Advanced Development of a Toddler
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
What types of behavior would a advanced 2.5 year old display?
My son has a large vocabulary- speaks in full sentences. He asks why, what, who,
where and when questions. When interested in an activity will play for long
periods of time. He has a wonderful imagination. He started out about 4 months
ago pretending to be different characters like one week he was Winnie the Pooh,
then kanga and so on. Now for about a month he has imaginary friends. Sometimes
there people he knows and sometimes not. Like he has an imaginary cat he named
meow. He feeds her and waters her.
He also has a wonderful sense of humor. He's
known his shapes sense he was 13 months old. He knows all basic colors and lots
of the alphabet. He counts items all on his
own. He points out burnt out light bulbs in stores or holes in the ceiling. He
potty trained in a day. No accidents at all and he remembers to go on his own.
These are just some of the things he does. Is my son advanced or are all these
things normal for his age? Thanks in advance.
From your description, your son is advanced for his age. Usually, for children
of high ability, the most immediate sign would be a high level of curiosity.
You could also look out for early development in motor skills, quantities
(vocabulary, complete sentences, sponging in of information, long attention
span – as in the case of your son), and comparisons (comparing to other children
in terms of language used, imagination, creativity and level of understanding
More specifically, you may also refer to the following points that indicate
above average development of a toddler:
Ability to listen to the reading of a long book (may also
ask to hear again)
Early verbal and motor development (talking and walking)
Early interest in alphabets, numbers and concepts
Strong sensitivity and response to music
Ability to absorb rhymes easily and recite them accurately
Ability to comprehend justice and fairness (fitting of
things in scheme)
Ability to sort and organize things
Understanding of cause and effect
Making inferences and association in new situations
Expresses impatience - perfectionist (usually in the form
of frustration/tantrums, e.g., when mind is able to perform task that the
body is not able to handle)
Ability to narrate stories clearly with an ending
Ability and enjoyment in completing puzzles
Ability to remember and describe complex events even after
a period of time
Advanced sense of humor
The above abilities are by no means exhaustive and there may
be other indications of high ability. Parents should always be observant and
make sure any indication of ability is strengthened and focused upon.