This is a cute blog about having good neighbors written by a fellow Houston mother. In some respect, you could substitute neighbors with “mom’s group” or “parent support group” because when you find the right group, they really do mean the world to you! And, when it comes to gifted parent support groups they are really hard to find.
Did you know there is a National Parent Helpline with 100’s of different support groups listed? Sadly, not a gifted parents support group is listed. There is even a Center for Parent Information and Resources with a nationwide search for centers to help those with disabilities. Those who have children who are 2E will benefit but there is nothing specifically for children with giftedness. However, parents of gifted children really do need parent support groups!
Whether your child is gifted, highly gifted, or 2E you have special concerns and need more information. Parents of gifted children need help in any of the following: finding the right services, advocating for gifted programming, advocating for special education, understanding when acceleration is needed, after schooling, homeschooling, university gifted programs, talent searches, special programs, early college entrance, funding sources, asynchronous development, over-excitabilities, handling perfectionism or anxiety, and much more. Thus, many parents find it handy to belong to a parent support group. Sadly, they are hard to find for parents of the newly identified gifted.
Families with gifted children really do need a parent group so they can meet other families with similar needs. If you can’t find a group locally, find an online group. Although online parent groups may never actually meet in person, the interactions often will provide information and emotional support that is needed. And sometimes, via online groups, you find a family that lives near you. Be it online or via local groups, special parent support groups of gifted really do provide the kind of advice you only get from parents who’ve “already been there, done that.”
We live in TX and found that the TX Association for Gifted and Talented lists out the public school-sponsored parent support groups across the state. Contact your respective state association to see if there is one in your area. TX also has a special support group for parents of profoundly gifted children called TPPG that has been wonderful for us. Nationwide, the Davidson Institute has a young scholars program for profoundly gifted students that can provide services for parents including advocacy as well as online support and in-person programs or camps. Their email lists have been very helpful. Another supportive group for profoundly gifted is PG Retreat which has a supportive email list as well as yearly camps and gathering for families. SENG has some parent model groups (SPMG) in CA and CO but they offer training if you want to start a group near you. The National Association of Gifted Children has parent resources nationwide. The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has lots of resources for parents of gifted regardless of whether they homeschool or not. The Open Education Database has 48 links to for parents of gifted children. Hoagies’ has lots of links for parent resources as well as online parent support communities. And for those savvy with social media, twitter and Facebook are loaded with supportive gifted groups from all over the world.
You do not need to do it alone. Find a supportive parent group near you or online. You will be surprised by what kind of supportive families you can find from any number of the gifted groups mentioned above. Just search and you will find something. Finding your tribe will make a difference.
This blog article is part of the Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page Blog Hop on “Forming Parent Groups.” I thank my friends at Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and elsewhere for their inspiration, support, and suggestions.
Please click on the graphic below (created by Pamela S Ryan–thanks!) to see the other Hoagies’ Blog Hop participants, or cut and paste this URL into your browser: