Giftedness, Awareness,Parent Power and taking that first step..
The Power of Parents never ceases to amaze me… especially what transforming achievements they can get up to in pursuit of advocating for their children. These incredible feats, and the adversity and/ or mountains they have had overcome really should be noted and celebrated by our community, our global community… If we look back historically, many of the greatest movements within our sector, or and even some of our most celebrated Academics, writers and researchers did start out as humble parents of a ‘quirky’ kid, or were the quirky kid (with parents) who was eventually tagged as being gifted, or twice exceptional or which ever label for the population that is used in your country of choice. For many it was the birth of this small person that was the catalyst of their career choice, or the instigator for a life-long contribution to the sector.
To all these magnificent parents… I salute you, take off my hat, and make a sweeping bow… low down.. and say that I am proud to be among such a distinguished army of friends. There are to many of you to mention in one blog post, however, folk here are aware of you, and appreciate your accomplishments and efforts on behalf of this population.
Today, I am sure that many of you have followed similar paths to those mentioned below. If you have not yet, or are new to the ‘tribe’ as some would call it.. perhaps looking at, reading the sampling below may give you new hope as to what can be achieved, often by just one person taking one step that turned into a marathon, with a (not always, but occasionally) recognition/valued effort/making a difference, in the end. Perhaps you to will find the power within to take a step
Mama Carolyn from Hoagies G&T Page, in the USA, began with a single day where she saw a need, having kids like these, and decided to use her skills, sat down in a chair and built the first page of what would become one of the single most used and supportive websites throughout the years for gifted families world over…even inspiring other parents with similar skills and other talents, sometimes on a global level, to do the same…
Mama Margaret from Giftedkids.ie was frustrated with the lack of support & information when trying to access same for her family in Ireland, and having similar skills to the above mentioned, decided one day to also, begin at the beginning… and has built a vast site that is very relevant to Ireland, as well as beyond. The site runs and excellent series of Webinars that are free. There is also a blog. Recently, she has been involved in a new, exciting project called MissionV..supporting underachieving and high potential students through a 3D immersive game based platform.
In Germany, Mama Roya, of Begabungs seeing a need, and having gifted experiences herself, one day walked down the road, rented a premises and started a Gifted Support centre… with her counselling, computer skills and language skills she has not only run the centre, navigating all the pot holes in her road to success, but has also used them in really innovative ways, developing a Second Life, Global Gifted meeting once a month, where one can go and listen to excellent and well known speakers from around the world, for free from the comfort of your laptop and couch. Recently she has developed a virtual 3D summer camp for teens from anywhere in the world called the World of Begabungs.
Papa Tim of GiftedPhoenix, retired from his job, overseeing gifted provision in England (UK), when the programs where cut back. However, and being a Dad, and a gifted thinker, he still had a lot to offer/give. So.. he started a simple blog, called Giftedphoenix. Intending to chronicle, review, and critically assess both literature worldwide, and organisational efforts around the globe.. he is aware that not all may share his opinions, but he entered into the spirit of creating a platform where dialogue is invited and others may air their views. It has become a vast source of multi cultural information, and he is a great contributor over the networks.
Mama Mary in New Zealand… Simply decided to start a separate Facebook group page, called Mary’s Gifted Contacts. Only a handful of folk dropped in at first.. and then the trickle, became a stream, and then a river with many many tributaries which flow across the world and through different continents and countries… It has become a truly helpful, multicultural network and networking community of Gifted advocates, both parents, academics and practitioners.. and it’s numbers are getting larger and stronger and stronger all the time…. Mary is gifted teacher, and helps run and teach gifted kids at the Gifted On-Line School (GO), and apart from being a huge part of the promotion of NZ Gifted Awareness Week, she writes her own Blog, CreatingCurriculum, and has been the brains behind this Bloghop/tour idea, bringing bloggers on gifted together, from all over the world, to include many of those mentioned above & below here, and this one too. Together.. it feels a bit like a blogfestival going on, in celebration of the Awareness Week.. ;-).. And incidently, if you do blog on gifted, and particularly if you live in New Zealand, I am sure Mary would be happy to hear from you!!!
There are many many parent folk out there..from both work from home parents and those who may be working at a variety of jobs/disiplines, using Blogging and twitter platforms. Mama Lisa C’s Giftedparentingsupport for wonderful moral and positive support & information on research, Chief sanity officer, life coach for Gifted Adults Lisa L’s Deepwaterscoach blog, Mama Jen– LaughingatChaos, for humour & creative life-experience-in-the-gifted-family writing and Jo’s Sprites site for wonderous creative stories for understanding & resources. Becoming authors and providers, consultants for the gifted community’, as have Mama authors like Dr. Joy Lawson,-Gifted and Black, Lisa Rivero,- Intensity, Christine Fonseca Intensity/childrens books & Dr. Deborah Ruff, Assessment and Identification/Parent empowerment, are also amongst the many many others past and present.. and in many countries around the world… more than I have room for in this post..who became motivated parents, through either their own, or their childrens gifted intensity, to take a step towards advocacy and raising awarness in gifted… My appologies not having room to list you all.
Then, there are 2E Mama’s such as Corin from GiftedHomeschoolForum a major website for gifted and 2E homeschoolers, and, J. Schmauder from the Asynchscholarsfund… both who also begun with taking a first step.. reaching out and continuing to build, regardless of what obstacles they met on their way…their websites and in some cases financial support for gifted students in need, and communities. There are also a number of great individual Homeschooling supporter such as this.very helpful… Mama Susanne from Creating Wingspan..
One catalyst that arrived on the scene only a little over a year or so ago, was a Mama called Deborah Mersino.. of #gtchat on twitter.. Ingeniosus . A person with great skill in social networking who catapulted others into/onto these platforms.. and showed so many how powerful and collaborative gifted advocates they could be… She started with .. one tweet…
I so also want to acknowlege that I am aware there are Dads out there too… many Dad’s who have kept lights burning in the darkness ..Not forgetting these knights in shinning armour.. however, they/you may require another blog post, … ;-D.
So folks… remember.. as you reflect upon Awareness during this, New Zealand Awareness Week, this parent power that can enable awareness to grow, the power of being parents, or of having been the child of a parent.. is a force ‘within’ you.. (think ‘Jedi’…). YOUR power to start something big, where ever you live.. may only be.. one.step.away... all you need to do is.. TAKE.THAT.STEP..and ..
move forward from there.. ;-D