What was your gifted child like when they were 2 - 3 years old(75 Posts)
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.
Just about to read the replies.
I wouldn't consider my DS to be gifted and talented as I know some impossibly intelligent genius children! He is bright though. Got one level 6 for his year 6 sats and two level 5a's. Now aged 13 he's enjoying school and finds it quite easy.
DS was a utter book worm aged 2/3. I could read to him for an hour and he'd want another hour of stories after! He could read chapter books by Roald Dahl by 5 1/2 or 6 years. He could devour a huge pile of library books in a week.
On his second birthday day he was speaking in 7 word sentences. So not amazing but more then expected for his age. He was a quiet, reflective child with a good sense of humour.
The main difference Is that children with autism struggle with other people's feelings while children who are simply gifted will be average or excellent understanding of interpersonal skills.
It's a long time ago but DD was identifiably "different" as a toddler - her preschool teacher picked up on it immediately, although at the time we thought she was just normal (first child so nothing to compare with). She was very mature for her age, very quick, very verbal, could read fluently in 2 languages at 3 (bilingual). Very sociable and imaginative. Not especially interested in numbers, and not obsessive at all - if anything she had a fairly short attention span.
My DS was quite different - less verbal, more numbers-oriented, obsessive, long attention span for solitary activities. Not very sociable. As a toddler he had a lot of behaviours that were suggestive of an ASD but I am certain that he is not on the spectrum. He's not nearly as gifted as his sister though (he's particularly able in maths, but no more so than DD, who is more or less equally able across the board).
This has been a very useful thread, thanks for the bump.
Several healthcare workers and school teachers have hinted that they think DS may be on the autistic spectrum and this always really annoys me. I am inclined to think that it is just very lazy of them to jump to this conclusion.
DS has many of the traits mentioned above for gifted children - he started to teach himself to read at about 18 months and, now aged 5, his teacher is amused when she finds words that he can't spell (this is a very good teacher who has never suggested ASD). DS is exceptional with numbers also and has some obsessive traits - especially when he spots something new to learn.
However he does also have some traits that could be interpreted as ASD by someone trying to explain why they find him difficult - his speech has been delayed due to a specific physical characteristic of his mouth which makes it hard for him to pronounce many sounds, being a sensitive boy who is a perfectionist he is very self conscious about it and consequently he talks very little, especially to strangers (they simply do not understand him). As a defence mechanism he tends not to take eye contact with strangers and will even wander off apparently not paying them any attention or change the subject to one that he can manage - numbers normally - he occasionally just talks to himself or hums when confronted by especially difficult, strange adults. I can see how this looks but for them to immediately start muttering about autism without asking any more in-depth questions just irritated the hell out of me. I took him out of speech therapy for this reason.
DS is very engaging, he has some great close friends, he takes and holds eye contact with adults and children. He is very sensitive to others feelings and is trying very hard to control his own extreme emotions (this can be quite entertaining to watch ). He plays on his own but he far prefers to play with others.
Thank you for this thread, I have tried to seek support as I too have been told by nursery and hv that my DS is gifted, yet I find myself apologising for it and hiding it as some people turn quite nasty esp on facebook groups. He is good with numbers and recognises them, will follow instructions correctly such as can you get me three red bricks, or 4 blue bricks etc. He can trace lines very very well. He can copy letters and is 16 months. Only just had first words so a bit late on speech, but he was walking at 11 months.
I really hate it when people tell me supporting him is cruel. No signs of autism though. Looking forward to the next stage now his speech is starting...#
this is a good article about the differences between "mere giftedness" and high functioning autism:
being excellent with numbers and letters is not in itself a sign of autism (although obsessive interest without any interest in other people might be). The main difference is that gifted children do understand what other people think, they might notice they are odd, they have empathy and can identify feelings in others. Not easy to see in a 2 year old maybe, but in a 3-4 year old you should be able to tell.
I kept wondering the same about ASD with my DC who was, well "different" and quirky and very inflexible, but it is slowly starting to emerge that it's just giftedness and a strong personality.
DS1 has been identified as gifted (he's 6).
At 3 he was 'odd'...and still is now. He's quirky, and one of the comments that people frequently make about him is that he's like a 'little old man' (in an endearing way!)
At 2 he was referred for speech therapy, and at 3 he was having fairly intensive speech therapy due to very delayed/poor pronunciation...at 3 his pronunciation was more like that of an 18 month old, but his vocabulary was far advanced. This actually made his pronunciation problem appear worse, because he was coming out with things that you wouldn't expect a three year old to.
