In a span of about 3 years, my daughter has gone from being diagnosed as slightly ADHD with signs of Autism to Gifted.
Let me back up by saying, that I've switched daycare centers twice. The first time was due to being laid off and moving, but the second time was purely out of hatred for the Center Director. She and I did not see eye-to-eye on why my daughter behaved the way that she did. Gabby was "different" and didn't fit into their cookie cutter education styles.
Yes, Gabby is different. She is extremely smart and independent. She beats to her own drum, if you will. Apparently, in the early childhood education world this translates to ADHD. A few examples of some of her *disruptive* behavior: Gabby leaving the line to go out to the playground to pick a flower, refusal to take naps during a FORCED naptime, wanting to do something else during circle time, getting upset with a teacher and licking a carpet defiantly, and the list goes on and on. Gabby was immediately labeled as possibly having autism when she walked on her tippy toes. It amazes me that some of the daycare workers who have only an early childhood education degree suddenly morph into a doctor or a psychologist and diagnose a child with a disorder. Leave the diagnosis up to the professionals, folks. I went as far as to take Gabrielle to a neurologist and put her through extensive testing to disprove that she was autistic. This "Sensory Center" wanted to change her diet all around to eliminate dairy and glutens. After seeing this piece on GMA, I immediately stopped taking her to this center as all it appeared to be hokey and was a means to sell highly expensive vitamin supplements. Maybe Jenny McCarthy had luck with altering her sons diet, but Gabby DID NOT NEED THIS. McCarthy's son was not able to communicate or speak. The first word that Gabby ever spoke at daycare was "Madeline" (a girl in her classroom) when she was 11 months old. She was speaking very well all by herself. She even could say her ABCs and count to 10 by the time she was 2 and started saying words in spanish and chinese with the help of shows on Nickelodian.
I received a letter in the mail at the end of last month that Gabby was selected for the school's gifted program. She just started Kindergarten at the end of August. She had to wait a year because of the age limits of Kindergarten…the child has to be 5 by the time school starts, and since her birthday is in December, she missed the cut off last year. Her teacher nominated her after realizing her reading abilities and comprehension skills were at a much higher level than Kindergarten. After speaking with the guidance counselor, she estimated Gabby to be reading at a 3rd grade level. I was beaming from ear to ear after I got off of that phone call. I almost had the same radiant glow as when I was pregnant with her. That's MY GIRL! And I am a proud Momma! I almost want to go back to the daycare she was at and shove the letter right in their faces (and also tell them where to shove their opinions), but I think I will refrain. Instead, I decided that maybe I should blog about it as many parents out there might be facing the same plight. Gabby's evaluation is in progress as of right now, and we should know more in about a month.
If you suspect your child may be gifted, here is a great place to start: http://www.giftedpage.org/ — PA Association for Gifted Education
Gabrielle fits into several of the characteristics of a gifted learner. I read them aloud to my husband and mother and time after time again we said "that's GABBY!"
An aside to teachers and daycare workers alike: Just because a child is "different", do not label them until they see a professional!