Blog Archives

Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning

gtchat 04042017 SEL

 

“We know from human history and the latest learning science that success comes from the combination of academic knowledge and the ability to work with others. We need public education to reflect this.” ~ Walter Isaacson, The Aspen Institute

Social-emotional learning has come to be acknowledged as an intricate part of academic success and personal well-being. It is how we acquire and effectively apply knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage emotions. Social-emotional learning helps us set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions.

Gifted students are constantly balancing academic endeavors with intense feelings and  greatly benefit from social-emotional learning. They often feel like they don’t “fit in”; and may be the subject of bullying. Asynchronous development can affect social-emotional aspects of gifted student’s life; they need social-emotional learning for its inherent coping skills.

Goals for social-emotional learning should consider acquiring skills that foster self-control and problem-solving; tools needed for success in life. Many schools acknowledge the benefits of social-emotional learning for academic achievement.

Assessing social-emotional learning can include asking students to identify facial expressions to measure social awareness. Teachers can track how long students will persevere through frustrating tasks as a measure of self-control. However, assessing information on friendships may be different for gifted students; different criteria should be used.

What are some inherent problems with using pre-packaged Social-emotional Learning Programs for gifted students? They include: progress is rigid; students are forced to pair or team with non-intellectual peers; and don’t meet the unique needs of gifted students or their asynchronous development. They accentuate differences felt by gifted kids and force them to comply with rules they may not agree with. (Casper)

Social-emotional learning is not a single program or teaching method. It involves coordinated strategies across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities. It is competencies and contexts for teaching them which should reflect the overall educational environment.

Check out the links below as we have added many additional ones since the chat. A transcript of this chat may be found on our Storify page.

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 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:

Online Tool Attaches Hard Numbers to Social-Emotional Skill-Building

Want Social-Emotional Learning to Work? The Careful Balance of Tech and Relationships

Should Emotions Be Taught in Schools?

Danger in a Can: Why Canned SEL Skill Programs in Schools Can Harm Gifted Ss More Than Help

What Are the 21st-Century Skills Every Student Needs?

Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students

How to be More Empathetic (Video)

SEL Part of NYC Charter’s Foundation

Assessing Social Emotional Skills Can Be Fuzzy Work

Chicago School Revamps Model to Focus on Personalized SEL

Building Our Emotional Intelligence Future: How Development of Affective Computing and Artificial EI Transform Relationship with Technology

Gifted children: Emotionally immature or emotionally intense?

Encouraging Emotional Intelligence

Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence and Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Feeling it all: Dabrowski’s Psychomotor Overexcitability

Teach Empathy with Literature

Behavior Expectations and How to Teach Them

Embedding Social Emotional Learning Across the Curriculum

Rethinking How Students Succeed

How 2 Minutes of SEL Can Change the Tone for the Day

Building Habits of Success and Measuring What Matters

National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning (pdf)

Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (Infographic)

Summit Olympus is Placing Learning in Students’ Hands (Podcast)

Blended, Project-Based and Social Emotional Learning at Thrive Public Schools

Thrive Public Schools: Social Emotional Learning

12 SEL Organizations Making a Difference

Teaching Children to be Emotionally Intelligent

For Every $1 Spent on SEL, There’s an $11 Return

Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School (pdf)

Principles for Kindness: How to Instill Empathy in the Classroom

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.

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development

gtchat 10092015 Writing Your Own Script

 

This week, #gtchat welcomed Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and Mika Gustavson, MFT; authors of “Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development”, the latest book in the GHF Press Perspectives In Gifted Homeschooling Series. It marks a departure from their previous focus of finding the right academic fit for a child in their first book Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child to guiding parents on how to facilitate the development of friendships for gifted and twice-exceptional children.

Making the Choice GHF

We began our discussion by considering why  gifted and twice-exceptional children struggle to find others with the same interests and how levels of friendship play a role. So often, age-peers do not share interests  with these kids due to asynchronous development and the less cited fact that true peers are scarce. Dave Mayer pointed out, “Many seek the same level of intensity regarding a concept or activity, not just mild interest or friendly amiability.” Thus, the gifted child will not relate well to others as well. The authors referenced the work of Miraca Gross in “Play Partner” or “Sure Shelter”: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship.

There are times when some parents have difficulty separating their own needs from those of their children. They must be honest with themselves; it’s not the child’s role to fulfill the aspirations of their parents. There are also parents who are gifted, but were never identified. Their dissatisfaction with the school system may stem from personal frustration and unmet needs as a child. Sometimes a simple open and honest dialog with your child can solve the problem.

Overexcitabilites and asynchronous development both play roles in the development of friendships. Mika told us, “One child may be on different levels emotionally, behaviorally, intellectually.” Corin added, “Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.”

gtchat 10092015 Writing Your Own Script Graphic

So, what role should parent’s play in their gifted/2E kids’ friendships? Each child is unique with different needs that must be reflected in the parent’s participation in their lives. Many factors must be taken into consideration as Corin stated, “Factors including age, development, tired or not tired, sensory input, one-on-one or groups, hungry, etc. Don’t expect consistency.” Parents may need to act as facilitators by providing opportunities for intellectual peers to meet.  Jaime of Online G3 said, “Parents can model healthy relationships, with together time, alone time, and finding ways to connect on various levels.” As a child grows, these needs change and as Jen Merrill told us, “Eventually you have to back off; I’m kinda there now. Set up events and get outta the way.”

“Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.” ~ Corin Barsily Goodwin

How can parents be sure they are encouraging independence in their child by the actions they take? It’s important to look for social growth in your child’s behavior. Mika said, “Remember this is about scaffolding – giving your child a hand up and the tools to become independent.” According to Corin, “Scaffolding is an investment in their future independence, really. Some folks believe that kids develop in lockstep, but that’s not true. Some develop evenly; many don’t. And that’s OK.” Care M. summed it up, “I think it’s a lot like being at the playground. Grit teeth, hope for best, be there to pick up the pieces if they fall off.” A transcript 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 Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 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 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:

Defining Giftedness

Gifted Resources

Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2E)

Twice-Exceptional Issues

Parent Resources

4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

Friendship Patterns in Highly Gifted Children

Teaching Social Skills to Young Gifted Children: Why & How

A 5 Is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up! (Amazon)

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Asperger Syndrome & Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage & Meltdowns (Amazon)

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families (Amazon)

Keys to Successfully Parenting the Gifted Child (Talent Igniter)

Leslie Graves’ Livebinder Gifted and 2E

Cybraryman’s Mental and Emotional Health

Dabrowski’s Over-excitabilities A Layman’s Explanation  (Tolan)

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Sprite’s Site: Making Connections 2

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Twice-Exceptional Kids with Guests from the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute

gtchat 07232915 BNB Institute

 

BNB Marianne Russo

Marianne Russo

BNB Diane M Kennedy

Diane M. Kennedy

BNB Rebecca Banks

Rebecca Banks

This was an exciting week as #gtchat was LIVE from the Soar With SENG 2015 Conference in Denver, Colorado! Our guests included Marianne Russo, Director of Development and Communications at the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute of America and President of The Coffee Klatch; and Diane Kennedy and Rebecca Banks, authors of Bright Not Broken. The BNB Institute exists to bridge the gap between the disability and gifted communities. Our topic was Twice-Exceptional Kids.

BNB Book Cover

We first considered the definition of ‘twice-exceptional’ and why it’s important to recognize its existence. According to the BNB Institute, “the term 2E refers to individuals who are both gifted and have a learning, emotional, behavioral, or social issue. 2E fall into the exceptional range for cognitive, academic, or creative abilities but fall in the lower end in their deficit area. Common 2E diagnosis include: Aspergers, ADHD, OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] , Dyslexia, SPD [Sensory Processing Disorder], Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression; to name a few. ” Many educators who understand the term, do not recognize its existence. This becomes problematic for 2E children. Without recognition of twice-exceptionality, it becomes difficult to gain access to appropriate services.

BNB Institute told us, “2E individuals are found within every socioeconomic, cultural, racial, ethnic population and are present in most school classrooms. It is commonly reported that 6%, or over three million of the student population is identified as academically gifted. The diagnoses that 2E children receive include a significant number of the most common childhood disorders in mental health.”

Why are twice-exceptional children stuck in regards to both education and mental health services? “Lets start With the focus on proficiency brought about by No Child Left Behind and Response to Intervention,” said BNB Institute. “Current policies governing a student’s eligibility for services contribute to the under-identification leading to remaining invisible. In the wake of NCLB and budgetary considerations, the emphasis is on helping the lowest performing students achieve proficiency. Giftedness and disability mask one another, 2E students are likely to remain unidentified as either gifted or disabled or average.” This makes it difficult to receive an accurate determination/diagnosis. Diane and Rebecca reminded us that “proficiency often equates to low expectations for gifted and also means 2e is often missed.”

Marianne told us, “under IDEA 2004, many states have moved to RtI [Response to Intervention], a universal screening process to identify students with learning and behavior needs. RtI is questionable in its ability to identify either gifted or twice-exceptional learners; especially in the general classroom. Teacher education programs provide little to no training in 2E; making teachers ill equipped to identify or instruct these kids. Common behaviors exhibited by 2E kids lead teachers to see them as lazy, unmotivated, defiant, and behaviorally disordered.” Diane and Rebecca added, “these are our highest population of dropouts.”

How do recent changes to the DSM5 affect provision of services to the twice-exceptional population? The DSM5 is the 5th Ed of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and is the bible for psychologists and psychiatrists. Marianne explained, “the DSM system traps 2E kids in misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis because the DSM descriptions of disorders and checklists of symptoms do not account for the presence of high IQ and how this affects presentation of symptoms and behaviors. This system is causing frustration for clinicians and those served because the diagnostic tools used in the U.S. derive from the DSM. Our focus at the BNB Institute is to bring an alternative tool DISCO to the U.S. DISCO is developmental and dimensional and leads to a portrait of the child’s abilities and challenges. It is a road map for therapies.”

“DSM leads to an alphabet soup of labels that emphasizes challenges not strengths,” according to Diane and Rebecca. A major recent change in the DSM5 was the elimination of Asperger’s as a descriptive category. Rebecca McMillan of The Brain Cafe and The Creativity Post pointed out, “Collapsing major diagnostic categories is not likely to net more accurate diagnoses, improve targeting or quality of services to twice-exceptional.”

What should parents do if they feel their child has received a medical misdiagnosis? “Finding a clinician that takes a dimensional approach to evaluating your child is key,” said Marianne. “They must be fierce advocates for the gifted or 2E child with strength based strategies. Parents with children with differences need to be able to parent those children differently without judgement. Listing a child’s strengths is mandatory at an IEP; focus on strengths, foster deficits.”

Diane and Rebecca stated that parents should, “get someone on board who understands gifted and strengths. Also make sure to seek comprehensive testing for discrepancies in ability and functioning.” Psychologist, Gail Post of Gifted Challenges, recommended, “Ask the evaluator why disability issues may not have been included in the evaluation or why sub-tests were not prorated.” Rebecca McMillan added, “Become a crack observer of your child and her needs. Keep notes of how she responds in different environments. Don’t be afraid to share doubts, concerns, and countervailing evidence with the experts. Ask probing questions.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, implored parents to:

“Learn to trust yourself, and to find allies – which may be anywhere!”

A full transcript including how clinicians and educators can help the twice-exceptional child and where parents can turn if they suspect their gifted child may be twice-exceptional may be found at Storify. Also see, Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Bright Not Broken-Lorna Wing Institute of America (website)

What Do Twice-Exceptional and Gifted Children Look Like

The Faces of Giftedness and Twice-Exceptionality

Twice-exceptional/Gifted How to Help Them

Bright Not Broken (Amazon)

Twice-exceptional/Gifted Why They Are Stuck – Education

Child and Adolescent Mental Illness and Related Disorders

SENG (website)

SENG Professional Members Listing

SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative

Dr. Temple Grandin: Bright Not Broken (YouTube)

The Bright Not Broken Talk Radio Program

APA DSM-5 Implementation and Support

When Parenting Twice-Exceptional Kids, Not Everything Needs to be Fixed

Smart-Shaming: Sorry But Your Child is Too Bright to Qualify for Help

The Search for Shangri-La: Finding the Appropriate Educational Environment for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children, A Parents’ Guide

2E Is from Sprite’s Site

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

Gifted Cubed from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Cybraryman’s Body Language

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children

Madeline’s Musings Communication Complications

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