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<p>Hi!  This is my first post.  I've been looking for somewhere to ask a few questions without being judged, and this looks like the first "nice" place that I've found. I'm sorry its so long but I wanted to give a good general history!</p>
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<p>My 17-month-old daughter is "gifted".  Or, at least her pediatrician told us that at her 12 month appointment.  At 12 months, she was saying around 50 words, could identify all her animals and their sounds, and could identify common objects in pictures, etc.  She started saying "Mama" and "Dada" at 6mos and was using 2 word sentences at 9-10months "No Mama", "No Dada". </p>
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<p>Her pediatrician told us at her 12 month appointment she had already met her 24 month milestones and, therefore, she didn't think we needed to bring her back until she was 2 (for her "well child" visits.  Only if she was ill).  I should also probably mention that she was the size of an average 2-year-old at that point as well.  (She wears a 2T now and was in a 18-24 month at 12 months).  Her gross motor skills were pretty much right on time (crawled at 7mos, cruised at 8mos, walked at 11mos, ran at 14 mos.  She is now a climbing fool!)</p>
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<p>This is my first child.  So, I don't know what to expect.  Our pediatrician (who is fairly well known and used to be the head of pediatrics at a large teaching hospital-so I do trust her opinion.  Also, she has a 13-year-old about to graduate high school.  So, she has the experience as a mother as well!) has told us that even she cannot tell us what to expect in the future from her as we will not know until she shows us what she can do.</p>
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<p>Well, she is now 17 months.  She knows ALL her animals and their sounds (including strange ones like "owls" and " lizards", etc :)).  She knows all of her body parts and can differentiate between her tongue, teeth, mouth, arms, legs, elbows, and knees.  She knows her colors, shapes, and can pick out around half of the alphabet correctly in any situation.  Her ability to generalize information is astounding.  She can be shown/told something once and then has the ability to apply that learning into similar situations.  Her attention span is almost freaky in that she can "hone" in on something and get lost in it (books, a favorite show, etc).  She understands pronouns and uses them correctly ("This is my book", "This is your hair", etc).  At bedtime, she picks up her bear and tells her dad and I "night night" and then goes into her room and asks to be placed in her crib.  She can dress herself with very little help and wants to have input into her clothing.  She is also very social and loves to play and be around other children.  She attends "story time" at the library every week and plays with her three cousins at least 3-4 times a week and enjoys playing the same games they play (they are 3, 5, and 6).  She draws with sidewalk chalk, plays pretend (will "pretend" to eat fake food, etc), likes puzzles, and enjoys playing dress up.</p>
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<p>Right now she's speaking in 4-6 word sentences and just started using adjectives (like "big", "small", "tiny", "blue)  She understands humor and spent one afternoon recently calling me "Dada" and my husband "Mama" just to entertain herself. This morning she wore a monkey hat on backwards for an hour just for "fun" and to make us laugh. Most of the time people think she is much older than she actually is.  I even find myself treating her older than her age because it is difficult to remember how old she actually is!!  (and I know this isn't good!  ). </p>
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<p>She's an intense kid that does not handle "no" well and she is very strong-willed.  Once she makes up her mind to do something, she's going to do it.  She also doesn't seem to require as much sleep as other kids her age.  She sleeps 10 hours at night and MAY take a 1 hour nap during the day.  But, for all intents and purposes, she has dropped her naps.</p>
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<p>Everyday she seems to know something new that *I* did not teach her.  The ONLY advice my pediatrician gave was to start looking into educational options now, and to always stay one step ahead of her.</p>
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<p>Therein lies the rub, I can't figure out what one step ahead of her would be!!!  :) I was gifted as a child (read by 3-3 1/2).  My husband was also bright.  But, personally, she's starting to scare us a little as her language aquisition took a very large leap in the past two weeks and she is now speaking to me better than my cousin's 3-year-old.  I've looked up her milestones and she's reached almost all of her cognitive/language 30-36 month milestones as of now.</p>
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<p>We regularly take her to the zoo and on educational outings.  We do no "overt" teaching in our home other than reading to her and using picture books as well as keep a running commentary on everything we are doing.  She is kept by my husband's mother during the week while I work who I know allows no television and centers a lot on "play learning" and "arts and crafts".  She used to be a speech pathologist at a school for the deaf and she is now retired.  So, she is getting lots of one on one attention during the week that is educational.</p>
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<p>My question is, what else do we do?  Do we just take a step back and play with her and continue educational outings and let his  mother take the lead on one to one learning?  I have no interest in putting her in preschool until the age of 2 (and even then just for the socialization skills) or having her start pre-K or K early.  I don't even know where to find any kind of services that would help her and I don't live in the best state for that! (Mississippi)</p>
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<p>I know I should probably just relax and I was (well, at least MORE relaxed :) ) until a couple of weeks ago when the jump in language skills really showed us this wasn't something that was going to "even out" (as we believed after her 12 month appointment).  And, to be honest, I'm just scared that she's going to feel "different" and that is not something I want for her.</p>
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<p>Any advice, or just support, would be greatly appreciated as I find that I have limited people with which to talk about this.  Most don't want to hear about your "gifted" child and I completely understand that.  But, it doesn't mean we don't need somewhere to go to talk about it!<span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
 

