Parenting a gifted child can, at times, be a lonely and daunting task. While everyone else’s child tends to follow some sort of predictable developmental path, these kids seem to come with no manual at all! Given that teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists have little or no training in the area of giftedness, it can often be difficult to get the right advice on how to understand and support your child. Indeed, you may find all sorts of labels offered as explanations of their quirky behaviour. These are often not correct, so beware!
Support groups are a great way for parents to get together and let off steam. They provide an opportunity to speak to others who may be experiencing similar difficulties to your own and who may have found solutions. It is a huge relief to discover that your children are actually “normal” after all! Through support groups, we can all pool our knowledge and experience to help each other.
Having a way for all parents to communicate is also how we will succeed in advocating at national level. While a small core group can be the actual voice when it comes to lobbying, it is important that they speak on behalf of as many people as possible and represent the real views and wishes of parents. It is this communication network that we hope to build through this site.
The idea is to provide a way for parents in any part of the country to find their nearest support group or to find another person with whom to start one. Each group will remain independent, but all groups will be able to communicate in order to coordinate joint activities and to share useful information and resources.
Once there is a group established in an area, we will add a page to this site where they can post details of their meetings and activities and how they can be contacted. Meanwhile, if you would like to be included in the project, please drop us a line and let us know where you are. We will put a marker on the map so others can find you (no names will be given).
NB: These groups are entirely independent and are not controlled by Gifted Ireland. We try to ensure that parents are aware of what is available in their area but inclusion on this site does not signify endorsement or recommendation of any particular group. The vast majority are informal groups of parents who meet as friends to support each other and to organise outings with their children. They are not formal organisations and, in keeping with the Gifted Ireland philosophy, all groups included are happy to welcome anyone who has a genuine interest in giftedness, whether their child has been formally identified or not.