What to Do with a Child That Appear to Be Gifted at 3Yrs Old?

Updated on August 05, 2008
D.R. asks from Dallas, TX
10 answers

My daughter is just turned 3 1/2 yrs old. She is very very bright and appear to be bored at her current school. Although it teaches on an age approiate level, its not enough for her. I thought about moving her to a more challenging environement but have not found anywhere of that nature that will allow a child to be a child. I want her to be somewhere that focus on learning as well as realizing that a 3yr shouldn't be forced to be soooo serious all the time. I'm at a point where I don't know where to go or who to contact. She has a lot of charteristics of being a gifted child but i'm afraid to have her tested for fear of her test schools being really high, then I will be more confused about where to place her. Can anyone suggest where I can go to talk with someone with experience dealing with a child like this. I'm at a point where I'm really thinking about having her tested and least maybe someone can then suggest a path for us. We started noticing how bright she appeared to be when she enrolled her in daycare at 18 months. Stressed beyond belief, as she is so unhappy about going to daycare everyday. I want her to be in an environment where is happy about going to school everyday because she have so many years of schooling ahead of her.

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So What Happened?

thank you all so much for the words of encourgement. It means so much to talk with someone who understands what we are going through. I had orginally planned to start her at a new daycare on Monday, but I think I will talk with her current school and see if I can pull back my notice I gave and see about leaving her there until I can find the approiate environment for her. Keep Us In Your Prayers that we find the right place in the Richardson/Garland/Rowlett/Rockwall area that fits our budget.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I do not know much about gifted children but I am very fond of "Montessory" way of teaching in the preschool years. It lets the children do what they like and excel in it rather than doing all the things at the same pace with the classroom. I remember my son's teacher mentioned there was a boy in the classroom whose IQ was over 150 and also that she has material upto 2nd grade. My son explored "math" activities more than other areas while my daughter did more of "arts" activities.

Hope it helps.
-A.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

Montessouri schools are excellent. My oldest (who is almost 12 now) is gifted. She went to an AWESOME Montessouri school in Irving. She is in the Gifted and Talented program at her elementary school and makes straight a's. I sent my oldest son to the same school, and now my toddler is going there. I just love it. South Macarthur Church of Christ - Children's discovery Center. My toddler is in their 'Little hearts' MDO program until next year when he'll be old enough for the CDC program when he's 3.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

Well, my now 6 year old is gifted. He "taught himself" to write at 3 and was reading my 2nd graders sight words at 4. We took him out of daycare and put him in a facility that offered preschool. It was a big difference from just regular daycare. They even had a 3 year old preK class for my youngest son.

Now that he is in Kindergarten, they test for GT and he is going through that process now. His teacher has seen his talents and even gives him more work to do for "higher level learners".

Keep her stimulated! It makes a difference.

Tamara

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

I can understand where you're coming from. We are dealing with the same thing with our son. However, we have him in a great school, and I actually looked around at other places nearby last week, and there was no way that we could do that. Most places didn't start things until 4 that he has been doing since about 21 months. We can't go backward. That reassured us that he's at an excellent school. If you have any Primrose schools near you, I highly recommend them.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

My oldest son was the same way and you need to find a school that will work with her in a normal environment. I think she is too young to try to push her into a gifted environment, as at this age the social skills are really important. But, you might consider having her tested in a year or so and looking at some of the private schools that cater to the brighter kids (e.g., Hockaday school). At 3 1/2, we were fortunate that my son's teacher was willing to work to provide him with challenging activities. She would go to the classes for the older kids to get material for him to play with (e.g., really complex puzzles) and do (e.g., more complex number worksheets than the other kids could handle). Part of this was for her own sanity, as well, as he would finish his own 3-4 year old puzzle and quickly move around the classroom and do everyone else's before they had a chance. The same with the worksheets. When he was in Pre-K, the teacher (fortunately, the same teacher he had the year before in preschool) just moved him to the kindergarten class for half a day about halfway through the school year. The first day he was in there, he was teaching another girl in the class how to read. He is now 15 and still very bright and goes to a private boys school which is academically challenging and he no longer is leagues above the other kids. So, some of this equalizes as the child gets older and some of it is that he just doesn't want to look smarter than other kids, so he doesn't work very hard at all. But, fortunately, overall the school work is challenging, so I know he's at least learning what he needs to. But, each kid is different and you need to judge how important the socialization is versus pushing your daughter to exceed academically. For example, I could have pushed my son early on to skip at least one grade, but he is a fairly shy and quiet child and as it was, he was in a classroom with kids one year older than him starting in first grade, as it's very common in these private schools for the boys to be delayed a year.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Always remember that no matter how brilliant your 3 year old may be, she is still a child. She maybe able to read and write at a 5th grade level but emotionally she is still just 3 yr old. I HIGHLY recommend watching the movie Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster.

