fits in the group, but I'm about 85% certain she does.

ETA: She only has maybe 15 words and 2-3 phrases.
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#18 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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It's been a while since I read the book or read the websites. I don't remember the general range of when these kids start talking. I do remember that some were diagnosed as PDD-NOS when the parents felt that it was an incorrect label assignment. These are very bright kids (gifted never mentioned) who lack expressive speech but possess no other developmental markers. Here is my vague recollection of it, in addition to my son’s speech development timeline.

In our case, our son had no words until about 20something months (I think it was 22 months), except for "Dada" and "dissie" (i.e. nursie). He had never even said, "Mama"! He did babble, but generally it sounded like "da da da da". He grunted and pointed a lot. He could be very expressive when he babbled, like his voice would go up and down and he made eye contact; it was just, "DA dada da daDA".

What was clear to us (but not to our ex-ped) is that he had a very large receptive vocabulary. When he was 15 months (which is when our ex-ped started pressuring for an eval, if you can believe that), our son could sit with a picture book that he had never seen before and point to any requested object (e.g. where are the curtains?) It was an important clue that he clearly could understand what people were saying.

Around 18 or 19 months, when the ex-ped's pressure greatly increased, I bought foam bath letters and I started quizzing ds1 on sounds to rule out things like: 1. hearing issues, 2. ability to cognitively understand what I was saying to him and 3. ability to make isolated sounds in the mouth. That's how I accidentally taught him how to read uppercase letters. I quizzed him on each letter a handful of times (and found that he could repeat all sounds except hard g and k) and he learned them. He started pointing to letters everywhere we went. He started poring over adult books to search for his favorite letters ("buh" and "huh"). He could identify them anywhere on the keyboard, he could identify them in small print on the back of a Hallmark card and he could identify them sideways and upside down. I know, because I was freaked out about it and so I asked him a lot.

In addition to child development books, I read the Einstein book somewhere around that time, after someone recommended it to me. IIRC, the book consisted of a combination of anecdotal case studies, profiles of famous people and general surveys of families. The general surveys (by Prof Camarata) revealed general tendencies of these kids. These are kids, IIRC, who have a large receptive vocabulary and appear completely normal but simply do not speak. I don't remember how many of them said how many words or how long they generally go on for without speaking. But they just lack expressive speech. They also tend to exhibit preferences for things like puzzles and mechanical things. In retrospect, it seems to describe a very classic visual-spatial learning style. There is possible overlap with autistic tendencies, like great affinity for patterns; there is overlap between gifted and autistic as well in many cases.

The other thing that jumped out is that these kids tend to have multiple people in their immediate families who work in highly technical professions, in addition to having musical tendencies. In our case, my husband is a computer programmer and general mathie, my FIL was a finance manager and is a whiz with numbers, my father is one of those people who can fix anything just by figuring it out and my SIL plays several instruments. The book cites many famous mathematicians, scientists and the like (many of whom were also musical) who also spoke late. Oh, and most of the late-talkers were male, IIRC. They were usually the only child in a family who spoke late.

The book seemed to talk about “left brain/right brain” stuff. The idea was that these kids have the typical ability to speak, but that devote their mental energy in the toddler years to other things (puzzles, mechanical things, etc); they effectively neglect expressive speech development in favor of advancing technical gifts. My son at 2, for example, could recreate Lego creations based on something my husband showed him the night before. He could solve 100 piece puzzles by 3. He seemed to spend much of his time focused on things that other toddlers weren’t into yet. And the other toddlers, of course, could speak because that’s what they were focused on.

