Stephanie, our Young Scholar (YS), was a cheerful and energetic toddler. She blended in well with her peers in her daycare setting, but when she turned four things began to change. Her inquisitive nature led to “why” questions requiring trips to the library, but questions like, “Do you have a book on evolution for a 4-year-old?” led to odd looks from the librarian. Stephanie enjoyed memory and strategy games. Within months her father and I were each negotiating to have her on our “team” because the parent without the 4-year-old didn’t have a prayer of winning.
At this point we didn’t know that we were dealing with a profoundly gifted child. Our perpetual question was, “If we have to work this hard to keep up with her at 4, 5 and 6, what are we going to do when she is 9 or 10?” Stephanie was passionate about learning at home, but she wasn’t challenged at school. By spring of her kindergarten year when she was six and reading 4th grade books fluently, we knew something had to change. That’s when we heard about and applied to the Davidson Institute.
Through the Institute we found a community of families who share the joys and challenges of raising an exceptional child. The parent email lists provide an opportunity to communicate with the real “experts,” parents who have been down this road before us. Our Family Consultant has been wonderful! She provided academic resources for our daughter’s teacher to keep her challenged in the public school. She even found a local art teacher who was willing to take on a precocious 6-year-old. When it appeared that the Highly Capable program at our local school would be cut due to budget deficits, our Family Consultant helped us brainstorm alternative educational options. The potential for financial support was there if the cost of educating our child was more than we could manage. The most important thing that the Davidson Institute has done for our family, however, is to allow us to be “regular” parents again. I no longer worry about keeping up with my child. I know that if she has a question or she wants to pursue an interest that is out of my league, she’s only an Internet link away from a community that is there to support her. Thank you!
Programs mentioned in this story:
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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