Gifted and twice-exceptional children have unique characteristics that often earn them nicknames and labels, like quirky, intense, nerdy, absent-minded, bossy, argumentative, obsessive, and know-it-all. Gifted and 2e people frequently hear the word “too”, as well – too much, too intense, too sensitive, too curious, too impatient. Asynchronous development and overexcitabilities create an internal struggle in gifted children that may be expressed in amazing insights one minute, and challenging behaviors the next. Add in additional exceptionalities, and you have the most complex humans on the planet. At the heart of supporting the social and emotional needs of gifted learners is communicating understanding and unconditional acceptance.
The journey from preschool to college can present a tricky route to navigate when you are the parent of a gifted or twice-exceptional child. It can feel like a lonely, overwhelming job, but you don’t have to go it alone. A collaborative network including your student, parenting/caregiving peers and partners, educators, and other practicing professionals makes the journey far less treacherous and much more rewarding. Starting with the earliest school years, we’ll talk about collecting resources, expanding your network, and practicing and modeling positive advocacy skills. Over time, the load gets lighter as your child learns and grows and eventually becomes their own best advocate.
Communication between home, school, and community is vital in helping students succeed in school. Creating a village of support that understands and nurtures gifted students can be a big challenge in any setting, from rural to urban. Guided discussion groups around topics of interest to families and educators of the gifted are a great way to build community and promote collaboration between school and home. Developing a greater understanding of gifted characteristics and the unique needs of these learners helps communities find value in supporting improved services and opportunities for challenge and growth for gifted students.
We know that many of our gifted kids are very frustrated with their job – the job of school. Children who are twice-exceptional (2e) have extra challenges and require more support than they can often access in school. Family relationships may suffer as school issues take center stage. Let's discuss the implications of poor school fit, strategies for coping with the frustration a gifted or 2e child may feel about school, and coaching techniques developed and used by tutors and learning coaches who work with gifted and twice-exceptional learners to foster a sense of ownership and personal pride in the job of school.
Your relationship with your child is always a priority. Stressful times can put a strain on caregivers and children that impacts the whole family. Family members each have their own work to do and obligations to meet. Add in a variety of learning and working styles and preferences, and you have a very complicated dynamic to manage. Using your past experiences and current resources, let’s talk about how to nurture a positive, collaborative environment that helps everyone do what they need to do. We’ll explore strategies for family collaboration that put your relationship with your child first.
We don’t talk about dementia. It’s too big, too frightening, and, for some of us, too personal. When dementia affects someone we love, it brings uncertainty to everyday life: Will I make the right decisions for my loved one? Am I going to suffer from it, too? What do I DO? You are not alone. Let's have an open, honest conversation about facing your fears, having hard conversations, and finding resources, support, and community.
This topic is rooted in my experiences caring for my mother in the last year of her life. Mom suffered from dementia in her last years, as did all of her sisters before her. This experience gave my sister, my nieces, my daughters, and me a new perspective on life, aging, and death. This topic is important for all adults, whether they are elders themselves, caregivers for elders, or adults who are working to plan ahead for their own later years and create a roadmap for the people who will care for them.