I’m looking at the baby book/family website now and my son’s speech development looked like this:
**Prior to 22 months – Said Dada, dissie, and babbling, but didn’t say Mama. He was very serious and precise; he attracted people’s attention because of his silent and intense demeanor. Learned all uppercase sounds and was obsessed with finding the letters in the world around him that matched the sounds.
**Right before 22 months – I gave him something and he replied “tay-too”. The next day, he asked for “wabwa (water)”. I was beyond thrilled. Ped, of course, didn’t think it was enough, because other kids ds’ age said much more than that.
**22 months – We went to England to visit family. I don’t know what happened, but the flood-gates opened and he started repeating words we said. He didn’t use the words to express himself yet, but he just repeated certain words if we asked him (including radiator, which sounded like “yay-yee-yator”.) He said “Mama” for the first time.
**23 months – Started using isolated words to express wants, mostly food words and “outside?”
**24 months – Started saying small phrases, like “Ooo, vat is dat?” Learned to say “no”. Prior to this, he used to strike his chest to indicate "no".
**25 months – Starts singing very small parts of nursery rhymes. Reads his first word “stop” after seeing a white sign that says “stop here on red.”
**26 months – Says longer phrases like, “Mama sit down over there.” Starts accurately guessing which words say what in “Goodnight Moon”. Says trapezoid which sounds like “AH-uh-zoy” and points to one. Finishes a counting sequence like “101, 102, what comes next?”
**27 months – I estimated his expressive vocabulary to consist of 400-500 words, including “pentagon” and “nostrils”.

He was late talker, but we did not consider him to have a true speech delay. He never attended therapy and once he began talking, it came on very abruptly. It did not affect his reading (someone asked about that) because his speech quickly caught up in the late toddler years. In addition, the fact that he had a very large receptive vocabulary and general exposure to big words meant that reading did not really help him acquire words. He had words in his head, but he did not say them.

The Einstein book contained many anecdotal sections on various children, but I just don’t remember what the variation was. I do remember that at least one of the famous people profiled didn't speak until age 4. I think that, for many, ages 2 and 3 were common ages to begin speaking.
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#19 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for sharing! It's so fascinating to read other's stories. Especially as it is so similar to my own DS.
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#20 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
Thank you for sharing! It's so fascinating to read other's stories. Especially as it is so similar to my own DS.
I was just rereading back through the thread and I was thinking the same thing! Also similar to your son, my son had very advanced fine motor skills and delayed gross motor skills. I'd had to check the family website again, but I don't think he figured out how to climb downstairs until close to 2. And in one of our England trips (19 mos or 22 mos; two trips, but I don't remember which one on this), he couldn't figure out how to climb up on the couch.

Now, he's 6. His speech is typical both in enunciation and tone, although I think he has a large vocabulary for his age. Despite having very early pre-reading skill acquisition, he's still doesn't read independently. He will read small notes that I write to him or he will point out words like "oxygen", but he gets aggravated with reading. His gross motor skills got a boost around age 4 and I think he's mostly caught up now. He realizes that his younger brother is more adept with a soccer ball, but we think that ds2 has advanced gross motor skills so that skews things. When I see him with other boys his age, he seems to be roughly where they are in terms of gross motor skills but a bit on the slow side.

He lost interest in puzzles a while back. He did continue to be mechanically inclined and he became obsessed with drawing at a young age. He continues to be very perceptive and cautious but he no longer hangs out on the sidelines watching other kids; he sort of throws himself into things.

My younger son is also cautious, perceptive, mechanically inclined, and had similar precocity with puzzles and drawing. But he spoke in a completely typical fashion. It's funny; he started speaking earlier but his speech progression was much slower than ds1's so that they were probably on par at 2 1/2. No one else in family spoke late. On the contrary, my sister and I spoke early with my sister and her dd1 speaking very early. I remember my niece addressing my husband as, "Uncle Firstname" at 11 months so I was probably more apprehensive than I should have been.
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#21 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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I used to think my youngest was a late talker, mainly because my oldest spoke so early and had (still has) such an extensive vocabulary.

But then, we had a doctor visit a few months ago, shortly after my youngest turned 2, and they were asking, "Does she have a vocabulary of at least 3 words?" -- and I realized she's well within the normal range.

