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Guidance of the Gifted - Recognizing, Testing, and Encouraging the Gifted Child 
 
by Rita Templeton July 07, 2005

You know your child is above average, so now what? Understanding giftedness - its signs, how it's measured, and its pitfalls - is the first step to ensuring that your gifted child's unique needs are met.

When you’re the parent of a child with a learning disability, it often takes a whole team of people – from teachers to pediatricians – to ensure that the child gets the most out of his or her education and doesn’t struggle in school.  But if you were raising one of these special-needs kids, you’d be in luck, because there are many resources available to help them; most public school systems have successful programs geared toward assisting the learning disabled.  Unfortunately, there seem to be far fewer resources available to help other kids with special educational needs: gifted children.  Gifted kids tend to slip through the cracks sometimes, their educational needs going unmet.  It is widely assumed that since they’re more intellectually advanced than their peers, they’ll have no problem assimilating in a normal classroom – a blanket statement that is completely untrue.  People believe that if a child is truly gifted, they can manage on their own without any sort of extra help.  That’s also untrue. Gifted children can also have trouble adjusting, just like any other student, and sometimes their lofty expectations of themselves can make that occurrence seem like a personal crisis, causing their self-esteem and self-confidence levels to plummet.  It’s crucial that we recognize that they aren’t superhuman brainiacs endowed with superior coping skills – they’re simply kids with different requirements and special educational needs that must be met … kids that need guidance as much as, or more than, their peers.           

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