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Old 01-20-2013, 11:13 PM   #1
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When did your LO start counting (like quantities)

When did your kiddo start counting and understanding quantities?

DD is 20m and for a while she's been counting in general, I think single digits. Like she would count to 3 and then run or jump. But over the last few days I've realized she's also counting how many things there are, and she's doing it accurately. I'm not trying to brag (although it is neat to see your LO master something new), but I'm really curious just how far ahead of the curve this may be because I have some concerns about autism.

I fall on the high-function end of the spectrum, so I'm really nervous about passing it on. The fascination with numbers is something that strikes me as unusual for her age. I'm not actively teaching her numbers, I've never taught her how to count. I've realized over the last few days that she will announce how many of something she's holding, or if I give her a small tomato she'll ask for 3 and wont be content until I give her not 1, but 2 more. If I ask her how many ducks there are in a picture, she can accurately count it up to about 5. If she's holding an egg shaker, she'll look at it puzzled and say "two???" then go and find the other one so she has 2.

I think she's typically developing in other areas, and her ped didn't have any concerns. She interacts well with others, makes eye contact, points etc... But the other thing that seems unusual is how she plays with her toys. Even by around 9 months old she just lined up or stacked toys neatly. In general she likes to move all her blocks from one container to the other and back again, or line up everything by type, or put all the cheerios together. My mom said I was the exact same way at that age, and nothing like my siblings.

That's early to start understanding numbers right? When do kids typically learn to count, and is a fascination with numbers and organization is a possible early sign of autism?


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Old 01-21-2013, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: When did your LO start counting (like quantities)

What a little smarty-pants! I would say yes, it's quite early for her to grasp the concept of numerical/quantity correlation, and that, paired with the rigidity both about numbers and in her play are potential flags for autism.


If the behavior isn't a problem, if her social, language, etc skills are all fine, then I wouldn't sweat it. For it to be autism, or any "disorder" really, not only do there have to be a little checklist of symptoms, but they must cause a "qualitative impairment" - meaning they have to have a significant negative impact on functioning, relationships, learning, etc. if its not holding her back, it's not a problem, just embrace the "neurodiversity"

Coming from someone with ADHD, sensory issues, and a lot of autistic traits (stronger as a child). I'm not autistic, just wired a little differently, as is my dd (who is very bright, way ahead verbally, has sensory issues, and likely ADHD like her momma). I'm also not all "rahrah! Autism is great!" like some - my adopted ds has classic autism and it sucks in his case - severely disabling and frustrating for him. There's a huge difference between ds and "quirky" - with him there's definitely "qualitative impairment", and so diagnosis and supports/treatment are necessary.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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I think it's early, but not disturbingly so

DD is 27 months and has been counting for awhile. But she was definitely going over the number at that age. Even now, she will sometimes add an additional number after counting the objects - being there are three, she'll count 123...4. But she doesn't point to an absent object. If there's 2, she always stops at 2, but more than 2 and she might stop correctly or add 1 at the end.

Some kids are big sorters, liners, etc. DD is a lumper, I'm a sorter. on the plus side, all those toddler tricks might work on your kid. Bowls of colored Pom poms to sort, etc.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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Both my girls counted early. DD1 could count objects to 30 by about 26 months, at 2 DD2 counts objects to 13. Both had up to 5 between 18-20 months.

Honestly with these type of skills exposure plays a HUGE role. DD1 is now 3.5 and knows about 50 sight words.

Is it potentially an early sign of Autism? Maybe. But if it's the only one then I wouldn't worry at this point.

Last edited by mibarra; 01-21-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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