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

(75 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.

exexpat Sat 09-Mar-13 15:12:35

DS was obsessed with transport, mainly trains. He could identify all the different types of train in the Tokyo rail network by the age of 3, and even tell people how to get from one named station to another (which lines, where to change etc) even though he obviously couldn't read the maps at the time. We were living in Tokyo at the time, obviously. He was also obsessive about numbers and maths from a fairly early age, though perhaps not quite as early as 2 or 3.

Yes, I did wonder for a while about ASD, particularly reading things about obsessively lining up/categorising toys, but he's now 14 and definitely doesn't have ASD, although he does have a few quirks.

VinegarDrinker Sat 09-Mar-13 15:19:54

Watching this with interest as we have a just-turned 2 year old DS who seems very keen on numbers and letters - knows whole phonic alphabet and recognises several words, numbers up to 35 etc (and memorizing bus and train numbers destinations) and a strong family history of autism/ASD. I don't have any other concerns about his social skills etc yet but obviously very aware of the ASD elephant in the room.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 09-Mar-13 15:20:36

Ds wanted to read, ask questions and talk. He knew the alphabet (in and out of sequence) a week after his first birthday and could count to 10. He knew the basic colours and shapes at this age as well. He's 13 now and ? Asp as social interactions can be tough. He's not really on the same plain as his peers though IYSWIM and gets on a lot better with adults as he doesn't see himself as a child. He started nursery at 2 and would rather sit and talk to the staff. He liked things but they were not really obsessions. We're still waiting for a diagnosis.

alwayslateforwork Sat 09-Mar-13 15:24:39

One of them (the most gifted on paper) couldn't walk or talk at all. Another one was bog standard average milestone toddler. The other one was doing addition and subtraction into the hundreds, had worked out multiplication and was using that to work out which coins to give in change, and had hit all milestones super-early, had a huge vocabulary and adult sentence structure well before two.

The one that was 'obviously' gifted has the lowest iq of all three on paper and is dx with ADHD, autistic traits, phobias and anxiety.

All three test gifted. Two of them are 2e. There's no law that says gifted kids can't also have cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, whatever.

You need to read 'misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis in gifted children'.

To be honest, there's no way to tell at 2. My kid with the early gifted freakery and the 2e dx is now 11, and I still don't know whether he really does have asd traits and whatever else, or if he is 'just' gifted. It can look very similar. But like I said, on paper he is the 'least' gifted of mine.

I have suspected co morbid asd in two of mine. Neither are dx fully, but one has recognised traits. The other one has cp.

crazynanna Sat 09-Mar-13 15:25:44

With my grandson, transport-wise it was cars, the model usually was the key for him. Anything mechanical/how it works...numbers were a big joy for him.

Also, massive interest in computers. Now aged 8, not so much bothered re the cars, but the computer,numbers is still prominant, and now he is fascinated with animal biology behaviour/physics (planets, movement etc)

alwayslateforwork Sat 09-Mar-13 15:26:42

Oh, I think I lied. The one I tend to think of as bog standard average actually knew her alphabet, recognised the letters, and was picking them out as word beginnings at 18 months. I always forget that, as I was away for the weekend when she started doing it!

sausagebaconandtomatobutty Sat 09-Mar-13 15:29:39

Dd used to line things up in various patterns, size order, colour spectrum shades, type of animals -but always in long, straight lines

She would talk -constantly! In full sentences from about 15months and was reading by the time she turned 3

She had no patience for role play games, only played games with rules and clear winners and losers and god help us if she lost

She liked to know the details of what was going to happen that day, where we were going, what time, what order we would visit the shops etc -really lacked the ability to be spontaneous

No one has ever suggested that she may be on the spectrum, or if they have they have never told me!

She was always chatty, confident, good eye contact and tactile -just liked things to be a certain way

ShowOfHands Sat 09-Mar-13 15:34:22

DD had no signs of asd at all. She was bright, self motivated, curious, always asking questions, learning was self-directed, independent and emotionally intelligent. She was the same as she is now, just smaller really and less mature obviously.

