At what age?

(21 Posts)
mistlethrush Wed 02-Oct-13 11:24:19

When I was growing up, my mother was friendly with someone nearby who had 4 children - two older than me, one about the same age and one younger. By then it was clear that they were all extremely clever. The baby was reading books on amphibians and their physical structure etc, latin names well before going to school.

Sunnysummer Wed 02-Oct-13 11:16:22

I like exoticfruits' point - at very young ages it is often hard to see giftedness vs bright child with adult input, plus children develop at such different rates. My brightest sibling was #5, but he didn't get picked as gifted until a couple of years in, as our parents were way too busy running around after the rest of us to teach any reading or other skills early on, plus he is kind of a slacker smile - whereas only children or PFBs will get a lot more intensive and responsive support.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 02-Oct-13 11:05:22

LaQueen has described a truly gifted child whereas G&T can be something entirely different.

Some schools will assess the top 10% as G&T and others will use a CAT schore of over 129. A child could be G&T for a year, then not the following year but pick up again after that.

DS (Y3) is gifted (as in bright/above his peers not a genius) in all things academic at the moment, it was clear from a very young age he was able but he is not spectacular in anything IYSWIM, it just comes naturally. He could read very early and is still ahead of his peers, he has an amazing memory also. This may not last of course though and eventually it could all even out.

It is hard to say when you would know as some little ones achieve their milestones very early and may seem ahead in pre-school-Y1 but it can soon even out.

LaQueenForADay Mon 30-Sep-13 21:49:55

We hadn't really noticed much about DD2, because she was always quite quiet, compared to her glittery sun-beam, chatter box of an older sister.

But, when DD2 was about 2.10, her nursery nurse mentioned that she could do mental arithmetic - they'd watched her count dinosaurs into a box, and then she took 3 out, and told herself 'So, that leaves 11 in the box' and then she looked up and spotted 5 more dinosuars on the shelf and immediately told herself 'They would make 16 in the box' And, she went on in a similar vein for a while. Taking dinos out the box, putting some back in. Doing the maths in her head. Her nurse said she wasn't having to count on her fingers, she was doing it instantly in her head.

I still have her little nursery book, where they noted the entire interaction down, because they were just shock

Also, she would do things like memorise the entire breakfast, lunch, tea menu for the upcoming week. And other stuff, which the staff told us that 'normal' toddlers just don't do.

By the time she started in Reception we knew she was something very out of the ordinary, because when she started school she couldn't read (hadn't been interested). But by the first half term she was reading the Golden Key books, with Biff & Chip (with about 30 words per page). She never learned to week she couldn't...5 weeks later she was essentially free reading.

PiqueABoo Sat 28-Sep-13 12:19:01

"Bucks used to test VR only"

Then they apparently decided that doesn't work and they needed to test numerical reasoning etc., whilst (like Kent) muttering about too many children getting through who weren't quite what they expected, the 'rigour' was too much for them and they need tutor-proof exams.

A perfect example of this entire area being a vague, unsatisfactory kludge: Everything's fine.. Everything's fine.. Everything's fine.. Everything's fine.. [Political sea-change].. Change to keep pace with "new" theory [::ROFL::]... Everything's fine.. Everything's fine.. Everything's fine.. [Political sea-change].. Change to keep pace with "new" theory [::sighs::]...

IQ tests are similar and who talks about those honestly? We hear about precise three digit numbers, but they're the stuff of large scale statistics, different tests are not all equal and the scores are an a estimate with an associated probability of being correct with a corresponding, non-trivial margin of error. It's bound to be much worse for testing very young children.

Meanwhile at DD's state primary they put her on the G&T register for piano, some other kids for maths etc. She tends to be the best at maths but I think the school were trying to get a 'nice' spread on the register in case anyone wanted to look at it (Ofsted?), they have pushy parents to mollify and perhaps some of he brighter children who might take more encouragement from the label. I don't object.

No sign of 'propagating' but as someone (I forget) said 'the greater the gift, the greater the investment in the gift' and I expect there's a lot more investment in reading than maths at home. Given that Everyone+Dog whines about maths deficits these days, it isn't obviously a bad thing.

wearingatinhat Fri 27-Sep-13 22:55:38

Well, I have to say, this idea about reading not being a sign of strong ability and that strength in maths is some sign of superior intellect seems to be propagated by state primary schools and is not a view that the private schools typically subscribe to. I would agree however, if we are talking about the ability to simply decode.

Private schools test in VR and NVR; so do many grammars - infact Bucks used to test VR only. We were advised by several schools that DC who read well and have high levels of comprehension are highly likely to have strong verbal reasoning skills and high levels of verbal IQ. This then normally translates to high achievement across the curriculum of literacy based subjects: history, geog, science etc. Infact, our headmaster said he would rather see a child with high verbal reasoning ability because those without would start to struggle with word based maths problems in KS2. We were told the same by other HMs.

