Nurturing a Gifted 5 Year Old
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: I am a mother of a 5 year old son from
Philippines. I and a lot of people suspect that my child is
intellectually gifted. We wanted to bring him to a specialist for IQ
test to confirm but we are having problem where and who to go to and my
son refuses to do so. Here are a list of his milestones, I hope you can
help me figure out if he is indeed gifted.
Upon birth, he was the only infant at the nursery room who was so
uneasy and looks like he wanted to get up.
At 5 months old, he was able to utter MAMA very clearly.
At 10 months old he learned to hold a pen properly and cud already
write some unidentified shapes and lines.
At 1 year old and 6 months, he can identify colors, shapes, alphabets,
At age 2 he knew the alphabet and numbers from 1-10 and cud already
write his name and can sing the alphabet in 3 different tunes.
At age 3, his memory was so sharp he was able to memorize a deck of NBA
cards of about 26 NBA players with their names, name of team, jersey
number, and jersey color. Such names were tough to pronounce but he can
say it so clearly even if we turn the card UP SIDE DOWN.
At age 4, he can read both in our dialect and English, also talks in
English with correct grammar, knows addition and subtraction, names and
types of clouds.
Has memorized the prayer Angel of God overnight, also Our Lord's
Prayer, Hail Mary, holy Mary, Glory Be without so much repetition, I
simply record it in my recorder he listened before sleeping, and he
wakes up with a new prayer to recite.
Talks so much about supernova, photosynthesis, black hole, galaxy,
gravity, figures of speech, and topics that other children his age would
never be interested about.
He can explain why we have night and day, why there are different
shapes of moon, can explain how we human gets to live because of oxygen
and vice versa.
He got a hundred of books but never torn any, he knows the content and
stories of each book.
Prefers bookstore not toy stores. Never got hooked with toys and games
other kids usually enjoy. He just want to study and learn.
At age 3 he was a COMPUTER WIZARD. Microsoft Word, Excel,
paint. Can program his own game, changes background and does something
with our laptop that even us adults can never think of. Teaches kids
older than him on how to use a computer. He's not afraid to explore. He
Plays chess, and machinarium in a computer.
At age 2 he realized he wants to be a teacher. At age 4 he always put
us adults into a room where he plays the teacher and really teaches us
Perfectionist, on time, too focused when doing something and has sharp
indescribable memory, energetic.
He has sensitive senses. Visual-hates bright light and excels in
ABSTRACT reasoning. AUDIO-hates noise and loud sounds. TASTE-picky
eater, he smell the food before eating.
Socially isolated, prefers to watch educational dvd's, read write,
draw, explore his microscope than go out with other kids.
Gets bored so easily that sometimes lead to tantrums.
Has a very good study habits and enjoy watching NEWS and GAME SHOWS for
There are a lot more he can do that other kids older than him cannot. He
went to school at age 4 for Kinder1 and got a little bored because he
knew the lessons. His classmates were still learning the alphabet then
but he can read already. He was rank 1 out of 26 students who went
through nursery and were no longer first timers, but my son was a first
timer. He was awarded Best in Academic Performance in all subjects, and
was most behaved. His teacher always told me that he can pick up lessons
so quickly. He always get a perfect score in their exams and quizzes. A
lot of people are extremely amazed with my son's abilities but I am not
sure if he is indeed gifted this is why we enrolled him at Montessori to
address his crave for learning.
I hope you can help me. Thank you so much.
From your observation, there is reason to believe that he is definitely
milestones ahead of his peers and may be potentially gifted. Parents are
the best judges to determine giftedness in their children and it appears
that you are aware of his gifts, which is an excellent start to help
nurture his potential. An IQ test can perhaps wait for a couple of years
when he is more stable.
As a parent, you have indeed taken the first step to ensure good
education by observing him and being aware of his progress. Home
schooling is an excellent way to raise an above average child,
especially if there are limited educational choices in your area. In
fact, by allowing him a few hours a week at Kindergarten is an excellent
way to balance his social life. Schools are important for children to
learn social skills and interact with other children. This is where they
are able to learn to appreciate human differences among individuals.
For now, a good way to raise your child is to hook up with other parents
who have potentially gifted children and share the experiences. It is
amazing how much you can find out from parents through experience;
something no book can help! Joining a gifted association in your area is
a great idea; there is an association for
gifted children in
Philippines. I believe you will find the association extremely
Gifted children also need other children of similar ability to learn at
a certain pace, so getting to know other parents of gifted children and
organizing, say, weekly activity may be a great way to help your child.
On guiding him, you seem to be doing a wonderful job just by observing
him and monitoring his progress, so keep it up.
Try not to pressure him at this stage, allow a lot of free play, observe
his interests and give him more stimulating and challenging work at
every stage. With puzzles, working with a timer indicates someone who
enjoys challenges - but the other side of it indicates perfectionism
which you may want to be careful about. Allow him to make mistakes and
help him realize that it is perfectly fine. Schools that offer learning
based on a lot of exploration and free play with minimum structure would
be mist helpful. I believe the Montessori program is doing him good. You
may want to speak to his teachers to see if they could provide him with
more advanced work.
Having said all that, all work and no play may burn out a potentially
gifted child, so let him be a kid and enjoy childhood. He need not only
indulge in educational activities, get him involved in other activities
(sports, games, etc) as well. All kids need to enjoy their childhood;
something that is not happening much these days due to parental and
school pressure, so you may want to strike a balance here.
So here's wishing you all the best in your journey of parenting this
wonderful child. Best of luck!.