My two girls have really got me interested in learning about the different aptitudes and learning styles. My oldest has loooved books and stories from an early age. My youngest loooves studying the pictures in books and "reading" them to herself, but if I start reading to her, she'll usually take the book and say, "No! MY read!" She likes sitting on my lap to show it to me, but usually doesn't want me to take over reading.

My youngest also takes a lot of interest in counting things. Both girls love dancing to music, but my youngest also loves singing, seemingly more than my oldest. It's interesting to watch them both unfold, each in her own unique way.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#22 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Here's our quick story....
DS met all milestones either on time or ahead, up until 2 years old when he should have been combining 2 words and he wasn't. He babbled on time, had a very large and advanced single word vocabulary, but no spontaneous 2 word combinations.

At this same time, he knew his entire alphabet, upper and lower case, in isolation, could count past 20, knew all of his shapes (including oval, pentagon), and knew all of his colors including the differences between gray and silver, gold and yellow. I also believe that somewhere around 30 to 36 months he began reading sight words. He loved shape sorters and then moved right into puzzles. Loved puzzles! He was always extremely observant. If I moved any small item, he noticed - even if it was something he shouldn't be interested in, like a decorative item on the kitchen counter. He'd walk right over to it, look at it for awhile, and then walk away.

DS was walking at 11 months, despite having open heart surgery at 5 months. He also held his head up within a day of being born. He proficiently used silverwear by 12 months.

I didn't know any of this was unusual or even noteworthy. DS was my first. And I was really hung up on the fact that he didn't have any 2 word combinations.

We have a lot of technical folks in our family, and some strong vocalists (my mother and BIL both sing in national choruses,) and ds has a love for classical music and began taking violin lessons, per his unrelenting request, almost 9 months ago. DH was a late talker, and I have a nephew that was a late talker. Neither of them had any other developmental delays and both are bright, although I do not believe that either of them are gifted. (BTW - I didn't know that DH was a late talker until my ds was almost 4, and then my MIL mentioned, off-handedly, that dh didn't really talk intelligibly until he was in K...: )

DS was 3 years 9 months before he was potty trained, and I think only then because I couldn't take changing him any longer. It was way past time

DS also has some other quirks - eye contact issues, toe-walking. At 4, I took him to a pediatric neurologist, and he said that late-talking, toe-walking sometimes ran in families (DH also toe-walked and so did my nephew) and that he did not see anything that suggested autism or anything on the spectrum. At 5.5, we had him formally evaluated, and although he has a lot of red flags for autism, he is not on the spectrum. When he was formally evaluated for his speech delay, they identified an oral motor issue that was affecting his articulation. I almost wonder, with as much as he babbled, he grew tired of being misunderstood or ignored when he was really trying to communicate. : I think at some point before he was 2 and was "officially" behind, he just kind of gave up. He always used appropriate gestrures to get what he wanted. We did speech therapy, and at the end of school last year, he is considered to be "age appropriate" with expressive speech and articulation.

I do believe that a lot of the Einstein syndrome characteristics can be attributed to a visual-spatial orientation - thinking in pictures. Even today, many times ds will really pause when he is thinking about how to say something that's important. It's like he is translating the words in his mind. When he *finally* talks, it's very articulate and well thought out. DS definitely has a strong visual memory. I remember at 3, he was drawing a rainbow with crayons, and he put the colors in the exact order (ROYGBIV). He didn't say anything about the order, I just noticed. He did this from memory.

I could go on and on, but mostly I wish I had read the book much, much sooner. I didn't read it until ds was 5 and in Kindergarten and I was struggling even then to figure out WHY my ds was the way he was.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#23 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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I believe that The Einstein Syndrome is just another term for atypical autism (not that I have a problem with that--I am a now-grown-up Einstein-Syndrome/atypical-autistic kid, after all). Anyway, this trait runs strongly in my family. I enjoy reading about it. But I guess these questions are just for parents of Einstein kids, not for Einstein adults? You'd think they would want to know how we turn out!
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I'm reading the anecdotes both on this thread and in the book, and I do find myself nodding along frequently...

