29 answers

3 Year Old Daughter - Behind or Not?

I guess this will seem kind of odd, but I wanted to put it out there to see if anyone can give me clarification.

My 3 yr old daughter who was adopted was born with 4 drugs in her system. She has behavioral issues and nuerological issues. At a recent pediatrician appointment, the doc asked me a series of questions to assess her development. They included: how high can she count, does she recognize her shapes, does she know her letters and numbers when she sees them, can she draw a person. I was a little surprised by these questions. My 5 year old who is in kindergarten, spent the first quarter of the school year focused on these specific things! (She already knew them and I was surprised they were focused on them so heavily.) But now I'm confused - should my just turned 3 year old know these things that the same school system didn't seem to expect my kindergartner to know???? My 3 year old can count to 6 with no errors, most days she can get to 10. She can sing her ABCs (LMNOP is still a single word to her!), she doesn't identify shapes well or numbers/letters at all by sight except for E. She can draw a circle with 2 dots for eyes and a line for a mouth but nothing more in the realm of drawing a "person". She can identify her colors sometimes, but they seem to come and go as to whether she knows them or not (neurological damage may be contributing to memory problems here.)

Now the intermediate unit wants to do an evaluation on her to see if she needs to be in their federally funded special preschool to get her caught up. I'm all for having her on target - I just want to make sure that I'm not wasting tax payer dollars if she already IS on target!!! I guess I want to know what other just turned 3 year olds know.

Thanks,
K.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I received 12 pages of questions to fill out for the early intervention unit and they say that based on my answers she is far enough behind in fine motor skills and social skills to warrant an in-depth evaluation. Funny, that questionaire didn't ask me a single thing about letters, numbers, shapes, or colors! Anyway, we are going to have her do the eval and see what's recommended. It may turn out that the "academics" are only a secondary reason for this special preschool. Thanks for all the advice and making me feel better about this decision.

Featured Answers

Hi K.
First of getting is an excellent idea.....my son has PDD which is on the autism spectrum and he has been getting services since he was 2 1/2..
There is nothing wrong with seeking help, and NO you are NOT wasting tax payers dollars....you're a tax payer.
Getting the eval will show you if there is a delay or not.
Don't disspare, she's 3 so IF there is an issue, it'll be done thru a preschool setting.
My son LOVES his school and rides the school bus this year.
He's make GREAT strides and I can't thank early intervention and the AIU for all their help.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like she IS on target. I would ask the pediatrician for specifics as to WHY they think she might be a good fit for the special pre-K. They may be basing that recommendation solely on the fact of the previously stated behavioral issues.
Also, I do know someone who utilized a special pre-K and the extra-attention that the child received was well worth it...and now the child is attending a "regular" school and doing quite well.
Best of luck to you all.
-L.

Being a pre-school teacher children who are three are not required to know all of those things.

If the Dr. is worried about those things, have her tested by the IU, they will be able to tell you better if she has any delays or not. They will also not place her in a program if she doesn't need to be. The people at the IU are professionals at what they do and will be able to steer you in the right direction

More Answers

Hi K.
First of getting is an excellent idea.....my son has PDD which is on the autism spectrum and he has been getting services since he was 2 1/2..
There is nothing wrong with seeking help, and NO you are NOT wasting tax payers dollars....you're a tax payer.
Getting the eval will show you if there is a delay or not.
Don't disspare, she's 3 so IF there is an issue, it'll be done thru a preschool setting.
My son LOVES his school and rides the school bus this year.
He's make GREAT strides and I can't thank early intervention and the AIU for all their help.

1 mom found this helpful

My sons couldn't do any of that at age three because I didn't teach it to them. I was big on "play time". And you're right about them learning it in kindergarten. I think the important thing here is not whether or not she is ABLE to count, etc. but whether or not she is CAPABLE of doing it. Like say if you tried to teach these things to her, does she pick up on them. Also maybe the pediatrician is just being super analytical due to her special circumstances. I don't remember them caring much about academics at this age when I went to the pediatrician.
Having said that...I would still go for the eveluation just to stay on top of things. If she truly does have developmental delays, then the sooner you get help the better.
God Bless you!

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend getting the early intervention eval. I had one for my son because of an interruption in his physical development related to illness and medications. While I was interested in the physical portion of the eval they did the entire eval - language, cognitive, daily living skills, etc. Each portion of the eval was short and the evaluators were very kid friendly. They were done in our home. Having your daughter evaluated will not be wasting taxpayers money. You are concered about your daughter's development and you indicate she has issues that could be affecting her development.

My son is 3 1/2. Upon turning 3 he could count to 10, he had just about mastered the ABC song, he knew most of his basic colors and was good at knowing shapes. He was not good at writing letters or numbers though he could recognize 4 or 5 of each when he saw them. He loved for us to draw for him but was not big on drawing things himself. He is only now becoming interested in drawing - balloons and carrots are his specialty and he likes to trace his hand. He balks at drawing people. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter will be 3 in March. She has been able to identify most shapes and colors, sing the ABC's, and count at least to 10 (she gets higher now) for a really long time now. And she can spell her name, Rebecca. I was surprised to see her draw a person the other day because I never showed her how and she did quite well for what I'd expect of a toddler. As for number and letter recognition, she's starting to recognize some letters, but not so much with the numbers.

Now, does all of this mean that your daughter is behind? I don't think so. I mean, she's only three. I've always thought that my daughter was a little advanced because she seems to be ahead of a lot of the other kids her age at church. I'm curious now to see what the pediatrician asks at her three year appointment...

I think that all kids do different things at different times. I think some are just like that. They learn quick, remember easy, or something and some don't. She may have her own issues due to her being born with drugs in her system. But, I also think that she may just be learning at her own pace, as all kids do at some point. My just turned 3 year old step-daughter, seems so smart, picks up on things fast and amazes me at times. I feel lucky with that. But, I know that another child who is a little younger than her is still learning alot of the things my step-daughter knew at that age. On the other hand, another child I know the same age knows alot more than that one. If that didn't get all jumbled up there, my point is, I think that from you said, she does know a great deal. I don't see it being a problem, but you never know, and I am not a doctor to say what problems she has due to her situation. I guess you don't want any stone unturned, but I don't think you should stress too much on it and make the situation out of hand either.
I know my nieces were so different growing up. I wondered if the one was ever going to talk..she was so quiet. Than all of a sudden she was talking in sentences. Than she had a hard time learning to read, and her mom worked with her on it for a summer and after that- she was fine. She loves to read, it's still a habit for her to read with her mom at night before bed. Because she wants to now!

I think you should watch out for things due to the situation, but also not stress about it all too much!!!

You have to think of the pros and cons. It could also upset her development by leaving the home so young. You could look at it both ways. It seems she is caught up, or the school would let you know. It sure sounds like she is doing fine, to me. You can teach her new things at home just as well as they can in preschool. I always liked the activity books they sell in the stores for the different ages. Get some of those and enjoy teaching her.
Don't forget that the doctors sometimes get more money when the give referrals. It may not be in this case, but you never know. I don't trust them.

As a preschool teacher I would not stress about what she doesn't know and focus on what she does know. When I was teaching the 3's (I now have 4's) I wasn't worried about how many letters they knew or if they could draw a person. They weren't ready for it. It wouldn't hurt her to go into a preschool progam, but I don't think your daughter is behind.

Hi K.,
I have a son who just turned 4, and to me seems bright and loves to tell stories and play. I remember at his 3 year check up, them asking me those questions. I remember thinking is he supposed to know all this stuff already? I have two older girls, so at that time I felt he didn't know all of it, but that he would learn at his own pace. I think they are general questions they ask every parent, and you shouldn't worry if they want to evaluate her because that is what additional programs are for, to make sure when she starts kindergarten she is ready. My sister-in-law has 11 month old twins that were evaluated because they were slow, and they were observed a few times in her home, and then they were satified with their development. It's just an extra pre-caution most of the time, and it's free. Best wishes, E.

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