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Characteristics of a gifted toddler?

(20 Posts)
Mbcroft2214 Mon 14-Jul-14 19:38:46

I've been apprehensive of posting a thread like this, but I am looking for some feedback as a first time mama. I am in no way attempting to brag about my child. I think all children are precious and a joyous gift. I am just looking for feedback as I have found that research online is very sparse on the subject and so I'm looking for feedback and experiences from parents of gifted children.
My only son is 23 months old and he seems to display signs of being advanced. I do understand that all children develop at different rates, but I have people constantly telling me how he is advanced and smart for his age. My plan is to homeschool, and would like to prepare myself should we need material that is more advanced than the typical curriculum.

At 23 months:
- counts to 20
- says abc's in English and French and recognizes all letters
- recognizes the following shapes (oval, rectangle, square, circle, triangle)
- put 3-word sentences together
- able to repeat EVERY word he hears (or attempts to if not 100% precise)
- prefers to play with older children only
- barely slept as a newborn (cat napped 15-20 min)
- Knows colours with 85% accuracy
- very sensitive (senses emotions and change in environment)
- extremely curious - always needs to know how to put things together and how things work
- very good memory (memorized songs after 2x of hearing them)
- very active, high energy and needs constant stimulation
- loves being read to
- can count objects with 80% accuracy

Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing your experiences!

CPtart Mon 14-Jul-14 19:55:01

No idea if your DS if gifted or not although he does sound very bright. At 23 months my DS did some of the above (he is now 11 so hard to remember!) but I do remember him saying very clearly "They're daddy's keys" at 21 months. He stopped napping at 12/13 months, also needed constant stimulation-sat for hours with books etc.
He has just received level 5's in all subjects in his SATS, so clever enough maybe, but certainly not gifted. I would hesitate to label your DS at such a young age. Enjoy him, stimulate him with experiences and see where you're at in 18 months time.

DuckandCat Mon 14-Jul-14 19:57:20

He sounds like your average, bright 2yo to me!

You might find this helpful.



insanityscratching Mon 14-Jul-14 19:58:57

Ds is 24 now and gifted so as a toddler he would hold proper conversations from 15 months, he started talking at seven months. He could recognise makes and models of cars, flags of the world, road signs before he was two alongside numbers letters and shapes.He could memorize anything and still can tbh and he was a little devil most of the time into everything and not easily pacified but he was good fun as well.
Enjoy your little one, they grow up so quickly.

Hattifattiner Mon 14-Jul-14 20:00:16

At this stage children learn through play. Don't force what might loosely be described as "academic" skills but keep playing and keep interacting and responding to him. Playing with older children sounds like fun.
Enjoy his natural curiosity, when his enthusiasm is not too exhausting.
But don't worry about labels such as 'gifted and talented' at this age.

ChazzerChaser Mon 14-Jul-14 20:10:14

Have you trained him to do these things?

I know people who can get their toddler to do all sorts, because they've trained them to do it, often at the expense of letting them develop and explore of their own volition. It can be rather limiting as they learn isolated tasks rather than developing their own skills. On the other hand I know people whose toddlers just do some things early if their own initiative, including some on your list and other things you've not listed. Whether it's unusual depends on how they've come to do these things I'd say.

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 14-Jul-14 20:30:11

He certainly sounds bright. My dd could talk in quite long sentences at that age, and recognise colours, but not most of the other stuff you have mentioned (indeed at 27 months she can't do all of it now). I wouldn't by any means say she was "gifted", but nursery are moving her up to their pre-school four months early, as they think she is a little advanced. I do think it means very little at this age though - my friend's dd couldn't talk at 2, and at 4 she is amazing at reading, writing, numbers etc.
We don't really do anything different with her at home, don't spend loads of time doing letters etc, just lots of play (interminable craft, and endless time spent hiding under the bedclothes pretending we are being chased by "a bear and a dinosaur"). I think when children are so little that's the main thing, just to nurture their imaginative a and emotional development. I'm no expert, that's just what feels right to me.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 14-Jul-14 23:30:42

at 23 months dd was beginning to do one more and one less to 3 bits of pasta she was also demanding I write the names of people I drew. (not sure my finger has recovered from being grabbed and jabbed onto the paper with the word name) she could distinguish mummy/daddy and her name from a few words. just before 23 months I was worried she was not going to make her fifty words, then she decided to talk. and has never stopped

different presentation. tested gifted. ( after issues with school) she has physical issues so all her physical milestones are at the end of the normal range.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 14-Jul-14 23:38:44

on the other hand. ds recognised his letters at age 2.5... and did not blend for another two years...

children are different. will appear at different places on the bell curve. even children with the same score will have a different profile of strengths and weaknesses. some gifted children will have dyspraxia, or dyslexia, or ASD, or adhd and these can make spotting giftedness tricky. some are clever enough but not at all inclined to be academic, prefering to coast or put their efforts elsewhere.

mumsnet can have the view that children are not gifted unless they are in the profoundly gifted range...

Lovelydiscusfish Tue 15-Jul-14 06:59:22

That is a good point BlackeyedSusan - the children acknowledged as gifted on here often seem to be phenomenally advanced, and children who would in the real world be seen as gifted are seen as just normal (and as if it was a bit wrong for their parents to wonder if they were gifted in the first place!)
OP, you probably know this, but there is a homeschooling board on here where you will get good advice on gathering resources etc. I don't homeschool myself, but am interested so have a look sometimes!

FellReturneth Tue 15-Jul-14 07:47:09

But does it matter? if they are not 'phenomenally' gifted then surely they are just bright as a button but within the normal parameters of being so? And that's fine, lovely, something to be proud of, something to enjoy, but hardly newsworthy or deserving of some special status. It doesn't require anything from the parent, or from anyone else for that matter, so why the desire to put a label on the child?

My eldest could do things like recognise/say all the letters of the alphabet and 'read' car number plates at 2, but these were games we'd learned together, they were set party pieces if you like. He could put two words together at 13 months, make actual sentences at 15 months, (that was just something he did by himself, I didn't consciously try to 'teach' him that any more than we all try to 'teach' or children to speak). He had a list of well over 100 words by about 12-13 months, memorised quite long and complex pages of text from his story books at 2.5 (he was definitely memorising, not reading) indeed he memorised several whole books and use to 'read' them aloud to his baby brother. And he always had a remarkably advanced vocabulary compared to his peers.

I wondered if he was extraordinarily clever, but he really wasn't - he just had one or two particular skills which he enjoyed developing. But by the time he was five or six he was merely the right side of average. We had no particular worries about him but he certainly wasn't massively advanced in anything - with the exception of perhaps vocabulary.

He's an adult now and I can say that although he is bright enough and has a degree, he has never particularly excelled academically, in any subject.

I think the education system has done children a great disservice by assigning so many of them the label of 'giftedness' in schools. Like many other things, (impaired vision, being on the autistic spectrum,) there is a sliding scale of affectedness and the people at the bottom end of it barely warrant mentioning, while the people at the extreme end of it are usually quite seriously afflicted by the traits that come with the label of giftedness, as much as they might be blessed by them. It's not something to wish on your child lightly.

The fact that you have already planned to home school suggests to me that you have decided ahead of time that you will have a child who is super bright; it's as though you have desired some kind of 'otherness' upon him. If your child is bright and inquisitive and quick to pick things up, then that's wonderful and just be content with that. Don't rush to turn it into a Thing, for Gawd's sake.

6031769 Tue 15-Jul-14 22:26:00

he sounds like my DS at 23 months (except the french) and i think i may have posted similar thread at the time. DS is now 4 and about to start school after the summer. From end of year reports from preschool he stills seems to be advanced academically in particular in maths. He is a very impractical child though and still struggles with things like dressing himself!!

Its a large intake school he's going to and they get put into groups for numeracy/ phonics after a few weeks so will be interesting how things pan out.

Am aprehensive about him starting school as thing it could go two ways, he either get on brilliantly or be a total nightmare (sure they'll be no inbetween)

Lovelydiscusfish Tue 15-Jul-14 23:04:50

FellReturneth, not sure that her desire to homeschool necessarily implies she has preconceived ideas about her child's abilities. Maybe she just believes in homeschooling!

Mbcroft2214 Wed 16-Jul-14 00:39:34

Lovelydiscusfish - that's exactly the case. I truly believe in homeschooling, no matter what level of abilities. I was afraid of getting responses like some I've recieved sad

Mbcroft2214 Wed 16-Jul-14 00:40:36

But thanks for sticking up for me smile

Happy36 Wed 16-Jul-14 00:47:04

He sounds like a bright, inquisitive boy who has been well stimulated. On the basis of what you have said here there is no clear evidence that he's gifted, but if you want to know, take him for assessment. However, experts may say they can't assess him fully until he is 4 or 5.

In the meantime he might enjoy learning a musical instrument and be stretched by some more challenging books.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 16-Jul-14 19:47:00

Fell gifted children can have problems whatever their level of giftedness and wherever they are on the bell curve. The higher the IQ the more the likelihood of difficulties, but not necessarily in every case.

giftedness is a continuum, starting at 130ish IQ (different testsgift slightly different scores) profoundly gifted children are up towards 170 and higher.. a child with a score of 130 is significantly different to a child with an average score of 100. a child of 160 is as different again..

LittleMissGreen Thu 17-Jul-14 10:20:21

I think it is very hard to tell at 23months. When DS1 was that age I thought he was gifted - he could tell you all about Henry VIII and his wives, knew all the enzymes that were involved in digestion, could look at pictures of items and just know how many there were, knew all his letters. He is now 12 and is bright but certainly not gifted, not in the true sense of the word. High end of set1 at secondary school across the board, but not streets ahead of the set.

rocketjam Thu 17-Jul-14 10:33:37

Opposite here. DS was late developer in all areas. First words at 2.5, first sentence after 3 years old. Struggled to make eye contact, didn't respond to his name for ages, didn't babble. Now G&T in maths, he has an amazing understanding of mathematical concepts, exceptional visual memory. He has been tested and tested for autism but he is not on the autistic spectrum - now at 7 he has many friends, is exceeding all expectations at school, and is on G&T list for maths. However I don't think anyone think he is 'bright' because he has a speech disorder and people generally underestimate him.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Jul-14 20:23:19

I had an inkling at a similar age that DD was gifted. I kept my council and discussed it with no one.
She didn't read before she went school, but had completed most of the KS1 maths.
We have had ups and downs on the path to where we are now, year 2 a teacher who just didn't like DD and dismissed her. This year teachers who have failed to identify clear targets for DD and she has been allowed to coast.
But she is nearly achieving the potential her CAT scores shows she has coming into year 6. Getting ready for the eleven plus it is pleasing to see what she really can pull out of the bag.
Coming to my point remember education is a marathon not a sprint.

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