Parenting Special Needs Gifted Children

Parenting Special Needs Gifted Children

Parenting a special needs gifted child is not easy. The child may have difficulty with common activities such as eating and sleeping, but they can also be very smart and creative. There are many things parents need to know in order to provide the best possible environment for their children. This includes understanding what makes a special needs gifted child different from other children, and how to help them access their full potential.

Challenges of Parenting Special Needs Gifted Children

Chronic Stress

Families often experience chronic stress when a child is identified with a special need.

Frequent and costly tests

Parents are often pressured or required to have their children undergo a variety of tests in order to receive therapeutic services.  This can be a disruptor in family schedules and finances.

Long amounts of time spent away from home

Usually, due to frequent tests, families also have to co-monitor the tests or services, making the process another full-time job.

Uncertainty about the effectiveness of services

There is still much to be discovered about learning styles for gifted children.  Only a small percentage of the population tends to experience constant growth.  Others often report feeling like being a part of an experiment.

Feelings of inadequacies and confusion

Parents recall their dreams and ambitions of honoring appreciation of childhood in a storyline way after they find out what their child can specialize in.

Gifted children and adults often experience stress because of the expectations and demands they place on weight in their lives. Advanced programs and expensive testing create never-ending stress for parents and children. Children are uncertain about their future and might not live up to their parents’ hopes and dreams.

Ways to Improve Outcomes for Special Needs Gifted Children

 

1. Maintain open communication about the type of giftedness.

However, take care to only share what is age-appropriate with children. For example, if your son is gifted in math, make sure to keep a lookout for math enrichment opportunities.  Talk to his teacher or mentor about how to challenge him in class.

2. Find a professional support network.

Professional support groups and other providers are critical lifelines. If a parent is unwilling to participate in the process, it can lead to poor outcomes for children. Be sure to use any available resources, such as gifted support groups and summer camps. Use the services of a professional who specializes in working with gifted children and their parents or guardians.

3. Ask for respite help when needed.

Invite family members and friends to help with various transportation-related tasks, such as taking children to and from activities or childcare. Create a strategy utilizing on-call sitters trained to care for children with special needs.

4. Raise your child with gifted abilities to be as independent as possible.

Start early to help your child grow into a confident and independent individual. Encourage them to be all they can be and let them explore their interests in a safe way.

5. Use the circumstances to promote resilience.

A successful way to endure childrearing challenges is to confront them and learn from the experience. Raising a child with gifted abilities can increase your connection with your spouse, friends, and family members when you make it a point to properly handle the difficulties. View the hidden perks that you can gain from, for you, your relatives, your kids, and your relationship.

Much gets learned from difficult times when you acknowledge the issues and address them with the mindfulness it requires. Your relationship with your spouse partner, as well as your family and yourself, will grow stronger in the event that you take difficult circumstances head-on and view them as opportunities in which you can learn new things.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of gifted?

The definition of gifted can be difficult to determine. It is generally agreed that giftedness refers to a heightened ability or talent in one or more areas. These abilities may be in the area of cognition, creativity, or performance. Some people believe that all people are potentially gifted in some way. Others believe that there is a narrow range of potential gifts and that most people fall somewhere within this range. The term “gifted” typically refers to individuals who have an above-average ability, but it can also refer to those who have particularly strong or unusual abilities.  While there are efforts to improve gifted identification, these abilities cannot always be measured by the cognitive testing methods available to us today.

What are some of the benefits of being gifted?

There are many benefits to being gifted, as the ability to process information quickly or think critically using deep logic.  Additionally, people with a gift often have an advantage in fields such as business and law. Many people also find that their gifts help them connect more easily with others, making them better leaders and collaborators. Finally, gifted individuals are often very creative and successful in their own unique ways.

What are some challenges of being gifted?

Some people find that they have to work harder than others in order to achieve the same level of success. Others may find that they have to constantly seek out new opportunities and ways to be creative in order to keep up with their peers. Still, others may simply feel like they don’t fit in with the rest of society and struggle to find a place where they feel comfortable.  Gifted individuals are usually incredibly talented and can bring a lot of value to any given situation.

What is the difference between gifted and special needs?

Giftedness

Giftedness is a personality trait that refers to an individual’s natural ability in one or more specific areas. Gifted students typically exhibit exceptional skill in certain areas, such as math, science, or music.  Most people do view them as special needs children.  However, they can often have additional challenges that make it difficult for them to adjust to the normal resources of a traditional school. These challenges may include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Special Needs

Some parents choose to homeschool their gifted children to give them the best possible environment for their unique learning styles. “Special needs” is a term used to describe children who have significant learning differences from the general population.  This can include psychological disabilities, intellectual aptitude, or both.

What are the benefits of having a gifted child?

There are many benefits to having a gifted child. These children often have an accelerated learning rate and a superior ability to problem solve. They often have a wider range of interests and are better at multitasking than other children their age. They typically exhibit more creativity and innovation. With the proper support, they may be more independently ambitious in academics and in careers.

What are some tips for parents with a special needs child?

If you have a child with special needs, you know the challenges that come with it. From making sure your child is always safe to managing his/her emotions, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

1. Organize

Having a systemized approach to parenting can make life easier for everyone involved. This will help you keep track of your child’s progress and give them a sense of order and stability.

2. Be patient

It can be tough when everything feels out of control, but remember that patience is key when raising a special needs child. They may not always communicate what they need or want, but don’t overreact—this could cause them further anxiety.

3. Be flexible

Like your child, you may feel different ways about certain things. It s important to be open to the needs of others and learn to adapt to their situation.

4. Choose your battles

It may seem like it is working well to let things slide, but that does not mean you have to give up on everything. Sometimes making a change requires a little more effort and patience.

5. Embrace your strengths

You may feel like you don t have any, but you do! When you have spent a lot of time raising a child with special needs, it is easy to forget all the things they can do well.

Keeping Gifted Students Engaged

Keeping Gifted Students Engaged

Gifted students have a lot to offer society, but too often they fall through the cracks. It’s not easy for gifted students to find mentors or stay engaged in their education, as they often don’t feel like they fit in with their classmates. However, these challenges can be overcome by arranging specific and tailored interventions. By taking these steps, we can help gifted students reach their full potential and contribute to society.

The Challenge of Keeping Gifted Students Engaged

Gifted students often find themselves facing a challenge when it comes to finding and maintaining engagement in their education. They may feel out of place or misunderstood in their classes, and may lose motivation as they feel like they are not making enough progress. To keep gifted students engaged, educators must find ways to connect with them on an individual level and provide opportunities for personal growth.

Why Differentiation is Difficult for Educators of Gifted Students

It can be hard for educators of gifted students to differentiate themselves from their peers, as many gifted programs are modeled after regular school curriculums. Differentiation for gifted students includes;

  • Providing students with more individualized education.
  • Allowing them to work at their own pace.
  • Providing them with more challenging material and learning experiences.
  • Utilizing diverse media, technology, and learning style methods in the classroom.
  • Including more diversity in the curriculum.

As you can see, this is a tall order. Most teachers do not have the resources to incorporate all of these factors on a daily or weekly basis. The process is difficult for educators because a customized curriculum comes at a premium- of both time and money. It is not sustainable to have multiple curriculum choices in one classroom. And the gifted student? They may take advantage of moments to disengage from or disrupt the learning environment.

When Rigor is Not Reality for Gifted Scholars

Many gifted scholars and parents are not as interested in the idea of ‘rigor’ as much as it is thrown around. Although it is technically meant to distinguish between critical thinking and skills development, it has become a buzzword to indicate high expectations and high activity.

Busy work is boring for many gifted students. They will check out and rebel in a heartbeat.

Most parents prefer to know that a school, curriculum, or program is the ‘right fit’ for their child. Each student will develop at different paces, and gifted students may have uneven growth. This means that they may have high acceleration in one subject, like math, but lack skills in another area, like writing. Engaging gifted scholars is a challenge, but assuming that rigor will address those challenges can cause a backlash.

Why Creating Careless Challenges Agitates Inadequacies

When educators first deal with gifted students, they often think that challenging the student is the normal course of the day.

Bad idea.

Really, really bad idea.

Gifted students have different preferences for how they like to consume new information. Some are contemplative, mulling over new concepts for weeks or months before producing a world-class masterpiece. Others are driven by collaboration or competition, which has a defined beginning and end result. When adults find that a child enjoys math, they may throw out a careless challenge that does not match their core math competencies.

Not only is this careless, but it is harmful. The young gifted child may perceive that the careless challenge is one to aspire to, and may be left with feelings of inadequacies. This can lead to anxiety and social withdrawal, which are far more difficult to overcome. The gifted child already feels different, so it is best not to agitate that emotion with random questions in a learning space. They would rather engage in conversations for which they can have some control and contribution. Careless challenges can feel like an unwarranted interrogation.

Inequalities in Peer and Age-Based Interests

Some gifted children will politely entertain age-based interests for academics. However, some educators assume that their interests may not be the same as their peers.

