If you have a gifted boy was he bloody hard work as a toddler?(38 Posts)
I started another thread a few months ago 'what was your gifted child like at 2-3' mainly because it has been suggested that DS could be autistic but it was mentioned he could be gifted.
Anyway to cut a long story short HV assessed him and says DS (aged 3) is exceptionally clever and reasons for the issues we've had at playschool is that he is bored and isn't being stimulated enough.
He is an academically clever boy but then compared to other children he can seem so immature in that he can't sit still at all for more than a few seconds unless he's doing something that interests him, or he'll run off or won't take any notice when i call him. He is also quite intense and i need to give alot of attention to him, although to be fair he has got alot better over last year or will now sit and watch TV/ entertain himself for a while whilst i'm doing something else.
A few people have said to me that their sons were like this as toddlers and they are now infact adults who are very clever people. they say things got better once they went to school.
HV said about doing things with him like helping him to read, putting maps on the wall for him to look at. I'm not too sure, don't want to hot house him but then again he's not the type of kid who would do something they didn't want to.
Thursday morning i got out one of my old Peter and Jane books from school (showing my age) and he knew some of the words already (they are very basic) and i told him the other words and he was so engrossed when he could read a whole page later in the book (there are not many words to a page), and later he went on the computer and just enjoyed typing different words into word. After doing this type of thing he did seem alot easier though the day but not sure if this is the way forward, don't want to push him.
just thought i'd give an update, not G&T related , but DS is getting on great with his new pre school. There was a meeting today when you could have update with a teacher. Well they say that while they think it is too early to say anything definate they cannot recognise any of the signs that his old pre school did and he gives good eye contact, listens etc. They said he does have little quirks but 'don't we all' and he had a very mathematical brain. More of a weight of my mind. If i could have been given anything from this year at nursery it would be just that DS would enjoy it and he certainly seems to be doing that, he wants to go every and really enjoys his time there
both my daughters seem exceptionally bright but the eldest has been what I would describe as 'unique' since birth. The HV said she had never met a child like her, 2 GPs told me she ought to be assessed for ASD when she was under 2 and she is very off the wall, hard work and quite difficult but she is also very loving and caring and has excellent relationships with other children so I wouldn't put her down as ASD classic symptoms.
She is difficult though. three different Health visitors who knew her when she was younger said she was gifted and they said they used the word because she was extremely bright and yet 'different' too. She views the world in a completely different way to the other children we know. My sister was very similar although not quite as difficult.
Sadly I don't think she is a happy little girl because she seems to find the world so strange.
Sorry, no. My son was like a little old man when he was three and has always been a sunny soul. Very very clever but not difficult at all.
DS is G&T and has been the easiest child imaginable, as long as you do not mind talking and answering questions from the minute he wakes up until he falls asleep
DS1 is G&T but was a breeze as a toddler and still is at 7, DS2 is not G&T and has been difficult since the age of 6 months.
update> DS has started a new preschool this sept, recommended to me by the HV as she thought it would be more stimulating for him. So far so good he seems to love it, at least he wants to go everyday even at the weekends so thats a big improvement on his last one. He's got his 15 hours so if going every afternoon and its making him soo tired he's sleeping 12-14 hours a night!!!
Mine was gorgeous. He was docile and cuddly and chatty. He could speak and understand well from a very early age so i was able to reason with him.
His brother, who is above average but not gifted required constant stimulation. He was exhausting.
Many years later, the docile gifted baby is a lot of work. He worries, frets, and has anxiety. It breaks my heart to look at his baby and toddler photos when he was so happy. I blame consciousness.
His brother is very easy going and is happy so long as he has a good book.
I think you can't predict intelligence based on a toddler's temperament.
My DS was horrendous as a 2-3 year old, he didn't sleep, fought, ignored my every word. Frankly I was the woman who was pitied for having a fighty exhausting little boy. He smacked his FS1 teacher in the face and graffitied on the outside of the school building age 4 FFS.
5 years later everything has fallen into place. He is excelling at school, is "number gifted" and absolutely thriving in an environment where he is physically and mentally challenged. Instead of being the kid that other mothers avoid he is the boy that everyone wants to be best mates with and other mums seem to actively encourage his friendship.
