When you first realise you are parenting a highly, exceptionally, or a profoundly gifted child, it can be very bewildering. Not only are there few resources, most of those are not geared to the far right of the bell curve.
So today, I thought I might list a few of the books that helped me when I felt utterly lost and alone.
Exceptionally Gifted Children
This is one of the first books I read once my son was identified. For a wonderful outline of what HG+ looks like from childhood through to early adulthood, this book can’t be beat. But warning, if you are HG+ yourself, you may find it a bit emotional.
This was doubly so for me: this book describes the case studies of children who are my age, and in my country (Australia). I remember reading one of the case studies aloud to my partner, only to have him say, “Did they have a camera following you around?” It raised a lot of memories for me – mainly because Miraca Gross goes into some of the politics and history of why exceptionally gifted kids were ignored. So, if you are a Gen X or millennial parent in Australia, just be prepared to get upset.
The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun
Carol Stock Kranowitz
If you are the parent of a HG+ child, you have a one in three chance of needing this book. Yes, HG+ kids have that much of an elevated chance of having Sensory Processing Disorder. But even if they don’t, this book has a wealth of information on what you can do to help sensory sensitive kids feel more comfortable in their own skin.
I know we have incorporated many of the techniques in these books into our daily lives. And it has really, really helped.
The Explosive Child
Ross W. Greene
This is a really amazing book I wish I had found a lot earlier. Though aimed squarely at kids with social communication challenges, it does have many techniques and ideas that are extremely relevant for HG+ families.
One of the best bits is about teaching the children (and their parents) alternative negotiation strategies when you get faced with the mountain of “NO!”.
For children who would win gold if negotiating was an Olympic sport, this book gives an alternative way to handle the situation.
Though we have (by trial and error) already adopted many of these techniques, it was wonderful to read a book that logically and succinctly explained how this style of parenting works.
The Prodigy’s Cousin
Joanne Ruthsatz and Kimberly Stephens
I have been waiting to read this one for a while. I have been following Dr Joanne Ruthsatz’s work for a number of years now. And the chance to read a non-science journal take on her research was amazing. It did not disappoint.
Surprisingly, one of the most useful and interesting parts was not her (pretty kick ass) theories, but the profiles of the families.
If you are struggling with a newly identified HG+ kid, these profiles are gold. I found myself nodding along, laughing out loud and biting my lip in sympathy for the families.
For those with Autistic families, it is double awesome. It is so rare to find a book on Autism by a scientist that respects Autistics. This is one of the few.
The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism
Though not as adept as Dr Ruthsatz in her ways of handling Autism acceptance, this is still an excellent book.
It chronicles the early life of her son: his struggles and triumphs; as well as her growing acceptance of who is is, rather than who she wanted him to be.
This is a great read for parents of HG+ kids with disabilities. It is one of the few books able to nail the experience of being overwhelmed by all the therapy and medical doom and gloom, as well as the weird, “I think there’s more to it” feeling of watching your kids do extraordinary and unexpected things.
If you are a parent who has been plunged off the deep end, I think these books can really make a difference. I know many of them helped me a lot. And some I wish I had found a lot earlier.
This post is part of the GHF Blog Hop, “Gifted Child? Here are Our Single Best Tips”
3 Replies to “Best Books for Parents of Highly Gifted+ Kids”
Kathleen, what an excellent list of books! I love that they focus on specific areas of giftedness and not just giftedness in general. Thank you for this!
My other personal favorite is Raising the Spirited Child. Not necessarily gifted-focused, but still an excelled resources for parents dealing with overexcitabilities.
I will have to track that one down. Thank you!