CTYI offer classes on Saturdays for gifted children between the ages of 6 and 13. These classes offer what may be the only chance that these children have to meet others like themselves. The benefit is often not the subject material covered or its advanced nature, but the social experience of “fitting in” once a week. This can make such a difference to a child that families often travel considerable distances to attend.
While their children are at class, parents can find themselves at a loose end. This is the perfect opportunity for them to also find a peer group. Gifted children are a minority group with special needs which are not officially recognised or supported in our education system. It can be difficult to find information and advice on how to best support them and the term “gifted” comes with a great deal of negative baggage. Parenting a gifted child can, therefore, be a difficult and isolating role. Meeting other parents in similar situations and with similar concerns can be extremely helpful.
The Network would like to facilitate the setting up of parent support groups at the various CTYI venues on Saturdays. Whilst it may take a little time to organise and get these groups going, once up-and-running, they should pretty much run themselves. All that is necessary is for a venue to be selected where people can get together for a cup of coffee and a chat while their kids are at class.
We are asking for parents to volunteer to be the contact person for a session. This would entail posting a notice at the drop-off point, inviting other parents to coffee and then sitting at the chosen venue with an identifying logo so that people can find the point of contact. We will provide the necessary material and are happy to facilitate the putting together of a rota. If you would like to help set up a group in your area, please get in touch.
CTY Ireland runs classes at a number of third level institutions across the country. The live links below indicate an active parents’ group. We hope to have them all live by the end of term!
- Dublin City University
- University College Cork
- Athlone IT
- Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology
- Galway-Mayo IT
- Letterkenny IT
- Limerick IT
- Sligo IT
- Wexford – Carlow IT campus
We would like to thank Dr Colm O’Reilly, Director of CTYI for his support and encouragement of this initiative.