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Giftedness disappearing?? Anyone else experienced this at 6yo?

(151 Posts)
Pearlington Sat 15-Jun-13 20:05:20

Apologies for the length, but I feel I need to give some background to convey the problem. Dd was scary pretty much from birth. But now, age six, I find it seeming to disappear. It's so odd. Ill give some examples of milestones and intellectual prowess for context...

First speech 6 m
Picked out letters spontaneously 11 m
Sentence speech 13 m
Knew all alphabet letters - names and sounds - 14 m
Naming dozens of plants in Latin 16 m
Drawing recognisable faces 19 m
Asking philosophical, science and maths questions 20 m
Writing name 21 m
Reading 26 m

By 2.5 she spoke like an adult, read non fiction obsessively and had incredible insight and unending spontaneous deductive reasoning particularly in science and philosophy.

She was identified as gifted when she started a highly selective pre-prep nursery at 3 and was given Year 2 homework. In reception, the teacher said she may need to skip a year in a couple of years time and her stock phrase was, ?It must be so exhausting to be her. I?ve never seen a young brain active like that. She never stops experimenting with concepts, deducing how things work, analysing everything around her. It?s tiring listening to it and keeping up with it.? The head of pre-prep and school head jointly decided DD should have her own curriculum put in place from Year 2 on. However, starting Year 2, her new teacher told us the other kids had probably caught up over the summer so DD wouldn't need extension work.

Now, she remembers little of what she taught herself then and seems to have lost the endless thirst. She taught herself the names of all the bones in the body, how the organs worked, today she does not seem interested. The eternal incisive questioning has stopped and if I offer to explain something she says it?s boring and she doesn't want to know. If I ask her about things she used to love to discuss, she looks blank or gives a fairly thoughtless (or perhaps more age-appropriate) answer. If something looks challenging, she avoids it. Her brain never seems to get into gear.

She still says amazing things occasionally and about two months ago, I found her in the kitchen trying to extract DNA from her saliva - she'd found instructions in a book and got the whole experiment together on her own. Her reading age at 6 is pretty much adult. But all the burning curiosity and drive has weakened or even gone.

I've never pushed her but responded to her interests. Now I feel a little lost and confused as to what's gone on. I feel like I'm parenting a changeling. I asked her today if science still interested her and she said, "not like it used to. I'd like to know a bit more about cells.""What would you like to know about them?""I dunno". That was it. She has a Brian cox app and watches a lot on space. The only other relevant info I can think of is that I?m currently pregnant and have been seriously ill with my pregnancy and she seems to be suffering enormous self-esteem problems and keeps telling me she is stupid, a bad person and ? today ? a loser.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks so much in anticipation.

Prozacbear Wed 17-Jul-13 15:55:14

To me, it sounds like a self-esteem/wanting to fit in issue. Particularly the mood swings, the 'I dunno', the high level of self-criticism.

I was a little bit the same as your DD - not into science at all, it was books - although I say that and do remember asking my mum to buy me a pig's heart (at the age of 7...) as I'd found a biology book and wanted to do a dissection. I have no idea why she humoured me, but I had an excellent afternoon.

The point of that anecdote is that very bright and inquisitive children can seem intense, and their interests bizarre and a bit creepy (really!) to others - people wonder what sort of troubled child I was, doing dissections!

It makes you very very self critical (I still present as incredibly hard on myself on personality assessments) and prone to self-analysis. I think nipping that in the bud is the key - whether that's a counselor or a supportive teacher, or something else ... focus on her unhappiness as the issue, because if that changes, it's likely the rest will too.

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