Trusting relationships between early childhood professionals and families with gifted children are central to a positive transition experience for the child and family. A common misconception is that many parents ’think’ their child is gifted and will be quick to tell an early childhood professional about this aspect of their child’s development. Research however, reveals most parents of a gifted child are reluctant to do this because:
- they assume that an educator will quickly discover the signs of giftedness and will know how to meet the child’s learning abilities, and/or
- many parents are shy about labelling their own child as gifted and do not want to be judged as a ‘pushy parent’ or considered unreasonable.
If a child has not been formally identified as gifted or an educator does not communicate through the Transition Learning and Development Statement details about advanced ability, it is quite likely that identification of advanced ability can be significantly delayed or missed altogether. As the child transitions into the new educational setting they may mask their ability in favour of appearing just like all the other children. Alternatively, they may quickly become disillusioned with few opportunities for stimulating learning and start misbehaving or resisting daily attendance.
A strong partnership which includes two-way communication about a gifted child’s abilities and strengths, particular approaches to learning and their interests will support a positive reorientation to the new learning program.
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