Category Archives: anxiety

When Gifted Kids Don’t Fit In

gtchat 10032017 Fit

Explaining giftedness to a child is often overlooked; assuming they understand all the intricacies of being identified gifted. It’s important for children to understand; otherwise, they may accept myths perpetuated by society. Being gifted is more than simply academic achievement or excellence in everything. It’s knowing that it is ok to fail or be less than expected.

Anxiety can play a role in a gifted child’s need to ‘fit in’. Adults may place unfair expectations on children based on their perception of ‘gifted’ and that is hard to live up to at times. Just because a child may not ‘fit it’ doesn’t mean they don’t want to and experience anxiety trying to be something they’re not.

Asynchronous development can also affect a gifted kid’s ability to ‘fit in’. For some gifted kids, asynchronous development can severely affect their ability to engage with age-peers. It can affect how adults interact with gifted kids and perceive how they should act.

How can teachers assist gifted students with fitting in at school? It’s helpful if teachers take time to learn about giftedness; increase their understanding of these kids. Teachers’ expectations should not include using students as teacher aides which can be source of bullying for gifted child.

Parents can help to ensure a good fit in the family as well. Like teachers, parents too must take time to learn about and understand what giftedness is and isn’t. They should guard against favoritism; delegation of tasks; and resource allocation of family funds. Parents can also try to provide opportunities for positive interaction with intellectual peers beyond school walls.

Learning the difference between ‘better at’ and ‘better than’ will go a long way in getting accepted by age-peers. Gifted kids should work to understand their abilities. Positive self-image ultimately benefits in how they relate to others. Developing a sense who what’s important to them; gifted kids may decide not to go along with the crowd to fit in.

An important take-away from the chat was that although it’s natural for kids to want to fit in with age-peers; conversely, gifted kids should also learn that it’s also okay not to ‘fit in’ if they don’t want to do so. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEDT/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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social & Emotional Needs (Amazon)

The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & Under (Amazon)

Gifted Children Need a Place to Belong Gifted Children Need a Place to Belong

Gifted Students Often Struggle Socially

10 Facts You May Not Know about Gifted Children But Should

Friendship 101

How to Find Friends

Young, Gifted & Likely to Suffer for It

Gifted Children & Friendships – Why Don’t I Fit In?

How to Help your Gifted Kid Thrive

The Curse of the Gifted & Talented Child

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

Should We Tell Them They’re Gifted?

Is Your Child Anxious Because They’re Gifted?

Guess What? Gifted Kids Can Have Problems Too

10 Lessons from Gifted Education 

How to Help Your Overthinking Gifted Child

Sprite’s Site: Discovering the Depth and Breadth of Giftedness

Sprite’s Site: Belonging – A Place of Sanctuary

What to Say to Your Gifted Child…about Being Gifted

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

Hoagies’ Blog Hop May 2014: The “G” Word “Gifted”

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Perfectionism A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough”

gtchat 07112017 Perfectionism

This week #gtchat welcomed back former #gtchat Advisor, Lisa Van Gemert, to chat about her new book, Perfectionism A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough”. Perfectionism is life experienced in endless attempts to do what can’t be done. Reality never measures up to perception. It is the culmination of too high expectations which ultimately affects one’s quality of life.

“I define perfectionism as the pursuit of excellence in the absence of self- love. It is also often defined as setting impossibly high standards and being unsatisfied with high  quality of work.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

Perfectionism is a coat of many colors – overachievement, aversion to risk, and procrastination. An interesting type of perfectionism is managing your self-image; what you want others to see.

There are benefits of viewing perfectionism as being on a continuum. When perfectionism is no longer one single ‘thing”, it’s not seen as something to be fixed. One must deal with it long-term. If you view perfectionism on a continuum, certain behaviors can produce achievable results such as good grades in school.

“The continuum model of anything is less rigid. It doesn’t say, “Fix this,” but rather, “Move slightly, please.” With a continuum, we can ease back to the middle, rather than saying it’s all or nothing. That idea is its own kind of perfectionism. Perfectionists will not typically become laissez-faire, Type B people, but they can move a little to the left on the Bell curve!” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

Some comorbid conditions can complicate perfectionism. It can be extremely complicated for twice-exceptional kids who already challenge society’s norms. Perfectionism paired with Executive Functioning issues or ADHD are at a disadvantage from the get-go.

How do we balance ‘do your best’ and ‘nobody’s perfect’ for young gifted children? We need to be honest with kids … especially young gifted ones who really want to be perfect but lack understanding. Too often, parents ‘expect’ way too much from gifted children; unwittingly can cause a lot of emotional damage. Adults need to see the fallacy in thinking ‘perfection’ is attainable; do a reality check.

