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Best Tips for Parents of a GT Child

 

Parenting and specifically parenting gifted children has changed dramatically over the past several decades due to the resources and camaraderie afforded by social media. Online groups provide a sense of community for parents of gifted kids who were once separated both geographically as well as socially. Today parents don’t have to make the journey alone. In recent years, parents have also benefited by learning about ways to get together in real life at conferences and regional meetups that were once unknown. Parents can also access much needed information and advice on their own schedule. The convenience of online resources available 24/7 cannot be overlooked.

Parenting is often based on one’s own life experiences, but the challenges of life in today’s world can be very different than they were a generation ago. Parents should seek out current advice whenever possible. The role of asynchronous development can’t be minimized when dealing with life’s big transitions. It differentiates the experiences most gifted children face when transitioning to new educational experiences and meeting life’s milestones. Parents should build a strong emotional bond with their gifted children early in life and consider themselves as partners in the transition process. Each child is an individual with unique attributes and challenges which play a role in that process.

What steps can parents take if they suspect their child is twice-exceptional? A twice-exceptional child will exhibit both abilities and disabilities; strengths and weaknesses at the same time. It is easy for even professionals to misdiagnose these kids. Parents should seek help from those familiar with giftedness. Understanding the needs of twice-exceptional children is a necessary step toward being successful in life. Parents are the first and best advocates. Knowledge about twice-exceptionalism is a powerful tool. Twice-exceptionality is a challenge, but not a roadblock. Once accommodated, 2e kids can lead productive and successful lives. Being proactive in diagnosis and seeking help is the first step.

When should parents seek professional help regarding their gifted child? When that behavior impacts their lives in any significant way, parents should at the least consider a professional diagnosis. When children enter the school system, parents are often guided to seek professional help regarding concerns they might not see in a home setting.  If parents see sudden changes in behavior, a decline in school work, or issues with interpersonal relationships between their child and others; they should seek professional intervention.

What should a parent who is experiencing difficulty getting educational services for their gifted child do? Although it shouldn’t be the case, parents often find themselves on the opposite side of educational priorities from their child’s school personnel. It’s important to document everything in writing. Know that the school will be doing the same. It may not seem fair, but parents need to keep their cool when advocating on behalf of their child. Patience can be beneficial in getting the best educational placement as well as serving as a role model for their child. There are many factors – positive and negative – weighed by a school district in providing services to an identified gifted child. Parents need to be aware of the school’s philosophy on GT education and the availability of resources.

Being the parent of a gifted child has its ups and downs, but things really do eventually work out. The ‘little lawyer’ in elementary school turned defiant teen in high school will one day be your best friend. Networking with other parents of gifted children is a great way to save your sanity, know that you aren’t alone, and provide for ‘strength in numbers’ when working with schools to provide the highest quality of education for your child.

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 2PM NZST/Noon 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:

My Son Is A ‘Gifted Child’ Here’s Why Raising Him Has Been Anything But Easy

For Gifted Kids, Better to be Hands-on or -off?

Understanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out: A Guide to the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids (Delisle)

The Social-Emotional Well-Being of the Gifted Child and Perceptions of Parent and Teacher Social Support (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional College Students Identified as Gifted and Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Case Study (pdf)

A Middle School Survival Guide for The Parents of Gifted Children

Gifted Resource Center

Wonderschooling: Living in a World of Input Overload

Grayson School Blog: The Intrinsic Intensity of the Gifted Child

Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page: Parents of Gifted Children

Tips for Handling Gifted Children: For Parents and Teachers

Why Being Gifted Isn’t Always a Gift

When Gifted Kids Move: Tips for Parents and Districts

What Most Parents of Gifted Children Wish They had Known about College Planning

Choices Exclude: The Existential Burden of Multipotentiality

TAGT Resources for Parents

NAGC Resources for Parents

SENG

When Your Gifted Child Disappoints

Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities Considerations Packet

Parent–Teacher Conflict Related to Student Abilities: The Impact on Students and the Family–School Partnership (pdf)

Gifted Development Center

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Page

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Parents of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Kids Facebook Group

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

Crushing Tall Poppies (blog)

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

gtchat 09132018 Self Care

Parents of GT/2E (twice exceptional: gifted with learning differences) kids constantly face a barrage of misinformation about their children from friends, family and those responsible for making decisions about their child’s education. Parenting GT/2E can be physically and emotionally draining; often accompanied by feelings of loneliness. Our guests on Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT this week were Kate Arms and Jen Merrill who guided us through this difficult topic.

