What was your gifted toddler like?

(28 Posts)
DizzeeBorg Mon 11-Apr-16 20:20:15

My DH and I both went to grammar schools and are high achievers academically. As a child I was a relatively late bloomer (I was having additional lessons aged 8 for simple spellings, etc). My children seem average to me although perhaps I have little to compare them to. The health visitor suggested they may be gifted, but they just seem normal!

My DS, aged 3 1/2, is very communicative and loves imaginative play, but is very sensitive and shy. He has no interest whatsoever in writing or going anywhere near a pen although is starting to read. My DD, aged 2 (born at 33 weeks), I have dubbed my feral child as she is into everything and at 100mph. Her speech is lovely but she doesn't settle to anything, at this age my DS wanted to read books for hours and knew all his colours/letters/numbers. She is my little firecracker, hasn't got a clue about any of her colours but can take her clothes off, paint herself and the wall as a 'tiger' in the time it takes me to make a cup of tea.

What were your gifted children doing as toddlers? My two are so different and I don't know what to expect (I certainly didn't expect gifted). My DH was just like my DS, so I have some idea what to expect there. My DD is my mystery! She is absolutely hilarious and I can't wait to see what she is like in the future.

eabbo Mon 11-Apr-16 20:29:11

In terms of 'gifted' in the academic sense (as in a schools Gifted and Talented programme) it is normally that your child falls within the top 10% of his/her peer group in one specific, or sometimes more subjects. So in a year of 30 children for example, one of the top 3, in a secondary school year of say 150 children - they would be one of the top 15 kids (usually scored by test results)
Frankly I've never heard of a gifted toddler (not to say they don't exist)
Personally I wouldn't put to much importance on the gifted thing, it's just lovely to see your children learn and develop and find things that interest them. I love hearing my kids teach me things, whether stuff about the great fire of London or how to build a webpage (gobbledegook to me)
If your children are gifted academically I would think it would be an educational specialist (teacher?) who would pass that judgement rather than a health visitor - but I could be wrong on that point
Sounds like you have a couple of lovely curious, inquisitive children - enjoy!

eabbo Mon 11-Apr-16 20:34:10

And sorry, didn't really answer your question. Both of mine have been identified as 'gifted' in primary and eldest now at secondary school - and they were pretty normal as toddlers, nothing extra-ordinary about them at all - bar my youngest having a fantastic memory for numbers. Certain,y didn't hit milestones ant earlier than friends kids. So it came as a complete surprise when told they were gifted it's all balls really anyway as wont guarantee them jobs!

DizzeeBorg Mon 11-Apr-16 20:56:22

I took it with a pinch of salt and obviously my children were by no means assessed as gifted. I was just shocked that my apparently average children seemed 'gifted' to her. Perhaps she just felt it was a kind thing to say. I couldn't care less really as long as they are healthy and happy.

popmimiboo Mon 11-Apr-16 20:57:36

DD1 (my second child) was talking in full sentences (in 2 languages as we live abroad) at 16 months. At 2 she could concentrate on puzzles, books, colourings for ages. Could colour in the lines, do huge jigsaw puzzles, pick up magazines at the doctors and read the headlines etc! She could converse very well with adults and could reason things very well. She generally had so much common sense and logic.
She was also very energetic and had fantastic coordination and agility.

Her teacher referred her to an ed pysch at 5 1/2 and her IQ was found to be in the top 2%. She has a very balanced IQ which is apparently quite unusual.

Now, at 14, she's still a very rational, sensible, mature and confident girl. She does work hard at school, having skipped a year and taken on extra options.

DizzeeBorg Mon 11-Apr-16 21:04:14

How amazing, popmimiboo! Thank you for sharing your experience with your daughter.

Micah Mon 11-Apr-16 21:08:09

Even if they are, i don't think it makes much difference. Treat them the same and make sure they are well rounded.

Fwiw, my eldest was like yours as a toddler. She is now training for team gb in her chosen sport smile

Mishaps Mon 11-Apr-16 21:14:17

I have a very academically advanced GS - his parents have quite rightly sent him to the village school where he meets others from all walks of life and all intelligence. He is well-integrated and is nicknamed "The Prof" and always willing to help his friends. I suspect that some of the others will catch him up soon, as these things tend to shake down over time.

DizzeeBorg Mon 11-Apr-16 21:14:46

I love that, Micah. Well done to your DD.

DizzeeBorg Mon 11-Apr-16 21:17:40

Mishaps, how old is your GS now?

Mistigri Mon 11-Apr-16 22:15:05

Mine were both very different (though in fairness no idea if my second is gifted).

My oldest was very verbal, sociable and imaginative with lots of "irrational" fears, but also a bit of a butterfly - not able to settle to a game or activity for very long. We thought her "just bright" until she suddenly started reading, completely out of the blue. Later tested by ed psych because school suspected ADHD (IQ in top 0.1%). Now 14, just an ordinary teenager in most respects, she is good at writing/ languages (trilingual), very creative and independent-minded.

My second was much less verbal - good vocabulary but often struggled to get his sentences out. Very patient, concentrated, serious toddler who liked puzzles and constructing things, but didn't like other toddlers very much! I have no idea if he's gifted, though I suspect he is G&T in the sense used in UK schools, at least in maths.

var123 Tue 12-Apr-16 09:25:27

DS1 - alert and drinking things in more or less from when he was just a couple of days old. He gave off this vibe of trusting us to look after him, so he was always smiling and understood at an early age that telling us what he needed and trusting us to provide it was much better than getting stressed and upset. By the time he was a toddler, his language was quite good and he played "intelligently" with things. He was also quite shy in large groups of children.

DS2 - happy, contented baby, eager to explore the world. He was always setting himself new targets (like climbing the stairs to find out what was up there) and not resting until he'd achieved it. He spoke late - age 3 - but when he did it was whole speeches using good grammar and 3 syllable words (it came as a shock the first time this happened). He was always eager to socialise.

Apart form the dinosaur and Thomas the Tank Engine eras, I don't think either of them ever did imaginative play. Similarly, they both saw no point in the pots of paint or crayons but were fascinated by books and jigsaws. Actually, they are both still like this today - detest any kind of art work or music making but love playing chess or sudoko or reading.

Callmegeoff Tue 12-Apr-16 09:53:26

Dd1 used to play a tapping game when she was 9 months -we would have to copy her and she would get cross if we couldn't do it. She has turned out to be quite musical. She was given a phonics bus aged 2 and self taught letters, phonics sounds and numbers. I still remember the tantrum she threw in Whsmith because I wouldn't buy a suduko magazine 'but mummy you know how much I love numbers' Now aged 12 gifted in everything except PE.

I thought that was normal until dd2 came along and couldn't do any of that. However dd2 could draw really well, the walls herself (and still does) She was a late talker but like var ds2 spoke in complete sentences once she could. She is 10 now can't spell for toffee, and has had interventions at school -every child can read and every child can count. She is gifted at art, science and is Dyslexic.

I do remember as a visual learner that it was tricky for her to learn numbers, I bought big number inflatable balloons to help, made number cakes and she could remember 2 when it was drawn like a swan.

Blipbip Tue 12-Apr-16 13:50:27

DS2 takes life at 100mph. He grabs it by the scruff of the neck and generally tries to take control. When he was about a year old he started to teach himself the alphabet using those push button noisy toys, he quickly moved on to reading but wasn't interested in writing or mark making until very recently - he is 6 now.
As a toddler he was obsessed with numbers and patterns and loved to play counting games - forward backwards and multiplications.
He has always been excited by the prospect of something new to learn and asks endless questions (that we had better get right because he will check our answers and report back any errors sometimes months or even years later).
I have recently noticed his ability to just "know" the answer to puzzles and problems - often I can't see how he has worked it out but he is generally right.
He was a whirlwind as a toddler and he is still a whirlwind now. He was not an early talker though.

Paddingtonthebear Tue 12-Apr-16 13:55:48

Did the HV give any suggestions as to why she thought they might be gifted?

