Thu 18.09.2014 - 15:20-17:30 - Grafika

How the Internet can Help and Support Parents and Gifted Children  Paper  Presentation

Presenter: Petra Leinigen
Author(s): Petra Leinigen, (Nationwide telephone counsellor for parents of gifted children for the DGhK in Germany, Germany)

To raise a gifted child makes high demands on parents and teachers alike, to satisfy the needs. In Germany, only very few schools offer enrichment for gifted children and only a very low number of teachers have an additional training in gifted education. Just 650 teachers out of 750 000 have passed the ECHA diploma in Münster, it’s a rare subject in teacher training. Home-schooling is forbidden.
The German Association for the Gifted Child (DGhK) offers free telephone counselling. In ¾ of the calls (average 30 calls per week) the main topics are the child’s longing for information and boredom in school.
About 90% of the callers use the usual search machines but are not aware of further options to get the best from the internet. 
Depending on the specific needs it is a part of my counselling to help parents to find their way through the World Wide Web in order for them to make specified offers to their child. The library is an option, too, but many offers on the internet are much more challenging.
Some universities offer distance studies for gifted children. Competitions in various areas are released on the internet and almost any language can be learned through online-courses. Even musical instruments can be practised in online lessons via Skype.
Not every offer suits every gifted child or can be afforded by the parents, but the variety of possibilities to improve knowledge by using the internet is more than we had in pre-internet times. Opening parents’ minds for alternatives offered by living in the digital age and encouraging them to go different and most creative ways in order to help their children is a major part of telephone counselling. Examples of what can be learned and found for children in the internet will be presented.