Gifted and talented children need the support of parents, educators, and the community. The need is seen in countless ways and in countless places every day. It’s wonderful when the support is there. It can be disheartening when it’s missing. That’s when the role of advocate must be activated.
What does one do to become an advocate?
- Believe in the importance of meeting the needs of gifted children. Develop the passion.
- Become the expert. Know the laws and regulations. Know the research on gifted and talented children – their nature and needs as well as appropriate educational opportunities. Know the myths and the truths about gifted students. Know the child/students.
- Craft a clear message from the information and state it often.
- Find other supporters of gifted children. You’ll find you share a common bond. Join organizations like KAGE and the National Association for Gifted Children for information and support. There is a certain feeling of relief in knowing you’re not the only one having these issues.
- Educate in a positive way those who are not supporters. There are many ways to do this – some overt, some…maybe not! Develop positive relationships among colleagues, parents, and members of the community. These relationships go far toward strengthening acceptance of giftedness and the need for GT services.
- Be persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be support for GT services. However, over time, the number of supporters will increase and changes for the better will be made.
Being an advocate for gifted children is crucial for changes to be made. You must believe and put that belief into action at every opportunity. Now is a great time to begin!
last updated 01/14/2021