Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT

Lisa VanGemert2014

This week #gtchat welcomed longtime friend, Lisa Van Gemert, the Youth and Education Ambassador for American Mensa, to tackle the tough questions surrounding effective grouping of gifted students. Lisa explained to us the many different types of grouping that were possible, but reminded us “it’s important to keep groups fluid – allowing movement with achievement and progress.” She went on to say, “Teachers need to teach the skills of working in groups. It doesn’t come naturally to anyone, especially the gifted.” A valid point often overlooked by critics of grouping.

One of the biggest complaints that gifted students have about grouping is having to do the majority of the work. Lisa told us, “It is *critical* that a student never be graded on another student’s effort (or lack thereof). Instant frustration. It’s unfair to set up GT kids for social failure by putting them in groups in which they have to take over in order to succeed.

An oft heard criticism of ability grouping is that it undermines less-able children. However, Lisa pointed out that this is just an excuse to deprive GT kids of the opportunity to work with their peers. Her philosophy ~ “I believe that best serving all children best serves all children. The end.” We couldn’t agree more! A full transcript of this chat may be found here.

Lisa Van Gemert will be presenting at this year’s TAGT Conference in Fort Worth, December 3rd to the 5th. You can register for the conference here. Check out the conference schedule here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


Amazing Classrooms: Engaging the High Achievers (YouTube 14:35)

Why Separate Classes for Gifted Students Boost All Kids

To Track or Not to Track via @jeff_shoemaker

Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classroom

Differentiation Class Poster – Free Download from Lisa Van Gemert

Lisa Van Gemert’s Profile at eSpeakers

Lisa Van Gemert’s website

Grouping without Fear from Lisa Van Gemert

The Resurgence of Ability Grouping and Persistence of Tracking

Effective Classrooms, Effective Schools: A Research Base for Reform in Latin American Education

What Educators Need to Know about Ability Grouping (pdf)

The Relationship of Grouping Practices to the Education of the Gifted & Talented Learner (pdf)

Grouping Gifted Children at Hoagies Gifted

The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Method (SCGM) A Paradigm Shift in The Delivery of

Gifted Education Services by Susan Winebrenner (pdf)

Your Favorite Grouping Strategy Creates Bullies from Ginger Lewman

Our guest this week was Allison Edwards, author of Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help. Allison began working with gifted kids 15 years ago as a school counselor. She was responsible for identifying, placing and coordinating resources for gifted students. Allison had to learn very quickly what gifted students needed and how they functioned inside the regular classroom. 8 years ago, she started a private psychotherapy practice where she specializes in working with gifted and anxious kids.

Our first question was to ask why smart kids worry. Allison told us that smart kids worry because their minds take them places they aren’t ready to go emotionally. They have the ability to intellectually understand things they can’t emotionally process thus creating anxiety. The ability to think about advanced topics is an asset inside the classroom but can be a detriment outside of it.

What signs should parents look for if they suspect their child is unduly worried? Parents will want to look for changes in behavior. These include: resistance to participate in previously enjoyed activities, stomachaches, headaches or loss of appetite. Kids who process anxiety outwardly will talk incessantly about their worries and/or ask repetitive questions about fears. Kids who process anxiety inwardly will withdraw, pull away and be resistant to talking about their feelings.

What advice did Allison have for parents to help their children to not worry so much? She would advise parents to acknowledge their child’s feelings and resist the urge to rationalize the anxiety away. When parents try to rationalize with an anxious child, children feel devalued and will become defensive and resistant. The best way to help kids handle anxiety is to teach them anxiety-reduction tools. The tools will empower them to handle anxious moments and learn to self-soothe. A partial transcript may be found here.

Allison Edwards Pic

Allison Edwards will be speaking at the 2014 TAGT Annual Parent Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, December 5th at 12:30 PM. You can register for the TAGT Annual Parent Conference here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help (Amazon) by Allison Edwards

Why Smart Kids Worry Book Cover

Allison Edwards’ Bio

Allison Edwards’ website

“4 Anxiety-Reduction Tools” for Children from Allison Edwards @CounelingBits (video)

Anxiety Trapper App for iPhone (iTunes App Store)

Allison Edwards’ Blog

12 Traits of Anxious Children (free download) from Allison Edwards

Allison Edwards ‘Why Smart Kids Worry’ (YouTube)

Why Smart Kids Worry on Facebook


It is estimated that there are 300,000 twice exceptional children in the U.S. alone. (GCQ, Vol 55, #1, Winter 2011) Twice-exceptionality is the co-existence of both giftedness and a learning disability. It has been called a paradoxical syndrome. This week at #gtchat, we tackled the subject of 2ekids. It was soon realized that these kids are complex and have the ability to frustrate both their parents and teachers; but at the same time bring incredible joy into the lives of those around them.

