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No child is born with a parenting handbook which comes as standard. Perhaps life would be easier if that where the case, although maybe a little less adventurous! Learning on the job is how most parents cope with the stresses and strains of parenting at the various life stages of their children from baby, through to toddlerhood, to child to teen.

Parenting a gifted or dual exceptional child however comes with a whole set of different challenges. How do you answer the questions of a young child who seems to know more about the natural world than you will possibly ever know? How do you keep up with a thirst for knowledge that seems to know no bounds? How do you support a child who although intellectually way beyond their years, flounders when it comes to social situations and finds it difficult to make friends amongst their peer group? How do you deal with with the boredom, the perfectionsm and the possible underachievement? How do you parent a gifted child? We can't promise to answer this question but we hope to provide you with some relevant information that will make life a little easier both for you and your child.

Personal Stories

“I remember my son was finding it really difficult when he first started school. He was so bored and found it very difficult to make friends. Looking back it must have been a pretty miserable time for him because he found it so hard to make friends as his vocabulary and the things he was interested in just seemed to set him apart from his schoolmates. It just looked like being clever was a "bad" thing. Even now we're still trying to undo the damage this negative experience caused."


Is My Child Gifted? Mother helping childTrying to determine whether your child is gifted can be difficult; especially if it is your first child, as you have nothing really to measure against. Often it's other people, sometimes outside of the family, who will bring your child's talent to your attention. You may feel that your child is just simply a clever kid. Usually though, there will be tell tale signs and you'll notice that your child behaves in a different way pretty early on, even before he or she starts school. . .

Giftedness - Myths & Misconceptions emc2The biggest myth about intellectually able kids is that they need no help what so ever in school! As they already seem to know it all, it's only their own laziness that stops them from achieving. Everything comes easier to them; they're assured a place of the top of the class. Their future is bright with no trouble sitting exams; they sail through both primary and secondary school and are assured a place at a top university doing the course of their choice! If only. School is a veritable mindfield for gifted kids and their parents. These children often struggle to fit in with both teachers and other pupils. . .

Getting Your Child AssessedBoy StudyingWhy should you get your child assessed? Firstly, not all children need to be assessed educationally; however it's vital for those children who, for whatever reason, are struggling in school with the normal curriculum. The advice from the Department of Education and Science around pyschological assessment for children is that parents should be informed by the school about any difficulties a child may have, well before it's necessary to bring an Educational Psychologist onboard. In their view supplementary teaching should be tried prior to any intervention. Sounds like good advice but the reality is that there is a lot of pressure on the average primary school teacher, especially with large, overcrowded classes of pupils with varying abilities and languages. Understandably it can be difficult for the teacher to flag a child's difficulties. . .


News Headlines

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children invite you to take part in the 20th anniversary conference- celebrating giftedness and creativity- which will be taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, USA this year from Aug. 10th to 14th. The call for papers/submissions will end on May 25th, so don't miss out!
More . .
Check out the parents and teachers blog launched by Giftedkids.ie - Fidget Jones Diary - a sometimes tongue in cheek look at the realities of parenting or teaching a gifted child in Ireland.

Disclaimer: This is not an expert site, it is run on a voluntary basis and as such is based on opinion and experience but we hope that it acts as a signpost for educational resources and other support services for Irish families with exceptionally able children. By using this website you accept that any dependence by you on such information, opinion or advice is at your own risk.

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