One Mother's Journey Raising a Gifted Child - Part 1

Part One - The Early Years

Mother and Young Son
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I can write a list of gifted characteristics, explain the different definitions of the term "gifted," and even provide ways for you to tell if your child is gifted. Regardless of what I say, though, like many other parents of gifted kids, you might still wonder if your child is "normal" or if you are the only parent with a child like yours. You might wonder, too, if you are doing the right things.

To really understand what a gifted child looks like and what it's like parenting a gifted child, you can follow me on my journey as a gifted parent. My son is now in college, so you can read about how my son developed over time and what it was like for me as a parent of a gifted child.

My First Dreams of Motherhood
I always wanted to have children, lots of them. When, at the age of 41, I learned I would finally get to be a mom, my dreams of motherhood did not include having a gifted child. I didn't even know what that was!

My Premature Baby
When my son was born six weeks early, the last thing I worried about was whether or not he was gifted. My primary concern was that he was healthy and would not have an developmental problems.

My Possibly Gifted Toddler
I was quite confused by my son's early development. In some ways he lagged behind, but in others he seemed way ahead of other toddlers his age.

First Signs My Child was "Different"
Once I was able to stop worrying about problems like developmental delays and hearing loss, I found myself puzzled and amazed by what my son could do, reading his first word, for example, at just a little over 2 years of age.

My Son's Fascination with Words
The fascination with letters moved to a fascination with words.

My son's thirst for knowledge first showed up in his need to learn about words, which was his way of teaching himself how to read.

Obsession or Hyperlexia?
My son was a late talker, but an early reader. It seemed like I had just stopped worrying about hearing loss and developmental delays, but there I was worrying about this preschooler's obsession with words and reading.

My Toddler's Sensitivities
My son continued to surprise and puzzle me. His sensitivities to the feel of certain textures was one of those surprises.

My Little Picky Eater
I know some kids are picky eaters, but some of my son's pickiness came from sensual sensitivities, particularly touch. He did not like foods that had a creamy texture, for example.

Insensitive to Sensitivities
I know now about Dabrowski's supersensitivities, but when he was very young, I'd never heard of them but I sure wish I had.

Potty Training and Bottle Weaning Woes
Trying to understand what is "normal" development for most kids is hard for any parent, but it can be even harder for parents of gifted kids, especially when they were born premature!

Those whole potty training and bottle weaning things were a couple of those difficult times.

My Search for Daycare
Looking for daycare was the first sign of the problems that I would find later in finding a good fit for my son in school.

Perfect Preschool - Perfect Teacher
After a long search for daycare for my son, I found the best daycare -- ever.

My son's early cognitive leap
Children go through the same developmental stages, but quite often gifted kids go through them more quickly and make major leaps. My son had one of those leaps when he was three.

My very different little boy
Since my son had basically taught himself to read by the time he was three, I knew he must be pretty smart, but he was different in other ways, too.

Aren't All Children Gifted?
That was my initial reaction when my son's preschool teacher told me that my son was gifted. Her comment got me started learning about giftedness. I learned the answer to that question is "no."

There's more to reading than...reading?
My son was a proficient reader by the time he was four years old. It was pretty obvious that he was reading and comprehending what he read, but some people wanted me to think there was more to it than that.

Early Entry into Kindergarten
It had become clear that my son needed to start school early, but that was turning out to be much harder than I thought it would be!

Waiver for Early Entry into Kindergarten
In order to get my son into kindergarten a year ahead of time, I had to get him tested. That didn't turn out so well. He did fine on the test. The results just didn't matter.

Read about what happened in kindergarten and in first grade.

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