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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Default Anyone have a 3 year old who can't count?

    My son Noah is 3 years, almost 8 months old. To catch you up to speed, he is a late bloomer. He didn't walk until he was 18 months old, he has trouble processing things through his senses and went through speech and occupational therapy for a year. He made quite a bit of progress, and as far as we know, there is nothing wrong with him.

    What I am most concerned about now is that he can't count. We count everything around our house, trying to encourage him. He can only count to 3. Furthermore, if we try and teach him something, he freaks out and is very uninteresting. It's like he has a fear of learning. It's hard not to worry about him when our 2 year old DD has been counting to 15 since she was about 19/20 months old.

    Anyone else have experience with this? Should I mention it to the ped?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Boston suburb
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    I did a search and found no mention of counting at 3 but counting to 4 at age four was expected, so it seems your child is learning at a normal rate. I would mention it to the ped to be sure but also keep in mind that kids tend to learn things at their own pace, when they are ready. While my child is the opposite of yours, in that he tends to learn things early and fast (so you may want to take my words with a grain of salt as I have not walked in your shoes) he still has to be ready. There are things I thought he was ready and capable of and keep encouraging, like reading. He knew all his letters and the sounds associated with them and that letters went together to make words but he would not read for month after having this knowledge and ability. He still insists he can not read book even though he can sound out words very well. For whatever reason he does not feel ready and we respect that while gently encouraging. He would also not try to write letters and numbers for ages(and he would not be expected to developmentally but since he tends to be fast on other things I found myself looking for this skill as well) or even draw anything more then a circle or a quick scribble for ages, then suddenly, around 3.5, he was fasinated with these things and doing them frequenty without encouragement. I don't remember when my son learned to count to 3 but I have definately heard moms comment that kids seem to stop at some number for the longest time somehow unable to take the concept of numbers further and than suddenly they are ready and jump to count another 10 numbers. While I would tend to expect a 3 year old to count beyond 3 in a quick search of milestones the first place I saw any counting expectation was at age 5, though by then they indicated child usually can count to 10.
    Last edited by Renrel; 07-15-2007 at 07:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Colorado
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    I don't regularily hang around with other moms with 3 year olds enough to know what most kids can do with regards to counting at this age but I am wondering if he is concentrating right now on another skill - maybe something physical? My son seems to go in cycles, like he will be focused on something like climbing and then something like counting. My son is really into counting right now so perhaps yours will be more focused on it soon.

    eta - http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/presc...velopment.html

    This site says that a 4 year old should be able to count to 4 so it sounds like you son is right on schedule!
    Alison
    Aidan-10/08/03 Caitlin-09/10/05
    "The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed." unknown

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
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    Default

    I don't really have any advice, but does he like Sesame Street? My DD has always been really into numbers, but Sesame street really seemed to help her get a firm grounding in counting as well as the alphabet.

    Plus, she loves Count VonCount.

  5. #5
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    I don't really have any advice, either, since my DS is 2. However they are about 25 mom/ kid combos in my playgroup. While there tends to be an "average", it seems like some kids do very well in academic type stuff and other kids tend to do better in physical type stuff. Not sure if I'm explaining very well, but it seems that each child tends to "talented" in a particular area, average in most and then behind in another. It is extremely rare and (I don't think) I've ever seem a kid to excel at every area, so maybe your son is just ahead in another to compensate. That being said, if you're concerned I'd certainly mention it to your ped.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2005
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    From when I taught 3 and 4 year olds, the kids were expected to count to 10 from memory (just rote 12345678910) but at 4, I think, they were supposed to be able to count up to 4 objects (like if you give them 3 crayons, they can count them and tell you how many there are). Counting from memory and counting objects are 2 very different skills.
    Emily mom to Noah - 4/04 & Daniel - 9/07

  7. #7
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    Yeah, from a teacher's perspective, when they say count to 4, they do mean count 4 objects and understand what it means to have 4 of something. Counting is a much younger skill.

    FWIW, I would be concerned about what you've described. I don't think it's a huge deal or anything to freak out about, but it does sound like a possible concern. I would talk to the ped.

  8. #8
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    Counting from memory and counting objects are 2 very different skills.
    Funny, I was thinking about this thread today in the car while tuning out The Wiggles and I was thinking about the difference between counting (saying the numbers from memory) and actually counting objects. melmatsu - are you saying that your son does not rote count past 3 or he does not count objects past 3? If he does not just outloud count past 3 then I might call the ped - like Sarah, I would be mildly concerned.
    Alison
    Aidan-10/08/03 Caitlin-09/10/05
    "The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed." unknown

  9. #9
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    Aug 2005
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    Nashville, TN
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    Thanks for the responses, ladies. He doesn't count past 3 period. Not out loud or not counting objects. If he's counting objects, he gets to 3 and then starts mixing up numbers.....like saying 1,2 3, 8, 7, 10, etc. I think I'm going to hold off until his 4 year well visit it Novemeber and mention it to the ped then.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    NE Ohio
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    My son is 4 1/2 and doesn't count to 4. He's a late bloomer too. He's apraxic (speech disorder) and is in speech and a special needs pre-school. He can hold up 4 fingers to show his age, but if he counts alloud, it's "1, 2, 3, 9." I don't think it'd hurt to mention to the ped. Something that works better for mine is that when you're counting objects to him, like say 5 cars, to say it in two ways. "Look, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 cars. See," and point to them "car, car, car, car, car." That's what my Zach's speech therapist told us. He still doesn't count alloud the correct way, but he'll take his cars out, for example, and say "car, car, car". He's still 2 years behind developmentally, but that was their suggestion for counting.
    Wedding Day 10/20/01
    Zachary Andrew 4/16/03
    Zoey Irene 10/4/04

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