Twice-exceptional children often face many social-emotional issues. Many struggle with self-awareness; knowing and understanding their own challenges. “They are often misunderstood and have expectations on them they can’t live up to.”(Mona Chicks) “The BIGGEST social-emotional challenge is finding true peers. Asynchrony makes it difficult to impossible. Worse in small towns. They have compassion like an adult, tantrums like a toddler, and wit like a snarky teenager. ” (Jen Merrill) “Two gifts, blessed with two gifts both of which need recognition & addressing in parallel, overlapping and together.” (Elaine Hook) “2ekids don’t ‘fit the mold’ for gifted, they challenge stereotypes and remind us that gifted doesn’t mean perfect.” (Andi McNair)

Labeling of children in an attempt to explain behaviors does little to address their need for specific accommodations. The gifted ‘label’ is too often misrepresented as meaning high-achiever; adult disappointment can emotionally harm twice-exceptional children. They can compensate for or mask their disability and do not get the help they need.

An exceptional resource was shared during the chat by Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia. Jo’s blog, Sprite’s Site, relates the experiences of Sprite, a fictional character, who happens to be twice-exceptional. Sprite’s disability is visually expressed by an ever present cast on one foot. Jo’s ability to make twice-exceptionality easy is to understand makes this a go to site for anyone wanting to know more about how these children feel and how to help them. She also writes a monthly newsletter which can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about twice-exceptional children, please check out the full transcript of our chat and then the links provided below.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Links from the chat:

“What is 2E?” from Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

“Twice-exceptional Students: Who Are They & What Do They Need?”

“Don’t Get Caught in the Lazy Trap”

“Twice-Exceptional Me” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Myths & Misconceptions About ADHD: Science over Cynicism

Giftedness & Learning Disabilities

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube)


Additional Links:

Double Inequity, Redoubled Critique: Twice-Exceptional (Gifted + Learning Disabled) Students

Gifted and Learning Disabled A Handbook (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptionality Packet of Information for Professionals (pdf)

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

Supporting the Identification and  Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student (pdf)

Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities by Linda Silverman  in N. Colangelo, & G. A. Davis (Eds.) The Handbook of Gifted Education, Third Edition (pp. 533-543). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2003 (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities Level 1: An Introductory Resource Book (pdf)

Special Populations: Giftedness and ADHD from Duke TIP

Identifying Twice-Exceptional Children and Three Gifted Styles in the Japanese Primary Science Classroom (pdf)

The Paradox of Giftedness and Autism (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptional Children: Perceptions of Disabilities, Giftedness and Underachievement 

Creating a Toolkit for Identifying Twice-Exceptional Students (pdf)

Inclusion for Students with Twice Exceptionality Paradox and Possibility (pdf)

A Unique Challenge: Sorting Out the Differences Between Giftedness and Asperger’s Disorder (pdf)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Roles of School Personnel

The first few years of parenting a gifted child can often be both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. By the time they are ready to enter school, the educational system can seem daunting to even the well-informed parent. While every school system may be different, they will share many of the same personnel. It’s important to learn who should be contacted in certain situations whether it is testing and identification, additional services, or the special needs of twice-exceptional students.

Who should be the first person contacted in a school when considering gifted education for a child? School psychologists are usually tasked with testing and identification of gifted students. Gifted coordinators should be contacted if there isn’t a school psychologist. Some schools may require that only the principal be contacted directly by parents. In any case, try to determine who your first contact should be prior to taking action.

Deciding whether additional services are necessary is usually a decision made by a team of professionals who may include the parent, classroom teacher, GT teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor and/or parent. Several states use Gifted Individualized Education Plans in which specific services can be stipulated. In the case of twice-exceptional students in the U.S., parents may consider pursuing a 504 Plan. (See links below for more information.) A full transcript can be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


A Breakdown of the Roles of School Personnel

VA: Local School Boards: Roles & Responsibilities in Gifted Programs (pdf)

The Professional School Counselor and Gifted & Talented Student Programs (pdf)

OH: Gifted Education Coordinator Factsheet (pdf)

Social & Emotional Needs of Gifted Students: What School Counselors Need to Know

WI: Gifted & Talented Educational Services Plan

FL: Teacher of the Gifted Job Responsibilities (pdf)

KY: Nurturing Our Future ~ Parents’ Guide to Meeting Needs of Gifted & Talented Youth (pdf)

OK: Qualifications & Responsibilities of Gifted Education Program Staff (pdf)

Gifted Program Guidelines Responsibilities of District Personnel (pdf)

Auxiliary School Personnel: Their Roles, Training & Institutionalization (pdf 1966)

Diagnosis & Treatment of Attention Disorders: Roles for School Personnel

CT: Suggested Roles & Responsibilities of School Personnel

Roles of Related Services Personnel in Inclusive Schools

New Roles in Response to Intervention: Creating Success for Schools & Children (pdf)

Roles of School Personnel Section 504 Responsibilities (pdf)

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.

