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Old 10-20-2006, 09:46 PM   #1
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Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Hi I am new to board. I have started 1 other topic a couple weeks ago but have another question, I hope you all dont mind me starting another thread. I live in Central Ohio and my son is 3 1/2 years old. He was diagnosed last Jan/06. He started in OT, PT and speech last fall because he wasnt talking and had some other signs of Autism. He doesnt communicate with words, he might lead us around to show us what he wants, and he repeats things he hears, memorizes whole cartoon episodes, etc. Since he was 2 can say all his numbers and count to 100...now he can write all letters, write his numbers to 100, beginning addtion, and has started reading a few books with 1 sentance on each page. He draws very well and loves music of all kinds. He can do pre-k and kindergarten workbooks I buy him at the store and he knows how to tell time, at least on the hour and half hour. His music teacher thinks he does better than most kids his age on the piano...he sometimes sounds out parts of twinkle twinkle little start by himself on his toy piano at home. Some of his teachers and therapists have used the word gifted to me about him (not officially, just in conversation) and I just was wondering how smart does a child have to be before he is considered gifted and how is this tested. He does have an appt. in Jan with a psychologist. Nobody has ever even told me if he was high functioning for sure, we just all assume it that is one of the things I asked in my other thread about if it was necessary to see a psychologist. I would just like all these things spelled out for me...it seems most other parents seems to know if their child is high or low functioning, etc. I just don't want to neglect his learning abilities if he is capable of much more than I am teaching him, do you know what I mean? Thanks so much.

 
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Old 10-21-2006, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

My son is 3 1/2 and now has full language. I always thought he had an unusual connection to letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. He could count to 100 when he was a little over 2 however didn't receognize names for his family members for ex. Mama. He also had some word recognition, but didn't use his language functionally.

Now, after almost two years of intensive intervention those superior skills have subsided and he is much more natuarally functional with his language and generalization of the everyday stuff. He is extremely intelligent, however I would not consider him gifted. I'm thankful things have turned in the degree they have. I think he needed to start "filling other areas of his brain" that were impaired to create more of the natural balance that the rest of us are born with. That's just my theory but it's how it seems to have been for us.

Good Luck

 
Old 10-21-2006, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

I was very verbal, and read at the fourth grade level in first grade. My mother made a joke that I could read at a young age because I could identify the names of the records by looking at their patterns. I don't think of myself as gifted, just as a person who learned to love books from an early age. I was lucky to have the seed of early reading and enjoyment of learning planted practically from the time I was born. Many of the people we consider "gifted" were also fortunate to have parents who encouraged early reading and learning. Roger Bannister wrote in his autobiography that he learned to love reading early on in life.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

My son displayed many of the same charactersitics you are describing with your son. He was great with numbers, letters, and computers at an early age. At 7 he can read and do math at grade level and can teach himself many computer programs, and is a wonderful artist. He speaks well other than the typical autism gliches in his skills which can make his speech sound rehearsed or a little less spontantious than others.
Like Jeffrey's mom, I saw his gifted skills plateau a little with age, although he is very intelligent. And he has more rounded skills, other areas that were lacking have grown such as social interaction.
With regard to high functioning low functioning issues, beware of labels. I have had my son called high functioning several times by professionals, I have met other professionals who only refer to Asperger kids as high functioning. I have had doctors respond when telling them he has autism with "Well, obviously he's Asperger's". I have had other professionals tell me he has severe autism, and other professionals say things like "Well, this book was written for children with high functioning autism but you can get advice from it too". So you see there is no easy answer for those who fall in the middle of the spectrum. In my opinion, if a child is reading, doing math, speaking, able to do art, and engaging in some social interactions, that's high functioning. But I guess in theory it is possible to say a child has severe autism and is high functioning, severe just isn't a word I like because it has a negative conotation for a child that is doing well. So take it all with a grain of salt.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

