Hi, I'm new to the board. I live in the U.S. but originally from an Asian country. So, I am still learning about the U.S. educational system.
I have a three year-old daughter, who is different in many ways. First, she has a speech delay problem due to multiple ear infections during her first three years and now receives speech therapy.
Second, she has sensory integration dysfunctions in the areas of vestibular and proprioception, which cause her to be awkward and very careful in her movement. She also has some problems with tactile sensory but not as bad as those two areas. She will receive a physical therapy soon.
Third, this is the part where this discussion fit the gifted board. I as well as her teachers believe she is exceptional. She is a precocious reader, who started to read words at around 20 months old. If I wrote some words down, she would use sign language of that word to tell me what it was. She could use over a hundred signs before she turned two years old. She could fingerspell her name when she was two years old. And if I asked her to point to shapes, colors, numbers, she would be able to do it correctly.
By the time she was two and a half, she could say one or two word phrases. That was when we knew that she could read just about any words. For instance, we showed her some flash cards, she would read at the bottom of the card, for example, there was one time we want her to say "snake," but she said "tree boa," which was a surprise to me because I have never taught her this word. She could even read difficult words like caterpillar, dinosaur, even names of people whom she didn't know, and read all words related to space (her fav. topic). And of course, she makes some mistakes in reading for those exceptions like "island" (said is-land instead of ai-land) and "monet" (said mo-net instead of mo-neh).
Right now (she is 3.3 years old and able to speak in short sentences, but articulation problem's still there), she can read books that have about three lines per page by herself. And I believe she comprehends most of the stories because I always check by asking her questions. She can count more than one hundred. She is an avid reader. She can hum many classical songs. She can even tell me what instrument is playing.
I hate to bore you all with my daughter's information and didn't mean to brag about her. I just intended to give you some facts about her.
Our struggle right now is about her future education. How will she fit in school? By the time, she enters kindergarten, I think she can do much more academic stuff than she does now. However, she acts like a three year-old. She is not yet talking like a three year-old, but getting better and better each day. She has weak muscle tone and problems with balancing and awareness in space, so she's not ready to do those physical acitivities that a normal three year-old can do. She can't color within a frame.
What should I do now? Should I seek more help for her? In the future, should I contact a special ed school or gifted program? Would putting her in normal school do any harm to her? Would getting her in a gifted program be a problem because of her speech delay (hopefully by that time, she can overcome the delay)? Would putting her in a special ed school not challenge her enough? And is it too early to be worried about this? Sorry for asking lots of questions.
Thanks for reading this super long message.