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The Truth About My Child I Won't Be Hiding Anymore

As we left the office of the Psycho Educational Specialist, confirmation of what we had long suspected in hand, my husband sheepishly asked, "Are we going to tell anyone outside of family about this?"

"Absolutely not!" I replied, my strong, immediate response taking us both by surprise.

In the months since, I have spent a lot of time evaluating that reaction. Why was I so reticent to share the news? Was it fear of how others would perceive me? My child?

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I was concerned people would view my sharing the news as bragging. Not in the normal mom way, but more of an in-your-face fashion. And I had read enough about gifted children to know there are a lot of misconceptions, as well as negative associations. I feared those would be applied to my daughter if I shared her situation.

I am not a fan of labels. They often lead people to draw flawed conclusions based on preconceived notions or lack of understanding. This had the potential to be one of those situations.

Today, just a few months later, I am far too busy working to ensure my daughter receives the support she needs and to meet the challenges that come with parenting a gifted child to worry about what others think.

The first week of school, she expressed embarrassment because she already knew the material her class was reviewing. She said she wanted to hide her knowledge so she could fit in with her peers and not hurt her teacher’s feelings. It wasn’t long before she began to complain of boredom. That’s when I knew I had to advocate for her.

Being gifted is not something to be ashamed of.

My child needs support, understanding, the freedom to be who she is. That is what matters most. She doesn’t necessarily understand what being “gifted” means, but she knows the struggle. It is real and daily for her. For us. So I won't be staying silent.

And if there is one thing I've learned since I became a mom, it's the importance and value of connecting with others who share and understand your challenges, of building a strong support system, of finding your village.

When my daughter struggled with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, I needed help.

When she was diagnosed with epilepsy, I needed reassurance.

When we received confirmation she is gifted, I needed advice.

I’m working to develop a more thorough knowledge of what this means for all of us. To make sure I am familiar with the services available and determine what path will be best for my daughter.

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Being gifted is not something to be ashamed of. It is a real, definable and measurable set of characteristics that impact the way my child approaches and functions in the world. That is not to say it defines who she is. But in order to help her be the best she can be, we need to approach her needs with care, understanding and love.

To quote from one of my favorite musicals, “If that light’s under a bushel, It’s lost something kind of crucial.” And every child deserves the opportunity to shine.

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