What was your gifted child like when they were 2 - 3 years old

(61 Posts)
ChazDingle Sat 09-Mar-13 14:59:26

Won't go into too much detail but DS has been identified as potentially showing some signs of autism. One of the main things is that he extremely good with numbers and letters. Its early days still but it was also mentioned that some of the other signs might be toddler behavour that he grows out of and he might be gifted. When i look at the signs of autism and the signs of giftedness there is quite a big overlap. If your child is gifted what were they like at 2-3 and were they suspected of being autistic? Did they turn out to be autistic as well as gifted.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 13-Mar-13 20:25:53

3 of my dc have very high iq (obviously the meaning of that is debatable, but the 3 were each tested as part of testing for other conditions and at the request of their schools).
At age 2-3, by comparison to most age peers, they had huge vocabularies (we have video of one talking in full complex sentences on his first birthday), but one of them used his vocab in a slightly odd way.
All were very interested in shapes, numbers and the relationships between things, and obsessed with facts and technology, how things work. Their behaviour was quite a lot "busier" than most kids, and they slept a lot less!

They are teens now. One of the 3 is AS, one is dyslexic and the other has no diagnosis but is clearly (he acknowledges himself), near the diagnostic borders of AS. All are still doing very well academically with the older two at uni now (competitive courses at competitive unis).

We have a 4th much younger dc and its pretty clear already at age 2 he is somewhere on the spectrum too, but we are not at this point looking for a diagnosis.

Imo there is a relationship between very high iq and AS, in a lot of families, but that doesn't mean that all people with an asd has a high iq unfortunately (it would be lovely if that was true).

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 13-Mar-13 20:36:12

Trucks, sounds very like my DS who got Aspergers dx at age 4. Some subtle language issues, good eye contact when he felt like it, minimal stimming and routines (had some but was quite flexible). Play and conversation not a two way street, good at reading simple face - smile, happy, sad but not good at subtle facial nuances at all (mostly gets them now, at age 16). It took him a long time to work out the use of "he" and "she" in conversation, maybe age 5 or thereabouts, even though he could tell you if someone was male or female!

Idratherbemuckingout Thu 21-Mar-13 09:22:37

Oh Lady Mary,
my son is JUST like that. He could navigate for us (we had three seats in the front of the car and he sat with us from an early age) when we went anywhere and got really cross if we didn't go the way he thought we should (aged about 2). He MUCH prefers adult company and always does his own thing.
He is not aspie though although his big brother is (another one the same but much older now) and we sometimes despair of his awful propensity to have the last word in any argument.
He reads voraciously in two languages, is GCSE level in Maths and English and French (aged 12) and wants to build a nuclear reactor at home. Scary as he probably knows how.

chicaguapa Thu 09-May-13 13:23:13

DD walked at 9 months and said her first sentence at 14 months. The HV said it was unusual to be advanced with walking and talking and it was usually one or the other. This was just the beginning.

Starting school, her Ed Psyc assessment said her cognitive abilities were in the top 1% in the country and at the end of KS1 (Y2) she was in line with Y6.

But at the same time she was assessed by the Ed Psyc, in conjunction with school, as being 28.5 on the CARS scale and had (still has) some very definite ASD traits. She is socially awkward, emotionally underdeveloped, stuck in routines and hates loud sudden noises. But is not offically dx as being on the spectrum.

She's now in Y6 and about to leave primary school. She's still up there at the top of the class and will thrive and excel at secondary school. But I wouldn't describe her as gifted. She is making good progress on the ASD traits, but it's not clear if she has learnt coping mechanisms or is just growing up, albeit at a slower rate to her peers.

I think only time will tell, but IME it has been useful to consider some of the ASD techniques when dealing with DD as she definitely wasn't text book. (Unlike DS who completely is, in case someone says 'well who is text book?)

