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    #183916 - 03/05/14 07:01 AM Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    This thread is a roundup of advocacy info and was inspired by a thread here and a post here.

    As an analogy, advocacy may be like a non-Newtonian fluid. Interested parents may wish to do a websearch on "cornstarch colloid" to read about Outrageous Ooze from the Exploratorium website or other similar children's science fair experiments with this substance.

    Treat it harshly, the colloid behaves as an unyielding solid.

    Hold it gently, the colloid's shape conforms.

    Advocacy efforts impact not only our own children, but those who come after... parents advocating the next week, month, year may be impacted by a teacher/school/district which is still in the "unyielding solid" state.

    For best results for ourselves and others, parents may wish to research and learn "gentle" advocacy methods to encourage a state in which the "shape conforms".

    Negativity in advocacy efforts may be like smacking the oobleck with a spoon, creating an unyielding solid.


    Why advocate?

    For continuing growth and development, kids need:
    1) appropriate academic challenge
    2) true peers
    For typical kids, these needs may be met in a general ed classroom, however for children with higher IQ/giftedness, these needs may not be met without intentional effort in providing advanced curriculum, and grouping for instruction with academic/intellectual peers.

    Some negatives which may occur when a child is not learning something new every day include these observations or signs that a child is not appropriately challenged.


    How to advocate?

    Although some families may have multi-generational history in recognizing, accepting, and nurturing giftedness, many families do not, therefore parents inexperienced in gifted differences have often been caught off-guard and unaware.
    ... I often joke that there are two kinds of GT parents -- those who are shocked to find out that their kids are gifted, and those who are shocked to find out that anyone could be shocked to find out that their kids are gifted...

    Advocacy "how-to" resources available free online and accessible to all:

    1- Advocacy - Working with your child's school
    Archived on WayBack Machine -

    2- Guidebook - Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People, plus lists of other resources
    Archived on WayBack Machine -

    3- Basic educational options for gifted children
    Archived on WayBack Machine -

    4- Choosing the right school for your gifted child
    Archived on WayBack Machine -

    This post suggests learning the 5Ws of a gifted program: Who, What Where, When, Why, and How.

    This post suggests advocating for advanced curriculum in the child's zone of proximal development (ZPD) so that the child learns study skills, etc. (as opposed to focusing on advancing the child's achievement).

    Unfortunately, there are no "magic words," other than focusing on:
    - your child's needs
    - compliance with laws, written policies

    Advocacy books:
    1) A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children with Chapter 14 about finding a good educational fit,
    2) Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children by Barbara Gilman,
    3) Re-forming Gifted Education and Gifted Education Planners by Karen B. Rogers, Ph.D.

    For 2e advocacy, there is information available free online, also in books:
    1 - Smart IEPs - Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide.
    . . .Read the pdf posted at
    . . .Archived on WayBack Machine -
    . . .
    2 - Wrightslaw website
    3 - The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) offers lots of information, including details on IEPs/504s. There is a brief description at this post. Also see:
    4 - Many find the book From Emotions to Advocacy helpful.
    5 - This post has a brief roundup of links on IEP/504.

    1) List of crowd-sourced tips on how to prepare for an advocacy meeting
    2) In this thread, several posts discuss reasons to not use the word "bored" when advocating.
    3) This thread suggests some words to use, rather than "gifted", when advocating.
    . . .This thread, School Administrators as Politicians (2015), also advises against using the word "gifted."
    . . .This post compliments a member's use of the phrase "intellectual neediness" to describe a child's thirst for knowledge:
    . . .
    4) Listen and take notes: you want the flow of information coming to you.
    5) This post suggests that to avoid rambling speech, make lists.
    6) Austega provides this list.
    7) Hoagies' offers a webpage on Dealing With Schools
    8) Document, document, document! Keep a ring binder with all pertinent letters, test results, jotted notes of phone calls, notes taken during meetings, etc. Place the date on each piece. Record the name(s) and title(s) of each person you are communicating with. Keep this documentation in a safe place.
    9) This post raises awareness of possible pushback and/or techniques to disempower parents.
    10) This post points to resources for helping students develop self-advocacy skills, so they can begin to conduct their own meetings with teachers.