My husband works with computers, and is very very good with them. My brother is a musician. My mother intended to be a musical therapist (don't recall exact job title) and is proficient with several instruments, including voice, saxophone, piano, guitar, and drums. My stepmother is an accountant (though that would not affect my daughter) and my father has a master's in business, and has spent his entire career dealing with various numbers.

I still think my daughter is too young to see if she really fits the patterns displayed, but she does love puzzles; she astounds me with her memory and problem-solving skills. Part of me worries about the fact that I have read these stories and the book, and that now I will begin to see traits in my daughter that simply aren't there. So, I am attempting to just let this be an exercise in curiosity, and not allow it to impact how I parent my daughter.
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#25 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
I believe that The Einstein Syndrome is just another term for atypical autism
Brigianna - I'm interested in the atypical autsism. Here's what I found when I did a google search for a definition, and it doesn't sound like what we're talking about here.......

ICD-10 Criteria for Atypical Autism
The following information is reproduced verbatim from the ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders, World Health Organization, Geneva, 1992.

F84.1 Atypical Autism
A pervasive developmental disorder that differs from autism in terms either of age of onset or of failure to fulfil all three sets of diagnostic criteria. Thus, abnormal and/or impaired development becomes manifest for the first time only after age 3 years; and/or there are insufficient demonstrable abnormalities in one or two of the three areas of psychopathology required for the diagnosis of autism (namely, reciprocal social interactions, communication, and restrictive, stereotyped, repetitive behaviour) in spite of characteristic abnormalities in the other area(s). Atypical autism arises most often in profoundly retarded individuals whose very low level of functioning provides little scope for exhibition of the specific deviant behaviours required for the diagnosis of autism; it also occurs in individuals with a severe specific developmental disorder of receptive language. Atypical autism thus constitutes a meaningfully separate condition from autism.

Includes:

atypical childhood psychosis
mental retardation with autistic features
ICD-10 copyright © 1992 by World Health Organization.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#26 of 83 Old 08-25-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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Somewhere on the Net once, I found an autism quiz for children (not babies, children) but now I can't find it. Anyway, I considered Aspergers, among other things. But every time I looked at an online description, ds1 fit very few of the markers. I do not intend to incorrectly describe autistic markers so please understand this and feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.

He does prefer to spend time alone, because he's introverted but he humors his younger brother a lot (too much probably). There's a term used to describe an autistic individual's difficulty in seeing things from another person's POV; does anyone remember what it's called? Anyway, he frequently thinks of things from his brother's POV to the point where he's a little too indulging. He cries over bugs gets squished and he's vegetarian because he's concerned that the animals' rights are not being respected. He asserted a strong dislike for oyster drills (animals) because they eat oysters and clams and he doesn't think the oysters and clams would appreciate that. On autism sites, they seem to describe a difficulty in seeing things from another POV but that's not true of him.

As a toddler, he did avoid other children his age. He was slow to warm up to other kids his age.

He doesn't self-stim and never has. At times, he blinks repetitively in a nervous sort of way. He does have that tic.

He doesn't do things repetitively. He gets obsessed with topics but I say that he's obsessed, he does still enjoy other things. It's not like a compulsion as much as it is an intense interest. He did get into patterns and sorting as toddler but it didn't seem to be compulsive sorting. He doesn't sort or line up anymore.

He was very toy-oriented as a toddler but he was very imaginative in how they were used. The cars flew and got lost in the jungle; he used to talk out loud on behalf of the cars and create what looked like mini-plays.

