Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

early milestones = smarter?

are there long term studies about babies reaching milestones early and being more intelligent/ doing better in life down the line?  I feel like many of us are in a hurry for our lo's to hit milestones, but it seems like babies work at their own speed and I keep reading things about lo's who reached milestones late and then are later very good at sports/ very academic/ etc.

My lo has been later to hit milestones and I worry sometimes, but there seem to be so many lo's to hit milestones late and still be developmentally normal.

Re: early milestones = smarter?

  • I think we all like to think our LO's are "gifted"-- DD has been on the early end of everything (crawled at less than 6 mos.,, walked at 9, speaks in sentences, etc) and while I of course as her mother think she is an effing GENIUS, I also think she is hands down the most gorgeous child walking this earth, LOL :)  I know shei s bright, do I think she is a child prodigy?  No, of course not.  I have read that early milestones can be a sign of higher intelligence, but I have read nothing saying that if a child doesn't reach early milestones they are necessarily LESS intelligent.  There are plenty of kids that walked at 15 months instead of at 9 that are incredibly gifted today.  I wouldn't sweat later milestones at all, unless it was severely late.  And your LO could not be more adorable, love those blue eyes!
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  • DS has been on the later end of hitting his gross motor milestones and our pedi told us that small motor and cognitive development is more closely tied to intelligence and not to worry about gross motor since he's not having any developmental issues.
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  • The research I've read (and "NurtureShick" has a decent synopsis) indicates that it's difficult to test for true giftedness until around age 9. Other factors are much more at play, such as how much academics are pushed/stressed in early childhood. An average child can learn impressive things like letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc just from being exposed to them, where an intellectually gifted child may not know these things but may still be "smarter" in the long term. The research indicates that gifted programs in school that you test into at 4 or 5 and then never test out of are a huge mistake and are filling our gifted programs with average kids. (Nothing wrong with average kids, of course, but why have a gifted program at all?)

    I know this isn't exactly the answer to the question you asked, but the "my kid can do complex calculus at 14 months; is he a genius?" One is sure to spin off :). Research also indicates that problemsolving skills in this age group are much more indicative of intelligence than are things they memorize, and that IQ is not static and can be build over time. There are also behavioral indicators or true giftedness that also tend to equal spoiled brattedness. Therefore my kid = Einstein :D.

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  • I work in early intervention and I have seen evidence to support both:

    Sometimes areas of development (gross motor and cognition for example) are met very closely to each other. The science behind this makes sense in that neuropathways are opened up with more movement and this facilitates learning/play.

    However I have seen plenty of children test behind in just one category with no problems in any of the others.

    So basically it could go either way. I think it helps to meet milestones within typical ranges, but it does not necessarily "lock" a child into a path of being advanced or delayed.

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  • I don't have any studies to go by, just my own experience at work.  We don't do any type of major psych or IQ testing until after the age of 8 because you can't really get a good read on anything before then.  I've seen kids who have hit all their milestones as a baby super early score with really low IQs, and vice versa.  So no, I don't think it matters.
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  • I know some highly gifted college students who are dumber than a box of rocks.
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  • image ashleysynyshyn:
    I don't have any studies to go by, just my own experience at work.  We don't do any type of major psych or IQ testing until after the age of 8 because you can't really get a good read on anything before then.  I've seen kids who have hit all their milestones as a baby super early score with really low IQs, and vice versa.  So no, I don't think it matters.

    This for me as well. I have seen kids who reach developmental milestones early but then go on to have disabilities, and have also seen late walkers/talkers etc. go on to be gifted. I have not found any correlation in my personal/work experiences.  

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  • image luvmybaby28:

    are there long term studies about babies reaching milestones early and being more intelligent/ doing better in life down the line?  I feel like many of us are in a hurry for our lo's to hit milestones, but it seems like babies work at their own speed and I keep reading things about lo's who reached milestones late and then are later very good at sports/ very academic/ etc.

    My lo has been later to hit milestones and I worry sometimes, but there seem to be so many lo's to hit milestones late and still be developmentally normal.

    No, in fact quite the opposite. DON'T WORRY about reaching milestones late!

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