It was difficult and embarrassing at times, because I was his interpreter. He'd say something to someone, they'd look at me for me to 'interpret' and when i'd repeat what he said the person would look at me like I was crazy and clearly making it up. One example was him telling a little old lady in a shop that we'd been really lucky with the weather because it was sunny, but because of the low pressure zone coming in from the South it should really be raining. She looked at me like I was crazy, and I stopped repeating what he was saying word for word and started being a bit more general
His memory was (still is now) amazing. He hears something once, and know it. If he watches something on TV, even something complex, he could still tell you all about it a week or two later. When he was 3.5 he found an old set of flash cards with animals on them, which was a set of 45. He was messing about with them for about 20 minutes, then brought me the whole pile of them face down, very carefully,, and asked me to test him because he'd been learning them in order. He repeated every one of them in the order he'd given them to me, all 45.
He was very organised, he liked routines and rules. He wanted to make lists all the time and would ask me to help him spell some words, so he could write massive lists...of things to shop for, his favourite animal, the biggest Countries in the World, all the people he knew with green eyes, or whose name started with the same letter as his.
All his toys would be lined up and ordered by size, colour, shape or how long he'd had it.
I have never known any child to get so genuinely engrossed in something. Lots of kids tune out when they're in front of cartoons for instance...but ds1 would do it with anything. When he was concentrating on eating his dinner, when he was doing a jigsaw or playing with blocks, when he was watching the cats play and chase each other...I could be standing two feet away from him nearly shouting his name, and i'd get no response. At times it was like he was locked in his own mind.
He was assessed more than once for autism, and for hearing problems. But they all came back fine. My HV was disbelieving and convinced he was autistic, and kept trying to refer him every few months.
The 'little old man' comments now, come from the things he says. He will make a beeline for ds2's reception teacher and ask how ds2 has behaved in class today, will rub his chin thoughtfully and then say 'That's really good to hear! Please tell me if anything changes'. A couple of weeks ago we were in a pub, waiting to be seated for lunch and the dad of the family next to us had a pint of larger. Ds1 leaned over and said 'I hope you're not going to be driving your car after that, driving after drinking can be dangerous for you and everyone around you' I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. The main thing we're trying to teach ds now is about filtering, how 'facts' can come across as rudeness, and how he can't always blurt out to people what's in his mind, even when it's true. He is getting it slowly, but we've had a few 'But why? Isn't it true? So why can't I say it?' conversations.
dD appeared gifted but used to do things like looking at lights and just naming hundreds of things, no conversational speech and poor joint attention. I think that is key difference, I was a sociable child with lots of imaginative play.
(DD's ASD doesn't seem inherited)
I was a gifted child. Apparently I taught myself to read before 2 (hard to believe from my ramblings on here) and had very precocious speech.
I am however NT
Ds was a quiet and isolated baby/toddler, didn't communicate well, didn't turn his head when called and struggled with eye contact, but was very interested in anything mechanic, and numbers/clocks/number plates. Even though he didn't speak before he was 3, he would always point at numbers, put things in order of size, spot patterns, spot shapes. He knew all his letter sounds before he could even speak. He was tested an observed by Ed psychologists, neurologists, and other specialists as there were concerns from us and nursery - pre-school about him being autistic, but it turned out that he has a speech disorder called Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia, and now in year 3 he is G&T in maths. He is also very good at all subjects, but his understanding of maths concepts is exceptional.
A royal pain in the arse.
Always throwing tantrums - going on for several hours at a time. Refusing to accept they were so small and very very opinionated!
thread bumped for person asking about gifted and asd. This was my thread from about a year and a half ago (name changed).
oh and DS was, and still is, fast as lightning on building those lego things with 100s of tiny pieces or any other type of construction activity ...no lack of focus there...
My DS is at a superselective grammar which he got into on his own merits without tutoring. He is in top 1- 2% academically in terms of actual attainment.... At 6/7, he displayed symptoms of ADHD, boundless energy, wouldn't sit still, lapses of inattention, ...though never diagnosed. Always highly numerate, sociable, early reader but a late talker....and limited sentence structure when he was 4 compared to peers who were much more articulate especially the girls I felt. So you never can tell....but I would never ascribe the label "gifted" to a child of 11 and it makes me laugh that others ask that if their 2 or 4 year olds are G&T...meaningless really. You will know if they are "ahead" or "bright" in certain spheres when they sit tests competitive with other children at certain milestones, but their levels may change with age ....some may peak at 11 and may not fulfil potential at 16....trick is to make sure they keep n the scent of having a desire to learn at all ages. By the way, his school also has some very bright Asperger types, who are very focussed, often in their own world but not very sociable...no doubt some of them will end up with several A* and at top unis....but I suspect they didn't talk at lot even when young.