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<p>I think you are getting WAYYY ahead of yourself here. She isn't even two yet! :) It sounds like you got some iffy advice from your pedi (I would not "start looking into educational options now" -- you have no way of knowing what she'll be like in a 1-3 years!) and I'm sure that's made you focus on this even more... Honestly, I would consider finding a new pedi because I would have a hard time taking medical & developmental advice from someone who 'diagnoses' a 1yo as gifted.</p>
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<p>Of course I am not saying that your DD is NOT gifted, maybe she is, but I think it's just too soon to know. Even though she's making lots of developmental leaps right now, everything could kind of even out over the next year or two & put her more on track with kids her age. It's normal for kids to have developmental leaps and it's also normal for them to go spans of time where they don't seem to be picking up as many new skills. There is still plenty of time for things to even out. For ex., my DS was pulling to standing at 5mos & taking steps at 7mos, which alarmed me a bit, but he didn't start walking full-time 'til closer to a year, so he ended up more on-par with his peers. Sometimes they pick up a bunch of new skills (or words etc.) and then kind of go into 'practice & perfect' mode for several months & pick up fewer new skills for awhile. My DS often learns new things & then loses interest in them so that kind of gives other kids time to catch up, you know?</p>
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<p>For now, I would just continue what you are already doing, and just let her be a kid. Try to remind yourself that she is only 1.5, I think that's the most important thing. 'Gifted' can be a useful label for a kid needing special support in school, or when trying to determine cause/treatment for gifted-related issues (social issues, for ex.)... but I don't believe that it has much usefulness for toddlers.</p>
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<p>Just try to relax & enjoy all the interesting & exciting things your DD is learning & doing each day!! It's so fun to literally SEE them make connections, learn new skills, etc. I can see my DS's brain working right in front of me & I find it fascinating. :)</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like you have your hands full, but it also sounds like you're doing great.  <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif">  I just have a few thoughts.</span></p>
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<p><span>First, with respect to the pediatrician, I will say what I always say in these instances.  Pediatricians are not trained, at all, in how to identify a gifted child.  It is simply not their area of expertise.  While this pediatrician probably knows something about gifted children due to having a gifted child, that is probably the extent of it.  So I would take what she says as simply one parent's opinion, and not as an expert opinion. </span></p>
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<p><span>Second, I don't think it is too soon to start thinking about education.  Of course it is too soon to make any decisions, but of course it's not too soon to figure out what your options are</span>.  And I don't think it's too soon to read a bit about gifted children.  It does seem like your DD is advanced, and since you were gifted it's not unlikely that she will be as well. </p>
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<p>Personally, I don't think that gifted kids need more early education than other kids, and in fact I think they may need less.  What I would focus on is following her interests and keeping it fun.  <span><img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067011"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I think you are getting WAYYY ahead of yourself here. She isn't even two yet! :) It sounds like you got some iffy advice from your pedi (I would not "start looking into educational options now" -- you have no way of knowing what she'll be like in a 1-3 years!) and I'm sure that's made you focus on this even more... Honestly, I would consider finding a new pedi because I would have a hard time taking medical & developmental advice from someone who 'diagnoses' a 1yo as gifted.</p>
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<br><p>I wonder if this is a regional thing?  Our pediatrician said something very similar to us (can't remember what age... 18 months maybe?). FWIW, ours was an on-going thing where the pediatrician was shocked at every appointment at DD's  Anyways, where we live almost all kids start preschool around age 2/3 and you have to apply a year ahead of time (and many others are already in daycare before that) so issues like giftedness can crop up earlier.  Even if a kid doesn't end up gifted if they in some sort of academic setting at a young age and are very precious it could certainly create problems (liked hiding language skills to fit in).  I guess it depends on your child care situation. </p>
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<p>I have more to add but just can't right now. </p>
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>physmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067102"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067011"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I think you are getting WAYYY ahead of yourself here. She isn't even two yet! :) It sounds like you got some iffy advice from your pedi (I would not "start looking into educational options now" -- you have no way of knowing what she'll be like in a 1-3 years!) and I'm sure that's made you focus on this even more... Honestly, I would consider finding a new pedi because I would have a hard time taking medical & developmental advice from someone who 'diagnoses' a 1yo as gifted.</p>
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<br><p>I wonder if this is a regional thing?  Our pediatrician said something very similar to us (can't remember what age... 18 months maybe?). FWIW, ours was an on-going thing where the pediatrician was shocked at every appointment at DD's  Anyways, where we live almost all kids start preschool around age 2/3 and you have to apply a year ahead of time (and many others are already in daycare before that) so issues like giftedness can crop up earlier.  Even if a kid doesn't end up gifted if they in some sort of academic setting at a young age and are very precious it could certainly create problems (liked hiding language skills to fit in).  I guess it depends on your child care situation. </p>
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<p>I have more to add but just can't right now. </p>
