Helping Healthcare Providers Help Gifted Kids

Screen-Shot-2012-06-13-at-11.00.35-PMI don’t usually write posts from my own point of view, but I recently helped GHF create a set of resources for parents and healthcare providers to help them better support asynchronous (gifted) children. Although I authored the brochure as an individual, I wanted to write a specific blog post here about it, because the result represents one type of support high-potential kids in need usually don’t have.

Children who are further along the spectrum of giftedness than the “garden variety” who may be served well by GATE programs (if such programs exist in their schools) are different enough from the norm that their healthcare is impacted. Families in need may lack the resources (internet access, time away from work and home responsibilities) to research effective ways to advocate for their children in education settings. And even families who aren’t in need may not understand just how much advocacy is required to help healthcare providers understand their children, too.

Perhaps “advocacy” is a misleading word, because here I don’t mean that parents need to advocate for systemic change. Instead, in many cases, healthcare providers don’t have experience with this population, strictly because of the size of the population itself. (See the chart near the bottom of the brochure.) As a result, even healthcare providers may believe the leading myths about giftedness, or simply may not understand how extraordinarily intense and different these children’s needs are.

As we build our program to serve these kids, the Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund intends to connect families with free resources like those provided by GHF. Such resources are critical to families’ abilities to understand their kids’ needs, and to help them start meeting those needs more effectively.

I’m a parent, and my own children have extraordinarily unusual needs as well. I wish I’d had resources like the GHF brochure years ago, but I’m also happy my own experience helped me contribute to the expanding landscape of resources available to help others. I hope it’s useful for you or someone you know.

– Marlow

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