Parent of gifted child

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by katsusie, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. katsusie

    katsusie New Member

    Good day to all. I am on disablity for CFS, Fibro, and Epstien Barr Virus. As you know, funds become very limited when you are unable to work. I am the divorced parent of an 11 year old, who is about to be tested for the gifted program at school. My question is, does anyone know of any grants available for disabled parents of gifted children? It is frustrating to see his potential sitting idol due to the fact I cannot provide him with needed resources to advance and expand his mind in all ways poosible. He is so willing to learn, but again, I am limited in giving him needed tools. I would appreciate any input in this matter. Thank you and have an unpainful day.
  2. 2BPainfree

    2BPainfree New Member

    I am not divorced, but I feel guilt everyday that I cannot provide my kids with more of myself, scheduled events (most everything is so expensive) or takes energy that I don't have.

    I have trouble even helping my oldest follow thru with homework. Thank goodness, my youngest is self motivated! Both my kids are very smart also and deserve more stimulation than they are getting. At the moment, I'm at a loss at what to do also.

    This would be a good foundation for someone to start... "Opportunities, activities and school support for kids of parents with CFS and FM."

    Now THAT would be a worth while cause, badly needed I would think!

    Sorry I can't offer advise, but I do understand...right there with you.

    Susan B.
  3. katsusie

    katsusie New Member

    Always feels better to be in great company. Thank you.
  4. Bratnut

    Bratnut New Member

    This is a novel, but I hope it helps!! - Patricia

    It's hard to be a parent of gifted children. No lie there. But so much fun! In her 4th grade year, my oldest daughter's teacher just looked at me and said "you know, she's way about the rest"..I did, but then everyone thinks so. In 6th grade her teacher begged me to put her in private school so she could be nurtured. I couldn't. At age 10, she read Animal Farm and understood the political implications, by the end of 6th grade, Chaucer was on her BTDT list as well as Poe, etc...You're getting the picture. By 12 she had written a small sonata on the piano (yes, both hands)..she's never had a lesson. What to do??? National testing?? Off the charts in English. And my favorite incidence of thinking, 7th grade. She staged a revolt against her math teacher whom she depised. She was almost successful in getting the class to flunk out so the teacher would look bad. Another teacher agreed...it would work..mischeivious devil! :)

    Then there's her little sister. She didn't want the labelof gifted because she knew more was expected. She watched her sister and learned so she tried to hide it. Almost impossible, the teachers and I knew. Nat'l testing came around and the gig was up 99th percentile in several areas. NOT ALL! I have yet to meet a gifted child who excels in all.

    My advice and the most important!! Don't stress it!! They will pick up on that and feel undue pressure. It takes the fun out of learning. That always caused a backlash against learning from mine.

    Mine are doing really well. There talents are being recognized by educators in all areas and they are thriving in the public schools. My oldest is now in advanced placement classes in high school(9th grade) and in an internationally renowned choir(yep, the music interest). My youngest is doing advanced work in 6th grade and using her brain on the basketball court to outsmart opponents.

    Next import thing... Listen to their interests. My two couldn't be more different. I tried to steer my youngest down the same path as her sister. WRONG!! By letting them choose what they like they have both succeeded and in different areas..nobody to compare to. This success has helped build self-confidence and success in many other areas.

    Give up on grades as a measurement until high school. My oldest is a tangent thinker. Something catches her interest and she will follow it through to the end until she masters it often to the detriment of other stuff. I just let the teachers know that I held her responsible for her grades and also that she had ADHD (a disorder or a different way of thinking??). By letting her fall down in the grade area, she learned how to manage her way of thinking with society and is pulling in A's now in high school. That was an understanding we had. High school counts towards scholarships. Before that, it's not as important. A few quarters, I never saw her report card. What I wanted to know was that she was learning. I could tell she was proficient.

    Certainly, I wish I could put them in private school and there are often private schools who provide scholarships, etc., but you have to look at the social implications of that as well. Friends in the neighborhood are also school mates and life long bonds are formed. Public schools almost always have programs for gifted children. The need is recognized.

    Lastly, exposure. It doesn't have to be expensive. Books, library, music and yes, even the correct kind of TV. And most of all...your time even if all you can do is cuddle and let them read to you or point out pictures. I've slept through quite a few Disney movies too where we were cuddled up. Normally, they didn't notice to much, but really liked the warmth.

    Good luck,

    Patricia
  5. Bratnut

    Bratnut New Member

    my mom and dad did much of the above with my oldest brother. The only thing he was interested in was marine life. He is now one of leading evolutionary marine biologists in the world and has been a professor for many years.

    Patricia
  6. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Hi welcome to the board. Can't help with your immediate problem with your gifted son, but would suggest you contact your local goverment, higher education also. There is always some grants for children like him. But you need to investigate yourself.

    My oldest son was gifted, we sent him to the best schools, which at the time were the parochial schools in our area.

