when did you know your dc was gifted? and were you a gifted child yourself?

(67 Posts)
hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 22:57:45

Just that really. I was a super intelligent child, musically and artistically talented with an IQ of 150 or so and all the difficult and dysfunctional stuff that can go with it. I worry for ds that he may turn out the same. He is only a baby now but has just had his 4-5 month contact with the HV and is very very advanced on his milestones. I mean thr HV had to pick her jaw off the floor at some things he can do. How likely is it that the poor mite inherited a mind that questions everything and struggles with existential angst from the age of 5? And if he has how do I make it easier for him? My own mother was obsessed with hot housing in order to cover herself in reflected glory so I know what not to do. Please tell me your positive stories smile

seeker Tue 09-Oct-12 23:01:24

I would just relax for a while yet- he's very little!

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:04:38

I know! I'm probably overthinking it as its a worry I have had for a long time before having kids. but I would like to know whether other peoples g and t children were ahead from very early.

ReallyTired Tue 09-Oct-12 23:07:49


Sorry with the best will in the world you cannot tell whether a 4 month old baby is gifted or not. I'm reading a book called "Nutureshock" which states that assessment of intelligence before the age of seven is pretty unreliable.


Praise your child for working hard rather than being clever. Apparently research shows that if a child is told that they are clever then they are more likely to under perform. Praise has to be used carefully otherwise it will backfire.

It sounds corney but enjoy the early years. Early child development is not necessarily an indicator of later intelligence. Other children may catch up or even over take.

Ds had delayed development due to orthopedic problems and glue ear, but now he is doing really well academically at the age of 10.

What can he do? <boggled>

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:09:15

You definitely need to relax - he's a tiny baby!

It sounds like your mother was obsessed with how well you were doing, hence the hothousing. The best thing you can do is just chill, and take the lead from your son himself as he gets older. Let him explore and follow his curiosity, encourage him to pursue his interests and avoid labelling him at all costs. He may turn out to be super-intelligent, or he may not. Even if he does, it won't necessarily manifest itself in the same way as it did with you. And however he turns out, he needs to know that he is loved and valued regardless of how clever he is.

Just enjoy your lovely baby and forget about the rest! smile

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:11:56

So where has your fabulous intelligence got you? I take it from what you say that your childhood was not particularly happ. So why not just chill and see what develops?

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:19:09

Thanks that's reassuring. I am probably looking too hard as yes exit I did not have a very happy childhood. ( not sure what you're getting at with the tone of that comment this isn't about my "fabulous intelligence" I'm simply stating that as a child I was subjected to many tests and found to have a very high IQ. ) it just struck a chord when the HV started telling me how advanced my child was and got me wonderind how early you can tell.

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:20:52

Unnamed its not like he's doing calculus he's just very far ahead and had been doing some of the milestones you would expect at 4-5 months from 3-4 weeks.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:22:50

Actually that is quite a myth that you can't tell and it 'all evens out in the end'.
On a personal and professional level I have witnessed many childrens development as well as my own children. All the children I know who were alert at the newborn first weeks, could hold heads well, sat unsupported/ crawled/ walked early and therefore explored their environment early, have all continued to be advanced (not genius advanced but definately top 10%). At 2 my HV said that dd was unusually advanced in all areas of development and this has continued (again not genius level, but advanced) and she is now 6. Her progress shows no sign of slowing. However, the nature versus nurture debate still rages. I believe that given the right nurturing most children are capable of excelling. However, not all parents have the skills, knowledge, time or patience to nurture the gifts. My own parents were an example of this. They viewed me asking why as 'being insolant or cheeky' whereas as view my dds questions of why as 'inquisitive and intelligent' even when she seems to be having an answer for everything smile. I therefore strive to answer the questions, rather than the stifling 'because I said so' response. smile

My eldest dd was considered super bright, very , very advanced in everything until age 7.She is now beautiful, funny and wonderful, but decidedly average academically ( and that is being kind).