There are many factors to discuss, but here are a few reasons to keep gifted children’s engaged through their interests;

  • Gifted children are usually curious, so they will be fascinated by their peers’ interests.
  • Incidentally, the peer group will also benefit from your children’s interest in their unique subjects of study.
  • Talented children’s interests can be different and unique, but they still have the potential to be socially acceptable. They can be a great asset to their peers and the classroom environment.
  • Gifted children are capable of learning more complex information at an earlier age than the average child.

Immature Fun is Part of the Package

While adults often picture a gifted child as a young Sheldon, walking around with a bowtie and button-down shirt, disengaged with normal play, understand that this is just a stereotype. Most young gifted children enjoy the same games, recreational play, and conversations with their age-banded peers. Just conduct an online search of students who graduated college early. You will find more stories of gifted scholars whose advanced academics remained anonymous. Their peers did not know they were dual-enrolled in college until they graduated, because they lived a ‘normal’ social life.

Most adults are frustrated with the idea of “academic ability does NOT equal maturity level”.  It is hard ideal to break because of our mental connections. However, an 11-year-old boy who has passed a semester of college courses will still enjoy falling in the mud playing soccer with his friends on a rainy day.

Academic maturity does not equal social maturity. This makes it difficult to safely monitor and engage the gifted child because they can simultaneously be consistently clever AND incomprehensibly incompetent.

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students

Strategies for engaging gifted students

Gifted students often have difficulty engaging in traditional classroom activities. Some strategies for engaging gifted students are as follows:

1. Create a stimulating environment for the gifted student by using a variety of teaching strategies, such as active learning, hands-on projects, and group work.

2. Encourage gifted students to be self-motivated and take pride in their own accomplishments.

3. Manage stress levels by providing opportunities for relaxation and fun, such as playing video games or taking part in extracurricular activities.

4. Be patient with gifted students and provide frequent feedback on their progress to help them grow and improve.

5. Respect the individual differences of each gifted student by providing guidance tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Types of engagement

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, there are now three types of engagement: passive, active, and engaged.

  • Passive engagement describes people who consume media but do not participate in it.
  • Active engagement is when someone engages with media on their own behalf or as part of a social activity.
  • Finally, engaged engagement describes a full-time interest or immersion.

Varying types of engagement can be applied to all students.  It is most helpful for educators to keep this top of mind when developing enrichment activities to engage the gifted student.

How to Engage Your Gifted Student

Gifted students often have a lot of pressure to succeed in school and meet high expectations from their families and peers. Some gifted students feel like they can’t do anything right, so they give up. But there are ways to help gifted students reach their potential. Here are 5 tips to incorporate the three types of engagement:

1. Provide a Journal or Dream Board

Encourage your student to keep a journal or diary to reflect on their thoughts and experiences. This can be a valuable tool for self-reflection and emotional healing.

2. Get Counseling

Let your student know that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed or struggling with schoolwork. There is support available, both from family and teachers.

3. Provide Resources

Providing appropriate materials and resources can be key in helping your student succeed academically.

4. Encourage Daily

Encouraging your gifted student’s love of learning is important. A child who enjoys learning will succeed academically.

5. Connect Locally

Be involved in your student’s school and community life.  This can help them feel connected and valued, which can also improve their academic performance.

In summary, Gifted students need extra help with child and young adult development. Navigating academic acceleration and maturity will not be a lifelong adventure, as they will soon enough be adults. However, they need special attention and protection from biases that can tarnish their self-esteem and good intentions.

They are just like you and me with some extra abilities that make them successful in school. We should all work together to help our gifted students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.

Summer Programs for Gifted Students

Summer Programs for Gifted Students

Gifted Students Can Flourish in the Right Summer Program

Summertime is the perfect opportunity for gifted students to get ahead in their education. Enrolling in a summer program can help them catch up on missed course work, learn new material, or explore different interests. For gifted students, there are many different summer programs that can be the perfect fit. Programs that focus on enrichment and acceleration can help challenge these students academically, while camps that focus on creative arts or outdoor activities can provide a fun and stimulating environment. Parents of gifted children should do their research to find the best summer program for their child’s needs and interests.

How to Find the right program

When looking for a gifted student program, it is important to find the right one for your child. There are many different types of programs to choose from, including pull-out programs, push-in programs, and center-based programs. You will need to decide what type of program is best for your child.

What are pull-out programs for gifted students?

A pull-out program for gifted students is a type of program in which the gifted students are pulled out of their regular classroom and placed into a class specifically designed for gifted students. This type of program can offer a variety of benefits to the students, including opportunities to learn with others who are similarly gifted, access to specialized resources and instruction, and more challenging coursework. There are many different pull-out programs available, so it is important to research the options in order to find the best fit for your child.