From what I've read on sites (a LONG time ago so please forgive me) it just didn't sound like him at all. FWIW, gifted behaviors often overlap with autistic behaviors. A description of "gifted" often sounds like a description of autistic. They are good with patterns, have highly intense interests and even topic obsessions, they are into things that are unusual for kids their age, they often prefer adults to children their age, they have high sensitivity to stimuli (my son can hear the tiniest sound) and they get anxious. I've read some interesting threads about the overlap between gifted and autistic. I think there can be some "grey area" and that is tricky. Sometimes I wonder, "What is this particular behavior? Is it a sensory integration problem? Is it an autistic marker? Is it advanced intellectual understanding that clashes with age-typical emotional development? Is it OCD? Is it anxiety? Is it nothing at all?" It's tricky.

I've gone through times when I've wanted my oldest son evaluated, but I'm never sure what I want it for. I'm aware that he's different. I can't always put my finger on it, because it's not just the intellectual precocity, but I know he's different. I would be open to a neuro assessment, but my husband is very against it. He said he's willing to revisit it if our son has problems coping or adapting to stuff. I don't know. I overthink, but I would be happier with an assessment on some days.
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#27 of 83 Old 08-26-2007, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember my niece addressing my husband as, "Uncle Firstname" at 11 months so I was probably more apprehensive than I should have been.
My youngest niece also spoke like an English teacher at 2 years old. She was so clear and precise that it was always a bit shocking listening to her speak. And it was hard to remember how young she was.

Quote:
He lost interest in puzzles a while back.
You mean there's still hope?!

Quote:
It's funny; he started speaking earlier but his speech progression was much slower than ds1's so that they were probably on par at 2 1/2.
Yes, same here. He started speaking relatively late but now his vocab is definitely very advanced and his grammar is catching up, as well.

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I believe that The Einstein Syndrome is just another term for atypical autism. You'd think they would want to know how we turn out!
Yes, we want to know!
But, it's not actually like autism or Aspergers. My DS looked people in the eye, smiled, waved, attempted to communicate, followed multi-step directions, hugged and kissed us spontaneously, etc. In fact, he was so expressive that we didn't even notice that he wasn't talking for a long time.
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#28 of 83 Old 08-26-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
Brigianna - I'm interested in the atypical autsism. Here's what I found when I did a google search for a definition, and it doesn't sound like what we're talking about here.......

ICD-10 Criteria for Atypical Autism
The following information is reproduced verbatim from the ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders, World Health Organization, Geneva, 1992.

F84.1 Atypical Autism
A pervasive developmental disorder that differs from autism in terms either of age of onset or of failure to fulfil all three sets of diagnostic criteria. Thus, abnormal and/or impaired development becomes manifest for the first time only after age 3 years; and/or there are insufficient demonstrable abnormalities in one or two of the three areas of psychopathology required for the diagnosis of autism (namely, reciprocal social interactions, communication, and restrictive, stereotyped, repetitive behaviour) in spite of characteristic abnormalities in the other area(s). Atypical autism arises most often in profoundly retarded individuals whose very low level of functioning provides little scope for exhibition of the specific deviant behaviours required for the diagnosis of autism; it also occurs in individuals with a severe specific developmental disorder of receptive language. Atypical autism thus constitutes a meaningfully separate condition from autism.

Includes:

atypical childhood psychosis
mental retardation with autistic features
ICD-10 copyright © 1992 by World Health Organization.
That information is a bit outdated, but in any case, I should mention that there is a great deal of disagreement within and without the medical establishment about what constitutes ASC. Some people don't consider Einstein Syndrome to be part of ASC; some do. Based on my own understanding and experience, I find that many "Einstein Syndrome" kids seem a lot like many "autistic" kids I've known, including my own childhood self. Most of the arguments that Einstein kids are not autistic seem to be based on a flawed, stereotype-driven impression of what autistics are like.





Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
Somewhere on the Net once, I found an autism quiz for children (not babies, children) but now I can't find it. Anyway, I considered Aspergers, among other things. But every time I looked at an online description, ds1 fit very few of the markers. I do not intend to incorrectly describe autistic markers so please understand this and feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.

