In the World of Gifted Advocacy, We All Have a Voice
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The one commonality the gifted advocates throughout the world share is our goal to see every gifted child on Earth receive the educational, social and emotional nurturing and support he needs to fulfill his life’s potential.
Other than that, I believe we are all approaching this goal in different ways and on different paths—and that is as it should be.
Within the world of gifted advocacy, whether we are teachers, college professors, mental health professionals, or parents, we are all advocating in ways we feel are necessary and make sense to us—from the pot-stirrers to the advice-givers to the healers and the helpers. The tools we utilize to communicate, the information we are communicating and the focus of our communications vary—blogging, emailing, face-to-face meetings with our schools, support groups, advocacy groups, tweeting, writing books, consulting or providing mental health services for gifted children—all are needed and necessary. And it all adds up to a powerful global effect on improving the lives of our gifted children.
Every voice, every personal story, every anecdote, every bit of advice, every complaint, every statistic, every resource, every research study has its place, is needed, and all boost the momentum for gifted advocacy and aid in helping a gifted family somehow, somewhere.
I remember searching on the internet using key words that described the school-related issues one of my gifted sons was having and I landed on a site that, without it, I would not have been able to advocate for my son as he needed me to. The site was a forum for parents of gifted children, and all of the forum members’ stories helped me to see I was not alone on the difficult journey of raising gifted children.
Without the personal stories about gifted problems, gripes about schools, complaints about educational issues and other difficulties, I would have probably kept trying to “fix” my son as if this were all his fault, and I would never have looked elsewhere for the source of the difficulties we were having. I no longer felt alone.
The forum members’ personal stories, rife with concern, complaining, fear, laying blame where it belongs, and just telling it like it is helped me like nothing else could have at that time. It was a much-needed validation for me. This forum was my catalyst for change, my key to understanding giftedness in a way I never had before, and it rerouted our gifted journey, putting my family on the right path. Their voices and what they had to say were invaluable and their voices and stories have an essential place in the world of gifted advocacy.
Once I understood that part of the journey my family had traveled, I began to google and search the internet for advice, solutions that worked, gifted success stories and resources to help with our journey’s continuation.
I gained valuable insight from that online forum for parents of gifted children. I was so grateful for the help I found in there, and how it sent me down the right path. I have now paid this forward with my book, Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Homeschool Teacher Embraced Homeschooling. The griping and the cheerleading, stating the problems and offering solutions—it is all part of much-needed gifted advocacy efforts and supporting each other on our gifted journeys.
Every voice, every personal story, every concern, every bit of advice, every statistic, every news article, every book—it all adds up to a more compelling global discussion and a more dynamic world-wide gifted advocacy network.
Your story, your words, your advice, your resources, your experiences and your voices are needed and necessary in the world of gifted advocacy. We all have a place, a much-needed place, where we can use our voice to advocate for gifted children and gifted adults all over the world. Whether it is voicing our concerns for our gifted child at a parent-teacher conference or heading up a world organization for gifted children, it is all part of the equation of successful gifted advocacy.
Just one tweet sharing a new gifted research study leads to many retweets and more knowledge gained. One conversation between two concerned parents with gifted children can lead to the organization of a gifted advocacy group. One Facebook share of a powerful blog post can lead to many shares and possibly the validation an anxious mom needs to understand her gifted child better. One angry mom sharing her story about the painful struggles of her gifted child can lead to writing a book to help anyone of the journey of raising gifted children. One share, one tweet, one conversation grows into many and invigorates the movement of gifted advocacy. The world of gifted advocacy needs everyone’s perspective, everyone’s story, everyone’s advice and everyone’s voice.
No matter what you have to say, lend your voice to the world’s conversation about giftedness. It is up to all of us to raise our voices singly and collectively. Change will happen when we all advocate together.