Everywhere I've looked at asynchronous development it's been hand in hand with giftedness - not sure if this applies but my daughter who's not long turned 3 still seems to have the 'waddle' of a small toddler when she tries to run, but has been able to peddle a tricycle since 2, she can 'read back' her brothers level 1 readers (remembering the words not reading them) but her speech is so unclear that even I have issues understanding her if I'm tired - it's an effort to decipher her speech - if she was clear she would be talking in sentences as complex as her 5yr old brother though. She can say some sounds more clearly as we have been working with her, but she slips back into her lazy speech patterns if we don't constantly correct her (and she gets grumpy at being corrected) and there are some sounds she cannot say - like L.
Does asynchronous development work like this? Or should I be looking at speech therapy and have someone check her gross motor skills - she didn't walk till 18mths old and even then was very top heavy and prone to toppling onto her head - probably till she was 2.5yrs old.
She doesn't seem intellectually slow, has a wicked sense of humour - was cracking jokes at 15mths old, but because she's short, and her speech is so unintelligible I think we all treat her as younger and less capable than she is (in direct contrast to her brother who has always been large for his age with extremely advanced speech and has been expected to behave older than he is). I have been told by someone who does speech therapy at the local school that she is "within norms" but considering the kids who are no longer within the system as they meet norms are still pretty hard to understand I think that just means the norms are very wide and I can't see not being understood as being at all helpful if you're a smart easily frustrated child...
She also doesn't enjoy, to the point of actively avoiding, children of her own age - from 18mths of age she has been playing with older children and engaged in fantasy play, but none of the children at the local kindy or playcentre seem to be interested and the children she did play with have now gone to school. I've been "told" she need to learn to "get along" with kids her own age, but they just have nothing in common and I don't know how to foster a relationship where there is no common ground. In contrast she loves being at school as I was mother help twice a week last term and this year she seems to think she can go to school too when her big brother goes back, and was quite heartbroken when I told her she's not old enough yet...
Any suggestions how to help her with any of her "problems" would be gratefully received.
I would definitely be considering speech therapy review as there may be simple exercises that she will take from someone else to help with her speech. It would be frustrating trying to join in with older kids and not being able to make yourself understood. She may actually be reading her brother's books - we thought DS was just memorising but he could actually read those words in other contextsbooks. DS dislikes playing with childres his own age too because they have very little in common. His games and stories are very elaborate and complex, he likes making up rules etc and his peers at kindy just don't play in that way. Kindy is good for him in learning to listen to the teachers, tolerating and interacting with others but he rarely "plays" with them. DS hates being corrected in anything. All the best - some interesting times ahead I think...!
Our oldest daughter also had speech difficulties at around that age, but was also acutely aware that her inability to clearly pronounce complex sentences was making it hard for anyone apart from us (her parents) to understand her.
This was intensely frustrating for her, and culminated one day when she was trying to say something was "in the hair room" - took a while to work out she was meaning "in the spare room" and when we did our Little Miss said "Ohhh, it's so hard because I can't say my "effe's" (meaning S's) very well!"
That led to investigating options for speech therapy, and a trainee student at Canterbury University took her on as her final year practical student. Huge progress was made and she went from saying "hammy heal" to "sammy seal" over the next 4-6months. The overall clarity of her speech dramatically increased too.
Interestingly it was during this speech therapy that we had first formal confirmation of what we suspected that she was gifted. The student had to do a lot of baseline testing and on one of them it was obvious that our girl was reading the first few letters of cue cards to 'cheat' to aid her with how to get the right sound with words like 'scissors' etc. When the student covered up the word at the bottom of the image, our daughter slowed up a lot as she had to 'think' what sound the word would start with, instead of 'reading' the first few letters.
Some thought we were crazy getting speech therapy for someone so young because she was in the "developmental norms" but it was tough when she was aware and frustrated by this limitation.
She's now just turned 8yrs old, still has a little bit of a "slushy s" as air escapes the side of her mouth, but is very comprehensible in class. She's just skipped yr4 and going straight into yr5/6 composite class of which she is thrilled about.
My theory is they have so much to say, it all comes out at once and it just sounds like babble.
My son was the same at that age. Couldn't understand what he was saying some of the time and was the only one, except for his younger sister that could the rest of the time.
He is 5 in Feb, he talks about photosynisis and what that involves, what would happen to a flower floating in space with a bee wearing a space suit to pollinate it (I don't know he has a bit of a wild imagination but it was a whole story about the flower falling out of a spaceman's pocket and a bee that was on board) He is reading and can sound out the words working out the spelling etc (Can't hold a pen or even interested in drawing, behind in ball skills would say that he is about the average age of a 2 1/2 year old)
His younger sister who is 14 months younger and saying over 100 words at 15 months used to interpret for me if she understood.
One thing to keep in mind is that gifted children are an even more diverse group than their non-gifted counterparts!
My 2 are completely different - but no less gt than the other. My oldest, speaking in sentences at 13mths but dyslexic and had huge difficulty (and a great deal of input from me) learning to read. My youngest, essentially taught himself to read and used to bring home the early readers from school and turn them upside down to read - more of a challenge!
However, he also needed speech therapy at age 4. Funny thing was - what we hadn't picked up on, was that the words he was trying to use were just far too complicated for his little mouth to form! I remember the speech therapist sort of said 'wow, well, it's not from a lack of vocab!'.
One website you could look into - a lady who had huge input into helping my daughter read, is Smart Learning Solutions.
She is based in Auckland - not sure where you are.
This reminds me of my grandson - I was quite pedantic about choosing his pre-school (he didnt start until 4 ) and was very clear that I would not accept him being treated as though something was wrong with HIM because he didnt "fit the norm".
He spent most of his time at kindy either spending hours on end in the sandpit constructing "travel systems"or building rail/transport systems the entire length of the kindy "classroom".
What few friendships he made were made according to interest not age and I was very clear I would not accept him being "forced" into age based relationships.
Actually the FEW things he did learn from kids his own age (and thankfully they dont "stick" anyway) have been anti-social rather than pro-social.
I believe that most children naturally gravitate towards children their own age because those children are usually their natural peers and that has been misinterpreted by psychology as an essential aspect of child development.
In more experience/observation children who are raised with acceptance of difference and allowed to choose their own friends without being "forced into" a particular social group according to adult prejudices/beliefs are far more socially at ease and more at ease within themselves.
First day of school today and I'm helping in the NE class again as they have several special needs kids who don't qualify for one on one teacher aides but still need extra hands helping (I'm looking at getting a teacher aide certificate to justify my time spent) Sadly Miss 3 wasn't at all happy about being back in the classroom - her best friend (a highly gifted wee girl) is now in the next year class and Miss 3 wants to be with her and her big brother. While she hasn't expressed it in so many words I get the strong feeling she isn't impressed at being "left behind" in the babies class!
I totally agree with the idea that kids gravitate to their intellectual peers rather than age peers - Mr5 has always done that - he will make friends with anyone willing to engage in his complicated fantasy play, though he seems to be also able to "dumb down" his behaviour to suit the situation - a real social chamellion (sp?).
I think any speech therapy will have to be done by myself and hubby as everyone I've talked to says she's fairly typical for her age and they have to be pretty bad to get any help, but the frustration of not being understood is starting to take it's toll, she's not impressed when people assume she's "just little" when actually she knows quite a decent amount just can't get it out there (she's more aware of her name, some sight words and the alphabet than many of the new entrant kids). Can anyone recommend somewhere that you can find a bunch of exercises to help - she drops start and end sounds, and cannot pronounce L at all (and her name starts with L!).
We are in rural Waikato and are broke like a camel with no water, so can't pay for any private help for her but quite happy and able to DIY.
Thanks for the feedback/ comments, it makes me feel more sure that she just needs to slow down and concentrate and not try and get so much out at once - doesn't help she has a big brother who talks non stop to compete against I guess.
Hi again Shar ..... I used DIY "speech therapy" as my ONLY form teaching my grandson "spelling" initially .... now I have added explaining "exception" rules.
A lot of it I would do while out shopping with him facing me in the shopping trolley .... with L's I would actually SING a ummmmm whatchyamacallit - scales? "La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaaaaa" and have him join in.
"Wh" is like trying to WHISTLE with your voice instead of just air.
I'll give the singing a go - when we say to her "can you say Laaaa" she just rolls her eyes and gives us this "are you dumb or what" look and says "No! I Can't!"
Maybe I can trick her into singing L's instead!