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Physical and Cognitive Development

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My Son is 28 months old. He has always shown a great interest in well.... everything. He could count to 20 by 2 years old without and provocation. his memory for shapes colors as well as anything and everything he hears or sees is perfect. His vocabulary and sentence structuring is advanced to the point of shocking a health visitor into silence not only as what he says but the inflections he uses.

He remembers the words of songs after hearing them once (not all lyrics usually a verse or two). I see him getting frustrated with his peers when he speaks to them and expects a response equal to his question. He makes up songs. The problem I am having is physically he is on par with the children around him at nursery and still enjoys the things they do. But I worry that intellectually he isn't being stimulated enough. What should I be doing to provide this environment for him?

A: Your problem is a very common one faced by most parents of gifted children, especially the younger ones. You son would certainly be at par physically with the other children as he is developing normally there but he is certainly developing much faster cognitively.

Let him enjoy with his peers as this is a good time to help him adjust socially. If the school has any special program for children that are more advanced, make sure he is in it. Let the teacher know of your concerns and see if anything can be done to help him with more stimulating activities. If there is a play school or nursery in your area that is less structured, you may want to inquire.

At home, you may need to work quite hard to provide him with the required stimulation to enhance his learning. You can do this by providing him with a stimulating environment and lots of time for self play and discovery, doing projects together, going out and learning new things, introducing hi to the world of books, etc. Make sure the activities are varied, meaningful and stimulating. If he shows less interest, it's fine, move on to another activity or introduce the same activity in a different way.

No two children are the same so what works for someone else may not work for your son. There is a lot of trial and error here; but you need to be careful not to push your son to much. Guide him, monitor him and help him help you understand what interests him, then go with the flow. Please go through the archive for some suggestions on how to challenge a gifted toddler. All the best!


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