Experts agree it is important to identify a gifted child to help them achieve their full potential. Parents and schools can help identify a child who shows signs of giftedness or special talent.
If you think your child may have a special ability and they attend an early childhood centre, talk to their teacher. They can advise you about what to do next and provide contact details of those who can help if more support or information is needed.
You could also contact the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children. The organisation supports gifted students and their families through a range of services, and their regional branches organise outings, activities and talks for students and parents. They have a library of books on giftedness, which are available for members to borrow. An online forum on their site provides a place where parents can discuss some of the issues they face in parenting a gifted child.
Gifted and talented practice is expected in all schools in New Zealand
The National Assessment Guidelines (NAGs) are a series of statements detailing Ministry of Education expectations of schools. NAG 1 (c) notes that schools are required to identify and appropriately cater for gifted students.
Each board of trustees is required to foster student achievement by providing teaching and learning programmes which incorporate The National Curriculum as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.
Each board, through the principal and staff, is required to:
(c) on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students:
- who are not achieving
- who are at risk of not achieving
- who have special needs (including gifted and talented students) and
- aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention
(d) develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (c) above.
- Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People: A Guidebook, Davidson Institute
- Striking a balance: How to raise a well-rounded gifted child, Forschmiedt, J (2003)
- Considerations and strategies for parenting a gifted child, James Alvino & Associates (1995)
- Helping gifted students with stress management, Kaplan, L (1990)
- 10 most commonly asked questions about highly gifted children, Kearney, K (2010)
- Home-school partnerships, Ministry of Education, New Zealand
- Ministry of Education Parents & Whanau section, Ministry of Education, New Zealand
- Top 10 pieces of advice for parents of uniquely gifted children, Warshaw, M (2002)
- Nurturing social-emotional development of gifted children, Webb, J (1994)
- ADHD and children who are gifted, Webb, J & Latimer, D (1993)
- Different types of giftedness, Neihart & Betts (2010)
- Working in partnership with the schools for your child - nine things to “round out” the school programme, Rogers, K B (retrieved 2012)
- Myths of GATE, Trenwith, B (2011)