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Above-Average Development

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I want to ask if my daughter is advanced for her age? She just turned 1 last June. I really didn't focus much on her ability, until she reached her age now. Her pediatrician said before that her emotional intelligence was advance, we didn't believe at first. When she had her second vaccine, she cried like a pig. And after several months of not going back to her pediatrician, we would thought she forgot about her past experience. But we were surprised when she cried out at the sight of her pediatrician preparing a syringe!

She started walking at 10 months. We never taught her how to walk, but she self taught herself. She started talking early compared to her siblings. She started saying daddy, sister, at 6 months, now at 1, she's saying hello. She gets bored of playing her own toys, but enjoys listening to nursery rhymes songs at watching educational programs on computer. She has a good memory when I tried to play hide objects with her. She's super alert and you can understand an instruction like please get my cell phone or please hand me the remote. Please advise me since I am having trouble understanding her tantrums lately.

A: From your very brief description, it appears that your little one is developing a little quicker than the average child. However, it is not enough to determine how much more advanced. The examples given are quite limited and not sufficient to gauge her cognitively.

However, it appears that she is a very bright child with a good memory and ability to absorb information at a rather higher speed compared to her age-mates. I would advise you to monitor her progress and keep exposing her to new learning materials in the form of play. She will get bored once she has mastered something so you need to always keep introducing her to new activities. Start exposing her to books - read them to her for now. You will find that she would quickly learn that books supply information and that would stimulate her intellectually.

As for activities, please read the previous newsletters to determine suitable educational activities for her to help stimulate her learning. Having a high emotional intelligence may make her very sensitive; therefore she may cry quite easily at little things. All children throw tantrums for various reasons. It is unclear why she is throwing tantrums, as I need to understand her environment when she does so.

For now, I suggest reading up on advanced children and gain more understanding to determine if she is indeed gifted. If she is, there are many things that can be done to help her maximize her potential. If she does not show further signs of giftedness, she still needs to be nurtured with as much educational learning as possible to help develop her intellectual ability. At this stage, whether gifted or bright, most activities suitable for gifted children would apply to any child, especially if the child is bright. So, keep exploring and exposing her to a variety of activities to stimulate her. Wishing you all the best!


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