You cannot go on like this, really you can't grin

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:25:56

Sorry, for some reason I interpreted 'fabulous' from your post, but having re read it I realise that was inappropriate. I apologise, no offence intended.

lisad123 Tue 09-Oct-12 23:32:07

Dd1 was clearly gifted from a young age but clearly had other SN too so hard to know what I noticed first but certainly not that young!!
Just relax and treat him normally, until you feel he may need extra, trust yourself as his mother and you will be great smile

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:32:37

I have to ask whether progress would naturally 'level out' if they were stretched at school more. Do they get bored of learning because they know what is being taught already by age 7 and do they then turn off their interest? hmm

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:34:21

None taken smile

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:35:13

FWIW, OP, some bright kids do hit milestones very early. DD was exceptionally alert from birth, social smiling at a week, obsessed with books by three months, very early talker etc. At 7, she is still some way ahead of her peers academically. Conversely, she didn't sit, crawl or walk early and she is still decidedly average with regard to most physical skills.

BUT I know other kids who developed very quickly as babies/toddlers and then plateaued/levelled out. And others who were slow starters but blossomed later on when they were ready. In other words, early signs of intelligence may well be followed by academic success later, but you can't always tell.

Either way, labels aren't helpful - he is who he is, just enjoy it!

I don't know. My ds did not strike me as particularly bright but he started flying academically at about the same age. He is very clever in top group at SS grammar. Probably not gifted though.
It's just my own anecdote.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:37:09

Hazeldog obviously you can't hothouse a baby but you can always provide stimulation appropriate to learning pace. i.e. if he is trying to roll put toys slightly to one side to encourage him or if trying to sit give lots of time for him to practice using cushions as opposed to bumbo seats (doesn't develop stomach muscles). If he enjoys standing get a jumparoo type thing with toys on ........if you think he says a word then repeat it in a sentence i.e. he points/ says bah, near a sheep ...... you say 'yes the sheep says bah'

And a dd with ASD who is exceptional in maths particularly but didn't walk until 18mths.

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:31

I was bored at school anxious but my performance didn't start to flag until mh problems began in earnest in my early teens and even then not significantly. I never felt stretched even at university and was able to continue to achieve high grades while using drugs and being severely depressed. My problems were brushed off by teachers and parents alike as it was felt that as long as my grades were high I couldn't be that unwell. Very sad really as the signs were all there. If I had been more stretched perhaps boredom wouldnt have led to drugs.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:47

Jinsei I agree that labels don't really mean much and aren't helpful. The spectrum of giftedness is as wide as learning difficulties, with some overlap! smile

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:40:43

anxious, I'm sure that some kids aren't stretched and end up disengaging, but I think they're in a minority. My dd's school is very good (imo) at stretching all children according to their ability, but some of those who started off ahead have since been overtaken by others in the class. I don't think it's a failure of the teachers, merely that some kids have made more progress relative to others.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:41:18

I think you know really early on with a lot of superbright kids, but it doesn't matter a jot and the thing that matters is whether they are well balanced.

Being very bright does not mean having to be dysfunctional, you know. Far from it.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:45:14

Hazeldog I was supposed to study dentistry, had the places sorted. Unfortunately I had never needed to try and therefore I didn't study at A level, dropped out of education to work part time in a supermarket. As you know what I do now, clearly I had a brain, like you I have cruised through any educational course with minimal effort, even the Pg Dip (masters level)

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:46:23

Do you think it was boredom that led to drug abuse, OP? Or was it perhaps a rebellion against your excessively pushy mother? Genuine question.

I found school and university easy too, it suited me as I am was a bit lazy. However, I wasn't tempted to go off the rails because of this as I had very sensible, balanced, grounded parents who emphasised the importance of other things in life as well as academic achievement.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 23:56:53

My DMIL spotted signs of superior intelligence in my DS1 when he was 2 weeks old. She was really quite insistent. grin

I was both irritated and pleased when she turned out to be right. He came in the top .1 percent of a university entrance test so I think that makes him officially brainy.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Tue 09-Oct-12 23:57:09

I'm another Mother of a DD who appeared to be exceptionally bright...spoke and walked at 10 months...long conversations by 18 months...very perceptive, great sense of humour and unusual grasp of absurd jokes...now she's 8 and apart from having the reading age of a 12 year old and being rather articulate and good at art...she's very average!

It's an interesting thing isn't it...I thought she'd turn out gifted...and she is in some ways...but not in the sense that her school have put her on any G&T thing. grin

DD2 is funny and bright...I'm a lot more sensible about my ideas this time round!

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Tue 09-Oct-12 23:57:55

Way2go what signs did she see? How fascinating that she knew!

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:58:04

Probably a bit of both jinsei and also smoking dope took my brain down a notch and made me feel like I fitted in a bit more. Speed helped me get through college as my school wouldn't keep me for 6th form due to my refusal to conform to the uniform and my mother deemed the local college not good enough so I had a ridiculous 2 hour plus commute every morning ( could have been 15 mins but she was too tight to give me a fiver for the direct train). When the stress and pressure became unbearable heroin wiped it away.
I don't think it was rebellion more self medication. I studied pharmacology and had a great interest in drugs so I had a chemical answer to all life's problems. God it sounds awful written down and frankly it was that bad and worse. Its no wonder I worry for ds really. I am determined to do better by him whatever his ability and his choices.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Tue 09-Oct-12 23:59:17

DD1s first word at 10 months apart from Mama, was Spongebob. I should have thought hmm about my idea of her being gifted then really! grin

She still loves him today....but so far no dissertation on him!

hazeldog Wed 10-Oct-12 00:01:23

way2go it sounds mad but my mother had a post partum psychosis when I was born which basically involved her believing that baby me knew everything there was to know. Very odd indeed but having that psychosis confirmed somewhat when I turned out to be very bright mat have sent her down her obsessive path.

hazeldog Wed 10-Oct-12 00:01:57

[Grin] at spongebob

Nuttyprofessor Wed 10-Oct-12 00:05:17

I knew my DS was intelligent the moment he was born. He was very alert and looked at everything. He was born asking why. The nurse said he would be gifted and he is.

Jinsei Wed 10-Oct-12 00:18:04

It's an interesting thing isn't it...I thought she'd turn out gifted...and she is in some ways...but not in the sense that her school have put her on any G&T thing.

I don't think the school "G&T" things mean a great deal anyway bigwitch. My dd is on the list, but as it's only the top 10% of the class, there are other very bright kids who aren't on it but probably would be in another school - we live close to a university and it's a very high performing school as half the parents are academics.

In any case, I don't think that there is a cut-off point between "bright" and "gifted", it's all just points on a spectrum, and what is "gifted" for some is probably just "clever" to others.

And I agree entirely with what boffinmum said about being gifted not meaning that you must also be dysfunctional. It sounds like you had a tough time in adolescence, OP, but who knows, that might have had nothing to do with your IQ. Don't assume that it will be as tough for your son, even if he does turn out to be a genius. He might be a very happy, balanced genius. grin

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 00:20:45

Ours is a very high performing school to Jinsei...many...if not most are privately tutored and go on to private or grammar. I didn't really consider this.

Jinsei Wed 10-Oct-12 00:29:50

It's one of the reasons I don't like labels bigwitch. I hate the whole concept of the g&t list as it's so limiting - 10% of the class, so three among 30 kids. DD happens to be on the "right" side of the dividing line, but there are kids on the other side of that line who would benefit just as much from the extra opportunities. Kids who are really very bright and should be recognised as such. Overall, I think our school caters pretty well to the needs of all of the children, and the G&T list doesn't mean all that much in practice anyway, but still...

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 00:34:40

Her teacher mentioned "She's in the top 5% for literacy." so I suppose she's bright then. Pity her maths isn't the same bless her...she's like me and hates it! I do encourage her to enter competitions for art and writing and she did recently win a prize. I think it did her the world of good in terms of confidence.

I'm not sure how I feel about a G&T list...I do see that a minority may miss out though.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 00:39:31

BigWitchLegs. I can't imagine my DMIL could have had any realistic insight, I think she just lucked out with her premonition. She does remember saying it and likes to maintain that 'she always knew'. You can't beat doting Grannies grin
My DS was always a thoughtful and very patient baby and little boy. He would look at picture books very thoroughly and spoke extremely young. I think one thing that gave him an advantage was that he rarely got frustrated when he couldn't do something. I think that is quite unusual in little DC's. For example, he was always quite good at loosing games which meant he could learn from his mistakes. It is funny, but i think this slight lack of competitiveness really helped him to learn. His younger brother, who has turned out to be more mathematically able than his elder brother didn't have those qualities as a young lad so it's took him longer to show his academic colours.
We lived overseas in various countries so he was never received extra lessons at school and nor did we do anything very much at home except provide a booky, slightly nerdy, fun and loving home for him and his siblings. We thought he could catch up when we returned to the UK which he did with ease (as did his siblings).
He is studying medicine and is a totally normal, happy, well rounded boy who is good academically (as are most of his classmates) that's all.

If I did it all again, I still would not bother hot housing little DC. It's a bit daft.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 00:47:53

I find that comforting way2go because I get the guilts about not sticking DD in Kumon or something...but she would want to...I know it. She likes working on things that she's passionate about. She has gaps...but she's 8 and I want her to play on her bike, write her stories and sit and draw when she gets in from school. Not work more!

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 01:08:50

I never sent my DC's to Kumen or gave them any other extra tutoring and they win all the maths prizes at school. Makes us smile every time :-)

If they had a particular problem I would get them extra help but I rather my DC's were out and about.

I never got them to play instruments either. They played a bit of chess and have always played a sport or two but nothing much in extra curricular activities.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 01:12:40

Oh no I am telling a lie blush, my DC's did have some foreign language tuition when we lived in a non English speaking country, but I saw that as a nessecity as all the other could already speak the language and mine couldn't.

numbum Wed 10-Oct-12 23:02:10

he was born asking why jeez

ibizagirl Thu 11-Oct-12 06:13:58

I was always classed as "brainy" by everyone. Even when born there is a photo of me with writing on saying "ibizagirl born xx very brainy" for some reason. I remember when i was very young, going to someones house with a large table and loads of people there getting me to read newspapers. I could do it - they were wowed by it!! Dd now 13 and has always been called gifted, genius and all the other labels. Yes she is very academic and finds things, especially maths and languages, very easy. Yes she was bored at school because work too easy and was finished quickly. But i can't honestly remember anything as a baby that would stand out. She would always hold things and look at them for a long time, i do remember that. She talked well and could read and write early. But i can't think of anything major happening. She did always have books from a baby - even bath books - and has always been interested in books and words etc. Only thing i can think of now was when the health visitor came and showed dd a board with letters on and she knew her alphabet. She was 18 months i think and then she took a photo of dd reading an encylopedia to show colleagues?? Dd still doing well at school but to be honest i have never thought she was gifted. What is it? I always said she is brainy because i think she is. Her levels at school are high and she can't get any higher so what? The school isn't giving her anything different from classmates.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 11-Oct-12 09:12:09

I was dismissed as lazy and slow to the age of 8 years old. Turned out to have glue ear that required three surgeries, was dyslexic and an IQ of 163. The glue ear got mostly fixed, I learnt to work round the dyslexia and went on and got two degrees from Russel Group Unis.
I picked up on my DD developed glue ear very early and due to terrible complications has a 25% hearing loss, however, she is an excellent lip reader. Now at nearly 9 years old she is showing fantastic ability in Maths, Mandarin and Music all of which she loves and science which she doesn't like so much. She never bothered to crawl, but was a reasonably early walker.
She didn't read before reception due to my dyslexia I was worried I would mess that up. What I did do was expose her to all kinds of things we actively made sure we travelled on all kinds of different transport, when we went for a walk we look for nests birds and different types of trees and flowers. All of this has stood her in very good stead as she has tremendous life experience to draw on at school enabling her to gain a lot from all the topics.

lljkk Fri 12-Oct-12 10:28:18

I never thought my kids were clever until the teachers commented on it at school. We discovered that DD was sporty at age 9, now that was a huge shock.

I would love to know what milestones OP's baby has reached so early.
I remember HV observing DS and gasping "Ten week old babies aren't supposed to do that!"
He's 13yo now, sometimes a clever bot, GSOH, but no genius.
I was labeled a genius as a child; yesterday to a friend I recited a long list of things I'm useless at which make it hard to find work (right now, with childcare duties).
So I'm not sure that being a genius is all that helpful, anyway.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Fri 12-Oct-12 10:35:01

Yes I was gifted. I wasn't pushed too much, but I wasn't happy either. I had a fairly miserable, anxious childhood with some good bits.

I dropped out of school (who DID put the pressure on, which I couldn't cope with) when I was 18, just before A levels - and found myself lost and with no ambition, no idea where to go or what to do.

No one would ever guess I was a gifted child. I am a single mother, I don't have a job, I'm very depressed.

My children don't seem gifted so far - who knows - and I am glad, if they are just fairly happy, and able to make friends with other kids, and don't feel like they're supposed to go on to future glory.

Being told you're going to conquer the world and can do anything you want to, at 9/10/11 can be too much to endure for some kids.

Adversecamber Sat 13-Oct-12 17:33:53

DS was the same when the HV did his checks. I am not gifted but DH is so assuming it is from that half of the gene pool, he took his A levels at 16 and is pretty amazing. He has turned out fine!

