I do copy&paste and post this translation and recommend this book (which unfortunately only exists in English) for parents of highly gifted, but especially highly gifted children.
From Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind
by Deborah L. Ruf
The different needs of highly gifted children in different levels from birth to kindergarten.
Level 1 (IQ 120-129)
Level 2 (IQ 130-135)
Level 3 (! Q 136-140)
Level 4 (IQ 141+)
Level 5 (IQ 141++ with very high intrinsian will to learn in all areas 1:250.000)
The needs of Level 1 children in the early childhood are best met at home or in external care by giving them the freedom to interact with their surroundings, discover them and let them choose their toys themselves, with only very very few instructions.Parents often follow recommendations for toys and ventures designed to “stimulate” their children’s intelligence, but young children, no matter what their intellectual abilities, only take note of things they are interested in, despite the fact that they are interested in of all well-intentioned efforts of parents to promote special interests.
If you’re looking for toys or books to provide an incentive for level 1 kids, it’s best to choose things that are about a third higher than their current age.Of course, many children put small objects in their mouths, so it’s important not to give them anything to swallow until they’re old enough.
Most books and magazines on child care and care are written by the authors with a view to Level 1 children.They are aimed at mothers who are educated and want to read articles about how best to raise their child.
Books, articles and websites that address highly gifted toddlers and preschoolers usually talk about Level 2 gifted children.Level 2 children basically need the same basic environment as Level 1 children, except that their interest in books and toys is slightly stronger. They often have a strong will and special preferences, which make it necessary to include their personal considerations in the establishment of rules or issues of order at an early stage. At 18 months old, often earlier, they understand that books are treated with caution, that small things do not belong in your mouth and that other things need to be handled with care. Before they are two years old, Level 2 children can enjoy the computer or other electronic toys, they play with puzzles and small toys, and start with simple communal games with other children and adults, activities usually associated with children who are at least 4 years old. They enjoy being able to talk, interact and play with older children.
Day care and preschool can become problematic if those responsible do not understand that Level 2 children need frequent interaction with adults, that they are strong or willing, and that they are usually very careful that all children are follow the rules and routine.This is the time when adults should begin with patience to explain to the children how different times people look at things. Level 2 children can learn patience and tolerance toward others who are not yet able to understand or read the rules.
Level 2 children have a longer attention span and a better memory than most other children and this makes family trips to zoos or museums far ahead of other children possible.While other children, for example, are just starting to like zoo visits at the age of about 3 years, Level 2 children at this age want to know everything about the animals and keep what they have learned.
In deciding when a child is ready for an activity, parents should know that when a child is whining, complaining, or not really following what is happening (assuming the child is not tired or hungry), then the child is not yet ready for this experience.It is normal for a child who can understand little of the many information that affects, for example, in a zoo, to whine and then to follow what is seen at the hands of the parents. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with the child or his/her behaviour – it just means that the parents have misjudged the child’s willingness to have an experience – and she should try again when her child is a little older.
Most Level 3 children are very active as babies and toddlers, inquisitive and attentive.When someone reads to them, especially in combination with play, rhythm and rhymes, they show an enormous enthusiasm already at the age of a few months. And while almost all parents read to their children, children who are less intellectually ahead do not respond to such a high level of interest and attention. Most Level 3 kids are very careful with things like books or computers when you give them the chance to use them.
The most striking need of Level 3 children is the need for direct conversation and interaction with adults.Most of these children speak very early, ask, comment and discuss. With their very early love of learning, they delight with their fascination with magnetic letters, shape plug-ins and puzzles, even when they are not yet 2 years old. They thrive and flourish when they are allowed to do activities that most say are totally inappropriate for children of this age. In terms of exercise or sport, however, their abilities depend solely on their physiological requirements, which normally correspond to those of their age group.
Most private preschools or day care facilities are well equipped to adequately deal with the needs of Levels 1 and 2, these programs are usually just as pleasing for Level 3 children and are less restrictive than the normal Kindergarten program, so in such cases should not be urged to leave preschool.If your toddler likes 50 pieces of puzzle, writes letters, or can have a detailed conversation with adults, then they should choose an early care program that offers the opportunity to do so.
Level 4 children are ahead of other children in virtually all areas, so most parents know very early on that their children are very exceptional.They need constant stimulation to satisfy their curiosity, interests and need to interact with the environment and initiate the activities on their own. Level 4 children respond to music, reading, conversations, television and everything that happens around them with great interest and early understanding.
From the moment Level 4 children become toddlers, she can handle books, electronics and toys, as well as children aged 4-5.Parents need to be very careful to find suitable toys that live up to their incredibly early skills and interests. When they offer advanced material, parents of these children sometimes have fears of demanding their children too much, but that is exactly the right way to deal with the children. To speak to the children at an early age in adult language, take time to read aloud, go to the zoo, go to museums. I do not recommend bringing them into music or physical education lessons if they are not yet 2 1/2 years old, but to bring them into contact with such things would be ideal.
The best day care facilities for Level4 children would be those that allow them to pursue their interests freely.
Level 5 children are so far ahead that most parents know very early on that their children are very exceptional.All the intensity and temperament of Level 4 children can also be found in Level5 children – but it’s even more intense and shows up even earlier. The children’s understanding of what their parents say starts so early that parents sometimes somehow fear. These children thrive with direct conversation and direct attention. They want to be part of everything. They watch television, listen to music, participate normally in family events and can be reassured by words alone because they understand what the adults are saying.
The best day care facility for Level5 children is one that allows them to do what they want.Most Level 5 children are so independent that they don’t see any point in doing what others do, especially when it seems “babyish” to them. Advanced material and activities should be made possible at all times.
Translation found in the Eltern.de Forum