Parents of Gifted Children: The Silent Minority

That’s how I think many parents of gifted children think of themselves. The National Association of Gifted Children reports that the academically gifted make up approximately 6% of the K-12 students – so there just aren’t a lot of us.

Parents of Gifted Children: The Silent Minority

I found out pretty early – as most of you have as well – that most of my friends, family, and teachers I know  don’t really want to hear about the struggles I have with my gifted daughter who gets straight A’s. They don’t appreciate how hard it is to find appropriate reading material that’s when she’s reading and comprehending 8-10 years above her age.

Of course, while I’m trying to explain this to someone she running around talking “kitty-cat language”. Thank you asynchronous development.

When I attended our state’s gifted association’s state-wide conference this year I thought I’d finally get to meet all the other parents who were serious about getting things changed. I thought we’d talk about ways to improve our own kid’s experiences and pave the way for those to come.  Except the parents didn’t show up.

Granted, there were some dedicated parents there and it was definitely worth my time. The conference planners did try: there was an entire day dedicated to parents on a weekend day. The location was convenient to all in the state and it was kid friendly. I brought my daughter and there were several other kids there.

But, seriously, I’ve seen more parents in the freezing cold to attend a pee-wee soccer game. I made a decision a long time ago to try not to judge other parents (and really – I don’t) but it was disappointing.

Seeing the low attendance is what drove me over the edge to become more engaged. So I started reaching out to other families with uncommon children in the blogosphere, on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest because that’s where we hangout anyway. Or am I alone in wasting time doing research on social media?

I know you’re out there silently biting your tongue as educators, politicians, and other parents tell you to stop worrying about your kids – they’re going to be just fine. After all, they’re gifted!

Silent No More

I’m NOT an expert, my daughter is NOT the girl with the highest IQ, and I’m probably NOT the most fed up mom going through this. But, I am committed to becoming more engaged in the conversation. And if the conversation isn’t happening – I’m committed to starting one.

So, that means educating myself and others. It means attending conferences when possible. It means joining my state’s gifted association and/or the NAGC. It means writing letters to school board members and politicians who control the funding that make a difference in my child’s education. It means becoming a resource to overworked and usually under-appreciated teachers. It means advocating for all gifted kids. It means being engaged.

How do you advocate for gifted children?


52 Responses

  1. I don’t want to be quiet, but I have learned the value in keeping my conversations to those who care, or who can do something. I have been distanced by people who got too many posts on facebook where I commented on a “gifted” forum. *I* need a social network in the school as well, so I can feel happy and connected. The Gifted drum, or any drum too enthusiastically beaten can make people abandon you to get away from the noise.

    People who write articles like the ones you cited have clearly never experienced the agony of their child sobbing in school because they are so sensitive (which comes along with their brains), or the difficulty for their child to find friends, any friend at all–because there are so few kids like them, or the difficulty in keeping them engaged in school, or the overwhelming anxiety that a cartoon can engender.

    I love my kiddos so much, just as they are. I would give up some of my son’s “Gifts” in a heartbeat if he could lose some of the anguish he experiences every day–and be happy. My son has a very long road to travel, and his struggles break my heart. There are programs in school to help kids figure out math or reading, but not friends, or satisfaction or executive skills.

    • The Common Mom says

      Jen – thanks for posting. I too keep conversations limited to those who care because too often I can be accused of bragging. However, my goal is to be more vocal with those who can facilitate change – principals, teachers, school board members, elected legislators, and the like. Unfortunately, the voices that usually get heard aren’t the ones who understand the challenges of providing opportunities that these kids should have. All kids deserve to learn something every day and too many gifted kids simply aren’t.

      Executive functioning is currently our biggest challenge at home. I think that’s tied up with the asynchronous development and I’m hopeful those skills develop before middle school. And of course friendships are always a challenge. I think your kiddos are lucky to have a mom like you! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I appreciate the reminder to get involved and to speak out. I have three bright young ones and I homeschool them, so while this topic is especially important to me, it’s only now that my youngest is approaching school age that I feel able to dedicate some time and energy toward external involvement and advocacy. I strongly agree with you that we must talk openly and share information with each other because we’ll all feel a little less alone that way!