I started talking very early on, around six months, and was talking in sentences before 18 months. I taught myself how to read at age four. All of this was seen as "giftedness," not for what it really was- Asperger's-induced hyperlexia. I had sooo many of the red flags, but nobody knew what Asperger's was when I was a toddler...
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

i don't consider my son gifted but he does have some skills that are above his age level. interested in numbers and letters as far back as i could remember. was putting puzzles together and a whiz on the computer by 3. in nursery school his teacher would tell me the other students couldn't wait for him to come in and build his "amazing train track patterns". taught himself to read at 4 and now at 5 years old (kindergarten) reads at a 2nd or 3rd grade level. he also has a photographic memory. remembers things after seeing them only once. ie. remembers his vocabulary words in the exact order they are written after just glancing at it. i have never been told that he is gifted but i just think these kids make up for other areas they may be lacking in. (socially)

 
Old 10-21-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Hi

My name is Sonya. I reside in Northern Ohio. I too have a daughter( Yori) who was diagnosed with Aspergers when she was 4 years old and she is now 13. I must admit when we were first told this news it was very difficult to understand because we had never heard of Autism before. Here we are nine years later and Im so proud to be her mom.

My daughter began reading at the age of 2. She would never say mommy but she just picked up the paper one day and started reading. She caught on very quickly with spelling and she can spell just about anything now. At the age of 8 she began tinkering on a toy keyboard, today she can totally play the keyboard with all the little buttons, tones etc. Ive wanted for quite some time to get her into some type of musical program because she loves it. Her biggest dream is to one day meet Clay Aiken, not just because she loves his music, but because of the Bubell Foundation. It was at this time that she realized that she herself was Autistic and came to understand as much as she could about it. It was Clay's work with these kids that motivated her to learn so much about him. Somehow he made her feel ok about knowing that she was special even though she thought differently than others.

I often think back to those who said that my child would forever be stuck in the mind of an 8 year old and yet she has come so far. She reading at an 8th grade level, she's doing math, which was said to never be obtainable for her, she writes songs, she plays the keyboard and she a B student. Never give up on these kids because they will amaze us at every turn. To me, my daughter can do anything she puts her mind to.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 06:47 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Sonya,

Very interesting about your daughter! It was interesting to hear about her interest in Clay Aiken because of his work with autistic children through the Bubell Foundation.

I also am interested in people for unusual reasons. My inspiration is English runner Roger Bannister, not because I am anywhere near athletic, but because he did the impossible many times in his life. Once, breaking the four-minute mile was considered impossible, but Roger Bannister, through a combination of determination and scientific study, broke the barrier and paved the way for others who followed. I believe that Roger Bannister had some indicators of Asperger's Syndrome, as he was very intelligent, but reported social awkwardness and extreme shyness in his autobiography, The Four Minute Mile. As a child, he was very active and found it easier to run than to walk. He learned to love reading early and his parents supported and encouraged his drive to get an education. Not only did he accomplish the impossible athletically, he also became a neurologist. I don't think a "typical" person could have accomplished the type of research he did on a regular basis.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOM23ANGELS
he also has a photographic memory. remembers things after seeing them only once. ie. remembers his vocabulary words in the exact order they are written after just glancing at it.
That's sooo me! lol! I read my bio book today, and I can tell you every page in order, where on the page something specific was written, etc. It's both a gift and a curse, believe me...
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:23 AM   #10
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Gatsby,

I had a lot of traits I would consider indicators of Asperger's and hyperlexia when I was young, and I'm in my 40s. I didn't know of Asperger's until 1997, and so much of it fit me. My mom said I had indications of being an early reader. I don't know if I actually was able to read before I started school, but my interest in books was fed and encouraged practically from the time I was born. As a result, I was reading and spelling at fourth and fifth grade level when I was in first grade. English was my second language, my first being German. I also excelled in my high school Spanish classes in the written work, although I can't converse on the same level as native speakers. I was good at math until I started algebra, and then things went downhill.

I was a picky eater as a child, something that is definitely not a problem now. At 42 years of age, and just 5' 1" inches tall, I have to watch my weight and exercise more.

I watched several programs last night about autistic savants. The savant syndrome is described as "islands of ability in a sea of inability and disability." I know some things that are unusual for a person my age, but I don't think of myself as severe as some of the people I saw. Sometimes, I am embarrassed about some of the things I know, because people might think of me as "weird." I don't think of myself as having any kind of severe disability, but some difficulties are there.

I still hang on to the example of Roger Bannister, probably one of the most accomplished people with possible Asperger's that I have ever heard of. If indeed he does have it, his example could be a great inspiration to others.

 
Old 10-22-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

Did any of you catch that show on the Discovery channel last night about Kim Peek the man that the movie Rainman was based on? Lots of qualities that you all are describing was in this special. They talked about a man in England who they believe is undiagnosed Autistic but somehow managed to assimilate to his environment and he has full speech so he's part of a study about Autism and he described what it was like to have it, how he thinks and perceives things. He said he interpreted numbers as colors and personalities shoot I wish I knew the name of it, but it was on yesterday evening Saturday 10/21 maybe your listing in your area will show when it'll be on again. It was incredible and mind blowing and inspiring. I hope you all can catch it soon. Maybe your local library has a copy of it. If I fiond out the exact title I'll post it.

 
Old 10-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #12
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

my son is 18 hfa with an iq of 52, he is into the state quarters he can tell you when they came out what is on them without looking, if you ask him how old would i be if i were born in 1862,1739,1638,1982 etc it takes him a minute and he will tell you, i have to go on the calculator to see if he is right and he is 100% of the time, but he doesn't remember his seat belt or to look both ways when crossing etc. he loves numbers and commercials and can recite commercials word for word but not other things,

 
Old 10-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #13
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

gatsbyluvr1920,

you're not kidding..."a gift and a curse". one of his homework assignments is to alphabetize his vocab. words. everytime, i get this..... "I'm not doing that." I want them in this order." (original order that was given to him by his teacher)

 
Old 10-22-2006, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

MOM23ANGELS- Yes, I like things in the order that I memorized them, too, but I wouldn't have trouble with that assignment because I love alphabetizing things! I remember lists very well, just by repeating them out-loud to myself. My senior year, in anatomy, my teacher was trying to show that the human brain can only memorize seven new things at one time (which is NOT true, if you're an Aspie), so he put up a list of words and gave us ten seconds to memorize as many as we could and write them down. I got the most in the class- nine out of ten. But I still remember them, in the order I learned them: into, complete, function, food (one chunk- top of the list), road, girl, sky (second chunk- bottom of the list), throat, baseball, flower (third chunk- middle). I also remember studying for an American history test about the Stamp Act and such, directly preceding the Revolutionary War in eighth grade and memorizing the five items the Townshend Acts put a tax on: lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. I memorized it in that order.

9CatMom- I've always been very good at learning languages, as well. I took Spanish and French simultaneously for two years in high school. In fact, learning the Spanish language is one of my fixations. I "translate" DVD's by putting the Spanish subtitles on the bottom and copying the sentences/phrases into a notebook. I have two binders filled with about 11 or 12 notebooks of Spanish. I also get Spanish for my notebooks from places like instruction manuals and online websites about health science. I've gotten lots about mental illness and how different organs work. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I have all of my favorite movies completed from beginning to finish, including A Beautiful Mind. It's neat when I can get such phrases as: "The refracted faces of the glass create a full wavelength dispersal, so when you look inside, you can see every possible color" and "That's an analog to Frobenius for non-comunicative extensions! Yes, it is, but it only appears to work sporadically, so no, but I believe I'm making progress" and "Schizophrenia is degenerative. Some days may be symptom-free, but over time, you are getting worse."
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:40 PM   #15
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Re: Does anyone have autistic child that is also gifted? Interested in details.

I think I saw that before its called Brainman.

 
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