Did you know there is a book with a title – “The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children who talk late”? It was written by Thomas Sowell and it will make great reading for anyone with kids who are talking a little late. There have been some really smart kids that have started talking late and may have wondered about where exactly these kids fit into current theories, which suggest that kids who start talking later have problems with learning how to read, or mingling socially with other kids their age or dealing with the school system.
It has been found through research that the kids’ growth in terms of vocabulary is related directly to the extent that their mothers talk to them. There has also been research to find out the language of the kids is affected by their surroundings. Kids develop their vocabulary fast as toddlers depending on the quality of words that their moms use.
Some sample studies: In the book Sowell has followed 2 groups of which one had 239 kids and another with 46 kids of kids who are smart and had started talking late. He classifies the children who are smart and started talking late as “The Einstein Syndrome” as they have lives and qualities that are similar to that of Albert Einsten.
Actually according to the author talking late is not the toughest facet of bringing up smart kids. According to him the most difficult aspect that parents of such kids have to face is the slew of queries and remarks as well as the advice they get from their social circle and teachers. The author talks about how such parents start to feel guilty and also responsible for their child not speaking like the rest of the children his or her age. Often the guilt and burden of not having found this earlier falls on the mother of the child.
This often leaves them feeling frustrated and confused about this. Sometimes the parents feel responsible for this. Research by Risley and Hart suggests that reading to them, telling them stories and also using good quality talk will help the child talk and communicate better. But sometimes you will find that in spite of all these efforts, children will start talking later.
Here are some of the reasons why kids start talking late: According to Sowell, if there is no condition like autism or any disorder of this sort, these could be some of the reasons that kids do not start talking till later:
- Problems with hearing
- Problems that are physically related to the tongue or palate
- Being deaf
Once all the other possible problems both physical and mental have been ruled out then the child can be classified as having the “The Einstein Syndrome”.
If you have a kid that is starting talk later, then you have to be prepared for advice and questions from your social circle of friends and relatives. You may be told to go and get your kid some medical assistance even though you try telling them that your child is okay physically, mentally and emotionally and has been checked by good doctors.
In case you feel you have nowhere to turn to get the support you need to deal with this situation, do not despair. There are sites and seminars throughout the country where parents of children who have the “Einstein Syndrome” can go to seek help regarding this and get the much needed support. This will help them deal with the situation in a much better way.
Here are some traits of families that have intelligent children who start talking late:
Sowell list 8 special traits that such families have including the following:
- Delay in speech: The kids in these groups did not use more than one word till they reached the age of 3.5 years. What is more when they really talked, these kids showed a different way of talking and spoke in complete sentences by the time they reached 4 years of age.
- Unique family qualities: Such kids often have parents who are really analytical. Or at least close relatives who were scientifically inclined.
- Differences in gender: It was found that more than three fourths of this group of bright but late talking children were boys than girls.
- Skills of the analytical bent: The kids in both the groups should remarkable ability to analyze and solving puzzles etc.
- Great ability to retain memory: Most parents of this group also reported that their kids have good memory close to being photographic.
- Ability beyond their age: The children in these groups showed that they could do things like using a computer or instrument with little help from others.
- Delayed social skills: These kids had difficulty in interaction with others of their age. They also showed difficulty in being toilet trained.
- Strong of will: The parents of such kids also reported that the children were really adamant and showed obsessive interest in things.
- Therapy for delayed speech? Actually the author says that it is not recommended that all children having this problem get speech therapy. In fact he says that the kid should be encouraged to speak when he or she shows the inclination to do so
Long term research studies of these children showed that these kids showed no behavior or emotional issues as they grew up. They were equal to the other children of this age.
In case you have children or a child with this particular characteristic, you should do well to remember that you are not at all alone. Though scientific proof of these kids growing up to be exceptionally brilliant is not present, but this is the general trend.
You will need to however treat the kid with tolerance, plenty of understanding and you will need to educate yourself on dealing with this situation so that you can be balanced in your approach.