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  • Nov 10, 2011, 10:42 AM
    Gifted 5 year old?
    I have always been a little concerned about my son's development. He started speaking in full sentences by the time he was a year and a half old. He said his first word "Dad" at around 6 months and was walking by the time he was 1.

    Since he has been in school, his various teachers and I have noticed some issues. He has to have everything perfect (making the letter O or the number 0 he insists it has to be a perfect circle or it is just not right). He acts out in class, says he is bored, will only associate with children who are older than him, or adults. He has conversations with adults often, he actually prefers being around and communicating with adults more than children his own age.

    His imagination is through the roof he comes up with all different kinds of things, games, pictures, ideas that are just amazing. Back to the perfectionism -- it was so bad if he got to his class and someone was in his seat or it had been moved from his "usual" table to another table that he would take the chair move it back, or just push the child off it that was sitting on it and sit there himself. At times, his teacher had told me he would "throw a fit" about someone being in his chair.

    During group time at school, the teacher would have all the kids together reading or doing other activities, and my son would wind up across the room playing with the blocks. The teacher would ask him nicely to go back to his seat, and he would respond with "I already know what you said" (and then recite the last 2 minutes or so of the book the teacher had been reading or subject that was being discussed word for word). They had assumed he was not listening. The teachers would also tell me on almost every occasion that when he did that, they could ask him questions about what they were discussing, and he would answer correctly.

    He is very quick to answer questions the teachers ask without raising his hand or being called on. I really don't know what to do from here. Luckily, we have moved and the elementary school he is in now is great working with him. His teacher has agreed if he gets too bored, she would go to one of the first grade classes and get him other more "challenging" work to do. (Usually when he is bored he will wind up getting other kids in trouble because he is distracting them by pacing around the room, playing with toys or off reading.)

    I just really don't know that the first grade work is even challenging for him. He cannot stand repetitive learning once he knows it he knows it and he's ready to move on. Is this gifted or is there something else going on? I have had a few people tell me to look into Asperger's, but he doesn't really seem to fit any of those signs.

    He has had speech therapy before because he couldn't make the "k" sound and he would talk so fast you couldn't really understand him. He is only five, though. Is there any way I can get him tested now, or do I have to wait and just deal with all the trouble he is getting into at school?E
  • Nov 10, 2011, 11:29 AM
    You have a very special little boy there. Be sure to challenge him by reading to him, letting him read to you, writing stories together, doing all sorts of counting activities, letting him help you bake cookies and do simple things in the kitchen, letting him help you write grocery lists and letters to Grandma, playing card and board games with him -- in other words letting his imagination go wild, but also be sure that he follows rules and you set boundaries as you go along.

    The perfectionism is probably some OCD creeping in. He needs to be held to structure without tying his hands but be able to let go when something is finished -- a big order for you and for teachers. He also must learn patience and respect for others. He could be somewhere on the Asperger's/autism spectrum -- a few things point to that. But he's young, so the main thing right now to work with are the social skills, learning to be patient, and his being respectful of others.

    Be sure to visit your local public library and check out books on gifted children and how to parent kids who may have school problems because of OCD/Asperger's. Ask a librarian for help, if necessary. There are tons of books with great ideas. Also, be sure to encourage him to fall in love with libraries, if he hasn't already.

    Please stay in touch. Meanwhile, it might help to keep some kind of journal in which you note behavior problems and why you think they are happening, plus record his personal and academic achievements that you and his teachers observe.
  • Nov 10, 2011, 11:46 AM
    I was wondering if his perfectionism was a result of OCD or not myself. My mother struggles with slight OCD (things like vegetable cans having to face the same way she searches through the milk section and will not buy a gallon of milk if the container has even a single flaw in it and everything has its place and is always nice and neat.) My son is obsessed with hotwheel cars he has at least 100 and he knows what every single one is, he used to line them up in a straight line (hence the teachers hinting at asperger's) he can pick out his hotwheel cars from his cousin's hotwheels (they both have quite a few that are exactly the same but my son knows what one is his from his cousins I still have yet to figure that one out since they look exactly the same) he absolutely loves going to the library and reading. Thank you for your advice and I will be sure to give the teacher some info as well as I'm sure she doesn't have much knowledge of working with gifted children.
  • Nov 10, 2011, 11:55 AM
    I was one of those gifted children. The most priceless gift my parents gave me was teaching me to be patient with others who couldn't do things as fast or well as I could. (When other students would finger-point at words in the reader as they read, I wanted to run away fast -- especially since I had read the whole reader already the first day we had it.) The teachers would ignore my waving hand up in the air because they knew I knew the answer. I always went above and beyond the assignments, not for extra credit but just because.

    My retired husband has Asperger's/OCD, and our older son is autistic (now age 40 and has worked for 21 years in a library -- go figure!). So please feel free to post questions. I'll do my best to help.

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