Gifted Identification

Why is gifted identification important? Gifted identification not only provides a basis for school services but also helps a child understand his or her self. It can explain behaviors that are not universal to all children. As pointed out during the chat, it may help parents modify how they parent their gifted child and help teachers to teach them appropriately.

Our next question focused on who should be responsible for identification. Designated school personnel should be trained in gifted education and have a solid understanding of giftedness. Clinical Psychologist, Gail Post, of Gifted Challenges recommended that a psychologist or school psychologist preferably be involved in the process. Gifted Coordinator, Angie French, added, “School personnel need an understanding that not all gifted learners look the same.”

During the remainder of the chat, we also discussed what attributes should be considered when seeking to identify a gifted child; assessments to be used beyond IQ testing; how poor identification methods adversely affect low-income, minority and ELL students; and how to identify twice-exceptional learners. A full transcript may be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Special thanks to Leslie Graves (President, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children) and Jerry Blumengarten (aka Cybraryman) for providing us with additional links during this chat.


Dumbing Down America (Amazon) Delisle

Ohio Dept of Ed – Gifted Screening and Identification

Identification of Gifted Children @HoagiesGifted

A Response to “All Children Are Gifted” by Michael C. Thompson (pdf) via @RFWPcom

Assessing Gifted Children by Julia Osburn via @HoagiesGifted

Use of the WISC-IV for Gifted Identification (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

Identifying & Serving Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Role of Assessments in the Identification of Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Identification of Students Who Are Gifted by Ruth Mary Coleman At LDOnline

High Achiever, Gifted Learner, Creative Thinker from Bertie Kingore

Identifying Gifted Students: A Practical Guide by Susan Johnsen (Amazon)

The Ongoing Dilemma of Effective Identification Practices in Gifted Education (pdf)

Teacher Bias in Identifying Gifted & Talented Students

Identifying Gifted Children Victoria (AUS) Dept of Ed

Identifying Gifted & Talented Students from London Gifted & Talented

Who is Currently Identified as Gifted in the U.S.? by Scott Barry Kaufman in Psychology Today

5 Issues with Gifted Education That I Have

Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students (pdf)

Common Questions about Gifted Identification and Services (OR)

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities

Ethical Considerations for Gifted Assessment & Identification of Diverse Students (pdf)

Identification of Gifted Students Using The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Tests (pdf)

Legal Issues in Identifying & Serving Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners (pdf)

Additional Links (from chat participants):

Identification of Gifted and Talented Students Poudre School District

Gifted and Talented Program JeffCo Public Schools

Gifted Children Online Assessment Tool Now Available

Things My Child Likes to Do (pdf)

Use of Brief Intelligence Tests in the Identification of Giftedness (pdf) via Scott Barry Kaufman

Children Who Are Gifted, Talented, and Creative

Identification of Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (Livebinder)

Cybraryman’s 360 Degree Feedback Page

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

How to Identify the Gifted Student

Let Me Tell You About …Why Gifted Identification Matters by Jen Merrill


Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.

Gifted Parent Group


There are a multitude of reasons for starting a parent support group; not the least of which is advocating for an appropriate gifted education program as well as for peer support. The benefits are numerous … realizing you aren’t alone; strength in numbers; and providing a peer network for your children. As teacher Justin Schwamm said, “It can be VERY isolating to be parent of gifted child, especially in a smaller community.” Tracy Fisher, Board Member from TAGT, reminded us that parent groups can “partner with your school district and improve services.”

By starting an advocacy/support group, parents are modeling how to advocate; an important life skill for gifted children. Support groups are often a parent’s first source of information on giftedness and about programs at local schools. Parent groups can also provide activities for gifted children to bond with their intellectual peers outside school.