Worriedandlost Thu 09-May-13 14:15:23

My dd looked pretty normal at 2-3 apart from the fact that she did not really react when other child called her by name and was very clumsy and sensitive to noise (indirect signs of autism). She could play lego or sand for hour and could concentrate long (after 3yo it actually changed,struggles with concentration now). Adored, just adored books from 4 months. Could count objects till about 8 at 20 months and counted to 20, alphabet by 18 months (33 letters, she could not speak yet that time), started to read in her native language by 2.5, at 2.9 read fluently and could turn words of up to 6 letters backwards in her head (like god-dog)- most amazing thing for me! Could count to 100 by about that time or earlier. By about 20 months started to say words, no baby language but very clearly. She did not speak English that time but knew colours, numbers, alphabet, animats, etc in two languages. The most important thing is that she learned all these very easily (I have No 2 now, so can see the difference) and has very good memory.

And yes, she turned to be autistic, though she still goes through assessments and not formally diagnosed, but school confirmed that whatever happens they will treat her as ASD child. It became more obvious with age as it is really her dealing with people, so I would say she is not the most obvious case of autism. And she is still very bright and was consistently bright from about 1year old. She is 5 now and in reception.

Worriedandlost Thu 09-May-13 14:28:10

I would also mentioned few things related to ASD of which I was not aware before but that may be usefull. Asd children are not necessarily not interested in people, or avoid them. They can be over friendly with people. They can say something inappropriate, like-I do not like your voice. They may have delayed response or something that can appear as selective hearing. My dd does not respond when called. As she spoke ok I could not figure out that there was a problem but I did not realise untill quite late that she never said anything spontanious to me, like " look mummy", but she asked questions all the time. These are small bits which can also relate to asd.

Worriedandlost Thu 09-May-13 14:50:19

TrucksAndDinosaurs, your ds reminds me of my dd soooo much! She is 5yo and to be honest it is only few months ago I came to conclusion that yes, she is asd (does not mean your son is!). And reason for that is that at home I saw a perfectly normal child, but all the problems were emerging only during the interaction with the outside world.

quip Sat 11-May-13 19:39:13

Hard work. That was what ds1 was between 2 and 3.
smile

ChazDingle Sat 11-May-13 21:53:59

worried and lost> the thing that set this off was DS's selective hearing, he doesn't always respond when called. He's been taken for hearing test to rule out anything physical. Your point about saying things spontaneous (sp?) is interesting, although having thought about it DS does point things out, in fact i've always thought how observant he is, noticing things that i don't

Worriedandlost Mon 13-May-13 01:59:40

ChazDingle, that is it-dd pointed too, but initially it was not with a finger but rather with all 5 fingers! I can see the difference now, as I have ds who is perfectly normal smile. She could also maintain eye contact.
Yes, they check hearing first thing to exclude ear problem. And yes, they may appear to have selective hearing though I do not believe they deliberately choose to react on one thing and ignore another, I think it is just easier for them to react on strong stimulus, but to third parties it often looks like naughtiness. And as I said, my dd does not respond when called, I always have to make sure I see her in the shops as she will not answer if I call her and children can disappear so quickly!

Worriedandlost Mon 13-May-13 02:09:37

None of our friends and family noticed anything unusual about our dd till about 4 probably, apart from the fact that she learned things quickly and generally was very clever smile It was only people who observed her on a day today basis (parents, grandad, nursery) felt that there was something not quite right. And now, when she is 5, it became obvious, as autsm is ultimately about social skills and just by looking how she behaves at school you can see that there is a problem.

ChazDingle Mon 13-May-13 15:18:21

Yes i'm pretty sure DS selective hearing is not deliberate. If hes absorbed in something i can say 'do you want some chocolate?' and he sstill doesn't hear me and he would not ignore that offer!
the playschool have someone coming to observe him tomorrow to see if we if/ what we need to do going fowards. Not sure if she's coming specially for him or if its a regular visit where they discuss any of the children they have concerns about. Apparently he'll be observed for about 20 minutes just doing what he would usually.

