advocating for your gifted child

Whether you have just discovered that your child is gifted or even if they were identified many years ago, advocating for gifted children is often an ongoing process. The school curriculum was not developed specifically for gifted children and this can mean that accommodations may be necessary for your child. The department of education does offer programs and resources for gifted children, and there are even some schools which are designed to attract gifted students; if you are interested in finding out more about these schools click here. However, wherever your child goes to school you need to be prepared that advocacy may be an ongoing process. Even if your child has been accepted into an academically selective school, has been successfully subject accelerated, or grade skipped this does not necessarily mean that you won’t need to revisit their education needs and meet with their teacher or principal from time to time. Unfortunately there is rarely a quick fix when it comes to the education of gifted children!

Advocating for your gifted child may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry – most teachers only want what is best for a child and to see them thrive at school. Trying to decide on what your gifted child needs for the rest of their education at any given point is not a plan that is going to be easy to design – or follow! It may be easier to focus on baby steps. Look at your child’s strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly look at them holistically. You need to consider social and emotional factors in conjunction with their academic needs. You may need to facilitate acceleration, but may also need to ensure that you have found your child a close friend to have round for play dates etc.

It’s also important to remember that teachers will not necessarily have any training about gifted children and gifted education; it is currently not part of  teacher training in Western Australia. If you have a teacher that seems receptive to learning more about gifted education then you can always provide them with some introductory articles about gifted children or direct them to our links for teachers page – and below you’ll find some resources that should help you on your advocacy journey :) .

Here you’ll find a great online booklet that talks about how to communicate effectively with your child’s teacher which is definitely worth a look. This article explains why we need to advocate for our gifted children and this blog post from Education Week looks at how we should teach highly able learners. This is a great blog post which outlines why we need to advocate for our gifted children, and The Davidson Institute offers some ideas on how to best prepare for a meeting to advocate for your child at their school.  Gifted kids often require differentiation within the classroom setting; this short piece explains more about differentiation and what it can entail.

Additionally, this pdf. is based on meeting the needs of gifted children in school; it is written from the perspective of the New Zealand education system but may be of use to help teachers understand the needs of gifted students in school.

Have you tried to advocate for your child at their school but things aren’t exactly going to plan? This leaflet outlines the process involved in navigating the education system – it explains how to begin by raising any concerns you may have with your child’s teacher and what to do when this does not resolve any issues you may have.

 

Finally, these books may be of use to further explain advocacy and how get what your child needs at school:

This book is packed with tips and strategies that will build your knowledge and confidence so that you can advocate successfully for your child at school. It will lead you through the process of gathering the information necessary to effectively communicate with your child’s school, examine how to build a positive relationship with educators, prepare for meetings, and leave you feeling confident that you can guide the process of seeking the education that best suits your child.

 

 

This book was previously titled Empowering Gifted Minds: Educational Advocacy that Works. This guide book explains to teachers and parents how they should document a child’s abilities to provide educational options for a child on an annual basis. It provides information on testing considerations, curriculum (American), successful programs, and planning your child’s education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, this video offers some tips on how to advocate successfully for your gifted child.

“Fair isn’t everybody getting the same thing. Fair is everybody getting what they need in order to be successful.”  ~ Anon