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Counting to 10 at twenty months old. Parents please chime in...

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#1 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 04:30 AM

My daughter (Madison) just turned 21 months old a couple of weeks ago and she has been doing very well. Our daycare provider is starting to use the term "gifted" but I'm a little more level headed than that. At least I would like to think so.Posted Image

Madison has been talking since she was just shy of a year old, just simple words like "Up" or "All Done". She now has a vocabulary beyond count, and can string 3 or more words together in many instances. I recently taught her to count by using numbered fridge magnets and she caught on in no time. She is now counting to 10 and can also associate numbers with items. i.e. "2 shoes".

Madison can be taught most simple tasks by simply explaining them to her once, she picks up family names through the use of pictures and remembers them when first meeting each relative. She is also now sleeping in a small bed as she started getting out of her crib months ago. She took to the bed instantly with zero problems.

Her care-giver (a retired nurse, running a home daycare for 15 years) is telling us that her vocabulary skills are highly advanced for her age and that she is one of the most "gifted" children she has ever had.

Now what I want from this thread is to see how she compares to other children around her age. We don't know many children her age but we can see that Madison is far ahead of the few that we do know. I think that Madison is advanced for her age but my wife is starting to wonder if we should start to look into a special school for when it comes time. She thinks that Madison will be bored during Kindergarten since she will already know the curriculum.

I really need some advice from the parents who visit this forum. I don't think she is a genius or anything of the sort, but I really don't have much to compare her to. Please don't look at this thread as a "Bragging about your kid" thread. We (especially my wife) are very concerned about Madison's future and don't want to push her too fast, too soon. I'm actually hoping that she is more "normal" than we think.

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#2 of 40 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted June 15 2005 - 04:43 AM

I suggest you grab a copy of Freakanomics and read the chapter about "How important are parents really?" It's a book by an economist that applies statistics to real world questions in a novel and very eye opening way. Basically, from what the numbers tell us who you are is more important than what you do. She will be as smart as she will be and succeed or fail based more on how much education and/or wealth you and your wife have, and very little on what schools or programs you get her into. Not to say that parents are unimportant (they are crucial), but to put it in other words: the very fact that you both care enough to think of special schooling and that you come to the internet for advice (hence I'm guessing well educated), you are already giving Madison the skills and support to succeed whether she goes to public, private, special, or home schooling. Check out that book, it's a fascinating and quick read. Plus he talks a good bit about the naming your child "Madison", might be interesting to you for that alone Posted Image

For stacking her up, I would say she is average to above average. My boys were about the same, each one has things they are better or worse at in any given time. It tends to even out though, some kids just lock down certain skills faster than others. Most of the 2 yr olds my youngest plays with seem to be fairly bright, I think the huge influx of media (TV, video games, books, music) that toddlers are given these days ramp up their communication skills faster than in the past. That's just opinion though.

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Bob Turnbull

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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:02 AM

It's entirely possible your child is a genius, but my opinion is that it's too early to even consider special classes. Kindergarten is more about a child learning socialization skills than any specific curriculum (there's no testing at this age - at least not in our school). The children learn by playing and participating in activities. They begin to choose the things they like. It's quite amazing to see them develop new friendships and begin to actually relate to others and even empathize. By all means get further opinions from caregivers and other educational personnel, but just remember she has to have the chance to be a silly kid just like her friends. The fact that you've already asked this question shows you're on the right track though...

#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:33 AM

Joe, I will definitely be checking out "Freakanomics" in the very near future.
I couldn't agree more. Thanks for the advice guys, we really appreciate it. Looking forward to reading more and finding out how everyone else's little ones are doing.
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#5 of 40 OFFLINE   Mark Brewer

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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:36 AM

Don't skip kindergarten. She may know the stuff but there is a difference is knowing and knowning how to apply it. My Son is 8 and has Asperger Sydrome (High Functional Autism). He is a genius at math and non linear comprehension, but we've kept in kept him on a regular academic course. He is evaluated twice a year. My recommendation is at this early age just read to her alot and let her be a kid. If it becomes more apparent to the point were it becomes a frustration for her or a distraction in learning I would get a professional evauation from a University and/or evaluation from your pediatrition.
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#6 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:44 AM