It is such a bloody relief!
I was a gifted child and just like that!
I still get a bit antsy if I don't have something to do/read/think about to be honest.
Reading is going to be a good thing for him. As you've found, its a way for him to entertain himself and is calming him down. You're not hot housing him- your giving him what he needs.
Yes, very hard work. He still is. He's lovely too though, thank goodness.
We were discussing rights and wrongs the other day - should a crocodile be killed to retrieve the body of a person swimming where signs say not to swim because of dangerous criminals and should a convicted murderer receive a heart transplant. It was quite interesting, it made me think.
DS was independent toddler, curious, determined, could concentrate for very long periods of time on specific toy/object of his choosing. He had very specific interests (trains - cars - puzzles - abacus - numbers - anything with patterns). No trouble sleeping, no trouble eating, very calm and smily, no behaviour issues. Very late talker (didn't say a word before he was 3). He is G&T in maths.
As far as ASD goes, its more to do with how he copes socially than his intelligence. So he could be asd apart from him being bright. My ASD boy is has amazing memory yet only scores average on IQ tests. Yet my daughter is non asd and is very bright. I also worked with and autistic boy who scored on the 98th percentile for intelligence. They're all different.
Ds (10) supposedly has an IQ of 157 and is "highly gifted".
An EP who saw him said it is common for such children to have problems with relationships with their peers as they have no understanding of what motivates people who do not think in the same way as them. Their peers can also have problems relating to them. This is clearly true of ds - he has never understood many of the things that interest other children, although he can feign an interest.
Ds also never found it easy to entertain himself when he was little and required constant attention. Reading has been a great gift for him, he can lose himself in a book for hours and hours at a time.
However, I did deliberately make the decision not to teach him to read and write before he started school. The reason for this (and I am not sure if it is a good one) was that I could read, write and count pretty well when I started school and vividly recall being bored to tears for the first year or so of school. I found everything too easy and was disappointed in school. I did not want to replicate that experience for ds.
Should have said, the eldest is a boy, the younger two are girls
I'd like to buck the trend on the positive correlation between gifted and hard work as a toddler. My DC are all much older - 2 left school and one in upper sixth. All three are what would now be described as G&T ( we didn't have such a term when they were in primary, and they don't use it in the private sector anyway). All three have nothing but As and A* at GCSE and A level.
And they were not difficult or demanding toddlers. The youngest was a little of a challenge from her boundless physical energy but not from anything else.
Possibly for the younger two, there was always plenty around to stimulate them in any case as they are naturally exposed to what the older siblings are doing - so reading their school books, copying their sums and spellings, perhaps?
My DS is gifted (IQ top 1%) and was a 'very difficult' toddler unless kept entertained. I had difficulty controlling him in classes (a nightmare session in Gymboree springs to mind and we were virtually banned!) and he was very strong willed and would ignore me when it suited him.
He loved books and was reading from aged 3 and loved typing into word. He did not like playing by himself but naturally gravitated towards other children and settled in exceptionally well at nursery. His behaviour and concentration levels could be incredible, when stimulated, and he would happily read for 45 mins or so from the age of 4. He has always been exceptionally well behaved at school and all reports are glowing. However, when he is not stimulated his confidence suffers and he becomes quite withdrawn. We changed school because of this.
I do not think showing him things like maps, letters, books, numbers and encouraging areas where he shows an interest is 'pushy', it is just simply showing an interest in what makes him tick.
As others have said, it is possible to be exceptionally gifted and on the autistic spectrum. No-one will give you a professional diagnosis that does not fit. As well as being 'difficult,' I would expect to see some difficulties with socialising, repetitive and 'stimming' behaviours and the need for routine. Of course, all toddlers display these behaviours from time to time as part of their job description, but a diagnosis is more likely if these behaviours are frequent and impact on day to day life.
Many people who see children exceptionally advanced in one or two areas seem to think ASD and I know some thought that about DS. It was particularly hurtful when some mums, who knew of his abilities, started talking about it in the playground. However, DS is clearly not on the spectrum and appears 'very normal', but exceptionally able, these days.
I love this thread.
DS2 was that child too. He never slept, he had the most amazing tantrums, he was exhausting.
He taught himself to read in his first language at 3 and his second at 4. But he drove his nursery teacher mad as he wouldn't sit still and just listen, he would be jumping up and down wanting to know answers to questions that were on a total tangent from what they were meant to be doing.
His first few years in school can only be described as trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I was called in so often that I practically had my own chair in the school office.
Things got better when he went into Year 3 and had a very understanding teacher who worked very, very hard to help him. He was diagnosed as mildly dyspraxic and also saw SALT, both his motor skills and speech were way behind the speed his mind was going and that made him frustrated. He was also put on g&a and was given IEPs to stretch him academically and also improve his behaviour. But his behaviour improved anyway as he became less frustrated.
He is now 9 and goes into Y5 in September. His new teacher's plan is to keep him so busy that he doesn't have time to play up He is still hard work at times, but a lot easier than when he was a toddler. Plus the library lets him borrow 20 books at a time which keeps him too busy to be a PITA
Oh and giving them materials is not hot housing. Fill his world with magical stuff to look and and play with
Ds1 was that child.
I cannot describe him well enough, walked at 8 months always on the go, never ever slept. Always knew he was 'different'. at age 2.5 the woman who ran the local playgroup dropped the age from three just so he could go as she knew us and could see he just needed more. Reached a peak at about 7 where school were just blaming us for his behaviour. Apparently we were 'those types' meaning the type who blame our child's bad behaviour on the school's lack of ability to stimulate when they think we were just bad parents.
He was being assessed and had an original working diagnosis of ADD possibly AS when we changed his school to one where he is stretched and stretched and he's a different boy. His behaviour has improved ten fold and his results are outstanding now he is ten. I think this change of schools also corresponded with his emotional maturity catching up with the rest of him.
It's so hard to encapsulate him in one post but yes, he was bloody hard work and yes he's very academically intelligent.
I guess he's still hard work now but has more ability to entertain himself and can also be reasoned with.
he was busy busy busy! mentally and physically and at 11yo he still is! well behaved though and v empathetic.
The two aren't always mutually exclusive - DS1 is gifted, particularly in maths and visuospatial activities and also has ASD and ADHD. He was also a PITA as a toddler (and still can be!)
turniphead> When i say assessed it wasn't really an assessment as such she just came round for an hour to see what she thought as it had been suggested he may be autistic. Obviously she can't say he's definately not but she thinks its unlikely and that he is very clever so has made a few suggestions. I'll still keep an eye on him and go back if i'm concerned about anything. My gut feeling on the autistic thing is that there was nothing wrong but i am also aware i'm not in a position to be totally independent and didn't want to be in denial if there was/ is something wrong.
My DS is harder work now at 7 than he was as a toddler. My memories of him as a young toddler are very much his ability to concentrate for very long periods and how he used to sit endlessly pulling books out of the bookcase and going through each page.
Mind you my sister tells me I have forgotten how intense he was - and how he used to scream for the 20 minutes between getting up and his breakfast being ready at 3, when most kids can wait.
I have found a few things that have helped us very recently (his behaviour was becoming dreadful and he controlled the whole mood of the family). A book called Raising your Spirited Child (dreadfully American and not for gifted kids per se but as someone said upthread there can be an overlap between very high IQ and intensity of emotion/senses etc). But not always.
Also we have started using the 123 Magic system (dr Thomas Phelan) for the whole family - which has been a bloody marvel - although it was blimmin painful to read as a non-American. That and Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children are two amazing MN recommendations that I am most thankful to have read.
Bit of a tangent. More of an answer to your original thread which I had meant to answer. I am still a bit about your HV "assessing" anything - but to be honest I think most parents know if their kids are way above the norm. But most of us doubt it until formal assessment - if that is ever done.
He said last week, if I have a child, and it is like me, I am in trouble aren't I?
And I said, yes you are
I wouldnt say one of mine was gifted but v v bright.
V difficult to bring up, but education wise, by far the worse time was before he started school. He didnt start till 4 because he couldnt where we live at the time.
I used this, but 20 years ago, it was in book form.
[and not sure now whether a pirates and princess theme will go down well with some people].
discalimer. I do not know how good it is nowadays, but back then it was exactly what I needed.
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