    • The Common Mom says

      Yes! Sharing information helps us all and gives us courage for advocacy. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  3. Thanks for being here — I just found you yesterday, and am thrilled to find other parents with children who are not ‘average’. We live in a small town in Western New York, and the only face-to-face resources I have found are near NYC, 8 hours’ drive away. I can relate to all that Jen said above, and I too constantly worry about my son’s ‘connectivity’ — to peers, to school, to his teachers, and to home. He has been with the same classmates for over one year now, and I was shocked to see the lack of interaction between him and his classmates when I took him to a birthday party a few weeks ago. High intelligence can be a blessing, in and of itself; but without the skills to navigate society, it can be a huge challenge. What all parents need to understand is that we all want our children to be happy, self-confident, secure and interactive. If I say I’m having trouble with my child, believe me — don’t scoff at my worry or frustration; I certainly wouldn’t scoff at the frustrations or challenges of a parent whose child was disabled.
    I’m just thrilled to have found you, and in finding you, I’ve also begun to find my own voice of advocacy for our son. It’s great to meet you and everyone else here!

    • The Common Mom says

      Adrienne, I’m glad you found me and everyone else here as well! I relate to all that you’re saying. It is frustrating when other parents assume that just because your struggle is different it’s no more valid. I empathize with all parents struggling to do the best they can for their children. If you haven’t already, join us on Facebook at Looking forward to future conversations!

  4. I appreciate your blog so much! The “kitty cat language” made me laugh. I posted not too long ago about a fifth grader who, on the first day of school was meowing like a cat, and he turned out to be one of the most brilliant students I’ve ever encountered.

    Until I began staying home with my little one year old, I taught gifted and advanced third graders. From the teacher side, I think so many people, even good educators, just do not understand gifted students and their unique challenges. I cannot tell you how many times other teachers would tell me how easy my job must be because my students were gifted. Or they would just assume my students were the best behaved or would give me grief if I didn’t have the highest test scores, AR scores, etc… Plus, with the obsession (at least in FL) with standardized testing, the needs of gifted students often get overlooked, and the focus goes to the students who are in danger of failing the test. So we definitely need parents like you to make your voice heard.

    Your blog is great! Keep speaking out for the kids!


    • The Common Mom says

      Thank you for the kind words! I value the teacher perspective because I know their job is tough and in most cases they are simply doing the best they can given the given situation. I do think parents could be a valuable resource for teachers but I know first hand those can be difficult waters to navigate.

      I just read about Timothy – first time I’ve heard about a boy speaking kitty cat! Thanks again for posting and I’m looking forward to the conversation.

  5. I’m hear!! I just found your blog and I’m so glad I did. I have a twice exceptional kid at a school where the school psych says she’s “just fine but a little lazy” and her fourth grade teacher says she’s “somewhere on the spectrum” but won’t make any accommodations for her. She’s gifted, and asynchronous (I love this new word!) and I’m sick to death of trying to figure out how to educate her all by myself!

    • The Common Mom says

      I’m glad you’re here! I know it can be frustrating trying to get teachers to make accommodations for our kids. That’s why it’s so important that we advocate and speak up for gifted kids – all gifted kids. One of the ways we can do that is communicate with each other on what works (or doesn’t) because there’s no reason each of us should be reinventing the wheel!

  6. The low attendance is probably because so many of us are tired o dc the struggle and have given up.

  7. Yes!

    Your message was music to my ears–actually it was more like an escalating chant, growing louder and more enthusiastic! 🙂

    I have experienced the same as you, including going to my state’s gifted association conference, and it is all so disheartening. But, we need more gifted advocacy voices like yours–many more, loud and clear, to say this neglect of gifted children and their families is wrong. No child should be neglected in our educational system.

    Until more of us speak up and speak out, our voices cannot be heard. Thank you for being one of the voices of change for our gifted children!

    • The Common Mom says

      Celi – we are on the same page! How can we expect legislators to make changes when we, as parents, don’t speak up ourselves. No one will hear us if we never speak up.

      Thank you for all you do. Can’t wait to read the book! 🙂

  8. mylittlepoppiescaitie says

    I love this. Adore it. Totally on board and I’m silent no more, too!!

