Monthly Archives: July 2019

Empathy and the GT Child

 

Empathy is an expression of emotional well-being which speaks to the social-emotional needs of gifted children. The definition of empathy has evolved over centuries from ‘feeling another’s emotions’ to being viewed as a ‘complex construct’. In “The Caring Child”, Christine shares 4 distinct processes – emotional sharing, emotional mimicry, mental imagining of another’s emotions and differentiating self and others.

Who is iGen and how do they differ from previous generations? The ‘iGen’ is the generation after Millennials – kids who began graduating from high school in 2013. They are the first ones to grow up with Smartphones. They are more vulnerable; isolated and lacking in social skills; and vastly unprepared for the responsibilities of adulthood. The iGen is super connected but unable to engage in ‘irl’ (in real life) experiences. It is the premise for a real-life dystopian future.

For gifted children, the very early years provide an opportunity to nurture empathy by teaching mindfulness and developing an ‘emotional vocabulary’. Young gifted children can be encouraged to become self-aware with an understanding of how they ‘fit’ in the world through stories and play experiences with others. They should have opportunities to express kindness in social settings as reflected in the actions of adults around them.

Empathy is a social skill that is developed through human interaction. When young gifted children experience positive relationships based on their ability to express empathy, their ability to face adversity, trauma, and pain (aka resilience) is enhanced.

The educational needs of iGen have radically changed the way schools look at how to teach this generation. Past pedagogical approaches do not suffice today. Teachers (educators, parents, adults) must be flexible, responsive to student voice, and be willing to embed SEL (social-emotional learning) into the curriculum. Education for the iGen needs to be individualized and involve the measured use of technology that empowers learning.

What are some strategies parents can use to build social-emotional learning skills? In ‘The Caring Child’, Christine delineates social-emotional learning skills as cognitive, social/relational, emotional, character and mindsets. Building social-emotional learning skills involve simple strategies sometimes overlooked by parents of gifted children as being ‘too simple’. Cognitive skills can be built through the use of puzzles, language-based games, or word searches. Bibliotherapy and cinematherapy help develop emotional skills. Role playing/improv improve social skills. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Caring Child: Raising Empathetic and Emotionally Intelligent Children (Prufrock)

Teaching Empathy and Embracing Intensity

15 Ways to Help Kids Develop Empathy

The Neuroscience of Empathy, Compassion, and Self-Compassion (Amazon)

iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy & Completely Unprepared for Adulthood & What That Means for the Rest of Us (Amazon)

The Social Neuroscience of Empathy (pdf)

Empathy and Compassion

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings (Prufrock)

I’m Not Just Gifted: Social-Emotional Curriculum for Guiding Gifted Children (Prufrock)

The Neural Pathways, Development and Functions of Empathy (pdf)

Developing Compassionate Empathy in Gifted Children

“I feel your pain”: Empathy and the Gifted Child (.docx)

Teaching Empathy: Strategies for Building Emotional Intelligence in Today’s Students (Prufrock October 2019)

Try Something New With Your Kids: Focus on the 3 C’s

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 36: Empathy with Intensity – Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

Cybraryman’s SEL Pages and More

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

Image courtesy of Dreamstime (Free photo 85156667 ©creativecommonsstockphotos (CC0))

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The More Child: PG and 2E Kids

 

Profoundly gifted (PG) children have early and prolific use of language (before 9 mos.), unusual alertness in infancy, early abstract reasoning, and early reading (before age 4)(Hollingworth; Gross; Rogers; Silverman.) They may “literally be able to comprehend intellectually what they are not ready to deal with emotionally.” (Robinson, N.M.) Their abilities cause adults to have unrealistic expectations about their behavior. It is important to make a clear distinction between PG and HG or gifted as they run the risk of psychological issues such as isolation or existential depression if their needs are not understood.

PG students are among the most challenging to educate in traditional programs. They have significantly greater needs than those identified as gifted or highly gifted. Most schools rarely encounter a PG child; if ever. Differentiation or enrichment is rarely sufficient to meet the intellectual needs of profoundly gifted children. Radical acceleration, mentoring, self-paced and independent programming, and out-of-school enrichment may be necessary.

Parenting a profoundly gifted child can be expensive and far beyond what a parent is able to provide. Parents may need to be creative in finding appropriate opportunities and early on explore all avenues of financial assistance available. Planning for enrichment must first and foremost be directed by the PG child taking into consideration their passions and personal goals.

Twice-exceptional (2E) individuals are both gifted and experience emotional, behavioral or social issues. They can be cognitively, academically or creatively gifted, but fall in the lower end in their deficit area (Russo.) 2E children are found in every socioeconomic, cultural, racial and ethnic population. They are present in most school classrooms today. Common behaviors of 2E kids lead teachers and adults to see them as lazy, unmotivated, defiant and behaviorally disordered (Banks.) Because the DSM5 (diagnostic manual) doesn’t address twice-exceptionality, 2E children are trapped in a system of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis (Russo.)

What can parents do to help their 2E kids be successful? Take care of yourself first. Understand that you face challenges as a parent that other parents do not face and may not understand. Take time to experience relief and acknowledge that you do, in fact, know your child best. You may not have all the answers, but you are your child’s first advocate. Once your child is identified; educate yourself about twice-exceptionality. Seek out other parents and organizations which can support you and your child.

Most K12 educators have not been made aware of or given the tools to provide interventions for twice-exceptionality either at the undergraduate level or through PD. Advocacy most often falls on the parent. Because both conditions … giftedness and learning challenges … may mask each other, it is important to understand twice-exceptionality at a very deep level. Advocacy by parents for 2E students is vital and these kids see the utmost benefit from caring and appropriate accommodations. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Challenges of Parenting a Profoundly Gifted Child (Medium)

Rated PG: Profoundly Gifted (Audio 47:07)

The Gifted Paradox | Understanding Giftedness in Children

Being Unusually ‘Gifted’ Can Take A Severe Psychological And Emotional Toll On Children

Profoundly Gifted, Just the Facts

Exceptionally Gifted Children: Long-Term Outcomes of Academic Acceleration and Nonacceleration (pdf)

The 10 Most Commonly Asked Questions about Highly Gifted Children

Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People A Guidebook (pdf)

What is Highly Gifted?  Exceptionally Gifted?  Profoundly Gifted?  And What Does It Mean?

A Call for Understanding

Tips for Parents: Intellectual Assessment of Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Children

Profoundly Gifted Guilt

This Profoundly Gifted Child

Neuroscience of Asynchronous Development in Bright Minds

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional (Amazon)

Twice-Exceptional Kids with Guests from the Bright Not Broken

Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children

What is Twice Exceptional?

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

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

NAGC: Twice Exceptional

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students: An Underserved Population

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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