Resources for Parents of Gifted Children

Here is a selection of resources for parents who want more information about raising and educating gifted children. (Reminder: the allowance may not be used to purchase materials for parents.)

Adderholt-Elliott, M. (1999). Perfectionism: What's bad about being too good. Rev. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. Thought-provoking, encouraging, and practical guide for students ages 11-18 who have crossed the fine line between healthy ambition and unhealthy perfectionism.

Birely, M. (1995). Crossover children: A sourcebook for helping children who are gifted and learning disabled. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. A practical guide for teachers and parents in developing strategies to deal with the academic, social-behavioral, and enrichment needs of children who are both gifted and learning-disabled.

Clark, B. (1997). Growing up Gifted: Developing the Potential of Children at Home and at School. (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Charles Merrill. A textbook intended for teachers, focused on educational issues, but with much of interest for parents as well.

Cohen, L. M. & Frydenberg, E. (2003). Coping for Capable Kids. Waco, TX: Prufrock. Separate sections for gifted kids and for parents and teachers. Coping strategies for the special situations gifted kids encounter.

Colangelo, N., Assouline, S. G., & Gross, M. U. M. (2004). A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students, Vols. 1 and 2. (The Templeton National Report on Acceleration.) Iowa City, IA: Belin Blank Center of the University of Iowa. This landmark book summarizes the research on accelerative options for gifted students, concluding that these options are far too often rejected for such students. The evidence is overwhelmingly positive about the academic effects of such alternatives, and concludes that acceleration is clearly not harmful to most gifted students and may indeed lead to greater confidence and strength. The study points out acceleration strategies that go beyond just "skipping a grade".

Cross, T. (2004). On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children. Waco, TX: Prufrock. How gifted students live their lives and manage their way through school and home. Written for teachers and parents.

Davidson, J., & Davidson, B., with Vanderkam, L. (2004). Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds. New York: Simon & Schuster. An impassioned advocacy book that will fire up your sense of commitment!

Delisle, J. R., & Galbraith, J. (2001). When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs. Minneapolis: Free Spirit. Directed mainly at teachers, but useful for parents as well.

Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis. This slender book summarizes a lifetime of research by an eminent psychologist and her colleagues and students, delineating the consequences for behavior and achievement of one's theory of ability as fixed or malleable.

Fisher, R., & Ury, W. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. (rev).New York: Viking Penguin. This tiny book should be the bible for all parents seeking to negotiate something out of the ordinary to meet their children's needs in school. (A second edition is a little less focused for this purpose.)

Galbraith, J. (1999). The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide for Ages 10 and Under, rev. Minneapolis: Free Spirit. Written for gifted children ages about 6 to 10, this sympathetic book resonates with the kids themselves.

Galbraith, J. (2000). You Know Your Child is Gifted When...: A Beginner's Guide to Life on the Bright Side. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Press. A brief, seemingly light-hearted (but serious) collection of strategies for parents to recognize gifted children's special abilities and to promote their positive trajectories.

Galbraith, J., & Delisle, J. (1996). The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit. Written by adults and gifted teenagers for gifted teens themselves. Full of practical strategies about how to understand your giftedness and make it work for you.

Greene, R. (2000). The Teenagers' Guide to School Outside the Box. Minneapolis: Free Spirit. A guide to a broad array of enrichment and accelerative alternatives to the lockstep high-school pathway.

Kerr, B. A. (1997). Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women, and Giftedness (3rd revised ed.).Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press. As the author says, "It is not enough simply to raise the aspirations of gifted girls; it is necessary also to help them become more deeply committed to their dreams."

Kerr, B. A., & Cohn, S. J. (2001). Smart boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.

Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson, N. M., & Moon, S. M. (Eds.) (2002). The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? Waco, TX: Prufrock. A highly informative summary of research on this topic, created by a task force of the National Association for Gifted Children. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Reis, S. M. (1998). Work Left Undone: Choices and Compromises of Talented Females. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press. A highly readable book summarizing what we know about the effects of giftedness on females, including generous listing of resources.

Rimm, S. B. (1990). How to Parent So Children Will Learn. Waterton, WI: Apple Publishing. A coherent approach to avoiding underachievement in gifted students.

Rivero, L. (2002). Creative Home Schooling for Gifted Children: A Resource Guide. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press. A thoughtful guide to a number of coherent approaches to home schooling for gifted children, written by an experienced home-schooler who knows what parents need.

Rogers, K. B. (2001). Re-forming Gifted Education: Matching the Program to the Child. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press. A highly informative book for parents about the various models available and the process of matching an education to a child's needs. A must read!

Silverman, L. K. (2002). Upside-down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner. Denver: DeLeon Publishing. A unique book for parents and professionals whose concern is children with predominantly high visual-spatial abilities. Author is a superb clinician with many years of commitment to gifted children.

Strip, C. A., with Hirsch, G. (2000). Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted psychology Press. Useful, user-friendly recommendations to promote collaboration among parents, teachers, and academically gifted students, together with in-home parenting practices. Caveat: Authors describe questionable qualitative differences between "gifted" and "smart" students.

Tomlinson, C. A. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. An excellent resource for thinking through the process of differentiating instruction for students at all levels, enabling teachers to "start small" and develop increasing skills in adapting to student needs for challenge.

Van Tassel-Baska, J., Johnson, D. T., & Boyce, L. N. (1996). Developing Verbal Talent: Ideas and Strategies for Teachers of Elementary and Middle School Students. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. This group has done extensive curriculum development and validation, and has developed coherent ways for teachers to do the same.

Walker, S.Y. (2002). The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids, rev. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit. Like other publications from Free Spirit, this is a lively and helpful handbook that addresses issues within the family as much as those intersecting with schools.

Webb, J. T., Amend, E. R., Webb, N. E., Goerss, J., Beljan, P., & Olenchak, F. R. (2005). Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press. A valuable resource for parents and professionals who are trying to distinguish behaviors concomitant with giftedness and those concomitant with various psychological disorders. Since gifted children are not immune from the latter but sometimes yield confusing pictures, this book is welcome because it walks the middle road effectively.

Winebrenner, S. (2000). Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented (rev. ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit. This book is invaluable. It helps teachers see how to compact the curriculum so that children do not have to spend time re-learning what they already know well, and how to extend and deepen the curriculum -- without driving themselves crazy in the process. It is also a good introduction for parents seeking to understand how differentiated efforts in the classroom can help their children. (See also our reading list for teachers.)

Zaccarro, E. There are several interesting and enjoyable books under the website, from primary grades to algebra, that can enrich children's math concepts and their ability to see the world around them as mathematical.

Resources from the National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented. This federally funded research center publishes numerous materials for parents and teachers. Some of the most useful for parents are the following. Parents are advised to order the full-length papers even though shorter versions are available. The Center's publications are also good resources on issues of grouping, cooperative learning, gifted children in regular classrooms, and acceleration.

Abelman, R. Some Children under Some conditions: TV and the High-Potential Child.
Alvino J. Considerations and strategies for parenting the gifted child. Jackson, N. E., & Roller, C. M. Reading with young children.

Robinson, N. M. Parenting the Young Gifted Child. Waxman, B., Robinson, N. M., & Mukhopadhyay, S. Parents nurturing math-talented young children.