The report the playschool have writen he sounds alot worse than i think he is, but i think he is alot worse there than at home. Is your DD alot better at home?

Worriedandlost Mon 13-May-13 15:37:36

Again, same with my dd-sometimes she reacts on "chocolate", but sometimes she does not! And because there are times when she reacts people think she chooses when to react!

Yes, our nursery invited health visitor to observe dd, hv can come to see one child or few, does not really matter, I would not say that dd was worse at nursery, perhaps because she was not very active child that time, just liked to sit in a corner with her books, at home or in the nursery, but now, when older, I would say she is worse outside - she wants to be with children but she does not know what to do with them! Does not ask children to play or go with her, but just pulls them, can approach a child and starts striking her hair, even if the child does not like it. It is not aggressive behaviour but still annoying for some children. When out and about starts talking to every second adult! Asks names or age and then may say-I like you or I do not like you!

I personally see the interest from medical professionals as a positive thing, it may give you access to some of their facilities, like a quicker reference to some specialists. If, at the end, they decide that it is nothing wrong with your ds, good, but the waiting lists are huge, so it is better to be watched whilst child is growing, if it comes to the worst you will not loose time. Saying that, worst is not actually that bad after all, dd is very bright and who knows, may be because she is asd smile

mrsbaffled Mon 13-May-13 17:12:55

We always thought DS1 was gifted. Exceptionally early talker, incessant questions, encyclopaedic knowledge etc. he is now 8 and bring assessed for AS / HFA. He doesn't perform exceptionally well at school as has SPLD in spelling and writing.

ChazDingle Wed 15-May-13 07:14:39

not heard anything yet but will give playschool a call later today if they've not called me. Yes i think its a good thing they are looking at him even if it comes to nothing as the playschool leader said if they needed something in place for when he starts school (sept 14) then the wheels would need to be set to motion ASAP. Alot of what you read people are having to go to HV/Docs are argue there is something wrong to even get looked at so the fact its been picked up without me having to do anything is good i suppose

Worriedandlost Wed 15-May-13 21:44:47

I think you are right! My friend struggled to get her son on records when he was in reception, I think it is something to do with funding. Our GP, when I mentioned that DD is watched, said - what??? no way she is asd, she just misbehaves! Not to mention that when you put the problem in words it does not really sound as a problem, more like naughty behaviour, only people who deal with the child a lot can say the difference. I am lucky that nursery picked up the problem and so do you! Good luck with everything!

triballeader Mon 20-May-13 08:57:52

My twice exceptional [Gifted with Aspergers & ADHD] By 18 months the CDC had picked him up as gifted and ADHD [horribly-he dismatled the sink and managed to solve the child proof locks to climb out of a window to chase after a lawnmower he had spotted]. By 20 months the ASD was shining through too. By 3 He slept less than 4 hours in 24, was obessessed with trains but not just TT, he was into Castle Class Locomatives in detail. He would throw childrens books on the industrial revelution across the library for being 'wrong' [he could spot a mistake in a schematic diagram a mile off] He made his playgroup change the train posters as he spotted the wrong livery colours on the wrong trains and kept on at them. He loved lego [technic] but had lax joints and would scream in rage as he could not physically get his ideas into 3D form. He refussed to learn written english as he said it was none sensical and invented a numerical/coded recording system that took a Principal SpLD in ASD's to fathom out. He broke Ed Psych's with his mix of ability with maths and engineering but sudden concrete and literal take on language. He screamed- a lot mainly from frustration and word finding difficulties. He would use verbs to ask for things rather than nouns i.e. and uppydowny roundyround took me sme thinking but I worked out it was his Toy garage. Hail was hard rain, wellies- tubeyboots. Nouns he did get were long- his first clear word was aeroplane. He followed tracks in the sky and on the floor, he oraginsed everything methodical and systamtically. EVERYTHING had to be correctly in its place. He insisted on 90 degree angles on his toast and would measure the toast with a protractor. He loved abstract maths and devised plans for new engines, bridges, lifting gears and drove me utterly mad with his none stop dismantling everything he could lay his hands on nature. I had to physical stop him from turning his G.pig inside out to see what she looked like on the inside. His approach to death has the idea all you had to do was replace the battery and check the connections. It has been firey but he is now 16 and doing more GCSE's - I refussed to let him take A'levels early as he can be a pain when he 'knows' more than the teachers; instead he asked to do a BTec in engineering with all the sciences, higher maths papers, stats, and maths for engineers. He already has a heap of GCSE's and a place in sixth form and his sights on either Uni or a Higher apprenticeship- whichever one will pay him enough to upscale his ideas into reality.

