I haven’t blogged much about Bug’s academic life lately – not because there isn’t a lot going on in my mind about it – but mostly because I’ve been in denial. I keep trying to chalk it up to coincidence or lucky guesses, but it keeps happening consistently, so it’s time to face it.
Bug can read. He can read most 2 and 3 letter words, and can work to sound out longer ones. He can write almost every letter of the alphabet and has been writing his name [unprompted] for months now. He can write out his brother’s name, “Mommy,” and “Daddy.” He can count to at least thirty [he gets bored after that], and can do simple addition and subtraction.
He’s 3.5. These are skills that kindergarteners and 1st graders are working on.
I knew the boy was smart, but I’m just now realizing how far ahead he is.
According to the research I’ve been able to find, his skills are all indicators that he’s gifted. In fact, he’s actually considered highly gifted, but I personally think 3 years old is probably too young to accurately make that determination.
There’s definitely a part of me that’s thrilled, excited, and just a tad proud. When I was pregnant I read that eating Omega-3 can help your baby’s brain develop, so I ate a lot of flax seed. Clearly, there’s a correlation. I mean, that’s the only logical explanation I see.
[I hope you know I’m just kidding. I just think it’s fun to take all the “credit.”]
But the more I research, talk to parents who have traveled this path, and seek advice from educators, the more I’m a little fearful for the boy. Bug very likely has a road of frustrations ahead of him. Unless we decide to skip him a grade or two, we’ll probably be figuring out how to stop him from misbehaving out of boredom for many years to come. It’s possible that making friends his own age will prove difficult, because play time with those friends can easily bore him. We’re probably facing many years of teachers being frustrated with him.
Many of the symptoms of being highly gifted actually mirror autism [which was on my radar, though we’ve been assured by the school’s specialist that Bug isn’t autistic], so we deal with the extreme experiences of emotions, the over-excitability, the social seclusion, and the resistance to change that parents of autistic children deal with.
So I’m not sure what this new information will mean, or even if it will have any major impact on our lives. I can already tell though, that having a better idea of how Bug’s mind works helps me have more patience for his tornado-like tendencies, and I can only pray that he feels more understood and better loved.
Because the truth is – no matter how much or little they know, no matter how well or poorly they behave, no matter what challenges or joys we face while parenting them – those boys have stolen my heart.
Totally and completely.