Here’s a funny story about Liam and Kieran.
Remember that Liam was hyperlexic. When he was 3, his daycare teachers would ask, Did you know Liam can count to 100 and knows the alphabet out of order? Yes. It made us proud, but we didn’t want to put too much stock into it, yet. Counting to 100 and knowing the alphabet that early were great, but were based on his memory, not necessarily his ability to do math and read. We also didn’t want to make too big a deal so that when things got tough later on (comprehending and inferencing), he didn’t go from a kid who got tons of praise, to someone who got none. I will share a lot more about reading later on.
To the story! One afternoon, Liam decided to “test” Kieran on his alphabetic knowledge. He drew up a chart with all of the letters and a box for checking (if known) and Xing (if unknown).
At first, Kieran thought the game was fun. Liam would take a large, foam letter to Kieran and ask him what letter it was. Kieran started out trying hard. He got checks on A and B. He missed C, then D, and realized that he wasn’t going to do well moving forward.
Liam gave him time between each response, as he went into the kitchen to record “the correctness” of each answer on his chart. I can only imagine what Kieran was thinking while Liam was out of the room.
By E, Kieran was not trying as hard. He was guessing letters much later in the alphabet, almost as if he was testing Liam back – what will be the reaction to this response? By G, Kieran responded, tiger. H was elephant. Now Kieran was just playing with Liam and his “test.”
It was a little funny to hear Liam say to himself, as he recorded that Kieran had not identified “H” correctly, “Kieran, you are not that smart.”
That’s when I quickly jumped in to share with Liam that maybe it was a little early to give a 2-year-old such a test and that he could just teach his brother the letters, instead of testing him on them. Liam smiled and went back into the playroom to play with his brother.