Blog Archives

Guest: Christine Fonseca, Author of ‘Raising the Shy Child’

gtchat Fonseca Shy Child

This week, #gtchat welcomed back our friend, Christine Fonseca, Prufrock Press Author, to discuss her latest book Raising the Shy Child: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety. You can check out her website and blog, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and visit her on Goodreads. You can also preview her book at Google Books.

According to Christine, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) can be recognized by physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms may include headaches, nausea, palpitations, or choking. Paralyzing fear of humiliation, embarrassment by peers, excessive worry, negation, and avoidance are possible cognitive symptoms. Behavioral symptoms of SAD can include avoiding eye contact, avoiding being in the spotlight, avoiding social events, or school phobia.

Social Anxiety Disorder is more than being anxious for a moment. It can be a lifelong struggle if not dealt with early on. Kids who use excuses – constantly going to the nurse’s office, for example – to avoid certain tasks may be experiencing SAD. Because it may mimic other conditions, adults need to be responsible when dealing with a child’s anxiety!

Not all children with underdeveloped social skills will develop social anxiety. However, lacking social skills can set the stage for social anxiety. Christine told us, “SAD happens when a combination of things occur. This combo is different for everyone. Behavior inhibition, parenting style, and a traumatic event can all contribute to the development of SAD, as well as poor social skills.”

Practicing particular social skills can help any child. It sometimes helps lessen some anxiety. Acting out behaviors seem to follow anxiety. Parents and teachers need to stop and think before reprimanding a child. Kids who may be afraid of an activity may exhibit a behavior they believe will help them avoid the situation altogether. However, Christine reminded as that it is important to support giftedness before assuming SAD.

The conversation then turned to the role of perfectionism, sometimes associated with giftedness, in potential Social Anxiety Disorder. Christine believes that “perfectionism has a bad reputation.” [She] sees this as “task commitment – something that is ultimately good and necessary, but when perfectionism turns to paralysis and avoidance; THEN it is a problem. And yes, this can lead to SAD in some cases. With a mild case, you can teach social skills, work with the school to provide in class strategies, and employ CBT approaches.”

“For students experiencing SAD, support can include increased sensitivity [to the] anxiety, teaching calming techniques (deep breathing, etc) and developing safe zones at school,” Christine explained. “It’s Very important to NOT allow child to develop a habit of skipping or avoiding school or social events. This doesn’t help. [For] severe cases, use a counselor or therapist to assist. CBT and exposure methods are highly effective.”

Some behaviors come out of no where. Learning calming strategies beforehand; even practicing can be valuable. earning the triggers to anxiety can prove invaluable in the classroom as well as at home. For a more extensive review of the chat, a transcript may be found at Storify.

Raising the Shy Child Cover

Congratulations to Mr. Gelston, educator in his Virtual One Room Schoolhouse in Lexington, MA, who was the winner of a copy of Raising the Shy Child courtesy of the author!

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 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT 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 new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

How to Raise Shy Kids with Confidence

Publisher’s Weekly Select 2015 Parenting Titles

Shy Kids: Do We Really Need to Change Them?

Social Phobia at Medscape

Infant-Parent Attachment: Definition, Types, Antecedents, Measurement & Outcome 

Social Anxiety Disorder Fact Sheet DSM-V (pdf)

Social Anxiety in Children: Social Skills Deficit, or Cognitive Distortion? (pdf)

Use of Differential Reinforcement & Fading with Separation Anxiety Disorder

Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior (pdf)

When Your Child’s Exceptionality is Emotional: Looking Beyond Psychiatric Diagnosis via SENG

What is Social Anxiety?

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Dabrowski Quote

 

Overexcitabilities was a topic that had not been discussed on #gtchat since October of 2012, and obviously one that needed revisited considering the overwhelming number of votes it received in our weekly poll.

Kazimierz Dąbrowski is a familiar name in the gifted community as well as in the field of psychology. His theories of Positive Disintegration and Overexcitabilites, although not originally posited for gifted individuals only, were adopted by gifted advocates and academics as a way to explain many of the behaviors they saw in the gifted; particularly the concept of overexcitabilities.

Dąbrowski died in 1980, but two men who worked with him, Michael Piechowski and William Tillier, are closely associated with his work; albeit with significantly different interpretations. For a historical perspective, links have been included with this post to more fully cover this debate as it was not covered during the chat.

So exactly who was  Kazimierz Dąbrowski and how did his theories come to influence the gifted community? He was a Polish psychologist, psychiatrist and physician who lived from 1902 to 1980. His theories, as mentioned above, serve as a framework for understanding certain gifted characteristics. Dąbrowski believed ability/intelligence plus overexcitability predicted the potential for higher-level development. (Lind) For an excellent review of his influence on gifted theory, see this article by Sharon Lind at the SENG website.

Interview with Dąbrowski recorded in October 1975 in Edmonton (Canada) by PJ Reece

Concentrating on overexcitabilities, there are 5 types: Psychomotor, Sensual, Intellectual, Imaginational, and Emotional. Creative and gifted individuals appear to express overexcitabilities to a greater degree through increased intensity, awareness and sensitivity. These characteristics can often lead to misdiagnosis in gifted children by professionals unfamiliar and untrained in recognizing these traits.

Strategies have been developed for coping with overexcitabilities. Talking with and explaining the concept of overexcitabilities with those experiencing them tends to be a good coping strategy. In the case of children allowing them to ‘move’ and expend their energy in a safe and caring environment can be a huge benefit; especially in classroom settings. Provide stimulating and challenging coursework in educational settings for children with intellectual overexcitability can affect their lives in dramatic ways as well as prevent underachievement and boredom.