DS (my bright but not-gifted child) was a very agreeable, happy child who recognized colors, letters, shapes and numbers very early on, and started reading at 3.1 and understood addition and subtraction very young. DD (my exceptionally gifted child) was a miserable baby. At 2 and 3 she was very sensitive to sound, clingy, a terrible sleeper, horrible if we did not stick to a strict routine, refused to interact with almost anyone and was a very average toddler when it came to school subjects. In fact, DH thought she was slow, and I had to tell him that compared to DS she was slow, but she was a pretty average kid. We thought she couldn't read going into Kindergarten, (we're American) as she never would for us, and told us that she preferred to read books to herself, but tested out the first day of school at a 3rd grade level. She is reading and comprehending at a 7th grade level as a 2nd grader, and is functioning about 3 grades ahead in math.
That's interesting preeta mine said her first word at barely 5 months - witnessed thankfully by my DM & DF who said I did the same, by 6 months she was off & away - she was also baby signing by 3 months - people just don't believe me if I say that now, many didn't back then unless they saw it for themselves
Mine was pretty hyperactive, MUCH older than her years, very wide vocabulary, - not helped by also being very tall, so would often be mistaken for a 6 year old which came with its own problems
remembers bitterly putting my back out launching myself down a hill after I looked away to pay a bill and another well meaning DM let her on her DDs bike, one that DD didn't know how to stop, nor know what a break was when it was shooter after her rolling at speed down hill
Paint & draw easily recognisable objects - better than some adults - obsessed with numbers & letters, able to add up 3 & 4 string double numbers in her head & remember every word of & "read" all her favourite books to others, do complex puzzles & understand complex story lines etc etc
She was sensitive to things like labels & seams etc, but also very bubbly & sociable & very empathetic to others, often playing mother hen & looking out for any DCs struggling at nursery, so SN were never considered at nursery - though I often wondered how it might have been had she been shy as I was when tiny
trucks and dinosars> Just wondering how your DS is getting on, think he was due to start pre school in sept?
That sounds very similar to my son. He was an early talker started talking at the age of 6 months. He was saying complete sentences by 1 year and already knew abc and 1-10 very well by the time he was 1. By 18th month he started understanding phoenics and had at least 5 words per alphabet vocabulary.he has an incredible memory and can repeat the entire story book if I read it to him even twice. At 28 months, he has started reading now- can read few 3 letter and 4 letter words without any picture aids. He even reads words like trains and apples without help. Can recognize numbers till 30 and count till 50. He can even recognize shapes like cuboid, cylinder, sphere and apply them to real life- like ball is a sphere, this box is a cuboid. He makes his own rhymes at times...it's quite funny to hear him. I am really worried that he would get bored in school....and he is quite bad at interacting with kids of his age. He prefers older kids or adults. It's is very very worrisome. Ay advise on how to handle this?
tricot> i don't think he needs SALT, it was the pre school that suggested it but he hardly talks there compared to how to talks at home, other places and i think his talking and understanding is absolutely fine (although i was willing to go along with any recommendations)
I cant comment on anything else OP but you may not need the HV to get access to speech and language. In our area you can self refer - annoyingly i discivered this after a 12 month wait which was entirely avoidable.
DS1 just started reading, without ever appearing to learn, he's always been good with places/directions as well. With him it's a combination of exceptionally good memory and a weird ability to recognise patterns, I never knew any different, so I didn't realise it was odd for a preschooler to know that if 1+4=5, then 101+4=105 and 1001+4=1005, I only fully realised this was odd when DS1's reception teacher was amazed when he knew that the number after 20,000 was 20,001. If he knows the name of the preceding number then it's as obvious to him, as it would be to an adult, what the one after must be. I hadn't really realised that it wasn't that simple for most 4yo.
DS1 was referred to an educational psychologist in the second term of reception, because he combined poor social skills with amazing academic ability and there was a list of 'areas of concern' (inability to organise, poor eye contact, stress over unknown situations, etc). We're still waiting to hear the outcomes, but DS1 has changed an amazing amount in the last few weeks, he's made a really good friend and talks about other children in a way he never did before, as well as his best friend he suddenly has a group of other friends, who he talks about a lot. There are still areas we're worried about but he suddenly seems to have made a huge leap in sociability.
I don't think DS1 is autistic, he is and always will be quirky, I think there are going to be plenty more worrying times ahead and I worry a lot about his future. I think life is much easier (and possibly happier?) for people who are moderately bright and sociable, than those who are exceptionally bright but have a hard time fitting into society.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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