Welcome! We are a group of families with intellectually gifted children on the Westside of Los Angeles. We started this group because we were surprised to find very little in the way of a gifted community on the Westside. While all children are unique in their gifts and challenges, highly to profoundly gifted children often have a hard time finding true peers because of their asynchronous development. Our main goal is to facilitate long-lasting friendships and a supportive community among local member families, so we ask that members live on the Westside or be within a realistic driving distance to be able to meet with us regularly. Among our group, there is a significant and growing number of gifted homeschoolers and unschoolers, and we will gather regularly for parents' night out, monthly weekend park days, enrichment and field trips.
In addition to regularly scheduled parent meetings, we will also have occasional family activities and host special events like parent education seminars. For the homeschoolers in the group, we will have group activities, field trips and workshops. Parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children ages 0-17 are welcome to join (formal identification not necessary but it is helpful for screening purposes). For more info regarding how to identify giftedness based on characteristics, check out the information available at an excellent resource for gifted families, Hoagies' Gifted website (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/gifted_101.htm), or see the Gifted Development Center's Gifted Characteristics Scale (http://bit.ly/2oHu1YA)). Here is a link to a list of some helpful books on giftedness: Gifted Identity's Recommended Reading List (http://www.giftedidentity.com/resources/recommended-reading/).
This group is meant to be an active, in-person meet up for gifted families to connect. Therefore, we encourage members to attend at least one event within 30 days of joining. If you are interested in planning or hosting an event, please get in touch with us and we will help you coordinate.
One of the greatest challenges in childhood will be coping with the understanding of how different the gifted child is from their age-mates, and even from other gifted children. Finding ways for your gifted child to interact with true peers is one of the surest way to help them (and you might find the same goes for you, too!). Let's find a safe haven for gifted parents (yes, giftedness stays with you for your entire lifespan!) and children to feel accepted for who they are, intensities, sensitivities and all! We look forward to heart-to-heart talks amongst parents while our kids have fun and make new friends!
Educators often see giftedness as an advanced capacity to learn. But, as parents, we all know that this is a very narrow understanding of giftedness. Giftedness is a unique neurological difference that stays with you all your life. Intensity, sensitivity and overexcitability are primary characteristics of the highly gifted, often classified using psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski’s “overexcitabilities” framework. The further along the IQ spectrum these children are, the more intense they are likely to be.
The gifted child is more aware, more sensitive and more capable of taking in life experience and therefore, more vulnerable. No matter how advanced their intellectual understanding is, it is likely to outstrip their emotional coping skills because of limited life experience. Gifted children have astounding educational, social, spiritual and emotional needs stemming from their intensity and asynchronous development. Sadly, it is painfully common that gifted people, their families, teachers and medical professionals are unaware of the special emotional needs of the gifted. For 2e children (intellectually gifted and have learning differences or disabilities), the duality of their exceptionality can be doubly challenging for their families and themselves.
Westside of Los Angeles Gifted is a parent volunteer-run organization. For the security and privacy of our members, we ask that you fill out our Meetup questionnaire to tell us more information about you and your family so we can verify that you are a parent of a gifted child. Once you become a member and we can confirm the above, you will be given instructions on how to join our active Facebook page, a wonderful benefit of membership. Through the group, you will have access to information from our community including advice, social opportunities, professional resources and recommendations, recommended reading and more. If you have questions about your specific situation, this is the place to ask and receive feedback and support from our wonderfully supportive members.