While working out at our local gym this morning, I happened to glance up and caught Today Show’s Ann Curry’s interview with the Barretts and their 17-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, who can read. Amazing!
Aside from being astounded by the little girl’s ability, one other thing that gave me pause was the reason why the parents decided to go public — they said that they are reaching out to people about what to do next for Elizabeth, they wanted to reach out to experts who could help them deal with her abilities.
What would I do if Elizabeth were my kid?
I probably would not have made it into a media event. Even the Barrets acknowledge that their child is different and may have a difficult time growing up, why add to it by putting her into the national limelight?
I would have have nurtured the ability, as she grows, expose her to all kinds of books— math, science, philosophy, get her to the library, let her decide what she would want to learn. Then, at the same time, taking care to challenge her in other ways— gymnastics, swimming, karate, etc. Also, I would make sure that she gets to socialize with other kids.
What would you do?