Make an appointment to talk to your child’s teacher. Most schools have access to psychologists who can do a formal cognitive assessment and identify your child’s unique patterns of strengths and difficulties (giftedness doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of difficulty!). With this information, class placement and interventions can be designed so your child is more likely to enjoy and benefit from his/her school experience. Similarly, you can learn about things to do at home to optimise your child’s social, emotional and intellectual development.
It can feel uncomfortable to talk about giftedness with a teacher or school. Uncertainty gives rise to anxiety. And, Australians don’t like to be seen to be bragging. Prepare for your conversation by being clear about what you have observed in your child, how this seems different to what you've observed in other children and your desire to ensure s/he has the best schooling experience possible.
If the school is unable to assess your child, many private psychologists also do these assessments, though it isn’t cheap.
You might consider joining a parent support group such as the NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children (nswagtc.org.au). They run seminars and workshops, publish newsletters and journals, run an online forum and sponsor local support groups. Their website has a wealth of resources for parents of gifted children. There are similar organisations in several other states.
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