She could speak fluently aged 1 and was understanding maths and language v well at 2, reading by 3 and understanding division, multiplication etc. But socially she was fine, always very empathetic and in tune with others, kind and caring, no obsessions, no worrying behaviour, no tantrums. She was and is a very easy child but extremely bright.

DS is 18mo and broadly average in terms of development across the board and he is much more challenging. I have no worries about asd with him either but like most dc, you could pick out some behaviours which you would expect on the spectrum (routine loving, obsessive at times, self soothing movements, tantrums etc) but actually they're just a sign of immaturity for him as far as anybody can confidently ascertain at 18 months.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 09-Mar-13 15:47:52

I think the vast majority of the population will have traits of ASD if you look for them. It can be very hard to diagnose, especially in a very bright child who doesn't necessarily want to mix with their peers.

ChazDingle Sat 09-Mar-13 16:04:44

thats a good point ladymary i know i definately do!!

alwayslateforwork Sat 09-Mar-13 20:05:15

Am lolling at 'one of the main signs' (of being screened for autism) is that he is extremely good with numbers and letters.

That's straight from the DSM IV, that is. Not.

That's common or garden 'seen too many films about idiot savants', not a diagnostic indicator. (With the usual apologies for using the term).

lljkk Sat 09-Mar-13 20:42:32

Depends what you call gifted, dunnit. And what does "bright" mean, anyway. Seems to depend on context and opportunity, but on the basis DC have sometimes attracted such words...

No autism, but I now think one of them might have PDA which is comorbid.

Very ordinary as toddlers (actually, complete dunce brain morons by MN standards). No recognition of letters or numbers before 3yo, most of them had noticeable speech delay, too.

WarmAndFuzzy Sun 10-Mar-13 13:47:46

DS1 at 2/3 - Talked constantly, moved constantly, interested in everything but if someone got hurt he watched rather than empathised iykwim. Good eye contact, talked to anyone who would listen about whatever fascinated him at the time (and still does!). Not particularly interested in numbers, about average I'd say. Ran - a lot - and didn't stop when called so we had to get good at running! At 4 the school had him pegged as ADHD because of his movement and inattention, flitted from one thing to another because he was interested in everything.

Not an early talker, started at just before two with single words, but complicated sentences 3 months later. Not an early reader either, started learning in reception at 4 (July baby) but learned whole words instead of letter sounds (synthetic phonics, which school was pushing, didn't really do it for him). By the end of year two though he had a reading age of 10.5.

He's now 2e, diagnosed ASD and gifted (IQ somewhere in top half percent), top of his year in maths but socially hasn't got a clue (although he does have two or three friends who are, I have to say, a bit like him - though not diagnosed). Attention can be extremely focused, in contrast to earlier.

Hope that helps!

noisytoys Sun 10-Mar-13 14:09:41

I had literally no idea that DD1 was gifted (young mum, no idea of what was expected of a child and all that. Health visitor picked up on it and referred her to ed psych. She did tests and told me DD was gifted. DD had a Mensa membership from when she was 3 and she is totally different in personality to her peers but I don't know what exactly makes her gifted

Gruntfuttocks Sun 10-Mar-13 14:17:52

DS had formidable powers of concentration and would play happily alone for over an hour from just a few months old. Very 'self-contained' as a baby and young child. Had serial obsessions with various topics eg Thomas the Tank Engine from an early age. Late to talk (only a few words at 2) and swim / ride bike (9) but early walker and excellent fine motor skills.
School had concerns about ASD etc as he didn't interact with his peers (they bored him) but we were convinced he was fine, and indeed he was. Announced career intention aged 7 and stuck to it (now in second year of uni studying predicted subject).

crazynanna Sun 10-Mar-13 18:37:40

Yes also like Grunt says, my grandson was a late talker, and aged 8 he has just got the hang of his bike on 2 wheels, and cannot yet swim (although is in lessons)

Bink Sun 10-Mar-13 20:20:46

Ds (13) has no diagnosis, other than dyspraxia, but he is without question socially & behaviourally compromised, with sensory issues too, so undoubtedly 'spectrummy', even if no-one has been able to tick enough boxes. He is a brainbox.

