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    MicroMama's Avatar
    MicroMama Posts: 27, Reputation: 7
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    #1

    Feb 23, 2009, 10:48 AM
    2 year old with unusual interests may be gifted.
    First a little background: My 2 year old son (DOB Feb 2, 2007) was early with a lot of things in the first year. He had excellent head and neck control pretty much from birth. I have a video of him at three weeks old lifting his head and chest off the floor with his forearms. He started sitting at 4 months; was saying "mama", "dada", and "nana" at 5 months; army crawling at 5 months; pulled himself up to stand a week before turning 7 months; had a handful of words at 9 months and hit a word explosion at 11 months old. He was turning pages of a book well before one year and could throw a ball overhand and kick a ball like a soccer ball at 15 months. He was putting 2-3 words together just after his first birthday. He was also pointing at specific things in a book that I would ask him to identify well before 1 year. Knew all his colours and many shapes before 18 months.

    So that's the gist of it. Fast forward to now and his speech is not too unusual for a 2 year old. He has a large vocabulary and is speaking in sentences now. He also uses some bigger words - like delicious, finished, and knows his last name and most people's first name (including mine and my husband's). He remembers things that happened more than 6 months ago and will bring it up saying remember such-and-such? He will talk about fun activities we've done for weeks afterwards. He's like our little elephant who never forgets.

    He knows all the planets in the solar system, including the sun, moon, and astroid belt. He also knows Pluto and it's dwarf planets Eris and Ceris. He knows 21 countries on a world map. We have discovered that if you tell him something once, he will usually remember it. Relatives have thrown around the term "photographic memory" and our daycare provider has said many times that she's never seen a child like our son and she has referred to him as a genius. The agency that does monthly inspections and oversees our daycare have also commented on his progress reports that they're impressed with his development.

    So now my husband and I are left wondering, should we be doing more to satisfy his desire to learn? What does this all mean? We are content to just continue as things are and do not want to leap at labelling him anything. At the same time, we want to make sure he's getting all the intellectual support that he needs/wants.

    TKS!
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,760, Reputation: 5426
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    #2

    Feb 23, 2009, 11:01 AM

    My autistic son also had/has unusual interests. Btw, my parents did the following with me, and I did the same with my sons.

    Be very involved parents -- read to him, count things with him as you walk outdoors or play, sing, play music, march around the living room, talk about shapes and colors, read to him, take him to all sorts of places (even the grocery store) and talk about all the things you see, play age-appropriate games with him, let him help you cook and bake (there are many things a small child can do), plant a garden with him even if the garden is in pots on your window sill, read to him (did I mention that yet?? ), drape a sheet over a couple of overturned dining chair to make a tent -- in other words, stretch his imagination and let him try out things. At this point, he needs a lot of experiences. Don't forget the social aspect too -- have playdates with other moms and kids, etc.

    Your public library has very helpful books in the parenting section.
    linnealand's Avatar
    linnealand Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 216
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    #3

    Mar 4, 2009, 09:53 PM

    I would also suggest contacting Mensa. They might be able to supply you with various resources to help you to determine if your child is indeed gifted (and it sounds like he very well may be), and they can also provide you with useful information that all parents of gifted children should know. Gifted children have special needs, and they need to be challenged appropriately. This is a dynamic and ongoing process in which the parents should always stay involved. Best wishes!
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
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    #4

    Mar 4, 2009, 10:18 PM

    Don't stop feeding him things to learn or things he wants to learn.

    A foreign language would be good too.

    Try math.
    ISneezeFunny's Avatar
    ISneezeFunny Posts: 4,175, Reputation: 821
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    #5

    Mar 4, 2009, 10:33 PM

    I'd hate to burst your bubble, but being able to hold his head up properly shows no signs of being gifted. It doesn't mean that he is or isn't, but it's just not a common sign of a child being gifted, just that he has good muscle control in his neck early on.

    As far as his vocational skills and his knowledge bank, that may be a sign of being gifted, but signs of being gifted doesn't really show too often in a child that young. Remember that Edison was actually considered "mentally challenged" and so was Einstein.

    As wondergirl said, try to broaden his horizons and let him experience different things. I wouldn't worry so much about him being gifted, as this can possibly lead to too much pressure for the child.
    linnealand's Avatar
    linnealand Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 216
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    #6

    Mar 5, 2009, 11:28 AM

    Wondergirl agrees: Mensa would tell her everything I did. (I'm a Mensan.)
    So am I. That's why I mentioned it! ;) I would be thrilled if AMHD would start a Mensa board. I haven't been able to find a Mensa based forum anywhere on the internet. If you know of one, I'd love to hear about it!

    Mensa would be able to provide more resources and information than any one of us could hope to supply in a single post.

    Here is just a taste of what's available through Mensa online:

    American Mensa | Gifted Children

    American Mensa | Resources
    MicroMama's Avatar
    MicroMama Posts: 27, Reputation: 7
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    #7

    Mar 12, 2009, 08:17 AM

    ISneezeFunny -- no worries. No bubble has been burst. I made mention of his early milestones simply to portray more of a full picture.

    I have to disagree with you when you say signs of being gifted do not usually show themselves so early. I have read nothing that would indicate this. Signs may not be obvious in many children at this age but it's not that uncommon. Einstein is not a fair example... he was an extreme and unusual person. Brilliant but certainly not the standard which we compare giftedness to. On top of having syphillis which affected his mental state, he may have also suffered from autism or ASD.