    He even exceed their expetations. As an adult he was tired of all the attention, and refused to go to college. He got into the stupid music that was popular at the time, and I went through some horrible times worrying about him.

    Now, years later, he is in college, doing well, and is interested in teaching. Go figure!

    Just stopped to welcome you to the board, and hope you join us often.

    Shalom, Shirl



  7. Rosetta

    Rosetta New Member

    My oldest graduates law school this year in the top 3 percent of her class and my youngest graduates high school next year.


    Try the public library, also check on the program for gifted at you school. Also the local college offers some early admission. My youngest started taking college classes in 10 grade. I also look for summer camps at universities. There are several that has programs for math and science. Some have scholarship programs. If there are some industrial plants in your area, they will sometimes donate used lab equipment if your child wants to do science projects. Also I found out the hospital labs will donate stuff for science project. I also purchased some used lab equipment very cheap for birthday and christmas presents. It is amazing what gifted children can do and what they come up with. I really enjoyed watching mine grow up.
  8. j-bearmama

    j-bearmama New Member

    Have you considered Homeschooling?

    I have homeschooled my son since the 1st grade. It has been FABULOUS.

    No way the school could have kept up with him.
    at 9 he's already into biology and learning more history than most college grads. He's way ahead in math. although he hates to write ( which really FREAKS me out, since I majored in English!) he is and eloquent speaker and reads will into the college level. And does well on things he needs to write. He just HATES doing it.

    hmmmm and the school principal here yelled at me and called me a horrible mother for teaching my son to read before he started school. they said I would "ruin him forever and destroy his ability to learn." Yeah right!???

    With my FMS I have found it much easier to deal with the day to day dealings of a child. And he is a good Scout too. Always offering to help mom. I try not to let him do much for me. After all I am the caregiver. But I sure appreciate it when he bends to pick things up for me. And he's great about helping put away groceries and bringing them in.

    If you are interested in more info on Homeschooling, let me know via this forum. I will be more than happy to help you.

    God bless you and your dear child!
    j-bearmama
  9. allhart

    allhart New Member

    my daughters now in thrid grade has been tested every year for the gifted program sense kindergarden,
    she dosent want to be in it because she says she loves being smater then the rest of the kids in her class!
    the gifted programs at public schools are free but are also almost always full,i have been told that some times they have to alter the scores because theres not enough room in the program but that might just be in my crappy school district,talk to his teacher she can recommed books and other tools to help him advance,the school well also know of other programs he can quilfy for, my daughter is on student counsle and works on the school newspaper those extras have been a help in her leaning process,also summer school is a good idea he may be able to take the class for the next grade level,
  10. Madelyn

    Madelyn New Member

    homeschooling. I have always homeschooled, before and during CFIDS. Some of the advantages include: setting your own schedule, flexibility, tailor-made curriculum, being together more! If you're having a bad time physically, you can slow down for awhile, and pick up the pace later. Do activities or field trips when you feel up to it. Besides, no matter how you feel, your child can be doing schoolwork, because he will become an increasingly more independent learner. I teach five of my six and at least three are gifted. There are numerous websites and message boards out there for tons of info. It may be that you can best meet your child's gifted needs by taking control of it yourself. No one knows or loves your child as you do.
    Yes it does seem overwhelming at times, and I don't know your physical limitations...just a suggestion.

    Madelyn[This Message was Edited on 01/19/2003]
  11. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    The public school system should have some sort of program for your child. My daughter is in what they refer to as AL which stands for advanced learner classes. This year she is in 8th grade and taking 10th grade math. Her langage arts class is also advanced. In Sience and Social Studies she is mixed in with the other kids, but gets extra assignments to challenge herself.

    In 7th grade she was given the opportunity to take the SAT's that they take for college. she did okay, some of her friends got 1200 or above. These kids are amazing.

    Anyway ever since then she gets things in the mail about workshops and camps in the summer for gifted kids and their is almost always scholarships.

    we are not rich, or well--right now both of us are out of work and we can relate--the library is free--there is a whole world of knowlege there.

    If there is a gifted program in your schools, which I am almost positive is a national program, and your child keeps up the GPA then scholarships for college will follow.

    You can always go to the library. When I was trying to find a grant for college for myself years ago--I looked through some books they had there--just ask the librairian.

    Good luck! I am proud of my two kids and their bright minds, just be careful--the teenager now thinks I know nothing and can be a smart a** LOL

    in friendship

    cathy
  12. D2

    D2 New Member

    Hi,
    It really excites me to see this discussion. In my 61 years, I've been a G & T student at a school for the gifted in NYC during the '50's, a "pushy parent" of three during the 60's, a teacher and then curriculum designer and coordinator into the 70's and unemployed during the 80's! Nice to see the pendulum is swinging back.

    You have received a number of well thought out replies. Another easy thing you can do for your child is line up mentors in her areas of
    interest. If she's old enough, she can do this herself; the practice is good for self confidence. A little role playing usually overcomes initial anxiety.