What are push-in programs for gifted students?

Push-in programs are a type of gifted education program that takes place in a student’s regular classroom. Rather than pulling gifted students out for a separate class, their teachers integrate enrichment activities and acceleration into the student’s typical day.

Structure of a Push-In Program

This can be done through modifications to the curriculum, enrichment materials, or by providing pull-out services as needed.

Benefits and Criticisms of a Push-In Program

Advocates of push-in programs say that it allows gifted students to learn from their typically developing peers and helps to avoid any social isolation that may occur in a pull-out setting. Critics worry that without appropriate differentiation, gifted students can become bored or lost in the regular classroom.

What are center-based programs for gifted students?

A center-based program is a type of gifted education program that is offered in a central location, such as a school or community center. These programs are often designed for students who are intellectually advanced and require more challenging academic opportunities than what is available in their regular classrooms.

Structure of Center-Based Program

Center-based programs can vary significantly in terms of structure and content, but they all share the goal of providing gifted students with a challenging learning environment that meets their unique needs. Some common features of center-based programs include small class sizes, differentiated instruction, and enrichment activities that go beyond the standard curriculum.

Benefits of a Center-Based Program

Parents often choose center-based programs for their gifted children because they offer more opportunities for academic challenges and social interaction with other gifted students. These are most commonly preferred via specialized homeschool groups, talent identification mentorships, and pre-college programs.

Deciding on the Type of Gifted Program

Once you have decided on the type of program, you will need to research different schools or centers that offer that type of program. You can find information about gifted student programs online or by contacting your local school district.

It is important to ask questions and visit schools before you decide on a program. Make sure you ask about the curriculum and how the school or center plans to meet the needs of gifted students. You should also ask about the staff at the school or center and how long they have worked with gifted students.

Sample questions for a Summer Program include:

  • Is this an Academic Enrichment or Social Enrichment?
  • What is the day-to-day schedule?
  • What types of projects will be covered?
  • How do you engage scholars who are bored?
  • Is the student allowed to choose non-group activities or move on when ready?

Types of Summer Programs for Gifted Students

Summertime is a great opportunity for students to participate in fun and enriching activities outside of the traditional school year. There are many different types of summer programs available, and the right one for each student depends on their individual interests and needs.

Activity Camps

Some gifted students may choose to attend an activity camp, where they can enjoy typical camp activities like swimming, hiking, and arts and crafts. This exposure can provide a new way to engage when they return to a formal academic setting.

Academic Enrichment

Others may prefer a more academic-focused program, like a summer school or enrichment class. These programs can help gifted students explore topics not typically discussed in the traditional school year. They can advance their studies or learn new skills while taking a break from regular classes.

World Engagement Programs

There are also plenty of opportunities for gifted students to get involved in unique experiences like travel abroad programs or volunteer work. These world engagement programs have proved the most beneficial for gifted students, especially when travel is involved.

Whatever type of program is chosen, gifted students will have the chance to make new friends, learn new things, and have a lot of fun during their summer. Many of these experiences can also serve as a valuable boost to a college resume.

How Do You Find Summer Programs for Gifted Students?

Finding the perfect summer program for gifted students can be a challenge. However, with the help of the internet and a few key resources, it can be done. The first step is to identify what you are looking for in a program. Some things to consider are location, age range, focus, and cost. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, do some research on different programs. There are many websites that offer information on programs for gifted students. Be sure to read reviews from other parents to get an idea of what the program is like. After you have narrowed down your choices, contact the programs to get more information and ask any questions you may have.

Some research sources to get you started include:

  • Parenting Magazines
  • College and University Websites
  • Your Local Education Agency
  • Your State Education Agency

Completing Your Decision on a Summer Program

There are a few things to consider when making your decision on whether or not your gifted child will attend a summer program.

Goals

The most important factor is your goals for the summer. What do you hope to gain from the experience?

Cost

Another consideration is the cost of the program. Make sure you have weighed the cost against the potential benefits.

Location

Also, be sure to check out the location of the program. Will it allow you to explore a new city or country? Or, will you be limited to one area?

Confidence

Finally, make sure you are comfortable with both the organization and the people who will be leading the program. You should feel confident that they have your best interests at heart.

Finally, remember to discuss the program with your child and get them excited about it! Have you taken advantage of a program like the ones I mentioned above? Or, do you have any other tips for parents about gifted summer programs in your area? If so, please share them in the comments section below.

Gifted students can benefit a lot from summer programs, so choose the right one for your child!