Good luck!

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B.B.

answers from Dallas on

My middle daughter was labeled GT at age 1 1/2. Our pastor's wife evaluated children for a living and just by watching my dd in Sunday School came up to us and told us that we needed to keep an eye on her b/c she was a great GT candidate.We did not have the money to put her in school before public school and guess what?... It did not matter. Her kindergarten teacher noticed and she is now placed in the GT program. Her IQ is 129 and she is 7. So don't be so hard on yourself for not doing something for her quickly or even soon. We were in graduate school and money was very tight. She is thriving and hasn't missed a beat. Just try to stimulate her at home. That is what we did. Every chance we got we tried to give her challenges and I think we did well. I am not sure but I do not think they test for GT before the age of 5 unless they are doing amazing things like playing piano at 2 yrs old. I hope this helps.

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K.G.

answers from Dallas on

i KNOW HOW YOU FEEL MY DAUGHTER JUST TURNED 4 IN FEB AND IS READING WITN MY 7 YEAR OLD. SHE HAS BEEN IN DAYCARE SINCE SHE WAS6 MONTHS OLD. THERE ARE MONTESSORI SCHOOLS FOR KIDS LIKE OURS. I HAVE NEVER PUT MINE IN ONE CAUSE I WANT HER TO BE A KID. MY DAUGHTER HATES GOING TO DAYCARE TO ( WELL UNLESS ITS COMPUTER DAY) BUT SHE HAS TO. I DONT WANT HER TO GET TO FAR AHEAD. I HAVE LOOKED INTO A PRIVATE SCHOOL COME NEXT YR WHEN SHE CAN GO TO PK. BUT OTHER THAN THAT I HAVE NO IDEA. BUT YOU MIGHT TRY HAVING HER TESTED MAYBE THEY COULD HELP I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT DOING THAT WITH MINE. LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES. HERE IS MY EMAIL [email protected]____.com LUCK

H.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Dee,
Wow, I hear about this all the time. I work for American Mensa, a high IQ social organization, and one of the best things we do is connect gifted kids with one another and get their parents resources on how to help them. A great place for you to start is to join one of our list serves. Your child doesn't have to be a member of Mensa for you to use them and you get to connect with parents of other bright kids to ask for some advice.

Try visiting www.mensaforkids.org. At the bottom of the homepage, there are a few links...one is "Parent and Teacher Resources." Click on that link and it'll take you to several different articles and other resources that might help ease your mind. There's also information on how to join the Bright Kids list serve, the one I was talking about in the above paragraph.

Gifted kids need a lot of challenges, stimulation and understanding to succeed. So many of the gifted kids we talk to have mentioned that they just didn't fit in with other kids at their school. If you find out that your daughter is gifted, a group like Mensa might be a great spot for her...at least she'd have a peer group of other gifted kids with whom she could relate and you'd have a peer group of parents to swap ideas with.

If you have more questions about Mensa or our gifted children program, just send me an email at [email protected]____.com. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I can even help connect you with someone qualified to test your daughter's IQ should you decide to go that route. If you really think she's gifted, it's important to find out for sure so you can place before her the challenges she needs in order to reach her potential. There's no need to be afraid or intimidated by her giftedness.

Take care and best of luck!
Hilary

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

My son was assessed and deemed gifted by a family psychologist. He is "unevenly developed" though and it is a challenge. Meaning his behaviour is well behind his cognitive/verbal.
Also, you may need to find a private school that will give her more individualized attention.
GOOD LUCK!

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