I wish someone had told me    Useful reading for parents     where do we go from here
 Testing gifted children  Is your child Gifted       Young Gifted     En français
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Provincial Organizations

Please contact us if you are aware of others.

Vous aimeriez contribuer à l'édition de cette page en partageant avec nous des informations ou votre expérience, prière d'entrer en contact avec nous.

Gifted Children's Association of B.C serves all of B.C. with chapters in Armstong, Central Okanagan, Central Vancouver Island, Coquitlam, Delta,  Langley, North Shore, Richmond, Shuswap, South Island, Surrey-White Rock, Powell River-Texada, Vancouver, Vernon   Their brochure and membership application are in this pdf file.
They are trying out a new "community" web site , sign on and participate in the forums, and chat room even if you are from out of province.
The GCABC has a 1-800 #   call 1-877-707-6111 and a volunteer will respond.

Alberta Association for Bright Children Alberta has a very active gifted association which includes charter schools for gifted and organizations in Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert and Drumheller

Calgary Action for Bright Children (CABC) have their new website here with information on local programs and a forum for Alberta issues

Manitoba Association for Bright children   Our current link is not responding,  please contact us if you have any information

Ontario Association for Bright Children Ontario has a new updated website with information on  local chapters and their meetings and lots of Ontario links
Ontario Gifted  a site for parents of Gifted Children in Ontario to share information.  Comprehensive links to Ontario resources.

Québec Infos Surdoués   Quelques parents qui ont décidé de s'unir pour essayer de sensibiliser la population à la douance.  Pour le moment , un groupe de support. Ce dernier étant bien nécessaire, car il n`existe pas de ressources officielles au Québec pour les enfants surdoués. Pour le moment, l' association et la site internet diffusent en francais seulement, mais ils pensent être en mesure d'offrir des services bilingues dans un avenir raisonnable.

 Le ministère de l'Education du Québec ne reconnaît pas la douance. Il existe bien quelques écoles privées pour enfants talentueux, pas nécessairement surdoués, ou encore des écoles publiques avec programme international, mais sans plus.

New Brunswick Association for Bright Children

Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Gifted Children  Newfoundland and Labrador also have an online discussion forum  for parents
 
 

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Tests and assessment 
If your school is advising you that they will be testing or assessing your child to include them in a program or to decide if they are gifted  you need to check out these pages of test FAQs  from Gifted and Talented World which include links and test descriptions. The article on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children  (WISC) includes the citation from Dr. Wechsler himself explaining that his test is only designed for populations from 70- 130 IQ . We have recently added a link to the site of Nelson publishing, the publisher of the  Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT) and will be adding information about parent experiences with this test as we receive them.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development in the United States has a great link site for information on almost all tests used to assess gifted children. Parents should especially note the article on assessing highly gifted children which outlines the pros and cons of the various assessments.

Dr. Bertie Kingore has published numerous books and articles concerning portfolio identifcation of gifted students. Her website has articles and links to her books.  Her work is valid for young gifted children and takes into account cultural backgrounds and influences.
 

The Council For Exceptional Children has a number of searchable areas on testing and assesment.  The main test search site at ERIC /AE test locator will give you a short description of the test and information on who publishes it http://ericae.net/testcol.htm
 

Be advised that many Canadian schools commonly waste resources reassessing these children each year. Especially inappropriate are group screening devices which offer schools no information which would support individual children's needs. While children's results occasionally go up, there is no valid reason to assume their results will drop in future years, short of traumatic injury or disease. Our children should not be subject to retesting at the whim of educators unless the tests are designed to demonstrate or support particular modifications these children may need.

Also be advised that norms for some tests are different from country to country.  A child who has been tested outside of Canada may not achieve the same results when the test is repeated in Canada.  Depending on where the original test was done, the scores may be higher or lower.
 
 

Where do we go from here?
Response to this site since we started it last spring has been great.  Now we would like to act on input from any of you who use the site.  What information do you need?  Do you need a forum for discussing gifted ed in Canada?  Do you need more info on testing, homeschooling, things that work for kids, parents, comments on when to act, info on advocacy, help with lesson plans, what?  Is there a great resource in your province, district, school?  What are the common concerns we have all across the country.  A lot of our interest in cross Canada concerns has been sparked by the special needs review comments from parents of gifted children across B.C.  The B.C. issues point to support of Ministry of Education policy, but concern about the fact the policy is not well implemented, and that there are very disturbing gaps in the understanding of gifted children.  You can read  a lot of the B.C. teacher, district and parents comments here

What is happening in gifted ed across the country?  A lot of us move, and we want to know the programs we had set up for our children can be duplicated in other provinces. Please share any info on your provincial policy or experiences and we will post it (anonymously if you wish).

Please let us know your comments about the site as well,  should we switch to frames? (we have stayed away so far because we aren't sure what equipment most of you are using)   Should we split information up into age ranges?  Can you find info the way the site is organized? Do you want a space where your children can contribute their stories, poems ideas?  Can anyone help us find information that will give support to first nations families with gifted children?  This month we really want your input!
Please email Lesley!

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I wish someone had told me!

Smoothing the passage

With forty-five years of experience as a highly gifted child and fourteen years of parenting them I wish someone had exposed me to the following thoughts years ago.

 
  • Parents can recognize gifted children from a very early age. Dabrowski's theory of emotional development describes overexcitabilities easily noticed by parents of young gifted children. Stephanie Tolan presents a simple view here.
  • Dabrowski's theory of Positive Disintegration should be examined by every parent and their gifted child.  It goes a long way to examining inner differences which gifted children may exhibit and which impact strongly on how they interface with their peers and the world throughout their lives.  It can take a bit of understanding but is eminently worth it Linda Silverman often refers to it in her work.

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  • Giftedness is Asynchronous Development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.  This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity.  The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally.  This "definition" of giftedness was developed in 1991 by the Columbus group which includes Martha Morelock and Linda Silverman.  They set out to examine who gifted individuals are rather than what they produce.
  • Memory in gifted children may be very accurate, long and detailed which can colour their life experiences for a long time (45.5 years and counting).  If this is true of your child acknowledge it and work with it (or around it).
  • Parents know more about their gifted child than educators.  If your child has needs that aren't being met, support them.  Be especially aware of your child's feelings and know how to recognize symptoms of depression.
  • In the search for an appropriate education you and your child do not have enough time to change the system.  (Once you train teacher A you must train teacher B and so on).  If your administrative staff are not involved with gifted education (One role of a parent is to ask clear questions of administration regarding documented support for gifted children), choose a different school, look at other options or be prepared to move to find an appropriate teacher every year.  You and your child will be less frustrated.
  • Know your sources of information.  Many studies and books which purport to study gifted individuals are based on cultural interpretations of success.  (Usually visibly wealthy or powerful white males.) Check the population selected for the study .
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Useful reading for parents 

Also check out the article on gifted readers and reading instruction  by Dr David Levande, Associate professor of Education at Southern Connecticut State University

for parents of very young children who suspect their child might be gifted:

Bringing Out the Best    a Resource Guide for Parents of Young Gifted Children by Jacqulyn Saunders with Pamela Espeland  Free Spirit Publishing  1986 (represented by Monarch Books in Canada)  available in large format paperback.       Useful information by professionals who work extensively with young gifted children on identifying, assisting and finding activities for your young gifted child.  (also a section on choosing a preschool)  Not a better baby handbook! 

For those of you with gifted children in Kindergarten or early primary years

Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom,  Joan Smutny, Sally Yahnke Walker and Elizabeth Meckstroth,  Free Spirit Publishing 1997. This large format paperback outlines techniques that work in the regular classroom.  Lots of reproducible sheets and easy to use activities.  (makes a good present for a teacher)

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For parents of gifted school age children:

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide : a Teen handbook by Judy Galbraith and Jim Delisle   Free Spirit publishing.1996 (in canada via Monarch Books)  There are an entire series of these survival guides for different ages.  If you only get one, the teenage guide has the most recent and most thorough information and can be easily by kids from about 9 up.  It talks about current views of giftedness, managing your time, stress, taking charge of your life and teen suicide among other concerns of gifted adolescents.  Lots of resource lists included.

Fighting Invisible Tigers  a Stress Management Guide for Teens  Earl Hipp,  Free Spirit publishing 1995  Lots of gifted kids suffer stress and burnout and summer is a chance to recharge and regroup for next year.  Lots of techniques for identifying and taming your stress level (good for parents of gifted kids to read as well!)

Raising your Spirited Child : a Guide for Parents whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistant and Energetic, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Harper perennial library, 1992    If you aren't sure your child is gifted but you know they are more...read this book.  The word gifted is never used (although all the descriptors fit) but the methods of dealing with the intensity levels are well thought out and illustrated.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook   how to quit school and get a real life and education Grace Llewellyn, Lowry House publishing 1991 This is a very thought provoking book about what education means and how you can achieve it, in or outside of regular systems.  If you are contemplating home schooling or working with your child to achieve an appropriate education in the regular system,  this will give you a new viewpoint to work from.

Smart Girls: a new psychology of girls, women, and giftedness, Barbara Kerr, revised edition 1997,  Gifted Psychology Press.  This book examines emotional and social factors that often inhibit gifted girls from realizing their potential and provides suggestions to help them fulfill their promise.

Smart Kids with School Problems, Priscilla Vail, New American Library (a division of Penguin books) 1987  This paperback provides a good introduction to "dual exceptionality" children who are both gifted and have specific learning disabilities or developmental lags.

Exceptionally Gifted Children, Miraca Gross, Routledge Press , 1995.  This book examines 15 remarkably gifted children n Australia, outlining their origin, development and school histories.  It discusses how the normal school environment can affect exceptionally gifted children's self-esteem, self-concept, motivation, friendships and attitude towards their abilities.  Recent work suggests there are far more of these children than previously suspected, especially amongst the unrecognized gifted population.  Any parent who remembers their child's unusually quick development as an infant should read this book.

General interest                     back to top   site map

The Burning House,  unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain ,  Jay Ingram , Penguin books 1994  Jay Ingram's book gives some rare insight into scientific research and theories about how the brain works.  You might just get some insight into your children as well!
 

 


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