I really don't know where to start. My son is 3 1/2 and just doesn't seem to fit in. Reading everything on giftedness he seems to fit the bill, an intense person, a fantastic vocabulary (was speaking in sentences by 20months), an adult like sense of humour, an amazing memory (remembers things from over a year ago including the weather, the colour of things), prefers company of adults, has perfectionist standards, vivid imagination, etc. At the age of 2 he was speaking fluently, doing 60 piece puzzles, teaching himself to read, knew all numbers, letters, shapes, colours, memorised books after only being read to him once, and was clearly above average looking back. I didn't really do anything at the time except try to keep him interested. Now he seems to have gone backwards in a way and often when i suggest he does a puzzle, or does something, he says he doesn't know how. He is at kindergarten 3 times a week and has been for 4 months but is not settling in well, he never wants to go and says he doesn't like kids, he won't go to a park if there are other children there, and when he is at kindy he is destructive and pushes the other kids around and often goes out of his way to hurt other children, the teachers are supportive but don't know why he is doing it - we are waiting for Special Education to observe him and hopefully will then be given some direction as to what to do. He can be so well behaved and well mannered when he wants to but if he doesn't the world knows about it. We have had it suggested by a number of people that he is gifted but he just seems so different to every other child. Is there anyone else out there that has a gifted young child with behavioural problems that seem similar? I would love to hear from you. I just don't know where to go from here and provide the best environment for my child??
You have just described my son - he was doing the same things at age 2, and was tested as gifted at age 4. Kindy did not work for him either. He made no friends, spent the whole time doing puzzles or building things by himself, and was not extended in any way. He was much happier going to daycare part-time, where the adult/child ratio was much better, and he had good relationships with the teachers and other children. He could read well at 3yrs but 'went off it' and did not progress for about 12 months, then his interest was renewed. When he is bored he makes loud noises and runs around, and sometimes gently hits any child within range. I think of him as socially immature. He is now 5 and has started at a very good private school with a small class size, but we are having a few behavioural problems. His teacher commented that she thinks he was tested too early and that if he is gifted then he is at the lower end of the gifted scale - although the test said he was in the top 1% of the population. So my advice would be to wait until he is older to have him tested, and in the meantime contact Small Poppies if you live in Akld - they run a playgroup for gifted preschoolers and they are wonderful!!
Can't believe that just one person answering makes me feel not quite so alone. It is so hard when you think there is no other child out there like yours. The kindy my son goes to has said that he is perfect when he has one on one - when he's left to his own device he usually creates havoc hurting other children or being destructive. I had Small Poppies suggested to me quite a while ago but i couldn't do it - one of the reasons being how badly he can behave especially around other children. I also was pregnant with my husband away. I think i will complete their questionaire and at least go and have a look. Did your son go to Small Poppies?
Yes, we had lots of pushing from our number 2 when the environment wasn't a good fit for him. This disappeared when he was in a place that suited him better. Now 4, at kindy, when he has something exciting to tell he lists off all the teachers as the people he will tell. Having a kindy teacher who is clever herself is great, as she's right on the ball with ds. You are definately not alone out there! I did find it challenging not being able to look around my community and easily see people that I could relate to, both with gifted children and similar parenting style. You may find at small poppies you meet other parents with similar experiences :) One option at kindy would be to see if he could move to mornings with the older children. His behaviour might just improve when there are older 'more interesting' kids around. If the teachers weren't keen maybe you could try a short 'trial' of some kind.
Yes my son did go to Small Poppies. The first session, with my 2 yr old and 1 yr old in tow, was a disaster - they all ran around noisily and the very focused girls in the class and their mums were not impressed! The teacher (Sue) was wonderful though. We tried another session where there were lots of boys and the session was in a smaller venue (less opportunity to run wild). I also chose a session when my 2 yr old was in daycare, so it was easier for me to focus as well! My son settled in well and although we had the odd times when he was not as interested in the subject, he was never unhappy or disruptive to the class. Or not much anyway :-) I found that because he was being extended there, he was happier at home and kindy. Small Poppies also helped encourage him with his writing and other skills like cutting and glueing - which come easily to my daughters but did not to my son. Good luck!
Have now realised this is in the wrong category..... Thanks for your replies. It is interesting to read about the writing, cutting and glueing. My son also struggles with these - he picked up a felt pen and drew a whole page full of H's a couple of days ago for the first time - i even managed to convince him to draw a smiley face and then he drew a couple of people, we were both so excited. My son is also very 'tactile resistant' it took years to convince him to play with playdough and even then he would only do it with tools, he has never liked being dirty and even his food has to arranged a certain way for him to eat it. I read somewhere that this can tie in with giftedness and would be interested to hear if anyone else has these issues. Also wondering, if testing for giftedness is better after 4 what do i do for the next 6 months? Any ideas?