farewellfarewell Fri 31-May-13 00:12:56

He sounds absolutely fabulous, Trucks. I have just posted on a dyspraxia thread about this issue and need to go to bed! Didn't want to read and run though. I am becoming more and more interested in the whole issue of 2e. I don't know if your child is on the "spectrum" or not, however functionality aside (and of course certain skills must be learned), what you want to avoid at all costs is his freedom to explore and learn being stymied by interventions. I not an expert by any means but I do wonder about the notion of trying to make children fit into boxes in our education system. One of my dc did loathe pre school, it was a disaster and I think on balance it did more harm than good, he is doing much better now at almost 6 but is terribly shy still.

ChazDingle Sat 01-Jun-13 21:35:03

update- the SEN had 10-15 minutes with him, not sure if there is def something wrong but agreed with why preschool had raised concerns. Had 10-15 mins with him. Said he is 'complex'. she recommended he goes for speech and language therapy as although his talking is good he is not always processing what he hears and apparently SLT can help. I phoned health visitor to arrange this and she seemed abit pissed off that nothing had been mentioned to her previously and wants to come and see him to see what she thinks before making a referal, so another wait and see. I've not spoken to playschool properly yet just a quick phone call but am going in next week. I'm not sure of the details yet but he is going to have some sort of individual plan and they are going to use some pictures to help him communicate better but they are going to do it with all the children so he's not singled out (its only a small playschool)

ChazDingle Thu 06-Jun-13 20:47:17

HV says there def nothing with with him, other than being an extremely intelligent boy. She thinks he is bored at his playschooland needs something more stimulating

dipdabdo Tue 11-Jun-13 06:35:57

DS1 was a happy little boy who loved dinosaurs and playing with other children even if he was quite shy.

From an early age he'd occasionally do things which would send a tingle down my spine. I knew he was clever because he learned things so easily but sometimes he'd do things whilst playing that were odd to see in one so young.

Its really only when I look back at old videos and I see a crawling baby counting to 10 and ordering household objects by size that I realise that how extraordinary he was.

ketesh Wed 12-Jun-13 12:32:05

Dd2, talked. She talked a lot. About everything and everything and in 3 languages. She attended a Spanish nursery and learnt Spanish in about 3 weeks. Was as fluent in that language as English and Swedish. Despite the consensus that bilingual children often talker later than their monolingual peers,she began speaking early, simple sentences before 12 months. Also she had a cast iron memory. There was no way you could try to get her distracted by something else, if she wanted something, she would scream and shout for hours and hours. Then days.... Elephants held nothing on her. Bob forbid you were stupid enough to promise something because she would remember. She also just knew things....how to open the door, how to get dressed, how to read, etc, she never seemed to learn anything. She devoured jigsaws and books, the local second hand shop knew her well as she was forever in there getting books or jigsaws, bringing them back and getting more. She also comes across as much older than her actual years. She is incredibly mature. At 2/3 she was much like the 5 year olds in her class. At 5, she is much like the 7/8 year holds and plays with that age group more. Number play is easy too,backwards, forwards, in lots of numbers etc.