“Social expectations are problematic because our kids don’t fit. We have to grieve unmet expectations we didn’t realize we had absorbed from the culture.” ~ Kate Arms

Whereas self-care, in general, seems to focus solely on the individual/adult; GT/2E parents must weigh the needs of their children with their own needs. Mainstream self-care devotes strategies targeting the ‘self’ with little recognition that care for others may actually impact care of oneself.

“Our kids often have sensory issues that can be quite extreme and may not make sense to others. Unfortunately, a lot of teacher prep programs do little or nothing to prepare teachers for having our 2ekids in their classrooms. That, then, becomes a challenge for US. Schools frequently only want to talk about servicing our 2ekids in terms of mitigating their DISability. Rarely will they deign to even recognize their ABILITIES.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, #gtchat Advisor

Parents of GT/2E kids should listen to the ‘little voice inside their heads’ when they notice a change in their own mood or behavior; seek help sooner rather than later. Proactive self-care may involve being cognizant of one’s diet, engaging relaxation techniques, and increasing physical activity. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re just too exhausted to have a healthy lifestyle.

“Gifted/2e parents need lots of self-compassion. Their kids are more challenging than most, so the parents are likely to “fail” to meet many of their own parenting expectations.” ~ Jen Merrill

Parenting any kid is not an easy job and most of the manuals are out-of-date by the time your child is born. GT/2E kids take extra effort and know-how. Education is the best solution … learn about self-care. Self-regulation must be anticipated in times of crisis and prepared for through learning to recognize a crisis situation;then, practice what to do ahead of time. Furthermore, model cooperation and attentive behavior for your child.

In the aftermath of a crisis, a quick emotional recovery can happen if a parent has a plan in place and learns to anticipate when to activate it. One should consider learning emergency calming techniques in the event of a parenting crisis.

There are many great books, blogs and websites that are devoted to self-care and further resources dedicated to GT/2E parenting. Our guests, Kate and Jen offer parenting classes specifically concerning these issues. Follow them on Twitter for more information! If you are the parent or teacher of a twice-exceptional child, we urge you to view the transcript of this chat found at Wakelet and then check out the resources below.

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.

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

Resources:

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

Support for Parents of Twice-Exceptional Kids

Laughing@Chaos (Jen’s Blog)

About Kate Arms at Signal Fire Coaching

About Jen Merrill at Laughing@Chaos

Voices of 2e Profile: Jen Merrill, Blogger and Author

2e Tuesday: Six Steps to Parental Self Care

Self-Care and YOU

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids 

Successful Parenting Strategies for Gifted Kids

Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids

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

What is Twice Exceptional?

Blog Hop November 2014: Gifted Self-Care

Stress Management Toolbox: Nine Tips for Parents of Gifted Children

GHF Blog Hop: Sleep and Other Forms of Parental Self-Care

Thrive with Intensity

Breathe2Relax App (iTunes)

Mindfulness Meditation for Kids (audio)

Hoagies Gifted: What Does It Mean to Be Twice Exceptional (2e)?

2e News

All About Twice-Exceptional Students

SENG: Articles on Twice-Exceptional

GHF Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Uniquely Gifted: Resources for Gifted Children with Special Needs

Third Factor: A Magazine for Catalysts and Creatives

Photos courtesy of Kate Arms and Jen Merrill.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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

gtchat 02152018 Boost GHF

The term ‘twice-exceptional children’ covers a group of gifted children with high intellectual ability, but also with learning differences; differences which may confound both teachers and parents at first. They often require a more aggressive educational plan to provide supports beyond strictly academic interventions. This week #gtchat welcomed Kelly Hirt, author of Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children from GHF Press.