  9. Yes. Yes. Yes. Finding other parents (even if they’re on the other side of the world), advocating where I can do the most good, it is so important. I know when I started on this journey I felt I was reinventing the wheel, only to find that generations of parents had also been reinventing the wheel for decades. Stepping up and speaking out can make a huge difference, even if only to the parents who are just starting out on their journey. I have seen the difference – the sheer relief at knowing that other people out there are also going through the same struggles, that there were places to go that were safe and helpful. Where no one would give them a funny stare and a blank look when they talked about there own problems. Can you hear me cheering from here? ‘Cause I am.

  10. For me (and I would assume others), advocating change in an individual state or district’s policy would be a wonderful thing, but where I have to spend my limited time and energy on is finding the best accommodation for my child now.

    • The Common Mom says

      I’m with you 100%! Your own child has to be your first priority and we all do what we can given how we’re pulled in so many directions. Even advocating at your own school can make a difference since so many decisions about acceleration are made at that level. Everything starts with baby steps 🙂

  11. MomOf2ChallengingKids says

    This is a big issue for me too. Forget even starting a conversation with someone to whine about how you can’t find affordable C++ classes for your 11 year old who is teaching himself programming. And no one wants to hear me complain about how expensive it was to buy computer parts so he could build his own computer. The private school he goes to is one for the gifted but it’s a commuter school and I rarely see the parents (though I love it when I do). Raising a kid like this is a lonely experience. I’m afraid to even comment here because I have two bright kids and I’m only talking about one at the moment. I was just asked to become involved with the Association for the Gifted and Talented and I think I will. I’m waiting on his ACT scores to see if I can put him in Mensa. I’m hoping to find companionship for the both of us there.

    • The Common Mom says

      Finding that tribe – even if it’s online can be a lifesaver. I absolutely recommend getting involved with any local gifted group, or start one! Check out SENG’s parent group info. If you send me a message on Facebook I can also send you some FB groups that may be of interest. It can be lonely but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

  12. Thank you, this made me have tears of relief…

    • The Common Mom says

      You’d be surprised how many times I’ve shed tears when I find someone who “get’s” it. I understand 🙂

  13. I agree with what many have said. I started off really gung ho on advocating with the state and the teachers and the principal. And I have all but given up. School isn’t a fit, never was, never will be, and I’m quietly trying to minimize the damage for the most part. It is sad to say, but I find more value in trying to enrich myself and provide life-learning experience and just make school manageable. *sigh*

    • The Common Mom says

      Spending time on yourself is always valuable, we should all do more of it. It is sad that too many of us are trying to manage or mitigate circumstances. I share your *sigh* and wish you luck.

  14. Still looking for someone who “gets” mine. He is 5 but looks more like 3 reads, and does math at at least a 3rd grade level. Refused to write at school (absolutely won’t do it most of the time) He can write at home, even in cursive. Can count by 2’s, 3’s, 5’s, 9’s,10’s 12’s and 25’s. And he shares these things with anyone who even pretends to notice. I pitty the fool who says hi to him. He talks like a well mannered adult, his ball accidently went into someone elses room and he said ” Please excuse the interruption” Then on the way home he told me “Thanks for moving me to the other Kindergarten even though I didn’t want to go”. Like he understood that I did it for his own good. He won’t sit still, and often hides under tables at school, and covers his ears when adults try to redirect him, and runs away from adults down the hall. The school says that the problem is that he is not mature enough, and not ready for school. I am pretty sure that the real problem is that they are not ready for him. He has pull out time with a gifted teacher who puts him with older gifted kids, but he still complains that the work is to easy. He can figure out new math concepts on his own (he reads the workbooks himself) and so quickly that I am afraid that by the time he will never find kids that he can learn math with. He has been suspended 3 times in the first semester of kindergarten, and the principal keeps telling me that she knows so much about gifted children (she has one) but I am beginning to doubt that, I think her kid must be bright, and there is a huge difference. I have not had a choice but to advocate, or they would have kicked him out by now.

  15. As a Mom of a 4.5 year old girl and 18 month old boy this almost brings me to tears, I am terrified of the journey ahead for my daughter and son when they are school.
    We are only just beginning on this road of advocacy for our children, it breaks my heart the anguish and heartache I know will follow their sensitive wee souls as they try to navigate this world of Tall Poppies and their emotions not keeping up with their intellect.
    I would love for them to be just “average”.
    I’ve never felt so alone.

