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Is She a Gifted Child?

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I have a 34 months daughter who can read children books and at times signs and magazines covers, count to 50 and spell her name, parent names and simple animal and shops names. She loves to read and dance rather then play. She loves to tease and joke with her daddy. Is she gifted or just normal?

A: For me, every child is gifted in his or her own way! From your description, your daughter does sound advanced, especially with her ability to read at such a young age. I would like to refer you to the checklist that I prepared to determine traits of gifted children (sometime last year). If you find that she is associated with most of the characteristics, you may want to start her off at a higher level. Depending on the educational opportunities in your country, you may want to enroll her in a good nursery especially so if you are working and no one is able to monitor her educationally. Very young children have an incredible ability to learn. Their brains are remarkably sharp, and it makes sense to put them in an environment conducive to learning at this young age.

Ask around and I am sure you will be able to find a reputable learning center. If you have the time, you may want to challenge her to tasks that are more difficult. Invest in educational materials that are fun and proven to help (e.g., Glenn Doman and Shichida methods). You would also need to invest a lot of time in helping her and monitoring her progress so that you can step on the next level. To avoid burnout at such a young age, make sure the tasks are given gradually, increasing the levels of difficulty without compromising on the fun element.

In addition, keep encouraging her to read more by getting books that she enjoys. Books and the printed word are among the best tools used for reaching out to a child. Today, the visual media appears to have a deep penetrating reach and many parents substitute educational programs that may require less involvement of the parents compared to books. Nevertheless, books have a definite edge over other mediums of communication and entertainment. Take her to libraries and bookstores often and let her choose her own books with guidance from parents or older siblings. Good luck!


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