“While both groups (gifted and twice-exceptional) have high IQs, 2e learners possess unevenly dispersed strengths. Their giftedness can mask their disabilities or the opposite when their disabilities prevent them from reaching their potential. ~ Kelly Hirt

Kelly Hirt is a public school teacher with a MA in Curriculum Development, homeschooling parent, blogger, and writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. She has taught elementary school for twenty-five years in Washington State. During that time she served as a student teacher mentor, district level trainer and an active member during leadership teams and curriculum adoption reviews.

‘Intensities’ and ‘asynchronous development’ are both possible attributions of gifted and twice-exceptional but not necessarily. In fact, intensities as described by Dabrowski were not intended to be attributable to ‘gifted’ only. Dabrowski’s categorized intensities involved heightened sensitivities in areas such as intellect, emotions, imagination; among others. Asynchronous development, first described by the Columbus Group, involved being ‘many ages at once’.

“2e children are often impacted by more than one OE (overexcitabilities). Often the higher IQ, there is a greater asynchronous development and a greater impact from their intensities.” ~ Kelly Hirt

Within the general education community, there is little awareness about what exactly twice-exceptionality is and how to intervene on behalf of these children. Advocacy most often falls to parents. As with gifted education, little to no coursework is required of education majors at the undergraduate level. Because both conditions may mask each other, it is important to understand twice-exceptionality at a very deep level. It’s important to advocate for twice-exceptional children because too few responsible adults do. And let’s not forget we are talking about exceptional kids who can profoundly benefit from caring and appropriate accommodations.

“2e children are complex and many educators still do not understand them. When 2e kids are unseen and underserved, behaviors, frustration, and self-esteem issues can often follow.” ~ Kelly Hirt

What steps can parents take once they learn their child is identified as twice-exceptional? Take time to experience relief; to acknowledge that you do, in fact, know your child best. Understand that you have faced challenges as a parent that other parents may not comprehend. Once identified, educate yourself about twice-exceptionality. Find other parents or organizations which can support you and your child.

What is ‘Boost’ and how can educators implement it in schools and homeschooling? As Kelly’s title tells us, Boost presents 12 ways to effectively lift up twice-exceptional children with dignity and compassion. Boost encompasses strategies respectful of the twice-exceptional child and recognizes the need to have multiple approaches/tools in the parents’ and teachers’ toolboxes.

Educators should have access to professional development which provides information about twice-exceptionality and strategies to engage these students both academically and emotionally. Educators and parent-educators would benefit from learning about best practices in both special education and gifted education. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

We also encourage you to Check out TAGT’s Gifted Plus Equity Conference in June which includes 2E sessions.

Boost TAGT Gifted Plus Conference

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 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and 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:

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Gifted Homeschoolers Forum)

My Twice Baked Potato (Blog)

My Twice Baked Potato: About Kelly

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development (GHF Press) (Amazon)

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

Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits (Amazon)

Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (Amazon)

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds (Amazon)

Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential (Amazon)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling  (GHF Press) (Amazon) https://goo.gl/uIfTyI

GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Are gifted children getting lost in the shuffle?

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

GHF: Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Page

GHF: Twice Exceptional (2e) Issues

GHF Bloghop: Gifted 2E Kids: What Makes Them Twice-Exceptional

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

GHF: Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Hoagies’ Bloghop : 2e Kids

GHF Online

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

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Inconvenient Student

gtchat 12142017 Inconvenient

The twice-exceptional student has long been seen as the ‘inconvenient’ student by many educators since the term was first introduced into our educational vernacular. But who exactly is the twice-exceptional … sometimes referred to as 2E … student? This week’s guest on #gtchat, Dr. Mike Postma, recently wrote a book addressing this often misunderstood population. The Inconvenient Student (sample pages here as pdf) provides parents and educators with a unique perspective rarely seen in 2E literature … a view from the educator.

