The SubUrban Mom...
A Mother's Perspective
PART II: MOTHER OF A GENIUS
In Part I, we talked about signs of giftedness in children under 2 years old. In this article we will focus on signs of giftedness that can be seen during infancy (under 9 months of age). In some cases, as early as day one. Yes! Day one. Remember in Part 1, we mentioned that we polled 89 moms of gifted children. Well, of the 89 moms, 35% of them (32 moms) reported they knew, or had an idea their child was gifted prior to 9 months old. Sounds a little outrageous right? Not so much. The thing is, many people tend to overlook the physical developmental signs, such as heightened senses, or advanced motor skills, which can also be inklings to giftedness in babies. Research states that babies that reach developmental milestones much earlier than their peers may be found to be gifted.
The first possible sign of giftedness, which can be seen as early as day one, is a newborns ability to lift and turn their head. That is correct. If a baby can lift and turn their head from your chest as a newborn, early on, you may want to watch for additional signs of giftedness to come. Don’t believe me? Well, I have two, and both of them lifted and turned their heads with control within 48 hours of being here. My daughter actually lifted her head and followed the nurse, as if she could see her. Only no one told me these were signs of giftedness. Thus, we didn’t put two and two together until much later. For our oldest it was when he began speaking in short sentences by 9 months and reading by 12 months…And I’m not talking about the “he memorized his favorite book” type of reading, either, he was phonetically reading. I remember, once we were in the car and as we drove he was randomly reading signs he could see out of the window. I kid you not, it blew my mind! Of course, he still sounded babyish in his speech, so like many other parents I would typically just “play” along when he would talk, but for whatever reason I decided to try and figure out what he was saying. Sure enough, we stopped at a light and he said what sounded like “check cash” I looked and there it was, clear as day, a sign to the currency exchange that said check cashing. If it wasn’t for that moment, of taking the time to pay attention, his ability to read could have gone undetected for months.
Other physical signs of giftedness in babies include; unusual alertness, high observation and ability to make associations, high level of engagement with their surroundings, and their race to independence much earlier than their peers. For instance, not only will the baby lift and turn their head, but would do so with purpose, i.e. eliminating breathing obstruction (boob, clothes, or burp cloth in their face), following movement, or following sound. Newborns or infants may also be highly observant and pay attention to processes and routine and begin showing signs of understanding. Some examples of their observation would be, cooperating during diaper changes or getting dressed early on, or looking at the refrigerator when you ask if they want milk or juice. A baby’s ability to make associations could include small things like holding the remote up or positioning it towards the tv and pressing the buttons, smiling on que when they see you with a camera, or being able to identify objects like shoes and socks early on. With regards to being highly engaged, gifted babies tend to look people in the eye, as if they are studying them or understand them, especially if the person is talking. They are also likely to respond to their name or the mention of their name much sooner than their peers. Lastly, the race to independence. Additional signs of giftedness include reaching the following milestones much earlier than outlined on developmental charts; sitting up unassisted, flipping from back to tummy and vice versa, crawling/not crawling and transitioning straight to walking, walking, and potty trained.
In addition to signs of giftedness, there are also characteristics that some gifted babies share.
These characteristics include but are not limited to:
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You can also find more information about our products, which feature our personalized and customizable early learning DVDs. Unlike other learning DVDs, our DVDs were created with gifted children in mind. By allowing families to add personal photos and familiar voices, it's as if you are interacting with your little one yourself- keeping them engaged while allowing you a much needed guilt-free break. You can get totally fun and creative with our DVDs, by submitting your favorite family photos, your voice, baby’s name, baby’s birthday, and more!
A parent's guide to gifted children.Tuscon, AZ: Great Potential Press, www.greatpotentialpress.com.
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Though articles are a new feature here at From "U" University, we are happy to say we will be running a short series, informally titled A Mother's Perspective. The articles will, of course, be based on early education & development, and our author's experiences, knowledge, and philosophies gained from her journey of teaching 2 gifted children from birth. The articles will focus on ages 0-3 years, and highlight cognitive learning milestones, parent teaching tips & tricks, teaching philosophies, learning resources, and more.