My best advice is to have your son tested. There are some great educational psychologists around. We contacted Lynn Beresford's clinic and saw Justine Wilson. It answered ALL of our questions. Our son is now excited about school and we now know how to work with his abilities and his disabilities
Thanks 'Been there', i have just had news this morning that my son will be assessed in the next week or two at kindy to see what his needs are, we will also be working alongside a child psychologist for the next few months as a case study so i can't wait to have someone to ask all the questions that arise that you always forget to ask when you just have an appointment. I am a little bit worried in that from everything i read it seems my son is definitely gifted but there is that small feeling of what if he's not and something else is wrong. Guess we need to find out either way. It's nice to know that your son now looks forward to school, so there is hope.
I guess my previous posting did sound a little anti-testing - I didn't mean it to. We have never regretted testing our (then) 2yr old and 4 yr old. What I am possibly regretting is sharing the results with the teacher. It's almost as if her expectations of my sons' intellectual abilities are so different now, that he cannot possibly live up to them. And perhaps she is focusing on every little behaviour, instead of shrugging them aside.
Oh and yes my son dislikes being dirty too, and will change his entire set of clothes if he so much as splashes a drop of water on himself. Having to wear a school uniform has knocked that on the head though - he does not have any other clothes to change into and has to stay in his muddy ones!
Just reading your post with interest. In regards to cutting, glueing, being tactile resistant, getting dirty and wanting his food arranged sounds like our little man. He wanted to start school because his sister was at school. He started in Oct which gave him enough time to settle in before his sister went to college but things did not go so smooth and it was a trying time for all involved. The following year seem to start off ok until his teacher suggested that we look at putting him into the ODS for gifted children. She thought that he was very bright and was achieving at a much higher level than the other children in the class. We decided that we would not persue the ODS as we wanted him to settled into a routine. By the end of that year his teacher, speech therapist and a friend all suggested that our son may have Aspergers. We were given lots to read about Aspergers and our son definitely seem to show signs of having Aspergers and this is the road we have chosen. The more we learned about Aspergers, the better we feel about it all. We feel that we now have a reason or explanation as to why our son (and our older daughter) behave the way that they do. Good luck and please feel free to email me if you would like a chat.
My 2 cents worth... we had our son tested at 3 1/2! Seems young, but we just didnt know if we were nuts or if he was actually as different as he seemed to us from others his age ( those self doubts you mentioned). It helped to confirm what we already knew and gave us a formal piece of paper to wave under noses if needed. ( By the way he loved doing the test, and asked if he could go back and do another one!)
My advice is go with your gut feelings. Don't be put off by teachers or anyone saying silly things, many don't know a lot in the field and can feel threatened etc.
Make contact with others in the same boat ( I know what you mean, having this forum is one lifesaver!) Our kid also really picky with food and mess ( doesn't like it touching his lips ( !) but getting better over time. (Actually you have reminded me to be a bit easier on him about it and just let him be who he is.)
And my last bit of advice is to think about schooling now while you have loads of time - find out who has managed to have their needs met in a school and how. It can be a struggle starting from scratch with a school, so if theres one that others have had success with it might be a good headstart.
ANyway good luck!
My boy has just turned 7, but in days of yore went through similar to what you describe. He went thru most of his first 2 yrs. of school with recurring behavioral problems that masked his abilities.
Being moved to a mixed class with slightly older children (and a very structured teaching style) really helped him to settle down and focus. Also I had to advocate for him with the school admin. to have a bully dealt with.
In the middle of this yr., at age, 6, his development suddenly took a flying leap. While I suspected that he would probably be gifted, until he was able to express himself better and synthesize all of his interests, I figured there was little point in having him tested (hard to test someone who's more interested in charging around the playground, etc.)
However, we now have the piece of paper to wave under noses. Until I had the test scores tho', it appeared to the school that he was simply a good reader! Now at least I can make a case for further extension programmes.
Also wanted to say that I've found reading books on raising boys indispensable. One author I reccomend is US-based psychologist Michael Gurian, who was, himself a handful growing up, but turned out fine! With high-functioning boys, we are dealing primarily with the effects of testosterone, and the typical male brain/sensory faculties--which can often be different from females. Then we have the individual boy's personality, i.e. introvert, extrovert, etc. On top of this we have to try to pick where he is at developmentally--IQ, EQ, Right Brained or Left Brained, etc.
