Gifted or Average
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I have been reading the information on brainy-child.com and would like
to ask whether my son is brainy or whether its normal for his age. He is
2 years and 4mths old. He can count 1-10 and can identify each number.
At the moment he is learning numbers between 10-20 and can nearly
identify them all. He has also started to learn letters and spell his
name. He knows at least 6 colors and at least six shapes by sight such
as rectangle square circle hexagon kite star.
At first I started noticing he would line things up neatly and is very
precise. I thought maybe he'll have some form of odc when he is older?
he talks very well in sentences sometimes up to 5-6 words. He is also
learning car manufactures by being interested in the badges on cars. He
can tell me what car is a Ford, Volkswagon or Citron. He picks up on
noises such as planes that i cant even hear at first.
Being 2 temper tantrums are very common with him but he is always on the
go and wants to touch and investigate everything. He is very active and
loves to dance and sing, he picks up the words to songs very quickly. He
can name animals and insects. I encourage him to learn as much as
possible and interested in finding out whether he is gifted. Many Thanks.
A: As a rule of thumb, gifted children
would demonstrate development that is at least 30% more advanced than
their peers. At two, it can be hard to determine giftedness, however,
parents can tell if their child has a potential for giftedness. Today,
it is much harder to determine giftedness since many children are
exposed to various activities by parents; these activities actually make
them learn faster regardless of ability. All children are like sponges
and absorb learning quite rapidly, and enthusiastic parents certainly
help in their development. For example, a gifted toddler may learn to
read at three, and so will a bright toddler. The earlier one reads the
faster learning will take place. However, a gifted child would need much
more stimulation and any learning activity needs to match their
intellectual capabilities. If it does not, the child would lose interest
in learning and may become disillusioned and probably disruptive. On the
other hand, a bright child would do well in most learning environment
and would usually be toppers. They adapt to learning quite easily and
are viewed as "good, obedient children". Naturally, a bright child is
easier to nurture compared to a gifted child.
Your son does show above average qualities. At this point, though, I
would suggest that instead of labeling your child, give him the best
that you can in terms of his learning exposure. The activities suggested
for young gifted children are suitable for most children as well. Make
sure that there is a variety of activities and enough learning exposure
for meaningful learning. I would rule out OCD at this point but if you
are concerned about any other disability your son may have, a child
specialist would be the best person to see. There are studies on gifted
and talented children that indicates that gifted children may have
disabilities in language or social skills, which may resemble autism
For now, go on doing what you have been doing and keep monitoring his
progress and encouraging him to learn positively. Play schools may be a
good place for him to develop his initial social skills. You may also
want to go through the past responses in this newsletter for suitable
activities for above average children. Good luck!