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Meet Your FGA Board: Cindy Badon

This month, we're featuring Cindy Badon, VP of Ways/Means and a founding member of FGA. Cindy shares her story below.

My name is Cindy Badon, and I am one of the FGA co-founders and the current VP Ways/Means. I have an eighth grade son identified as gifted and a third grade son who receives special education services for autism.

Prior to having my boys, I taught for 10 years in the public school system and two years in a private school. We moved to Frisco for the school district, and I appreciate how this district has been collaborative with FGA and has recognized us as a “shining example of positive advocacy.” Those words make me proud of what we are doing. I am thrilled that our district is not only hearing us, but making positive changes that will benefit the students and families we serve.

 

Often I am asked what my life is like with two children who are so “different” from each other. People assume that because one child has autism and the other is GT identified that they are opposites. To be honest, they are not as different as many people would think. Both of them have learning differences and needs that are outside of what is considered average. There is also so much overlap between my boys that it’s hard to say who has stronger needs.

 

To some, this seems like an exaggeration, but it is very true. Our gifted children and kids with other special needs like autism often have some overlapping behaviors that we just describe with different words. In the autism world, we may say that a child who hates clothing tags has tactile defensiveness related to autism. In the gifted world, we may say the child is sensitive or has sensory issues. In the autism world, we may say that a child who gets overwhelmed by his or her surroundings is suffering from overstimulation, but in the world of giftedness, we have Dabrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities.

 

My child who is identified as gifted has some mild exceptionalities not related to his giftedness, so he is considered by some to be twice exceptional or 2E. Several studies have indicated that twice exceptionality occurs in 2-5% of the gifted population. However, one often masks the other, so it is entirely possible that the percentages are higher. This is the area I often seem to find myself discussing with parents at our FGA meetings.

 

I see gifted areas in my child with autism that far exceed what his peers and even most adults can do. I also see my child who is identified as gifted struggling at times with the same things his brother struggles with on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes those struggles seem even stronger because he is able to do so many other things so easily.

 

FGA has helped me by providing me with opportunities to meet parents who have similar concerns and connect with speakers who provide useful information. It is my wish that more parents will engage with us, attend our programs, and find a community with FGA.

Prior to having my boys, I taught for 10 years in the public school system and two years in a private school. We moved to Frisco for the school district, and I appreciate how this district has been collaborative with FGA and has recognized us as a “shining example of positive advocacy.” Those words make me proud of what we are doing. I am thrilled that our district is not only hearing us, but making positive changes that will benefit the students and families we serve.

Often I am asked what my life is like with two children who are so “different” from each other. People assume that because one child has autism and the other is GT identified that they are opposites. To be honest, they are not as different as many people would think. Both of them have learning differences and needs that are outside of what is considered average. There is also so much overlap between my boys that it’s hard to say who has stronger needs.

To some, this seems like an exaggeration, but it is very true. Our gifted children and kids with other special needs like autism often have some overlapping behaviors that we just describe with different words. In the autism world, we may say that a child who hates clothing tags has tactile defensiveness related to autism. In the gifted world, we may say the child is sensitive or has sensory issues. In the autism world, we may say that a child who gets overwhelmed by his or her surroundings is suffering from overstimulation, but in the world of giftedness, we have Dabrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities.

My child who is identified as gifted has some mild exceptionalities not related to his giftedness, so he is considered by some to be twice exceptional or 2E. Several studies have indicated that twice exceptionality occurs in 2-5% of the gifted population. However, one often masks the other, so it is entirely possible that the percentages are higher. This is the area I often seem to find myself discussing with parents at our FGA meetings.

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