Hi all, I have a 3-and-a-half year old son who has always displayed characteristics of either being very bright or possibly gifted. One of these characteristics is that he has always deviated towards older kids (usually a year or two older than him) because they play more at his level, another is that his language has always been well ahead of others his age. I do homebased care, and in care at the moment is a child who is the same age (who's language is possibly slightly behind or maybe it's just that I'm comparing him to my son!) as my son and another child who is a year younger.
I've noticed that my son's language has started going backwards recently and he is copying the other children's sayings (a basic example is "I runnin'" instead of "I'm running" or "I goin' my tum-tum" instead of "I'm going on my tummy"), and he is speaking in a real baby voice. I've tried explaining to him that the other children are still learning, and that he needs to speak correctly so that they can learn to speak correctly too... but to be honest it's driving me insane!!! I don't know how to break him of this habit. Has anyone got any suggestions? It seems to be getting worse on a weekly basis, and I'm worried that he's going to keep going backwards. He's probably in the older half of children at kindy as well (afternoon kindy so kids range from 3 years to about 3 years 11 months) so he's not really getting much extension language-wise there either (although it's an awesome kindy which he loves attending!!!). Any help is appreciated!
I think it is pretty normal for any kid to regress their speech around other kids with less vocab. My 4.5 year old went though a patch of baby talk recently, copying what his 2.5 year old sister was saying. It annoyed the hell out of me but it passed. I didn't give/get/do anything for him if he was speaking like that, just told him "sorry, I don't understand what you are saying - you will have to ask me using proper words".
For your DS, do you think they would let him attend the 4 year old kindy?
Thanks for your reply Jo, that's pretty much what I've been saying to him if he tries using the baby speak on me. I did wonder about the 4 year old kindy, but they seem quite strict on the age thing - at the moment kids don't seem to be moving up until about 4 years 1 month. And to be honest, he tends to blend in with the crowd at kindy (he'll be the gifted kid in class that sits at the back and only answers questions when he's called on I think, the one who will fall behind if he's not pushed because he's bored in class).
I have thought about getting him assessed, but it's just so expensive! And I don't really know if it'll do much good at his age anyway. I tried ringing Group Special Education but they basically told me that they only deal with developmental delays so no help there.
Oh, and his drawing is also going backwards - he was drawing very easy to understand drawings such as people (complete to fingers and toes) which was his favourite to draw - we were getting pictures complete of the whole family. Now he is suddenly just scribbling on paper. He was writing every letter of the alphabet - now he's refusing to write anything except his name. And his name which he was writing perfectly has suddenly changed to be uneven sizing, a mix of upper and lower case letters (something that I've tried so hard to avoid!!!), and letters written backwards. I'm just feeling so frustrated about it all!
Hi there, I think its totally normal for children to develop in 'fits and starts', and when they are concentrating on learning a new skill or developing in some other way, something else slips. With gifted children it might be harder to accept these 'lulls' as we know what they are capable of. I have read quite widely on gifted children since I recognised my son as gifted, and one of the most useful things I read was that gifted children do not display gifted behaviours 100% of the time. I know it sounds like common sense when its put like that, but it helps me when my son goes off a previous passion, or can't seem to do something he could do previously.
I know what you mean about the drawing. My son has done that too - from drawing awesome people to only drawing 'roller coasters' which just look like lines on his paper. The thing is that he has that foundation of drawing from his past efforts so when he does want to go back to drawing recognisable things he should be successful pretty quickly.
Anyway, I don't know if any of that helps you but I wanted to share my thoughts, Thanks
re it is so expensive to have him assessed. My 4.5 yr old son has today been assessed as gifted through a hospital psychologist. This all came about from a B4 school 4yr old check through Plunket. They thought he might be ADHD - not very good attention and quite hyper, also relationship probs with peers. It turns out he has a high IQ and is classed as gifted - they think he was just bored with children his own age.
Maybe you can find out if such an assessment is available where you are. We are in Gisborne and I should add that it has all been free, and a relatively quick process.