    • The Common Mom says

      Most of us have felt that way before – which is why so many have taken to the Internet to find a ‘tribe’ of like-minded parents. You’re not alone!

  16. Thank you for this post. I often feel guilty mentioning to others that my daughter is gifted, and it comes with its own struggles. Sometimes I feel as though it’s just as much a curse because we are constantly questioning whether she’s getting enough at school, is she on the right path, is she too quirky, etc.? It’s not easy being the parent of an intelligent child yet everyone seems to think life is smooth sailing. I love her more than life, but it is not a breeze by any means. It’s nice to have a safe place to admit it!

    • The Common Mom says

      It’s definitely not a breeze and you’re safe admitting it here! The questioning can weigh you down. My philosophy is you make the best decisions you can at the time with the information you have. I have a feeling you’re doing just fine 🙂

  17. The smallest minority is the individual, unfortunately. People have stopped treating students as individuals – they are all parts of “groups,” now. They’re “hispanic” or “underprivileged,” not “Eleanor” or “Karah,”. Gifted students often don’t fall into a “group,” the way public schools (or even private schools, for that matter) want them to. They aren’t UNDER-performing, therefore no one really wants to pay them any attention … It’s a real shame.

    • Just an example – at my kids’ school, the kids who are off-the-charts IQ-wise get treated like everyone else, with an occasional “extra” worksheet that “might” be a grade-level or two ahead. But it’s not enough.

    • The Common Mom says

      Agreed – too often it’s assumed that the ‘smart’ kids will be ok so little attention is paid. It is a shame.

  18. I home school. Nobody, in the public school arena wants to hear about how my child has special needs and is entitled to an appropriate education. Nobody wants to hear about how I feel exhausted and isolated because I am dealing with struggles parents of typically developing children can’t relate to. Nobody wants to hear how my profoundly gifted five year old son, needs things that other five year olds don’t and that it is difficult and expensive. They don’t want to hear it. What I am more I interested in is why does this attitude of disdain towards gifted children exist. Why give a gifted child more? Seems to be the question nobody wants to speak, but it’s on the tip of their tounges.

    • The Common Mom says

      I hear and feel your frustration. Believe me, I do. I think people don’t consider the challenges of gifted kids until they come face to face with it. It’s so easy to assume that they’ll be okay – until you try and keep a profoundly gifted five-year old challenged. I think that’s why so many parents of gifted kids resort to homeschooling.

  19. I have a daughter that just turned 16. A lot of people say about her behavior, “oh it’s just being a teenager” when I tell her how she acts. No it’s not! She had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder back in December of 2014 after a major meltdown during her first year of highschool, during finals week and had to be taken by ambulance to the psych ward because she was telling her counselor crying hysterically that she wanted to kill herself. The guidance counselors, security staff, and secretaries in the front ofice all know my daughter by name. Becaues she would be going into the office to call so many times for every type of “emergency” almost every day. When I look back after her diagnosis and can see since she was about 5 years old the anxiety. When I would pray at night she said, “I don’t want to go to heaven.” Why? I asked, Because the dinosaurs will eat me and they are in heaven I had to tell her the dinosaurs are friendly there. LOL. Also,, whenever there was a fundraiser, she was the first to want to start selling NOW after she’d get home from school we’d have to start immediately mom! When I would come for 1st and 2nd grade, she would tell her teacher “I’m worried she won’t she up on time, she’ll be late.” Then as she got into 3rd grade entering into our public school’s gifted program, she was making a mosaic or making something out of clay and would destroy it and start all over again. I told her it was fine good enough but NO, it is NOT. Then when i discovered she did the mosaic, she asked me to help her make the tiny pieces, so I quickly cut up tiny squares, NO MOM, you have to individually cut circles (smaller than a hole punch). She was in tears frustrated she would only get a B. I told her it was fine. That was the first time I realized she was a perfectionist. If there was a fire drill at school, she would talk about how we had to make a house plan for weeks. I told her a plan verbally what to do, but NO it had to be a detailed plan on paper and we had to have a family meeting. She insisted we must do this.

