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Your gifted child

What to do if your child is gifted and talented


Posted: 5 October 2010
by Kate Donoughue

Here are some top tips on on how you can help your child:

  • If you think your child is gifted or talented, discuss his abilities and needs with his teacher or headteacher. All schools should have or share a Leading Teacher for Gifted and Talented Education to whom you could also talk. Local authorities may also have someone responsible for those who are gifted and talented.
  • Gifted children often need more support at school, but not necessarily more structured activities. They may need to be allowed to learn more at their own pace, and/or need more guidance.
  • Gifted children are each unique, although they will share characteristics with other gifted children. They may learn, act and react differently to other children. It is very important that they are accepted as they are and not forced to conform.
  • Gifted children often ask a lot of questions and have a great thirst for knowledge. Don’t brush aside these questions. If you cannot answer them, they can be saved for later or you can consult another resource.
  • Gifted children should experience subjects they are learning about in a deeper way. They can read books, do research using the internet, visit museums or art galleries, and discuss their ideas with others.
  • If your child's complains of being bored or under-challenged at school, take it seriously. Approach the school to discuss the problem. It’s a good idea to have solutions and ideas ready before you do.
  • Finally, teach your child how to fail – even a gifted child can’t know everything and so they need to learn it's all right to get things wrong.

For more support

  • The National Association for Gifted Children (www.nagcbritain.org.uk) runs an independent parent support network to help parents and carers resolve disputes with schools and local authorities. It also offers advice and support to parents and carers, and organises workshops for their children.
  • Mensa (www.mensa.org.uk) offers advice and support for parents of gifted and talented children plus magazines, newsletters and social events for its members.

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