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Gifted Children/possible 4 year old gifted


I have always knew something was different about my son-I first thought it was aspergers but it didn't fit him. I ran across gifted characteristics and my son matched many of them. Here is a little about him: Very happy social baby-Loves to be around people and children,started talking at 17 mths-speech explosion at 18 mths-talked in 3-4 sentences by 2/ Could enunciate very clearly when he started talking-very easy to understand, very very curious and loves to observe and ask questions about things,
loved to read books from early age-always paid attention and still does,learned uppercase letters, numbers 1-10, and basic colers by 21 months, learned lowercase letters by age 2,
loved the stop light before age 2 and knew green/ go and red/ stop  before 2,tantrums started early on and always have been extreme-not meltdown, just loud crying and falling on floor. He is 4 now and still has occasional tantrums when told he canít have something and he still cries. Hasnít been the easiest child to discipline at all,learned how to draw faces- nose, eyes, ears by age two, learned how to write his name and all the letters at age 3,loves signs and always wants to go what they mean-this started early on. He also is very rule oriented, loved daycare early on-loved to learn and enjoyed circle time, very loving and very affectionate-hugs daycare children when they get hurt.
Noticed his amazing memory skills early on example-he knows when someone moves at item or gets a new one. He asked me the other day why the sprout caption at the bottom of the tv was green now instead of blue. I never would of noticed if he hadnít.
Interested in plugs,receptacles and fans at age 2-3. Wanted to know what kind of fan everyone he knew had. Then it was cars, he would ask what every kind of car was and learned every model/symbols. Has always loved letters and numbers and still does, loves to be around children but prefers older children and adults to play with, Show perfectionalist traits early on-would get extremely upset if his chalk would break or a lollipop wasnít completely round. Not like that anymore but now he has to write his letters perfect or he will start all over (kinda concerned about this) He also asks me in books why didnít they write the letter right?  (if itís different from what he thinks it is suppose to be-(again he likes to go by the rules)He also is very rule oriented. Can read 2, 3 and 4 letter words. Can also substract and add simple numbers-loves math. Loves board games. Has a fantastic imagination also!

Concerns-75 % of the time he prefers to play with his letters or write them-he likes to put them in abc order and gets mad if his little brother messes with them. He said he wants them to be perfect. He pretends with his letters and acts them out in different things like they are characters. HE plays with other things too like trains, computer games, etc but he REALLy loves his letters.  Does this sound like something to be concerned about?  

Also I have put him in soccer and t-ball and he does not enjoy it. He ends up not listening to what he is suppose to be doing and tells me itís too hard. I donít want to push him but I want him to be able to follow directions/listen. He also does this at home. I have to actually make him pick up toys etc. and I get very frustrated with him.

Also he is a very affectionate child and sometimes he hugs his friends-Do you think this will be a problem for him later in school? I can tell the kids donít really like it.

He hasn't started pre-school yet but he does not enjoy coloring and cutting much. I just hope he listens. It seems when he isn't interested he doesn't want to participate.

Thanks for reading about my child and look forward to hearing your response!

ANSWER: In order to give you a more useful answer, can you tell me more about situations in which you get frustrated, a couple examples, how you respond?

You aren't required to answer but it would be helpful.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I get frustrated by raising my voice at him because I have to tell him like 3-4 times to do something. Also I forgot to add that now he asks me all the time what 100+100 is and what 100+200 is. It goes on and on. Before that it was how do you spell this and how do you spell that.

Thanks so much.

You get the award for most patient person of the year.  Thank you.

It does sound like your son is probably gifted, especially because it runs in the family.  That is not as important right now as teaching right behavior.  No matter how smart a person is, if they can't get along with people or manage their own behavior, there's little chance of success and fulfilling relationships.

I'm very glad that you stopped spanking. If a pediatrician told me spanking was the way to teach right behavior, I'd report him or her to the licensing board. There is NEVER a reason to spank or harm a child's body as a form of punishment.  As you observed, it just doesn't work.  I want to make some suggestions about teaching right behavior which may seem foreign to you, but that work much better.

Yelling is a kind of spanking with words.  It also doesn't teach right behavior; it makes it harder to discipline.  The only time for yelling is if a child is in immediate danger so you get the child's attention fast.

It's important for a parent to stay the parent, who makes the rules and requires proper behavior.  It can help a parent to stay calm if they think of discipline as a kind of education.  Kids are not born knowing what behavior is appropriate. The parent is the teacher.  Just as you wouldn't yell as you teach a child to read, mistakes are made and you correct the mistakes.

When you tell your son to put his toys away, tell him with a conversational tone of voice, telling him what will happen if he doesn't follow directions, something like "It's time to put the toys away. If you don't put them away, it tells me that you aren't ready to take care of toys.  I'll put them away until you show me that you're managing your behavior better."  If he doesn't do as he's told, remind him once, "It's time to put the toys away. I'm done talking about this."  If he doesn't obey, DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORD. Put them away where he can't get at them. You MUST follow through with what you say you're going to do, with no more talking about it.  No matter how bad he yells and screams and has tantrums, you MUST follow through.  Don't respond to the tantrum. Go on with what you're doing.  Or just sit down, no talking, and you don't have to get upset.  Just be calm until he's done with the tantrum.  He's going to get madder because you aren't responding. That's ok.  You can stay calm with thoughts like "I'm the parent. I'm doing the right thing, because I love him so much that I can make the tough decisions for his greater good." That's exactly what you're doing - teaching him what's ok, what isn't ok, and life skills he'll need later.  It really is possible to stay calm, and when you do stay calm, you'll be amazed by how empowering it is, and you can feel good about being an effective mom. It's bad parenting to NOT teach right behavior.  It may take sometime for him to consistently obey, and from time to time he'll still have tantrums - its part of the business of growing up. And there's some "undoing" of the behaviors he's been using.

Use the same method in other situations. Tell him the right thing to do, tell him what will happen if he misbehaves, repeat it once, FOLLOW THROUGH. USE A CONVERSATIONAL TONE OF VOICE.

In many families, the parents suddenly have a moment of clear thinking, and realize it's their gifted child who is running the household! And they're asking "Oh no! How did that happen?"  YOU ARE THE PARENT!

For you it will be 2 steps forward, one step back. It's new to you, too.  Don't beat yourself up about it; you're just learning, too - be gentle with yourself, as you're going to use a gentle voice with your kids.

This is a lot for you to take in.  Free Spirit Publishing,, has fabulous resources about all things kids and family.  At, which is a free service of the American Academy of Pediatrics, you'll get excellent guidance about everything kids.

One more resource which is quick to look up, with briefer information, is ""  

You're welcome to write to me again; tricky situations will come up.  I'll do my very best to get back to you more quickly.  Thank you for letting me serve you.  

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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