Conference 2017 Programming Schedule

Please note that event titles and times are subject to change.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Time Event
8:15 am – 11:30 am SMPG Facilitator Training I
9:00 am – 12:00 noon CE: Reinforcing Resilience:  Navigating Trauma thru the Eyes of the Gifted – Christine Turo-Shields

Description: In life, bad things happen — this is a truth of life.  When adversity and trauma occur, some feel victimized, some survive and others thrive.  Many gifted youth struggle with emotional intensity and existential depression as they strive to comprehend the incomprehensible . . . resilience is needed in order to thrive, and it’s important to realize that resilience skills can be fostered to support healing.

9:00 am – 12:00 noon CE: Introducing the Gifted Index: A New WISC-V Composite Score – Linda Silverman



9:00 am – 12:00 noon CE: The Theory of Positive Disintegration: A Paradigm Which Time has Come – Elizabeth Mika, M.A., LCPC

Description: This workshop will present the tenets of TPD, and their applicability to the gifted population, with the particular stress on various developmental pathways and outcomes for the gifted and their impact at the world at large. We’ll look at the intersection of giftedness, over-excitabilities, and character disorders like psychopathy and narcissism, as well as exemplars of accelerated personality development through the prism of the theory and its insights into individual and collective growth.

9:00 am – 12:00 noon  CE: Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children – James Webb, Rosina Gallagher, & Stephen Chou

Description: For several decades, various psychologists and counselors have raised the likelihood that many gifted children and adults were being misdiagnosed, including those who were twice-exceptional, but whose giftedness was overlooked. ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder seemed particularly frequent misdiagnoses, and the most frequent dual diagnoses were allergies, asthma, and temporary glucose insufficiency. In 2006, upon concluding that a significant number of gifted children were being misdiagnosed, SENG began a Misdiagnosis Initiative. After ten years of operation, which included a national survey, the SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative has uncovered new information and promising partnerships. For example, research now indicates a strong relationship between intellectual ability and substance abuse. Similarly, the SENG National Survey data supported the higher incidence of allergies, asthma, ADHD, and autism diagnoses significantly beyond the base rates in the general population. The issues of misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses have had to incorporate the new DSM-5 including the discarding of Asperger’s Disorder and the creation of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder. This session will provide an update, along with descriptions of current and planned activities of the SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative both in the United States and in other countries. This includes information on joint activities with the American Academy of Pediatrics and also the translation and publication of brochures and continuing education activities at home and abroad.

9:00 am – 12:00 noon CE: The GERI Instrument Repository-Marcia Gentry and the Purdue GERI teamIn this session we showcase a recent website available through our center that contains a collection of instruments that researchers can download and use in their own research and that practitioners can use in their identification, programming, and evaluation efforts.  A brief overview of these instruments, their psychometric properties, and the populations and cultures with which they have been studied will be presented together with complete references of development of and research with these instruments and a demonstration of the website where they are available. We will share the TOF, MCA, SPOCQ, the HOPE Scale (not downloadable), the Classroom Practices Survey—Revised, among others.

Specifically, we will share

  1. Teacher Observation Form (English, Arabic) has 12 areas (e.g., Emphasis on creativity; Appropriate use of technology) on which observers rate teachers;
  2. Teacher Interview Protocol is a set of questions/scenarios tied to the TOF observational areas, and one that we use to hire teachers (Fugate, Jen, & Wu);
  3. Counselor Observation Protocol is similar to the TOF, but used for observing counselors working with small groups of students in our out-of-school programs.
  4. Counselor Interview Protocol is a series of questions/scenarios that we use to screen and hire counselors to work with our youth program participants;
  5. My Class Activities (English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic) is an instrument that measures elementary students’ perceptions of Challenge, Choice, Enjoyment, and Interest. MCA has been translated and studied in Korean, Chinese, and Spanish, in classrooms and youth programs;
  6. Student Perceptions of Classroom Quality (English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic) is an instrument that measures how secondary students perceive the prevalence of Appeal, Challenge, Choice, Meaningfulness, and Self-efficacy in their school experiences. SPOCQ has also been translated and studied in a number of languages;
  7. STAPLE resulted from blending gifted and engineering education. STAPLE measures engineering knowledge, efficacy, and interest among middle-grade students; and
  8. HOPE Scale (English, Arabic, Spanish) helps focus teachers on academic and social aspects of giftedness as they respond to 11 items. This instrument resulted from of our work with high-potential, low-income students.
  9. Classroom Practices Survey-Revised originally developed by the NRC/GT in the early 1990’s, we have revised and updated it using two recent national data sets
12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Transition
 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm SMPG Facilitator Training II

Description: Fascinated as a classroom teacher and later as a gifted-education teacher by underachievers’ complexity and abilities, the presenter intentionally mixed them with high achievers in 1300 weekly non-academic small-group discussions when she led gifted-education programs. The students quickly found common ground. Other program options were also created to appeal especially to underachievers, and they readily engaged in them. Such experiences led to her second career, in counseling, during which she studied and worked clinically with gifted youth and their families. This session is focused on what she has learned about underachievers and about counseling them; her unexpected findings in follow-up studies; the relevance of developmental “stuckness” to poor outcomes; what she learned from successful former underachievers; and implications of cultural values and negative life circumstances for the identification of “giftedness” and motivation to achieve academically. Brief activities, demonstrations, and skill-building will be interspersed throughout the session.


 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CE: Realizing the Remarkable Potential of the Exceptionally Gifted Visual Artist: Insights for Parents, Psychologists, and Educators – P. Susan Jackson


Description: Regrettably, neglect for those gifted in the visual arts is an enduring issue, both in mainstream education and in Gifted Education itself.

Gifted young artists demonstrate remarkable perceptual discrimination and are adept at perceiving and differentiating through the senses with keen awareness. Young visual artists view the world with acuity, aware of dimensions of space, color, and textures unseen by those who simply look. They have a form of meta-perception that allows them to internally manipulate perceptions with various forms of expression, rendering concepts and forms truly stunning in their matchlessness.

In this session, we will consider the indicators of exceptional visual artistic giftedness: very early evidence of talent, emergence through drawing, rapidity of visual development, capacity for extended concentration and/or compulsivity in their artistic pursuits, extreme self-directedness, fluency of ideas and expression, an intuitive quality of imagination, and generalizability of skills from one medium to another.

We will delve into the vagaries of the artistic mind-set including: unusual integration of thinking, perceiving and feeling; deep fidelity to self-generated ideas and creations; a need for meaning and personal identification with their art and with artistic exploration; exceptional sensitivity; introversion; and forms of sensual, emotional, intellectual and imaginational overexcitabilities.

Ideas for parents on helping visually artistically gifted children flourish will be provided. We will focus especially on those teaching, counselling and parenting approaches that allows each of these exceptional children to develop in their own way, while providing the psycho-social scaffolding, resources and opportunities to realize their truly remarkable potential. 

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CE: My Child is Different. My Child has a Learning Disability – Rose Blackett


The unusual thing about these two statements is that they come from a parent speaking about the same child. A twice exceptional child.

A twice exceptional student is ‘gifted’ with an underlying emotional, physical or learning difficulty (e.g. Specific Learning Difficulty, Autism, ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder).  The ‘difficulty’ often impairs their academic performance and masks their high potential.  As a group they are often highly creative but can be frustrating to teach and cater for in the classroom.  Often these students are described as ‘invisible underachievers’ as they perform in the average range within the education system but not necessarily to their full potential.  Educators often struggle to recognize and cater for the twice exceptional student as they are difficult to identify conclusively.   We will lift the mask of invisibility and glimpse these ‘shadows in the classroom’.  That is students who from time to time show faint outlines of their high academic potential.

 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CE: Asynchronous Development: Practical Applications of a Concept Born from Experience. – The Columbus Group

Description: The concept of asynchronous development of gifted children is intuitively grasped by psychologists, counselors, teachers, and parents deeply involved in the lives of gifted children. Yet, this notion has only been part of the gifted lexicon for the last 25 years. Historical context yields insights into the origins of ideas that are novel, cutting-edge, and alien to a field of study. This presentation describes how asynchrony became woven into the fabric of the psychology and education of the gifted. The story of The Columbus Group definition demonstrates what can be accomplished when it does not matter who gets the credit. Psychologists, theorists, researchers and educators have all observed the uneven development of gifted children. Alfred Binet (Binet & Simon, 1908) codified these differences as he crafted the first intelligence test, originating the concept of “mental age” and comparing children’s mental age with their chronological age.  Hollingworth (1931) noted, “To have the intelligence of an adult and the emotions of a child combined in a childish body is to encounter certain difficulties.”  Vygotsky (1962) asserted that early language acquisition affects the biological development of the brain, which creates experiences that are qualitatively different. However, not until 1991 were all of these concepts melded into a very different conception of giftedness.  The Columbus Group offered this definition: Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.  This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity.  The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.  (The Columbus Group, 1991)

This session traces the journey of the Columbus Group and the historical context in which this definition was generated. We discuss how the definition was conceived, and the reason that the group saw a need for such a departure from models that equated giftedness with achievement.  An overview will be provided of this important definition’s conception, history, international impact, and essential future directions.

 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CE:The Fit: A model for counseling the gifted and talented – Andrew Mahoney, MS, LCPC:

Description: Due to the unique and complex needs of the gifted and talented population, the counseling for this population requires practitioners to expand their awareness and practice beyond a normative approach. Most practitioners have a vulnerability when it comes to the fundamental understanding of this population and a lack of training resources to make the necessary adjustments in the counseling process, thus the need for this workshop. The Presenter will provide an extensive framework and model on counseling the gifted and talented called “THE FIT” formerly known as The Gifted Identity Formation Model, a comprehensive model and framework for counseling this population developed and published by the presenter. The workshop’s goal is to provide counselors and mental health related professionals with a practical comprehensive methodology and direction on ways to enhance the process of assessing, counseling and managing the complexity of working with this special population. This model in no way competes with any existing models or theoretical orientations. THE FIT is designed as an enhancement process. So, no matter what your theoretical underpinnings are to your counseling process, this workshop is designed to help you enhance that theory into practice. All theoretical approaches are welcome. The workshop will cover the following:

  • An overview of the gifted and talented population
  • Understanding the correlations and relationships between diagnostic categories in mental health and the gifted population
  • The neuro-biological and developmental aspects of this special population will be discussed and how those aspects relate to the counseling practice
  • Understanding the role and use of assessments and Neuro-Psychological Testing Results as they interface with the counseling process
  • How to adjust your clinical practice for the variances of the gifted population
  • Developing a plan and a team approach
  • Working collaboratively with other adjunctive professionals, services and provide a framework for how to coordinate and effectively collaborate between all team members with a special emphasis placed on working effectively with school teams to build effective relationships between Parents and the school community professionals
  • Additional counseling process and intervention issues such achievement and general social-emotional issues etc.
  • Individual, Group and Family Therapy will be discussed along with adjunctive therapies (i.e Drama Therapy Art Therapy etc.) and the role they play
  • A framework and practical model will be presented to guide you in your practice and to manage the complexity involved with the gifted and talented population when it comes to counseling and mental health related issues and processes
  • Bibliography and Reference materials provided
 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Children’s Program Welcome Activity
6:15 pm – 7:45 pm Welcome Reception: Gilman W. Whiting
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm SMPG Facilitator Training III


Friday, August 4, 2017

Time Event
7:00 am – 5:00 pm

7:00 am – 7:30 pm

Registration Open

Ambassadors Breakfast

7:00 am – 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
7:30 am – 8:30 am MUSICALITY: Music Performance & Opening
8:00 am – 8:30 am Children’s Program Drop-Off
8:30 am – 9:45 am Keynote: Scott Barry Kaufmann

Capturing the Content of Gifted Daydreams: Giftedness is often thought about in terms of cognitive ability, but recent research is pointing to an undervalued forms of giftedness that is not as easily measurable: imagination. While the contents of our daydreams are not as visible as performance on a standardized test, research suggests that the contents of our inner worlds are far more predictive of lifelong well-being, creativity, and compassion. In this talk, Scott Barry Kaufman will discuss the latest neuroscience of imagination, and new attempts at capturing a child’s rich stream of consciousness. Implications for the identification and nurturance of giftedness will be discussed, with the aim of helping to bring out the best in all students

9:45 am – 10:00 am Transition
10:00 am – 10:30 am Voices Live! Shedding My Cloak of Invisibility – Carolyn Healy

Brief Description:

Top companies aim to hire “the brightest and the best”. Many of these hires possess gifted characteristics, including over-excitabilities. Organizations who don’t understand giftedness and OE’s will fail to reap the full brilliance of their employees. Everyone loses. Advocacy is imperative.


10:30 am – 11:00 am Voices Live! A Gifted Girl’s Guide to Life – Terry Filipowicz

Brief Description:

Liminality is the ambiguous and often awkward place between one status and another status. It’s a threshold. Gifted children and adults often live in a threshold. This session works on branding, personality development, confidence, and creativity to discuss, explore, and share #imjustweird lives.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Walking Out Smiling? Provocative Teaming Ideas That Build Hope for 2e Students, Parents, and Educators – Linda Collins

Brief Description:

Powerful, provocative teaming can bring changes that will benefit all 2e students. Imagine a collaborative, congenial, insightful IEP, 504, or any strategy meeting for a 2e student; this meeting will bring together the skill sets of teaching, psychology, counseling, and content knowledge from education professionals, and the skill sets of experienced, loving, knowledgeable, concerned parents who desire a rich learning environment for their child; the child has a voice, too. The “whole” team is there to support the “whole” child. Participants will have leave with research-based strategies to implement in their own school communities. Role play may be encouraged, but not required.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Inside the Gifted Creative’s Brain – Fiona Smith

Brief Description:

Thinking is something we tend to take for granted. Yet, like a fingerprint, our thinking is a whorl of individuality. Gifted creatives present with unique thinking patterns, including synesthesia and aphantasia. The enigmatic world of the thinking patterns of gifted creatives will be examined using case studies as well as rigorous research from the fields of Psychology and Neuropsychology.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Understanding Neuropsychological Assessment – Lisa Hancock

Brief Description:

This presentation explains neuropsychological assessment measures, and their uses and limits in the identification of giftedness and multiple exceptionalities. Participants will walk away with knowledge of assessment measures used in private practice and school based evaluations. Participants will also understand how developmental weaknesses, learning disabilities, and giftedness can skew scores.

10:00 am – 11:00 am  The Gifted Mind and the Quest for Meaning – Kimberlee King

Brief Description:

Gifted minds seek answers to deep, existential questions. This quest for the meaning of life or why are we here often plagues us throughout our lifetime. This interactive discussion explores the meaning of spiritualism and how to bring joy and fulfillment into the life of a gifted person.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Gifted Adults-Under the Influence – Lisa Erickson

Brief Description:

The experience of feeling different or an outsider is part of the addictive experience and also familiar to many gifted adults.  We will explore why many gifted people turn to substances or processes to help regulate their intensity, perfectionism, sensitivity or despair.  Other gifted people use to manage feelings associated with trauma, exploitation or neglect. Others may use to manage their intense spiritual nature.

Lisa will present basic addiction concepts before moving on to the specifics that are related to giftedness.  She welcomes discussion and is experienced with the emotions that this topic may evoke. She hopes attendees leave with a deeper understanding of their and their loved ones’ experiences, and can understand why there is an unaddressed overlap between giftedness, over-excitabilities, trauma, and addiction.

Lisa was the program director for a large outpatient addiction treatment program and clinical director for a tribal mental health center serving the needs of urban Native children and youth.  She has many years of experience as a clinician, manager, and educator of clinical mental health providers. Lisa has a full time private practice serving gifted adults, half of whom struggle with addiction, and training/consulting/supervising licensed mental health providers.  She was adjunct faculty in a graduate psychology program for many years.  Now she teaches licensed mental health providers as a CEU provider on giftedness, professional ethics, narcissism, addictions, and differential diagnosis with Axis II diagnoses.

10:00 am – 11:00 am  Calm, Curious Connections – Kris Happe

Brief Description:

This session will give you the tools to create connection with your students in a short efficient manner. Knowing where our students are at emotionally is key to working with and understanding who they are as people. You will receive tools for achieving this quickly during your day to gauge your child or your class’s emotional state. Being in a curious state in this age of digital information overload has, ironically, become challenging. Building your students’ inquisitive capacity helps with our mission of creating & nurturing lifelong learners. Find out how this teacher builds this into her classroom management system and transition times. Stress is the one thing that is guaranteed to shorten our physical life span. Helping children learn how to manage their stress, regulate their emotions and quiet their minds is a long-lasting, high-impact strategy that could be adopted by all of us~ classroom based or not. Learn how just a few short minutes can positively impact achievement, clear thinking and overall well-being.

 10:00 am – 11:00 am  Empowering Self-Advocacy – Deb Douglas

Brief Description:

When empowered to self-advocate, gifted students are better able to take charge of their own educations. This session will explore the four steps to their successful self-advocacy and describe workshops that help gifted students understand their rights and responsibilities and communicate their needs effectively.

11:00 am – 11:15 am  Transition
11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Lessons From the Practice Room: Problem Solving Your Own Self-Care – Jen Merrill
Successful musicians develop the ability to take a step back from their playing and isolate problems in the music so they can formulate a plan to solve those problems and improve. Parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids can learn those same skills to objectively isolate problems in their self-care and fill those gaps, allowing them to better do the heavy lifting of parenting and advocating. Drawing from her background as a flutist, teacher, and homeschooling parent of a twice-exceptional son, Jen will share tips on how to isolate the rough spots and develop a practice plan to improve your self-care.
Bio: Jen Torbeck Merrill is an Illinois-based writer, blogger, flutist, and homeschooler. She is the author of the blog Laughing at Chaos and the book “If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?”; her second book, on the needs of parents as they raise gifted kids, is in progress.
11:15 am – 12:15 pm The Gifted: Frustrated and Misunderstood –  James Webb, Stephen Chou, & Rosina Gallagher

Brief Description:

The SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative has actively pursued the problematic issue of misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses of gifted children/adults, via survey research, professional outreach, and community education. This session will describe concrete efforts regarding misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses, with particular attention to the new DSM-5, specific populations, and future directions.


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm Lending a Hand Through Service Learning: Supporting the SEC Context of Talent Development – Kristina Collins

Brief Description:

This presentation offers practical ways for educators, practitioners, parents, and researchers, alike, to engage gifted students in learning in such a way that nurtures the whole gifted child while providing service to their community. The social, emotional, and cultural contexts for talent development are addressed.

 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

You Know What to Do and You Are Doing It – Bay Manning

Brief Description:

Some gifted people feel dislocated from their own direction. No matter what they are doing, they feel they should be doing something else. This session presents a principle – You know what to do and you are doing it – that can help you fully use your abilities and make decisions confidently.

 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
 Feeling Your Pain and Finding Your Tribe: Connecting Gifted Students to Each Other in a Wider World – Melissa Bilash

Brief Description:

Gifted students can be a tangle of social contradictions: precociously empathetic one moment, self-absorbed and intractable the next. They may have social difficulty with age-peers, and benefit from being with other gifted children. This session will discuss how empathy and connection manifest and are central to gifted children’s social-emotional development.


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm African American Children’s Cultural Norms and Their Misdiagnosis for Gifted Programs – Ken Dickson

Brief Description:

Many African American students exhibit cultural, behavioral norms and learning characteristics that are frequently misinterpreted as deficits. Such misinterpretations block these students access to gifted programs. Participants will have an opportunity to examine African American children’s cultural norms and how they can accurately interpret them for gifted program inclusion.

 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  The Complexities of Adult Giftedness: Understanding the Rainforest Mind – Paula Prober

Brief Description:

Using examples from her counseling/consulting practice and her book, Prober will detail the complexities of adult giftedness and provide strategies and resources to help these adults understand themselves, build healthy relationships, and find self-acceptance. Issues include: sensitivities, perfectionism, multipotentiality, parenting, relationships, underachievement, impostor syndrome.

11:30 am – 12:00 noon Voices Live! Expressing Gifts Through Loss of a Spouse – Barry Kennedy

Brief Description:

My is presentation about my post traumatic growth that came from my learning to use my visual, verbal, and mathematical gifts and my converting my imaginational, psychomotor, intellectual, sensual, and emotional energy into positive expressions of love, awe, interest, inspiration, gratitude, pride, serenity, joy, hope, and amusement. I demonstrate my process by presenting my personal poetry, paintings, dance, songs, and yoga practice.

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm Voices Live! Motivating Adolescent Girls through Authentic Meaningful Programs like Junior Scientists of the Sea – Kama Cannon

Brief Description:

Utilizing studies of science and the humanities in the Florida Keys, the Jr. Scientists in the Sea’s SCUBA enrichment program provided opportunities for gifted girls to apply their knowledge during place-based projects. Understandings about what motivated participants can be incorporated into curriculum in ways which increase access and achievement among populations remaining underrepresented in gifted programs.

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm Transition 
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm Keynote: Joanna Haase and Nicole Tetreault

The Promise of Neuroscience and Psychology for Gifted Well-being Over a Lifetime: Being gifted can be both a blessing and a curse, a source of great joy, but also deep suffering.  Often in an attempt to manage the “issues” of giftedness, we forget to focus on the positive aspects, denying ourselves the opportunity to work with our unique physiology for an enhanced quality of life.  This session will reveal the latest neuroscience and psychology research for gifted individuals to actively tune in to their mind, body and thoughts, while developing healthy brain networks to live a full life. Giftedness is a lifelong journey, so come join us for an empowering session to own your giftedness in mind, body, and soul.

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Voices Live! Creativity Takes Courage – Soizick Jaffre

Brief Description:

In my personal experience, it has not been easy being a girl, a woman, and have a wild imagination. Being creative for a woman, being gifted as a girl can lead to feeling bizarre, lonely, and anguished. Being creative has always set me apart, it also helped me survive in groups and entertain people. Therefore being creative can become a tool that is used at the service conformism, rather than a self empowering asset. Creativity has to be claimed back. Or it can be wasted entertaining others rather than serving your own purpose in life. It took me many years to claim back my creativity and gain power. That Journey also raises the issue of self sabotage, procrastination and emotional management.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Letting Go While Holding On: Supporting Our Child’s Self-Advocacy – Deb Douglas

Brief Description:

The typical teenage urge for independence makes it especially important for us to be guides-on-the-side as our gifted kids take charge of their own educations. Parents will discover ways to help their children negotiate the educational system, creating their own unique routes to graduation and beyond.


2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Problem Solving Saves the Day – Marianne Solomon

Brief Description:

Gifted learners are often hyper-aware of local and global current events. As these students develop awareness to the threats of the future (conflict between cultures and/or countries, natural habitats and environmental changes, the world economy, etc.) they can experience anxiety or learn to take appropriate action through creative problem solving. Employing students with problem solving skills empowers their abilities to match their passion to make a difference.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Coping with Stress and Anxiety: Mindfulness as a Pathway to Well Being – Michele Kane

Brief Description:

Learning to manage the intensity of emotion, understanding personal sensitivities, and the paradox of perfectionism are common challenges that face many gifted children and young adults. Stress and anxiety often result from the asynchronous development that is the bedrock of experiences for gifted individuals. Mindfulness practices can provide a pathway to effective coping. This interactive session will share specific mindfulness strategies combined with practical implementation suggestions for home and school.

 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  A Gifted Elder with Dementia Says Goodbye – Terry Friedrichs

Brief Description:

In this follow-up to the presenter’s 2013 SENG session on his mother and other gifted elders with advanced dementia, attendees learn about evolving intellectual, creative, and social/emotional strengths of gifted seniors with severe, final-stage dementia, about ways in which that dementia gradually affects the expression of those traits, and about approaches that can still bring out the strengths in these elders.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm A Deep Understanding of the 2e Experience: Durable Strategies for Twice-Exceptional Children and Students – Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D.

Brief Description:

When parents, teachers and professionals understand the true meaning of giftedness and twice exceptionality they are best equipped to learn and apply durable strategies for bringing out the best and raising self-esteem in gifted and 2e children. This session with provide both; a deep understanding and lasting strategies for home, the classroom and wherever our 2e kids need support.

 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  The Role of Fandoms (Specific Interest Groups) on the Lives of Gifted Persons with Imaginational OE’s- Jess Delallo

Brief Description:

Fandoms are communities, either officially or unofficially organized, that are dedicated to the love of a particular person, team, fictional series or character (Barton & Lampley, 2014).  According to the Belonging theory (Gailliot & Baumeister, 2006), people yearn for belonging because it provides them with a sense of identity, self-esteem and self-worth.  Gifted individuals often have unique social-emotional characteristics, such as overexcitabilities (OE), which set them apart from their non-gifted, non-OE counterparts because they actually experience life in a very different way (Neihart et al., 2002).  The purpose of this study was to examine the role of fandoms in the lives of the gifted who also have an imaginational overexcitability.  Using phenomenological and grounded theory methodologies, a comprehensive survey and interview were created in order to gather data in a mixed-methods study (Creswell, 2013).  Through the analysis of the data, in conjunction with the theoretical framework of the Belonging theory, it was determined that gifted individuals with imaginational overexcitabilities do tend to join fandoms for the purposes of creating peer groups, providing themselves with a sense of belonging and community, and for acquiring opportunities for escapism.


 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm SMPG Facilitator Training IV
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Voices Live! Intense Visual Spatial Learning and Sensory Processing Challenges…I am just gifted – Laura Reyes Quintela

Brief Description:

Three theories to help us better understand gifted children and avoid false diagnoses: Dabrowski through his work on over-excitabilities; Linda Silverman’s insight into the visual-spatial learner; and Anna Jean Ayres and her sensory processing theory. Delve into their world and learn how they feel, think and perceive the world.


3:30 pm – 4:15 pm Coffee Break 
3:45 pm – 4:15 pm  

Voices Live! Surviving the College Transition: A Gifted Undergraduate’s Perspective – Trent Cash

Brief Description:

When a high schooler graduates and prepares to head to college, it’s inevitable that they’ll be told that college is going to be the best time of their life. But what happens when that isn’t true – when who they are just doesn’t seem to mesh with college?  For gifted students, this is often a reality. Common traits of giftedness such as introversion, impostor syndrome, perfectionism, and intensities, when combined with a sense of pressure to excel at the highest level, can make college anything but perfect.

In this interactive, discussion-oriented presentation, Trent Cash, a gifted second-year Honors Student and Eminence Fellow at The Ohio State University, will start a conversation about how these common traits of giftedness have affected his transition into college while discussing strategies for overcoming the challenges they can present.  Join him to be a part of the conversation and learn a little bit about what it feels like to be a first-year gifted college student.

 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  Destination Success: Raising a Self Actualized Adult, Not a Gifted ‘A’ Student – Joanna Haase

Brief Description:

Some gifted children, despite their ability, are simply not interested in academics. Parenting these children can be disillusioning. This session will challenge existing paradigms of success and provide attendees with strength-based strategies to ensure these children develop healthy self-identities and are able to actualize their gifts in adulthood.

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  

The Twice-Exceptional Student: Damaging Myths – Michael Postma

Brief Description:

There is a long history of misunderstanding related to the education of the twice-exceptional child leaving them especially vulnerable in our school system. This presentation will examine some of the most damaging myths that continue to be widely held amongst within our school system. In addition, developing brain research will be examined along with the profile of one particularly difficult case.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  The Paradox of 2e Stories of Resilience – Rima Binder & Victoria Matranga

Brief Description:

In a school culture that values verbal gifts, what happens to students who are visual/spatial learners and whose gifts are largely unacknowledged?This session will present dyslexia as an ability rather than a disability. Revealed are life stories of successful gifted individuals and their means of processing information, creating solutions, and communicating in a highly collaborative fields. These narrative explain how they self-identified as dyslectic and managed the paradox of their exceptionality including their social-emotional struggles. Leave with new perspectives, ideas for modifications to traditional learning environments and suggestions for instructional practices.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  Being Seen: Self Concept Development in Gifted Adults – Tracy Winter

Brief Description:

Twenty-four gifted adults reflected on how interactions with others affected their self-concept development. You may recognize yourself in their stories. Learn how they experienced rare moments of feeling understood; how they learned to protect their true selves from harmful, negative interactions; and how you can help others feel Seen.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Is There Really no Exit? Existential Therapy for Gifted Children and Adults – Aimee Yermish – CANCELLED

Brief Description:

Gifted adults (and kids!) often come into therapy wanting something much more than mere symptom relief. Instead, they are struggling with the deeper questions of life, seeking meaning, purpose, and deeper connections. Reassurance, distraction, and fixing their “wrong” thinking all fall flat; what they need is a trustworthy squire for the journey. This interactive discussion is for any gifted person who struggles with life’s big questions, those who care about them, and therapists who work with them.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Becoming Leaders Through Service in a Campus Community – Wanda Routier & Carol Burns

Brief Description:

Twice-exceptional students’ strengths, giftedness and disabilities are often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Throughout school others have served them. As part of a postsecondary college program for exceptional students whose giftedness is embraced they are immersed in college life, and serving others is important as they give back through service learning.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  SMPG Facilitator Training V
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm







Voices Live! Existential Insight for the Gifted through Reading Fiction – Paula Christensen

Brief Description:

Gifted students have revealed how reading, and being in groups to discuss their readings, provides a setting to participate in abstract thinking while exploring both the universality and uniqueness of emotions and existential life issues. This presentation provides information of how the gifted gain existential insight through reading fiction.

 5:15 pm – 5:30 pm

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm


7:30 pm – 8:00 pm

 Children’s Program Pick-Up

SENG Liaison Meeting

Movie Clips Showing/Discussion with the filmmaker (The upcoming movie ‘The ‘G’ Word’) This movie is in production and is scheduled for release in 2019.

Awards Ceremony


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Time Event
7:00 am –  6:00 pm Registration Open
7:00 am – 3:00 pm

7: 00 am – 8: 00 am

7:00 am – 7:30 am

Exhibit Hall Open

SMPG Facilitators Breakfast

Ambassadors Breakfast

8:00 am – 8:15 am Morning Announcements
8:00 am – 8:30 am Children’s Program Drop-Off
8:30 am – 9:45 am Keynote – Jaime Castellano – Creating New Opportunities: Opening Doors to Possibility, Hope, and Promise

Description: Each school year, hundreds, if not thousands of low-income, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students gain access to advanced academic programs like gifted education. For these students the theme of this year’s SENG conference is very appropriate because this access does just that-it creates new, often life-changing opportunities. Eligibility and placement gives these students possibility for a brighter future, it gives their families hope that this experience will help break cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and neglect, and it affords students the promise of engaging with others just like them. The social and emotional growth and development of these students must be a non-negotiable. In this keynote address the importance of linking social and emotional growth and development with creating new opportunities will be highlighted.

9:45 am – 10:00 am  Transition 
10:00 am – 10:30 am Voices Live! Classical Curriculum and Why Such Curriculum is so Engaging to the Gifted, Academically Talented Student – Phillip D. Jackson

Brief Description:

Chicago Grammar School presents how it has updated the “Classical Curriculum”. We explain how each piece of the trivium (content, process, and communication) is realized in the classroom. We conclude with how this program develops flexibility of mind and intellectual heft especially suited to challenge and intrigue the gifted student.


10:00 am – 11:00 am Deepening Our Quest to Increase Racial, Ethnic Minority (REM) Students Participating in Gifted Programs – Ken Dickson

Brief Description:

This is a professional development strategy that addresses under representation. Under representation is addressed through a racial intolerance lens. The strategy focuses on effective ways to converse about under representation to help gifted stakeholders enhance professional development strategies they use to increase REM learners’ gifted program participation.


10:00 am – 11:00 am Gifted, Talented, and Creative: Why the Performing Arts Appeal to Gifted Children and How They Can Help – Brandon Tessers & Jenny Nelson

Brief Description:

An interactive presentation led by gifted artists and counselors who use the performing arts in their work with gifted children. They will help you explore how a gifted child’s love of the performing arts fulfills their needs and how that passion can be used to help in other areas.


10:00 am – 11:00 am Project North Star

Family, Community, and Education:  New Strategies to Reach and Teach Rural Gifted- Carol Malueg, Cori Paulet, & Stephen Schroeder-Davis

Project North Star is a three-year federally-funded Javits Research Grant project.  Its goal is to develop and field test materials that will help prepare teachers, administrators, and communities to support gifted learners in rural schools. In this session, we will provide an overview of the social/emotional thread that informs every aspect of this work, a look at strategies for strengthening family and community involvement in education, and a preview of a new curriculum using contemporary realistic fiction to support gifted students in rural populations.

10:00 am – 11:00 am Risk Avoidance in the Highly Sensitive & Gifted – Mark Talaga

Brief Description:

Many highly-sensitive, gifted individuals have trouble facing areas of their lives where risk is involved or they perceive themselves to be inadequate. This talk is designed to help clarify the process of what is really happening “under the hood” and what you can do about it.


10:00 am – 11:00 am FENIKS: A Drop-Out Center for Twice Exceptional High School Students – Tijl Koenderink & Femke Hovinga

Brief Description:

Dropping-out of high school is a serious concern for gifted and 2E children. They are so creatively gifted they just won’t fit in the regular system. For those students, there is Dutch drop-out center ‘Feniks Talent’. During this session, possibilities and challenges of starting such a center will be discussed.


10:00 am – 11:00 am  Putting Together the Puzzle of the Gifted Family: Assessing Gifted Intensities, Addressing Ongoing Conflicts, Applying Creative Strategies – Anne Van Roden & Gloria Sandford

Brief Description:

Looking at the gifted family as a whole, we explore the challenges and joys of being “gifted together.” Using a case study, we will 1) identify both complimentary and oppositional gifted traits in family members, 2) examine common patterns which cause ongoing conflicts in gifted families and 3) identify strategies to address those challenges and help the gifted family to thrive.

 10:00 am – 11:00 am  The Psychological and Emotional Costs of the Freeze Response in Gifted Students Over a Lifetime – Joanna Haase & Nicole Tetreault

Brief Description:

Come learn about the latest psychological and physiological research on anxiety and the freeze response. Anxiety has significant and detrimental effects on the brain, gut and psychological wellbeing of gifted individuals. An in-depth exploration of the psychological process, brain circuitry, mis-diagnosis and strategies to reduce anxious freezing will be discussed.


10:45 am – 11:15 am Voices Live! Cultivating Collaborative Community Partnerships for Gifted Student Success – Kimberly Clayton-Code

Brief Description:

Have you been working to dream up service ideas for gifted students? Pondering ways to get your community more involved? Learn how a regional consortium of teachers, administrators, and university personnel designs, prepares, and annually hosts 2,500 students through the DreamFest, Middle School Leadership Symposium, and Young Women LEAD conferences.


11:00 am – 11:15 am Transition 
11:15 am – 12:15 pm  You’re Overthinking: When the Communication of Our Gifted Relationships Seem Incompatible – Terry Filipowicz

Brief Description:

Being gifted does not mean relationships are easier. Conflict or rejection can sting even more for the sensitive and intense gifted person. This session looks how all challenges in relationships are related to challenges to our identities. Participants will learn skills improving perception and communication about identities.

 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  The Gifted Child and Medication – Steven Curtis

Brief Description:

At what point should we try medication with a gifted child? Many parents face this question and become confused. Medication decisions should be individualized and take into account a variety of factors. In this presentation, controversies, medication types, efficacy, current research, and steps to guide decision making will be discussed.


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  Finding a New School: Considerations for 2e Students – Heidi Molbak

Brief Description:

When parents know that their current situation is no longer a good fit for their twice-exceptional (2e) child, what steps can they take to explore other options? While awareness of twice-exceptionality is growing, many educators in the United States are unfamiliar with the term. Still, there are many excellent educational choices to consider as you thoughtfully evaluate your student’s needs.


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  Feeding the Gift and Relieving the Trauma – Alonzo Kelly

Brief Description:

Within certain diverse communities there exists cultures within cultures. The challenge with being unique to the group create cognitive dissonance experiences for the child and potential rejection from the group. If the community (home, school, neighborhood) that the child currently dwells is ill equipped to meet the needs of a gifted child, that child is unfairly put in a position to either assimilate, adapt, or reject the current culture. Most adults have not yet appropriately mastered what we expect children to do. To be seen as gifted can be interpreted as being ‘better than’ in some cultures and that hierarchy is not readily accepted. This rejection can lead to such things as unhealthy nigrescence behaviors, hyper-correcting, or suppression of thoughts and ideas much later in life. Through several group exercises moderated by the facilitator, the participants will be able to observe and respond to what happens with a gifted individual and the simulated community in this situation.


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  The Importance of Honoring the Inner Experience of Giftedness – Christiane Wells

Brief Description:

The presenter will discuss the existence of the inner experience of giftedness as a real phenomenon, illuminating the critical need to understand, honor, and promote awareness of this essential aspect of gifted individuals.


11:15 am – 12:15 pm Giftedness in our Hands: What do U Need to Know? An Introduction to Parents and Grandparents – Carolyn Kottmeyer

Brief Description:

Being new to “Gifted” is overwhelming: Characteristics, Testing, Levels of Giftedness, Academic Acceleration, Social/Emotional, OverExcitabilities, Underachievement, Perfectionism, plus Twice Exceptional. First-time attendees, spouses, grandparents, teacher and professionals just starting with giftedness will find resources and community, even free professional development. Prepare here to master advanced giftedness at SENG and home!


 11:15 am – 12:15 pm  Finding Age-Appropriate Books for Gifted Children – Lisa Conrad

Brief Description:

One of the biggest concerns teachers and parents have is where to find age-appropriate reading materials for gifted children. This session will provide resources including where to find books for advanced readers, book lists and examples of specific books appropriate for gifted students in the classroom.


11:30 am – 12:00 noon Voices Live! Shifting Gifted Paradigms in Mexico – Ingrid Dallal Fratz

Brief Description:

Ingennios Illuminare is an organization created almost 7 years ago because of the lack of opportunities for Gifted Children. In Ingennios, we create opportunities to develop talent and gifts. We do not believe in just an IQ above 130, that is just a number and we are human beings. We work with kids no matter their IQ, their parents, their schools… we provide guidance as a whole human being, not just for their giftedness.


12:15 pm – 12:45 pm Voices Live! The Frankenstein Project: How the Creature Helped Homeschooled Gifted Teens – Maria Galo

Brief Description:

Last spring, the Teen Learning Lab of Greater Chicago was a small, rabid group of homeschool moms who hoped to find 10 gifted teens for interesting, rigorous group classes. By August, we had over 20 teens signed up, ready to embark on the year-long Frankenstein Project.


12:15 pm – 12:45 pm Transition 
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm Keynote: Susan Daniels

Raising Creative Kids: How can you nurture creativity in your child? Raising Creative Kids engages parents and teachers in strategies that guide and foster the creativity and sustain the creative spirit we are born with. In addition to exploring basic theories of creativity, we’ll look at personality traits associated with creativity, processes involved in creativity, ways to parent for creativity, activities that promote creative thinking, extracurricular programs that support creativity, how to balance divergent thinking and organization skills, and how to preserve and nurture your own creativity. Creativity can be celebrated and made a family or classroom habit!

2:00 pm – 2:15 pm  Transition
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Voices Live: The 7 challenges of the gifted child- Femke Hovinga & Tijl Koenderink

While being gifted is pretty cool, it does come with challenges: intellectually as well as emotionally and socially. But what are those challenges and how do we deal with them as a parent or educator? This workshop describes the seven main challenges that came up while working with thousands of teachers and parents in Europe. The concerns apply to gifted children worldwide, and include how find peers, how to cooperate with classmates, how to deal with a fixed mindset, and how to gain motivation and enthusiasm for school. Want to learn about these seven challenges? Attend this session.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Experiencing the Challenge: Creating Possibilities for Twice-Exceptional Students – Cynthia Hansen

Brief Description:

A successful learning environment combines empathy, understanding, and high expectations while adjusting the details to assure that a child grows educationally, emotionally and socially on a daily basis. Participants will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of several disabilities and a set of strategies and resources to use immediately.


2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Key Components to the Therapeutic Considerations for Profoundly Gifted Patients and Clients – Samuel Kohlenberg

Brief Description:

Samuel Kohlenberg, a Gestalt Psychotherapist, will lead a round table discussion on the topic of therapeutic considerations for Profoundly Gifted individuals.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Commonly Seen Medical Conditions and Holistic Treatment for the Gifted & Twice-Exceptional – Archana Lal-Tabak, M.D. & Jim Lal-Tabak

Brief Description:

Medical & Psychiatric conditions commonly seen in Twice-Exceptional Children, Teens & Adults will be described including autoimmune illness, chronic fatigue, existential depression, OCD, ADD, Bipolar and over-excitabilities of all systems that mimic a trauma response. Addressing these conditions in a holistic manner is imperative due to the side-effects of using conventional medicines and to instill wellness and sustainability.

 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Gifted Adults: A Panel Discussion on Issues Across the Lifespan – Ellen Fiedler & Michelle Kane

Brief Description:

Gifted adults often struggle throughout their lives with issues and challenges specifically related to giftedness. Furthermore, gifted adults in general are often unaware of how bright they are and how their giftedness affects their lives. These factors interact to create turbulent times and stormy seas in the lives of gifted adults who often yearn for smooth sailing.

 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Helping Gifted youth Cope with Existential Crisis – Madeline Goodwin

Brief Description:

Gifted individuals, especially youth, often have high emotional sensitivity. In a time seemingly defined by existential crises, supporting these individuals is essential to their well-being. In this workshop we will share experiences & techniques for helping highly sensitive young people understand and process the events around them.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Understanding Social Development in Gifted Children: Why it Can All Fall Apart in 4th Grade and What to Do About it – Austina De Bonte

Brief Description:

Social development in gifted is a sensitive and misunderstood topic. Parents fear that gifted programs will delay their child’s social development. Educators worry about kids who don’t fit in. Culturally we believe firmly in diversity. There is good research teasing it all apart, and the takeaways may surprise you.


 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm  Acceleration Works: 93 Years and Counting – Amy Darpel

Brief Description:

Covington Latin has successfully used acceleration as a model of education for 93 years. What are the benefits? The risks of inaction? The social implications? Is acceleration for everyone? Through anecdotal evidence, we can prove that acceleration works.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Voices Live! Managing the Social/Emotional Needs of the Gifted while Coding – Kat Murray

Brief Description:

With the guidance of the teacher, and the motivation of creating interesting code, students can learn to manage their impulses, persist, create strategies to better manage their working memory, and think interdependently.


3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Coffee Break
3:45 pm – 4:15 pm Building Engaged Learning Communities in Interactive Online Courses – Justin Schwamm & Corin Barsily Goodwin

Brief Description:

Not all online classes are alike. Interactive classes can offer profound social-emotional benefits for gifted/2e learners, including social opportunities among peers in a welcoming environment. This presentation highlights those benefits and includes anecdotes from providers of three such programs: GHF Online, Online G3, and Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse.


4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Using Philiophical Literature to Meet the Socio-Economic Needs of k-12 Students Through Bibliotherapy – Ruby Dawn Lyman & Bridget Duruz

Brief Description:

Literature with philosophical themes and subsequent discussions can serve as way of helping gifted individuals understand themselves. This session will engage the audience with philosophical thinking, by developing a thread of interdisciplinary learning through a series of literature based activities that support both philosophical thinking and social emotional awareness.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  Improving Communication and Empowering Relationships with our Gifted Children – Regina Hellinger

Brief Description:

Communicating with our children can be challenging! Learn communication strategies and coaching tools that will help you have meaningful conversations with your child that engage them and strengthen the bond between you. Demonstration of strategies with volunteer participants will show the power of these competencies and how they can transform relationships.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  The Search for Meaning: Existential Issues for Gifted Children – James Webb

Brief Description:

Bright minds search for meaning; they see opportunities and alternatives, and they are idealists. Yet they experience disillusionments, which often leads to existential depression. This session describes ways that gifted children and adults try to cope with their disillusionments and to find meaning, and then offers practical suggestions.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  Gifted Bullies, Gifted Targets, Gifted Bystanders: What Should We Understand? – Jean Peterson

Brief Description:

Gifted kids can be bullying/cyberbullying targets or perpetrators—or both. The presenter will summarize findings from her rare national study as well as from rapidly growing research activity in other fields. She will also refer to her two expert-witness experiences in court cases against school districts when highlighting adult responsibilities.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  EQ and Gifted Adults: Skills for Life and Career Success – Jill Hauwiller

Brief Description:

Attendees will explore emotional intelligence and its correlation to success across professions and industries. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of emotional competencies, and the neuroscience behind how those traits not only develop but contribute to successful and purposeful careers.


 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  

Drop by Drop: Unmet Relationship Needs and the Gifted – Maggie Brown

Brief Description:

“No one really gets me.” “I don’t fit.” “I’ve learned to rely on myself.” “I’m too much.” Familiar experiences for gifted people, these statements reflect the impact of unmet relational needs. This presentation focuses on understanding the impact of this subtle and cumulative damage on the exquisitely sensitive gifted person, with emphases on prevention and healing. The presenter will use clinical case examples from her counseling practice.


4:15 pm – 5:15 pm  Learning to Fly: Fostering a Journey of Self Discovery and Invention – Deb Singleton & Brendan Stuart

Brief Description:

Brendan’s story is an inspirational journey of moving from being bright but struggling to learn, to running a thriving national business in the demanding commercial aviation industry. With Deb’s coaching, he learned to celebrate his giftedness, use his learning strengths to address challenges, and share his gifts with the world.


4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Voices Live! Redefining Normal: Harness the Power of Emotional Intensity and Passion – Christine Fonesca

Brief Description:

Gifted individuals live naturally intense lives. Often misunderstood both by themselves and by the world, many gifted individuals try to hide their intensities—usually with little success. Rather than trying to change your intensities, embrace them. Turn your passions into your “superpower.”


5:15 pm – 5:30 pm Children’s Program Pick-Up
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm SENG Europe/Latino Americano Meeting


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Time Event
7:00 am – 12:00 noon Registration Open
7:00 am – 7:30 am Ambassadors Breakfast
8:00 am – 8:15 am Morning Announcements
8:15 am – 8:30 am Transition
8:15 am – 8:45 am Voices Live! Twice-Exceptional: The Journey to Get Through the Diagnosis – Marie Kavadias

Brief Description:

To present my journey of dx of 2e utilizung my art and to express a misdiagnosis of an injury as an adult can happen cause of being 2e, but healing is possible with the right people, team and understanding. I will also like to do art live.

8:30 am – 9:30 am Gifted Advocacy from an Administrative Leadership Perspective- Dina Brulles & Mark Joraanstad

Brief Description: Feeling frustrated with your efforts to advocate for gifted services in your schools?  In this session two district level administrators will share advice methods for increasing effectiveness of your advocacy efforts.  Learn how to develop a rationale and approach that builds positive collaboration between all stakeholders:  parents, teachers, school administrators and Governing Board members.  The presenters draw on their experiences utilizing school and district initiatives, state policy and current legislation to mobilize advocacy efforts and realize successful outcomes for gifted learners.

8:30 am – 9:30 am Promoting Executive Functioning In a Congregated Classroom – Heather Lai & Ley-Anne Folks

Brief Description:

This presentation focuses on supporting Executive Function development in a congregated gifted setting. This is particularly important given the asynchronous nature of development in gifted individuals. Areas of Executive Functioning we will focus on are working memory, behavior management, problem solving, goal setting and progress monitoring, and specific academic strategies.


8:30 am – 9:30 am Old Souls on a New Journey: Rediscovering the Spiritual Self – Kathy Courchene

Brief Description:

Q: Why is it so hard to talk about spirituality – and is it that important?

A: There are so many reasons – and yes, it is.
We’ll explore the natural impulse of spirituality, the difficulties of talking about it with others (including our children) and how to find more ease in doing so.


8:30 am – 9:30 am  Using IMPROV Games to Teach Socio-Emotional Skills – Matthew Zakreski

Brief Description:

Improvisation (or Improv) games are traditionally used as a theatrical exercise. However, research indicates that they also have potential for teaching social-emotional skills such as perspective taking, self-control, and lateral thinking. Research will be provided to show support for these exercises and sample activities will be demonstrated.

8:30 am – 9:30 am Surviving, Thriving, and Maximizing your Giftedness at Home and in the Work Place – Ruby Dawn Lyman & Ann Matschiner

Brief Description:

This session will offer suggestions for moving from misunderstood to managing healthy and positive associations with others who are both gifted and not gifted. Additionally, this session will help you identify what you need in flexible work environments so that you can find a gratifying career that promotes healthy interactions with colleagues and superiors. Participants will leave with ready to use questionnaires and handouts to support future growth.


 8:30 am – 9:30 am Emotional Giftedness & Emotional Underachievement – Josh Shaine

Brief Description:

What are emotional giftedness and emotional underachievement? What do they look like? Why are they important? And what, if anything, should we do about them? We’ll be discussing how to assess and respond to the potential of our more emotionally sensitivity and aware students. clients, and colleagues.


 8:30 am – 9:30 am Gay, Trans and Gender Diverse Creatives: Personal Narratives of the Experience of Extreme Diversity – Fiona Smith

Brief Description:

For gifted creatives who are gay or whose gender identity and expression diverges from those traditionally associated with the sex assigned at birth, the experience of being different and of not ‘fitting-in’ can be overwhelming. This seminar presents case-study research showcasing the individual voices of gay and gender non-conforming gifted creatives.


9:00 am – 9:30 am Voices Live! Gifted Unemployed Adults – Noks Nauta

Brief Description:

When gifted adults are involuntarily unemployed, which factors contributed to this situation? In The Netherlands we performed a questionnaire study with 174 unemployed gifted adults. The results will be presented and possible interventions and their effectivity will be discussed.


9:30 am – 9:45 am Transition
 9:45 am – 10:45 am Gifted Goes to Grad School – Tracy Riley

Brief Description:

What are some of the social and emotional complexities and challenges experienced by graduate students – and do these mirror what we know about gifted young people and adults? I’ve been reflecting on this question a lot lately,  following a recent change in career trajectory from an academic to a leadership position in graduate studies. I wonder in what ways challenges like perfectionism, procrastination, or the imposter syndrome impact graduate studies, and, importantly, what supervisors understand about their effects on performance. In this session, I will share my experiences in researcher development, highlighting the strengths and gaps in the ways we work with graduate students. I will explore some of the learning and support we need to develop for success when the gifted go to grad school.

 9:45 am – 10:45 am Seeing the Unseen: The Art of Empowerment – Kate Bachtel

Brief Description:

Relatively few schools have been established with the expressed intent and requisite expertise to support gifted students in thriving. Systemic oppression results in marginalization and disenfranchisement. How can educators be responsive to aspects of student development that they can not see or do not understand? All students, inclusive of gifted students, deserve equitable growth opportunities. This study explores the aspirations and practices of a school program designed explicitly to empower diverse gifted youth. The research site is a kindergarten-eighth grade school located in an urban area in the western United States which has been serving gifted students with a creative approach for more than a quarter century. Eisner’s educational criticism and connoisseurship research approach is used to explore the complexities of the program in depth. This session will grow understanding of the intricacies of this innovative program to support other equity firebrands as they work to create positive change for gifted children in their own communities.


 9:45 am – 10:45 am Under Representation Across the Curriculum: An Examination of the Impact of Curricular Standards and Instruction in History and STEM on Marginalized Gifted Populations- Kristina Collins & Michael Postma

Brief Description:

Curricular standards guide teachers through the process of selecting the scope and sequence of what is to be taught and when. Thus, the standards have the inherent ability to transform learning into a force for positive societal change. This research based presentation will briefly examine the impact of standards in History and STEM on gifted, marginalized populations and provide suggestions to adapt those same standards to become powerful tools of legitimization and transformation for our students.


 9:45 am – 10:45 am  Untangling the Complexities and Potentiating Gifted Students with Physical Disabilities – Jenny Nilson

Brief Description:

Identifying the gifted and talented among those students who have physical disabilities can be extremely complex. Join a gifted and physically disabled professional as she helps you uncover all that stands in the way of helping these children activate their potential and the reasons they are underserved.


 9:45 am – 10:45 am

Working with Intensity: The Relationship Between Giftedness and High Sensitivity in Working Adults in Flanders and the Netherlands – Rianne Van de Ven

Brief Description:

This presentation describes the results of a study I performed for my thesis to finalize the ECHA (European Council for High Ability) Specialist in Gifted Education program at Radboud University in the Netherlands under supervision of Prof. dr. Elke van Hoof from the Free University of Brussels.


 9:45 am – 10:45 am  Pathological Demand Avoidance – Evelyn Metcalf

Brief Description:

Pathological Demand Avoidance is a recognized (Autism Spectrum) diagnosis in the UK. In this presentation we’ll learn about the traits that make it unique and why it’s important to understand it EVEN if it’s not yet recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Parenting strategies, coping mechanisms, and tools for educators are starkly different than with other children on the high end of the Spectrum, especially when combined with perfectionism and giftedness. Resources have been developed in the past 30 years that target this population that is mostly written off as ‘behavioral,’ or the result of ‘poor parenting.’


 9:45 am – 10:45 am  Profoundly Gifted: Exploring the Inner World – Anne Benevetti & Michele Kane

Brief Description:

Why are highly and profoundly gifted children one of the most underserved populations? A lack of knowledge or background in understanding the diversity within the gifted populations is a contributing factor. This session is designed to provide teachers, counselors, and parents with descriptions of the unique cognitive and affective needs of this statistically insignificant group.  Next, is to match resources and strategies with these needs. Varied means to encourage and enhance social experiences and effective ways to understand and manage the heightened inner world of emotions will be explored.  Additionally, the voices of profoundly gifted youngsters through the research tool of Photo-voice will be shared with participants.


9:45-10:15 am
 Voices Live! A Study of Early Childhood Teachers Social and Emotional Competence – Dr. Echo Wu, Dr. Lynn Paterson, & Dr. Mi-Hwa Park

Brief Description:

Teachers’ social and emotional competence is an important factor in creating an optimal learning climate and enhancing students’ academic success and positive social and emotional development. This mixed methods research focuses on early childhood teachers’ perceptions about their social and emotional competence and its influences on students’ academic outcomes.

10:45 am – 11:00 am Transition
 11:00 am – 12:30 pm  Closing Keynote: Jim Delisle & Dina Brulles

Reaching the Gifted Student in the 21st Century Classroom: A Discussion

Description: The classroom of the 21st Century is not the classroom of our youth. Besieged by shrinking budgets and standardized programming, the education community continues to struggle to reach the gifted learner. Field experts Dr. Jim Delisle and Dina Brulles will discuss best practice for meeting the complex needs of the gifted student. Strategies such as differentiation, 21st Century Fluencies, Common Core Standards, flexible grouping strategies, and other methods will be discussed.


12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Thank You & Children’s Presentation


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