My Possibly Gifted Toddler

Toddler Walking Down Sidewalk
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My son was a premature baby, so I was always worried about his development. I knew that preemies can suffer from developmental delays. Even though I knew that preemies will meet milestones later than full-term babies, I still worried when my son was behind in his development. He did not start walking until he was a year old and that first step brought more than delight; it brought relief. I can't say the same was true about my son's speaking.

 While most children begin talking by their first birthday, mine was still not talking as he approached his second birthday.

I actually worried that my son might have a hearing problem and so I would sometimes sneak up behind him at and clap to see if he'd react. He always turned to look at me, but I wanted a bigger reaction. I guess I wanted him to be startled by the unexpected noise. I couldn't understand why, if he could hear, he wasn't speaking. Even taking into account his premature birth, he should have been talking by his second birthday.

Adding to my confusion was the fact that my son seemed to be intrigued by printed letters and numbers. There was no such thing for us as a simple walk down the street. My quiet son, at age two, would walk down the sidewalk and stop at every parked car and every lot number imprint in the sidewalk and with an intent look ono his face, would trace the letters and numbers with his finger.

 Every. Single. One. We'd walk a few feet and he'd plop himself down by a lot number in the sidewalk and intently trace the letters and numbers with his finger. He'd do the same thing with the license plates on every car parked along the curb.

Would he ever talk? Would he ever do anything but move his fingers to trace letters and numbers?

 What was he doing? Then one day as we were walking down the street, he pointed to a bird and clear as day, said "bird." My son, who never repeated any words I said, who never mimicked animal sounds, who did nothing but look and trace letters and numbers had begun to talk! From that day on, my son spoke as though he had been speaking for months. His sentences weren't long, but they consisted of more than two words like "Bird fly." In other words, he seemed to have gone from not speaking at all to speaking much like a three-year-old. Although I didn't know it at the time, this was one of the first signs I just might have a gifted chid on my hands.

Some gifted kids are like mine, and some speak late in full sentences, and others speak early. Some even speak exactly when they are supposed to! What was  your child's language development like? 

Read more about my journey.

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