“Today many gifted learners are starving for the equal opportunity to develop their unique potential. We need to put the power for change-making where it has always belonged – in the hands of the gifted individuals themselves. No one knows better than they what is going on in their heads and hearts as they sit in class, walk the halls, complete assignments, interact with their peers and teachers. When given the information they need students themselves are best able to decide when, where and how they want their education to be differentiated. Our role must be to create and sustain a partnership with them. We must find ways to tell them, “There is something you can do right now to change tomorrow or next week or next month or next semester. You can advocate for yourself, ask for what you need.” ~ GT Carpe Diem
Self-advocacy plays an important role in the development of gifted students. It enables students to become self-reliant; to be cognizant of their own needs; to advocate effectively while remaining respectful; often in a classroom setting.
It is important to develop self-advocacy in children. Every facet of a gifted student’s life is affected when they don’t receive an education that maximizes their potential. Self-advocacy is a life-skill; a tool that a gifted child needs to achieve goals and become self-sufficient. As Dr. Jennifer Marten, GT teacher and coordinator in Wisconsin, stated, “We, as parents or teachers, can’t be there for them 24/7. They need skills to help them navigate school and life.”
Most people in attendance believed that it’s never too soon to start teaching self-advocacy skills. Maturity and the ability to verbalize their own needs are important factors, but simple steps can be taken to develop the necessary skills before this both at home and in the classroom.
Parental involvement is sometimes necessary to ensure that what is being advocated for is actually getting done. Parents should take time to talk to their child; outline what they feel is necessary. Then practice communication skills. On occasion, parents may need to step in if school personnel fail to treat their child respectfully or refuse to work with them.
Self-advocacy is a life-long process that can lead to success as an adult; a person who takes responsibility and can speak up for themselves. Adults who have learned how to self-advocate know when and where to seek help. It can lead to self-respect and the ability to listen to others with differing opinions; and work together. A transcript of the chat can be found at Storify.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (1.00) UK. to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found atStorify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cybraryman’s Gifted & Talented Page (Scroll to Advocacy)
Les Links Gifted Advocacy (LiveBinders)
The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide (Amazon)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photo courtesy of morgueFile.
Posted on February 28, 2016, in Advocacy, Education, gifted, Gifted Adults, gifted and talented, parenting and tagged advocacy, gifted, gtchat, self-advocacy, TAGT, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.