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Resources for Parents of the Young Gifted

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I am a mother of a three and a half year-old. My son displays a high degree of intuition. He does things without apparent effort, like sports (soccer, miniature golf, etc...), reading (age 2), writing, taking well centered pictures with my camera, memorizing the 50 states (age 2), completing puzzles, using the computer before age 2, rhyming (age 2), recognizing numbers up to 100(age 2), spelling words before age 2, completing Kindergarten and first grade worksheets with ease, and so on. He is bilingual, he is fluent in English and able to communicate in Spanish at an intermediate level. He has an amazing memory. Just a few weeks ago, he recalled my sister's old vehicle. He told us that it was a Jeep and it was the color black. It was over 2 years ago when he last saw the vehicle. And he only saw the vehicle in less than three occasions.

A week ago, he performed a task that just left me speechless. I turned on the computer. He decided that he wanted to use it. Since he was two years-old, I let him use the computer on his own, with little supervision. He always had an amazing intuition when it came to computers. He opened the software, AutoCAD 2000. It was the first time that he used AutoCAD 2000. The software isn't user friendly. He used the software for less than 5 minutes. The end result was a drawing that had amazing geometric, and abstract properties. How was he able to do such a drawing completely on his own, first time using the software, and in less than 5 minutes??? I don't know. Do you know of any great resources that will help me better understand my son's abilities? I know that as a parent I need to be my son's best advocate. Therefore, I need to educate myself to the best of my abilities about giftedness in children. Could you recommend some great books about giftedness in children? Thank you in advance for your thoughts and advice. It is truly appreciated:)!

A: You have a truly special child there with amazing abilities at such a young age. I am glad that you are aware of his special ability and want to do as much as you can to nurture his abilities to the maximum.

There are many books out there and it is hard to recommend one specifically. What I would recommend though is for you to go through this great web site at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/parents.htm and you will find the latest on giftedness and great resources for parents. There is loads of free online information here. If you plan to purchase a book, please do so through this site to support and keep it growing.

In the mean time, perhaps it would be a good idea for you to give him the appropriate educational enrichment to stimulate his mind. It is crucial to spend quality time with him to be able to tune in to his interest and respond accordingly. Apart from provide him with educational materials that are of interest to him you may also need to expose him to a variety of materials. Children can only develop interest when they are aware of what is out there. This includes encouraging them to learn about a wide variety of subjects such as art, nature, music, museums, and sports. If he show interest in a particular area, provide him the opportunities to explore his interest in depth. At this stage, home stimulation and support of interests is a crucial aspect of development.

As he grows older, family relationships should be tended to as well. It is indeed very exhausting to bring up a gifted child, so it is best to have relatives help out. This is also good for the child, as the child learns to manage various relationships. Emotional support from the family is very important as gifted children are known to demonstrate heightened sensitivity and complex emotions

In addition, look for a gifted support group in your area which will put you in contact with other parents of gifted children. This is a good opportunity for your son to meet other children of similar ability and for you to share and learn from your/others parenting experiences. Have a wonderful parenting journey!


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