DS vocabulary was always very advanced and he is very wordy.
DS is certainly bright and has impressed friends we have had to dinner, I work with academics so no doubt they are brainy and they were very complimentary about him.

He seems to be enjoying life now he is older, he found the other children very frustrating at primary school. Loves secondary school as there is some work that actually chllenges him. He seems very ambitious and loves whipping up a crowd. Just elected to student council, his description of his speech and promises he knows he cannot keep rather scared me. He is very good at manipulating to try and get what he wants. Concerned a career in politics may be for him. We encourage but I think that he needs to be a child first and foremost and we have not pushed.

I think all people have gifts to give, worried I sound a bit like an old hippy. My dsis has no qualifications whatsoever but she is the kindest most giving human I have ever met.

I do feel like the dim one at home these days.

arkestra Mon 15-Oct-12 23:16:01

A common problem with kids that are strong at analytical thought is that they can get used to coasting and then find it difficult to deal with situations where they can't do the work with one hand tied behind their backs.

In the end they end up hitting a wall at GSCEs/ALevels/Degrees/LifeInGeneral and unable to get a purchase. This can be surprisingly traumatic.

So rather than hot-housing and forcing growth along lines that the kid is clearly already wonderful at, figure out the stuff they are not so good at, and be encouraging when they give that a go. Very important to get them used to trying on the stuff that they don't find a breeze. Also to make them realise that there is maybe more to life than the stuff they are best at.

Personal story - I was a reader at 2, maths whizz too, up to Cambridge 1 year early - then finally started having to work in final year of maths degree and realised - horror of horrors - that I was not actually good enough to be an academic! Did I have a plan B? Did I hell. Struggled through post-grad year, mucked around in various jobs, found stuff that suited me in the end. But I had it easy. I saw people who had been maths whizzes hit a wall halfway through their first year and that looked a heck of a lot more painful.

If your kid is happy and secure and has friends and has some coping strategies for dealing with situations where they can't just flash on the right thing to do then they will be OK. But you know this already really.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 23:29:36

I was thick as shit, special ed for most things, dd is on the cusp of G&T not really recognised or used in dds school, they use top 5 % when referring to dd, I assume the mean top 5% in class rather than whole population but you never know, she astounded all professionals when a baby, but 6 1/2 it is evening it's self out and she less of the protagy she was expected to be, so yes relax, you can't map out a 4 month olds future, he will be amazing and adorable no matter what he does.

cory Wed 17-Oct-12 10:10:12

I think the OP would be doing her ds a massive dis-service if she assumed his giftedness (if any) would have to be a negative thing just because it was for her.

I was a gifted child who was isolated because I thought myself was different from my peers. Dd uses her intelligence to understand where other people are coming from and relate to them. That's two different ways of using very similar sets of brains. And it is at least partly down to choice. I could have made those choices and I didn't.

She has her own problems in life, but at least she hasn't got mine: I am glad I never lumbered her with the assumtion that she would have to.

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Nov-12 23:16:28

I was top average - got into grammar school. DH is hyper bright and sporty.

DS (who is now 18 and has an offer to read Classics at Oxford) was hyper alert as a baby - he just looked as though he was absorbing things all the time. He picked things up quickly and more or less went into reception reading. He asked questions from the minute he woke up to the minute he went to sleep (he didn't sleep much) and was always active and demanding. Easily the cleverest boy in the class at primary and always in the top third of one of London's most academically elite independents. Also in the first XV, very musical and very sociable. Oh, and lest I forget 11 A*s at GCSE (or equivalent) and one A without working especially hard.

I'm afraid I knew when he was about two to three weeks old.

DD was quieter, quirkier, sweeter, easier. Always on top table at primary but only just, actually very bright but bright on a more "normal" scale. I knew when she was two to three weeks old too. She was reading Harry Potter by age 6 but there wasn't the same edge.

But now comes the rub - dd is the grafter and is the perfectionist so it will be interesting to see which one is ultimately the most successful.

Bink Sun 11-Nov-12 17:48:26

arkestra, you have put it all very neatly. And I've heard from others of the maths 'Wall'.

I would only add that, given all children come in all shapes and sizes and personalities, brightness just tends to add an extra extended dimension to that - ie, an extreme of personality/preference - so hazeldog, what you want to be doing with your little person is watch out for how he is bright, what makes him tick, what gets him up in the morning (which you'll find out soon enough) and then make sure you encourage him to do everything else (and I mean that, deliberately don't play to his strengths). The difficulty with the driven clever ones is that they get such a buzz from what they love, that getting a grip on finding pleasure in other things is a hard lesson, and increasingly hard the older they get.