What is the difference between an advocacy group and a support group? We tend to think of advocacy when speaking of education and support for general parenting of gifted kids. Krissy Venosdale framed her response like this ~ “Advocacy is ‘I want you to understand.’ Support is ‘we understand each other’.”  Amy Harrington, SENG Board member, said, “Advocacy groups teach and guide while support groups foster discussion and relationship building.'” And this from Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia, “Some parent groups fill both roles – advocacy groups would lobby politicians, education, etc; support groups would care for members.” A full transcript can be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Special thanks to Leslie Graves, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children; Margaret Keane of; and Rose Sero from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented for providing us with many of our links!


SENG Model Parent Groups

Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented “Parent Support Group Information

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented “Establishing a Parent Support Group

What Makes a Parent Group Successful? (pdf)

Supporting Gifted Education Through Advocacy (pdf)

Sample By-Laws for a Parent Advocacy Group (pdf)

NAGC Advocacy Toolkit (US)

NAGC “How to Start a Parent Support Group” brochure (pdf)

NAGC ‘Effective Advocates’ (pdf) Series of Articles

NAGC “Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards” (pdf)

NAGC Gifted Program Assessment Tool (pdf)

How Parent Advocacy Groups Can Make a Difference

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Starting & Sustaining a Parent Group to Support Gifted Children (pdf – ebook)

Care & Feeding of Gifted Parent Groups: Guide for Gifted Coordinators, Teachers & Parents

Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth: Parent Support Groups

From IEA Gifted Gifted Child Parent Support Groups

Guidelines for Running a Support Group (pdf) via

Gifted Ireland: Starting a Group

Good Practice Guidelines for Peer Led Family Support Groups (pdf)

Speak Ireland (monthly parent meet-ups)

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Effective Advocacy

Working Effectively as a Parent Association (pdf)

Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups (pdf)

Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education Starting a P.A.G.E. Affiliate

Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education P.A.G.E. Affiliate Resources

New Zealand ~ Effective Parent Support Groups: The Magic Ingredients (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Gifted Advocacy Page

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy & Successful Gifted Children (Amazon)

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Amazon)

Coppell Gifted Association (TX)

Additional State Resources:

Alabama Association for Gifted Children’s Parent Corner

Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented Parent Institute

Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education Affiliate Program

California Association for the Gifted Parents’ Page

Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Affiliates Page

Connecticut Association for the Gifted Parent Handbook

Florida Gifted Network Parent Group Links

Georgia Association for Gifted Children Local Chapters

Illinois Association for Gifted Children Parent Affiliates

Indiana Association for the Gifted Parent Center

Iowa Talented and Gifted Association Families

Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented and Creative Parent Resources

Kentucky Association for Gifted Education Family Links

Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education Information

Michigan Association for Gifted Education Chapters

Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented Local Chapters and Parent Groups

Mississippi Association for Gifted Children Parent Affiliate Groups

Gifted Association of Missouri Parent Resources

Montana AGATE Parent Support Groups

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.


Discipline can be a delicate subject when it involves gifted children. This week at #gtchat we tackled this topic as it related to both parents and teachers. With regard to the difficulty faced by adults when considering discipline, it was agreed that it was more about perspective than how hard it was to accomplish. It should be considered behavior development rather than punishment. Trying to force or coerce a gifted child to do what you want, doesn’t work. Building a relationship built on respect does.

Emotional intensities paired with intellect play a large role when deciding about discipline. A gifted child seeks to deeply understand the world around them and this can lead to perceived misbehavior by others. Oftentimes, simply recognizing when a child shows restraint in displaying appropriate behavior in social settings can add perspective.

Asynchronous development also plays a role. The reasoning and verbal skills of very young gifted can lead to the need to incorporate patience with discipline. Being ‘many ages at once’ can influence behavior in gifted children that may be imperceptible to others.

Preventing discipline problems in the classroom was discussed as well. Problems fade in the classroom when students are placed with intellectual peers and challenged appropriately. Students placed with a teacher who enjoys teaching gifted & learning with them rarely develop discipline problems. (Delisle) When teachers understand how gifted students learn, they can develop a mutually beneficial relationship and respect grows. A full transcript may be found here.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.



How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

Positive Discipline for Gifted Children

Positive Discipline: Flip Your Lid (YouTube)

Positive Discipline Guidelines (pdf)

Considerations and Strategies for Parenting the Gifted Child (pdf)

Disciplining Gifted Children

Four Ways to Reduce Behavior Problems from Byrdseed Gifted

Disciplining the Gifted Child Should Be All about Training & Teaching, Not Judging & Punishing

Discipline, A Must for Gifted Kids

Discipline and Your Intense Child

Disciplining the Sensitive Child from Dr. Dan Peters

Growing Up Gifted by Barbara Clark

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca


Image courtesy of MorgueFile.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers