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26-Jul-2017 20:03

They are supposed to be coming home -- even if they’ve never lived here, even if they’ve only been back on furlough. There are nearly a million in international schools around the world; others in Department of Defense schools on international military bases; countless numbers returned to their passport countries of origin.

Rebecca Grappo, an educational consultant who specializes in the placement of these children, says there are three basic things all children need: belonging, recognition and connection.

She is withdrawn, uncooperative, angry or disruptive. What you don’t know and can’t see is that she is a Third Culture Kid (TCK) -- a child who has moved in and out of foreign countries as her parents have transferred around the world.

Or maybe she’s been diagnosed and labeled, but it doesn’t seem to explain everything. Born into one culture, raised among others, her identity is most closely aligned with others raised like her, moving internationally. Although she was born here, for her this country is another foreign assignment.

Lubee Bat Museum Where: Gainesville What is it: over 200 bats representing 10 species, including the Malayan Flying Fox which can attain a wingspan of 6′.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park Where: Cross Creek What is it: Visitors to this Florida homestead can walk back in time to 1930s farm life where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived and worked in the tiny community of Cross Creek.

For TCKs, questions about who they are, what they are, where they are from, what and who they can trust are examples of existential losses with which they must cope.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Where: Gainesville What is it: Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 ½ mile paved walkway.