Category Archives: Mental Health

Coloring Outside the Lines – Growing Up Gifted

gtchat 04252017 Coloring

Growing up gifted has often been viewed through the elementary school prism that everyone should ‘stay within the lines’ when coloring, but a gifted child may want to do anything but … they yearn to color outside those lines! They march to their own drummer.

So … this begs the question … do societal attitudes affect the decision made by parents or an individual to forego confirming potential giftedness? Parents often make decisions based on prior personal experience; wanting to shield their children from negative experiences. Older gifted children want to ‘fit in’ and may attempt to avoid identification as gifted. There are also many gifted students who will not care about societal attitudes and go on to create their own path.

Being identified as gifted as a very young child can affect age-peer relations. Unfortunately, some kids can be cruel. Gifted kids may be singled out for being different. When young gifted kids are bullied for their ability, they may seek out older intellectual peers.

Negative aspects of identification include adults having unrealistic expectations concerning a child’s abilities and putting pressure on them to achieve. Gifted children are the subjects of many myths; adults and teachers may not understand apparent inconsistencies in ability and behaviors.

There are positive effects of being identified as gifted. Identification can be the basis for accommodations and interventions in gifted individual education plans. It allows for exploration of possibilities in areas where a gifted child can achieve their passions.

Is giftedness something that continues across the lifespan? Gifted children grow up to be gifted adults and this shouldn’t be based solely on achievement. The role of environment cannot be minimized; it’s effect must be understood. Many people do not realize they are gifted until adulthood.

Being identified as gifted as a child can affect how someone parents their own children. Many parents base their parenting style on how they responded to being considered gifted or not. Those who were identified as gifted may have a better understanding of what it means for their child.

It is important for adults who work with gifted children to fully understand the nature of giftedness and to not have expectations based on myths or incorrect information. 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 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:

Creating Contexts for Individualized Learning in Early Childhood Education (pdf)

Gifted Children Have Special Needs, Too

Development of “out of the box” Thinking in Young Children

Raising Children Who Are as Good as They Are Smart

AUS: Recognition of Giftedness in Early Years of School Perspectives of Teachers, Parents & Children (pdf)

Giftedness Across the Lifespan: Do Gifted Children = Gifted Adults?

Giftedness Across a Lifespan

Bright Adults (Great Potential Press)

Off the Charts! Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (pdf, preview)

Many Faces of Gifted (pdf, PP)

The Two-Edged Sword of Compensation: How the Gifted Cope with Learning Disabilities (pdf)

Embracing Our Exceptionalities, Eccentricities & Sensitivities

Can I Just be Not Gifted for a Little 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Advertisements

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

gtchat-01312017-self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a psychological construct attributed to Dr. Albert Bandura and is considered one of the most important developments in psychology as it encompasses motivation, learning, self-regulation, and human accomplishment. It is broadly defined as one’s internal belief about how their ability impacts events affecting their life.

Self-efficacy beliefs form through mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasions, and physiological cues. The most influential source of self-efficacy is considering one’s own performance. Confidence follows past performance and influences future behavior in developing one’s self-efficacy.

The idea of educating gifted children with academic peers may be one way to develop self-efficacy beliefs. Children are always comparing themselves to other children. Easy comparisons can make for overestimating one’s own ability. Peer comparisons resulting from ability grouping can be detrimental to self-efficacy of less-able age-mates.

Mastery-based learning can have a strong influence in the development self-efficacy as well. Mastery experience is the prime factor in developing self-efficacy and necessary to positive outcomes when viewing ‘self’. Mastery-based learning is how children determine what they’re good at and how they define potential personal success.

Self-efficacy beliefs can have motivational consequences. Belief in what one has accomplished influences future choices and provides inspiration for future success. A sense of competence can motivate a student to attempt more difficult tasks and consider them as challenges. The existence of high self-efficacy is usually accompanied by feelings of calm when faced with tough tasks.

What are the implications for teachers in teaching self-efficacy in schools? Teachers need to take seriously the importance of nurturing self-efficacy and how it can have beneficial or destructive influence in a student’s life. Teachers are often first academic role model for students and can empower self-assurance or diminish a student’s self-efficacy. Young students need guidance on self-appraisal as they rely on adult assessment to create judgement of their own capabilities. Teachers can ensure robust self-efficacy for students by providing appropriately challenging and meaningful work. For more from this chat, a  transcript 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 14.00 NZST/12.00 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:

An Introduction to Self-Efficacy

What Influences Self-Efficacy?

