Nathan’s 2nd grade teacher agrees with his 1st grade teacher…Nate is “gifted”. Just saying that sounds so strange. I always knew he had some special qualities, but to hear the word kind of throws me for a loop. She explained that many kids are smart, but to be gifted means not only more advanced in reading and math, but a variety of other characteristics. Here’s the list. It’s long and Nate possesses every single one of them.
Social & Emotional
- Interested in philosophical and social issues
- Very sensitive, emotionally and even physically
- Concerned about fairness and injustice
- Well-Developed Sense of Humor
- Usually intrinsically motivated
- Relates well to parents, teachers and other adults
- Extensive Vocabulary
- May Read Early
- Reads Rapidly and Widely
- Asks “what if” questions
- Enjoys learning new things
- Enjoys intellectual activity
- Displays intellectual playfulness
- Prefers books and magazines meant for older children
- Skeptical, critical, and evaluative
It’s interesting to me that he didn’t go to preschool and he even struggled a little with reading throughout Kindergarten. Something just clicked over that summer, though, and he took off. The next step is to have Nate take the Advanced Placement test in January. If he is one of the top 30 2nd graders in the district, which his teacher expects he will be, then beginning next year he will be going to school in Highland with his other AP peers. This obviously will present a few challenges such as leaving his friends, more homework, having to carpool instead of walk to school, and a few other things. But the positives are that he makes friends easily, will really enjoy his homework rather than being completely bored with it, and the potential to eventually succeed in whatever he wants to do in terms of his education and career. Rob and I are both a little nervous and have thought of alternatives but feel that taking him down this path is the right thing to do.
I was a little nervous to know how Madeleine would progress in Kindergarten. I kept her home instead of sending her to preschool and I was worried about her being behind academically. After working with her for a year, she still couldn’t count to 20 without missing a couple of teens. She had a hard time writing a bunch of letters and numbers. She just didn’t seem interested in pushing herself whatsoever.
I’m happy to report that after just 6 weeks she can not only count to 20 but to 100 with ease. She can write all her numbers and letters correctly. She is trying (and succeeding!) to read and write. She has memorized my phone number. She is doing beautifully socially as well. We are so pleased with her quick progression and assume she will just rocket forward from here.
She wishes she could go to school all day!
Before I tell you the results of her evaluation to see if she qualified for speech therapy through the school district, let me just say that we are AMAZED at her progress the last 2 months. She went from not being able to repeat single syllables to now speaking comprehensible complex sentences. Seriously. I figured it would kick in the closer to three she got but it has actually happened. I tear up sometimes just listening to her. She speaks her mind in a mature way. I can tell she has quite the intellect. No wonder she was so frustrated not being able to communicate. Every day she says something new. Every day I’m amazed.
So because of her quick progress, I was expecting better news from the speech pathologist. In articulation, she is still only in the 3rd percentile of girls her age. The district cut off for speech therapy is the 7th percentile so she was well into the “significant speech delay” zone. But keep in mind that this was a few weeks ago and she has progressed since then. Nevertheless, we will be doing an hour a week of Mommy & Me Talking Time at the school until they reevaluate and deem her above 7%. Even though she is speaking so much better than she was, she has a long way to go so I’m happy that she was accepted into the class. Before, we could understand about 25% of what she was saying when it was in context to what she was doing. Our comprehension went down to about 0% when she tried to tell us anything out of context. Currently, we understand about 75% of what is said in context but still only about 25% out of context. So that’s a huge improvement in such a short time.
She turned 3 last week and it was actually really emotional for me. It’s been a tough three years we’ve had (+9 months if you count a long and painful pregnancy). Her first year we worked through 6 months of harness-wearing for hip dysplasia accompanied by 6 months of colic, a year of severe spit up where nothing stayed down, a trip to the ER and a night in the hospital for RSV.
Her second year was riddled with confusion for her and both her parents. Her behavior didn’t seem normal. It took us the whole year to put all the pieces together and figure out she (and we) needed some help finding out what was off and what needs she wasn’t having met.
This last year was spent on gastro, ent, and audilogy dr appts and followups, many evaluations, 2 months of cognitive therapy, 4 months of behavioral therapy, and 6 months of speech therapy. It’s been time consuming and a lot of work. She probably would’ve progressed fine without it, but her growth and maturation would have taken longer and been much more difficult had we not done anything. Many times we prayed and fasted and had been given specific answers for what we were to do. Exactly one year after starting this process, Rob and I are so thrilled with the little girl she has become. She still has some difficult moments and days and still has a few lingering behavioral/cognitive quirks but generally she is a happy, funny, amazing person. So, yes, it was a bit emotional to celebrate Caroline.
…But lest I get feeling too positive…next up is potty training. Happy thoughts…happy thoughts…happy thoughts…
I’m so grateful for my children and patient and caring husband. They are sincerely the most amazing people I’ve ever known. Many days are hard. Like, really, really hard. This motherhood thing is so much more work than I had ever anticipated but I love you all so much! You are my world!