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normal development compared to gifted/talented

(107 Posts)
moomin86 Mon 25-May-15 22:36:05

Hi there

I just wanted to ask what is `normal` or average development for a 16 month old and what are the signs that they may need to be challenged more as they get older or that they may be more advanced or `gifted`?

Ive found it hard discussing my daughter with people as I don't want people to feel I am boasting but I am unsure if I should be thinking about development and how we can support her as she gets older or if this is normal behaviour that will even out, or is it to early to tell?

When is the appropriate time to ask for help? as I feel she is completely different from her peers. I feel like I can't keep up with her but if I try and speak to friends I find the response negative and people become very defensive. I feel like a fish out of water and am concerned about getting her into an environment that will understand her needs. Her nursery have moved her up to try and challenge her more and I know she is no where near school age but I did not think she would be doing the things she is at this age but am unsure if my expectations are wrong as Ive never had a child before

Thanks in advance

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 25-May-15 22:42:36

I don't think there is any need to panic or try extra hard, as long as she is happy and active and interested that will be enough - just follow her lead.

What sort of things is she doing?

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 25-May-15 22:45:56

for what it's worth, my eldest could do a 60 piece jigsaw with no picture when he was 3 and my younger son could recite an entire book before he was 2 (and he could say a few words before he could sit up - and those words were in answer to trigger questions). However at 14 and 13, they are both bright but not genius level by any stretch - i'd say in the top 25% of their class.

zzzzz Mon 25-May-15 22:47:14

I'm not really sure what you mean by "gifted and talented" I don't think you should be worried at all about keeping up with your toddler. What sort of issues are you thinking you/she will face?

ImperialBlether Mon 25-May-15 22:49:15

Life was so much easier before 'gifted and talented' was invented. People were just happy with what their child could do instead of trying to measure them against some chart or other.

moomin86 Mon 25-May-15 23:00:28

Im not saying that she is gifted as she does not do half of what some other kids can do from what i've been reading on this post but I find it difficult when shes so different from her peers...its my personal issue lol. Shes very articulate and can identify many objects even if only shown once and told what the object is.She knows well over 140 words and is starting to speak in 3 worded sentences.She said her first word at 7 months old (mum, dad, cat and dog). Shes just starting to say words that I thought were quite difficult for her age such as butterfly, umberella. She adores books and can identify 6 of her phonics as well as the numbers 1 2 3 4 and will point to them and say what they are and will read them off of signs and objects (i know compared to some of the kids on these posts thats nothing!) but to me and my circle of friends its very different. We can negotiate with her. She will ask for her milk and cry, if I say we need to get changed for bed first she will stop crying and get changed for bed (with help)she fully understands what I am saying. Shes started to understand concepts such as something being up side down-she holds her books the wrong way up and says up side down and has started to lay her teddys and dolly's in a line on the floor and says laying down and if she spills water on the floor or on herself she tells me its wet. She's very social but prefers being with older children. Shes not particularly interested in puzzles. Today she started to say `how do you do` whilst shaking your hand which is what got me thinking she was a bit different and her learning has become very accelerated in the last few weeks its like an explosion.

I suppose I just find it hard that she's unlike the other children she knows altho reading some of the posts on here it sounds like shes not that different to some other kids and is probably just bright.

moomin86 Mon 25-May-15 23:02:13

I think I worry that as she gets older she won't be challenged or she will feel different but maybe she will even out and slow down with her learning.

zzzzz Mon 25-May-15 23:04:51

I think that sounds in the same ball park as most 16 month olds. I have known.

Strictlyison Mon 25-May-15 23:11:01

You sound very worried - and you shouldn't. She sounds lovely, with excellent verbal skills. As a child minder, I have looked after children of different abilities, and advanced verbal skills can be very confusing. I have looked after children (mostly girls) who can talk loads by 18 months, and understand/talk about concepts by two years old. However, my own son didn't speak before he was 3 years old and is G&T in maths and science. Verbal skills are just that - verbal skills. Some children talk by 9 months old - other can walk by 8 months old.

In my honest opinion, all children are bright in their own way - verbal. Physical, emotional and in building relationships. Just try and enjoy - and not to compare. All parents feel that their child is special - because they are!

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 25-May-15 23:11:23

I think it will take a few years before she outgrows what you can do with her grin

Just keep doing what you are doing, talking and being interested in things and you wont go far wrong.

I remember DS1 learning his colours when he was about that age and he kept trying to lick anything that was orange as he clearly thought it would taste of orange which I though was pretty clever smile

DS2s first word at about 7 months was "yellow". You would say to him (whilst pointing at something yellow for effect) "what colour is that DS2?" and he'd answer correctly - it was a pretty cool party trick. he'd also make a sound of an elephant on cue smile

Your little one certainly sounds like she is ahead of a lot of others but to an extent it does close up a bit - encourage her vocabulary as much as possible it's very valuable.

DS2 used to use words in his written work at about 6/7 that were seriously impressive in that he knew the context etc. However he had no idea how they were spoken as he'd only ever seen them written down grin

moomin86 Mon 25-May-15 23:13:33

maybe its the group of friends I know as many of our friends have children the same age and many of them aren't speaking yet and none of them are forming sentences. None of them know there phonics or numbers etc. Its not just one or two its all of them we know which is what got me questioning her developmet

I suppose it depends on what other types of children you know. I suppose our exposure to different types of children has been limited so its good to get some in put from other people as to what other kids do at this age.