I am lucky in that I have comparison. DD1 is autistic and I knew the signs of that but also how vastly different having an autistic child is to having a gifted one and how similar at times ;-) DD3 is my middle of the road child.

learnandsay Wed 12-Jun-13 13:20:04

She was quite a bit smaller back then.

MummytoMog Fri 21-Jun-13 13:14:21

My DD is three and a half and has been flagged as possibly ASD since she was two and a half. We initially sought help with her speech as she wasn't talking, but we had no other concerns as she was engaged with us, her baby brother, our friends and was fairly obviously bright. A year later, her nursery and the educational psychologist still have concerns, we went through a period about six months ago where we were very very concerned, and now I'm leaning towards not being too worried again. It's a spiky profile, but we also discovered that DD has quite bad glue ear, so sometimes the selective hearing really isn't voluntary. DD could read numbers, count and add up/subtract by around fifteen months, but couldn't walk until sixteen months for example. She has perfect pitch and could sing nicely in tune by eighteen months, but couldn't sing the words. She has an interesting memory, with good aural and excellent visual recall, but no concept of time or yesterday. She struggles with transitions, but loves people, particularly lots of noisy excitable people. She can read and spell quite nicely, and has been able to since before her third birthday, and can write the alphabet with her non-dominant hand, but not her dominant hand. She talks more now, in whole phrases rather than building sentences using words, which is not a normal way of learning language. However, it's exactly how I did it and how her father did it (even to the point of practising words and phrases quietly to herself before using them). She's tantrummy, but when not tantrumming is easy peasy pudding and pie to be around and look after.

DS is eighteen months younger, two and three months and has damn fine receptive language and no expressive language. None. His three words are Mummy, Cake and Cuddle. They are of course the most important words.

Thanks to lots of lovely ham-fisted intervention by SALT, EPs and DD's teachers, I basically ignore everything they say about her. When discussing her entry to reception class (one week after her fourth birthday) her teacher said that she expected DD probably would be able to learn to read. She can. I've told them this. Repeatedly. They think I'm imagining it. I have given up and just let their well-meaning incompetence wash over me in a pink fluffy cloud. DH is better at coping with it for some reason. He has nodding and smiling down better. I have to resist the urge to make snide remarks and liberally pepper my comments with long words. Which DD can use in an appropriate sentence and SPELL.

LaQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 16:27:26

DD2 was a very placid baby, and at 2 still seemed very placid compared to lively, chatter-box DD1 (there's only 54 weeks difference in age between them).

But, at about 2.5-3 that all changed. Her key worker at nursery commented that DD2 had an unusual ability with numbers, she could subtract them in her head, stuff like that.

Her memory was incredible. The second time we drove to my Mum's new house, DD2 recalled all the right/left turns completely correctly (and there were a lot of them).

Ay 3.5 DD2 could listen to DD1 read her Biff, Chip & Kipper book from school just once, then when DD1 read it aloud the next night, DD2 could repeat it quietly to herself, just seconds before DD1 had chance to read the words...like a pre-echo, if that makes sense? She never made a mistake. It was uncanny.

DD2 never really learned to read. Suddenly she just could. She started Reception just only being able to read a few words...within 6 weeks she was reading The Golden Key books, with Biff Chip & Kipper. By the Easter she was reading chapter books. At 6 she read A Christmas Carol and The Hobbit.

Like Truck's DS, anything DD2 is interested in she learns phenomenally quickly. She just inhales it, and never has to be shown twice. If she decides she's going to be good at something, then she excels at it. And, she remembers everything, her memory is eidetic - I think this is largely the root of her ability.

DD2 certainly likes life to be orderly, and she likes anything to do with numbers, maps, routes, timings etc. But, she's not ASD, or anything like that, her social skills are normal. But, sometimes I watch her and I suspect that she's only pretending to be a 9 year old girl, in order to fit in with her friends.

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