Blog Archives

Traveling with GT Kids

Travel can provide one of the most beneficial ways to respond to ‘intellectual curiosity’ about a multitude of topics and concerns of interest to gifted children. It can lead to exploration of the unexpected. While traveling, gifted children have the opportunity to be exposed to new and thought provoking experiences which may lead to important self-discovery or developing new interests. Traveling with family can provide gifted children with important experience in dealing with interpersonal relationships in varied settings; providing life skills not gained elsewhere.

How do you prepare a child for a long car trip? Any travel will greatly benefit from pre-planning; anticipation of special needs; and seeking input from everyone who will be traveling. Travel by car can mean long hours on the road in close quarters. It is important to build in breaks; snack time; time to ‘savor the moment’ when appropriate; and knowing about accommodations on the route and at the destination. Also, parents should have ‘boredom busters’ ready including games, books, tablets, videos, and movies.

How do we turn travel time into experiential time for our 2E kids? Always keep in mind that whether a child is labeled as gifted or 2E, they are still just kids who can learn a great deal from traveling; both as experiencing the actual travel and as visitors to faraway places. Experiential travel begins with consideration of where best a child can learn and where they want to go. It’s best to match travel plans with a child’s interests. This can reduce unnecessary backlash and behavioral issues.

What accommodations are available for children who are anxious or have special challenges? It’s a good idea to check with airlines and destinations to see what is available for children who are anxious about flying, waiting in line, crowds, or preferential seating at restaurants. Some airlines offer cockpit tours and meeting the pilot/attendants or special waiting areas in airports. Major attractions catering to children often provide a way to skip long lines or provide private seating at their restaurants.

Most parents consider travel a time to build memories. But, it’s a good idea to preserve those memories afterwards with a time of reflection. Keeping a journal and taking pictures are good ways of recording family travel so that everyone can reflect on the trip once they are home.

In the end, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Good planning and anticipating possible scenarios can go a long way in preventing a ruined trip. Remember to consider basic needs – food, rest, and entertainment. It’s helpful to go over the itinerary with your child before leaving so that they know what to expect and what may be expected of them. The fewer the surprises, the smoother things tend to go. A transcript of this chat is available at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

Tips for Traveling With Challenging Children

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Traveling the World with Intense Children – Just Make It Happen

Helpful Tips for Successful Trips with Your Gifted Child

Road Trip!

Traveling with the Quirky

How to Have Your Best Family Vacation Ever

Traveling with Intense Children – It Can Be Done!

The Coming of Age of an Overexcitable Globetrotter

Traveling for Gifted Students

Educational Travel Programs

Homeschooling and Traveling with Gifted and Talented Students

WKU- The Center for Gifted Studies: Travel Abroad: Explore the World with The Center’s Travel/Study Tours

Cybraryman’s Field Trips Page

Sprite’s Site: Travelling with the Dabrowski Dogs

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Alternatives to Traditional Education

Many families, not just those with gifted children, believe their children are not only unchallenged in school; but, unprepared for the challenges of life upon graduation whether they go on to college or the workforce. A recent study found that students are not given “grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers with high expectations.” Once students are in middle school and high school; they express lack of interest or belief that subject matter is relevant to them. This leads to lack of engagement in school work and ultimately motivation to complete work.

Many parents find a lack of available programs for their children and too often negative attitudes toward gifted education in public schools. Lack of funding and poor teacher preparation can inhibit intellectual stimulation and growth for gifted students.

Every student is different. Some gifted students thrive in an online environment especially when their interests align with areas of study enhanced by online activities, mentoring, and collaborating with other gifted students. A major issue with using online options is using it as a ‘substitute’ for teaching. Students still need their learning to be facilitated by a qualified teacher or subject expert.

What resources are available for twice-exceptional students outside traditional schooling? There are several new options for twice-exceptional students depending on the nature of their needs. Parents may opt to homeschool or use online schools for their children. Private schools such as Flex School specialize in twice-exceptional students. However, not all private schools are able to the needs of these students. Parents may also consider creating a micro-school with the help of an educational professional where several families join together to hire teachers for a small groups of students with particular needs.

In the past, the reason for homeschooling was not generally based solely on academic needs. Today, organizations based specifically on gifted homeschooling, such as GHF Learners, provide resources for families. Homeschool organizations can provide networking opportunities for students and families, educational materials, online classes, and information for both gifted and #2ekids.

