The word “Gifted” as it relates to children and their parents is an umbrella term for a variety of neurodivergent people:
- High-functioning Learning Disable
- Down Syndrome
- And more…
And within these categories is a range of neurological expression. There is not one version of autism, there is a range of autistic expression that requires more or less parental involvement. The same goes for ny of the aforementioned categories.
The challenge is identifying the neurological make-up of the child as early as possible in the child’s development, along with testing the parents. The genes comes from the parents, and quite often the parents have been undiagnosed.
Communication between parents to discuss how, where and when to have professionals diagnose their children is the starting point. It’s ideal when both parents notice the same traits in their child and agree that their child needs to be evaluated for the best plan going forward for the child’s education, social needs, and physical support. But what happens when one parent wants to ignore signs that their child is or is not exhibiting age- appropriate signs of development? That creates a disadvantage for the child’s development, and causes a rift between the parents. The parent who wants to move forward with testing generally does, and the other parent will eventually see that their child needs help.
If there are observant and aware teachers, once they have a child in their classroom who isn’t able to participate with the rest of the class, the teacher will be the neutral third person who can move the discussion forward for the parent who wants their child tested and placed in an environment conducive for their way of learning and socializing.
There are two sides to helping a neurodivergent child: Educating and Socializing. If a parent who has a gifted/neurodivergent child, the parent need both a community in which the child can be properly educated, and a community in which the child can socialize. As time evolves, the education piece is moving faster than the social piece. It used to be until about 15-20years ago that all “gifted” children were placed in one classroom. And the children had different learning capabilities making it virtually impossible to educate everyone. Now, educators are realizing that the various neurodivergent gifts have to be addressed separately, and children have to be with other children with the same neurodivergent abilities. In that way they can be better educated, and they can communicate and develop a social relationship with people who see the world in a similar way.
The gifts parents can receive from their neurodivergentally gifted children, can be amazingly rewarding if parents recognize who their children are in the world of neuordivergentlly gifted people, and strive to connect them with their peers.
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