I think early signs of, let's say, 'ordinary' giftedness are different from early signs of spectrummy giftedness. The former just is never a problem - the child may be charging through the early readers but at the same time just as interested in creating mud forts with any other friendly child in reach. The latter you notice because of somehow how much more pleasure the child seems to get out of impersonal skills & disciplines over (and instead of) mucking around in a heap with others like puppies - there is a sort of single-mindedness, and the social-instinct-related pleasures don't seem very much like pleasures.

Obviously there are going to be exceptions, but looking back, that's what made ds different. To answer the other question, his key sign of giftedness (which I loved, and he's still like it) was that he never asked "why?" about something, he asked "is that because ...?" and gave his own theory.

dashoflime Mon 11-Mar-13 02:53:20

I was a gifted child and by all accounts a total nightmare at that age.
My first sentence at 9 months was "Me dood it" (Me do it). It was my motto.
I was willful, hyper, stubborn. Didn't nap, didn't let up ever.

Poor old Mum, reckons she used to hold my hand and "just feel the energy draining out of me into you"

I got kicked out of ballet for being just generally too much blush
Even in the 1980's when ADHD was not a well known thing; A LOT of people tried to encourage my Mum to get me diagnosed and medicated.

Bless my Mum, she banned me from yellow smarties but otherwise just put up with my relentless, draining, activity and constant demands for stimulation.

I really do take my hat off to her, because sometimes I see kids who remind me a bit of myself and people just treat them like a problem to be managed. I'm so lucky to have a Mum who enjoyed me and fought my corner.

Bessie123 Mon 11-Mar-13 03:07:47

I was also a gifted child - my dad used to make me read The Times newspaper to dinner guests when I was 2 as a massive show off party trick. I used to have trouble with social cues. I still do, actually - I'm not very canny in social situations, and my mum used to think I was asd, although I am not. I am fine socially, I have lots of friends etc, but I can be a bit dense re picking up on social nuances. I also think I have ADD, which may impact.

Btw, I ended up being v bright, rather than gifted. When I last did an iq test, as a teenager, it was 166, which I don't think qualifies you to rule the world or anything, I think it is brighter than average but not genius. So I'm not sure how much the 'gifted' label means.

Imaginethat Mon 11-Mar-13 08:52:23

I think it depends on the gift as such. I remember my little brother doing intricate paintings, roses with each petal defined etc, at 3, something I still can't do. He is now... an artist.

sittinginthesun Mon 11-Mar-13 14:36:51

Not sure whether you'd class my boys as "gifted", but both v. bright. Both aware of numbers and colours at a very early age.

I was concerned about my eldest at 2-3 years. He was very sensitive, poor eye contact, could not stand enclosed spaces (I couldn't take him into a shop, for example). He spent most of his time in various imaginary worlds, had horrific nightmares, would sit on a mat at nursery and refuse to join in because he was "on another planet with his real friends").

He's 9 now, working 2-3 years ahead in all subjects, sociable, sporty, popular, confident, large group of friends.

I guess you just have to watch, support and see.

cory Mon 11-Mar-13 21:06:57

Gifted can mean so many different things.

Dd almost totally uninterested in numbers (and still is). But was very verbal, could understand complicated reasonings, used different tenses and understood about the past and the future earlier than any other children I knew, could argue the hind leg off a donkey, always asking questions and challenging what we said (how do you know? did you read it in a book? did you read it in the papers?). Always very interested in people, made up stories, had pretend friends, lied quite convincingly.

When ds came along a few years later I couldn't understand what was wrong with him: he didn't seem to get what I was saying or get the point of my anecdotes (errr yeah, that's because he's a normal 2-yo).

ChazDingle Tue 12-Mar-13 20:17:15

hi again thanks for all the comments. I've also had a lot of comments on the special needs board which are really useful. Guess it is just a question of wait and see

Chaz,my thanks for this thread. Very similar position to you and awaiting possible Dx of 2.3 yo DS who doesn't quite fit PDD or ASD or AS but is under investigation for them. 2.5 filmed session with educ. Psych. on Monday,filled in loads of questionnaires, seen developmental paed and now waiting for results and recommended interventions.

