Family/School Guidance
Educational Options
High Intelligence Specialist, Dr. Deborah Ruf of Educational Options, will help you understand the social and emotional ramifications of different levels of giftedness. Parenting gifted children, particularly highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted children, can be quite different from parenting more typical children for two primary reasons: the parents of highly gifted children tend to be unusually bright and have their own special set of needs and interests, and the verbal and general intellectual abilities of highly

There is no one "best way" to raise gifted children or to educate gifted children.

gifted children make them intellectually capable of a certain level of logic and reasoning before their experience, size, and emotional maturity have caught up. It can be confusing to parents who often feel they are flying blind.

Schools, too, may have some difficulties dealing with highly and profoundly gifted children. In today's educational culture children are grouped and instructed heterogeneously. Although all the children in a class are close in age to each other, their intellectual abilities can be quite different. That means simply that the most gifted children are spread out among the classrooms and rarely get to work or play together. For exceptionally and profoundly gifted children, intellectual peers are a rarity in the school setting until possibly AP courses in high school where they are finally able to find each other.

I recommend that we first determine the intellectual level of your child. After we know how your child "fits" on the intellectual continuum, or how you do, if that's why we're meeting, I can offer suggestions, readings, and recommendations specific to that general level. There are so many social and emotional factors that are related to how the child intellectually perceives the world. It can be confusing to children and adults alike when they expect to be like everyone else and feel like everyone else ... but don't. My goal is to help you discover what role the intellectual level is playing in your life or your child's life.

The follow-up consultation is specifically for you and my recommendations for you. Sometimes you will want an additional meeting to ask more questions and learn more about the role intelligence plays in lives and adjustment. I offer school options designed to fit your schedule, your goals, your pocketbook, and your values. There is no one "best way" to raise gifted children or to educate gifted children. The personalities involved, the flexibility of your particular school and school personnel, your comfort with ideas that are new to you ... all these are considered as we work together to find solutions for your children and your family. Sometimes academic changes help provide the social and emotional results we are looking for.

There are so many parenting issues for the adults, and so many social issues and choice issues for the children. For example, I hear from the families of very gifted high school boys from all over the Twin Cities metropolitan area whose sons have decided school is not for them and they want to drop out. I hear from people of all ages who are concerned, deeply concerned, about issues of underachievement and depression. These are the topics I routinely deal with, help you with.

After the assessments and follow-up consultations I offer ongoing support group involvement described below.

Public Speaking: I do a great deal of public speaking in the area and at conferences around the country. I regularly update the web site on speech topics, dates, and locations. It is an inexpensive way to gain more information.