Parents of children who exhibit the behaviours and characteristics of giftedness often do not know where to turn for advice and help. They may learn early on that it is risky to talk openly about the ways in which their children’s development is beyond the norm for their age peers. Not everyone is sympathetic.
So it’s always a relief for these parents when they encounter others whose children are also described as gifted, and who understand the issues. Because the prevailing philosophy in BC is to integrate gifted children into heterogeneous classrooms with a differentiated curriculum, it’s difficult for those children to find like-minded peers, and it’s even more difficult for parents to find each other. What to do?
Fortunately, there is an online world where parent groups present themselves on Facebook, blogs and other social media. This is a good way to make connections and to find out about things that are happening in the local area. Posting comments on relevant websites can provide a way to express the joys or anguish of raising an exceptional child.
But, beyond that, there’s nothing quite like sitting in a coffee shop exchanging ideas, getting tips, offering and receiving support over a nice cup of something warm. This evening, I did that and it was a very enjoyable experience. A big thank you for the kind welcome.
Parent groups are an essential early step in the advocacy process. For one thing, a small group can plan an advocacy strategy that will have an impact on the whole province. Let’s get started.