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<p>Well yeah my DS's pedi has mentioned some things about DS being ahead/advanced etc. but I would just find it odd for a doctor to specifically say a 12-mo is 'gifted' unless maybe they are using the term to mean "bright"? I do think there are problems toddlers face that MAY be related to giftedness (like the hiding language as you mentioned, or the temperment of both your DD & my DS!) but I think it's too early to know for sure. Maybe I'm way off-base though!</p>
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<p>Maybe the education it is an individual thing, as far as I can tell most kids around here go to preschool at age 2-3 as well but not for educational purposes (although some may call it that)... I guess because I'm hoping to homeschool and at the very least delay starting formal schooling until 1st grade so maybe my perspective is different. I didn't mean the OP shouldn't even THINK about educational options, I just meant she probably doesn't need to be putting her kid on the waiting lists etc. & that what looks like giftedness now could look like "normal" later, and that it's too early to know exactly how being gifted will affect her educational needs.</p>
 

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<p>Welcome Aimeelori!  Your DD sounds extraordinary.  Thank you so much for sharing all of this.  She sounds delightful.</p>
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<p>I have a DD (28 months) that brings me here pretty regularly.  She was much like your 17 month old right around 19 months.  I only want to say this because she had probably only 50 words at 17 months, but by 18 months she had her explosion and was speaking in sentences drawing from a vocabulary of thousands and has maintained an atypical steep trajectory in regards to language development ever since.  I have heard of this happening at 18 months, 24 months, 2.5...you just never know.  Child development is so uneven.  You mustn't dwell on milestones, which is hard when your DD is so different than her peers.  I know.  But, you need not worry about how she compares.  Just focus on meeting her needs and following her lead.  You don't need to be ahead of her.  Just allow her to take you where she wants to go.  Our DD is still not in school, and we still do absolutely no formal teaching in this house.  Yet, she is learning a ton through play and her own curiosity.</p>
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<p>Gifted is not advanced development, especially, not advanced infant and toddler development.  That being said, there is so much you can learn here in the forum.  The search function can bring up so much wisdom.  And, sometimes it is just nice to read about how you are not alone.  Stuff comes up raising these precocious toddlers.  I have posted here a number of times talking about my DD and what she is doing.  I hope you will do the same.  This is the place.</p>
 

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<p>Originally posted by ellemenope: </p>
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<div class="wiki_markup">I believe you only need to give your child what they crave at this age through play and a relaxed environment. You don't necessarily need formal or scheduled activities. And, you certainly don't need a curriculum. This goes for any toddler, IMO.<br><br>
DD exercises her imagination through play and we simply facilitate that by providing a TV free environment and open ended toys. Through this play we can role play and scaffold more mature story lines, concepts, and vocabulary. But, honestly, at 2.25, I believe the hours a day she spends pretend playing by herself helps her process and understand this world.<br><br>
What DD craves is language. She makes this loud and clear. We try to provide her with a rich everyday language environment and encourage her to try out new words and phrases. But, on top of that she has responded well to learning things like dinosaur names, body parts, planets, states, continents, crystals, animal classifications, and now American presidents. This not only came easy to her, but she thrives on it and it is fun.<br><br>
So, yes, it starts out with those baby vocabulary books and simple language games like opposites and rhyming, and before you know it your toddler is talking about how Kamodo Dragons are reptiles and lemurs are mammals, or how pandas are indigenous to Asia, Venus glows in the dark due to chemiluminescence, your heart and lungs are protected by your rib cage, and Richard Nixon was impeached and decided he didn't want to be president anymore.<br><br>
And, it does not need to be educational. For fun one day we gave all her little people names from around the world. She had them memorized in a couple of minutes.<br><br>
We definitely worry more about her emotional needs. Anxiety, perfectionism and just the mere fact that she understands way more than is sometimes healthy for a toddler, are all issues.<br><br>
As far as frustration. I believe it has not been an issue for us because from early on DD has had a great working vocabulary for her feelings and we have modeled appropriate responses and behavior through role playing.<br>
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<p>This is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago about our approach to accommodating DD's educational needs.  All we really do is read, talk, and go to museums/zoos/aquariums...  All we do is answer her questions...</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ellemenope</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Welcome Aimeelori!  Your DD sounds extraordinary.  Thank you so much for sharing all of this.  She sounds delightful.</p>
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<p>Gifted is not advanced development, especially, not advanced infant and toddler development.  That being said, there is so much you can learn here in the forum.  The search function can bring up so much wisdom.  And, sometimes it is just nice to read about how you are not alone.  Stuff comes up raising these precocious toddlers.  I have posted here a number of times talking about my DD and what she is doing.  I hope you will do the same.  This is the place.</p>
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Ditto this!</p>
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<p>Welcome.</p>
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<p>I would take your Pedi's advice with a  bit of wariness Really- unless you are in an areas that requires you to put your DC on a waiting list at birth, I would relax and not worry. Really- most PreK, preschools will be 'social'. Very few places have 2 yr old preschool. Often they start at age 3 and are more social skill and play based than academic gains. At not even two---enjoy now and have fun!</p>
