Gifted Children/Puzzle strategy


I have a son who turns 3 next week.  Since he was 2, maybe even before, he's been a puzzle guy.  He has some 12 piece puzzles (the little wooden ones from Melissa and Doug) that he's been doing and now will do 30+ pieces with no help. I know he's a little advanced but what gets me is he refuses to do the borders first, which is fine, instead he builds a puzzle from one edge to the other (any direction).  Can you give any insite to his process or how advanced his thinking might actually be?

There are no statistics about what age is a "norm" for putting together puzzles of certain numbers of pieces, but your son's ability is advanced. With so little information, I can't speculate about how advanced he may be, but the resources I'll list will help you discover more about intelligence. Testing for giftedness is not valid until ages 4-5 years. At that time is usually when the word "gifted" may be applied, if appropriate.

Your child's own strategy for putting together puzzles is also a sign of advanced development. There's no reason to discourage his unique way of doing things unless it interferes with getting things done in a timely manner called for by the circumstances.

Some resources which will be very useful for you, in which you can have confidence, and which I can personally and professionally endorse, include:

1. Free Spirit Publishing,, is a good place to learn about giftedness. This site will be useful throughout your child's upbringing, about learning and intelligence, character, family fun, emotional well-being and more.

2. The Critical Thinking Company,, is about the important movement in education to teach children how to think and problem solve, rather than just learn by rote.

3., a free service of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is about health, wellness, childhood illness, behavior, development and just about all things kids.

4., a free service of the American Academy of Family Physicians, is about health, wellness, behavior and development in people of all ages.

Be cautious about the validity of resources that are parents dispensing "information" based on only their opinions generated by their own children.

Another good resource is your public library, which has materials for both children of all ages and adults. Many have a children's librarian to help you select material for your child.

I hope this has been helpful. just notified me of your question this morning. I don't know the reason for the delay, but I asked them to look into it. Thank you for your patience. You are welcome to return to this site at any time.

The absolutely most important thing parents can do for their children, if they are married, is to make their marriage high priority.

It's also critically important for parents to devote careful attention to their children's emotional development. No matter how intelligent a person is, there is little chance for success or fulfilling relationships if a person is emotionally immature and can't manage their own behavior.

Have lots of family fun.  

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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