“Not everything is worth “do your best”! Not everything worth doing IS worth doing well. Parents and Teachers can balance this by helping kids identify what is worth doing well and exactly how well. I use a 1-5 scale for deciding how well something should be done. 1 is just do it. 5 is make it as great as possible.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

In the book, Lisa presents strategies and action steps which work best in dealing with perfectionism. The first actionable step must be to identify the fact that perfectionism may be affecting one’s life adversely. A strategy based on management rather than elimination of perfectionism will result in a more successful resolution. A transcript can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough” (Great Potential Press)

The Perils of Perfectionism

Perfectionism: Presentation & Handout 

Perfection{ism}: The Occupational Hazard of Giftedness (SlideShare)

The Perfection Deception: Why Striving to Be Perfect Is Sabotaging Your Relationships (Amazon)

Perfectionism, Coping & Emotional Adjustment (pdf)

Perfectionism, Fear of Failure & Affective Responses to Success & Failure (pdf)

What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: Real Deal on Perfectionism: Guide for Kids (Amazon)

Perfectionism Dimensions in Children: Association with Anxiety & Depression

Perfectionism and Peer Relations Among Children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (pdf)

Overcoming Perfectionism: Finding the Key to Balance & Self-Acceptance (Amazon)

Overcoming Perfectionism in Kids

AUS: Letting Go of Perfectionism

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

Cybraryman’s Perfection Links Page https://goo.gl/EbHh2u

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photos courtesy of Lisa Van Gemert and Great Potential Press.

What is Twice Exceptional?

gtchat 07192016 Twice Exceptional

 

Twice-exceptional (2E) children are students identified as gifted, but with subtle or pronounced learning disabilities. It is a determination that can lead to frustration and lack of self-confidence. Although often defined as a disability first in most school districts, it is important to consider strengths over deficits when accommodating twice-exceptional students. Their full potential cannot be realized if their potential is never acknowledged. It is incumbent on educators to recognize that the very nature of twice-exceptionality allows for one condition to mask the other and prevent appropriate intervention. How many students are languishing in special education programs while their intellect and talents are ignored?

2E kids can show strength in many areas and yet have difficulty with organizational skills or task completion. Often, there are stark discrepancies between verbal and written work; but extraordinary task commitment when presented with something which interests them. This useful list of characteristics (pdf) provided by Jo Freitag  of Gifted Resources in Australia is long. However, as Tracy Fisher points out that when identifying 2E, “You expect to see ANYTHING and nothing. It’s not as simple as to provide a list of characteristics … GT kids can mask issues.” An interesting point made by Ruth Lyons, Adjunct Professor and Gifted and Talented Coordinator from Maine, is that “2E students test well on aptitude tests but may not perform well on achievement; this discrepancy speaks to unique abilities.”

Educators and administrators of gifted programs need to be educated about twice-exceptionality. As with most aspects of gifted education, this area of study is rarely covered in undergraduate education programs. Parents can present details of work and play habits in and out of school; documenting strengths as well as deficits. They can also share information, articles, and websites that deal with 2E kids with their child’s teacher. Check out the links below!

At this point in our chat, the discussion begged the question ~ Why do most professionals in the field of education prioritize deficits before strengths? Our participants said it best:

“Because we focus on raising the bar instead of raising the tide … ” Ruth Lyons

“Simply many are not trained to look at assets.” Meridian Learning

“Deficits are easier to see and federally mandated with an IEP. We still have this mentality that we can “fix” kids.” Alexandra Clough

It’s easy to see deficits first and federal mandates prioritize assistance in these areas through funding. Education policy is focused on bringing up the bottom; as with gifted, little attention is paid to excellence.

It is important to address exceptionalities together when developing an education plan. Opposing exceptionalities depend on accommodation and challenge to achieve the best possible outcomes. Failure to address both abilities and disabilities simultaneously can lead to frustration and even mental health issues.

Twice-exceptional children face social-emotional challenges. Many can understand social cues and context, but lack skills to engage in relationships with age-peers. Facing emotional setbacks, learning how to be resilient, and believing in their own abilities are all challenges for them. As Cassandra Figueroa, an educator in San Antonio, TX told us, ” With 2E you have complementary and contrary behaviors between the two exceptionalities, so it can be tricky to navigate.”

