By Wenda Sheard.
Many names grace the phenomenon of high intelligence, giftedness, genius, asynchronous development. Remember the child beneath the names. Feed the child’s heart, mind, and soul. Celebrate the child’s smiles. Beware of muggles who malign the child’s magical moments. Avoid jealous naysayers. Honor your instincts. Allow the child to carve a unique path through life. If necessary, free the child from ordinary, step-by-step conveniences like curricula and grades and grade levels. Help the child find and celebrate true peers. Teach the child to respect the worth and dignity of all people. Connect with others who appreciate your journey. Learn to forgive.
Wenda Sheard, J.D., Ph.D. is an emeritus board member and past president of SENG. She currently serves as a trustee on the Council of Management of the UK’s National Association for Gifted Children. Before moving to England in 2009 to teach at an international school, Dr. Sheard taught in the United States and China, practiced law in Ohio, and worked in Connecticut as a disability policy researcher exploring the educational and workforce lives of people with disabilities. She has won advocacy awards, published articles, taught teachers, and presented at numerous conferences on three continents.