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Don't Let a Gifted Child Get Left Behind

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My two-year-old daughter has been in day care since she was nine months old. She loves being with the other kids, but she gets bored in school. I know she's gifted -- she speaks with the vocabulary of a five-year-old. This year she'll be in the same class she was last year, with two- to three-year-olds. How do I help her teachers realize that this child is special and we don't want her to lose interest in school at such a young age?

A: Talk with your daughter's teachers about your concerns. Help them brainstorm some possible activities that will help to stimulate the bright minds in their classroom, and offer to help find assistance for them (a professor of education courses, a teacher of gifted students at a local school) in planning these activities.

If your daughter is functioning far above the other children in her class, consider changing her to another day care. There is probably one that is more academically challenging nearby, and you can ask around until you find it.

Find out about any local organization for parents of gifted children. You could call your public library or the central office of your school system to ask if there is one nearby. Many communities have such a group, and you will find much support and suggestions for dealing with your daughter in such a setting.

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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


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