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Looking back, at what age did you know your child was bright?

(66 Posts)
saladodger Wed 25-Feb-09 19:23:05

Just curious about whether a bright child is 'obvious' at a young age- was your early talker a bright child or did you have a late bloomer? Did you recognise it yourself or was it picked up at school?

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 19:29:04

When he started school so I had other children to compare him too. He was noticably advanced academically, I didn't see the things he could do very early as being anything special, I thought it was normal. Doh! blush I wasn't told anything by his school, I just mentioned on the info sheets you hand in that he could already read, count, add, subtract. I really did think all of the others could do this too.

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 19:32:06

He was obvious to other people IIRC, he'd completed all of his age 3 milestones at 2, I used to get people telling me all the time how advanced he was but never that he was really bright.

MollieO Wed 25-Feb-09 19:48:22

Picked up first by health professionals involved in ds's care and then his nursery. Early talker and incredible curiousity about everything. Lots of 'whys' long before his peers and never accepts a fobbed off explanation! He is bright but I wouldn't say G&T, although I'm not sure what actually qualifies for being G&T.

MollieO Wed 25-Feb-09 19:49:32


scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 19:50:47

G&T's a farce Mollie. Top 10% of each school, they could be the bottom in another IYSWIM.
I didn't see much of the health visitor. I didn't hear from them after ds had his 8 month check. hmm

crescent Wed 25-Feb-09 19:52:32

Well I'm a grandma but guess that doesn't matter on this question. My son has turned out to be very bright, grammar school, head boy, Oxford degrees etc etc. Haven't a clue where he gets it from But I certainly had no idea until he was about 8 or 9. He walked, talked and read later than his elder sister. Then his teacher when he was 8 told us that she thought he was exceptionally bright, felt rather stupid for not having realised myself! He is a maths person and still not a good speller I think I was judging more on the reading and spelling side of things which although not bad were not advanced at that stage.
And way back then we didn't have the Gifted and Talented category.

clam Wed 25-Feb-09 19:59:07

Talking non-stop. Singing recognisable tunes at under 18 months. Curiosity about everything. Self-motivated. Taught himself to read overnight, virtually. But then he went into reception, and ended up in the upper middling group and I kind of assumed it was normal. But, as an August birthday, he was a year younger, moreorless, than many others in his class. He was shifted up within a term or two - can't remember really. It seems irrelevant now. They are what they are, and as long as he's happy, motivated and interested at school, which he always has been, I haven't had to worry about him. Interestingly, DD, whose IQ is higher than his, didn't exhibit any of those things I mentioned, to the same degree at all.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 25-Feb-09 19:59:36

I think a lot of the early signs that lead people to believe they have got a mini-Einstein on their hands centre around milestones reached between 12-36months. Say talking earlier, wide vocabulary and complex sentence structure, quick to learn colours, numbers, shapes etc very interested in the world around them and early to read. They can be indications that a child is particularly bright, but equally by age seven or so, the precocious pre-schooler may be nothing out of the ordinary. I would say two out of my three were noticeably 'bright' as preschoolers - they are both deemed 'G&T' at school now but all that means as a previous poster said is that they are in the top 10% of their year group in that particular school - it doesn't mean that are geniuses.

scrooged Wed 25-Feb-09 20:09:05

Early reading gives them an advantage but I don't think it's the same as intelligence. ds could read texts that were years above his chronological age but he could apply them to everyday situations. He was reading horrible science books at 5 but could relate newtons laws to cars etc.
They have a G&T policy at his new school but I don't think it's for ds, he's a different ball game. I have no idea what they will do but I am expecting the educational psychologist to be called in. Should be interesting!

snorkle Wed 25-Feb-09 23:44:14

All parents are supposed to think their children are bright, so armed with this knowledge I assumed mine were just the bright side of normal. They've both turned out to be varying degrees of bright, and I'm still not really sure quite how bright they are now they're teenagers. How bright do you mean saladoger? Scrooged's son is rather exceptional by all accounts.

HMC Wed 25-Feb-09 23:48:12

I am still waiting for the epiphany

MollieO Thu 26-Feb-09 00:12:41

Health visitor was banned by my GP from seeing my ds! The health professionals he saw were paediatric consultants, GP etc. Generally people always think he is older than he is because of his questions and comments. He has got a very good memory but someone told me that is normal in children (can't remember who because I'm so old!). He can remember things in real detail from before he was 2 and he remembers things he has read once even if it was months ago.

I think reading and reciting numbers is a bit of a red herring in assessing brightness. As scrooged says it is whether they understand what they have read. Thankfully ds isn't as bright as your son sounds scrooged!

I think an educational psychologist might actually be really helpful. A friend of mine has been through that process with her very bright teenager and it was very helpful in understanding his learning style, strengths and weaknesses and getting appropriate support from the school.

scrooged Thu 26-Feb-09 00:51:55

I'm pleased (in a way) he's going back into the state system. The school he's just left thought it was OK to let him work at the top of his year (except for a very small bit of extension maths). At least I won't have to pay to have him assessed now. He's OK really, needs alot of help with social skills though. I'm hoping the move gives him friends closer to home so he has someone to play with at the weekends. He's a normal kid, cheeky, likes hogging my laptop to play games, silly but this is him. I do feel bad for the kids who have been forced to learn and study at an early age though, it's a misguided attempt at making them bright but it backfires when they are older. I use to see parents like this all the time at his old school, they would ask for extra homework for the weekends/holidays. It's not the same as having a bright child IMO.

