Intellectual giftedness is also an exceptionality, presenting its own challenges, just as one would presume to find at the other end of the intellectual spectrum, albeit in a seemingly different way. In reality, parents of gifted children often have many of the same concerns as parents of children with exceptionalities traditionally seen as more difficult.
- How will my child build healthy friendships?
- How will my child happily get through the available school system?
- How do I meet my child’s needs, when I don’t exactly understand them?
Children that get truly bored can develop a bad attitude – toward adults, toward learning and toward life in general. The studies to track statistics involving the dropout rate for gifted children are varied and scary, but all do agree that there is concern toward this issue.
To understand your gifted child’s social and intellectual needs, should you not identify with the issues involved, join parent groups, be they on the internet or locally, in real life. Ask others. Ask older gifted children. Read a few books and blogs to get a feel of what your child is dealing with.
If you feel your child’s needs are not being met in school, it could be that with growing class sizes and shrinking resources, there has been a glitch in communication somewhere along the line. Step in and correct that. Let the teacher, guidance counselor and principal know that your child needs a challenge. Most school systems do have built-in resources, such as leveled learning groups and/or periodic pull-out programs that can start your child on the way to receiving the learning challenges he needs.
Social awkwardness often, but not always, goes hand in hand with giftedness. Finding the right supplementary program can be a big boost for your child and can fill her social, intellectual and curiosity needs. Many cities have part time programs to supplement school, where your child can find other opportunities to form friendships and broaden her intellectual horizons. Check out your local library, university and summer school programs for age appropriate courses where your child can meet a different circle of potential friends. The aquarium, planetarium or science (or other) museum may also be a good place to hunt for available options.
As with every other exceptionality out there, keeping on top of your child’s needs before the needs overwhelm you is key. With research and creative thinking, you can stay a step ahead to meet your gifted child’s unique needs.