After months of searching for the right person to assess your child, scheduling the testing, and waiting to hear the final results, most parents are both relieved and overwhelmed at the challenges that still lay ahead. Having a twice exceptional (2E) child is more than twice as complicated as having a gifted child– what do you do first? The questions are many and there seems to be no end to the possibilities for intervention. Take a few minutes to review the following guidelines to help get your family on the right track for this next phase of parenting.
1) Take time to determine which recommendations seem to be the most “bang for your buck”. Set up a time with the person who administered the testing to go over which items will be the most important for your particular child. By putting the recommendations in order of importance, you can create a road map. When considering the order, remember to think about the emotional value, as well as the intellectual value, of each intervention. Sometimes, taking care of the emotional element first, can increase co-operation for the other interventions later.
2) Think about time and money. In setting up the schedule for treatment, think about the amount of intervention you and your child can effectively manage at one time. Then look at the family schedule (school, vacations and holidays) and schedule the treatment in the blocks of time where the treatment can be done consistently and meaningfully.
When thinking about time and money, don’t forget to ask the school what they can, and are willing, to provide. Addressing issues at school puts less pressure on the family and may open up resources at home for other interventions.
3) Consider working with a professional to manage the overall treatment. Having a treatment co-coordinator can help all the involved parties stay on track. They can also assess the effectiveness of the various treatments and follow through with the school.
4) Talk with other parents. It helps to know you aren’t alone in navigating the world of 2E parenting. Consider joining a SENG-model parent group. Connecting with other parents who have walked in your shoes also has the added benefit of learning from their experience with treatments and professionals in the area.
Remember that interventions are meant to increase your child’s ability to work up to their potential. It takes time and patience for you child to realize the benefit from these interventions. It is also very helpful to mark on your calendar when it is time to re-test your child. Making sure that you are always on the right path– not doing too much or too little, avoiding an ineffective treatment– will give your family peace of mind.