We're meeting his new teacher tomorrow. I hope she doesn't think this of me sad. I'm not a pushy mum, honest!!!

roisin Thu 26-Feb-09 02:37:55

As snorkle says for many years I just assumed mine were just the "bright side of normal". I thought they were bright but I also realised that nearly all parents think their children are bright.

ds1's intelligence, memory and wide vocabulary was commented on by teachers, friends and even complete strangers regularly from the age of about 3; but I didn't have particularly close knowledge of lots of other children to compare him with. I guess we finally realised when he was about 7.

Maybe I'm just not a very perceptive mother!

AreyouDancing Thu 26-Feb-09 06:54:07

Interseting to read this - do schools tell you if they are considered as 'G +T'? My ds is bright - sounds much like your experience clam, August baby etc.

Every year through school have been told he's really bright, top of the class. He's working towards SATS now, at parents evening last night teacher told us he's doing Y7 problems while the rest of the class (Y6) are revising, as she doesn't want him to get bored.

Have always assumed G+T involved more than that?

Scroooged - hope meeting his new teacher goes well. Agree that extra work at home etc is a step too far when they are this age.

snorkle Thu 26-Feb-09 08:42:00

AreYouDancing, "does G&T involve more than that?" Officially since G&T is top 10%, being top of the class and doing some extension work would most likely be G&T (unless the school has opted out as far as I can tell). I don't think schools always do tell you and primary schools are less prone to formally identifying children in any case (ie: they tend to id less than 10% possibly in case of evening out).

However, since to different people 'Gifted' can mean anything from top 10% to Ruth Lawrence types and 'Bright' seems to have an even broader range (and is sometimes used instead of gifted as it's less icky) it seems it's very much more subjective as to whether a child is actually G&T or not.

But then as long as the child has appropriate work, and is happy, the label (or lack thereof) is irrelevent.

mollyroger Thu 26-Feb-09 09:03:28

One of my children has an exceptionally high IQ but is held back academically by learning difficulties (er, he can't write or spell!). The preschool staff told me they thought he was one of a kind (in a nice way!) at 3. The HV visitor told me she thought he was unusually alert and curious from day one, but worried that he would always be swimming against the tide.
His school friends call him their walking encyclopaedia. His teacher says she often asks him stuff.

He was my first so I don't think I thought he was 'bright'. I just loved being flummoxed by some of his questions when he was younger. (in days before the interweb...)
However, he is not G&T. Just funny and interesting.

Rubyrubyruby Thu 26-Feb-09 09:10:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 26-Feb-09 10:13:19

During ds1's toddler years everyone told us he was very bright and advanced for his age..hv's, family, nursery, etc. Now he's 9, and still a smart wee cookie, but not really 'ahead' of his classmates or other children his age.

Ds2 was such a smiley happy baby and toddler, but never struck us as any more advanced than others in his age group until he was 3, and the nursery pulled me aside one day and asked if we'd been teaching him to add and subtract. We hadn't, but I don't know if he'd picked it up from listening to us talk to ds1 about school. He seems to have a real gift for maths though. At 3 he could add and subtract double numbers in his head. He's in p2 now and way ahead of his classmates, but only in maths. He can do ds1's p5 maths homework.

He's still very young though- 7 next week, so I don't know if this will 'even out' later on. To be honest, he's a very happy, funny energetic little boy, who'd rather be out playing football than sitting getting extra maths lessons to encourage his talent, so we're not making too big a thing of it just now.

Lilymaid Thu 26-Feb-09 10:28:19

DS1 was deciphering road signs before he was three and has always found anything academic easy, never knew any mark lower than A - he graduated last year and was grabbed immediately for a high fliers type career. However, he didn't start school until after his 5th birthday and would have been quite happy to stay at playgroup playing space men games on the climbing frame indefinitely!
He probably falls in the top 5% academically in the country, but there are lots of people around like him, so he is nothing special, except to his mum and dad.

HMC Thu 26-Feb-09 11:12:19

"He probably falls in the top 5% academically in the country"

So do I, and yet I was never identified as G&T as a child....

newpup Thu 26-Feb-09 11:39:23

DD2 is very bright, academically. She has always been noticably advanced for her age, talked early, held conversations early and it became more obvious when she started school that she was advanced. She is quite mature emotionally. I noticed quite early on that she had reached developmental stages before DD1. She also tried to do DD1's homework before she started school!

I remember telling her reception teacher in an interview before she started school that she was exceptionally bright. Her teacher gave me a wry smile and an expression that said she had heard that from every parent already! I will not forget how her manner changed when I went to see her after DD2 had started!!! Don't blame her at all, was a teacher myself!

Lilymaid Thu 26-Feb-09 13:01:34

HMC - neither was I - such labels didn't then exist. DS was just labelled as "very able" and given work appropriate to his level. He wasn't the only one in his year at primary school, so as I said he really isn't anything special in the world!

HMC Thu 26-Feb-09 13:04:51

Sure, I wasn't have a go and sorry if it came across that way....just think it is interesting how children are identified and categorised and wonder how much subjectivism is involved....

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