UnsolvedMystery Mon 25-May-15 23:14:11

There is nothing in your description that sounds like it would be a cause for concern. She's doing fine. The notion of gifted and talented is so incredibly unhelpful - just let her play like any normal toddler.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 25-May-15 23:18:20

She sounds very bright to me! My twenty month old is not doing any of those things.

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 25-May-15 23:21:09

To give a bit of context, my ndn little one is 2.5, same age as my great niece. Great niece was walking by 9 months and up to all sorts of stuff, could use an ipad to play games etc whilst ndn DD didn't walk until nearly two and has only recently started to talk, however both girls have similar physical abilities despite the gap in walking and ndn DD is catching fast in the talking stakes - she doesn't speak in sentences yet, but is quite funny in her understanding. She knows all the neighbours names and calls out to everyone correctly. The other day I was talking to her and was calling her "Cheeky Cheeks", next time I saw her instead of calling out my name, she called me cheeky cheeks and had a huge grin and a twinkle - she knew exactly what she was doing. Whist Great niece is very verbal, i don'k think she would do that, ndn DD is much more socially skilled.

UnsolvedMystery Mon 25-May-15 23:22:34

If you spend time with your child doing phonics and numbers, they will learn phonics and numbers. Other kids might be good at throwing and catching because that's what they spend time doing. Another child might be solving big jigsaw puzzles because that's what they enjoy.

Kids get good at the things they do a lot of - some are seen as bright because they take to an academic skill (like reading) very quickly and easily, but it really isn't a good indication of their intelligence - it is far too early to make any kind of assessment.

Keep doing a range of different activities and she will continue to thrive.

velouria Mon 25-May-15 23:30:47

My dd was also a very verbal child, she seemed to have an interest in words/letters etc, spoke early, taught herself to read basically, could read anything you chucked in front of her by the time she was out of nursery. She was also very good in the comprehension stakes, not just being able to read, but understand and interpret what she read. She is now almost 12 and a very articulate and mature girl, she is !ovely, but not a genius, she has an amazing vocabulary, and is nmuch better in the spelling and grammar stakes than me.

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 25-May-15 23:35:10

I have no idea what my DSs vocabulary is like now as he is a teenage boy so only speaks to people far cooler than his old mum and dad grin

velouria Mon 25-May-15 23:37:07

I have to say,140 words by 18 months doesn't sound that far ahead??? I'm not trying to be mean, just saying that my daughter was talking fluently by that point and knew more words than I could count, still not a genius grin

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 25-May-15 23:40:14

I do think that you have to assume at this age that you are providing her with what she needs. Keep doing what you're doing and see where it goes. You plainly aren't stifling or ignoring her but encourage a whole range of activities to give her a chance to grow in which ever direction she chooses. She may be just a chatterbox or she may be English Lit at Oxbridge material but what matters right now is feeling loved, confident and learning how to coexist with other children.

Marcipex Mon 25-May-15 23:46:26

Her language skills sound good, it usually is girls who talk early ime.
I'd suggest lots of singing, dancing, rhymes, stories.
Do puzzles with her, shape matching is an important skill.
I don't think you need extra help with her, just enjoy and follow her lead.

LatinForTelly Mon 25-May-15 23:47:14

She sounds very bright to me. None of the kids, not one, that I have known has said 140 words by 16 months.

Mistigri Tue 26-May-15 07:33:56

I would be reassured that very verbal girls tend to be the easiest sort of "G&T" children to cater for.

140 words at 16 months is unusual but I'm surprised the previous poster has never come across a child with this many words. We kept a record of DD's vocab as a baby as part of a research project into bilingual children and we stopped counting at around 15 months IIRC (when she got to the "vocabulary explosion" stage and the new words came thick and fast).

It sounds like the nursery are doing the right thing and tbh that's all you have to worry about right now. DD was an early talker and very early reader. Primary school had its moments but she's doing more than fine at a normal comprehensive school.

JustRichmal Tue 26-May-15 07:35:58

I don't think talking early is a sign of intelligence any more than walking early is a sign of a future Olympic runner. I think it is something to do with how the voice muscles are developing.

It is hard to say with such a young child what her intelligence is and so what her learning potential is. However, a learning potential is just that, a potential to learn. The only way to realise the potential is to teach them. I used to love teaching dd and by all the things your daughter knows already, it sounds as though you also enjoy teaching your daughter. I think this only becomes a problem if it is not done in a way which is fun for the child or it is not balance with other things like play and socialising with other children. From your post it does seem like you are getting the balance right.

I never really wondered what my dd's learning potential was, if she was gifted or merely bright, I just loved teaching her and she loved learning.

When she goes to school, being academically ahead of the others may be a problem, but cross that bridge when you come to it.

BertrandRussell Tue 26-May-15 07:39:37

She sounds advanced for her age- and it also sounds as if you are doing what is necessary for her. Can you explain why you are worried?

zzzzz Tue 26-May-15 08:38:23

I don't think talking early is a sign of intelligence any more than walking early is a sign of a future Olympic runner.


As far as bridging the gap once they start school, I think you just toddle on. The difference between ability in any class at school is huge. Just aim to help her grow kind and happy.

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