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Gifted Children/2 year old gifted? Keep getting asked if hew ads very annoying

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Greetings!  My son, Gideon, is two as of September 8th, so very new two.  For about six months he has demonstrated mastery of the alphabet.  At times saying it forward and backwards, uncoached.  As well, presently he knows to count forward and backwards from 1-10, and forwards 1-20.  
He has a speech delay that led us to seek speech therapy at the local center.  Their observation of his keen interest in numbers and letters has led them to suggest he may be on the asd spectrum.  
I should add, I do not agree with their concern.  But, we obliged and took Gideon to be evaluated by a pediatric neurologist who saw no concern.  He recommended a play group.  When I told his speech therapist she recommended their therapy center play group.  We began attending the play group.  There, Giedon best relates with a child who is on the autism spectrum.  He enjoys the same types of toys.
Gideon, is compassionate.  Exceedingly so.  He has always been very affectionate and "cuddly".  He enjoys giving eskimo kisses to us and even his toy animals.
I have noticed he doesn't display a new skill until he has it mastered.  We discover his abilities rather than work at things until he gets the hang of it in most cases.
Presently, Gideon can read short words such as "boo-boo", knows his colors and can tell you the names for basic adult animals and their baby version as in, cow/calf and dog/puppy.
My husband and I were both academically advanced.  My favorite classes in school were AP or advanced placement.  I had difficulty attending to classes that were not challenging enough.  I see this same tendency in our boys especialy Gideon who will completely refuse to complete a puzzle correctly when directed to do so (in part symptomatic of his age no doubt).  Instead, I will observe him complete a 10 piece puzzle in well under a minute when no one is looking but then figure out a way to make the wrong spot make sound (this particular puzzle is magnetized so as you place the fire truck in its spot the siren sounds, for example)  He seems bored and intereste din outsmarting it. :)

Thank you for you input!
Erica

Answer
Your son's ability to handle numbers and the alphabet are quite precocious, as is his working with puzzles. I don't find anything in your description that would indicate speech delay. I'm wondering why that was seen as a problem. Girls talk before boys, and it's characteristic of a gifted child to hold back on speaking because, as you noted, they like to master an activity before they demonstrate a behavior. It can give the appearance of speech delay, but not until more advanced age. Your son is so young that little is expected of children his age in regard to speech. Sometimes gifted children won't be verbal at all until suddenly one day they start talking fluently

Your's and your husband's greater intelligence do contribute to your son's intelligence. At age 4 or 5 intelligence testing becomes useful, but not in a 2 year old.

The terms used for learning differences or social problems are inexact, and the nature of the disorders or talents are so variable that it can be difficult to sort out what, if any, disorder or gift is present. Gifted children can also have learning disorders, including autism. From the information you've given me, I don't find anything to indicate autism. Your son getting along with and choosing friendship with a child on the autism spectrum does not mean that your son is on the same spectrum. Choosing an autistic friend will not interfere with or inhibit your son's development. It may be a good idea to think about social activity (which is important) and play other than or in addition to the therapy group, which will have a different tone that puts your son in a setting where he will always be seen as having a disability or needing therapy.  I know very little about your son and I'm not criticizing them, but these factors and influences on your son should receive consideration.

There is a previous answer 2/18/12 "10 month old very interested in books" that you may want to read. Although that child is younger, the info there applies to your son as well. There are resources listed that will be useful throughout your children's childhoods, especially Free Spirit Publishing (www.freespirit.com). There is such a plethora of information available, almost instantly, that there is a movement to shift emphasis onto "critical thinking" - teaching how to think and learn. I think your family would enjoy knowing more about that, www.criticalthinking.com. These resources have family activities and games that are a lot of fun while you're learning. Other people who make remarks will always be around. Sometimes what they say may be useful, but you are not obligated to accept what they say. Don't let it annoy you. For good or bad, people are always going to express unwanted opinions. You don't have to react or explain.

What I tell all parents is that the most important thing you can do for your children, by far, is to make your marriage high priority. Have lots of family fun.

I hope this is helpful. Please contact me again with additional questions. Thank you for letting me serve you.

Gifted Children

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Faith A. Coleman MD

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
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).

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

Education/Credentials
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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