Cat98 Tue 13-Nov-12 17:52:40

Not read all the replies (will later) but in response to the OP:
I was flagged up as "gifted" - I was doing all sorts including reading passages from CS Lewis at 3 and a half (I know this to be true as I have heard a tape!)
It wasn't just reading - there were other things and I was put a year above my age in primary school. I stayed way ahead through primary, then won a scholarship to one of the best private schools in the country.
Tbh it was a shock for me to go from being one of the best in the class to only just in the top third. I also began to discover other things (teenage stuff - boys etc!) and stopped trying or being academicly motivated at all. This sadly continued throughout my teenage years, and although I still did well academically (7As 3Bs at GCSE, 2 As and a B at A Level, 2:1 at Uni) I don't feel I fulfilled my potential (because I wasn't motivated to find a "career" at all and just didn't work very hard at Uni/school).
As a consequence I am doing a job that I only needed GCSEs for!

DS is showing signs of being v intelligent if not gifted, (in reception) and he is less able at reading than I was but more numerate. DH and I are going to encourage him to find a career to aim for when he is in his teens tbh. I think that's partly where I fell down.

brooksiegirl Thu 15-Nov-12 05:31:17

DD started reading at age 2yrs 9mos. That's when we first started she might be above average. She talked early, hit milestones early, etc. But because she was our first we didn't have anything to compare her to.

Agree with other posters, enjoy the early years because life with a gifted child (as you well know) can get complicated fast.

rhetorician Thu 15-Nov-12 23:06:19

<wonders idly about dd2, aged 11 months, shouting 'up the stairs' as she clambered up>

mine are too small to know - dd1 is coming up to 4 and certainly not g&t in any obvious way, although she does ask very smart questions and come out with some great insights. But I am sure this is true of all reasonably bright 4 year olds.

I think I would now be classed as gifted, but this wasn't a category at the time, except for the truly extraordinary (I was/am very smart, but nothing out of the ordinary range of highly intelligent). I did well in school, but this was a matter of personality (wanted to please people), and at university, and am now well advanced in an academic career.

LaQueen Fri 16-Nov-12 15:07:43

When DD2 had just turned 3, her nursery key worker told us, she had been putting dinosaurs into a toy box, counting as she did so - then taking 2/3 out at a time, and doing the mental subtraction in her head (all correct) - then she pointed to 5 dinosaurs on the shelf, and said 'If I put those in here, there would be 17 dinosaurs in the box, altogether' (again correct).

Probably not explained that very well - but, basically she could do mental arithmetic when she had just turned 3.

Although, we didn't often visit, when she was 4, she could recall the exact road directions to Grannie's house e.g. 'First you turn right, then left, then it's another left, then you turn right, then another right...' etc. Grannie lived over an hour away, and the list of twists and turns was quite long, and complex.

DH had very similar abilities from being very little, especially the maths and the memory capacity.

I certainly didn't have the maths ability. But, at 7 I was assessed and had the reading level of 15+ (so basically adult ability), and I have almost perfect memory recall over a 24-36 hour period.

I aced my A Levels with very little effort (the memory trick came in very useful). And, also got a good degree, despite only ever attending about a third of my lectures, and barely skim reading any of the set texts. Again the memory trick helped enormously.

To some extent I have lost the memory trick now, though. Too tired, and over 40... smile

LaQueen Fri 16-Nov-12 15:12:31

To add, DD2 is far, far more like DH than me. He didn't need much sleep, even as a 5 year old. At 9 he was breezing through O Level Maths papers. Won the Maths prize every year, at his SS boys grammar, passed the Oxford Open exam for maths (but didn't go, wanted Nottingham instead).

Also, both highly determined, and obsessively stubborn.

rhetorician Fri 16-Nov-12 16:45:36

sounds like a tough gig in your house, LaQueen what with 2 very smart very stubborn people.

LaQueen Fri 16-Nov-12 19:13:03

rhet I've had 21 years to train DH...and have just used similar tactics on DD2 wink

Wallison Mon 19-Nov-12 01:41:59

I don't know enough about child development to know if there's generally any correlation between baby milestones and being gifted and talented. But I do know that my own son failed to meet any of his baby milestones by quite a long way. He didn't start rolling over until he was six months old. He couldn't sit unsupported until he was 8 months. I was really quite worried about him He eventually started crawling when he about 10 months (mostly backwards) and started trying to walk at 13 months, at which point all of his speech went completely, because he was trying so hard to walk, which he didn't manage until 18 months. I honestly thought that he was just going to be one of those kids who struggles with everything and would always need help, support and monitoring.

