Kids With Disabilities Shut Out of Gifted Programs According to Study

So, I just read this article that explains, among other things, how new data shows that kids with disabilities are shut out of gifted programs.  I have seen this first hand.

First, back in my day in grammar school, I was a straight A student (except penmanship), always had creative projects, and always scored 96-99% on my Iowa tests, yet I was not included in the gifted and talented program until 6th grade when I had a teacher that actually fought for me to be in there.  Nobody knew what dyspraxia was then, but I had it.  I was awkward, clumsy, and sloppy so I was left out of the program and my talents were ignored.

My dyspraxic, dyscalclic daughter with sensory issues was included in the enrichment program for one year, but for no apparent reason was left out the year after.  It happened to be the year we got her diagnosed and shared the diagnosis with the school.  Was this a coincidence?  Not sure.  She made the Principal's list and not many students did, had the most creative projects, won a poster contest, and was asked to present her work at a board of ed meeting, but still was not included.  As I mentioned before, she also never got the monthly "Terrific Kid" award in all her years in school while her friends received it multiple times.

Sadly, I agree that kids with disabilities get penalized for things that they have no control over and they miss out on opportunities to be challenged and to learn.

The other day I got a free download of gifted activities from a homeschool blog giveaway.  I printed out a logic activity for A.  I thought it said for ages 7-12.  She completed the activity, which was extremely hard, and then I realized that the paper actually said for grades 7-12. (She is 10 and in 4th grade).  I think this shows that she would have benefited and thrived from enrichment.

This is yet another benefit to homeschooling.  When you school your child yourself at home there is no boredom and busy work.  You can challenge your child and everything they do can be interesting and stimulating.  In addition to all the normal stuff, A learned how to diagnosis sickle cell anemia using genetics, build a cell phone, and build a digital camera.  She has done multiple research reports on animals and created plans to save endangered species.  She's worked on self esteem and looked within.  She knows all the major battles of the Revolutionary War.  This is just what I can think of off the top of my head.  The best part is that since I am doing all this with her, I can bring it up later and help her to apply the information in real life.

Not everyone has the opportunity to be schooled at home though, and even A will eventually be going back into school.  That's why we really need to advocate for our kids and ensure that they get the education and opportunities that they deserve.

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