Monday, September 22, 2014

The Gifted Side

I am often asked when we first new Selena was gifted. I had my suspicions for quite awhile even when she was a year old. She had a way of seeing her world unlike most children her age. She could enter a room, and memorize everything in that room. When we returned to that room the next time the first thing she would point out was anything that was not in the same place or anything that had changed. Her abilities for details were just unreal. At age 2 she was reading very simple books, ABC and 123 books with ease, at this point I figured she had them memorized, since they were her favorite books after all. Then at age 3, she came to me with a Dr. Sues Book and read it word for word, from front to cover. I grabbed another book, "Green Eggs and Ham" again without missing a word or a page she read it from front to cover.

It was also at this same time that I had volunteered to work as an AWANA leader with the understanding that Selena would have to be in one of the lower groups. They did not have a Puggles group, so we put her in the Cubbies group. With in the first week she had memorized every Bible verse in her handbook, and we were ordering the second handbook. She did not like the slow pace, and quickly began to have problems with being bossy to the other children, she couldn't comprehend why they were not learning at the same rate as her.

It was also about this time that Selena was moved to an upper Sunday School class, she just wasn't happy in the nursery anymore. She was so excited yet nervous, the night before, that she informed me she couldn't go in pull ups. I informed her that in order to go without pull ups she had to be able to use the big potty. She worked very hard that first night and potty trained herself, not only for daytime but night time as well. She never wore another pull up or diaper after that.

We also seen some deficits though, one of the first thing we noticed was her inability to say her own name. Within a week of having her name wrote on a board and breaking it down by syllables, she finally had her name down, not only that but she recognized it when needed. The other thing we noticed was her lack of fine motor skill, not that we expected a 3 year old to be writing, but it was more the lack of wanting to use her hands. She refused to get dirty, she detested touching her food, though she was quite on her way to using utensils. The muscle tone in her hands was just not there, so we had to do a lot of exercises and exposing her to different situations where she had no choice but get her hands dirty.

Her vocabulary and reading just exploded, she talked constantly about science, and used terms like hypothesis, everywhere she went. Her knowledge base just continued to grow, she could name all the dinosaurs, as well as understanding kinetic energy and any insect she came across. She absorbed very complex phonic concepts which only improved her reading and ability to sound out any word she was presented with. She actually learned and understood fractions before she understood simple math facts.

She had many quirks, sensitivities, and a STRONG need for everything to happen within her internal clock. She ate breakfast at exactly the same time every morning, had lunch at the same exact time everyday and couldn't handle it if we were not home for her to be in bed by 8:00 every night. She didn't like her clothes getting dirty or wet.

Come back, I will be sharing when we realized that her sensitivities were more extreme and began to seek professional advice as to the other piece in this puzzle.

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  1. She certainly is one smart cookie. It's been interesting to see how your understanding of her has changed and grown over time.

  2. This is very interesting. I am looking forward to hearing more about all that is Selena.