Friday, March 29, 2013

Asynchronous development...alas.

Asynchronous development is one of the key things about gifted kids that drives parents crazy. It results in bizarre things like a kid being able to do algebra in kindergarten but not tie his shoes until 6th grade.  It means that a child is ahead in some ways (far, far ahead) but woefully behind in others, and right with their peers in still others.

Makes for a lot of confusion about what a child should or should not be doing because the "normal" doesn't generally apply across the board.

It also makes for a lot of frustration among kids and parents alike.

So we got us another baby who is already showing signs of asynchronous development. He's 2 1/2 months old. Favorite things include watching the kids run and "talking" (he says lots of words that start with "ahg" and end with round vowels) with people. His playtime generally consists of kicking and flailing, and he's just learning how to uncurl his hands and touch thing deliberately.  All of this is normal for a 2 1/2 month old.

Unfortunately, he's also been studying our mouths while we talk, and yesterday  he started trying to copy Caleb's laughing--he wasn't laughing, though. He was deliberately trying to mimic the sounds. But, while his brain is ready for mimicking sounds, his physiological development isn't there yet. His mouth and facial muscles aren't developed fully yet.

And he's been watching us eat and has started begging for real food--especially ice cream, bottles of milk, and anything Daddy is eating. Even advanced kids usually start this kind of begging "early" at 4 months old, so at 2 1/2 months he's really jumping the gun. The CDC doesn't even recommend you TRY solid foods on your kid until 6 months. I have read that you can start giving kids solid food when they start asking for it, but whoever wrote that didn't anticipate that happening at 2 1/2 months--his gut isn't developed enough to digest solid food, and it could actually be damaged by food at this point.  Poor frustrated kid.

He's also become extremely interested in mouthing things. Everything. Anything. He just wants to explore his world by chewing on...stuff. Any stuff. This is an interest that doesn't usually show up until 4-6 months. Unfortunately for Jack, his gross and fine motor skills haven't developed enough for him to grab things and get them into his mouth. So he's frustrated. He wants me to hold things in his mouth so he can mouth them, but then I do it wrong (hold it at the wrong angle, don't take it out soon enough, don't move it where he wants to feel it, etc), and he gets even more frustrated and ends up screaming at me.

We've done this before. It means I have to be more heavily involved in every minute of the baby's day than I really can with 7 kids to care for, and it frustrated both of us. Good thing we have siblings around to help out and distract this little guy!


The poor child's mind is 4-6 months old, but his body is just 2 1/2 months old.  And I can't fix that for him.

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