VR and NVR scores are 'normally' somewhere in the same ball park anyway, and large discrepancies between scores are usually investigated.

itsnothingoriginal Fri 27-Sep-13 21:03:04

From my experience with school and what I've read on here, reading ability at an early age in itself isn't considered much to go on but mathematical ability is! Our school look for giftedness across the board. DD is extremely good at reading - could read literally anything and with understanding/expression by yr1 but she isn't considered gifted or exceptional at school because her maths is average.

FreeWee Tue 17-Sep-13 20:53:21

Cheers everyone. Will check out that website and who knows, in a few years I may be back on this board...or not smile

metranilvavin Mon 16-Sep-13 11:33:47

The NAGC, now calling themselves Potential PLus, has a reasonable list of signs of giftedness on their website.

But as the saying goes, if you've met one gifted child, you've met one gifted child. Some are reading at 2.5, some don't really stand out until school, and others until much later than that. While some unbelievably bright children aren't interested in academics at all. So there's no real way of telling.

richmal Mon 16-Sep-13 08:03:07

I'm not sure about the reliability of IQ tests for children. I remember watching a programme about testing some children of around primary age. One question asked was, "what is a limpet?" To which I thought, you may as well ask: When you go to the beach do your parents take you to rock pools or amusement archades?

FreeWee Sun 15-Sep-13 20:28:28

I'm not sure what I mean by G&T to be honest but thought this was the board to explore it. Mensa was just an example with a concrete time frame i.e. a 2 year old can be defined as Mensa standard. I guess the EYFS should give some inkling then yes perhaps confirmed by SATs etc. I have no doubt my DD will be clueless regarding musical/artistic/sporting talent if her parents are anything to go by! I could read very early (youngest of 4 though so my mum can't remember exactly how early!) so I'd be looking out for early reading I think. But then my DH is exceptionally good at mental arithmetic so perhaps she could be stronger at that. I did a psychology degree with all the child development milestones but can't remember any of them nor find my text books!

PiqueABoo Sun 15-Sep-13 14:31:04

The stories say Einstein wasn't obviously up to much until he was ~12. I think a lot of "gifted" come from organisations selling something and they do have an interest in widening their market in terms of lower ages, lower ability and a 1001 "signs".

My 10yo DD may well have had ticked boxes on someone's list, but relative ability simply wasn't on my radar until around age 6-7 when the school starting generating streams of measurements like SATs sublevels. Since those were stupidly good, I relaxed about that and mostly went straight back to caring about happiness, childhood, social development and friends.

lljkk Sun 15-Sep-13 11:17:44

First you have to define Gifted", OP.
Some definitions of Gifted mean that you can't say until after the fact, after they achieve something truly remarkable. Some children are exceptional for their age but may not be exceptional at every age & stage of their lives.

Other definitions of G merely mean in the top 25% of ability; so that implies there's a lot of them around anyway.

exoticfruits Sun 15-Sep-13 06:48:07

You can, but it is difficult. A lot of people come in here with a list if what their 2 year old can do and my eldest could do similar- he was merely a bright child who happened to spend a lot of time with adults. They then ask how the teacher will possibly cope- and the teacher will be fine, you always expect some bright children. They treat reading as a race- forgetting that it us a skill and no one knows, or cares, if a 14 yr old could read at 2 yrs or 8yrs.
I don't think it is anything to worry about. If they are truly gifted or talented they will stand out- and the very odd one will really stand out under 2yrs. However, in that case I would work on socialisation with other children more than anything. At least get them into activities that will benefit them and they want to do- not Mensa where I can't see any benefit beyond saying 'I was a member of Mensa at 2yrs'.
I did initial tests for Mensa and was invited to a centre- I looked into it and couldn't see any point- apart from the fact you have to pay to belong!

BlackeyedSusan Sun 15-Sep-13 01:12:15

i think you can tell earlier than two, a lot earlier depending on how out there the child is. (and what the child is particularly gifted at)

how a two year old can be in mensa is a different matter as they rely on iq results i think. i am not sure they are that reliable until the child is older...

one person in fifty would qualify for mensa, as they take the top 2%

exoticfruits Sat 14-Sep-13 22:15:41

I can't see why you want a 2 yr old to be a member of Mensa- what is it going to do for them?
Quite probably they pick up reading early- and talking etc but then the rest catch up.I think they would need to be at least year 2 to see that it was exceptional. It can be any area- some might not show up for years because they may not have taken it up.

FreeWee Sat 14-Sep-13 22:05:32

I'm interested in knowing when you might start to get a hint that a child is exceptionally ahead of its peers? If the youngest Mensa member is 2, when did his parents first notice he was exceptional? And in what areas do you look out for?

exoticfruits Sat 14-Sep-13 20:56:32

If they are gifted in music they won't know for some years. You could say similar about a lot of talents.

VegasIsBest Sat 14-Sep-13 20:46:41

I think it's more complicated than that. There isn't just one way of saying a child is gifted and all children develop at different rates. Why do you want to know?

exoticfruits Sat 14-Sep-13 20:46:06

It depends a lot on what they are G &T in.

FreeWee Sat 14-Sep-13 20:38:40

Can you tell if a child is G&T?

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