We are very excited to launch Gifted Ireland as a resource for the gifted community in Ireland. While there are many other stakeholders involved in the support of our children, we believe that it is we as parents who must be the driving force behind change in the way giftedness is dealt with in this country. The future happiness and wellbeing of our own children is at stake and we should not sit back and wait for others to make a move. We must step up to the plate as a group to ensure that our children’s needs are recognised and that they get the support necessary to develop into happy, fulfilled and productive members of society.
The first step is to get organised and that is where Gifted Ireland comes in. We are offering this as the means through which we can form and develop local support groups and through which we can all communicate and collaborate.
Since 2009 our own support group, Gifted Advocacy and Support (GAS), in Wicklow/South Dublin has been a lifesaver for many parents of gifted children. Many nerves have been calmed and frustrations vented over numerous cups of coffee and buns. Friendships have been made and previously undiscovered talents revealed.
As we engaged with other parents around Ireland, it became clear that there is an appetite for more such groups, run by parents at local level. Only parents of gifted children really understand what it is like to be the parent of a gifted child and there is nothing quite like meeting face-to-face with others who “get it”. It is the sharing of experiences that brings us together.
We have a lot of experience supporting our own children, negotiating their way through the education system and running our own support group. We are very happy to share that knowledge and experience but we do not intend to run anyone else’s group or presume to tell anyone how this should be done. The aim of this new project is to help parents to find each other for support and to facilitate networking between groups so that we can all share ideas and resources.
We have already met several inspirational parents with brilliant ideas and some with amazing organisational skills. Not everyone has the confidence or wherewithal to make things happen on their own, but as a community we can achieve great things. Each and every one of us has something to bring to the table and it will be by listening to and supporting each other that we will eventually make a difference for our children…or grandchildren!
Some of us have become active advocates over the years and have come to enjoy being a voice for the gifted community in Ireland. We hope to encourage many more of you to join us, but we recognise that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However, as long as we are all talking, we can ensure that everyone is represented when the opportunity arises.
We invite all the friends we have made over the past four years and all fellow parents of gifted children around Ireland to join us as we move onwards and upwards. This is a resource for everyone to share, and a work in progress, so please get in touch if you have any ideas, comments, questions or suggestions.