Unschooling can be a viable option for GT students, but there are many factors that should be considered first including a firm understanding of what it is and is not. Unschooling requires a strong support system of dedicated adults and resources. When considering unschooling, parents should consider their commitment regarding time, resources, potential facilitators and mentors to guide students. A transcript of the chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

The Opportunity Myth: What Students Can Show Us about How School is Letting Them Down – and How to Fix It

The Best Kind of Schools for Gifted Kids

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Reaching ‘School Skeptics’ Through High-Challenge Interventions

Using Virtual Learning for Gifted Children

How to Determine if Traditional Education Isn’t Working for Your Child

Smart Children Left Behind: 4 High School Alternatives for Gifted Students

Distance Education in Rural High Schools as a Solution to the Dropout Problem among Gifted Students

School for the Gifted: Looking for Extra Challenge

Gifted with Learning Issues

Networks – Special Schools & Programs

Gifted Children and Non-Traditional Educational Choices

An Unconventional Education

Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Your child is gifted … now what?

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling (book)

Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (book)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Best Tips for Parents of a GT Child

 

Parenting and specifically parenting gifted children has changed dramatically over the past several decades due to the resources and camaraderie afforded by social media. Online groups provide a sense of community for parents of gifted kids who were once separated both geographically as well as socially. Today parents don’t have to make the journey alone. In recent years, parents have also benefited by learning about ways to get together in real life at conferences and regional meetups that were once unknown. Parents can also access much needed information and advice on their own schedule. The convenience of online resources available 24/7 cannot be overlooked.

Parenting is often based on one’s own life experiences, but the challenges of life in today’s world can be very different than they were a generation ago. Parents should seek out current advice whenever possible. The role of asynchronous development can’t be minimized when dealing with life’s big transitions. It differentiates the experiences most gifted children face when transitioning to new educational experiences and meeting life’s milestones. Parents should build a strong emotional bond with their gifted children early in life and consider themselves as partners in the transition process. Each child is an individual with unique attributes and challenges which play a role in that process.

What steps can parents take if they suspect their child is twice-exceptional? A twice-exceptional child will exhibit both abilities and disabilities; strengths and weaknesses at the same time. It is easy for even professionals to misdiagnose these kids. Parents should seek help from those familiar with giftedness. Understanding the needs of twice-exceptional children is a necessary step toward being successful in life. Parents are the first and best advocates. Knowledge about twice-exceptionalism is a powerful tool. Twice-exceptionality is a challenge, but not a roadblock. Once accommodated, 2e kids can lead productive and successful lives. Being proactive in diagnosis and seeking help is the first step.

When should parents seek professional help regarding their gifted child? When that behavior impacts their lives in any significant way, parents should at the least consider a professional diagnosis. When children enter the school system, parents are often guided to seek professional help regarding concerns they might not see in a home setting.  If parents see sudden changes in behavior, a decline in school work, or issues with interpersonal relationships between their child and others; they should seek professional intervention.

What should a parent who is experiencing difficulty getting educational services for their gifted child do? Although it shouldn’t be the case, parents often find themselves on the opposite side of educational priorities from their child’s school personnel. It’s important to document everything in writing. Know that the school will be doing the same. It may not seem fair, but parents need to keep their cool when advocating on behalf of their child. Patience can be beneficial in getting the best educational placement as well as serving as a role model for their child. There are many factors – positive and negative – weighed by a school district in providing services to an identified gifted child. Parents need to be aware of the school’s philosophy on GT education and the availability of resources.

Being the parent of a gifted child has its ups and downs, but things really do eventually work out. The ‘little lawyer’ in elementary school turned defiant teen in high school will one day be your best friend. Networking with other parents of gifted children is a great way to save your sanity, know that you aren’t alone, and provide for ‘strength in numbers’ when working with schools to provide the highest quality of education for your child.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

My Son Is A ‘Gifted Child’ Here’s Why Raising Him Has Been Anything But Easy

For Gifted Kids, Better to be Hands-on or -off?

Understanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out: A Guide to the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids (Delisle)

The Social-Emotional Well-Being of the Gifted Child and Perceptions of Parent and Teacher Social Support (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional College Students Identified as Gifted and Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Case Study (pdf)

A Middle School Survival Guide for The Parents of Gifted Children

Gifted Resource Center

Wonderschooling: Living in a World of Input Overload

Grayson School Blog: The Intrinsic Intensity of the Gifted Child

Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page: Parents of Gifted Children

Tips for Handling Gifted Children: For Parents and Teachers

Why Being Gifted Isn’t Always a Gift

When Gifted Kids Move: Tips for Parents and Districts

What Most Parents of Gifted Children Wish They had Known about College Planning

Choices Exclude: The Existential Burden of Multipotentiality

TAGT Resources for Parents

NAGC Resources for Parents

SENG

When Your Gifted Child Disappoints

Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities Considerations Packet

Parent–Teacher Conflict Related to Student Abilities: The Impact on Students and the Family–School Partnership (pdf)

Gifted Development Center

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Page

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Parents of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Kids Facebook Group

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional (book)

Crushing Tall Poppies (blog)

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted

gtchat 08232018 Goldfish

Jamie Uphold, Gifted Youth Programs Manager for American Mensa, joined us at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT to chat about her “The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted.” She described her role at American Mensa, “I’m a (recovering) educator with a passion for gifted youth. Now, I create programs, curate resources, and perform outreach for gifted youth.”