For a transcript of this chat, visit our Storify site.

 

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 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

Interview with Prof. Kazimierz Dąbrowski 1975 (YouTube 22:38)

Five Unexpected Traits of Gifted Students  from Byrdseed Gifted

Dąbrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration & Giftedness: Overexcitability Research Findings (pdf)

Living With Intensity: Understanding Sensitivity, Excitability & Emotional Development of the Gifted (Amazon)

Dąbrowski’s Over-excitabilities A Layman’s Explanation by Stephanie Tolan

Identifying Gifted Adolescents using Personality Characteristics: Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities (pdf)

Overexcitabilities & the Gifted Child from Duke TIP

Living with Intensity Understanding Giftedness through Dąbrowski’s Eyes

Overexcitabilities & Why They Matter for Gifted Kids

Overexcitabilities A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gifted Child (pdf)

Dąbrowski’s Theory & Existential Depression in Gifted Children & Adults (pdf) by Dr. James T. Webb

Relationships between Overexcitabilities, Big 5 Personality Traits & Giftedness in Adolescents via @sbkaufman

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities or Supersensitivities in Gifted Children

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)

Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration (Amazon)

Overexcitabilities & Sensitivities: Implications of Dabrowski’s TPD for Counseling the Gifted

Foundations for Understanding Social-Emotional Needs of Highly Gifted from Davidson Gifted

Mellow Out, They Say If I Only Could: Intensities & Sensitivities of the Young & Bright (Amazon)

Dąbrowski 201: Intro to Kazimierz Dąbrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration by William Tillier (pdf)

Point-Counter Point Piechowski and Tillier: Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration http://goo.gl/0bn3dV

Response to William Tillier’s “Conceptual differences between Piechowski and Dabrowski” (pdf)

Can Giftedness be Misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder? Empirical Evidence (pdf)

Thank you to Leslie Graves (President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children), Dr. Brian Housand (NAGC Board of Directors, #gtchat Advisory Board, Amy Harrington (SENG Board of Directors), Jo Freitag (Gifted Resources), Corin Goodwin (Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum), Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis (SENG Director and Medical Liaison) , Amanda Morin, and Jerry Blumengarten (Cybraryman).

The OEQ 2 Inventory (pdf)

Gifted Articles: Overexcitability on Livebinders

Educating the Educator – Gifted Education (AUS): Overexcitability

Dąbrowski’s Theory of Overexcitabilities

Photo of Kazimierz Dąbrowski

The Intellectual and Emotional Experience of Being Gifted and Talented

Overexcitabilities and Asynchronicity and Perfectionism! Oh, My!

Gifted: Overexcitabilities and Asynchronicity

Nurturing the Gifted Mind: Intellectual Overexcitabilities

Understood.org

Save the Gifted

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Brochures

Reducing the Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis from SENG

How to Help Your Grade-Schooler Manage Overexcitement

How to Help Your Middle- or High-Schooler Manage Overexcitement

GHF: Tips from an Occupational Therapist

Overexcitabilities on Livebinders from Leslie Graves

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page

Cybraryman’s Yoga Page

WCGTC World Conference 2015

Sprite’s Site Do You Know the Dabrowski Dogs?

Sprite’s Site Doggy Classroom Dynamics

Sprite’s Site Travelling with the Dabrowski Dogs

Sprite’s Site Critical Thinking

Sprite’s Site Be Creative with the Dabrowski Dogs

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids

JoysandChallengesTwiceExceptional

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 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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 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.

The Misdiagnosis Initiative from SENG

This week’s #gtchat was a follow-up to our recent interview with Dr. James Webb about the Misdiagnosis Initiative from SENG. A link to that interview appears in the links below.

SENG-Brochure

Since the interview, a major announcement by the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. had a major impact on this chat. The NIMH will no longer be supporting the DSM (Data and Statistical Manual for Diagnosing Mental Disorders). With the newest DSM-5 set to be released on May 24th by the American Psychiatric Association, this decision sent shock waves through the Psychiatric community. Justification for the decision was that in the future, diagnosis needs to be based on physiological results rather than on strictly observable behaviors.

DSM5

Unfortunately, this new approach is at least a decade off; leaving the DSM still a key diagnostic tool for most U.S. health care professionals. Ultimately, it may prove highly beneficial for gifted children and decrease the probability of misdiagnosis. Time will tell.

Links:

An interview w/Dr. James Webb of @giftedbooks & @SENG_Gifted on the “Misdiagnosis Initiative”

The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube) from @SENG_Gifted

A brochure titled “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children,” available from SENG

Grand Rounds lecture on misdiagnosis/dual diagnoses by Dr. James T. Webb, Univ of Wisconsin Medical School 

Article by Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis for Huffington Post, ‘The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness’

‘ADHD and Children Who Are Gifted’ by Webb & Latimer

‘Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children’ by Webb & others from @SENG_Gifted

‘Psychologists Familiar with Testing the Gifted & Exceptionally Gifted’ from @HoagiesGifted

‘Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children & Adults’ (book) from @giftedbooks

‘The NIMH Withdraws Support for DSM-5’

National Institute of Mental Health abandoning the DSM

“Psychiatry Divided as Mental Health ‘bible’ Denounced” New Scientist

NIMH moving beyond DSM

Autistic teenager tipped for Nobel Prize

Cybraryman’s ADHD Page

GHF’s Professionals’ Guide to Gifted Children

‘Identification and Assessment of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities’ (pdf)  Ruban/Reis

‘Texas Private IQ Testing Professionals’ recommended by Texas Parents of the Profoundly Gifted 

On Giftedness and 2E or Being ‘Twice Exceptional’ from Leslie Graves  

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