I do not think I could ever fully express what the Davidson Institute’s Young Scholars (YS) program has meant to my son and our family.
I remember knowing when he was a toddler that he was very unique, and that it was something that would be difficult for others to understand. When I filled out his paperwork for kindergarten, there was a place for "what do you hope for your child" and I remember thinking "please just don't ruin him!". He was fortunate to have a couple of intuitive, dedicated teachers in his early years, and also to have been a very easy going, self-entertaining child. But even then, by second grade, it was apparent that my misguided hope of having him treated "like everyone else" wasn't going to be the best thing for him. Thank goodness I happened across Genius Denied, the Davidsons book, about that time. Eventually we found our way to the YS Program.
I have learned so much as a YS parent. Other parents on the eLists and in the seminars have been my best teachers. The Davidson Institute staff and seminar instructors are all excellent, caring professionals. Having answers as to why my YS is the way he is, and how to embrace and nourish him, as well as advocate for him, has been life-changing. The Summits and his first foray into challenging academics at the Davidson’s THINK Summer Institute have helped him achieve that crucial adolescent state of "belonging." All of the resources have also helped me understand and guide my highly gifted non-YS daughter.
I remember meeting with our school principal, another caring individual, as we were just starting to understand and try to meet Jack's needs. I could not get through those meetings without tears. I do not know if it was sadness over opportunities lost, fear over failing him as a parent or, optimistically, having a glimmer of hope after years of feeling lost. Whatever the case, I don't feel tearful any more. I feel resilient, resolved and educated. And grateful. Very, very grateful.
Programs mentioned in this story:THINK Summer InstituteYoung Scholars
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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