WellErrr Tue 12-Apr-16 13:58:19

Mine can do long division in their heads. I just know.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 12-Apr-16 14:04:53

I'm waiting for confirmation that DS2 is scarily bright. He's seemed smarter than his brother (13 months older; compared at the same age) since about 6 mo - just 'got' everything more quickly except walking hmm DS2 will start school in September and I'll be interested to see if it's just my fond imagination!

irvine101 Tue 12-Apr-16 18:55:15

By 2, ds was obsessed with numbers and letters. Reading some words and counting backwards from 1000.(In his sleep). Obsessed with puzzles. Obsessed with teaching clock. Talking very clearly, no baby talk. Talked continuously at home but very shy outside. Didn't want to play with other children. Sensitivity to everything. Very emotional. Didn't need much sleep.

DizzeeBorg Tue 12-Apr-16 19:19:13

No, I didn't ask her. She asked whether my DH and I performed well at school then said we have gifted children on our hands. Honestly, I think she may have just taken a liking to me.

She was doing a two year check for my DD who is very physically agile and has a lot to say for herself with complex ideas, but no real prowess in maths or english like all of your amazing toddlers. She did a two year check for my DS 18 months previously where he took it upon himself to perform many tricks, for example, she asked him to mark make to see how he held the pen and he drew a 'c' and announced 'c for cat'. He is not exceptional when it comes to writing at all, he could just write a few letters and numbers when he was two.

I am loving hearing about all the amazing little people out there though.

Cuttheraisins Wed 13-Apr-16 11:13:07

Ds failed to reach every milestone both physically and social/language development. In fact he was behind his peers in most things until he was 5, except maths (and people/teachers thought he was behind because of his speech, however he wasn't behind he just couldn't communicate well). Now 9 years old he is G&T in maths and well above his peers in most subjects at school, but like many here he doesn't quite get creative or imaginative play. He reads mostly non fiction books, plays with Lego and construction things, likes computer games and programming. He didn't say a word before 2.5 and spoke in sentence at 4. His physical development is now on track but he has low muscle tone, mild hyper mobility and was diagnosed with developmental verbal dyspraxia at 4.

Blipbip Wed 13-Apr-16 11:14:03

I didn't really think DS was gifted as a toddler I was facinated by his ability to hoover up knowledge but I assumed it was because he is clearly not dyslexic unlike me and his older brother. I just thought that is what it is like for non dyslexics.
His nursery would mention that they thought he was bright but I assumed that they say that to all parents of adorable toddlers. It was his year one teacher taking us aside and saying that she has a special interest in children like DS and she would like to get him assessed that made us start to consider that perhaps he has some quite special talents.
Time will tell wether it makes any difference in the grand scheme of things.

var123 Wed 13-Apr-16 15:37:41

* I just thought that is what it is like....*

Its funny, isn't it, how so many of us had no idea that our children were gifted when they were very young? The signs were there (in many cases) but only if you knew what you were looking at.

I thought DS1 was normal, and I actually worried for DS2 because he wasn't speaking. My friends had babies about the same ages, and my DC didn't stand out especially, but now the other children are almost all doing well at school either by easily coping in a highly selective school or just comfortably getting the best available grades in state schools without appearing to actually put in any noticeable effort.

On the other hand, I met many mothers who thought their kids were very gifted, and they always seemed a bit obsessive (or deluded) when i thought mine were only special to me and DH. We moved away and I lost touch. I sometimes wonder how those children are doing now?

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 15:58:04

I totally agree with var. My ds is my only child, and I had no friends around me who had small children.(I am a foreigner.) I thought my ds was normal(good and bad), until 2 year check up. After that, I became aware of the comments from strangers in random places like supermarket , and I realised that he is not so normal.

var123 Wed 13-Apr-16 16:33:50

Even when random people started mentioning things, I thought they were just trying to flatter me (that was before I knew that gifted doesn't mean guaranteed success in life or even in school) but it does bring its own issues.
There as only one time that I remember having no other explanation. It was when DS1 was still crawling. He did something that was a bit freakishly accomplished for such a young child. My mum was there and she couldn't believe her eyes. I remember rushing over and picking him up feeling afraid for him although I didn't know why.
It only really hit me that they were that clever when they learned to read in a few weeks rather than the years it seems to take some children.

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 16:56:01

My freakish moment was when I heard my ds counting numbers, 9**, 9**, what ever in back wards in his cot, in his sleep. I never taught him consciously. I may have said the number if he pointed out, but never intentionally taught. And never backwards!!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now