All of Now What?! in PDF format
Homogenised & Webinated by
Sheldon Q. Bartleby, Esq.
Help! Now What?! by Robyn Wilson
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE THROUGH THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES OF NEW ZEALAND
FOR PARENTS OF GIFTED CHILDREN.
I have tried to focus on New Zealand specific websites which are highly relevant to parents of New Zealand gifted children. Also included are links to substantial overseas websites which deal with syndromes, and learning difficulties. Lastly is an American website which contains experiences written by parents and links to sites of use to parents.
Web addresses are located within the reference list.
Autism New Zealand (www.autismnz.org.nz)
Autism New Zealand’s mission is to ‘improve the quality of life for people with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, those with associated conditions and their caregivers’ [viewed 10 Jan 2005]. A well organised site, Autism New Zealand offers a plan English explanation of Autism, online parental forum, latest autism related contacts and access to ‘Autism Spectrum Quarterly’. The comprehensive library includes audio and visual material as well as an impressive range of books for hire. Library resources also include material on dysbraxia and sensory integration dysfunction. Their ‘Shop’ includes books, audio and visual materials. Links page has sites to access for further information, including one which covers Tourette syndrome, OCD, ADHD, ‘rage attacks’, mood disorders and autistic/Asperger’s disorders.
George Parkyn/One Day School (www.georgeparkyncentre.org)
George Parkyn Centre for Gifted Education is a non-profit charitable trust created in 1995; their mission, as stated on the website is ‘to promote professional support services for gifted children and all those living and working with them’. To achieve this the centre has an informative website, lobbies the government to improve gifted education and support within New Zealand, interacts with individual schools, teaching professionals from pre-school to university, parent groups, individual parents and runs conferences for parents and teachers.
Two useful books are available through Reach publications owned and operated by the center are, “they’re not bringing my brain out’ (see Education for an overview) and ‘Choosing A School: A Guide to finding The Right School for Your Gifted Child’, both written by Rosemary Cathcart.
One Day School is run through out New Zealand where children from the age of six up to form 2 can be withdrawn into special classes of like minded individuals to concentrate on learning. Each class approaches one subject per lesson using reading, writing, art, researching skills, and discussion as a whole rather than in individual teaching plans as in a state school. While there is a cost involved it is within the reach of most parents and scholarships are available. COOL, an abbreviation for "Community Of Online Learners”, is an interactive version of oneday school for children in rural areas, whom are unable to attend in person.
Gifted Education links, New Zealand and International
The Mass-E-Gifted Education Resource (http://education.massey.ac.nz/contacts/CP/riley/Mass-E-Gifted-Education-Resource.htm)
The purpose of this site (maintained by Dr Tracy Riley of Massey University) is to help education professionals locate information regarding giftedness with in New Zealand and worldwide [viewed at 12 Jan 2005]. However, many sections provided by Dr Riley are helpful to parents of gifted children. Of specific value are the following;
· Major Associations
· Resources for Gifted Education
· Health Camps
Te Puna Whaiora: Children's Health Camps (www.healthcamps.org.nz/)
Health camps provide a healthy environment where children aged five to twelve can enjoy time out from stressful lives and also learn social skills, enhance peer relationships, receive help with issues such as anger management and grief or loss. For the gifted child, health camps can be useful in that the children are approached holistically, issues surrounding family life, schooling and social emotional behaviour are all taken into consideration and appropriate interventions are put in place. Camps are chosen with a particular mix of children in mind to enhance children’s interactions with each other and professionals in appropriate fields assess children where needed. Reinforcement of regular routines, such as sleep patterns and eating/ table manners, self-esteem and social skills make a huge difference in many children’s lives. School work, independent learning programmes are set for each child at an appropriate level. The Ministry of Education expects the following out comes;
· feel positive about learning
· feel positive about themselves
· improve their work habits
· learn skills to modify behaviour
· evaluate their own performance in terms of quality
· learn skills that will help them socialise more effectively ‘
At the end of each camp a report is sent home with each child, explaining the progress the child has gained and recommendations for the future. Regular follow ups on the children and families are arranged.
These seven unique New Zealand health camps, are financed by the Ministry of Education as ‘special schools’, each school has a board of trustees consisting of the principal, a staff representative, five ministerial appointees and two representatives from the Children’s Health Camp Committee. Children’s Health Camps work within the philosophy of holistic early intervention in the child’s life, along with professionals and agencies were necessary with the involvement and co-operation of family and whanau.
New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (www.giftedchildren.org.nz)
The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC) exists to promote the needs of gifted children at national level and to support and foster initiatives at local levels which meet those needs’ [viewed 10 Jan 2005]. NZAGC publishes two magazines, firstly Tall Poppies –which has family and association articles and events and secondly Apex – publishes New Zealand research into the area of giftedness. Note: neither of these journals is available through the public library interloan system or by electronic database. NZAGC site provides links to many worthy organisations, information on how to set up an association, a library and links to branches throughout New Zealand.
Support for Parents and Whanau (www.tki.org/nz/r/gifted/talented/parents/index_e.php)
Te Kete Ipurangi (T.K.I.) this online learning centre is an initiative by the Ministry of Education to help and support student learning, schools, teachers and parents in an electronic format. This particular section of T.K.I is specifically aimed the ‘Gifted and Talented: Support for Parents and Whanau” [viewed 10 Jan 2005]. Ministry of Education initiatives in the area of Gifted and Talented education are outlined with hyperlinks to relevant research, points of contact and regulations, parent associations. Useful links is split into two sections, firstly ‘parents and whanau’ which includes information on learning disabilities and Maori perspectives of giftedness, and secondly interesting links for students. The ‘Frequently asked questions’ hyperlink has been provided by Dr T Riley, Professor of Gifted Education, Massey University to address questions commonly asked by parents and teachers. ‘Ask the experts forum’ gives parents access to a range of experts who will answer questions in their area of expertise. An on-line questionnaire for parents to complete is included; this feedback enables the ministry to provide relevant materials for parents.
Hoagies' Gifted Education Page, welcomes parents to its site by stating “You'll find people "just like you" with children "just like yours." An exciting discovery! And you'll find ideas, things to try, solutions you may not have thought of. So join us, visit for a while, stay as long as you like. Follow our pathways to read and learn, and meet our friends and families along the way. And Welcome Home!’. A balm to parents who are battling to help, educate and understand their children. Hoagies gifted education links to the latest research, internet sites, parenting information and books, videos, reading lists. Several pages are a must read for parents of gifted children:
1. F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Here Stephanie Tolan answers many commonly posed questions by parents of gifted children including;
- Shall we tell her/ him they are gifted
- Acceleration vs. enrichment
- Home schooling
- I.Q. tests
- Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities Theory in plain English
2. The Ridiculous Things I Heard Today collected by Carolyn K.’
The humor in this page provides excellent therapeutic reading regarding some of the difficult times faced by parents of these children.
3. 'What’s New' page.
This page appears to be updated every day. Fascinating sites ranging from kids pages, latest research to brain teasers.
4. Parents’ page is a must, note link to gifted 101 which has a subheading entitled books, here you can access annotated lists of books to buy and specific reading lists for a wide variety of children re: ages/ reading levels or special interests such as girls looking for strong role models. A specific page for children and teenagers is available at. www.hoagieskids.org.
5. Link to ERIC Clearinghouse for Disabilities and Gifted Education.
The material presented here- 500 pages - is an archive of material, created by Hoagies, of information that was previous available on E.R.I.C. before it was disbanded by the United States government in 2003.
This site is maintained by’ Carolyn K’, web mistress of Hollingsworth Center for Highly Gifted Children , and other gifted sites and a previous board member of , SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
Syndromes with Social impacts
Asperger Syndrome (www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger)
OASIS (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) website is maintained by Barb Kirby in conjunction with the University of Delaware, who donated the web space. Barbara Kirby and Patty Bashe are co-authors of the text entitled OASIS. This site is specifically aimed at individuals diagnosed with Asbergers syndrome and related disorders, who are looking for support and information.
Hyperlinks to ‘other autism sites’ are useful and also includes links to hyperlexia, split into American and International sites, are lists of asperger and autism sites.
Also found are
- message boards
- research articles
- related disorders including PDD-NOS.-
- print and e-mail newsletters
Under ‘non-traditional sites’ are;
- Allergies and Dietary Interventions- including gluten intolerance and intolerance to wheat, cow's milk, corn and sugar
- Auditory Integration
- Alternative Programs
Aspergers Parallel Planet (http://www.asplanet.info/)
A personal perspective on Asperger's syndrome, "this site is about my journey and to celebrate and share all the good, positive and wonderful things about having Aspergers, and yes at times I do feel I'm from the wrong planet".
Authored by a gifted dyslexic Asperger's New Zealander, this site seeks to raise awareness of Asperger's through hosting / linking to writing, photos, articles etc.
Australia site is maintained by Dr Tony Attwood a world wide recognised expert regarding autism and its related conditions. An easy to navigate website, providing many links to information from tabs on the main page, these tabs include hyperlinks to articles explaining every facet of behavior from speech to sexuality, including the latest research results. ‘Resource material on Emotions and Friendships’ has lists of books, videos and DVD’s available for purchase. Note, books on friendship, are listed by stage equivalents to the child’s age e.g. stage 2 = 6 – 9 year olds.
An enlightening interview between Dr T Attwood and Temple Grandin -one of the first sufferers of asperger syndrome to write about it from a personal perspective- is included within the site.
The child and adolescent bipolar foundation was created in America five years ago. This is a web-based community of parents who are raising formally diagnosed bipolar children or those at risk of developing bipolar early in life. Their membership includes teachers, social workers, medical professionals, researchers and neuroscientists.
Bipolar, which is also known as manic-depression is a disorder of the brain, which presents as:
- Extreme changes in mood, energy
- Extreme changes in thinking and behaviour
- Persistent elation or agitation in conjunction with high energy levels in referred to as mania.
- While depression presents as extreme sadness/ irritability and low energy levels.
Bipolar illness’ is different in children than adults – adults mood cycles are measured in days- a child will have rapid chronic cycling of moods with a day.
‘Resource section’ links to medical research, books and agencies dealing with bipolar issues. The ‘learning Center’ page has a plain English explanation of “pediatric bipolar disorder’ which is very comprehensive. ‘International links’ provides a hyperlink to CABF On-Line Support groups; here you will discover over twenty on line e-mail groups for parents raising bipolar children.
The dyspraxia foundation is English based charity existing to help educate people understand and cope with dyspraxia. As stated on the site ‘You can use this site to find out what dyspraxia is; how joining the Dyspraxia Foundation could help you; to get practical information about coping with daily life and what you can do as a parent; and to find links to other useful sites.’. The dyspraxia foundation defines dyspraxia as ‘an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement’. Problems of thought, language and perception are often presented in conjunction with this problem. A comprehensive set of dyspraxia indicators, in all age groups is provided, along with information regarding handwriting issues, spelling and physical difficulties many children face. From the links page, many excellent hyperlinks are provided including one to a ten year old home schooled male in England
Exceptionally gifted, learning-disabled and visual-spatial learners (www.gifteddevelopment.com)
Linda Silverman presents clearly written information on ‘whom and what gifted people are about’, smashing many stereotypical viewpoints. Gifted facts eliminate many long held beliefs of giftedness with research and statistics to back up theories.
The gifted development centre which covers most aspects of giftedness’ is located in Denver, U.S.A. This centre specialises in ‘visual-spatial learners (individuals who think in images), twice-exceptional learners (gifted and learning-disabled), the highly gifted (who score above the 99th percentile), and gifted adults’.
The Gifted resource links section of this website contains a myriad of interesting and useful sites, broken down into sections for children, professionals, parents and others regarding gifted schools, home schooling, highly gifted individuals and visual spatial learners. In particular the following are worth investigating:
- Gifted education resources
- Home schooling – provides hyperlinks to curriculum ideas and message boards
- ‘Why we use the Stanford-Binet’ includes fascinating links to related articles
- Listservs, message boards, & E-mail conference archives
- Websites and electronic magazines
- Characteristics checklists
Linda Silverman is a psychologist with forty-four years experience in counseling and helping gifted children. She is the director of the gifted development centre and has recently published a book entitled Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner. Note: gifted visual spatial learner is a difficult subject to access through the interloan system, as books are currently heavily reserved at many libraries.
The A.H.A. (American Hyperlexia Association) was created as a not-for- profit organisation to help parents dealing with Hyperlexia. While currently in recess, the site is maintained by the parent who originally created it to serve parents worldwide.
The A.H.A. provides the following characteristics of hyperlexia in children;
· ‘A precocious ability to read words, far above what would be expected at their chronological age or an intense fascination with letters or numbers.
· Significant difficulty in understanding verbal language
· Abnormal social skills, difficulty in socializing and interacting appropriately with people’
Some hyperlexic children also present with other characteristics involving auditory or olfactory issues or the opposite where they possess strong auditory and visual memories. Yet other children have had normal development till approximately eighteen months to two years of age when they start to regress. Other children use language in strange ways e.g. echo words or reverse pronouns, while some need to keep to routines and have difficulty changing from one task to another.
Links and sister sites should be investigated by parents as they are most comprehensive and useful.