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<p>Child development is unusual and can be uneven- especially in gifted kids. Both my DDs (now 5) were preemies and at 12 months, both had delays and had therapy ( OT & PT). One had therapies for 3+ years...But one DD wrote her name at 26 months ( other at 32 months), both were reading at 3.5 and now are 2-3 years advanced in reading and 1-2 in math. They are on grade level or so for writing. But one DD can not ride a trike, just learned to skip, and had some gross motor and social delays. They both topped out vocabulary testing through the preschool but socially/emotionally are much like their peers only with longer attention spans and intensity. I only tell you this to show that - some kids develop differently, some develop globally advanced, some learn in fits and spurts, some develop one skill and then another before moving on.... any Pediatrician that tells you a 12 month old is 'gifted'  should know better, they may be impressed at a child's skills- but to tell a parent to plan on their education now seem a bit odd. Maybe it a regional thing.</p>
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<p>For now, enjoy your DD. Explore, read, play, that is how she will learn best. That age is so much fun---they have such wonder at everything!</p>
 

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<p>Best advice I can give is to really focus on the here and now. It's OK to look and plan for the future but don't let it overwhelm you. No one can tell you that school will be hard for your child at this time. You don't know what options you'll have when that time comes. You don't know what your child will WANT at that time. Let your child guide you with what they need and want now. Kids can go through rapid periods of intellectual development that leave you breathless and then seem to stagnate while they work on physical developments, social/emotional developments, ect. They may LOVE math one year and you think, "wow, she's going to be an engineer," then she's shift gears and decide to coast in math while she spends 2 years writing fiction. One year at a time, that's how we take it.</p>
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<p>I second (or third lol) the mention of taking the ped's comments with a grain of salt. Even if she's had a gifted child, even if she's seen a million kids, she's not really qualified to make that determination in one so young. Giftedness has many levels and can look completely different from child to child. Some come across very advanced and then end up on the moderate side. Some you know are smart but aren't particularly accelerated in the early years and they end up profoundly gifted.The good news is, it doesn't matter a lick if your child is actually gifted or at what level at this point.  You are already giving her what she needs, your time, your attention, some space to grow on her own. Staying ahead of her? Well, that sort of puts you in the "lead" position and I wouldn't try to do that. Pretty much every parent I know with gifted children say they are pretty much being dragged along lol.</p>
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<p>Along the same lines, don't put too much stock in all the prodigy talk you'll likely get at some point. I can't tell you how many things my kids were supposed to be prodigies at lol... of course, if they were willing to give up everything else and focus on that one thing their childhood. But, my kids didn't want to be olympic swimmers or violinists or dancers or any of the things people were drooling about them being "if only."</p>
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<p>Have fun with your darling. Believe me, she'll let you know what she needs. It's natural to be overwhelmed and scared but that does pass for most. My kids are 10 and 13 now and really, we don't have "gifted issues" these days. Just teen/tween stuff!</p>
 

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<p>In addition to the great advice you've already received above, I'd also take the "stay one step ahead of her" advice with a grain of salt. I have found it best to let my kids lead, which means that <em>they</em> are one step ahead of <em>me</em>. I'm right there ready to offer help / facilitation / support if they want or need it, but I am not out there guiding them into this or that, or "providing stimulation" or "challenging them to live up to their potential" or anything of the sort. I think that's the sort of parenting that burns kids out and robs them of real childhoods. I don't think bright, precocious or gifted toddlers need anything special: just basic healthy responsive parenting.</p>
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<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I'm going to take a different perspective here. Doctor or not, I would say it would be common sense to say a 12 month old is gifted, if they have such a huge vocabulary, know hall the alphabet, has a hyper focusing attention span, can be told something once and apply that to other situations, can tell a joke…. I don't think the doctor is overstepping her bounds, she is just being realistic. Regarding the "one step ahead" - perhaps she is jumping the gun; but this may be hitting quite close to home for her . She may be thinking about the difficulties she has had getting the education needs of her own 13 yo daughter met. Maybe she is just trying to lend a hand of experience, telling the OP to be proactive about her daughters education. </p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">As far as looking into education, I would say that will depend a lot on the education available where you live. Maybe it would be practical to look into options now, and be flexible about what you will do, based on your DDs personality and needs in a few years. Personally, I have found keeping my kids away from education, and much more on social and play based centers has been very helpful - right now. However, I don't believe my kids are PG, so I would not venture to say what these kids need. And I don't know how this strategy will work in the long run. My DS started school early and loves it, but the school is also very play based at this point. </p>
 

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its like I wrote this post. My dd is the same age and the same exact things. She could say over a 100 words that we could understand @ 1. My ped @ 9 months said just keep doing what your doing. He said he had children count to 5 @ 1 but none that new all there body parts animal and sounds. By 10 months. I just go with her. I have to start daycare when she is 2 and I keep going back and fourth onwherebut she is very social and loves people so I know she will make the best of everything. Just enjoy her and let her lead u.
 

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<p>Welcome!</p>
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<p>I think you will find it nice to post here no matter what labels are given to your dd at what time.</p>
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<p>My children have always gotten the shocked comments from the peds, and, well, everyone else. I say, continue to have fun with her. I agree that it's never too early to familiarize yourself with the educational options out there. It doesn't mean you have to enroll her in college today, but knowing what the public, magnet, charter, private school options are, what the gifted laws and programs are in your state ~ it's all good research to do.</p>
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<p>I think by staying one step ahead of her, if I interpret that generously, your ped may have meant just to make sure you continue to expose her to new and interesting things. Don't limit yourself by age markings on toys and games, etc.</p>
 

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<p>I'm going to offer a different perspective too. I know a few parents of gifted children who have met up with disbelieving and discouraging professionals about giftedness- doctors, other health care professionals, educators, etc. They have really struggled for some badly needed understanding and support. It's refreshing to hear about a supportive doctor who has some personal experience to share. Like any advice, whether it's from a professional or not (actually, especially if it's from a professional, lol!), you should consider whether it's accurate and appropriate for your situation.  Use your own judgement about whether to rely and act on it.  It's very nice to know that your pediatrician will be a good resource for you. At some point, if you need referrals for psycho-educational assessment, letters of support for entrance to special programs or funding for special equipment (laptop computer at school etc.), then it's comforting to know that you'll have someone who is enthusiastic in your corner, rather than an obstacle in your path. </p>
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<p>I would also interpret the "stay one step ahead" remark generously. As a parent of a gifted child, your doctor has probably run into the same challenges that parents post about here frequently. If a 3 or 4 y.o is reading chapter books, you may have to put more thought and energy into finding books with appropriate content - avoiding scary images or mature material. Since she's already meeting physical developmental markers, she may want to start activities like dance or sports early.  You may have trouble finding organizations that will provide an appropriate level of instruction without aggressive pushing into a competitive stream. Especially if you live in an area that isn't particularly gifted-friendly or has limited resources, your doctor may be speaking from the perspective of a parent who has struggled with opportunities for an asynchronous child. </p>
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<p>It sounds like you have a great approach and attitude about your dd. Everything you are already doing sounds great. She has loving people taking care of her, she gets lots of playtime and lots of interesting activities and opportunities to feed her curiosity like trips to the zoo, museums, the library etc. You could probably continue like this for a long time and she will be happy and developing well.</p>
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<p>One other thing about your worry that you are "<em><strong>just scared that she's going to feel "different" and that is not something I want for her</strong>.</em>" Whether she's gifted or not (and honestly, it sure sounds like it to me, and I don't think it's too early to tell with some children), right now <span style="text-decoration:underline;">she is different</span> from most other 17 month old children.  Other children and adults are going to notice. Many will comment and have different expectations or tolerances for behaviour. There are some great threads on how to handle the awkwardness and the comments, if you read back through the forum, or you may want to highlight this with a new thread on this particular topic, since it's been overwhelmed a little with the issue of early identification of giftedness and education/activities for children (which is an important topic too).</p>
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<p>I think I focused too much on the early identification issue in my response -- I wanted to offer you support as well, but maybe it didn't come off that way... My DS sounds a lot like your DD. I stopped counting his words at 14mos or so when he had well over 100 & some simple sentences. I couldn't even tell you how many words he has now (at 21mos), thousands & lots of sentences... He knows (and has known for many months) all his colors, animals & sounds, ABC's, body parts, can count past 10, knows all his friend's names, has good spatial skills, can do puzzles & shape sorters super quickly, makes obscure connections, has an amazing memory & a great attention span for things like long books meant for older kids, uses lots of adjectives, plays pretend, can brush his own teeth, wash his hands by himself, etc... Surprises me with the random things he knows that neither DH nor I ever taught him (like one day when he told me several words that begin with the letter P). I assume he just comes up with them on his own, since he's only with me or DH all day every day! It's cool but kind of scary at times, like he's growing up too fast & learning just soooo quickly. I do think the way you approach possible giftedness will need to vary depending on your child's personality. We don't have many issues (yet, at least) with him fitting in with his peers because he doesn't talk in public, is very shy & slow to warm up, mostly just clings to me all the time. He is not very adventurous and doesn't fully participate in things (due to apprehension/shyness and sensory issues). So we rarely have unexpected moments of him going up to someone & talking above his age level & things like that. He is small for his age too so many people treat him like he's younger than he is. I imagine if your DD is very adventurous & outgoing, you may confront social issues sooner rather than later. What's awkward for me is figuring out how to respond in some situations when DS's brightness does becomes apparent, like when the librarian calls him a 'genius' or when my mom goes on & on about how smart he is -- that just makes me feel very awkward & uncomfortable, I grew up with that 'genius' label bestowed on me by my teachers & peers and I was sooo embarassed by it. I used to lie to my friends when they asked me how I scored on a test & I wouldn't answer questions in class for the longest time, because I didn't want everyone to think I was the 'smart' kid -- it was hard enough fitting in without that extra burden, you know? So what's key for me is trying to balance appreciating DS's advanced skills without focusing on them in a way that could make him uncomfortable -- I don't want him to feel hyperconscious or ashamed of it like I did, but I do want him to value the person that he is. Growing up, I was surrounded by family/school/etc. that was very very focused on brains & academics rather than the whole person. I have little use for my brain now (hahaa of course I need my brain but I just need to do day-to-day stuff, take care of DS, work, etc., no need for my academic skills or artistic talents etc.) & I never really learned to appreciate any other aspects of myself so I kind of feel a bit lost now. My identity was always so tied in to my intelligence & that's something I hope to avoid for DS.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16068521"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> My identity was always so tied in to my intelligence & that's something I hope to avoid for DS.</p>
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Good point!  I felt like my parents loved me because I was smart.  Of course that wasn't true, but kids interpret life differently than parents intend.  I also hope to avoid that with my DS.  Thanks for reminding me :)</p>
 

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<p>I'm finally able to have a chance to come back and finishing responding here.  However, I'm getting really frustrated at the new editor, ahhhh!!! <span><img alt="Cuss.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/Cuss.gif"></span><br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ollyoxenfree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16068081"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>I'm going to offer a different perspective too. I know a few parents of gifted children who have met up with disbelieving and discouraging professionals about giftedness- doctors, other health care professionals, educators, etc. They have really struggled for some badly needed understanding and support. It's refreshing to hear about a supportive doctor who has some personal experience to share. Like any advice, whether it's from a professional or not (actually, especially if it's from a professional, lol!), you should consider whether it's accurate and appropriate for your situation.  Use your own judgement about whether to rely and act on it.  It's very nice to know that your pediatrician will be a good resource for you. At some point, if you need referrals for psycho-educational assessment, letters of support for entrance to special programs or funding for special equipment (laptop computer at school etc.), then it's comforting to know that you'll have someone who is enthusiastic in your corner, rather than an obstacle in your path. </p>
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<p>I would also interpret the "stay one step ahead" remark generously. As a parent of a gifted child, your doctor has probably run into the same challenges that parents post about here frequently. If a 3 or 4 y.o is reading chapter books, you may have to put more thought and energy into finding books with appropriate content - avoiding scary images or mature material. Since she's already meeting physical developmental markers, she may want to start activities like dance or sports early.  You may have trouble finding organizations that will provide an appropriate level of instruction without aggressive pushing into a competitive stream. Especially if you live in an area that isn't particularly gifted-friendly or has limited resources, your doctor may be speaking from the perspective of a parent who has struggled with opportunities for an asynchronous child.</p>
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Yes to all that.  We've found our pediatrician to be a good resource for DD and someone that we can actually talk openly to in real life.  I actually no another mom of gifted children whose kids are long since grown and she's be wonderful to talk to because I can actually share with her some of what DD's doing without someone look at me like I have three heads.  Even though we don't parent exactly the same way she's not the type to take that personally so she's be a wonderful resource for me.  She was also the one who encouraged me to look into Montessori schools and now that I've done more research into that I'm very happy I did.  So if you feel your pediatrician is someone you can talk to then I definitely think it's way too soon to pull the plug.  I think a lot goes into the attitude of how she said that and what she meant by her comments. </p>
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<p>Also, like PP's have said.  It's just impossible to stay ahead of this kids.  I never know what's coming next! DD's growth is very non-linear.  It's not like she gradually learns her letters, then the sounds, then site words, then on to reading simple sentences etc.  No, she picked up some sight words early on with some letters, then worked on some sounds then back to the letters some more + more sight words and sounds.  I'm pretty sure if you mapped it all out it would describe chaos very well. ;) We're always just running after her trying to keep up!  I have to say that the library is our best friend.  Then it doesn't matter if she's obsessed with dinosaurs one week and airplanes the next because we can always pick up new books about the topic of the moment.  We also try to visit museums and whatever is available in our community because that's pretty much always interesting for her!<br><br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16068521"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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<div class="quote-block">What's awkward for me is figuring out how to respond in some situations when DS's brightness does becomes apparent, like when the librarian calls him a 'genius' or when my mom goes on & on about how smart he is -- that just makes me feel very awkward & uncomfortable, I grew up with that 'genius' label bestowed on me by my teachers & peers and I was sooo embarassed by it.</div>
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Oh man, we're seriously going through that right now! We're visiting my mom and I get really scared if she starts talking to other people in stores and such (she's really bad about that) because she can be quite obsessive about these things.  I've even walked her on her making flash cards to teach DD how to read!  I'm just trying to stay patient because I know DD doesn't get to see grandma much but these things really drive me nuts.</p>
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<p>I would say,though, that I think it's possible to suspect giftedness, research it and understand it without walking around with a gifted label on your child.  What I mean by that is simply accept who he or she is without putting constant emphasis on it.  It's a hard balance since we parents are so amazed by our kids but it's important for their learning to build their own internal drive instead of external rewards (like constant praise).</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AllisonR</strong> <a href="forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067678"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p style="margin:0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I'm going to take a different perspective here. Doctor or not, I would say it would be common sense to say a 12 month old is gifted, if they have such a huge vocabulary, know hall the alphabet, has a hyper focusing attention span, can be told something once and apply that to other situations, can tell a joke…. I don't think the doctor is overstepping her bounds, she is just being realistic. Regarding the "one step ahead" - perhaps she is jumping the gun; but this may be hitting quite close to home for her . She may be thinking about the difficulties she has had getting the education needs of her own 13 yo daughter met. Maybe she is just trying to lend a hand of experience, telling the OP to be proactive about her daughters education. </p>
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<p style="margin:0px;font:12px Helvetica;">As far as looking into education, I would say that will depend a lot on the education available where you live. Maybe it would be practical to look into options now, and be flexible about what you will do, based on your DDs personality and needs in a few years. Personally, I have found keeping my kids away from education, and much more on social and play based centers has been very helpful - right now. However, I don't believe my kids are PG, so I would not venture to say what these kids need. And I don't know how this strategy will work in the long run. My DS started school early and loves it, but the school is also very play based at this point.</p>
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I have to agree OP what you described for your child does sound unusual especially considering that the average 2 year old only speaks about 50-200 words.  I really don't think it hurts to research giftedness at a young age especially if you have a family component too.  DH and I are both gifted so for us it wasn't really a shock when DD was always early across the board.  What I've told others on this board and I think it's worth repeating is that early research into giftedness can help you deal with your own childhood issues (trust me I definitely had some and still am dealing with some of them!) before they crop up in your own kids.  It can also help you ignore age expectations when it comes to toys/milestones. That means I don't rule out toys/books just because they are 3+ (as long as they don't have super small parts) because many times she really is interested in them!  As long as you follow your child's lead it's really hard to go wrong! :D</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AllisonR</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16067678"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p style="margin:0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I'm going to take a different perspective here. Doctor or not, I would say it would be common sense to say a 12 month old is gifted, if they have such a huge vocabulary, know hall the alphabet, has a hyper focusing attention span, can be told something once and apply that to other situations, can tell a joke…. I don't think the doctor is overstepping her bounds, she is just being realistic. Regarding the "one step ahead" - perhaps she is jumping the gun; but this may be hitting quite close to home for her . She may be thinking about the difficulties she has had getting the education needs of her own 13 yo daughter met. Maybe she is just trying to lend a hand of experience, telling the OP to be proactive about her daughters education. </p>
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<p>I agree with this. FWIW, our ped also "diagnosed" DD as gifted at her one-year visit, when she was reading letters off the label on the examining table. "You'd better think about homeschooling," she said (our ped is not crunchy!), and that was kind of out of bounds, probably. But hell. She was right, as we now know. Like the OP's child, DD was very, very verbal at a very early age, and also very outgoing.</p>
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<p>As I often say here, there is certainly no rule that a child who is NOT precocious as a toddler is not gifted. But I do generally think that most very advanced toddlers, given that they aren't being hothoused like mad, tend to be bright or gifted in the end. Same with kids who read at 3 or 4. If they don't do it, that means nothing. If they DO do it...well, if it walks like a duck...</p>
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<p>Also, while my older child is almost 7, I still remember the feelings the OP is expressing very clearly. It's a little scary, and you do feel alone sometimes, although of course you're also amazed by this little surprising person. Welcome, OP.<br>
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<p>The only advice I have to add to what's already been said is that you won't know your dd's educational trajectory or needs yet even if she is highly gifted.  I have two gifted girls, ages 10 and 12.  Both started K a bit before their 5th bds and dd12 skipped 5th grade (and homeschooled for a while).  She will be graduating high school at 16.  She was at the same spot as your dd at 17 months.  She hasn't needed the radical acceleration of your ped's child, though, although she's certainly been significantly accelerated for our area where it is common to wait a year to start kids in K when they have summer and fall bds.</p>
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<p>Dd10 is very highly gifted (well above the 99th percentile on IQ).  She is also extremely abstract and divergent in her thought processes.  She won't be skipping <em>any</em> grades unless something changes significantly.  If we had a good school for gifted kids locally that we could afford, I'd jump at it b/c she absolutely doesn't fit in to public school since she learns so differently.  However, her different way of approaching things doesn't lend itself to her being a consistent high achiever in school.  She was combining words into phrases at 5.5 months. </p>
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<p>What I'm trying to get at is that even extremely gifted kids may not need what your ped's child has b/c gifted isn't a guarantee of high achievement in a school setting.  Sometimes gifted makes the child so different that high achievement is easier for the less gifted or more typical children.  I'll hope for your dd's sake that she fits in better like my oldest has!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ChristaN</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281172/pretty-sure-this-is-the-regular-ole-first-question-and-introduction#post_16070887"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The only advice I have to add to what's already been said is that you won't know your dd's educational trajectory or needs yet even if she is highly gifted.  I have two gifted girls, ages 10 and 12.  Both started K a bit before their 5th bds and dd12 skipped 5th grade (and homeschooled for a while).  She will be graduating high school at 16.  She was at the same spot as your dd at 17 months.  She hasn't needed the radical acceleration of your ped's child, though, although she's certainly been significantly accelerated for our area where it is common to wait a year to start kids in K when they have summer and fall bds.</p>
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<p>Dd10 is very highly gifted (well above the 99th percentile on IQ).  She is also extremely abstract and divergent in her thought processes.  She won't be skipping <em>any</em> grades unless something changes significantly.  If we had a good school for gifted kids locally that we could afford, I'd jump at it b/c she absolutely doesn't fit in to public school since she learns so differently.  However, her different way of approaching things doesn't lend itself to her being a consistent high achiever in school.  She was combining words into phrases at 5.5 months. </p>
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<p>What I'm trying to get at is that even extremely gifted kids may not need what your ped's child has b/c gifted isn't a guarantee of high achievement in a school setting.  Sometimes gifted makes the child so different that high achievement is easier for the less gifted or more typical children.  I'll hope for your dd's sake that she fits in better like my oldest has!</p>
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These are really good points.  We know a child who is definitely a prodigy (I can see him being an accomplished musician, doctor, author and highly accomplished "amateur" astronomer or some such surreal combination of personal, academic and professional achievement) and he's doing just fine in a fine arts school with no acceleration.  His temperament makes a huge difference. </p>
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<p>DD was precocious at a young age, DS was less so.  I suspected early with DD that she was gifted, and was shocked when DS was 3 and an EI specialist mentioned that DS was likely gifted.  I have to say that I enjoyed DS's early years more, and felt much more zen about it all.  I worried about DD, how was I going to navigate her through school etc, in addition to the usual range of first time mom worries.  DS I figured would be a piece of cake.  Turns out that he has sensory issues, some mild learning differences (ie printing), is a highly divergent thinker, and is 99.999999 percentile.  School has been very challenging and we've homeschooled one year and may/likely will do so again.  Schooling has also been complicated for DD, but for a different range of issues.</p>
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<p>Different gifted kids need different strategies, and at this point you can't know what those might be.  It might be homeschooling, or acceleration, or radical acceleration, an alternative program, montessori... the range is large.  It would be good to keep your ear to the ground about what is available in your neighbourhood, but your DD isn't old enough to know which direction to follow yet.  My two kids have needed very different formulas.  I personally have enjoyed reading about different learning philosophies (montessori, child-led, Vygotsky, geurilla learning...).</p>
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<p>As for what to do now - relax and enjoy!  This is a lovely stage of development so I encourage you to revel in the next few years of wondrous discovery.  If you read back on this forum a number of mothers with very gifted kids recommend child-directed learning.  Kids know what they need and are good at following their passions, and it's great to just facilitate their exploration while letting them lead.  You really don't need stay two steps ahead of them.  :)</p>
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<p>A couple of last points.  Play based preschool worked for both of my kids as preschool-level academics wouldn't have been a fit.  A few good books:</p>
<p>Kids, Parents and Power Struggles</p>
<p>The Spirited Child</p>
<p>Webb's Guide to the Gifted Child</p>
 
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