Parents of gifted babies or gifted toddlers may feel like they are at a loss when it comes to supporting their unique children. Formal research on gifted individuals under 5 is sparse. Many gifted identification practices are not implemented until age 6, and gifted program options through public schools may not be offered until grade three, if at all. Still, many parents report observing differences in their bright babies even without formal studies or testing to reference.
Gifted individuals are about as unique from each other as they are from the general population. However, there are some common experiences and signs that parents have noted in their young children who would later be identified as gifted. Generally speaking, many gifted babies may hit different developmental milestones early. Other cases report not showing any advancements but then moving past all milestones at once, such as in the case when a child may not progress through traditional speech benchmarks but then begins speaking in full sentences all at once. Some additional shared anecdotal observations include:
When the mainstream parenting literature doesn’t account for highly capable babies, it can be hard to know what to make of observations like those listed above. Parents may feel polarized between feeling like they are “pushing” their child too early and simultaneously may worry about “missing out” on opportunities to develop their gifted toddler’s potential. Luckily, there are many options to enrich your bright child’s development that can strike a happy medium for the family.
Bright and curious children have a great capacity to absorb the world around them. Just like you would feed any child a nutritious diet, feeding your child rich or stimulating experiences can be a great way to informally support their intellectual development. Below are a few options that parents of gifted preschoolers can consider implementing in their family:
Of course, there are also formal ways parents can consider supporting their gifted preschooler as well. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) assessment may help provide gifted identification and recommendations and is suitable for children ages 2:6 – 7:7. Parents may also look into early entrance into Kindergarten programs or other forms of acceleration, such as through a Montessori school. Lastly, parents may also seek out specific curriculum or gifted parenting books for additional insights into the development of their bright child. A few of our favorite gifted parenting books can be found in our blog article “Gifted 101: A list of our favorite gifted parenting books.”
We hope to see you and your gifted preschooler at one of our many Davidson programs in the near future!
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The following disclosure is provided pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 598.1305:The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a Nevada non-profit corporation which is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt private operating foundation. We are dedicated to supporting the intellectual and social development of profoundly gifted students age 18 and under through a variety of programs. Contributions are tax deductible.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.