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Gifted Children/Is my 3 year old gifted?


I hope you will be able to help me and tell me your opinion on whether my son is gifted or not. I did not really think about it until friends of mine who have kids my son's age told me that I should check my son because he seems advanced. My son is 3 years and 4 months old. By the age of 1 he could say 6 words, at the age of 2 he began to use 3-words sentences and counted to 20 in Russian and English, and to 12 in German. At 2.9 he was able to read books about puppy Biscuit, and now he can easily read books from the series of "I can read" level 2 ( about Marley). I also bought a book "Reading for the Gifted Student" Grade 2 and he can read the stories with a little of my help. When I ask him questions, it seems as if he has more to say than he can put into words. He also solves mazes designed for the 5-6-7 years old "My book of mazes. Animals". By the age of 2.5 he learned all of the car models and can recognize any of them when we drive, he names and make and model. On the other hand, he dislikes loud noises and could not tolerate sound of the vacuum-cleaner or the garbage disposal until he was about 2.5. Also, he seems to have no interest in kids of his age. He asks many questions and prefers to communicate with my friends rather than with their children. He also started recognize emotions early, and he can actually explain why someone is sad or happy. When I ask questions, he answers and tries to support his answer with some-sort of explanation. He seems to be bored easily and it takes so much effort from my part to make sure he is always occupied doing something. So, please help me. If you think he is gifted, then what should I do next? Where do I start and whom should I talk to? We live in MD, and, by the way, we speak Russian and English is a second language for us (my son is learning to read Russian as well, but it is more difficult, yet he still can get many words right).

It does sound like your son is gifted.  Testing becomes useful at age 4-5 years. That's usually when the title is assigned.  For now, you're doing the right things already.  And it may sound strange, but intellectual development is not the parent's most important duty.  There's always lots of intellectual stimulation everywhere. Don't worry about that.

A gifted child may be years ahead of his age in intellect, but emotional development lags behind, it's a better match with age.  It's called "asynchronous development."  Too much academic stimulation can crowd out the attention needed for emotional development.  Parents and home is where most emotional development takes place. It can be really hard to not expect advanced emotional development, and expecting too much can be a big problem.  People outside the home often expect a child is more mature emotionally.  One of your most important jobs is to always be mindful of the differences in development, so you can guide him appropriately in emotional development, teaching "people skills," such as communication, tolerance, empathy, and others.  No matter how smart a person is, if they can't get along with people, there's little chance of success and fulfilling relationships.  Kids with a balance of work, play, and "just being" do better academically than a child with too much emphasis on academics.

Spiritual development is essential. "Parenting by Design" ( is one of your best resources for that.

There's an answer dated 2/18/12, "very interested in books." Your son's age is different, but the exact same info applies to your son.  There's a list of resources there, which you can trust, as well as a couple cautions.

A couple more points worthy of extra emphasis, because they are SO important for your children and family are:


Have lots of fun as a family.

Thank you for letting me serve you. You are welcome to contact me at any time.  Please leave feedback, it's important.

You got this as a revised message because I wanted to offer you another resource. It is VERY hard to keep a child occupied ALL the time.  The good news is that it is NOT your job. Actually, children should entertain themselves, and it's a parent's job to make sure that they do entertain themselves some of the time, even if at first your child gets mad and screams and cries.  There is an answer posted 2/23/12 "keeping such a bright child entertained" and it exactly addresses that issue.

Dr. Coleman

Gifted Children

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Faith A. Coleman MD


No questions are off-limits. My strengths are understanding what questioners are really trying to ask, knowing the right questions to get to useful answers, and putting complicated, subject-specific words and concepts into language accessible to lay-persons. The topic is fascinating and can be surprising, the opposite of what might logically seem expected of giftedness. I am skilled in identifying giftedness at any age, including very early in life.


Children constitute about one-third of the patients in a Family Medicine practice. I was Director of Children's and Women's Public Health Education Programs with the Northeast Texas Public Health District. I have two highly gifted children, one of whom attended Roeper School, listed first in this site's Sponsored Links. I was the health expert for Roeper's board of directors; I maintain contacts there. I'm on the board of directors of several organizations of which I'm a member. I spent a summer as the Medical Director of a camp for kids with ADD, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders. Editor, Medical Economics Publishing Co. licensure to teach K-12 in Oklahoma, with added qualification in Journalism

Champions for Children: Advocacy, resources, quality assessment, for early childhood daycare (Board of Directors). American Academy of Family Physicians. Michigan Academy of Family Physicians Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. READ: Advocacy, education, resources for teaching and encouraging literacy in adults. East Texas Network for Children (Planning Board).

Journals: Medical Economics, Contemporary OB/Gyn, Diagnostic Medicine. Albuquerque Journal Daily, Tyler Daily News, New Mexico Daily Lobo, New Citizen Weekly, Alpena News, daily.

BA, Journalism MD University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Internship, Detroit Medical Center. Family Practice Residency, Top-100 Hospital - Beaumont. Clinical Faculty appointments to three medical schools. Faculty, Family Practice Residency, Detroit area.

Awards and Honors
Two official commendations awarded by United States Army for service and contributions to young soldiers and families. Publishing Internship, Medical Economics Publishing Company. Research Internship, Hastings Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences. Woman Medical Student of the Year. Numerous others.

Past/Present Clients
As above in experiences, publications and awards. Many thousands of patient/family encounters.

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