Jamie wrote an excellent follow-up blog post describing the theory on Mensa’s blog. In the post, Jaime writes, “Gifted kids are like purple goldfish. They spend all day swimming along in school with all the other goldfish. But unlike the other fish, they are purple — and they swim backward! They know they’re different from the other kids. No one has to tell them; they realize it on their own. And while purple goldfish know they are different, they don’t necessarily know they are gifted.”

Gifted children learn what it means to be gifted in many different ways. Many do not question the concept until they are identified at school and enter their school’s gifted program. They know they are different from other students around them. How knowledgeable their parent is about what it means to be ‘gifted’ and how they share what they know can have a powerful impact on their child.

Parents sometimes wonder if they should even tell their child they are gifted. Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, stated emphatically, “Yes – it validates, provides clarity and perspective on what they already suspect and don’t understand. [Parents] need to explain it carefully, ensuring they [the child] don’t assume they are better than others, or take on undue burdens.” Jamie explained, “The value is in understanding how their brain is wired differently; not in an assessment received from a test. Information, for them, is received and perceived differently than their peers.” Telling a child they are gifted and/or talented should be accompanied by the ‘perspective’ as related by Dr. Jim Delisle that they at ‘better at’ rather than ‘better than’ their age-peers . Jamie believes that “early and honest communication about giftedness can mean the difference between arrogance and understanding.”

How should information about a child’s giftedness be shared with their educational team? If a gifted IEP is mandated, a formal process for sharing information through formal regular meetings with the team and a general understanding of who to contact will already be in place. The sharing of information is highly dependent on the personnel with whom you were sharing the information. Some teachers are more receptive and knowledgeable; making the whole process smoother. Jamie implored parents, “Don’t assume that teachers know what your child needs. They often don’t get the information necessary to make those assessments until later in the year. Simple outreach sparks dialogue.There’s no one-size-fits all approach. Every gifted child is different and has different needs. Giftedness doesn’t fit into neat check-boxes.”

What are the challenges of being ‘purple’ (gifted)? Jamie stated, “It’s hard to be the smartest kid in the room. Kids want to fit in, and GT kids often don’t — they think deeper, react stronger, and don’t transition as quickly. None of these traits are preferable in traditional school settings.” Being gifted is too often about simply being viewed as ‘smart’ when it’s usually much more complicated;  it’s a ‘marching to the beat of a different drummer’ scenario. GT kids can be teased and bullied by other kids and adults to the point of wanting to hide their abilities or ignore them. This can lead to emotional challenges as they get older.

Justine Hughes, educator in Auckland, New Zealand,  warned, “the quote that “All kids are gifted they just unwrap their gifts at different times” has become a dangerous mantra leading to needs not being met. Jamie added, “How many of those kids would return that gift if they could, just to be ‘normal’?”

There are many resources to help children learn about being gifted and for parents on raising a gifted child. Great organizations include American Mensa, Mensa for Kids, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT), NAGC, SENG, Davidson Gifted, Hoagies Gifted, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, the Institute for Educational Advancement, the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, and WCGTC.

Gifted children need to associate with intellectual peers whether at school or socially regardless of what anyone else says. This doesn’t mean exclusively; but it must be a major consideration. They need to be challenged in the early years academically. Without it; they will have difficulty later on and it can result in innumerable problems.

“Purple goldfish have extra challenges. Often people assume that a gifted kid, and by extension their parents, have it easy when it’s often the exact opposite. Gifted children can struggle with social norming and are sometimes in stages of development and emotional maturity that make it harder to bond with their peers. Statistically, gifted individuals are 1 out of 100; this means that 99 percent of their peers are different from them. And this is before we add any additional diagnoses. It’s hard to be a purple goldfish! And these kids nevertheless want to find other purple goldfish – their people.” ~ Jamie Uphold, American Mensa 

Check out the transcript of this chat at Wakelet to see what else chat participants said parents need to remember most about having a purple goldfish. Then, refer to the resources below which were shared during the chat!

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Mensa for Kids (website)

American Mensa (website)

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

Coloring Outside the Lines – Growing Up Gifted

Jim Delisle Presentation – Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children

Identity Development in Intellectually Gifted Students

How to Create a Gifted Individualized Education Plan

Gifted Advocacy: What’s the Point?

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

Unexpected Challenges of Being a Gifted Kid

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Resources from Jamie’s blog post:

Pros and Cons of Telling Children They Are Gifted

Is My Child Gifted?

What to say to your gifted child…about being gifted 

Is your kid really gifted? Probably not

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Talking about Giftedness: The Elephant in the Room

Your Kids Are Gifted. Should You Tell Them?

Image and graphics courtesy of American Mensa.

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