When you hear “special needs” child, what do you think first?
Most likely you think of the developmentally disabled like my son Jonathan. He is autistic.
However, Jonathan wasn’t my first step into the special needs arena. It began when I realized the older three children were ahead of their class in 1991.
I had them tested on my own, and found out, some were considered gifted, which is a SPECIAL NEED all on its own.
You would think that a gifted child or two would have made things easier in our household, right?
I quickly learned that school systems across the country earmark little if any funding for enrichment of gifted children.
I was alone, left to my own devices in a new quest to provide the best for my children. It was clear that in order to get the most out of the abilities of gifted children a parent had to push forward.
Since I was no stranger to challenges and hard work I began shopping around and found a different school that had programs for gifted students. By moving the kids to a much more fulfilling program, while adding more activities at home, we were well on our way getting past another obstacle.
Gifted children really need to be addressed properly within the school systems today. Of course, many schools could use much revamping in my opinion. Some of their “advanced” classes do not fit the bill and many times the knee jerk reaction of advancing a student to the next higher grade is not the answer.
To prevent your gifted child from getting lost in no-man’s-land you’re going to have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and forge a path that fits your child’s needs.
Although there are many competent professionals in education, don’t count on a prepackaged or relevant plan for your gifted child’s specific needs.
What have you encountered in the school systems that surprised you about guidance, or lack thereof, for gifted or disabled students?
What did you do to make a difference?
Share your story now by leaving your comment below.
I applaud your efforts in taking the initiative in this scholastic effort.
Mother, Wife, Author, Founder & CEO of AutismToday.com
P.S. Having “been there – done that”, I recommend these tips, strategies, and tools when dealing with schooling options for special needs children.
To download a video presentation about special needs children and the organizations they are bound to interact with, click this link: