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Identify Gifted Children

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: Is it normal for a 20 month old baby to read and recognize all the letters in the alphabet as well as numbers from 1-10? She reads it everywhere.....on the street, supermarket, cups, books and newspapers... I don't know what else she knows.

My daughter is still not a talker. I am just concern since I don't really see myself as a mother of gifted child. I want her to be as normal as everybody else. I am scared that she might become a bipolar like those I know.

Or is it maybe I read to her and she watched all these video about letters, numbers and shapes? Please say she's not gifted...(am I going nuts?)

A: You daughter is definitely well advanced for her age. And, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, I believe that most parents would be thrilled to have a child so able at a tender age. At this stage, they may not be able to talk as coding of sounds is a much more complex process. But, it is possible for the brain cells to process and recognize letters and alphabets. The fact that you read to her and have her watch educational videos is definitely helping a lot, so please carry on with that.

One certainly doesn't have to be proven gifted to have gifted children. In fact, giftedness can be observed in many areas, not academic excellence alone. The most important thing here is for you to do is to nurture your girl as best as you can so as not to allow her to burn out. It is going to take quite a bit of your effort, time and in the process, you may be frustrated and lose patience. But, perseverance is one of the keys to success, so please don't give up.

Also, please don't worry about your child becoming bipolar (in fact, that is a rather strong word to use!). With the right guidance and support (as you have been giving now), there is very little reason for her to have emotional difficulties in future. So, continue the good work. Good luck!


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