He does prefer to spend time alone, because he's introverted but he humors his younger brother a lot (too much probably). There's a term used to describe an autistic individual's difficulty in seeing things from another person's POV; does anyone remember what it's called?
I think the term you're looking for is "theory of mind," but you should know that many people, including most autistics with whom I'm familiar, disagree with this characterization.

Quote:
Anyway, he frequently thinks of things from his brother's POV to the point where he's a little too indulging. He cries over bugs gets squished and he's vegetarian because he's concerned that the animals' rights are not being respected. He asserted a strong dislike for oyster drills (animals) because they eat oysters and clams and he doesn't think the oysters and clams would appreciate that. On autism sites, they seem to describe a difficulty in seeing things from another POV but that's not true of him.

As a toddler, he did avoid other children his age. He was slow to warm up to other kids his age.
Not definitively autistic; not incompatible with ASC either.


Quote:
He doesn't self-stim and never has. At times, he blinks repetitively in a nervous sort of way. He does have that tic.

He doesn't do things repetitively. He gets obsessed with topics but I say that he's obsessed, he does still enjoy other things. It's not like a compulsion as much as it is an intense interest. He did get into patterns and sorting as toddler but it didn't seem to be compulsive sorting. He doesn't sort or line up anymore.
"Intense interest" is how many autistics would describe their/our so-called obsessions.

Quote:
He was very toy-oriented as a toddler but he was very imaginative in how they were used. The cars flew and got lost in the jungle; he used to talk out loud on behalf of the cars and create what looked like mini-plays.

From what I've read on sites (a LONG time ago so please forgive me) it just didn't sound like him at all.
It sounds like he has some autistic traits but not others. Usually kids like that (nowadays) are diagnosed with atypical autism, which is the largest and fastest-growing category of ASC.

Quote:
FWIW, gifted behaviors often overlap with autistic behaviors. A description of "gifted" often sounds like a description of autistic. They are good with patterns, have highly intense interests and even topic obsessions, they are into things that are unusual for kids their age, they often prefer adults to children their age, they have high sensitivity to stimuli (my son can hear the tiniest sound) and they get anxious. I've read some interesting threads about the overlap between gifted and autistic. I think there can be some "grey area" and that is tricky. Sometimes I wonder, "What is this particular behavior? Is it a sensory integration problem? Is it an autistic marker? Is it advanced intellectual understanding that clashes with age-typical emotional development? Is it OCD? Is it anxiety? Is it nothing at all?" It's tricky.

I've gone through times when I've wanted my oldest son evaluated, but I'm never sure what I want it for. I'm aware that he's different. I can't always put my finger on it, because it's not just the intellectual precocity, but I know he's different. I would be open to a neuro assessment, but my husband is very against it. He said he's willing to revisit it if our son has problems coping or adapting to stuff. I don't know. I overthink, but I would be happier with an assessment on some days.
Oh, I'm not saying you should get him evaluated. But, yes, many neurodivergent conditions, including giftedness, are linked, and tend to be part of a pattern of asynchronous development.
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#29 of 83 Old 08-26-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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Thank you, Brigianna. I sincerely appreciate your insight.
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#30 of 83 Old 08-26-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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Thank you, Brigianna. I sincerely appreciate your insight.
Thank you, I think my earlier post was a bit hostile; that was unintentional, and I apologize for that. This is kind of a sensitive subject. Many Einstein Syndrome parents/proponents (not anybody on this thread), when describing the alleged difference between Einstein Syndrome and autism, do so in a way that is inadvertently insulting to and stereotyping of autistic people. Einstein Syndrome is seen, by some, as a sort of "cooler, smarter" autism. The book The Einstein Syndrome is disparaging to autistics in this way.

I'm not going to criticize anyone for believing that Einstein Syndrome is a discrete condition separate from ASCs, but I'm just wanting to give fair warning that there are some autistics, not necessarily me, who are a bit offended by the whole concept. And I should probably stop rambling now....
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