Category Archives: gifted and talented

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

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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.

Living With and Managing Intensity

Intense gifted behaviors are expressed in many ways and often misinterpreted by professionals who lack training in recognizing them as related to giftedness. Intense behaviors for gifted individuals may include emotional outbursts, preferring to be alone, excessive talking, stubbornness, being ‘bossy’, or even appearing conceited.

Why shouldn’t these intense behaviors be pathologized in gifted children? Giftedness is not an illness. It should be understood; not diagnosed. Pathologizing gifted behavior can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate responses can harm the child. Pathologizing typical behavior for a gifted child can make the child feel there is something wrong with them; that they are somehow abnormal.

Asynchronous development, many ages at once, can exacerbate feelings associated with the maturing process. It’s essential that adults … parents, teachers, professionals … respect the child’s feelings regardless of chronological age.

Teachers can seek professional development about giftedness and how it relates to academics and SEL independently. They can develop a plan in advance (GIEP/IEP); watch for escalation patterns or signs of impending situation; and be prepared to take action such as removing student to a neutral setting. Teachers can advocate for modifications to the student’s learning experience and respect student voice.

Parents should actively build strong parent-child relationship based on respect, authentic conversation on intense emotions, empathy, and time spent together. They should refrain from threatening language keeping own emotions in check, learn to listen and anticipate intense situations, and practice their responses in advance.

What are some important factors when choosing a mental health professional? When looking for a mental health professional for assessment or counseling, parents should meet alone with them before introducing their child. They need to feel comfortable talking to them. It’s essential that mental health professionals self-identify as having worked with gifted individuals and have specific training in understanding giftedness.

A transcript of this chat can 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:

Where’s the Off Switch?

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

The Intensity of Giftedness

Best Tips for Parents of a GT Child

Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

Why Can’t They Loosen Up? Intensities of Gifted Youth

The Intrinsic Intensity of the Gifted Child

Living with Intensity Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (GPP)

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings (2nd ed.)

Parenting Gifted Kids is an Emotional Rollercoaster Here’s How to Find Great Peace

Befriending Anxiety to Reach Potential: Strategies to Empower Our Gifted Youth

Supporting Students with Gifted-Talented Potential In High Need Schools: A Portraiture Study (pdf)

The Bright Side of Overexcitabilities in Gifted Children

Giftedness and Intensity

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children (pdf)

Helping Gifted Children Cope with Intense Emotions

Giftedness and Intensity/Complexity

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth

Coping with Emotional Intensity (pdf)

The Moral Sensitivity of Gifted Children and the Evolution of Society (Silverman)

Talented and Gifted Presentation by Jim Delisle (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Sprite’s Site: GT Chat Labels: Good, Bad or Simply Wrong

Sprite’s Site: Doggy Classroom Dynamics

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities and Theory of Positive Disintegration

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Overexcitabilities (OEs)

The Columbus Group

‘Mellow Out’ They Say. If I Only Could. Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright (website)

Living & Learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Living With Intensity (Amazon)

Parenting Emotionally Intense Gifted Children

 

Photo #1 courtesy of Unsplash

Photo #2 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo #3 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo #4 courtesy of Unsplash

Photo #5 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Role of Technology in Gifted Education

Last week during chat, we discussed cluster grouping of gifted students. Although a strategy to be considered, technology can be a better option for GT students to explore passions and work at their own pace. It is a natural fit for GT students working in STEM areas who are conducting research or working with mentors at an early age. Emerging technologies such as VR, Augmented Reality, and AI are all appealing to GT students and they are capable of utilizing the tech to their advantage.

Tech can be used to connect GT students on social networks such as Twitter to give and receive authentic feedback to their work. It expands their audience to a global level in many cases. GT students can use online resources for independent, self-directed learning; research; and access to highered online courses.

Special populations within the gifted community often struggle to form and maintain relationships with age-peers. Online opportunities can put them in contact with intellectual peers. Technology resources, especially for low-SES and rural students, need to be available not only during school hours; but, also after-school and during school breaks as well.

Asynchronous development can be a factor for younger GT students who may be drawn into groups of older students who may be intellectual peers, but much more mature. Parental and teacher guidance should be utilized. Memory construction (and recall) and sustaining attentive focus is a concern for some twice-exceptional students. Adult supervision may be required by parents, teachers or support staff to ensure optimal learning occurs. In recent years, online bullying of GT students has steadily increased. Before beginning networking, students should understand the importance of reporting of any incidences to an adult.

Accommodating a wide range of abilities in a single classroom can be nearly impossible for any teacher. Technology can be a great asset in differentiating curriculum, tiering assignments, and scaffolding learning. It can enhance learning experiences by providing educators with high quality, ongoing professional development; something that was nonexistent just a few years ago. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool and not be considered a learning outcome. It should raise awareness; provide answers to questions; and avenues to finding new questions to ask.

Is online learning a viable alternative to traditional classrooms for GT students? Yes and no. There are certainly excellent online learning experiences available. Many resources have been the result of meeting the demands of gifted homeschoolers and GT students isolated in rural school districts. Although many GT students excel in online environments, others report preferring to interact with peers and teachers face-to-face in the classroom whenever possible.

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:

Challenging Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf)

How to Put the Six Blended Learning Models into Action

Differentiating Technology for Gifted Learners

Technology in Gifted Education: A Review of Best Practices and Empirical Research (pdf)

Using Technology in Gifted and Talented Education Classrooms: The Teachers’ Perspective (pdf)

Computer Technology for the Gifted and Talented Child! (pdf)

Technology in Gifted Education: Annotated Bibliography

The Role of Technology in Gifted and Talented Education

6 Must Have Apps, Tools, and Resources for Gifted Children (2017)

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Using Technology with Gifted Students

3 Ways Technology Can Help You Support Gifted Students

How to Identify, Understand and Teach Gifted Children

Teaching Strategies for Gifted Students

Students that Are Gifted Need to Be Challenged

For Frustrated Gifted Students, Distance Learning Offers a World of Opportunities

5 Activities to Try in Your Gifted and Talented Classroom

The Neglected Readers: Differentiating Instruction for Academically Gifted and Talented Learners (pdf)

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers

Simple Truth: Technology Changes. The Skills We Believe in Don’t.

In Celebration of Teaching Geeks!

Cybraryman’s Technology Page

Cybraryman’s Technology Integration Page

The Impact of Student-Created Apps

Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, and Create Compassionate Classrooms (Book)

Skype in the Classroom

ePals

Cybraryman’s Connected Educators/Students Page

Technology and the Gifted Child

Storybird

Assistive Technology for the 2e Learner

Meeting the Needs of Gifted and Talented Students through Technology Supported Distance Teaching

2e Students: Who They Are and What They Need

Medieval Helpdesk (with English subtitles) (YouTube 2:44)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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