I founded Educational Options in late 1999 in order to help the families of gifted children, particularly highly and profoundly gifted children, to know where to begin their search for answers related to gifted issues. The first place families usually turn is to the schools. Sometimes school personnel are not trained about the varying degrees of intelligence and the ways intelligence level can affect the social and emotional life of the child as well as the academic considerations. Even when schools have gifted programs and
I know from my own experience that I always had the best interest of my students at heart.
identification methods it is primarily with the idea of giving high achieving students an opportunity to work with other high achieving students and to learn at a slightly more complex and rapid pace than in the regular classroom. The actual level of intelligence is not assessed and the ability range of the students identified can be quite wide. Families and individuals are often left wondering where they fit in and sometimes they are left wondering if there is something wrong with them.
I founded Educational Options in the hope that I can help families who still need more information. My years of experience as an educator, parent, and researcher have led me to the conclusion that people's intellectual levels are intricately woven into the tapestry of who they are. If they do not know their intellectual level, and they receive confusing feedback regarding who they are, their self-concept and sense of worth can be seriously impaired. The task of being the best we can be and finding our place in the world, I believe, is severely handicapped when we do not really know ourselves.
Although I am a gifted adult, I did not know this about myself until I was nearly 40 years old. It makes it easier for me to accept and understand that many of the parents I work with still do not recognize their own giftedness. One of my first tasks is to help the parents to understand this part of themselves better. It puts them in a better position to understand, nurture, and advocate for their children.
I taught elementary school for six years before I "found out" about my own giftedness or what giftedness means for gifted students and their journey through school. I understand first hand how even a bright teacher who has not studied giftedness may not understand what the needs of particular students are. I believe I am in an excellent position to know how to provide information to schools and teachers in a manner that will be least likely to annoy, offend, or anger them. I know from my own experience that I always had the best interest of my students at heart. When I did not provide what they needed, it was because I either did not realize what they needed or was simply not in a position to provide it due to school structure and practice.
I am especially concerned about the family unit. If you seek guidance and support from Educational Options, you need to know that one of my focuses is on how to parent highly gifted children. My case study research has shown me that no one else has as powerful and wide-ranging an influence on children, gifted or otherwise, as the parents. We hope to identify and bring on board as many caring, supportive, and nurturing people into your children's lives as we possibly can, but the parents' role is pivotal no matter what else is going on. Many parents of gifted, especially highly and profoundly gifted, children, fear that they are not smart enough to raise their children. I can assure you that you are; and my goal is to equip you with the tools you need to do the job lovingly and well.
I believe my experience as a teacher, an administrator, and the parent of highly gifted children helps me to know how to work with the schools and when to accept that the schools may not be directly able to provide what is needed. The name Educational Options means that I will help you to see not only what educational options are open to you, but which ones best fit the needs of your family.
Although my specialization is highly gifted, one of my my doctoral emphases is in tests and measurement. I selected this emphasis because I wanted to find out for myself if tests can be fair and informative. I also studied human differences, human development, intelligence, personality, anything that would help me decipher why so many people who seemed bright and capable were unhappy and apparently underachieving in life. I did many literature reviews and searches to find out what motivated the policies behind present-day educational practices so that I would know better how to navigate the educational and political systems on behalf of highly and profoundly gifted people.
I founded Educational Options with the hope of spreading the information I have gathered. I have always been a believer in "first things first"; therefore, my first priority is to work directly with individuals and families who think they may have a problem that is due to someone's giftedness. We can tackle everything else later.