Self-Efficacy Theory: Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents (Adolescence and Education) (Amazon)

Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change (pdf)

4 Ways to Develop Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy During Childhood & Adolescence: Implications for Teachers & Parents (pdf)

Self-Efficacy Development in Adolescences (pdf)

Sources of Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Middle School Students (pdf)

Peer Group as Context for Development of Young Adolescent Motivation & Achievement (pdf)

The Peer Network as a Context for the Socialization of Academic Engagement (pdf)

Using Self-Efficacy Theory as a Guide for Instructional Practice (pdf)

Self-Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters

Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (YouTube 3:05)

Classroom Strategies to Improve Student Self-efficacy and Learning Outcomes 

Albert Bandura: Self-Efficacy for Agentic Positive Psychology

The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action

Cybraryman’s You Matter Page

Struggling with a Solution? Make it a Design Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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.

Your Rainforest Mind with Guest, Paula Prober

gtchat 06282016 Rainforest

 

Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway during rush hour? Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time? Like the rain forest, are you sometimes intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, and/or idealistic? And, like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws? ~ Paula Prober, MS, MEd

For a change of pace, this week #gtchat discussed gifted adults – you know … the kids who grew up! Not surprisingly, many of the issues facing gifted youth are present long into adulthood. Author Paula Prober joined us to discuss her new book, Your Rainforest Mind, from GHF Press.

Your Rainforest Mind – also the name of Paula’s Blog – is a metaphor used to describe the gifted mind: complex, creative, sensitive, intense, lively, colorful and misunderstood. Paula finds that it helps people get what giftedness is without the stigma. She explained, “The rainforest is the most complex ecosystem. It has the ability to contribute in a big way. It is not better than others; just more complex.”

What strategies can be used to address heightened sensitivities; sometimes referred to as overexcitabilities? Paula suggested, “Self-acceptance, understanding, self-soothing, relaxation strategies, mindfulness and artistic expression” can all be used. Additional strategies mentioned by Paula included, “time in nature, spiritual practices, talking to a friend, or visualization of a container to hold emotions.” She also indicated that it is important to identify anxiety triggers such as noise, visuals, textures, criticism, empathy or family members. If necessary, you should attempt to reduce exposure to these things.

Positive outcomes are possible when Rainforest Mind adults learn to redirect their passion.  Paula pointed out first one must realize having lots of passions is not dysfunctional or shallow. Rather, it is more about multipotentiality. What this means for careers is that it’s okay to change paths over one’s lifetime; look for a job with variety depth  and challenge. Be creative in crafting a career that works for you. With regard to parenting, recognize that having a Rainforest Mind is a complex challenge on many levels. Paula also recommends keeping a journal of ideas so they don’t get lost, growing self-acceptance and prioritizing time for intellectual stimulation.

Perfectionism – a topic we’ve covered several times on chat – is a concern for Rainforest Minds. First and foremost, know the difference between healthy (intrinsic) and unhealthy (extrinsic) perfectionism. It is best to aim for harmony, balance, justice and precision; all associated with intrinsic perfectionism. A person needs to prioritize what’s worthy of striving for ‘perfect’ and what can just be excellent or even mediocre because it is not important. Extrinsic perfectionism comes from early pressure to achieve, please others, to not disappoint or from dysfunctional family behaviors.

Should adults consider being tested for giftedness if they were not identified as a child? In most cases, Paula told us that it is not necessary. Whether or not you possess a Rainforest Mind can generally be determined from traits. Also, tests are not always accurate. 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:

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults & Youth (Amazon)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Blog)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Website)

Understanding Your Rainforest Mind Counseling & Gifted Adults (pdf)

GHF Press

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

The “I” of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child Roeper (Amazon)

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging across the Lifespan by Ellen Fiedler (Amazon)

Overexcitabilities — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

Quiet Revolution (Susan Cain – website)

It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change (Amazon)

Gifted Shmifted

Perfectionism’s Twin Sister

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

Living with Intensity (Amazon)

“Perfectionism” with Guest, Lisa Van Gemert

Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams (Amazon)

Puttylike: A Home for Multipotentialites!

Rebels at Work

Beautiful Imperfections

The Motivation for Perfectionism

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius (Amazon)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: