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Early Signs of Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I am from the Philippines (which unfortunately do not have a wide knowledge of giftedness). My daughter is 2 years and 9 months now and studying in Nursery 1. I refuse to believe (though I detect it myself) that she is gifted until her teacher noticed it too.

Here in Cebu (one city in the Philippines), we only have 1 Doctor who caters to Child Behavioral Development and assessment would cost us 1,500.00PhP (1USD=56Php). That's why I would like to ask your assessment or your impression if she is really gifted since I cannot right away send her to that Doctor for evaluation for monetary reasons. I would gladly enumerate her traits below:

  1. Talks in English and always not understand our dialect.

  2. Started to watch CDs when she was 5 months old. Can even finish 2 discs of Pooh movies in one sitting when she was 7. My hubby and I fell asleep already while she's still watching.

  3. Likes the company of adults rather than peers.

  4. Composes songs (like: Jesus was here, He is here; the moon, the stars and the sun ... which make sense too!) when she was 2 years and 1 month.

  5. Dance very well. Her stepping is really according to the dancer's steps.

  6. Did not want to do her assignments from school.

  7. He memorized "Angel of God" and "Grace before Meal" prayers.

  8. Very much energetic and usual sleeping time is a little before 12 midnight.

  9. Remind adults to say 'Thank you', 'Sorry' or 'Excuse me' without being told to.

  10. Do not to be called baby anymore.

  11. Like to play pretend, like she's a princess and I'm the queen or she's the teacher and I'm the class or she the mommy and I'm the baby.

  12. Went to a modeling class (she was a late enrollee - classes started 2 weeks earlier) when she was 2 years and 6 months but was only there for 1 session because she said that "my walk is wrong". But she told us this after more than a week of confronting her why she doesn't want to go back to the modeling class.

  13. Makes correction if her name or other familiar words are mispronounced by someone.

  14. Easily cries even if watching movies like Land before Time.

  15. Ask a lot of questions that me myself don't know what the answer is.

  16. Can count 1 - 15 when she was less than 2 years old.

  17. Likes to play puppets than dolls.

I still have lots to enumerate but this is too long already and you might not read this. But if you think this is still not sufficient please advise.
I hope you can help me on this. By the way, when she took an entrance exam when she was 2 years and 8 months, her score was 95%.

A: Your description is detailed enough to tell me that you have a very bright child. Yes, she is gifted and I hope you will do all that you can to enhance her gifts. It is a fact that gifted children demonstrate unique and clever behavior long before a school acknowledges it. It is crucial for parents to recognize these characteristic of gifted child and act upon them as parents are the best judges of their child's abilities. I am glad that you did not shy away for long from the fact that your child is demonstrating high ability since you detected it yourself. It is important that you realize this before she is in school as you can now provide her the platform for ability-based learning. Your support, guidance and instruction that is appropriate to her skills will help her develop to her full potential.

It appears to me that you are on the right track; perhaps you may want to read the previous newsletters for advice on educational activities. You may also want to look around if there is a Montessori-based school (which I believe is world-wide, hence the suggestion) to develop her skills further. I would also recommend that you read some of Maria Montessori's books to understand the philosophy and how it translates into the classroom in order to understand what the education is all about. The Internet provides a lot of information on how to help gifted children develop their potential to the fullest. With a gifted child, you have a lot of work ahead as you are her first teacher. Good luck.


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