Portcullis Peeps: What They Are and How to Find Them

Do you guys remember this post in which  I shared a story about a little boy, a garden trellis, a portcullis, and Google?

Oh, and I also used the dreaded g-word. 

I talked about how my son is g-g-g-gifted and how the word “gifted” is a terrible label. It doesn’t come close to capturing who he is, deep down, with all of his unique strengths and struggles.

gifted, gifted learners, asynchronous development, gifted parenting, 2e, twice-exceptional
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Truly, I feel that if more folks understood the asynchronous development aspect of giftedness, life would change for these kids.

Because the reality is, gifted children are not better than their peers, they are just different. And just like other populations that differ significantly from the norm, gifted children need support in order to thrive.

But, here’s the thing: People are afraid to use the label because of all the many myths associated with it, all the misconceptions, and undue expectations.

They do not want to be perceived as That Parent, the parent who thinks his or her child is better than every other child who has ever walked this earth.

And that makes it really, really challenging to connect with other gifted families.

These kids need to know they are not alone.

They need what I call Portcullis Peeps.

Referred to as intellectual peers in gifted literature, Portcullis Peeps are those friends who get you. Those friends around whom you are free to be your unabashed geeky self.

gifted, giftedness, twice-exceptional, 2e
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

There is no need to tone it down, to edit, or feel in any way uncomfortable around Portcullis Peeps. They are your kindred spirits.

Well, recently, I’ve found them.

Folks, there is something magical about seeing your child interact with a Portcullis Peep. That sparkle in my son’s eyes gets brighter, his smile bigger, his laugh louder.

It’s freeing to be yourself, isn’t it? To be appreciated for who you are, deep down?

Today I’m going to tell you how you can find Portcullis Peeps, too.

4 Ways to Find Portcullis Peeps:

  1. First and foremost, you need to start saying the dreaded g-word.
    Even if you only whisper it at home at first, you need to get comfortable with it. Like it or not, the label is here to stay.
  2. One word: Google.
    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Thank goodness for Google! I don’t know what parents of gifted learners did before the internet. Google has not only helped me to answer my children’s many questions, but it has connected me with a wealth of resources for gifted families.
  3. Find a community of Portcullis Peeps.
    I realize this is easier said than done, but believe me they are out there! If Google doesn’t work, search MeetUp or post on gifted sites and listservs.
  4. Do not be afraid to grow your own community of Portcullis Peeps.
    I’m a huge introvert. I didn’t want to start a gifted group in my area, but there was a need. I took a deep breath and did it. If you build it, they will come. And come they did. I’m proud of the community I am growing in the Granite State. In fact, it has blessed my geeky life so much that a friend and I decided to create an online community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children.

Because parents need Portcullis Peeps, too!

Now, it’s your turn: Does your child have Portcullis Peeps? Have you found your tribe? Share here!

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Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. She is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and G+.