Dr. Postma is an educator, parent of 2E children and the Executive Director of SENG. His credentials lend an insight into twice-exceptionality that has been missing, but sorely needed by those touched by the lives of these extraordinary kids. We appreciate Mike taking time out from his busy schedule to chat with us.

So, how should we define twice-exceptionality in educational terms and should we even try? Within the same child can reside high intellectual ability and mental health challenges. Either may mask the other. “Twice-exceptional (2e) individuals evidence exceptional ability and disability which results in a unique set of circumstances.” (K. Dickson in The Inconvenient Student, p. 20) According to Dr. Postma, “There are a number of definitions but the essence is that 2e persons have dual exceptionalities.” Carol Raymond, M.Ed., of EA Young Academy in Texas, reminded us of the importance of the ADA and its implications for the twice-exceptional student; specifically, “The ultimate outcome of an individual’s efforts should not undermine a claim of disability.”

There are characteristics teachers should look for if they suspect a student may be twice-exceptional. 2E students often exhibit a ‘disconnect’ between performance and ability. Look for discrepancies. Asynchronous development will make assessment more challenging; all avenues should be pursued because there may be multiple disabilities and abilities.

“Teachers should be looking for a number of things: flashes of brilliance, high intensities, evidence of creative thinking and problem solving, discrepancy data on formalized assessments, inconsistent performance…to name just a few.  I have yet to meet a 2e child that is exactly similar to another … all present unique profiles and thus require unique accommodations…however, there are patterns that can be detected by the astute teacher.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

What are some successful strategies for teaching 2E students in the classroom? Always seek first to nurture strengths before accommodating disabilities. An effort should be made to identify the exact abilities and disabilities before determining specific interventions.   Use a combination of simultaneous supports – gifted intervention with OT or support personnel.

“In hiring staff I always look for empathy first; an understanding of what it is to be a 2e student. Basic strategies include flexible teaching, teaching to strengths; first to assist in remediating areas of weakness, sensory awareness, use of depth, breadth, and complexity. 2E kids need extra time for tests and assignments … they tend to be slow processors.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

Strengths and weaknesses can present differently in 2E kids. Children with intellectual disabilities will not present the same as gifted children who also have intellectual challenges. Intellectual ability can sometimes compensate for the weaknesses and make identification harder.

“Adults need to understand the differences between misbehavior and brain function. In most cases, when a 2e child is acting out, the issue is a function of limbic delay or the limbic system being overwhelmed. At that point the child needs to reset in a safe environment. In addition, due to limbic delay, skills such as executive functioning, language development, emotional regulation are not present ‘in the moment’. Adults need to work on building these skills in 2e kids rather than punishing them for ‘overreacting’.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

Finally, we explored the difference between underachievement and non-production. Mike explained, “There is a big difference. Underachievement is a psychological disorder that needs to be addressed by professionals while non-production (fairly common with g/t kids is a conscious decision not to do the work for a host of reasons: boring, busy work, low level. If a student can articulate why he or she will not due the work, that would be non-production whereas an underachiever will not be able to explain the issue.” 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and 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:

The Inconvenient Student Critical Issues in the Identification and Education of Twice-Exceptional Students (Amazon)

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives (Amazon)

Identification of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities in a Response-to-Intervention Era (pdf)

Identification and Assessment of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities (pdf)

Supporting Twice-Exceptional Students in the Classroom (pdf)

Gifted and Dyslexic: How the Talent-centered Model Works

Introduction Supporting Twice Exceptional African American Students: Implications for Classroom Teaching (pdf)

Empirical Investigation of Twice Exceptionality: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? (pdf)

The Goldilocks Question: How to Support your 2e Child and Get it “Just Right” 

Is Executive Functioning the Missing Link for Many Gifted Students?

The Six Types of Gifted Child: The Twice-exceptional

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Sprite’s Site: De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

U.S. Department of Education: Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (pdf)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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