Fast forward a few years and the school put him on the gifted and talented register and while he's never going to be a world-class gymnast or anything he certainly doesn't have any mental or physical problems - he was just following his own little curve, just as he is now and as presumably he always will do. Whether or not this means staying on the gifted and talented list I have no idea but suspect it won't, at least not forever, because he will just do what he can do when he can do it. I mean, I do encourage him and everything, but knowing that things have changed so much for him compared to when he was tiny, I am more than prepared that they'll change again, probably many times as he grows up. I suspect it's the same for a lot of if not most kids.

Wallison Mon 19-Nov-12 11:17:59

Oh yes and I only found out he was classed as 'gifted' because the school told me - I didn't personally think that he was, particularly, because what he was doing was normal for him iyswim.

ilikenoodles Tue 20-Nov-12 21:25:18

I don't think my son is "gifted" but he has from a very early age, shown a huge interest in letters and numbers - he started reception in september being able to read really well and continues to show an avid interest...me on the other hand, as thick as two short planks and only (at age 24) got my English GCSE! I got an A and was very pleased with myself!! grin

I know that just because you can read and do maths early doesn't automatically mean your going to sail through school or that you have a high IQ but I will always try to encourage his interest - teacher told me he is gandt at parents evening but I assume this means he's just a head slightly rather than a prodigy

Wallison Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:12

Yes, that's what I think about it too, ilikenoodles. I don't really know what their criteria are but I suspect it's just taking say the top 10% in a class and saying that they are gifted and talented. I mean, I know I'm not raising the next Mozart or Einstein or whatever. He's bright, yes, but he's not a genius (which is probably a good thing on balance - genius must be quite a lonely place to be).

Wallison Tue 20-Nov-12 22:20:31

Oh and congratulations on your GCSE!

ilikenoodles Wed 21-Nov-12 09:38:32

Thanks Wallison thanks

The g & t thingy just shows me that they are aware of what he can do/likes to do and are supporting him, which is exactly how I felt with my eldest DS who is a bit more like his mum, poor boy smile- when he was in reception and probably below average

Pyrrah Wed 28-Nov-12 13:26:57

arkestra - I think you so right.

Both DH and I were classed as 'gifted' (ugh) as children - and have the psychologist's reports, scholarships etc to go with it.

Neither of us were particularly happy growing up and struggled a lot on the social front - me more than him, maybe it's easier to be a geeky boy than a geeky girl?

Our DD has always seemed very bright, has hit all her milestones early and has an enquiring mind. Intelligence doesn't vanish, so we have been putting all our efforts into non-academically linked activities for her. I picked an unstructured nursery and we don't have letters on the fridge or 'educational' television.

If she is miles ahead of her classmates it will do her no favours either socially or academically. More important is making sure that she is confident and enjoying herself. We take her to museums and things where she can learn general knowledge and see interesting things, but we don't do letters or numbers or reading & writing.

I do sometime do an internal wince when a friend says that her DD who is a couple of month older/younger can do x, y and z and I wonder if I have done DD a diservice by not having anything learning orientated in the house.

She does know her numbers and can count objects as well as read a few words, but that has just happened along the way, I don't encourage or discourage.

If once she starts school she seems to be coasting, or struggling, or to be very academic then I will take a more active role. At the moment we are just researching what options are open to us in terms of future schooling.

FWIW, I think you can pick out some very, very bright kids from very early on. However there are plenty of exceptionally bright kids who definitely sit back and take it easy for the first years of life and you wouldn't spot them for ages.

silverbangles66 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:03:00

Hi, I'm new and just skimmed the thread but your OP resonated.

I was very bright but moved schools and countries almost every year, did loads of different exams, O'levels, O'grades, international bac. Did modern languages at Durham, didn't have a clue about science, non existent work ethic. I (got) wasted so much

My dd v bright, scholarship at non selective independent, dd also v bright, got my work ethic though...

Totally understand the existential angst worry. I have tried to encourage sport, music and social life. She seems pretty well rounded and I am very conscious she is not me.

Therapy helped my a lot to remember that, just a thought. In the meantime, enjoy your lovely baby!

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