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Possibly Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I'm just curious to know if my son's milestones considered normal for his age. He is 2 1/2 years old now. He started walking at 10 months. At 11 months he can say daddy, shoes, house, touch very clearly. By 12 months he can ran. By 14 months he can say 3 word sentences and his hearing is so sensitive. He would always ask "daddy, what is that?" Every time he hears or see something new. He also loves to dance every time he hears music.

At 18 months he can count to 15, knows all his abc's and their sounds, he can name his body parts, he can name his daddy's tools, he knows a lot of animals and imitate their sound, he knows different kinds of trucks, knows a lot of opposites, knows a lot of colors from dark blue to sky blue, he knows different shapes. And he can recognized music for example we are in a car and his daddy's favorite music started playing then he would say " daddy's song".

By 2 years old he can say 5 - 6 word sentences. He can even memorized the dialogue on the cartoons his watching. He knows the names of each and characters of whatever his watching. He knows and can say my full name and his daddy's name when being ask. He knows all the planets and the different phases of moon. So at night when we go out and he sees a moon he would say " mommy, look there's a crescent moon. Its beautiful. And Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon" and when he sees the stars at night he would say " mommy, Galileo was the first person to observe the night sky using the big telescope" He just amazed me. He remembers all the books that we read. He can even memorized the book. I can go on and on and on about my baby. And he is also potty trained at 18 months. Your opinion is highly appreciated. Thank you so much.

A: From your description, your little one is accelerating at a way faster pace than his peers. he is definitely not doing what a normal child would be doing at that age - his skills are highly advanced. It is fortunate that you are aware of what is happening at an early stage, and have been advised to look for better opportunities for him.

A good start in nurturing him potential would be to encourage him to follow his interests at this point. In case you find that he is fascinated with something, do more of it and gradually increase its complexity. Since he enjoys books, you may start with activities that includes reading, story telling, looking at pictures, etc. Have different types of reading materials in terms of texture - magazines, newspapers, books with hard/soft covers, fabric types and so on. Gifted children are sensitive to texture and this would enhance their sense of touch. Having said that, more work of the same kind may sometimes bore above average children, so it is always important to try to have variations of the same activity. This involves creativity on your side. You must also know when to stop - a good cue is to observe when he starts to lose interest (irritable, distracted). If this happens, drop the activity and allow his some free play time. Pretend play is crucial and this is when they develop their brain and unleash their creativity.

Ensure that he remains challenged all the time so as not to have any time to be idle which may cause such children to throw tantrums or be disruptive. The following are a few tips that you can use at this stage and later to encourage his learning:

  • Help him determine differences; compare and contrast things/people.

  • Use measurement words often: little, more, many, half, quarter, etc. as an introduction to early math.

  • Instead of reading stories from books all the time, create your own and try to get him to contribute. Or play a game of stories - each comes up with one.

  • You can also watch educational programs with him and ask him the “whys” and “whats” - and then explain. Introduce him to Youtube – make sure you pick some educational clips for him.

  • Look for similarities and differences and have him group things that belong. It helps in critical thinking.

  • Create a scenario and ask him about what could happen in certain situations.

You may also want to look out for play schools, which may be a great environment for him to also develop him initial social skills. If he is in play school, speak to the school about him abilities and have them assess him to determine what may be best for him. I feel he would not fit in a chronologically similar age class; rather perhaps some kind of acceleration may help him develop further. Look out for support group in your area (e.g., National Associaltion for Gifted Children)

Hope the tips are helpful and have a great learning journey with your little one. Keep monitoring his progress and encourage him to learn positively. All the best!


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