I ran across a story about a baby who can read. Seriously.
This is a pretty cute story and the video of the little girl's appearance on the TODAY Show is amazing to watch.
I think the most telling facts in the story are that both parents are speech pathologists and they began teaching their daughter sign language from the start—and spent a lot of time reading her books! This must have thrown the development of those parts of the brain responsible for language and reading into overdrive during that first year of vast and complex growth. (Imagine the disadvantage of spending your first two years in a home where there are no books and nobody bothers to read to you!)
The takeaway: You can't underestimate the power of reading to babies early and filling up their world with rich language and "human" interaction—not interaction with the idiot box. I couldn't help but smile when the story mentioned that the couple's daughter doesn't watch TV, except for one show about sign language. Now that's what I'm talking about!
You can see it all here.