    Then fast foward to her first year of highschool. The adjustment into high school and her not relating to many other kids like her was becoming very apparent. Also, the kids that are academically straights A’s are not “gifted” nor do they have any mental or psychological issues, so some of her friends have stopped talking to her. NO that’s NOT normal teenage behavior where everything from needing a cliff bar, to not having enough pants to counseling is not being scheduled fast enough, is a major urgency and she’s going to “die” if she can’t wait 2-3 hours to eat a meal. Or the major thing, if you dont’ let me go to this concert, I want to kill myself. She gets a major sense of euphoria and has said it is an out of body experience.

    Since about 5th grade she has said thousands of times she doesn’t have enough pants nor clothes to wear (has been saying that for years) not enough food in the refrigerator (we have to go grocery shopping NOW!) ,She calls me 5-10 times in a row in less than 10 minutes wondering when I am going to get there to pick her up from school or piano lessons or work. I tell her I am on my way, has to call me, where are you.

    She also has a hard time adjusting to changes in schedules, whether it be the schedule she planned in her mind for the day, or job schedule, or school schedule, especially now that she has her first job, and her godmother owns a store in a big mall by us, but she still wants another job on top of that, and then goes and applies for a couple of jobs instantly just when her godmother says she has to back off on hours.

    One of her favorite things to say is “I’m rotting” LOL. Drives me nutty but many people don’t understand what we have to live with and deal with at home day after day. I am also not letting her get her driver’s license yet and that is because of her impulsiveness and overexcitability, even though she has protested so many times. I will see how she is at the end of the year and let her take driver’s ed in the summer. She is being weaned off of her anti-depressants with the advice and help of the psychiatrist. We still go to counseling to get her to learn how to deal with life’s ups and down and unpredictabilities. Some days I am so proud of her accomplishments in school and especially in music – she started booking her own solo gigs at age 14. Other days it’s frustrating but we learn as parents how to deal with her in a different way than we were in her middle school years because it is like setting off a firestorm because she is sensitive and emotionally intense.

    • The Common Mom says

      Your daughter is a perfect example that all kids are individuals including the gifted ones. That means they come with their own particular set of challenges. I think many of us can understand the difficulties overexcitabilities can cause. I admit that I did chuckle at the “I’m rotting” line!

  20. I believe it’s important to advocate for my gifted children, especially my 2E HS daughter with severe anxiety and depression. It’s easy to say that we would rather not be a family that is different or that we wish our children were a little less gifted so that they would fit in better ~ believe me, I’ve thought this before myself, but my children and my family are who they are because of both the ups and the downs. While I try to limit my conversations to people I believe can relate and who really want to engage, I am a full blown advocate for my children with their teachers, administrators, and counselors. With regard to schooling, even though we live in a district with a “gifted program,” we did end up moving our oldest to a smaller private girls school at her request ~ they definitely much more engaged in working with her accommodations and embracing her for who she is.

    • The Common Mom says

      I applaud you for your advocacy! Your daughter is lucky to have parents who include her in her education decisions.

  21. My boy went to a gifted program at a large college at four. After his first day he got in the car and couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful it was to really interact with children his own age. Tears just ran down my face. I had never understood how isolated and alone he had felt. He told me the class itself was silly and a waste. I paid for the gifted program for almost two years just so he could have kids to talk to. We have decided to homeschool because school was a waste of everyones time. He didn’t learn anything, the teachers were frustrated by his questions and wanting to go deeper into the material presented, and I was called in constantly because MY son wasn’t acting like the other kids. I rarely talk about his abilities/challenges unless asked direct questions except online. Currently, at 12, he has decided that he should only be accountable to learn what his age mates know and the rest of his time should be spent gaming… He games and “schools” with older kids and plays with younger. Which makes homeschooling perfect!

  22. Carrie Harrington says

    I started a Facebook page for gifted kids in my area so that parents could get together through social media and share our knowledge. How to advocate, programs, etc but it’s tough. People “like” my page and some of my posts but almost never post their own issues, stories, etc. Sometimes a parent will ask me a question and I’ll put it out there for other parents to answer but again- they just don’t. I think maybe I need to be more active and share but I’m a mother of two with a full time job and I just don’t have a lot of time. Or I procrastinate, forget to update you know all those normal life things that come up!

  23. I read a number of the comments. Presently I am 47 years old. Socially my childhood and most of my adult life was relatively very normal and sociable. It is not that it was always easy, but living as a foreigner in a village in Germany has been the hardest for me socially – in person I mean. A lot of it is mental attitude towards the other nationality, a lot of it is the language difference and the rest of it is either lack of care of others or not getting out much due to not having much money. I was “identified” in the 3rd grade. At age 27 I became a mother. My son’s father is also gifted. He is German. In Germany they were able to stick him into ‘high ability group schooling’ but kids have to do well enough academically to be sent there. That guy is a natural computer programmer, which is pretty weird but over all he is not that much of a freak. He did better when he made friends with some older children. He became antagonistic about the term ‘gifted’ when I expressed that I identified with it. Our son was “identified” in the 3rd grade and was provided with some advanced math classes and his father got him counseling despite the absence of any discernible problems. As far as I can tell we are ok. I have had trouble with getting a good job fit as an adult, for a decent income doing meaningful work I like and am good at without developing severely strong bad emotional build up on a day to day and week to week basis.

    Compared to much of the asynchrony that I have read about in the cases above, we seem to be or to have been relatively normal. My son was able to ‘beat video games’ when he was 9 and 10 years old. I have not ever been impressive at video games. I do have paintings I made on the walls at home and have authored and ghostwritten books. My son and his father are both better than I am at strategy games but my son likes a lot of the intensely imaginative stuff that I also like.

    That’s a lot of information. My parents and siblings and my son’s German grandparents and uncles are all also ‘gifted’ but they do not all simply have what I now call “smart people jobs” like doctor, lawyer, nurse etc..

  24. Thank you so much for speaking up! I feel the same way when discussing my son and keeping him challenged, that no one is interested and it’s relegated to the domain of “first world problems”. So, I started devoting space on my blog to write about gifted children, the good and bad that goes along with raising a gifted child. I suppose that is my way of speaking up.

  25. We are out here, but yes our voices are muffled under so many other parents’ who are advocating for their children for different reasons. At a recent “take a peek at your seat” event I took a minute to speak with my son’s first grade teacher. I wanted to explain to her that he was recently acepted into MENSA and that he reads on a ninth grade level. I wasn’t bragging, I was informing her so that she would be prepared to plan something other than sight words for him. Later that night my husband asked if I really told her that while other parents were around. Yes. Yes I did. Other parents were speaking to the teacher about their child’s needs and accommodations. Why should I be ashamed of my son’s unique and wonderful abilities? I think parents of gifted children almost feel like we can’t bring it up because we sound like we’re bragging. Don’t feel that way parents. If your child had a learning disability you would advocate for them. So advocate for them now, for what they need now. It’s not being smug. It’s being a parent.

  26. The online community has been a life saver for me. Yes our kids are different kinds and levels of gifted and our families complex and diverse. But we share something very basic in common. And it makes us soldiers in the same battle. I say battle, because it does feel like one. You fight the school system, you struggle with trying to choose what’s better for your child while having deep doubts about your own ability to choose. ….and you advocate and feel grateful for those that have advocated before you.

  27. I am SO glad to find your blog! Just last night I was trying to explain to my husband that I can’t talk to most of my friends and relatives about my gifted, and difficult child.

  28. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for posting this. I couldn’t help chuckle at your opening comment regarding how other parents really don’t want to hear about our struggles with our gifted daughter who earns straight A’s and achieves high test scores and who wins various “bees” and reading challenges throughout the year. I get it. Completely. We live in a small town in Wyoming (all towns in WY are small) and we have a School District with no gifted program. Fortunately we have been able to augment our daughter’s education at home with books (of course), Khan Academy lectures, and family trips to museums and the ocean or other interesting places. This is working for now. Her classroom teacher does “have her back” when it comes to our daughter expounding on the latest Khan Academy lecture to the entire 5th grade class. All her classmates now know about how Leukemia works. And RNA. And. And. And black holes, and Kepler’s laws of motion. And. And. And Newtonian Physics. And. And… understand. Anyway, thank you for this blog. For us, in our veritable geographic isolation, we do the best we can with books and media and travel and family conversation. It’s pretty good. I think our girl will be OK. So, just…thanks.

  29. ketannidhi says

    Am glad I found you! And relieved to know I am not alone!! Keep up the great work and I will be looking out for your posts to keep my self in the know. I am trying to seek membership with Mensa, and they are not really helpful. I think its because I didnt take the test with them, but am keen to associate myself and my daughter to the world of being different!

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