Our support group in Donegal is based at Letterkenny IT where some of our children attend classes at CTYI on Saturdays. That is not to say that you must have a child attending. Everyone is welcome to drop in and join us.
We first met in October 2012 as a result of a chance meeting between two parents of children who attended CTYI. We recognised each other, got talking and decided that we should try and organise a get together of more parents. Before that most people dropped off their children, smiled at each other and ran off!
We contacted Colm O’Reilly in CTYI, DCU who kindly agreed to circulate an email to parents in Co. Donegal and we were delighted to have a group of ten people gather for our first coffee morning in Letterkenny IT. We had no set agenda but we managed to talk for the full two and a half hours that our children were at their class!
Our group is really about sharing experiences. Many people had felt isolated before and it was heartening to feel that we’re not alone! On one occasion, we had a guest speaker, David Ryan from Belfast, an expert on the area of giftedness and would hope to have more speakers in future.
Getting together is a chance to meet up with other parents and share experience and advice on parenting children who are exceptionally able. Topics of conversation usually include school curriculum, school life, peer groups etc. We also take this opportunity to explore any new national policy or national networks that may be of interest to children with exceptional ability. It is also a time to relax, listen or share some lovely stories about our children.
We have tended to meet at Costa Coffee in Letterkenny during CTYI classes. Some people stay for the duration and other drop in when they have some much needed shopping done. Parents are welcome to bring children to the coffee morning. Children can be entertained by bringing along their favourite books or games.
This term (January 2015), neither of us has a child attending classes but, if anyone else would like some moral support to keep the group going, we would be happy to help.
Nicola and Edel