I agree. I don't plan on having her skip any grades. Just adding to her curriculum so that she won't be bored, if that is even the case! This is all just speculation at this point. We're not trying to jump the gun here, just trying to be prepared. Thanks,
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#7 of 40 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:52 AM

She kicks my kids' asses. Congratulations. Posted Image

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Chris Hovanic

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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:53 AM

I find myself amazed all the time with my son. I have no idea really what level he should be at. He is 3-1/2 now. 2 weeks ago he brought home colored pictures with his name on them that were written by him. Im thinking... "should he be able to do that at 3?" I congragulate him and encourage his learning every chance I get. He really likes learning to write and reading. We are lucky to have a day care provider that is amazing. They only have kids up to age 5 and every day they do learning activities. One of the kids father is a Principle at a local elementry school and has provided information and criculam (sp?) that the Kindergarten students will learn. He has stated that his girl will not be going to pre-school, she will stay in day care till Kindergarten. I think if learning is fun, kids of this age will soak up anything that you put infront of them.
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#9 of 40 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted June 15 2005 - 05:58 AM

First of all, the word "gifted" really just means that a person is in the top x% of the distribution, with X ranging anwyhere from 2% to 10%. So, she may very well be gifted - millions of people are.

If you wanted to know more about how she stacked up intellectually, you could certainly have a professional give her a test, such as the WPPSI or Bayley. How she does now is a good indicator of how she'll do later, though certainly she could do better or worse as time goes on.

As far as Kindergarten, they expect a hell of a lot more out of kids nowadays than they did back in my day. I never even started to read until 1st grade, and many kids going into Kindergarten already can to one degree or another. At your daughter's age it's way to early to be contemplating skipping Kindergarten. If you have a good school district, when she gets to Kindgergarten, she'll be tested to see if she's GT (the common term used in schools - it means Gifted & Talented), and if so, appropriate steps by you and the school can be made at that time.

For now, just read to her, play with her and make sure she's in a loving and fun environment. Feel proud of what she can do, but don't make a big deal out of it one way or another. At this early age, it's much more important to find out what's wrong with kids (such as early detection of Autism), than it is to worry about whether they're so smart they'll be bored in school. Posted Image
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#10 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 06:10 AM

LOL! It's too early to tell yet. Maybe we should get them in the ring. Posted Image
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#11 of 40 OFFLINE   Dan Mc

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Posted June 15 2005 - 06:21 AM

I would say she's advanced for her age, but I wouldn't start looking into special schools just yet. These things seem to even out over time, some kids just pick up certain skills a little sooner than others. Girls seem to develop their communication skills a little faster than boys also. My daughter also seems to be ahead of other kids her age, she's 2 1/2 and can count to 20, has known her alpabet since 2, knows her right from her left, and is begining to recognize words in her favorite books. She's always been able to pick things up pretty quick. Our son who is 14 months old is way behind where she was in vocabulary at her age, but is amazing in his motor skills, he walked much sooner than her, and can throw a ball just about as well as she can now. Do we think he's the dumb-jock, and she's the genius? No, we just think all kids are different, and learn at a different pace.

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 06:33 AM

Sounds like you have two great kids. Posted Image

EDIT: I'm new at this guys. Madison is our first child and I'm just trying to do what's best for her. Our child care provider is the one who is really pushing the "gifted" angle. That and the fact that Madison seems to be well ahead of all the children we know in her age group.

Thanks again for any advice.
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#13 of 40 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted June 15 2005 - 07:52 AM

When I read that part again it sounds a bit off. Not trying to say that parents are disposable cogs with no impact on their kids.

But what I was getting at is that we aren't going to either ruin our kids' lives or make their fortune based on what initial kindergarten we sent them to. If she is above the cirriculum by a wide margin, it will be obvious pretty quickly. But parents who have the means (money) and the desire (education) to notice and correct for their child's needs typically give those kids what they need to be happy and successful. The point here is that if her schooling is off you will know it, and given your obvious level of concern for her you will correct it. She isn't going to because less smart because she didn't learn to tell time in French as a toddler Posted Image

We had a friend who had a genious girl. You would never know it because she was so shy all the time and mousy. But she had all kinds of odd quirks (like she would strangle their cat because she loved to hug it SO MUCH, or she couldn't leave her room until her socks were arranged and selected in line with her internal process.) The mother thought she was crazy, turns out she was so smart that she would 'think' herself into a frenzy and sort of 'short circuit'. They moved her to a genious school shortly after and all her quirks disappeared. Life just wasn't giving her what she needed. The difference was/is staggering in her personality and well, weirdness.

My point is if you truly have a genious child on your hands, you are going to know it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, you'll know if they need special attention (it'll slap you in the face.)

Likley you have a really smart little girl, just send her to school and enjoy every minute of time with her!

#14 of 40 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted June 15 2005 - 09:38 AM

I don't have time at the moment to dig up the research articles about this (I've got a 7 week old that needs my near-constant attention), but it's true.

Girls develop their communication skills sooner, they potty-train sooner, they enter puberty sooner, and they emotionally mature sooner than boys their age. This has been documented countless times.

For some anecdotal evidence. . .take me and my brother. We are both considered "gifted" or "very superior" according to our IQ scores. See this page for the different classifications. It's not important what our scores are, but the fact that we have the SAME EXACT IQ. We each tooks tests several times in our lives, from early elementary throughout our late teen years. Each time they came back only points apart and the same for each of us. We also took various achievement and personality tests. Our achievement scores were very similar as well, but our personality tests were very different. Anyway, my parents lived in the same house throughout both our lives, we attended the same schools, and had many of the same teachers. We were both enrolled in the gifted program at school and offered many of the same opportunities. We both skipped one grade and were encouraged by the school to skip another (my parents declined on skipping another grade due to the large age difference of our peers).

As it's turned out. . .I breezed through school, got A's in everything, graduated top of my class, and got a full-ride to college. I got a degree in biology/chemistry and am working on my masters. I'm married, have a daughter, a house, and am working a decent job. In other words, my life is "put together".

My brother on the other hand, struggled through school (even kindergarden), barely passing, and almost didn't graduate high school. He attempted to go to college twice, each time dropping out mid-semester. He can't hold a job and still lives with my parents. He's currently not doing anything, except sleeping all day and playing video games all night.

I love my brother and am nothing but supportive in helping him find his niche, so this isn't about bragging about my accomplishments. I'm trying to illustrate that many times, intelligence has little to do with success, even in the academic world.

The best of schools won't make your daughter learn and be successful if she doesn't want to be, unfortunately. If you have the means to send her to one such school, that's great, but I do not think it's necessary. There are plenty of ways to encourage her to learn and enrich her education while still exposing her to children of lesser intelligence than her own. My best memories growing up include working math problems from a college text my mom picked up from a used bookstore when I was 8. For several summers, my parents sent me to summer programs for gifted students, where we stayed in college dorms and attended college classes (this was really cool to all of us since we were all 12 and 13).

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to attend the private, highly academic high school (gifted students only) my parents had talked about. I may have gotten to take more rigorous classes, though as a teenager I felt the AP classes were rigorous enough. At times I probably needed to be surrounded by people more like myself, but I probably would have missed out on the fun part of high school. . .being in marching band, attending all the football games, and being part of a really great theater program. The school I mentioned above didn't really have any of that since academics was pretty much its sole focus.

One thing that being in a mediocre public high school taught me is what I said above, that intelligence does not mean success. That you don't have to be intelligent to be successful. Some of the best students in my classes were of average intelligence, but they worked their butts off and earned their grades. There were times I was too arrogant and thought that I'd automatically be successful, but how wrong I was. It was a hard lesson to learn. I skated through most things and rarely studied. Perhaps that private high school would have made me work harder, being grouped with extremely intelligent kids. I don't know, but I learned the lesson in college soon enough.

I'm sorry about my long-windedness. In the end, the point I'm trying to make is that the schooling your daughter receives isn't as important as it may seem. Encourage her to do the best she can and enrich her learning with activities. Take her to museums on the weekends, get some text books from a few grades ahead of her to look through, plan your vacations around things she's learned about, send her to summer camps for kids like her, and let her take a class at the local community college in something she doesn't get at school (most don't have age requirements if you're just auding the class).

Let her attend the school she'll supposed to attend and take it from there. Maybe she really needs a better school to thrive, but maybe the public schools will be just fine. As evidenced by my brother, personality has a lot to do with it. And that's something that's hard to guage in the school setting until it happens (he likely would have had a mental breakdown in a "gifted" school). Just don't worry about it so much, just follow her lead and it'll all work out in the end.

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted June 15 2005 - 09:58 AM

There are 3 basic areas in whihc truly "gifted" people can easily stand out. I'm not saying you can't be gifted in, say violin or Kung-Fu, but chances are you will never try to get your kid to play a violin or learn Kung-Fu, so you'll never know. 1. Art. Not abstract or impressionist, but spooky-acurate realism of things or very-good copies of famous works. If your child can paint a near perfect "The Scream" at 30 months.... yeah he/she is probably gifted. 2. Language. If your child can plow through the entire cannon of The Bernstein Bears at 2, get him/her tested. If he/she can speak three languages (or more) at 6, probably gifted. 3. Numbers/Puzzles. Single digit multiplication & division by age 4, "higher" mathematics (algebra, geometery) in early elementary school are good signs. Extreme skill at puzzles, especially the 1000+ piece time wasters and 3-D puzzles are also good signs.
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#16 of 40 OFFLINE   Micheal



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Posted June 15 2005 - 12:41 PM

Wow! There is some really great advice being offered in this thread. You all have my thanks!

Joe, thanks for the story about your friends daughter. Very interesting read! Madison has some odd quirks herself but I think that they are just that... odd quirks. For instance, she refuses to play this game unless she is wearing her baseball cap. We think it's adorable.

Your friends daughter sounds like quite the amazing child, aren't they all? Posted Image

Leila, thanks for the link. I understand that a child or adult must also have the will/drive to accomplish something. I'm hoping that with the proper guidance that this can also be taught or learned. I have seen far too many intelligent people end up much like your brother. I have one question for you though, did your brother get the same attention that you did? Was he treated the same way? Given the same opportunities, sent to the same camps, etc...?

Garrett, great examples. Thank you very much.
She may get her artistic abilities from me.:b I can copy any picture and duplicate it almost exactly. I also do some mural work on the side and I'm starting to toy around with air brushes. Her Mother can't even draw stickmen, so we'll see who she takes after. Posted Image
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#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted June 15 2005 - 04:32 PM

My Daughter never spoke a single word until she was past her second Birthday. the Doc was setting us an appointment for a specialist when the next weekend she started gabbing. she hasn't shut up since, and she's an honor student in hight school (4.05 GPA). You just never know about these things.

#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted June 16 2005 - 12:00 AM

I'm waiting for someone to chime in saying they've seen more gifted children at the Mall of America. Posted Image

#19 of 40 OFFLINE   Dennis*G


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Posted June 16 2005 - 01:32 AM

I have twin girls, just turned two. One is counting to 20 and knows the entire alphabet, the other counts to ten, knows some of her alphabet and can count in spanish up to 8 (thank Dora for that I guess). I would love to say they are advanced, but I think that seems to be average these days.

#20 of 40 OFFLINE   ChadM


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Posted June 16 2005 - 01:42 AM

On cue: I have seen more gifted children at the Mall of America! In all seriousness though, babies and toddlers develop at vastly different speeds. Your kid seems to be ahead of the curve now, hopefully she will stay that way throughout her life.

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