Thing is, DS just doesnt fit the triad of impairments for PDD/ ASD. H can cope with routine changes. He does do facial expressions and recognize them n ohers. He jokes, laughs, is silly for fun. Wide, not narrow range of interests, no stimming, good fine and gross motor skills, no sensory issues, eating issues, no health problems...but play is VERY self contained and can be highly focused for long stretches on whatever he is into, and he is socially absolutely not interested in other children and very shy with strangers. He is an only child.

It's all social problems. No natural smiling up, sharing and showing, no automatic collaborative reciprocal gaze, often chooses not to respond to name, ignores social overtures etc. But can be happily social with parents and trusted adults on his own terms. Treats play like fascinating work and gets annoyed if interrupted from concentrating. Cannot get enough of books. Wants to learn, learn, learn. Was terrible as a baby, wouldn't sleep, reflux, woke every two hours round the clock,screamed with frustration. Once he could communicate and run about he became so much happier. But he is not like his peers, won't play with his peers or even look at them or play near them, he stands out as the odd one out at playgroup, rhyme time, the park...he is off on one, not interested in anything other than what he is into.

Very very fast to learn anything he is interested in, astonishingly good memory for routes, stories - will fill in missing words of a story if i pause - without looking at book, after hearing it read only 2-3 times, and can still do so a week later. He can recognize words in a book and read them, can say numbers up to 50 if shown them, counts to ten and back again, counts up to six objects on a plate and can recognize if one or more removed and give new total, knows colours, shapes, various dinosaurs and all the trucks, started to talk in 2 word sentences at 2, now at 2.3 uses tenses, pronouns, plurals, dozens of verbs and adjectives, language is BOTH functional and echolalic - sometimes he seems very ASD, other times he is chattering on like a normal very verbal toddler, giving me a commentary on what he is doing, making conversation.

So I dunno. I just do not know. I mean, he's only 2. But all indications are early intervention can have huge benefits. He is meant to start pre school in September and at the moment I think he will HATE it. I need to help him cope. We manage fine with me devoting my waking hours to looking after him but how will he cope with the real world?

Sorry epic post.

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.

LaQueen Tue 25-Jun-13 16:32:30

Very interesting that several G&T children on here could just suddenly read one day, and never had to learn. And, that several have a fantastic memory for directions? I wonder if they're related?

LastOrdersAtTheBra Sun 07-Jul-13 00:10:17

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.

tricot39 Sat 13-Jul-13 20:37:16

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.

ChazDingle Sat 13-Jul-13 22:59:09

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)

Preeta Tue 10-Sep-13 21:28:04

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?

ChazDingle Sat 09-Nov-13 08:55:39

trucks and dinosars> Just wondering how your DS is getting on, think he was due to start pre school in sept?

Rockinhippy Sun 10-Nov-13 02:11:49

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

Rockinhippy Sun 10-Nov-13 02:18:12

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

freerangechickens Sun 10-Nov-13 02:25:49

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.

Att100 Thu 26-Dec-13 17:24:31

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.

Att100 Thu 26-Dec-13 17:34:07

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...

6031769 Sun 07-Sep-14 08:50:22

thread bumped for person asking about gifted and asd. This was my thread from about a year and a half ago (name changed).

Ididntseeitsoitdidnthappen Wed 17-Sep-14 17:01:18

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!

rocketjam Thu 18-Sep-14 21:16:27

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.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 18-Sep-14 21:20:04

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

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 18-Sep-14 21:20:40

(DD's ASD doesn't seem inherited)

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 18-Sep-14 21:22:01

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.

CrazyTypeOfIndifference Sun 21-Sep-14 23:00:06

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 blush

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' blush 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.

sanam2010 Wed 19-Nov-14 20:05:57

this is a good article about the differences between "mere giftedness" and high functioning autism:
www.geniusexperiment.com/2014/10/asperger-syndrom/

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.

pocopearl Thu 20-Nov-14 19:04:30

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...#

Wailywailywaily Fri 21-Nov-14 10:26:38

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 grin). He plays on his own but he far prefers to play with others.

Mistigri Fri 21-Nov-14 19:49:09

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).

Pelicangiraffe Mon 08-Dec-14 07:12:08

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.

Pelicangiraffe Tue 09-Dec-14 18:36:09

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.

Pelicangiraffe Tue 09-Dec-14 18:36:50

Sorry wrong thread

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