New Zealand Association for Gifted Children
How to start a support group for gifted children and their families
Most branches start as support groups. This sounds a lot less imposing and overwhelming than a branch, which has much more formal connotations and is enough to put people off who want support, but do not think they are in a position to start a branch.
One of the most important aspects of a branch is the contact with like-minded people, which is the basis of any support group. Not only do children need to mix with other like-minded children but the parents need to know other parents who are going through, or have been through, the trials and tribulations of parents of gifted children.
Gifted children give their parents many moments of joy, happiness and pride but they can also cause headaches.
Some children need nothing extra and their parents are not looking for help, but those who are, are very relieved when they find that other parents are going through the same difficulties that they are. In these cases, parents are often forced to look for answers. This is where support groups are invaluable.
If there is no support group in your area you may feel strongly enough to set up your own. How you go about it can depend a little on the community that you live in. Smaller communities often have networks in place that make communication with the members in the community easier. In larger communities other forms of communication are required.
What can you do?
What form should you group have?
Suggestions on how to make contacts and build a network
We hope that some of these ideas can help start a group that can provide you and your community with what you need. Contact with just one other family is the first step in forming a support group.
Members of NZAGC can access more information on running branches on the Member's Area.