    Sorry, I'm not trying to refute what you're saying, it just seems that you're being very quick to dismiss the possibility. Whether this continues or eventually evens out or stops, that does not matter. We do not pressure him and aren't labelling him. My husband and I will be just as pleased with our son if he turns out to be perfectly average.

    Since my original post, which was a few weeks ago now... 3 weeks I think?. he now knows over 30 countries and this is through no real teaching on our part. He asks, "What's this one?" and he remembers it after the first time. He has an incredible memory. I don't know if this means he's gifted or has the potential to be gifted later in life but it doesn't really matter. The reality is that in this moment, he is very bright and we want to support his desire to learn.

    I mean, say if he picked up guitar just like that, I wouldn't dismiss it and say, "Well you're not going to be the next Jimmy Hendrix." No I would encourage it to its full potential. This is no different to me.

    I didn't really post to debate whether he's gifted or whether I belong posting here or not. A mother knows.
    MicroMama's Avatar
    MicroMama Posts: 27, Reputation: 7
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    #8

    Mar 12, 2009, 08:26 AM

    Thanks for mentioning Mensa. I'm in Canada and we have Mensa as well. I just looked at the website and will look into it more. It appears they have members ranging from age 3+.
    linnealand's Avatar
    linnealand Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 216
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    #9

    Mar 12, 2009, 09:15 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by MicroMama View Post
    Einstein is not a fair example....he was an extreme and unusual person. Brilliant but certainly not the standard which we compare giftedness to. On top of having syphillis which affected his mental state, he may have also suffered from autism or ASD.
    Thanks for responding, MicroMama, but (putting the rest of your post aside for a moment) I must tell you that reading this last statement made me cringe. The idea that Einstein had syphilis is based on supposition, and it has not been confirmed. In my opinion, unless an indisputable conclusion is reached, it's wrong to state flatly that Einstein had "syphilis, which affected his mental state." There has been some discourse surrounding this story because of Michele Zackheim's book Einstein's Daughter. If you would like to see some of the arguments against this theory (and, to be fair, some retorts from Zackheim herself), you can take a look at the following from the New York Times:

    'Einstein's Daughter' - New York Times
    Janos Plesch was a Hungarian physician whom Einstein knew as a friend, not a patient. He never examined Einstein -- which is important. Einstein was well aware of Plesch's character deficiencies and once said, ''Plesch is a swine, but he is my friend.'' After Einstein's death this ''friend'' deduced that Einstein had tertiary syphilis because he died from an abdominal aneurysm. He noted that in all his practice he had never had a patient who had died from an abdominal aneurysm who did not have syphilis. He also noted that Einstein might have been an exception. I do not know what Plesch's practice consisted of, but the notion that syphilis is the only cause of abdominal aneurysms is absurd. This is the only ''evidence'' Zackheim has that Einstein had syphilis. To repeat it without a careful examination is typical of her book. Let the reader beware.

    Zacheim's retort:
    Einstein's Doctor - New York Times

    I do agree that signs of intelligence can indeed show up in very young children, and I'm glad to know that you're watching out for this possibility with your son. The role parents play in the lives of their children is always critically important, and you should feel very good about trying to have the best resources always available to him. Again, good luck!
    MicroMama's Avatar
    MicroMama Posts: 27, Reputation: 7
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    #10

    Mar 12, 2009, 09:25 AM

    Thank you for the excerpt. It certainly does make me question what I thought I knew about him.
    artlady's Avatar
    artlady Posts: 4,208, Reputation: 1477
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    #11

    Mar 12, 2009, 09:31 AM

    My children were also very gifted at a young age and I simply encouraged their natural inquisitiveness.

    Opportunities for knowledge are abundant with any child.Whatever you are engaged in keep a dialogue going,explaining what you are doing and why.

    Be sure to help him understand that everyone makes mistakes and that is O.K.If you have to fake making a mistake yourself to prove your point from time to time ,do so. My children at times could be very quick to point out to their peers when they were making an error.Since they did not have diplomacy down yet,it was sometimes very awkward. :)

    Remember also that he is a child first and a gifted child second.

    You may want to have him tested so that when school time arrives he is placed in the most ideal circumstance to further his intellect.

    Enjoy! He sounds like a treasure!
    axelwade2003's Avatar
    axelwade2003 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Apr 27, 2011, 10:29 AM
    Hi there,

    As I read your post, I thought I was reading the profile of my own 2-year old son. Like yours, he has keen interests and an incredible memory. He corrected me and informed me that the sun was a star and the milky way has over 200 billion stars! My parents, doctor, and another professional on our team thought our son was gifted. I thought there might be something else. I decided to have a complete evaluation and at 20 months, he was diagnosed with autism. I agree with you... a mother knows. We have been doing treatment for almost a year and the other skills such as socialization and pretend play have improved dramatically. I think it's nice that my son can play independently on an iPod and do math in his head. However, I think that learning how to play at an age-appropriate level is more important for social development and his well-being. My suggestion is to focus more on having fun right now and not academic stimulation. As our psychologist informed us... our son will never have to be taught the academic stuff. It will just come to him.

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