    Other posts on the topic of school selection and the right "fit" include:
    - School consultant for elementary aged child
    - What kids don't learn
    - Roundup of Tamara Fisher blog posts
    - Article about poor school fit (includes findings by Miraca Gross)
    - roundup of links on school selection and "educational fit"
    - roundup of discussion threads on full-grade acceleration (pro and con)
    - advanced curriculum with same-aged intellectual peers
    - Hoagies' Gifted Education Page - Private Schools and the Profoundly Gifted
    - observations or signs that a child is not appropriately challenged... advocacy may be needed and may be overdue
    - Underachievement: Hoagies list, Jim DeLisle article, Jim DeLisle book.

    Bottom line: It is imperative that parents/guardians/child be in agreement regarding the goals of advocacy efforts, and are focused on meeting the needs of the child (providing that which will facilitate the child's continued growth and development).

    When a website or webpage is NOT FOUND or has been changed and no longer contains the described content
    , check the WayBack Machine (internet archive) for a backup copy.
    - Link:
    - Example in this 2018 post, which describes use of the WayBack Machine.

    #183928 - 03/05/14 07:59 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    Zen Scanner Offline

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    So, basically you are saying it's not a roadblock, it's an Oobleck?

    #183934 - 03/05/14 08:23 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: Zen Scanner]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    Indeed! Precisely. Well said. smile

    #183941 - 03/05/14 09:14 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    chay Offline

    Registered: 08/07/13
    Posts: 448
    Loc: Canada
    Love it!

    #184004 - 03/05/14 04:01 PM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    psychland Offline

    Registered: 02/27/14
    Posts: 69
    This is wonderful! My child goes to a small private school and we will be creating the first IEP that they have ever done for giftedness tomorrow. To this point they have been amazing and these are great points to keep in mind.

    #242143 - 04/18/18 08:47 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    A few of the more recent threads and posts with valuable discussion of advocacy include:

    - thread: Why is advocating so hard (May 2017)
    - thread: Requesting test results (June 2017)
    - thread: Incompetent teacher (Oct 2017)
    - thread: Need help with advocacy (Oct 2017)
    - post: focus on child's needs, avoid emotion (Oct 2017)
    - posts on trigger words to avoid when advocating: here, here, and here (April 2018)
    - post: list of a few Gifted Struggles encountered... unpleasant situations in which advocacy may be needed (April 2018)

    #245277 - 04/17/19 09:20 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    More information for positive Advocacy, specific to IEP/504:
    10 IEP tip sheets from Brookes Publishing -
    (also on the WayBack Machine, internet archive -

    Brief roundup on Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504s
    - Wrightslaw: Writing Smart IEPs
    - IEP recommendations
    - possible ideas of what to include in a 504
    - Knowing one's strengths and owning one's weaknesses (hat tip to Platypus101)

    #248682 - 04/20/21 07:28 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    Another potentially helpful resource, with tips for positive advocacy:
    20-page PDF, created by
    Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC) Handbook, May 15, 2020
    (also on WayBack Machine, internet archive -*/

    #249042 - 07/24/21 06:34 PM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    The starfish story may be inspiring for those embarking on advocacy.

    #249734 - 05/06/22 05:32 AM Re: Analogy: Advocacy as a Non-Newtonian Fluid [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 5214
    Here's an interesting phenomenon one may encounter when advocating. It may be good to be familiar with it proactively, as it is often helpful to be able to recognize and name the dynamics one observes. Especially when opinion may be misrepresented as fact.

    It is also beneficial to be aware of the possibility for a parent to have the similar inclination to speak for their child or to label their child. This may underscore the importance for family members to have open discussions and ensure they are all on the same page before advocating.

    Originally Posted By: article
    The Psychologistís Fallacy: Itís Wrong to Assume that Your Interpretation Must Be Right

    - The psychologistís fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when an external observer assumes that their subjective interpretation of something represents the objective nature of that thing.

    - Most notably, this is associated with the mistaken assumption that your (third-person) interpretation of someone elseís mental state (e.g., how they feel or what they think) is necessarily correct and identical to their (first-person) experience of it.

    - For example, the psychologistís fallacy occurs when a psychologist assumes that their interpretation of how a patient feels must be true, and that the way they describe the patientís feelings must perfectly capture the exact nature of those feelings.


    - An example of the psychologistís fallacy is a psychology researcher who writes a report about a participant in an experiment after observing them, and assumes that the report is necessarily a full and correct representation of how the participant felt.

    - Other examples of the psychologistís fallacy are the following:
    A parent who assumes that their interpretation of their childís emotional state must necessarily be correct.

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