Parents sometimes wish their child had arrived with an ‘Operator’s Manual’ to assist with the process of parenting. Unlike a car or household appliance, children are not standard items so any accompanying manual would have to carefully consider the type of child involved. Those with specific learning and support needs – such as gifted and twice-exceptional children – require a highly individualized parenting approach to address the child’s specialized requirements. Parents of these children also need to be constantly adjusting parenting strategies in order to respond to their child’s ever changing developmental needs. This is especially so when their child’s needs are out of sync with the needs of other children at a similar chronological age.
No standard manual, book or program is ever going to be sufficient; however parents who develop an understanding of the broad issues associated with their child’s giftedness and their different needs are in a much stronger position to be able to review their child’s development within this context and adjust to their child’s specific learning and support needs.
The following collection of articles focuses on the needs of gifted children and provides some of the information parents of gifted children need to know in order to support and guide their children’s development.
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About the Author
Michele Juratowitch is Director of Clearing Skies and supports gifted children, parents, institutions and organisations through a range of services, including counselling and education programs, professional development, project management, consultation, advocacy, research and resource development. Through her work with GERRIC, at UNSW, Michele lectured in postgraduate courses for teachers, delivered and managed programs for parents and students. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the needs of gifted children. Michele presents at conferences, writes articles regularly, wrote Study: The Simple Facts, co-authored Make a Twist: Differentiating curriculum for gifted students and Releasing the Brakes for High-ability Students.