There's such a wide spectrum of human potential, which enables us to focus on different things, at varying levels of intensity. Each little person is a unique package, and I think especially if you have stayed at home with them most of the time, you know your kid better than so-called experts.
I can't believe what I am reading. What a relief!
I always thought my daughter was average but was just very naughty.
She was perfect to take out as a baby and toddler and an absolute nightmare at home with screaming fits, spitting etc, and hitting for no reason.
I am not sure if she is gifted but is very very bright.
I always knew there was something "wrong" because of her unusual behaviour. I put her into daycare at 2 and the teachers told me she had was one of their best children and did not know what I was talking about. School also said the same. They said she was quiet and withdrawn and did not have alot of friends.
The neighbours knew the real child who would stand out on the porch and scream for hours if something upset her.
It's great to read other's comments and thanks to a good friend's support I have found it.
My son was the same, the word for not liking tactile stimlui etc is called Tactile Defensive
Our son for first few years hated lots of things
Until aged 3 didnt like walking on sand or grass
until aged 2 screamed with sun in his eyes, even with sunglasses
until age 4 cried when washed his hair
until aged 6.5yrs wouldnt put head under at swimming or take a shower
until age 2. 5 would eat meats, or many foods, ..
has strong sense of smell and reacts strongly ( like a phobia) to others vomitting
until last week at ODS, would never get paint on him, and if he did got very upset.
if gets wet , has to change clothes...
the list goes on
oh yeah until age 5 couldnt cope with loud noises
still runs away from toilet rushing.
Did play with playdough until 4 and only really ok with it since age 5ys...
the range of being tactile defensive is wide, there are many children with aspergers or sensory integration problems that have this and then children who are gifted without the SI, aspergers can have this, and some kids thru desensitisation and maturity grow out of it
hope that helps
all the best with testing
and yes from age 9mths i thought my son was different, he was so sensitive and cried lots
Hi all. How wonderful to read everyones advice. Our son seems to be gifted too. Its funny. You become so use to their amazing abilities that you forget just how different they are to kids of their own age. Our boy seems to have all of the classic traits, sensitive to noise, reading was self taught from a very early age etc. He is currently attending Kindy and enjoys it but still keeps to himself . I have just been looking at what I should be doing for him now and had considered getting him assessed. I would be interested to find out how others tackled this and at what age. Once they have been assessed what happens then??? How can this be used???
we went through our doctor, it's free but takes a bit longer, actually for us 3 months with constant pressure from our doctor to the hospital.
but now he's been assesed and we know that we're not just crap parents with a badly behaved kid, but parenting a gifted kid who needs lots of help understanding whats happening to him.
he is my first child so his abilities were normal for me, but looking back many people wondered about his brightness. i didn't like to concentrate on his brightness (silly kiwi don't get too big for your boots mentality) and concentrated on his difficult behaviour instead.
they say being labelled, even with something positive like gifted, can be limiting, but for us it helped to stop the constant guilt of failing our boy.
we thought maybe everyone else is right, he is just a normal highly strung boy, which means we're just not coping and are useless.
not a particularly benficial feeling.
our boy is not classically gifted, he's above average accademically, but not extremely, it's his thought processes' which are extreme and get him into trouble.
i am waiting to see how his assesment helps him and us so while i am hopeful i will wait to see what eventuates.
We have a child who is 13 & half years old; recently we found out that he has Aspersers (very functional). From a very young age he has been fascinated by light and power lines, for many years that are all he drew "power line". Andrew as always has been interest in electrical items and computers. Currently his interest is in Operating system and network. Friends email him with questions and Andrew helps with their computer problems. Andrew love reading manuals and retain all what he read, ask him a question and he has an answers. My husband who have been in the IT industry for 30 odd years find it hard to keep up with Andrew. Our concerns are with the gift Andrew has is not currently extended at the school.His current schools canít provide him the stimulation and the knowledge of question he has and also Andrew finds school very boring, this causes a fear in us that Andrew would give up school or might not be able to manage school due to his extended knowledge of computers and unable to get help.
We would like to get some help to provide Andrew a school that will extend him in IT as well as a school in other areas where he can grow with confident.
Nelly, just read this for the first time. If you are still checking this forum, what has happened with your son? My son also pushes kids around when he is bored. We had him tested because we were tired of people giving him labels which we felt were incorrect (adhd, aspergers). The tests confirmed our thoughts that he was gifted and he is neither adhd or aspergers but the psych. thinks his behaviour is anxiety based. This anxiety comes from many medical issues in his first year of life. We do understand the anxiety theory but we also know that if you keep him stimulated his behaviour is not an issue. Interested to know how it has turned out for your son, or anyone whose child behaves in a similar way.
I have a friend whose son sounds just like yours with regard to his outstanding ability with computers. He is now 16, almost 17, and working during the summer holidays for a computer company as a technician earning $600 a week. His boss says that M knows more than most of the senior tech guys! His first high school did not seem able to extend him in his area of talent, and he changed schools at the end of Year 10. He has been able to study computer engineering papers through the local polytech while he is at school and his current school has been excellent in providing him with challenges and extension in the ICT area.
Perhaps you could ask your son's school if it would be possible to explore a similar option for him. The other suggestion I have is to see if he could study a computer engineering paper through the Open Polytech, either in his own time or as an elective subject during school time.
I often read the letters on this forum and had to reply to yours as I can really relate to your concerns. Our second son (14yrs) was diagnosed with mild Aspergers in 2007, only after many years of us feeling he was different to our other 4 boys. He too from a very young age has had special interests. Since the age of ten he has become obsessed with Politics.His favourite Magazines are Time Magazine and The Listener and North and South.
He is also a very creative child who models life like sculptures of Politicians and Famous people from Ploymer clay. He has met several New Zealand Politicians and some have lifelike models of themselves sitting in their offices .He was in the Arts Talented Class in his last year at primary school and had his first solo exhibition at our local Gallery in 2006..He has just completed his first year at Secondary School and excelled in his favourite subjects gaining Excellence and Distinction. I like many others who write into the forum wonder how many of these Wonderful kids are falling through the cracks because they have Teachers who dont see these kids full potential unless they have been indentified as Gifted.
This is the first time I have looked up this sight....I wish I had looked at it months ago! My second son has characteristics you have all described and had me worried for the last couple months. I thought there was no other kids quite like him. He is 'Animal crazy' and has been since about 9 months old...like alot of these kids was talking early...loved books...amazing memory...can retain all sorts of facts (especially about animals). He is 4 now and is pretty able socially but the past few years have been very challanging for us!!!as many of you have described. He too has these "tactile defensive" charicteristics. One thing Aaron does is narate very long elaborate stories for hours on end usually about animals, he has an amazing vocabulary and very expressive....he usually tells thses stories while pacing up and down the room. We wondered if he may have asperges and took him to see Simon Rowley (peaditrician), he didn't think he fit the asperges box as his communication is very good and he is capable of relating appropriately. Simon was very reasuring and gave us some helpful hints on how to mange him.
A couple questions for people...
Have any of you considered home education?
Also have any of you got a gifted child who ends up in the shadow of an older sibling and so then doesn't feel like they are capapble because they are alwys trying to catch up to an older sibling? With my two boys, the one who is "gifted" often gets frustrated as he struggles to do what his older brother is doing even though he is actually streaks ahead for his own age group.
Your son sounds much like mine. He is 12 and very interested in everything science. He was very articulate at an early age and quickly grasps complicated concepts. However, I'm worrying just as you are with your son, that Christian is loosing interest in school. He's always bored and usually finished his assignments before the teacher gets the directions done. With nothing to occupy his mind, he makes loud noises and seems to be acting out some kind of story in his head. This disturbs all his fellow students who complain constantly about his sounds. Now in 6th grade, he has done this for years and we are at a loss on how to help him manage. I've noticed his grades are starting to slip, lately, too. So I don't know what to do and if you have any advice to offer, I would appreciate it.
hi just read your post reply. Hey what do you do? My son getting gifted testing. I call it opposite of ADD if he is not occupied he misbehaves and causes caos just for the fun of it and i feel like institutionalizing one of us. Please let me know what you do.
Hi there , i have a 2 and a half year old daughter who is showing all the characteristics of being gifted also . i don't really know what to do ? should we wait until she is older ? it is nice not to feel alone in it all
Whereabouts in NZ are you? "Small Poppies" provides sessions for gifted pre-schoolers in Auckland and Christchurch and may be something you would like to investigate further. Their website is www.smallpoppies.co.nz.
Most psychologists do not assess children until they are around 4. However, there are lots of sites which give lists of characteristics for younger children so you can check these out yourself - seems like you may already have done this.:-)
Hoagies Gifted is a great site for all things gifted.
Have a look on the Early Childhood thread on this forum as there are lots of parents sharing experiences there.