    Enrichment doesn't mean more of the same or even going faster. It can entail indepth learning in an area of interest, enhancement of problem solving and analytical or creative thinking skills. Each child has a preferred learning style; how they take in and process information. At home, they are free to utilize this style, whereas at school, they are more lilkely to be required to be more rigidly structured. Encourage you child to "think outside the box".
    Seak brain teaser type puzzles and games. Provide both ordinary and unusual art supplies and possibilities. Ask open ended questions. Play with "What if...?"

    All these suggestions are possible within the constraints CFS and FM put on us. Easier without the exhaustion, but, then, so is parenting. Gifted kids are my favorite kind of kids...today I'm a therapist, so I still sometimes get to see them. Enjoy you child; have fun.

    Dale
    [This Message was Edited on 01/19/2003]
  13. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    My son is in college on a partial scholarship now, he was in advanced classes in grammar & Jr. High and honors in high school. His interest? Playing guitar and writing music. He's a music business major, but ultimately what he wants is to play music for a living. He is excellent too, but such a perfectionist, extremely talented, and more committed to this than any of the people he has ever played in bands with.

    I agree with those who have suggested home schooling. I've never done it, but know several moms who have. Almost all of their children are several levels above their chronological grade level, one in particular. With home schooling there is no limit. As for grants that may be available, I don't know what state you are in, but you might start by contacting your local state agencies and representatives, make calls until you find someone who can give you answers. I DO know there are grants/scholarships available for disabled students. There certainly must be something for single parents with a disability raising a child.
  14. j-bearmama

    j-bearmama New Member

    I'm glad you also posted about the benefits of homeschooling.
    I know the stresses I was under when my son was in Kindergarten in public school rendered me almost unable to function.

    SInce homeschooling I have been able to continue his lessons even when I'm having a bad day.

    As long as I'm not physically working wiht him ( like on projects) I can do quite a bit sitting with him.

    SInce my son is so far ahead, sometimes I just have him play math and language games on the computer.
    It's a"lazy" thing to some parents, but even public school teachers need to plan easy lessons for their own well being.

    Madelyn, God bless you and your homeschool!
    I just love homeschooling, It has made our family so strong.

    I do hope other parents consider it.
    As I said before, I would love to help anyone interested.

    Be well,
    j-bear
  15. Madelyn

    Madelyn New Member

    j-bearmama,
    Thank you so much for your post and God bless you!
    In my mind, one of the major strengths of home education is flexibility: for the Child AND the parent. I feel so blessed to be able to H.S. because this way I can be involved. If they went to school, I would be out of the loop because of my limitations.
    It is in many ways an ideal learning situation, especially for gifted children, because it can be tailored to suit each child's interests and needs. This is what gifteds need because they actually learn differently, not just faster. At home, one can also avoid the labeling and comparisons which prevail at school. The child can just be what he is, develop at his own pace, delve into strong interests, be challenged on weaknesses.
    I wouldn't give it up!
    Madelyn
  16. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I have found over the years that gifted children will always find ways to challenge themselves. It may be by reading more advanced material, taking a report and going into much greater depth than others of the same age would, or carrying on discussions that are at a much higher level than the rest of the class.

    As a teacher I let these students go on their own and I also held them to a higher standard than the others. They knew they could slide and in many cases in the past that had been enough to earn an A, but in my class when they earned an A they knew they had to work for it. It was not unattainable, but they had to do more than slide.

    I found these students were able to enrich the entire class with their presentations and discussions. They referred to the History chanel frequently as well as the Discovery channel. I also always used my higher students as peer helpers to work with others and assist them. It is said that a person has the higest understanding of a subject when they are able to teach it to others.

    I also believe that all children are gifted in one way or another. Our school-based GT teacher used to come and do lessons about the seven areas of giftedness where the students responded to questions and then discovered where their own strengths lay. It was wonderful for each child to feel they were special in their own way.

    As a parent of three children, two of whom were in the gifted program at various times in their education I also learned that just because a child tests well doesn't mean they have the interest or inclination to challenge themselves academically. Sometimes their strengths are academic, but they may also be artistically gifted, physically, gifted, musically gifted, etc.

    My brightest child, according to test scores, had no desire to be academically challenged past the eighth grade. We were grateful when he graduated from high school. We didn't care whether or not there was a special seal on his diploma or he wore an honors stole. That was not his choice.

    Meanwhile my youngest is only now coming into her own and believeing that she is indeed smart enough to be successful and do whatever she chooses. The source of this new found confidence is her college advisor. Of course she heard from us at home that she was as bright and capable as our other two, but only now does she truly believe it. As a result she made the Dean's List for the first time last fall.

    I think Patricia summed it up well in her coments. You need to find your child's strengths and encourage them, while still allowing them to be kids. When they finish school I know of no special companies who hire only "gifted" people. They are looking for well-rounded people who work well with others. If you can give your child the freedom to become that type of adult you will have been suceessful in your parenting.

    Barbara