How can twice-exceptional students best be supported? 2E kids need to feel understood, be provided a caring environment, and encouraged to develop in areas of strength. A strong home-school support system rooted in understanding the basic needs of 2E students will strengthen their resolve. Educators should facilitate each student’s self-awareness and understanding of their own strengths with the introduction of role models and the assistance of mentors. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

 

Links:

Connecticut Association for the Gifted – Twice Exceptional

Council for Exceptional Children

Gifted But Learning Disabled: A Puzzling Paradox (PDF 1990)

NAGC White Paper: Twice Exceptionality (PDF)

Resources for Gifted Children with Special Needs

The Twice Exceptional Dilemma (PDF)

Top 10 Pieces of Advice for Parents of Uniquely Gifted Children

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

Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student (Amazon)

Wrights Law

Parenting Twice-Exceptional Children through Frustration to Success (pdf)

Improving Outcomes for 2E Children (pdf)

What It Means to Be 2E

The Exceptionality of Being Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

Twice Exceptional (2e) Child (YouTube 14:58)

Focus on Twice Exceptionality from TAGT Gifted Plus Division (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: 2E is

Sprite’s Site: What Make’s Them 2E

gtchat Freitag What Makes Them 2E

Picture Courtesy of Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site: Pleading the Pink Slipper

Sprite’s Site: Purple Riding Boots

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: Flocks and Shoes

gtchat Freitag Flocks and Shoes

Picture Courtesy of Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

#gtchat Blog: Mentoring Gifted Learners

To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strategies for Helping Bright Students with LD, ADHD and More (Amazon)

Girl Battling Dyslexia Named National Self-Advocate in Special Education

Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Hoagies Gifted: Twice-Exceptional = Exceptional Squared!

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum – Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

School for Twice Exceptional Students to Open in CT

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Disciplining Gifted Children

gtchat 04192016 Discipline

 

For a multitude of reasons, disciplining a gifted child can be difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst. Whether you are facing a ‘little lawyer’ or simply a child wise beyond their years, it is important to remember that they are still children who need guidance from time to time. Discipline should be construed as a means to teach, instruct, impart knowledge, guidance; rather than to punish. When adults confuse discipline and punishment, it’s hard for a child to learn from their mistakes. Children learn to fear failure when discipline is only conceived of as punishment for mistakes.

“Asynchronous development: false narratives around “maturity level” clashing with “IQ expectations.” ~ Tracy Fisher

The role of asynchronous development cannot be minimized when considering discipline for the gifted child. Asynchronous development defines a gifted child as experiencing many ages at once. Although they may possess an intellect that allows them to argue their position, they lack the maturity to accept reasonable limits on their behavior. Parents and teachers must be diligent not to succumb to arguing with children; consequences need to be enforced when established rules and conduct are not followed.

” Asynchronous behavior can make it tricky because the same kid who can manage calculus can’t make himself take a shower.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert

Gifted kids may experience academic success at an early age; later may revert to behavior deemed inappropriate for their age. Adults who don’t understand asynchronous development often misinterpret behavior; resort to punitive consequences.

How do we help gifted children cope with emotional intensity which may lead to bad or poor behavior?  Adults need to understand the role emotions play in the life of a gifted child; they may become overwhelming. All children experience emotions; it is the intensity of emotion that can lead to more serious concerns with gifted kids.

gtchat Discipline Photo courtesy Angela Abend

Graphic courtesy of Angela Abend

Society’s perception of conformity can affect how many view a gifted child’s behavior. Mis-perception of gifted behavior may lead adults to believing gifted kids are ‘too’ sensitive; ‘too’ perfectionistic. Some view gifted children as socially awkward; the gifted child begins to feel something wrong with them; self-doubt creeps in.

Sometimes misbehavior can be a sign of a more serious condition such as anxiety or depression rather than a discipline issue. Often a child may become withdrawn; being ‘quiet’ (beyond introversion) due to disengagement. Other signs which may signal a need for help include self-harm; aggressive behavior; threatening comments.

” Tackling misbehavior starts and ends with relationships. Talk to your kids. Treat them with respect. Teach strategies. Start with engagement. Give students a reason to be riveted, engaged, excited about learning. ” ~ Mary Phillips

What measures can be taken to prevent or reduce misbehavior in the classroom? Teachers should look for signs of disengagement and consider differentiation and/or personalized learning plans. Recognition and understanding that misbehavior may stem from boredom; early intervention with a more challenging curriculum can often be the answer. An appropriate response to misbehavior at school should coincide with a child’s age development stage. Valerie King, a teacher from Atlanta, GA, suggests, “More choice for students. More voice for students. More engagement!”

How to deal with misbehavior in the classroom? “Having reasonable expectations. Create a class culture of safety and acceptance. Anticipate. Intervene privately with kindness.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert

A transcript of the full chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

When Did Discipline Become a Bad Word?

Discipline for Different Ages

AUS: Raising Gifted Children

School Discipline: Standing Up for All Children in the Public School System

School and Learning Issues: A Closer Look at Giftedness

The Wildest Winds

Discipline and the Gifted Child

Gifted Children At Home (Amazon)

Meeting the Special Needs of Your Gifted Child

Monitoring Anxiety in Your Gifted Child

Four Ways to Reduce Behavior Problems 

How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: Boredom Bingo

8 Ways Discipline and Punishment are Not the Same

Image courtesy of morgueFile  Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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