SENG Annual Conference 2018: Full Schedule


Thursday, July 19 – Pre-Conference Activity Day


7:00-8:00: Pre-Conference Registration

Pre-Conference Workshops (APA Accredited) (Separate Registration)

Time Room # Speaker, Title, Description
9:00-12:00 Royal Palm #1 Dr. Jean Peterson

Title: Gifted Bullies, Targets, and Bystanders, Adult Responsibilities, Adult Bullies, and Parent Advocacy: What Should We Understand?

 9:00-12:00 Royal Palm #2 Dr. Hillary Beech

Title: The Shadow Side of Adult Giftedness

 9:00-12:00 Royal Palm #3 Dr. Aimee Yermish

Title: If You’re So Smart…: Executive Function Coaching for Gifted Folks Who Struggle to Get Things Done

 9:00-12:00 Royal Palm #4 Dr. Dale Stuart

Title: Challenges in Life and Love: Unique Issues for Gifted Adults and Couples

 9:00-12:00 Royal Palm #5 Dr. Vula Baliotis

Title: Understanding and Addressing Common Defenses in Gifted Adults: Intellectualization, Rationalization, Humor, Altruism, and Sublimation

12:00-1:00 – Midday Break

1:00-4:00 Royal Palm #1 Dr. Dan Peters

Title: Turning Worriers into Warriors!: Anxiety in Gifted and 2e Youth

1:00-4:00 Royal Palm #2 Dr. Marty Nemko

Title: The BIG Three: Addressing Gifted Adults’ Issues on Career, Relationships, Emotions

 1:00-4:00 Royal Palm #3 Dr. Peter Cummings

Title: Addressing Over-excitabilities through Attachment Repair

 1:00-4:00 Royal Palm #4 Dr. Natasha Pemberton-Todd

Title: ADHD in Children: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt

 1:00-4:00 Royal Palm #5 Christine Turo-Shields, LCSW, LCAC

Title: Post-Traumatic Growth: Thriving Amidst Trauma & Tragedy


4:00-6:30: Conference Registration Open/Children’s Registration Open (Foyer) 

7:00-9:00: Thursday Night Gala (Lion Fountain Court) 

7:00: Opening Remarks and Introduction of Guests 

7:10-8:30: Panel Discussion (SENG PAC & Former Board Members)



Friday, July 20

7:00: Ambassadors Breakfast (Pacific Salon #3)

8:00: Children’s Program Drop Off (Terrace Salons)

8:00-8:30: Opening Remarks and Welcome: Golden Pacific Ballroom

8:30-9:30: Key Note Speaker: Dr. Leslie Hosey – From Knowledge to Wisdom to Sagacity: The Sacred Journey and Call to Action 

9:45-5:00: Regular Sessions
P: For Parents
E: For Educators/Professionals
A: For All

Session #1:

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #1 Lisa Hancock & Sharon Duncan

Title: Welcome to the Real World: Recognizing the Challenges Facing Gifted/2e Teens and Adults (A)

9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #2 Kathy Courchene

Title: Lookin’ for Love (in all the right places): Nurturing the Spiritual Quest (A)

Level: Intermediate

9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #3 Jenny Nilsen

Title: Untangling the Complexities of Identifying and Potentiating Gifted Students with Physical Disabilities (E)

Level: Introductory

 9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #4 Heather Boorman

Title: Fostering Self-Compassion in Gifted Individuals (A)

Level: Intermediate

 9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #5 Jeanette Salinas

Title: Motivate the Unmotivated: The Gifted & Crisis (A)

Level: Intermediate

 9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #6 Julia Montano & Melinda Ness

Title: Fostering Creativity, Innovation, and Grit in Gifted Individuals (A)

Level: Introductory

 9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon #1 Folly Ligh

Title: Seven Strategies for Secondary Success: A Parent’s Perspective (P)

Level: Introductory

 9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon #2 Pam Weil

Title: Our Gifted Co-Workers: Agile & Beyond (A)

Level: Introductory

9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon #3 Meredith Austin

Title: Overcoming Anti-Intellectual Attitudes in Professional Development (E)

Level: Intermediate


Session #2:

Time Room Speaker, Title, & Description
11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #1 Thomas Shaff

Title: Talent Development in Emerging Adulthood and the Quarter Life Crisis (A)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #2 Femke Hovinga

Title: The 7 Challenges of the Gifted Child (A)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #3 Ken Dickson

Title: Courageous Conversations for Gifted Educators: A Model Designed to Increase Minority Students’ Participation in Gifted Programs (E)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #4 Grace Malonai

Title: Sex and Intimacy in Gifted Relationships (A)

Level: Intermediate

 11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #5 Maggie Brown

Title: Intensities Through a Values Lens: A Workshop for Adults (A)

Level: Intermediate

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #6 Cynthia Hansen

Title: When Lazy Doesn’t Make Sense: How Executive Functions Impact Our Gifted Students (P) (E)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #1 Jen Merrill

Title: What I Want the World to Know About Parenting Twice-Exceptional Kids (P)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #2 Deb Douglas

Title: Adapting the System: How Gifted Students Can Personalize High School (A)

Level: Introductory

 11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #3 Stephanie Newitt

Title: Building Bridges without Dynamite (A)

Level: Introductory



12:00-1:30: Lunch (Box Lunches)

Topic Lunches will be held in the Golden Pacific Ballroom

Topic One: SMPG Facilitators Updates (Kasi Peters & Carol Malueg)

Topic Two: The Bill of Rights for Gifted Students of Color (Ken Dickson & Donna Ford)

Topic Three: Gifted Man of the Family (TBD)

Topic Four: Creativity (Susan Daniels)

Topic Five: Twice-Exceptional Parenting (Mike Postma)


Session #3:

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #1


Michele Thelen

Title: A Journey from Gifted Child to Gifted Granny (A)

Level: Introductory

 1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #2 Cecile Bost

Title: How to Fit in and Blossom in the Work Place When One is Gifted (A)

Level: Intermediate

 1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #3 Anna Bode

Title: Goal Setting Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Growth of Gifted Students (A)

Level: Intoductory

 1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #4 Matt Zakreski

Title: ‘Bring on the Cringe’: Teaching Sex Education to Gifted Students (A) (E)

Level: Advanced

 1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #5 Julie Skolnick

Title: Why Assessments Often Lead to Remediation and Accommodations for 2e Learners and What to do About it. (E)

Level: Intermediate

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #6 Stephen Chou

Title: Socioemotional Development of Gifted Children (A)

Level: Intermediate

 1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #1 Kate Arms

Title: Thriving With Intensity: Mining the Magic From Over-Excitabilities

Level: Introductory

1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #2 Mika Gustavson

Title: Mindfulness and Metacognition for Moms and Dads: Expanding the Toolkit for Family Well-being (P)

Level: Intermediate

 1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #3 Kathleen Caspar

Title: Who Am I Really: Looking Beyond Stereotypes to True Needs of Special Populations of Gifted Students (A)

Level: Intermediate


Session #4:

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #1 Aimee Yermish

Title: Squire on the Hero’s Journey: Helping Roles Across the Lifespan (A)

Level: Intermediate

2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #2 Paula Prober

Title: The Complexities of Adult Giftedness: Understanding Your Rainforest Mind (A)

Level: Intermediate

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #3 Hoda Kilani

Title: Exploring the Linguistic Profile of Gifted English as Second Language Learners (E)

Level: Introductory

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #4 Ana Maria Call

Title: Gifted Culture Kids: Real World Survival Skills for Being Different, Resilient, and for Creating an Unbreakable Sense of Belonging (A)

Level: Introductory

2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #5 Terry Filipowicz, Shay Black, Robin De Woody Francis, Patricia Newcum-Todd

Title: Voices of Suicide: Parents Speak Out About Loss and Life (P)

Level: Introductory

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #6 Lisa Sansom

Title: Catching Them Doing Things Right (A)

Level: Introductory

 2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #1 Jade Rivera

Title: Design Thinking and Project Based Learning for Twice-Exceptional Children

Level: Intermediate

2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #2


Amy Estersohn

Title: College Guidance and Support for Gifted Students (P)

Level: Introductory

2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #3 Susan Daniels, Nicole Tetreault, & Michael Postma

Title: The Psychology, Neuroanatomy, and Care of the Creative Brain (A)

Level: Advanced


Session #5

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #1 Benita Robertson

Title: How Old Am I Really? A Meditation on Aysnchronous Development (A)

Level: Introductory


 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #2 Joslyn Johnson

Title: Navigating Career Success: The Lifewide Learning Experiences of Successful Gifted Adults in Early Adulthood (A)

Level: Introductory

4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #3 Melody Yourd

Title: Isolated identities: Perspectives of Gifted LGBTQ & Teens & Young Adults (A)

Level: Introductory


4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #4 Kate Bachtel

Title: Peace Within: An Inside Look at Gifted Well-Being

Level: Intermediate


 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #5 Austina Du Bonte

Title: Smart is Not Easy: What Grit & Growth Mindset Really Mean for the Gifted Child (P) (E)

Level: Introductory

 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #6 Mark Hess

Title: Beyond Discussion: Infusing Social-Emotional Lessons with Creativity, Creation, Metaphors, and Hands-On Critical Thinking

Level: Intermediate

 4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #1 Sheryl Stoller

Title: Parenting Tools for Navigating Intensity (P)

Level: Introductory

 4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #2


Linda Collins

Title: Staying Evergreen During the Winter Moments of Life: Preserving the Lives of Gifted Children and Adolescents; Rebuilding Resilience, Strength, Vision, and Hope (A)

Level: Intermediate

 4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #3 Cam Werley–Gonzales & Sharon Duncan

Title: How Can That Be? Demystifying the Options of Early College and Radical Acceleration (P)

Level: Advanced


5:00: Children’s Program Pick Up

7:00-7:30: Awards Ceremony (Golden Pacific Ballroom)

7:30-9:00: Movie Premier: 2e2: Teaching the Twice Exceptional with Director Tom Ropelewski


Saturday, July 21

7:00: Ambassador Breakfast (Pacific Salon #3) 

8:00:  Children’s Program Drop Off (Terrace Salons)

8:00-8:30: Opening Remarks and Welcome: (Golden Pacific Ballroom)

8:30-9:30: Key Note Speaker: Tom Clynes – Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting and How to Build a Star

9:45-5:00: Regular Sessions
P: For Parents
E: For Educators/Professionals
A: For All

Session #1

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
9:45-10:45 Royal Palm #1 Joy Navan

Title: On Gifted Elders: Awareness, Aspirations, Advocacy (A)

Level: Intermediate

9:45-10:45 Royal Palm


Echo Wu

Title: Guiding the Gifted Experience in Early Childhood: Insights from 20 Nobel Laureate (A)

Level: Introductory

 9:45-10:45 Royal Palm


9:45-10:45 Royal Palm


Tracy Harrington

Title: The Secret to Successful Work Experiences (A)

Level: Introductory

 9:45-10:45 Royal Palm


Beth Houskamp

Title: A Neuro-developmental Understanding of Twice-Exceptional Kids (A)

Level: Introductory

9:45-10:45 Royal Palm


Ley-Anne Folks and Heather Lai

Title: Extending Executive Function Development in a Gifted Classroom (E)

Level: Introductory

9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon


Jean Peterson

Title: High Achievers and Underachievers Together for Mutual Benefit (E)

Level: Intermediate

 9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon #2 Brandon Tessers

Title: Procrastination and Perfectionism: Two Sides of the Same Anxious Coin (A)

Level: Introductory

9:45-10:45 Pacific Salon #3 Joanna Haase & Sharon Duncan

Title: It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Do With It: A Summary of the Latest Research on Gifted Physiology and How to Use it Effectively (A)

Level: Advanced

Session #2

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #1 Donna Ford, Kathleen Caspar, & Yvette Moreno

Title: Preventing At-Risk Behaviors in Gifted Early Learners (Birth Through Age 5) (P)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #2 Terrance Freidrichs

Title: Intellectually Stimulating Environments for Gifted Seniors Who are Healthy and for Those with Dementia (A)

Level: Intermediate

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #3 Sze-wan Emily Lily Ngai

Title: Life Before Gifts: Cultivating the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – A Choice for Parents and Educators (E) (P)

Level: Introductory

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #4 Vickie Ladt

Title: From Kindergarten to College in Three Years: What Would You Do? (A)

Level: Intermediate

11:00-12:00 Royal Palm #5 Larry Davis

Title: Introduction to HEARTMATH: The Resilience Advantage Leading to Emotional Wellness, Coherence, and Self-Regulation (A)

Level: Introductory

 11:00-12:00 Royal Palm


Alonzo Kelly

Title: Evolved Emotional Intelligence of Gifted Diverse Students in Distressed Communities (E)

Level: Advanced

11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #1 Lori Comallie-Caplan

Title: Calming the Gifted Mind (A)

Level: Intermediate

11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #2 Nancy Lee

Title: Rethinking Parenting Gifted Children: Shifting from a Task Model to a Developmental Model (A)

Level: Intermediate

 11:00-12:00 Pacific Salon #3 Carolyn Kottmeyer

Title: Guiding the Gifted Through Academic Acceleration (A)

Level: Intermediate 

LUNCH 12:00-1:30 (Box Lunches)

Topic Lunches will be held in the Golden Pacific Ballroom

Topic One: SMPG Facilitators Updates (Kasi Peters & Carol Malueg)

Topic Two: Social & Emotional Needs Worldwide (Tracy Riley)

Topic Three: Gifted and Graduating  (TBD)

Topic Four: Gifted Mothers (TBD)

Topic Five: TBD

Session #3

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
1:30-2:30 Royal Palm


Brandon Tessers

Title: Leaving Home: How to Assist in the Transition from Gifted Child to Gifted Young Adult (A)

Level: Introductory

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm


Rianne van de Ven

Title: Gifted Adults and the Four Stages of Competence (A)

Level: Intermediate

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm


James Webb

Title: What Questions Do You Have About Gifted Children or Adults? (A)

Level: Intermediate

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #4 Sara Newman

Title: Brilliant Minds Behind Bars (A)

Level: Intermediate

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm #5 Christiane Wells & Christine Turo-Shields

Title: Parenting Twice-Exceptional Children: The Delightful & the Draining (P)

Level: Intermediate

1:30-2:30 Royal Palm


Pam Ryan

Title: SENG Syntax/Syntatics (A)

Level: Intermediate

 1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #1 Joan & Mark Larson

Title: Advocate Don’t Aggravate (A)

Level: Introductory

1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #2 Jennifer Rix & Nancy Lee

Title: Educating and Engaging Your Parent Community (E)

Level: Intermediate

 1:30-2:30 Pacific Salon #3 Regina, Dennis, Christopher, & Marina Sells-Arnold

Title: Guiding Gifted Children Through a Dual Language Program: A Look Back from Multiple Perspectives (A)

Level: Introductory

Session #4

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #1 Paul Sedillo & Terrance Freidrichs

Title: Creating Understanding, Safety, Connectedness, and Liberation: The New Gifted LGBTQ Professional Development Standards (E)

Level: Intermediate

2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #2 Joanna Haase & Nicole Tetreault

Title: Unraveling Many Misunderstood Aspects of the Freeze Response in Gifted People Related to Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Self-Esteem (A)

Level: Advanced

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #3 Lauren Davenport

Title: Transitioning form Youth to Young Adult as a Gifted Individual

Level: Introductory

2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #4 AnaMaria Guevara & Diego Aragon-Guevara

Title: Case Study: A ‘Wholistic’ Approach to Treating Gifted Suicidal Teenagers (A)

Level: Intermediate

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #5 Larry Davis

Title: ‘TWICE EXCEPTIONAL’: How to Access 504 & IEP Support for Your Child (An Insiders Guide to Special Education Advocacy) (A)

Level: Introductory

 2:45-3:45 Royal Palm #6 Melissa Sornick and Lisa Zaretsky

Title: A Comprehensive Model for Working with Twice-Exceptional Individuals and Families.

Level: Intermediate

2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #1 Mary Hidalgo & Amanda Mayeaux

Title: Nontraditional Strategies in Supporting Parents Raising Rural Gifted and Talented Children (A)

Level: Introductory

 2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #2 Ruby Dawn Lyman & Ann Matschiner

Guiding the Gifted Experience in a University Talented and Gifted Specialization Program (A)

Level: Intermediate

2:45-3:45 Pacific Salon #3 Krista Stith

Title: Failure Through Design: Providing Structured Opportunities for Gifted Students to Develop a Growth Mindset (E)

Level: Intermediate

Session #5

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #1 Patty Gatto-Walden

Title: The Heart of the Matter

Level: Introductory

4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #2 Aurora Holtzman

Title: Embracing Intensity

Level: Intermediate

 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #3 Michele Kane

Title: Many Paths, Many Decisions: Career Counseling for the Gifted (A)

Level: Introductory

 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #4 Carol Malueg

Title: Happiness in a Mad World (A)

Level: Introductory

 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #5 Melanie Hayes

Title: 2b 2e! : Strategies for Adulting While 2e (A)

 4:00-5:00 Royal Palm #6 Barry Kennedy

Title: Become a Super-ager by Mastering the Power Flow of Your Mind

 4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #1 Dr. Archana Lal-Tabak, M.D. & Jim Lal-Tabak

Title: Effective, Functional & Integrative Treatments For Commonly Seen Medical & Psychiatric Health Conditions in meeting the Social & Emotional Needs of the Gifted, Talented & Twice Exceptional (A)

Level: Intermediate

4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #2 Kat Murray

Title: Teaching Executive Functioning to Gifted Children Through Coding (E)

Level: Introductory

4:00-5:00 Pacific Salon #3 Trent Cash

Title: Talking with your Gifted Teen (P) (E)

5:00: Children’s Pick Up


Sunday, July 22

Sunday Super Sessions:

Time Room # Speaker, Title, & Description
9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #1 Carlota Hernandez, Rosa Medina, Michelle Dubois, & Kate Bachtel

Title: In Pursuit of Excellence for Gifted Latinx Learners

Level: Intermediate

9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #2 Lucy Hunt, Michelle Papazyan, Wynne Wong-Chen, and Erin Yoshida-Ehrmann

Title: Multiple Pathways to Equitable Gifted/Talented Identification

Level: Introductory 

9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #3 Anne van Roden & Gloria Sanford

Title: Putting Together the Puzzle of the Gifted Family: Assessing Gifted Intensities, Addressing Ongoing Conflicts, Applying Creative Strategies

Level: Intermediate

 9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #4 Grace Malonai & Sharon Duncan

Title: Emergence: Coming Face-to-Face With Your Gifted Self

Level: Intermediate

 9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #5 Nathalie Alsteen

Title: How to Connect to Yourself Using Creative Journaling

Level: Introductory

9:00-11:00 Royal Palm #6 Nathan Levy

Title: Powerful Strategies to Enhance the Learning of Gifted & Highly Capable Students

Level: Introductory

 9:00-11:00 Pacific Salon #1 Cam Werley-Gonzales

Title: Empowering Gifted Girls: Young women need to know it’s okay to be smart

Level: Intermediate

 9:00-11:00 Pacific Salon #2


Nicole Tetreault & James Webb

Title: Feeling Color: Insight into a Bright Mind and Gifted Diversity

Level: Advanced

9:00-11:00 Pacific Salon #3 Jeff Morton & Victoria Derr

Title: The Gift of Nature: Exploring the Relationship between Gifted Learners and Environmental Literacy

Level: Intermediate


11:30-12:30 Closing Keynote (Golden Pacific Ballroom)

Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden: Every Day Magic Restores Balance and Joy to Gifted Adult Lives

12:30-1:00 Closing Remarks and Goodbyes



Session Descriptions

Gifted Bullies, Targets, and Bystanders, Adult Responsibilities, Adult Bullies, and Parent Advocacy: What Should We Understand?

Gifted children and teens can be targets or perpetrators of bullying/cyberbullying—or both. The presenter will summarize unexpected findings from her own rare national study of bullying of and by gifted youth, as well as from the rapidly growing and increasingly nuanced research in other fields, with implications for how gifted youth experience bullying and for prevention and intervention. She will also discuss her expert-witness experiences in court cases involving bullying, highlighting adult roles as well as cautions and challenges related to legal action.

In general, researchers in the field of gifted education have not focused on bullying. However, rapidly growing bullying research activity in other fields has addressed these questions: What characterizes and drives bullies? What contributes to targets’ vulnerability and what might decrease it? How has cyberbullying altered the bullying landscape? What is the role of, and impact on, bystanders, including online? What is known about targets who are also bullies? When does social aggression typically increase during the school years? What is known about aggression against exceptional students at either end of a bell curve of cognitive ability? What mental health concerns are associated with bullying? Why are some prevention efforts ineffective? How should parents and educators respond to bullying? Do bullies warrant concern? The presenter will respond to the above questions and will also offer perspectives based on her expert-witness experiences, when parents had initiated court action. Adult roles and responsibilities in schools will be underscored. Scholars are also now examining aspects beyond the individuals directly involved, since bullying may be systemic, with school culture and climate conducive. Experts emphasize that agreement among school personnel and parents about what constitutes bullying is important for prevention, intervention and when considering or facing legal action. Bullying by adults in schools and at home and the impact of adult modeling will also be examined. Participants will be involved in brief, interspersed activities.


The Shadow Side of Adult Giftedness

Description: Being gifted is a minority status. While many other minorities have opportunities to openly share their experience with each other and the culture at large, there is a particular taboo in talking about giftedness. Giftedness is frequently associated with elitism or arrogance by many in the majority culture, and this may inhibit gifted individuals from acknowledging or owning this aspect of their identity, particularly if they had negative experiences from being identified as gifted children. Yet being able to talk frankly about what it is like to be a gifted adult, and the challenges – or shadow side – of giftedness, is tremendously helpful in terms of normalizing experience, reducing isolation, creating community, and offering hope and options. This workshop is taught at a beginner level and is appropriate for: • mental health professionals • educators/counselors in higher education settings • gifted adults • those partnered with or otherwise engaging with gifted adults • those interested in the impact of gifted childhood experience on adult functioning. Through the use of vignettes and video clips, breakout discussion groups, and didactic presentation, participants will enrich their understanding of the adult gifted experience. They will learn about key traits of gifted adults and the shadow side of being gifted, including social, relationship, and work challenges; common mental health challenges; and adult outcomes of less-than-ideal schooling or parenting. Participants will acquire a foundational understanding of the qualitative experience of adult giftedness and typical clinical presentations of gifted adults, as well as interventions to assist these clients in developing greater resiliency in dealing with the shadow side of their giftedness, and enhancing personal and professional fulfillment.


If You’re So Smart…: Executive Function Coaching for Gifted Folks Who Struggle to Get Things Done

Most of the interventions suggested for helping “absent-minded professors” get their work done, keep track of stuff, manage time, and the like, involve imposing an outside authority’s will on an uncooperative client.  However, gifted folks often resist those approaches and hence also the strategies they are trying to teach, leaving everyone frustrated and exhausted.

It is much more effective to bring the client onto their own team, recruiting them into the process of self-observation, problem-solving, strategy development, and refinement over time.  Whether in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood; whether the struggle is in school, the workplace, or the social world; whether there is something diagnosable or whether the struggle reflects the ordinary complications of life; everyone who struggles with executive functioning can find ways to improve and direct their own change.  The approach is collaborative, nonjudgmental, and strategic, normalizing the need for intervention, building the client’s motivation, and helping make change possible.

This skill-building session will include principles and case study examples of executive function coaching, an important emerging area of clinical practice.   Participants are encouraged to come thinking of a client, family member, or common situation that has been challenging for them; we will work on how to apply the principles and specific strategies for common problems.


Challenges in Life and Love: Unique Issues for Gifted Adults and Couples

Gifted adults have intellectual and emotional characteristics that can differ significantly from the norm. They may behave in ways that are normal expressions of giftedness, but which may be misinterpreted by others and judged negatively or misdiagnosed and subjected to inappropriate treatment even by well-intentioned professionals. An understanding of the origin and context of these behaviors in a gifted individual is essential for avoiding the common mistakes in their interpretation and treatment.

Gifted adults are often driven to realize their potential, but challenges and frustration can arise when they feel pulled in numerous different directions or realize they can excel in more than one pursuit. e capacity for multi- potentiality requires gifted individuals to make difficult decisions and face the reality of limited time and resources to do it all.

In addition, the emotional and intellectual characteristics of gifted adults can influence the dynamics in their relationships. While they desire a close connection with a partner, they may end up in hurtful patterns that undermine their attempts to establish secure emotional bonds. They may wrestle with the inherently messy nature of their emotional lives and feel frustrated when they see their own or their partner’s “irrational” reactions overriding what they think should be the logical response to situations.


Understanding and Addressing Common Defenses in Gifted Adults: Intellectualization, Rationalization, Humor, Altruism, and Sublimation

Defenses create distance from painful experiences.  They are not problematic, except when used inflexibly.  Gifted individuals tend to use certain defenses to avoid feeling anxious/helpless and to maintain their self-schema.  Intellectualization involves relying on thinking, instead of feeling one’s emotions.  Rationalization keeps individuals from recognizing unwanted aspects of themselves.  Humor involves dealing with emotional distress by focusing on the amusing or ironic aspects of a situation.  Altruism allows individuals to deal with difficulty by dedicating themselves to serving others, which provides gratification and personal satisfaction.  Finally, sublimation allows individuals to utilize creative outlets to transform painful experiences into something beneficial for themselves or society.  Working with defenses in therapy will be explored.


Turning Worriers into Warriors!: Anxiety in Gifted and 2e Youth

Gifted individuals (children, adolescents, and adults) are prone to several types of anxiety, including worrying, obsessing, perfectionism, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety.  Anxious children and adolescents often engage in behaviors to minimize the distress of their anxiety, such as avoiding school or not trying if they do not think they can do a task perfectly.  Children and adolescents who worry are often preoccupied with their worrisome thoughts, thus inhibiting their ability to maximally learn in the classroom, comfortably connect with peers, and fully engage in life.  While the aforementioned is true for gifted children, twice-exceptional children face additional challenges given their disabilities such as ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, and Dyslexia.  Being aware of a gifted individual’s propensity to become anxious, as well as learning and teaching effective interventions for reducing anxiety, increases the likelihood of academic achievement, and positive social-emotional adjustment in life.


The BIG Three: Addressing Gifted Adults’ Issues on Career, Relationships, Emotions

This workshop will offer best practices in addressing common challenges in career, relationships, and personal emotions. Focus is not on clinical issues but on common challenges faced by “normal” gifted adults:

  • Career: Choosing a career, finding the right job, managing people, Managing time well and avoiding procrastination.
  • Relationships: Finding a compatible romantic partner…and making it work.
  • Emotions: Managing expectations of yourself and of others.


Addressing Over-excitabilities through Attachment Repair

Founded by Peter Cummings, LCSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 40 years experience as a mental health professional. AARM is an innovative psychotherapy based on findings from Attachment Theory, Internal Ego States, Polyvagal, Trauma and Bottom up – Top down theories. Working within the peripersonal space, AARM teaches therapists a neurobiological approach for bringing regulation to disregulation in the autonomic nervous system.

Through a process of neuromodulation and limbic attunement the AARM creates safety for clients as they are guided through a sensory processing protocol where traumas are released and disregulation in the system can be repaired.  This training teaches therapists how to integrate the AARM into their current practice and measure success with evidence based outcomes.


ADHD in Children: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt

Description: The identification of ADHD in children has increased exponentially over the last couple decades. This phenomenon has given rise to opportunities and challenges. One major challenge is that the symptoms of ADHD overlap with the characteristics of giftedness as well as symptoms of some other disorders. How do you differentiate among them? This workshop will inform and enhance the participant’s understanding of the diagnostic and treatment practice by: (1) establishing diagnostic protocol; (2) exploring differential diagnoses; (3) highlighting an effective integrated treatment regimen.


Post-Traumatic Growth: Thriving Amidst Trauma & Tragedy

In life, bad things happen — this is a truth of life.  When adversity and trauma occur, some feel victimized, some survive and others thrive.  Post-Traumatic Growth occurs in those that thrive . . . and it’s important to realize that resilience skills can be fostered to support healing.  Join us for a lively discussion and examination of how growth does occur after tragedy.

KEYNOTE – From Knowledge to Wisdom to Sagacity: The Sacred Journey and Call to Action

This presentation will focus on the differences between being knowledgeable, having wisdom, and being sagacious.  Current macro problems, as described by Ambrose, as well as the types of knowledge and skills needed to impact change will be presented. A brief discussion of Sternberg’s ACCEL model, which focuses on ethical and moral reasoning as a hallmark of intelligence will be highlighted as well. For the gifted the ability to live with harmony and balance is often at risk due to heightened sensitivities about societal challenges.  Indigenous wisdom and the four sacred gifts, as described by Anita Sanchez, will be discussed as a means of moving from knowledge to wisdom to sagacity.


Welcome to the Real World: Recognizing the Challenges Facing Gifted/2e Teens and Adults (A)

The asynchronous development of gifted/2e individuals does not magically disappear at a certain age. Modern living can challenge those who may be advanced in some areas of functioning, but behind in others. Daily living such as hygiene, laundry, eating, and managing finances can paralyze them. Rites of passage including getting a driver’s license, introduction to drugs/alcohol, and dating can overwhelm and frighten. This session will explore how asynchrony continues into teen and adulthood.


Lookin’ for Love (in all the right places): Nurturing the Spiritual Quest (A)

This presentation is based on the premise that humans naturally seek connection with a force greater than they, that this drive is a key part of developing their full human potential, and that it is especially important to recognize and support the development of Spiritual OE and/or spiritual giftedness in gifted people as soon as possible because—as with other areas of development—the gifted are more likely to exhibit asynchrony, potentially causing unnecessary emotional distress or even existential depression. Therefore, the objectives of this session are: 1) to help individual adults and parents recognize the presence of a spiritual quest and learn ways to nurture and support its development; 2) to give participants an opportunity to determine whether they have a spiritual over-excitability; 3) to provide a forum for individual adults and parents to share some of their own experiences and questions about the spiritual journey, thus normalizing a phenomenon that they may have felt could not be openly expressed; 4) through guided visualization, allow participants a chance to connect directly with their non-physical nature. Session presentation methods will include individual completion of a self-assessment similar to the OEQ-II, limited didactic presentation, facilitated discussion, guided visualization exercise, and handouts with questions for reflection, notes, and a list of resources


Untangling the Complexities of Identifying and Potentiating Gifted Students with Physical Disabilities (E)

What does it really take to understand and identify the gifted and talented in physically disabled populations? In order to understand the answers to this question it is important to comb through the tangled preconceived notions of what physical disability is and why it’s underserved. This presentation led by a gifted individual who is also physically disabled will help you to understand how you identify the gifted and talented in students who have a physical disability and how that identification can help activate their potential.


Fostering Self-Compassion in Gifted Individuals (A)

Self-Compassion has been proven to be an effective mindset and intervention toward more sustainable mental health and self-concept. This presentation will apply the work of Dr. Kristin Neff in the field of self-compassion to the gifted population and typical struggles faced by many gifted individuals. In particular, we will consider how Dabrowski’s super-stimulabilities and other typical psychosocial traits can lead to perfectionism, imposter syndrome, self-judgment, low frustration tolerance, depression, and anxiety. We will consider the ways in which society’s responses to giftedness and emphasis on self-esteem can also contribute to un-wellness in gifted children, youth, and adults. Self-compassion will then be defined and defended as an effective intervention toward increased wellness. Attendees will be introduced to, and participate in, exercises to increase self-compassion. The session will be a blend of lecture and interactive. Learning Objectives:

1 – Participants will be able to identify at least 5 psychosocial traits typical within the gifted population2 – Participants will be able to explain how typical psychosocial experiences of gifted individuals may contribute to un-wellness in the forms of perfectionism, imposter syndrome, low frustration tolerance, self-judgment, and mental health issues.3 – Participants will be able to define self-compassion and identify the 3 components that contribute to self-compassion4 – Participants will be able to identify and implement at least 3 interventions to increase self-compassion.


Motivate the Unmotivated: The Gifted & Crisis (A)

Understanding a child’s social and emotional development supports educators and other experts to unpack the elements of motivation that are integral to success in the classroom. There are several factors that contribute to one’s motivation, like previous school experiences, attachment, trauma, as well as other factors. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 suffer from mental illness and only 1 in 5 of those children who suffer from mental, emotional, or behavioral problems receive treatment. Half of those children will end up dropping out of high school. While those numbers are daunting, there are ways to motivate gifted+ children. According to 40 years of academic research, incentives—and disincentives—don’t normally work, and, often become the focal part of the classroom experience overshadowing the learning process. Educators should aspire to motivate students intrinsically in order to support their appreciation of the learning process. An increased emphasis on preparing educators to utilize technology is driving the use of technology as an extrinsic motivator which creates a desire to do an activity for the sake of a reward. This it is not a sustainable model of motivation. Classroom tools, like mobile devices, open the door to countless opportunities for learning but there is a huge gap in social and emotional learning. There is not a learning tool that supports social and emotional learning like educators and other experts.


Fostering Creativity, Innovation, and Grit in Gifted Individuals (A)

This presentation is designed to reach educators, parents, and gifted individuals who are interested in understanding creatively gifted people and supporting the development of creativity. The objectives are to: Inform participants about the necessity of intentionally teaching and fostering creative and innovative attitudes and abilities to help gifted individuals reach their highest potential. Familiarize participants with creativity assessments and how they can be used in gifted identifications Give resources to participants to help them begin fostering creativity and innovation with the gifted individuals in their lives. The session will include an overview of assessments used to identify creatively gifted people and a discussion about how these assessments gauge the creative: person, process, product, and press. The session will also include discussion of research on the perceived loss of creativity throughout school and encourage attendees to participate in activities that can help boost creative attitudes and abilities. We will challenge the assumption that “some people are creative and some just aren’t” with a discussion about the grit necessary to create. We will offer resources such as book lists, online communities, and activities that can foster creativity and innovation in the attendees and the gifted individuals in their lives.


Seven Strategies for Secondary Success: A Parent’s Perspective (P)

Using the collective wisdom of parents, educators, psychologists, and spiritual leaders, seven strategies to guide gifted teens will be introduced and discussed. These strategies will help parents encourage and support their children as they transition from middle to high school, begin an interactive discussion of situations that may be experienced during the teen years, and identify ways to face and adapt positively to various challenges. Topics discussed during this session include, but are not limited to, relationships, connections, resilience, perseverance, fear, and anxiety. Other topics may be explored but are dependent on audience interest and participation. As gifted teens grow in adolescence, parents need to be mindful of asynchronous development and their child’s need for security while exploring independence. Parents must continue to be a solid support for their teen as well as an advocate for their needs. As the teen increases self-awareness and faces new situations, strong connections with family, friends, and faith are keys to their social and emotional well-being. Overall, this session will benefit the gifted community by: (1) providing parents an awareness of the social and emotional factors that may affect the health and happiness of their gifted children during adolescence, (2) building confidence in dealing with unique situations that may arise during the teen years, and (3) helping families understand the support needed as gifted children rely less on parents and begin setting goals and planning for a future of personal fulfillment.


Our Gifted Co-Workers: Agile & Beyond (A)

In this presentation, I will share work management best practices for well-being and productivity. An overview of processes that address the needs of all ‘types’ of the gifted and inevitability address the needs of all. Practices that include: Transparency, change management, process flexibility, inclusion and customized communication. I have over 25 years of experience in information technology management, service and process development at Michigan State University where I have had the pleasure of working with many gifted individuals. Audience – This presentation is for everyone; improved work processes can have a major impact on well-being and productivity. History – When my son entered elementary school, suddenly surrounded by children I began to take an interest in the missing pieces of education and I found SENG. One of the first articles I read ‘Profiles of the Gifted and Talented’ provided description of six different ‘types’ of gifted individuals. I immediately recognized many of my co-workers. As I researched further on gifted adults, as well as young people, I found many of their educational needs were also needs in the workplace, and not just for the gifted. I began to focus on work environment and processes that addressed these needs and when I was introduced to Agile development processes several years back, I found an alignment with my goal. Presentation – This presentation will include an overview and examples of processes that foster workplace success for the individual, the team and the business.


Overcoming Anti-Intellectual Attitudes in Professional Development (E)

Attendees will investigate how the rise of anti-intellectualism in politics and popular culture of the twenty-first century affects Gifted Education and its impact on serving and identifying learners. Attendees will then acquire the skills and knowledge to overcome this attitude when planning professional developments and advocating for the gifted in your communities. Using the 4-A Learning Sequence Model, attendees will be introduced to anti-intellectualism. Presenter will review the historical background of anti-intellectualism including implications for gifted education. Attendees will analyze common complaints about gifted education and create ways to rebut confidently with research. Takeaways include task cards/supplies for future PDs.


Talent Development in Emerging Adulthood and the Quarter Life Crisis (A)

Participants will gain actionable insight into causes of the Quarter Life Crisis and what they can do about it as parents, gifted emerging adults and professionals. I will explain risks to talent development when a gifted emerging adult (18-27) fails to develop an adult identity or establish financial and emotional independence from parents, not meet expectations, have an inflated sense of entitlement or suffer from over-parenting. These factors thwart career decisions, inspire low self-confidence, and are exacerbated by a lack of real world interpersonal/work experience given generational changes in the world of work, technology and shifting socioemotional norms.


The 7 Challenges of the Gifted Child (A)

Giftedness comes with challenges for parents and educators of gifted children. This is based on working in the field with hundreds of schools and thousands of educators: it addresses what the 7 challenges are and how to support students with them:

  1. Beliefs: his challenge focuses on the fixed vs growth mindset and what we can learn in terms of development-oriented learning
  2. Memory: Since gifted children mostly learn by understanding, how can we help them to develop their memorization skills?
  3. Motivation: It can be challenging to stimulate any child to do its homework, let alone a gifted child. How do you encourage motivation?
  4. Tolerance for frustration: Not everything works the first time you try. Here are ways to develop perseverance, and how to get the child in ‘flow’
  5. Cooperation: Finding peers can be challenging, along with working with classmates who are different than a gifted child. We describe ways to make cooperation functional and helpful for the child.
  6. Focused work: focus can be a struggle. When a child keeps being distracted or becomes overly dependent of a parent or teacher,it is necessary to work on executive skills
  7. Knowledge gaps: many gifted children suffer gaps in their knowledge, which we refer to as an incomplete concept stack. How to prevent this, or deal with this once it has happened?

Drawing from both main stream interventions as well as gifted literature the material is applied specifically on the context of teaching gifted students.


Courageous Conversations for Gifted Educators: A Model Designed to Increase Minority Students’ Participation in Gifted Programs (E)

Gifted education continues to struggle with under-representation of racial ethnic minority students in its programs. Under-representation is persistent, pervasive and its statistics are staggering. Whole populations of students have been overlooked – upwards to 70% by some indicators (Ford; Richert; et al). Over the years (at least 40) commendable, but fragmented success can be identified, but comprehensive success remains non-existent. Participants will be introduced to “Courageous Conversations for Gifted Education.” It is a process to enrich outcomes of identification, to bring comprehensive services to gifted programs, and to close the participation gap between minority and majority student populations.


Sex and Intimacy in Gifted Relationships (A)

Despite its importance in adult relationships, sexuality and intimacy are not often talked about at conferences geared towards the gifted. However, traits commonly associated with giftedness, such as over-excitabilities, sensory sensitivities, deep thinking, social awkwardness, intensity, emotional and attentional issues can pose unique challenges in intimate relationships. Likewise, sexual and gender identity are not common topics at gifted conferences, even though these impact people at a core level. This session will explore sexual and gender identity in gifted individuals, including those who are exploring their gender and/or sexuality. We will also discuss the connections between romantic feelings, gender and sexuality and finding the authentic self. In Dr. Malonai’s clinical work with the gifted population, teens and adults of all ages have shared how hard it is to connect with others, especially about sexuality. Couples have reported how hard it can be to talk about their gifted traits when the focus is on sex or relationships. In addition, clients have said that understanding, communicating, and experiencing their needs regarding sexuality and intimacy sometimes feels impossible. This workshop will explore sexuality in gifted individuals, and provide insight into how gifted traits impact relationships. Professionals will have the opportunity to share their experiences in counseling gifted adults who struggle with these issues. Participants will learn communication tools and trust building solutions for how to better communicate about sexuality and intimacy.


Intensities Through a Values Lens: A Workshop for Adults (A)

According to Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD), certain qualities –dynamisms – are essential for positive personality development. In this lively workshop, Maggie uses a values-based approach to identify these energies and core values driving personal growth. Participants draw on their own experiences to engage with key concepts. The small group format supports meaningful shared learning. This workshop will be of personal interest, and will also be useful for anyone working professionally with gifted adults.


When Lazy Doesn’t Make Sense: How Executive Functions Impact Our Gifted Students (P) (E)

Executive functioning challenges are often a key factor in the success or failure of our twice-exceptional population. This workshop focuses on the gifted or highly creative child and the divergent thinking styles that affect their thinking processes and executive skills. These low achieving students have come to believe that they are “Lazy” or impostors because of their difficulty initiating tasks; staying focused; and completing even self-initiated projects; all symptoms of executive functioning difficulties rather than ability. Though their production results may be similar to other students with LDs or executive skill dysfunction, the factors inhibiting their success may be quite different. The road to intervention requires alternate perspectives of their journey and their barriers to self-advocacy. Researchers stress that executive function is a better predictor of academic success than IQ. Dr. Martha Denckla further asserts that difficulties with executive functions can become “production disabilities.” Teachers often misinterpret the behaviors of highly verbal gifted students with poor executive skills and rarely offer specialized assistance, especially if they test within state norms. Yet these are often students destined to become depressed, drop out, and never reach their full potential as young adults. An integrated model will be presented which takes into account the research from noted professionals in the special education, and educational therapy communities, along with the various environmental, social-emotional, and intense experiences of our gifted and talented population. With audience participation, we will discuss various routes to scaffolding and intervention which prepare these children to confidently encounter progressively challenging educational demands and to encourage students to develop autonomous, lifelong learning strategies.


What I Want the World to Know About Parenting Twice-Exceptional Kids (P)

Parenting twice-exceptional kids is exhausting, frustrating, and isolating. It can also be exhilarating, heartwarming, and hysterical. No one knows this like a parent deep in the thick of it. What would you tell others about the experience? Would they believe you? Drawing from her experience as the parent of at least one twice-exceptional son (the jury is still out on the youngest) and a decade of conversations with other 2e parents, Jen will share her long list of what she’d like to tell others about raising these amazing kids, as well as help you develop the gallows humor and thick skin no one tells you you’ll need.


Adapting the System: How Gifted Students Can Personalize High School (A)

Gifted teens are sometimes unaware of the possibilities that lie outside their school’s course of study bulletin. When over 300 gifted secondary students from 25 different school districts were asked, “Have you created your own individual route to graduation that may be different from the norm?” only 30% said “yes.” In describing those routes, 25% mentioned advanced mathematics and another 25% referred to AP/IB/Honors classes. Most of the other responses were vague generalizations about working hard, getting good grades, and taking more difficult classes. Following a guided exploration of specific options and opportunities, paths and plans, students were asked, “Do you now feel you need or want to create a unique route to graduation?” This time, 93% of the students responded that they did. The options they selected to explore were far more diverse, specific, and personalized than those mentioned initially. Only 12% of their goals focused on mathematics, while interest in other academic areas rose significantly, especially in language arts and science. Only 2% involved AP/IB/Honors classes, while mentorships, independent study, and compacted courses were frequently included in their plans. This session highlights the steps gifted students can take in reimagining their own paths to graduation and beyond, selecting appropriate options, and creating new opportunities. It includes examples of student success in self-advocating and suggestions for adults who can support their plans.


Building Bridges without Dynamite (A)

Do you feel your fuse is short and about ready to explode when you think of advocating for your gifted kid? Come to this class and learn how to replace that stick of dynamite with effective POSITIVE tools of advocacy. Fill your tool belt and leave the dynamite at home! Bio: Stephanie Newitt is a parent and board member of the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented. As a parent she successfully worked with her home district in Gilbert, Arizona, as a positive advocate for expanded gifted programming during a time of financial difficulty and district leadership change. Theme: Guiding the gifted experience in learning environments: school districts Level: Beginners and Intermediate The presentation “Building Bridges without Dynamite” is designed to help parents of the gifted acquire positive tools to help them in their advocacy for the gifted. Components of the Advocacy Bridge include: 1) A parent’s ability to articulate the needs of the gifted, using objective and subjective information 2) Tips to respectfully connect with school/district leadership and educators. 3) Knowledge of gifted education laws and funding in their state 4) Parent networking tips. Parents get farther in their advocacy if they are willing to advocate for not just their own child. Conclusion: Change or expansion in gifted programs is more likely to occur when the needs of gifted children are understood and relationships with stake-holders are built with respect and positivity.


A Journey from Gifted Child to Gifted Granny (A)

As a gifted educator, my personal purpose has always been to inspire my students to recognize, refine and celebrate their gifts and talents and to use them to make the world a better place. In this interactive presentation, my daughter and I will share our personal journeys from the viewpoints of child, parent, educator, gifted coordinator for a school district & grandparent. We will share resources to help the participants navigate their own important journeys, celebrate their unique stories and inspire others to use their gifts and talents to make our world a better place.


How to Fit in and Blossom in the Work Place When One is Gifted (A)

This presentation is based on a book I published in 2016. It relies on a literature review which spans different fields:

  • neurophysiology / over-excitabilities -> intensity, complexity and drive
  • sociology and psychology (school and university challenges, mobbing, etc.)

There are very few books dedicated to gifted in the workplace. The main added value of my work is an analysis of differences in expectations from companies and gifted through the lens of the personality tests (MBTI, Big Five among others) based on scientific studies that will be discussed in this presentation.


Goal Setting Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Growth of Gifted Students (A)

Expectations for students’ SEC growth are not specified in most curriculum standards. However, such growth is imperative, and uniquely supporting positive development of this growth fosters a better environment for academic development and achievement. Finding authentic ways to develop non-academic needs of gifted students within the classroom is difficult. This proposal presents goal setting as an effective method to simultaneously support the Social/Emotional and intellectual development of gifted students. I look forward to sharing current research in the field and action research from my classroom, while providing a format where participants brainstorm implementation in their roles with gifted learners.


‘Bring on the Cringe’: Teaching Sex Education to Gifted Students (A) (E)

Sexuality education is a very important aspect of a person’s development. The educational field is moving towards a lifespan education model of sexuality, which allows educators to meet the different developmental needs of different students by focusing on lessons that are appropriate for different development levels. Traditionally, sex education has not reached special education classrooms and gifted students, which represent a type of special education, are an example of a population that is often overlooked regarding sex education. A review of the literature regarding gifted education revealed guidelines but no clear program designed to meet the specific needs of gifted learners in sex education. This presentation serves to fill that gap in the broader literature by providing a road map to implementing a successful sex education program in a private school for gifted learners. This manuscript also will provide outcome data that demonstrate the measurable impact of sex education on a gifted population. The author will also discuss the implementation process in detail, providing advice and guidelines for professionals who seek to implement similar programs in similar schools. Implications of implementing sex education programs will also be discussed.


Why Assessments Often Lead to Remediation and Accommodations for 2e Learners and What to do About it. (E)

The objective of this session is to shine a light on the potentially confusing process of having your 2e child evaluated and how 2e students’ challenges may mask their gifts. Further we will discuss how to advocate for accommodations and strategies that encourage talent development. Using a case-study we will look at the potential for multiple diagnoses to the detriment of recognizing and pursuing strengths. Topics: An overview of a variety of assessments will be presented; their purpose, and how they test certain skill sets. We will review common challenges such as: emotion regulation, frustration tolerance, impulsivity, risk aversion, anxiety, perfectionism, over-excitabilities and how they can interfere and mask gifts leading to conclusions that can pigeon-hole 2e kids. The relationship between perfectionism and underachievement will also be discussed as well as an overview of OEs and their potential interference with testing success. For instance, we will review how certain OEs may lead educators and assessors to see distractibility, lack of focus, hyperactivity, or lack of concern for one’s work product. Finally, we will review accommodations and strategies that are particularly effective for home and school for the typical diagnoses of dysgraphia, working memory, processing speed and executive functioning challenges. Conclusions: Gifted and 2e kids need to be assessed by someone with familiarity with these profiles. Since it is often difficult to find someone with a true understanding, parents must have the tools to “read between the lines” and advocate for their child to avoid over-remediation and encourage talent development. Potential Benefits: Often, the assessment is the first-time parents learn their child is gifted and/or has learning differences. Giving parents a voice to highlight their child’s strengths in the midst of struggles, is imperative to keeping a child’s self-esteem intact and to allow a 2e child to succeed.


Socioemotional Development of Gifted Children (A)

This presentation provides a perspective and understanding of the development of gifted children utilizing Eriksonian theory of development with concepts in giftedness/2e. The socioemotional development of gifted children is beautifully complex. Numerous well-accepted concepts within the gifted field have been acknowledged, including, but not limited to, those of intellectual precocity, asynchronous development, socioemotional needs, twice-exceptionality (2e), and over-excitabilities (OE’s) within Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration. This presentation posits an understanding of the socioemotional development of gifted children that will incorporate the myriad concepts in the field of giftedness/2e to help guide parents, teachers, and clinicians with gifted children’s optimal growth and development.


Thriving With Intensity: Mining the Magic From Over-Excitabilities

Long term fulfillment comes not from moments of happiness, but from the experience of being alive in action towards meaningful goals. Taking active control of our lives and living in ways that are congruent with our values. The intensity of over-excitabilities can make creating such lives both more important and more difficult. For children, over-excitabilities often underlie behavioral and self-regulation challenges that interfere with social expectations at school and with age mates. Parents and educators often help children manage over-excitabilities with behavior modification strategies and environmental changes. These strategies are often effective for allowing intense children to develop in mainstream environments. Many adults see this as the goal of working with such children. However, these strategies often fail to teach children how to get the benefit of their sensitivities as they develop. When understood more deeply, OEs can be the foundation on which an intensely satisfying life can be built. Fulfillment and meaning are felt experiences, emotional states. For gifted individuals with emotional over-excitabilities, the absence of such experiences can be devastating. Dissatisfaction and existential depression can result. Moreover, once someone has had an experience of deeply fulfilling or meaningful activity, the drive to recreate it can be profound. In this presentation, I will explore how people can work with their OEs to facilitate self-actualization. The gifts of finely tuned sensitivities are many. Once a few tools are identified for getting the most out of OEs, the potential for self-awareness and life-changing transformations are profound. Using a coaching and leaderships skills framework, I will explore how to discover the gifts in our individual OEs and how to use those gifts to create more fulfillment in any moment. I will provide language and exercises to use working with both adults and children.


Mindfulness and Metacognition for Moms and Dads: Expanding the Toolkit for Family Well-being (P)

Parents of asynchronous children are often criticized as “helicopter parents” for being overly involved in their child’s social development; others take a hands-off approach out of fear or self-doubt. In my book, Writing your Own Script: The Role of the Parent in the Gifted Child’s Social Development, co-authored with Corin Barsily Goodwin, we explore what parents need to know and how to know when they are doing too much or too little to create age- and intellectually appropriate social opportunities for our children. We discuss the specific social needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children, and how a parent can support their child so needs are met, and skills have the opportunity to blossom. My presentation is based largely on the work we have done in creating this book. The workshop begins with an overview of what kind of social stimulation is optimal for a gifted/2e child, looking especially at the work of Miraca Gross. The bulk of the presentation focuses on practical issues, including how to find and create opportunities for social development, how to provide specific support for 2e children, how parents can manage outside input and criticism in a graceful and productive way, and how to handle “outside the box” solutions to their child’s unique social needs.


Who Am I Really: Looking Beyond Stereotypes to True Needs of Special Populations of Gifted Students (A)

Looking at subcategories of our gifted population, we will discuss challenges that occur due to certain life situations (poverty and all the effects beyond financials… racial biases and excellence gaps and the impacts of micro aggressions… traumatic childhood experiences and the effects on learning and behaviors… the issues of the highly gifted that schools often miss and don’t serve… and more.) Strategies for improving support for these students will be discussed, with an emphasis on empathy and identifying special needs so these kids can soar. I will use my experience of supporting gifted programs and families across the state and the different approaches I’ve seen implemented, as well as the use of social emotional rubrics to assist educators in providing targeted goal-setting and support.


Squire on the Hero’s Journey: Helping Roles Across the Lifespan (A)

When we set out to help someone else, whether as a parent, teacher, therapist, or mentor, we can easily be drawn into focus on technique, seeing ourselves as a kind of mechanic who will fix what is wrong with the person.  However, the role of helper is much more profound.  We offer ourselves as an experienced squire and fellow-traveler, one who will be reliably present when needed, offer ideas without compulsion, help the hero develop their skills and build their resources, travel with them on the journey, witness their triumphs great and small, and eventually welcome them into our community as equals. Self-object relationships are used in various ways at all stages of the lifespan: to help in emotional self-regulation in the face of overwhelming thoughts and feelings; the development of self-awareness, ego strength and frustration tolerance; building a sense of self-efficacy and self-worth in the face of a world that can be unhelpful or even antagonistic; as well as finding and pursuing a meaningful purpose in life. This presentation is an adaptation of the chapter I have written for the SENG eBook on supporting gifted individuals throughout the lifespan. I explain the psychodynamic concept of self-object relationships (primarily based in the writings of Heinz Kohut) in plain language, apply this to various common experiences of gifted individuals, and explain concrete way for gifted people to seek the help they need and provide the kinds of help those around them need.


The Complexities of Adult Giftedness: Understanding Your Rainforest Mind (A)

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 and purpose. Issues include: sensitivities, perfectionism, multi-potentiality, and relationships. Humor, music, and handouts provided.


Exploring the Linguistic Profile of Gifted English as Second Language Learners (E)

A unique combination of lecture with an interactive component. Presenter will share findings of research that explored the impact of linguistic strategies and personal traits on vocabulary development among academically successful gifted ESL students. Attendees will discuss the different resulting themes, sharing experiences, and building on what theorists present and they experience. Next, they will be invited to share the strategies recalled and the issues raised. It is an opportunity for an interactive reflection on practices through sharing personal perspectives. An experience that allows participants to learn and develop actionable strategies to support ESL learners in their vocabulary development.


Gifted Culture Kids: Real World Survival Skills for Being Different, Resilient, and for Creating an Unbreakable Sense of Belonging (A)

Gifted kids regularly struggle to make sense of what it means to be different- “Is something wrong with me?”, “Where do I fit-in?”, “Why don’t other people get me?” And we, the passionate adults in the lives of these kids often struggle to find the right words, ideas, and stories that not only provide the information, but also the real-world skills they need to successfully navigate a neurotypical world. Enter Gifted Culture Kids- a story and activity-based publication that takes difficult experiences of difference and transforms them into self-insight and courage. It takes existential questions of fitting-in and turns them into true evidence of belonging. And it takes the language of misunderstanding and mis-judgement and translates it into resilience. Using Intercultural Communication as a framework for understanding the gifted experience, we will examine how seeing giftedness as a culture offers validation for our unique experience of reality, and gives us a narrative for being different in the world. We will also integrate into this vision the tools necessary for navigating our intercultural experiences of giftedness- vulnerability, self-compassion, resilience, trust, and belonging; inspired by the work of Brene Brown, Ph.D.; Christopher Willard, Psy.D.; and Kristin Neff, Ph.D. The result is an empowering formula for talking to kids regularly about the intangible, abstract, and messy parts of giftedness. You’ll learn how to apply these insights into your own life and work with gifted kids, as well as find out how you can be a part of a growing cultural movement fueled by parents, teachers, and leaders in the gifted community.


Voices of Suicide: Parents Speak Out About Loss and Life (P)

Three parents have a bond they wish they didn’t. All mothers lost sons to suicide. Robin DeWoody Francis, Shay Black, and Patricia Newcum Todd ponder their children’s giftedness and the possibilities of their twice-exceptionality. One parent is a Licensed Professional Counselor, one gave permission for a startup organization (J.O.S.H.) in her son’s name, and the other wants to get more awareness education into the gifted and talented programs at the middle and high schools, saying parents need to be aware and know how to talk to their kids about mental health. Moderated by Robin’s high school friend Terry Filipowicz who’s currently working within the gifted education and psychology field plus researches and writes about identity and perception, “Voices of Suicide: Parents Speak About Loss and Life” will allow the parents to talk about their experiences in the hopes of helping other adults and kids speak up and speak out.


Catching Them Doing Things Right (A)

Building on the science and research in the field of positive psychology, Lisa will share how to ‘catch them doing things right’ as it applied to gifted children. The parent of two gifted children herself, and a corporate coach, speaker, trainer and consultant, Lisa got interested in the role of positive reinforcement when she was a high school teacher, and has carried these ideas through her own work and research through different careers and roles. Participants will learn:

  • the power of positive acknowledgement and recognition
  • why some positive praise does not work, and can actually do harm
  • why gifted kids have an especially hard time hearing and believing positive praise from others
  • how to craft positive acknowledgement and recognition in ways that motivate and stick

Participants will leave with a new toolkit at their disposal – how to positively motivate gifted individuals of all ages to achieve their “potential” and do good in the world.


Design Thinking and Project Based Learning for Twice-Exceptional Children

Are you having a hard time meeting your creative gifted or twice-exceptional child’s need for depth and complexity in their learning? You may have heard of Design Thinking and project-based learning and wondered if it can meet those needs; but do you need help in figuring out exactly how it all works? Join educator, author, and coach Jade Rivera to discuss authentic learning, how to scaffold a child as they learn new skills, and how giftedness and twice-exceptionality, design thinking and project-based learning go hand in hand. Jade will share her favorite resources and techniques for meeting the educational needs of these amazing and delightful children at this fun and engaging workshop.


College Guidance and Support for Gifted Students (P)

This presentation contains five parts. Part 1. Selective colleges ask three questions: Can you be a successful student here? What qualities do you bring to our school? What qualities does our school have that you will benefit from and take advantage of? Part 2. Common opportunities and challenges for gifted students. Gifted students often thrive in having focused interests that are needed by colleges, but can struggle in self-presentation. Part 3. Conducting a thoughtful selection process via case studies and stories. Evidence across fields of success; looking for opportunities at small colleges and state universities; finding those 5 awesome people, wherever they are. Part 4. Long-term enhancement of candidacy. Read, read deeply in a field, network, find local conferences and opportunities that relate to interests.


The Psychology, Neuroanatomy, and Care of the Creative Brain (A)

Gifted creatives have unique brain circuitry and dimensions of personality and psychology that serve to open their imagination to divergent experiences, ideas, and possibilities.  Originating with a unique neuroanatomy and physiology, gifted creatives experience elevated intellectual, sensory and emotional processing. Often immersed in creative pursuits and related states of flow while spending time in solitude, their ideas and behaviors may be misunderstood by others.  Learn about the nature of the creative brain and development along with approaches for balancing the life of creative soul. Join our panel and discussion on cultivating and supporting creative exploration in life while understanding that super creatives have expanded brain networks for imagination. The neuroscience of creativity shows that in flow there are unique brain paths activated for emotion, sensation and unique thinking allowing for originality and divergent thinking. Super creatives are misunderstood and are unfairly tagged as freaks, geeks and weirdos.  Often in creative flow, gifted people are seen as spacey, heady and detached. Much of creative exploration is found in the solitude of the mind.  Gifted individuals are known to have enhanced neuroanatomy and physiology that increases intensities and experiencing the world.  Some super creatives are known as twice exceptional, having a great ability and a large disadvantage.  Additionally, the myriad of gifted creatives include people that see in pictures, imagine different worlds, feel words as emotion, speak in music, create universes and tap into unknown imagination.  Learn from Drs. Susan Daniels, Mike Postma, and Nicole Tetreault how to manifest meaning with creative exploration and develop creative gifts.  Developing a creative community to share ideas is critical for gifted people.  Community is everything. Research shows social inclusion and connectedness to be essential for positive life outcomes.  We want to share the latest science, creativity teachings, and our personal stories to develop an accurate understanding of giftedness to allow for inclusion, acceptance, and compassion for gifted creatives to explore their passions and lift their souls.


How Old Am I Really? A Meditation on Aysnchronous Development (A)

The purpose of this presentation is to bring awareness to the personal and professional impacts of asynchronous development in a gifted adult who remained unidentified throughout childhood. This presentation may be useful for gifted adults who are struggling to function in the work environment and may be battling issues like burnout, exhaustion, and depression. My hope is to encourage gifted adults embrace their giftedness and celebrate their multi-potentiality as they strive toward authenticity and career fulfillment.


Navigating Career Success: The Lifewide Learning Experiences of Successful Gifted Adults in Early Adulthood (A)

During this session, we will explore the lifewide learning experiences of gifted individuals that successfully transitioned into their career field during early adulthood. As the ‘war for talent’ is steadily increasing, new programs to attract and develop the right talent also increases. Yet, amidst the expansion of the talent development and management field, understanding the gifted experience of the talent organizations seek to attract often goes unchecked. This session is dedicated to looking at the gifted experience in early adulthood and lifewide learnings implications for a successful career transition.


Isolated identities: Perspectives of Gifted LGBTQ & Teens & Young Adults (A)

This presentation will focus on the voices and perspectives of gifted and LGBTQ+ individuals ages 17 to 30, provided through anonymous interviews and surveys. From their experiences at school to their current support systems and relationships, there is much to explore. Discussion will include a brief overview of some LGBTQ+ terms and identities, some focus on “lesser known” LGBTQ+ identities such as asexuality and non-binary gender, how these identities interact with giftedness, and how our interviewees’ gifted and queer identities affect their lives in tandem.


Peace Within: An Inside Look at Gifted Well-Being

What does well-being look and feel like for someone experiencing the world with profound awareness and sensitivity? Drawing on more than a decade of experiences and research in a wide-range of communities designed explicitly for gifted individuals, this session will share evidence-based practices to support in bringing our best selves forward. Participants will leave with a framework for better understanding the nuances of gifted development and an organizational change model to support in aligning practices, structures, resources and evaluation with the goal of optimizing growth.


Smart is Not Easy: What Grit & Growth Mindset Really Mean for the Gifted Child (P) (E)

When smart kids find that everything comes easy, an essential aspect of self-development gets lost in the bargain: the development of persistence, self-discipline, and tolerance for failure. While these aspects are rarely discussed, Duckworth’s seminal research on “grit” has much to say about gifted students, as does Dweck’s research on “growth mindset.” Many assume that high IQ predicts success, but their research showed that passion and perseverance mattered a whole lot more – and on average, the smartest kids actually had the least grit. Take a research journey from Terman to Peters, separate the insights from the hype, see the kids-eye view via the popular “James and Susie” animation – and use this fresh perspective to better guide our gifted students.


Beyond Discussion: Infusing Social-Emotional Lessons with Creativity, Creation, Metaphors, and Hands-On Critical Thinking

This presentation will share creative methods and resources which add depth and understanding to social-emotional programming for K-5 gifted learners—methods which go well beyond discussion and response to social-emotional issues. Social-emotional lessons built around NAGC standards such as identity, self-understanding, cultural relevance, perfectionism, and future planning are most valuable when students internalize their understanding through a variety of methods. The methods to be shared in this session represent best practices in gifted education as well as best practices in academic critical thinking:

  1. Creating Physical Metaphors.

Creating physical metaphors to demonstrate understanding represents the highest order of thinking skills while simultaneously drawing on a student’s creativity and design skills. Creating physical metaphors personalizes learning and requires students to create connections to learning.

  1. Connecting Social-Emotional Lessons to Academic Standards.

Connecting social-emotional lessons to academic standards through literature, picture books, video and even mathematics serves a dual purpose. Not only do students identify connections with characters and themes in literature, for example, but teachers can help students understand that our condition (as humans and as a gifted learner) is universal. Students can experience cultures outside their own through literature and video, find identity in universal themes, and learn about giftedness through academic standards (even in math).

  1. Hands-on Learning.

Creating products which demonstrate understanding of social-emotional issues (like the eight great gripes of gifted kids) invites student to express themselves, analyze and synthesize issues, and internalize their understanding in a unique, personal way. While creating products students must use critical thinking skills to translate their understanding into unique products. Participants in this session will be provided many examples as well as explanations and justifications for the methods and resources covered. In additions, participants will walk away with a fully developed lesson they can use in their classrooms.


Parenting Tools for Navigating Intensity (P)

We have these amazing children with amazing intensities and speeds of reactivity. There are so many concentrated moments of life generated by everything going on in our children’s inexperienced systems. Along with our own default-modes, it’s a very difficult set-up for our getting a hold of ourselves. And yet, that’s what they most need from us – to be nonplussed by their current personal tsunami. I will be sharing some power tools for you to use in any situation for getting a hold of yourself. Living becomes more loving, connected, pleasant, and fulfilling for everyone!


Staying Evergreen During the Winter Moments of Life: Preserving the Lives of Gifted Children and Adolescents; Rebuilding Resilience, Strength, Vision, and Hope (A)

Evergreen trees stay green throughout the winter months, able to perform photosynthesis even though they have little sunlight and water. Evergreens are designed to withstand harsh weather and still thrive, but sometimes our gifted population does not fare as well. This presentation will examine strategies that encourage social and emotional health and awareness, an affective photosynthesis, for gifted children and adolescents. Topics will include suicide awareness and prevention, understanding depression and anxiety, with suggestions for rebuilding resilience, strength, vision, and hope during challenging times in life.


How Can That Be? Demystifying the Options of Early College and Radical Acceleration (P)

Educational acceleration can take many forms: single subject, multiple subject, single grade level, and many grade levels including early entrance to college. Though much research exists confirming that acceleration is one of the most affective and easiest accommodations to implement, well-meaning schools and parents often remain hesitant to utilize this option because of the myths surrounding it. While never a decision to be taken lightly, acceleration is not only beneficial, in some cases, it may be lifesaving. Because of its relative rarity, radical acceleration (skipping three or more grade) remains the least understood acceleration method, yet candidates for radical acceleration are the students with the greatest gap in getting their needs met. This interactive talk will clarify common myths surrounding radical acceleration, address both what to look for and what to be careful of when considering it, and provide a realistic profile of what a radical acceleration candidate might look like (they might not be the perfect straight A student). In addition, we will provide information on a radical acceleration program recently implemented at a private southern California girls high school, as well as provide information on the 12 early entrance programs in the nation, attending community college part time as a dual enrollment student, and how participants might approach their local colleges and universities to get a student’s needs met. The speakers for this talk are both mothers of radically accelerated children.


KEYNOTE – Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting and How to Build a Star 

 When his grandmother’s impending death from cancer inspired 11-year-old Taylor Wilson to invent a better way to make medical isotopes, he started building a machine that could fling atoms together in a 500-million-degree plasma core. Three years later he succeeded, becoming the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion—the process that powers the sun and other stars. Taylor’s restless intellect and enthusiasm have since astounded everyone from audiences at TED to the President of the United States. Now a young adult, Taylor is a science superstar who is developing lifesaving innovations in medicine and national security. Based on Tom Clynes’s book The Boy Who Played With Fusion, this very visual presentation (Tom is both a writer and photojournalist) will bring participants along on an adventure in extraordinary parenting, mentoring and educating. Through Taylor’s story, Tom explores the nurturing of genius, and the challenges and opportunities facing gifted children as well as parents and educators. Since prodigies develop and flower via the same developmental processes that all children experience, the lessons of Taylor Wilson’s story are universal—and sure to inspire and inform anyone who cares about children, and the future of science, and humanity.


On Gifted Elders: Awareness, Aspirations, Advocacy (A)

Sharing current thoughts gathered through interviews and questionnaires of over thirty gifted elders, the presenter blends data from research regarding aging gifted to reveal their characteristics, their strengths, and their lives. This presentation aims to awaken an awareness of the needs of our gifted elders so that family and caregivers may acknowledge and honor their giftedness. Furthermore, the goal is that all who interact daily with our elders realize that just as gifted students need differentiated experiences that respond to their unique needs, our gifted elders need responsive communities and residences that respond to their intensities and their wisdom.


Guiding the Gifted Experience in Early Childhood: Insights from 20 Nobel Laureate (A)

The development of children’s talent can be influenced by a variety of factors that include innate ability, intra-personal components, and various environmental issues. However, parental practice and familial environment are among the most crucial of these factors, at least at an early stage of child development. The researcher of this study interviewed 20 Nobel Prize winners, 12 in person, and 8 through phone communications, and investigated the parenting practices of the parents of these eminent people when they were young. Impact of parental influence, as well as implications for a better practice of parenting in early childhood will be discussed.


The Impact of Social and Emotional Characteristics on the Health of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (A)

Social and Emotional development impact the gifted and twice exceptional’s mental and physical health. Often, recommendations for medication will come along with a medical diagnosis. Alternative options are available and essential due to the sensitivity of the gifted and twice exceptional individual . Find natural, healthy solutions to many physical and mental conditions associated with social and emotional issues. The objective of this presentation is to inform the listener of the how the social and emotional characteristics of the gifted, talented and twice exceptional may impact the mental and physical health. Various natural options available will be presented and discussed. Sensitivities to medications and the environment are common in the gifted, talented, and twice exceptional which make it imperative to find alternative solutions for healthcare.


The Secret to Successful Work Experiences (A)

Some characteristics of the gifted that set them apart from typical employees include: speed of thinking, high sensitivity, over-stimulation of the senses, emotional development, creativity, independence, perfectionism, exploratory learning style, and fear of failure. [Nauta, N. & Corten, F., (2002)] This session will explore how some of these characteristics can create tensions in the workplace. We will analyze a few of these situations to see them from multiple perspectives to identify where misunderstands can occur and outline communication techniques to create common goals for moving forward.


A Neuro-developmental Understanding of Twice-Exceptional Kids (A)

Many very bright kids struggle emotionally and behaviorally. Understanding the impact of their brain development upon their emotions and behavior provides a foundation for understanding and helping bright, creative kids who struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges. Challenging behavior has traditionally been thought of as willful and goal oriented which has led to approaches that focus on motivating better behavior using reward and punishment programs. Recent research on kids who are very bright and struggle with learning and/or behavioral challenges suggests that their asynchronous development and unique abilities can contribute to a developmental lag in crucial thinking skills when it comes to things like problem solving, frustration tolerance and flexibility.


Extending Executive Function Development in a Gifted Classroom (E)

Executive Function (EF) development is a hot topic in education and is starting to be recognized as a critical issue in gifted education as well. Our mission is to meet the social and emotional needs of gifted students by promoting EF development in the classroom. In our research, we realized that compassion and empathy for students who struggle with EF delays are critical components for supporting that growth. This presentation reviews EFs and, using a simulation, helps the audience experience how EF deficits affect performance and functioning in the classroom. Using Universal Design for Learning principles, we demonstrate how simple changes in classroom design and management can enhance these students’ performance.


High Achievers and Underachievers Together for Mutual Benefit (E)

Underachievers are often ineligible for gifted programs. Accelerated classes may not energize them. When teachers create rigorous curricula to fit learning preferences, high achievers and underachievers benefit from contact with intellectual peers. Programs need to fit ALL gifted students, not vice versa. Strategies for engaging both, together, will be offered.


Procrastination and Perfectionism: Two Sides of the Same Anxious Coin (A)

There are few things more frustrating and painful than watching our gifted children struggle with perfectionism or procrastination, knowing they are not executing at the level of which they are capable. The good news is that these behaviors are not ingrained. In fact, they are symptoms of something else. Something that can improve. In this presentation, two counselors who specialize in working with gifted children will explore the underlying, root causes of perfectionism and procrastination and their relationship to anxiety, skill gaps, and asynchrony. Attendees will learn strategies to use in helping gifted children overcome these harmful behaviors.


It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Do With It: A Summary of the Latest Research on Gifted Physiology and How to Use it Effectively (A)

Have you ever wondered why so many wonderful ideas never come to fruition? The truth is, while the reasons are varied, tools exist to overcome almost any obstacle. Fusing together, information on the latest physiological research about giftedness, with the passion of the gifted community, and industry proven advocacy techniques, this session is for those who want to learn how to make their dreams of change a reality This presentation begins with a summary of the most recent physiological and psychological research on giftedness, as well as the potential implications of the findings. These implications include the impact giftedness may have in terms of parenting, educating and medical and psychological treatment. After this review, participants will be provided information on directions for future research. Understanding what is out there and what may come, will arm attendees with the information they need to create effective interventions at a grass root level. But how……Information is both interesting and validating, but its value is in how you use it. Following the research summary section of the presentation, participants will be introduced to strategies and tools used in industry to successfully implement change. Scalable to large or small efforts, this section will teach participants HOW to use information effectively leveraging proven change management techniques.


Preventing At-Risk Behaviors in Gifted Early Learners (Birth Through Age 5) (P)

A panel on early gifted learners’ (birth thru age 5) characteristics and needs, our preschoolers of color, and at-risk situations that need special treatment during identification and support. How to serve our earliest gifted children while supporting families/educators; and acknowledging the need for support and awareness at the earliest ages. Identifying and supporting giftedness in our earliest learners is critical so we can help them love learning and to successfully achieve in school and grow up to be happy and healthy. How can we identify gifted traits in our earliest learners, and how can we best support them ALL, including those who come from non-traditional families, underserved populations, traumatic situations and more?


Intellectually Stimulating Environments for Gifted Seniors Who are Healthy and for Those with Dementia (A)

This session shares several research-supported approaches that assist both healthy gifted seniors and those with dementia (Eberhart, 2018; Friedrichs, 2018): 1) seniors describing their gifts, 2) elders understanding how those strengths work, and 3) seniors planning to adapt their gifts. The presenter particularly explains empirically- and experientially-backed approaches on how adult caregivers have served gifted seniors with dementia in ways adapted from helpful approaches with intellectually healthy elders. Innovative researchers and practitioners have encouraged those with dementia to use whatever senses are available, using gifted seniors’ auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic capabilities, to identify strengths, to enhance understanding of strengths, and to adapt assets for new situations.


Life Before Gifts: Cultivating the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – A Choice for Parents and Educators (E) (P)

A well-heard ancient wisdom teaching (Bible Genesis 2) asks humanity to choose between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Distinguishing between good and evil is deeply rooted in cultures and mentality of humanity. The teaching is that if humanity do not reject living by the fruits (poisonous) of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, curses follow. In contrast, if we choose living by the fruits of the Tree of Life, blessings are reaped. What are the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life? What exactly are their meaning and implication? The intensity of its demonstration and effect is particularly acute in gifted population, why? Gifted population are known for their reckless pursuit of the truth, goodness, and affinity, not settling for anything less than the best or perfect and not conforming to convention and authority unless deeply convicted. They tend to demonstrate a dichotomous way of right or wrong thinking, endowed with intense self-centered judgement standard and interpret things in adapting to forms (their whole set of laws, rules, principles). Laws and principles per sec are good and indeed governing the universe. However, going by law and principles only is legalism or perceive things with a legalistic heart, which are exactly detrimental as opposed to Life. Case studies with discussion of Gifted Identity Formation Model (GIFM) and theological exegesis are presented. Parents and educators need to decide the priority values in nurturing a kid, may he be gifted or else. There is not a thing as successful parenting/educating because raising a child is not a project; it is a journey of love to feed a soul and build up a life.


From Kindergarten to College in Three Years: What Would You Do? (A)

How can we, in good conscience, make sound decisions that can impact the future of our profoundly gifted children when we don’t have adequate experience with this highly specialized, incredibly small population of students? Profoundly gifted children and their accompanying needs are unique, and like their fingerprints—no two are alike. This session will examine how a child went from kindergarten to college in three years. More importantly, it will help you, as a parent, teacher, administrator, counselor or GT professional examine how you might handle this speed of acceleration and corresponding avalanche of decisions if faced with similar challenges.


Introduction to HEARTMATH: The Resilience Advantage Leading to Emotional Wellness, Coherence, and Self-Regulation (A)

Most often, the Social & Emotional support systems for our “gifted students” becomes most critical for when one is unable access learning at the highest levels when high sensitivity, including anxiety, worry, and stress take control and become the primary area of concern for our children. HeartMath Institute, serving the education community since 1991, has developed evidence based techniques in support of emotional wellness and self-regulation. Larry Davis, a trainer with Heartmath since 2011, will share strategies associated with coherence, ease, and calming techniques. Participants walk away from this workshop with specific activities in support of resilience, peak performance, and mindfulness.


Evolved Emotional Intelligence of Gifted Diverse Students in Distressed Communities (E)

Emotional Intelligence is briefly described as our ability to be aware of, control, and appropriately express our emotions with others. Distressed communities (social and socioeconomically challenged) have a significant impact on any child’s ability to appropriately manage emotions in relations with others. This presentation will briefly explore how the challenges of relationship building for some kids in the Gifted community influences their emotional intelligence over time. Tips for aiding in a reduction in isolation and an increase in authentic and empathetic relationships with educators and parents will be presented.


Calming the Gifted Mind (A)

Our gifted children are advanced thinkers, creative, sensitive, and idealistic. This combination of characteristics can lead to worry, fear, anxiety and perfectionism. Often gifted children develop a feeling of isolation and aloneness because of their difficulty in finding like-minded peers. This can lead to social anxiety. Gifted perfectionists will go to any lengths to ensure their work products are error free including going without food or sleep. Gifted children can also experience intense worry about issues that are outside of themselves such as global warming, environmental contamination, and poverty. These worries can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety and hopelessness. It is important for counselors of the gifted to have a robust menu of tools to work with gifted youth and their families. This workshop will first explain the how the brain is affected by intense fear. We will discuss the brain’s arousal system and survival modes of flight, flight or freeze. Next, we will learn and practice tools that have been successful in treating anxiety and fear with gifted youth by decreasing arousal in the brain. Specific tools will include: Neurovascular Hold, Counted Breath, 9 Breath Technique, Emotional Freedom Technique, Mindfulness Technique, Dual Awareness, Multisensory Guided Imagery, Resource Development and Installation, and Bilateral Stimulation. The techniques will be modeled and participants will be expected to practice in the session.


Rethinking Parenting Gifted Children: Shifting from a Task Model to a Developmental Model (A)

Gifted and twice exceptional children need high-quality interactions with their caregivers. Yet, we know little about how to promote wellbeing and skillfulness among parents of gifted children. The presenter will propose a framework that conceptualizes parenting from a developmental perspective, as a set of life-changing roles and adaptations. A developmental model differs from a task model, which is based on social convention, outcomes, and consumerism. The objective of this presentation is to provide a workable framework, useful information, and encouragement to parents and professionals who engage in the everyday challenges of raising, educating, and supporting gifted children.


Guiding the Gifted Through Academic Acceleration (A)

Acceleration research is comprehensive and wide-ranging, covering academics as well as social/emotional aspects. Learn where to find the most comprehensive research. Knowing research is important, but sharing options that are low-cost and easy-to-implement may be key. Acceleration can be implemented at little or no cost for one single subject or entire grade level. Advocacy must begin with knowing state mandates, district policies, and details of the student’s academic needs. What data should you have? What should parent and school agree on before acceleration? What’s the “right” path for the gifted child? And What about the Prom? Learn trajectories of some gifted children. Know your options for Academic Acceleration for gifted children!


Leaving Home: How to Assist in the Transition from Gifted Child to Gifted Young Adult (A)

This presentation will explore the unique challenges that a gifted child experiences in becoming a gifted adult. Progressing forward into adulthood and (often) into higher education is rife with challenges and opportunities for everyone. It may be assumed (or wished) that the gifted student—perhaps with an immaculate academic record, perhaps with a history of academic struggles—should fare better during the transition than most. However, there are unique variables with which the gifted student must contend that can have major consequences. It is tragic to see those gifted students who seem to implode after going off on their own and have to return home to recuperate; hopefully for a brief period but often for longer than anyone desires. This presentation will explore how identity for the gifted contributes to strengths and vulnerabilities that can impact the gifted individual’s pursuits in adulthood. We will discuss how important issues often go unrecognized before and during this transition and how to effect change on the individual and family level. We will address issues such as the loss of or reduced access to important pieces of a person’s support network, adjusting to changing expectations of success and personal responsibility, adapting to new environments (including the challenge and opportunity of making a new set of first impressions), and creating meaning in one’s life. Participants in this discussion will leave with a greater understanding of the underlying concerns for the gifted young adult and how to appropriately support a gifted young person making the step into adulthood in accordance with their goals and values.


Gifted Adults and the Four Stages of Competence (A)

Not every gifted person is identified and recognized as a gifted individual in the early stages of life. This can result in growing up into adulthood without any awareness of being gifted. Some of them develop into very happy and successful adults, while others are faced with severe problems in creating a meaningful life, some may even acquire severe mental health symptoms. Research shows that identifying oneself as a gifted adult leads to a more positive self-image and is a very important event in the process of fulfilling one’s full potential. How can coaches, counsellors, psychologists, therapists or other professionals working with gifted adults support this process? We will go through the process of Unconscious Incompetence (You don’t know that you are gifted and you are not fulfilling your potential) – Conscious Incompetence (You know that you are gifted but are not (yet) fulfilling your potential) – Conscious Competence (You know that you are gifted and you are fulfilling your potential – Unconscious Competence (You are fulfilling your potential and the fact that you’re gifted is not really an issue (anymore)). In each stage, specific challenges are faced around the giftedness. Each individual, has a personal way to go through the stages, at the same time we see a pattern in the issues that come along in each stage. We also see the process repeating itself, every time gifted adults are faced with new “themes” in their personal development. In this presentation, Rianne van de Ven will share her knowledge and experience of the development process of gifted adults who are identified as gifted persons in their adulthood.


What Questions Do You Have About Gifted Children or Adults? (A)

In most sessions, the audience simply follows what the speaker has prepared, perhaps asking a few questions at the end. This session is different. Attendees ask questions that are on their mind, and it is the speaker’s job to make the answers relevant to the general audience. Attendees can submit written questions ahead of time, at the beginning, or during the session. Because the presenter has been influential in the field for almost 40 years, this is an opportunity to acquire information, perspectives, and practical suggestions in an informal manner that is both fruitful and dynamic.


Brilliant Minds Behind Bars (A)

Misdiagnosis in the world of gifted education will be explored to set the stage for a deeper discussion about how to best address the needs of ALL gifted children. Participants gain an understanding of how delinquent behaviors develop, and examine how child welfare, juvenile delinquency and educational systems intersect to meet, or not meet, the needs of these youth. The presenter will identify missed opportunities and offer specific interventions for creating a better continuum of care to catch these kids before they fall too far out of our reach. How do we begin fostering high achievement rather than lamenting missed potential?


Parenting Twice-Exceptional Children: The Delightful & the Draining (P)

Twice-exceptional (2e) children, identified as gifted and disabled, can aptly be described as delightful and draining. Parents must constantly advocate and work to ensure that their children’s educational, psychological, and medical needs are being met. Parents often feel isolated and alone in dealing with their children’s exceptionalities, which can range from learning disorders to physical disabilities to emotional/social struggles. Participants will learn more about the concept of 2e and the types of challenges parents face based on various stages of development. Drawing from research and practice, the presenters will provide practical suggestions for parent-coaching and advocacy to better support 2e children.


SENG Syntax/Syntatics (A)

This socially expansive experience will allow candid revelations and recitations of deeply personal experiences through spoken word, standup, lyric & flows, rap, prose, freestyle, heart-shares, acapella, improv and muse. Audience will function as participants within the inspiring framework of the community exchange, historical interjections, authentic exposure and celebrative witness. (They will laugh, they will cry, it will become a part of them. We will all leave larger.) Seasoned host of Rogue Speakeasy and founding member of Rogue Poets Society will carry crowd into comfortable artistic sharing space. If all goes well, perhaps a bit of magic will be made.


Advocate Don’t Aggravate (A)

In this session, an experienced teacher of the gifted and talented and a superintendent share strategies and ideas to advocate for the needs of your child without aggravating teachers or administrator. Joan Larson and her husband, Mark Larson, will share proven and successful strategies to help a parent successfully advocate for their child in a public school setting. Mark is a public school superintendent and has worked with gifted and talented programming across multiple school districts.


Educating and Engaging Your Parent Community (E)

Parents make decisions every day that affect the welfare of their children. For that reason, the education community has institutionalized the concept of parent education and engagement. At minimum, most parents have access to print and online information about gifted children. However, access to information is not synonymous with accessing the benefits for which the information is intended. This presentation will look at current models of parent education and engagement in the United States, with an emphasis on parents of gifted children. In the current educational climate, parent engagement appears to fall into four broad categories: academic support, service coordination, accountability, and volunteerism. The presenters will look at how these categories might influence the way educators and allied professionals communicate with parents, as well as parents’ perceptions about the needs and goals of their gifted children. The presenters will examine relevant characteristics of parents, many of whom are gifted themselves. The presenters hypothesize that most of the published information that is available to parents is intended to be general, so parents must extrapolate and improvise. Parents often turn to informal interactions with other parents to guide their parenting practices and decisions, which excludes industry experts from the conversation. The objective of the presentation is to convey salient information that will generate insight and encourage action that aligns with educational values such as parent engagement, empowerment, and risk reduction. The presenters will highlight opportunities for systemic growth and action, based on their observations from multiple vantage points: as parents of gifted children, parents who are gifted, volunteers in the gifted community, and as an educator and a psychotherapist. Educators, administrators, school counselors and mental health professionals, parents, and advocates are encouraged to attend to increase their efficacy and impact within their interdependent roles.


Guiding Gifted Children Through a Dual Language Program: A Look Back from Multiple Perspectives (A)

This panel discussion will include the background of an English only (EO) African-American family’s decision to enroll their three children in a Spanish/English dual language program (from kindergarten through middle school for their two gifted children), the resources utilized to ensure support and success for continued enrollment, factors that influenced high school choices, and the impact of those decisions from the perspectives of the parents, children (now a third-year college student and a junior in high school), and school staff. Attendees will gain insight about possible special considerations for gifted students and families in dual language programs.


Creating Understanding, Safety, Connectedness, and Liberation: The New Gifted LGBTQ Professional Development Standards (E)

Increasingly, diversity-minded gifted education teachers engage both “gifted” and “LGBTQ” sides of gifted LGBTQ students. Here, the Chair and Past-Chair of NAGC’s GLBTQ Network present draft standards, composed of professional guidelines from NAGC and GLSEN, that nurture both sides of these youth. Seven standards emphasize how educators should learn, at K-6 and 7-12 levels, about: 1) comprehending students’ social-emotional and other strengths and needs, 2) understanding their specific needs for safety, 3) designing safe spaces, 4) making supportive connections with youths’ homes and communities, 5) producing intellectually-liberating school curricula, 6) understanding community/institutional barriers to standards, and 7) dealing productively with those barriers.


Unraveling Many Misunderstood Aspects of the Freeze Response in Gifted People Related to Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Self-Esteem (A)

Description: We will talk about how gifted individuals experience anxiety specific to the “freeze” response and how the effects are hard-wired in the brain, body and behavior. Reactions to stressors can have negative consequences and evidence supports that the anxiety response related to freezing is more debilitating over the lifetime of gifted individuals. Gifted individuals are more prone to disabling and destructive elements of anxiety due to expanded emotional brain networks, increased sensory processing and elevated physiological responses to stressors (real and perceived). Gifted individuals report a 25% increase in anxiety compared to the national average.  In particular, the brain circuitry, hormonal stress response and bodily reactions to stress can become hard wired and gifted individuals can get stuck in a negative cycle.  The elevated levels of cortisol rewire brain circuits where emotional networks cycle, the prefrontal cortex (decision making) is temporarily off line and effective decision making is inhibited.  Effectively the body shuts down (freezes), gut microbiota is altered, inflammatory response is elevated and in turn a low-level stress response is continuously activated causing the individual to experience the world on pins and needles. When a gifted individual’s default response to stress is freeze, they are likely to develop low self-esteem, less likely to achieve professional success and have balanced social relationships.   People who freeze under stress are often blank out during tests, have difficulty fully participating in high stake discussions (either emotional or professional) and can become frustrated by their chronic inability to get their thoughts out in a timely way. This presentation will provide encouraging strategies to reduce the adverse affects of the “freeze” response in gifted individuals.  Evidence supports CBT, mindfulness, exercise, healthy sleep and eating habits can rewire healthy brain circuitry where positive hormones and decision making can allow gifted individuals to live their full life.


Transitioning form Youth to Young Adult as a Gifted Individual

Giftedness doesn’t just disappear once you graduate high school. However, more often than not, the resources that support gifted individuals do. Using a combination of research, case studies, and personal experiences, we will examine what educators and families can do during high school to prepare gifted individuals for this transition. In addition, we will explore common challenges of this transition for gifted individuals.


Case Study: A ‘Wholistic’ Approach to Treating Gifted Suicidal Teenagers (A)

A licensed psychotherapist and her adolescent son will share the challenges, triumphs and lessons learned as their family became a therapeutic team to support their younger 2e son to thrive. As gifted children and adolescents continue to be grossly unidentified by the educational system and their social emotional needs largely unmet, the social pressures and developmental changes of the teenage years can quickly unravel to suicidality and social isolation. A treatment approach that integrates sensory processing, emotional literacy, and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral approach has proven successful in helping gifted and profoundly gifted teens the relief needed to reintegrate socially and reach emotional wellbeing.


‘TWICE EXCEPTIONAL’: How to Access 504 & IEP Support for Your Child (An Insiders Guide to Special Education Advocacy) (A)

There likely is no other group of students who are under-served like the TWICE EXCEPTIONAL. And there is likely no other group of parents who struggle as much as those who have “gifted” children with learning or social / emotional disabilities. The purpose of this presentation is to offer parents specific advocacy strategies which work. As a nationally recognized Education Advocate since 1998, a Gifted Program Coordinator, Principal, and Behavior Specialist, I look forward to sharing successful advocacy tools with participants from the “insider perspective”.


A Comprehensive Model for Working with Twice-Exceptional Individuals and Families.

Twice exceptional (2e) individuals have historically been under-identified and misunderstood, often with traumatic consequences. Taking the asynchronous development of 2e individuals into consideration, the necessity of a comprehensive clinical assessment across all environments will be discussed, highlighting the use of an approach that identifies and utilizes the individual’s inherent strengths in treatment and education. This strength-based approach is the cornerstone used to foster positive outcomes in the areas of (but not limited to) self-confidence, social cognition, self-esteem, family dynamics, and overall homeostasis. The model incorporates empirically based methodologies of social thinking and collaborative problem solving (from the work of M.G. Winner and R. Greene), that are implemented within a strengths-focused CBT treatment framework. A systems based approach to therapeutic intervention will be presented and will include video clips highlighting a social cognition group model adapted for 2e individuals that utilizes a mentor-supported, project centered talent development model to promote engagement and social learning through intellectual interests and abilities. The use and implementation of program specific rubrics will be presented as a method for assessing the collective group and individuals, social cognitive process and outcomes, given the expectations and tasks for each group. An explanation regarding the use of collected data will be provided, elaborating upon noted patterns of group and individual achievement, diagnostic information about the strengths and weaknesses of the collective group and participants to inform curriculum and treatment plans. This presentation will include slides, video, and interactive activity.


Nontraditional Strategies in Supporting Parents Raising Rural Gifted and Talented Children (A)

As parents benefit from externally-supportive outlets, it is wise to offer such support for parents raising gifted and talented (G/T) children, especially those found in rural communities. Thus, nontraditional strategies in supporting such parents can help ease stress and anxiety commonly experienced from the exacerbated and persisting problems identified from the intensely unique set of challenging obstacles, complexities, and difficulties resulting from living in rural communities. For this presentation anchoring and adjustment, a psychological heuristic, focuses on how parents intuitively analyze possibilities and choices for their children to make decisions (Tversky & Kahneman, 1992). Parents’ initial belief has the greatest impact upon the decisions, which are not fruitful for the gift student. Although there are many different far-reaching anchors (e.g., school-based, teacher), using nontraditional strategies to overcome the parental anchors found with parents of rural gifted students will be the focus of this presentation. The four anchors identified through research include the a) interpersonal, b) intrapersonal/insecurity, c) abandonment, and d) community anchors. Arguably, anchors are more prevalent in rural communities because of the limited exposure parents have toward other parents of gifted children and the unique characteristics of gifted children are misunderstood by parents due to known myths and misconceptions relating to the learning styles, character traits, and asynchronous development. The nontraditional strategies will include methods for engaging, educating, and encouraging parents of rural gifted children through district, school, and private support systems, in order to overcome limiting anchor for the parent so that they can successfully support and encourage developmental milestones for their gifted child(ren).


Guiding the Gifted Experience in a University Talented and Gifted Specialization Program (A)

This session will focus on how teachers are prepared to meet the needs of K-12 gifted students in a university TAG specialization program. The presenters will share the program with the hope that participants will build their own program in their communities, thus increasing TAG advocacy. The content of the five courses includes identification and assessment instruments and acceleration protocols; meeting social-emotional needs including perfectionism, underachievement; classroom strategies including differentiation, depth and complexity, creative problem solving, tiered instruction; twice-exceptional learners including identification and developing strengths; The sequence was followed by an individualized practicum that centers on developing the teacher as a TAG advocate in the schools and community. Discussion will center around key content, assessment instruments, acceleration, delivery models, and inclusive curricula. The structure and requirements of rigorous and relevant assignments that will be shared with participants. Presenters will share content and structure of the program and will allow time for participants to analyze the strengths, challenges, and make recommendations to the program. Participants will develop an outline for a TAG program model that they can implement in their communities. As participants develop their own local programs, the presenters will be available for support and guidance.


Failure Through Design: Providing Structured Opportunities for Gifted Students to Develop a Growth Mindset (E)

The fear of failure is a pervasive issue in a culture of errorless education, inhibiting gifted students from maximizing their learning experiences by refusing to take risks or follow through with creative ideas. It is critical for this failure mindset to undergo a paradigm shift (by both teachers and students) and be appreciated as an opportunity for cognitive growth. If gifted students understand that failure does not reflect poorly on their self-worth, then education can take us to a new level of innovation! This session will serve as a reminder to participants that failure is a perfectly viable option in the classroom and that structuring a class to be supportive of student failure is feasible. We will discuss the different types of “failure-fears” that students experience and how to bring students to a cognitive plane where self-worth remains intact when failure inevitable occurs. Many personal K-12 examples will be shared, like when a high school student spent significant time and effort to design, construct, and build a prototype in her environmental science class. When it came time to test her prototype, the student had forgotten that oil floats on water. The student had purposefully built her prototype to sink. What is worse is that her teacher (this presenter) also forgot that oil floats on water. The student and teacher were reduced to tears of laughter because they understood how to handle failure well. These strategies are transferrable to other classroom environments and can be beneficial to conference participants.


The Heart of the Matter 

For over three decades gifted children and adolescents have shared with me their joys, concerns, hopes and needs, and how they long for parents to grasp and accept their personalities, behaviors and perspectives.  Come listen to common expressions of who they truly are, and what they wished others understood and accepted about them.  Learn what you can do as a parent to nurture and support your children’s growth and well-being, and how to establish loving relationships at home.


Embracing Intensity

Many gifted and intense individuals spend years toning themselves down or tuning themselves out for fear of being “too much” for themselves and others. For the past several years, Aurora has interviewed gifted and outside the box thinkers on her Embracing Intensity Podcast to explore how they were able to use their own fire without getting burned. In this workshop, she will share insights from her interviews, including overarching themes and what tools and habits have helped them to use their fire in a positive way. The audience will also share their own practices that have helped embrace their intensity.


Many Paths, Many Decisions: Career Counseling for the Gifted (A)

Guiding gifted children can be a daunting task as they begin to explore careers and life paths.  Perceived feelings of responsibility for lifework that will change the course of humanity may be an additional concern for these very capable young people. This interactive discussion will center on some of the issues and resources in gifted career choice.


Happiness in a Mad World (A)

We want our kids to be happy. Our kids want to be happy, too. Are our definitions the same? The word happiness has many meanings. In this session, we will look beyond the surface of the word, and then dig deeper to explore strategies for meeting the needs the word happy encompasses. In this session, we will focus on three components of happiness—meaning, connection, and purpose. With the bombardment of sensationalistic news, meaning gets lost. Connection is challenging in a world that favors increasingly abbreviated communication. Purpose gets lost in parental expectations, peer pressure, and the fact that the world is changing so rapidly that young people are preparing for careers that haven’t been invented yet. We’ll discuss strategies for establishing a common vocabulary and starting an ongoing discussion with our kids. Advice from psychologists, educators, researchers, and kids will be shared.


2b 2e! : Strategies for Adulting While 2e (A)

Are you a 2e adult who feels like a fish out of water most of the time? The world can be a hard place for 2e people, but there are strategies that can help you engage more successfully in work, relationships, parenting, and life! Dr. Melanie Hayes has made it her life’s work to help gifted and twice exceptional persons find their niche and work to their strengths. Dr. Hayes holds a doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on giftedness and twice exceptionality. She is a GHF Ambassador and Board Member and a SENG Parent Facilitator. Dr. Hayes also created Big Minds, a school for 2e children that lets them learn without limits through mentoring and supporting their intellectual, social, and emotional well-being. For more, read her blog at, and find her book, “We Tried Normal,” on Amazon.


Become a Super-ager by Mastering the Power Flow of Your Mind

Description: I present how you can learn to become a Super-ager with a better memory and body by using your gifts and strengths to master your weaknesses and emotions. I’ve learned to do this by improving and integrating my cognitive and physical functions through a series of exercises that combines painting, piano playing, yoga, and dancing in a creative and fun way that uses your gifts and strengths.


Teaching Executive Functioning to Gifted Children Through Coding (E)

This presentation will explain results on improving important executive functions by using daily coding in a Gifted K-8 education program. Lessons learned, appropriate tools, and individualized approaches will be presented. Participants will learn new ways to better (1) Working Memory (2) Goal-Directed Persistence (3) Cognitive Flexibility.


Talking with your Gifted Teen (P) (E)

Parents do all they can to relate with their teens – but it’s not always easy. In this presentation, Trent Cash, an undergraduate student who just left his teens, will discuss strategies for overcoming many of the pitfalls associated with building a relationship with a gifted teenager. To truly bring these discussions to life, participants will be given the chance to role-play the strategies they learn throughout the presentation. While this presentation is aimed at parents, it will contain useful skills for teachers, administrators, and professionals as well.


In Pursuit of Excellence for Gifted Latinx Learners

To create a more just society, we must seek excellence in instructional practices for Latinx gifted bilingual students. Despite decades of efforts to transform practices, gifted dual language learners continue to be the most under-identified gifted population in the United States. Participants will learn evidenced-based practices to support gifted bilingual students’ academic, emotional and creative development independent of system restraints.

Multiple Pathways to Equitable Gifted/Talented Identification

Los Angeles Unified School District typically maintains a population of 70,000 identified gifted/talented learners each year. Gifted/Talented Programs uses multiple screening, referral, and identification pathways to maintain equity and access. The District identifies gifted/talented learners in seven categories: Intellectual, High Achievement, Specific Academic Ability, Visual/Performing Arts, Creative Ability, and Leadership Ability. Additionally, the District conducts a universal screening assessment of all second grade students districtwide using the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT-8). The Targeted Identification Program (TIP) addresses the needs of low-referring, at-risk schools to drive identification and program access; results have been highly effective. All these pathways work in tandem to identify diverse gifted/talented learners across the entire District and maintain equity.


Putting Together the Puzzle of the Gifted Family: Assessing Gifted Intensities, Addressing Ongoing Conflicts, Applying Creative Strategies

Come join us for a case study applying SENG concepts at a deeper level for the entire family. This workshop will include measuring central nervous system over-excitabilities for each member of our case study family (the “Wrinkle in Time” family) using the OEQII survey. We will examine how different patterns cause ongoing conflicts and misunderstandings between family members. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of how to live together in a gifted family in a more cohesive manner. We have led many SENG parenting groups where we focus on a three-step process: first understand how traits show up in your unique gifted child; second learn how to communicate with your particular child in the style that works for them; then use appropriate SENG parenting tools based upon what you have learned. In today’s workshop “Gifted Together” we will be doing this same process but for the whole family, instead of just looking at one individual child. 1) Understanding: We will use the GDC’s OEQ-II to map and fully understand how Dabrowski’s over-excitabilities impact family members. Of course, there are many other important aspects of giftedness, but we will be going in-depth to understand how this most fundamental theory explains gifted family members. 2) Communication: Once we have taken the inventory for each family member and get a clearer idea of how OE’s are showing up, we will spend time looking at how these different manifestations of OE’s cause ongoing pattern of conflicts and communication difficulties in the gifted family. 3) Strategies to Apply: We desire to help you all figure out how to be “Gifted Together” in a family even though these OE intensities bump up against each other and sometimes seem completely incompatible. We want to you leave today’s workshop with strategic applications to try with your gifted family given a deeper understanding of how family member’s OE’s interact.


Emergence: Coming Face-to-Face With Your Gifted Self

Gifted individuals are often driven by a passion for authenticity and truth. Because they are able to perceive the smallest inconsistencies in facts, and the hidden motivations of others, they can be flooded by strong emotions as they attempt to reconcile their need for authenticity and truth with the words and actions of those around them. Even the “white Lie” can cause angst, as it violates both needs, while at the same time it is recognized as an attempt of kindness. The perfect storm can develop when gifted individuals realize they have learned to fit in by distorting their own image, first to others, and then over time, to themselves. For many, it is during the process of parenting their own gifted children that they come face-to-face with their hidden true self. This experience can lead to an enormous struggle as individuals process an evolution in identity while reconciling the fact that they themselves have not lived up to their own core values of authenticity and truth. Gifted individuals tend to hold themselves to such a high standard that coming to terms with how they ended up in this situation may involve managing strong feelings such as anger, guilt, relief, denial, shame, excitement, and even fear. This experience can be emotionally devastating even while it is ultimately profoundly liberating. This session explores ways to reconcile strong emotions with an emerging gifted identity. Included will be an overview of brain physiology and how gifted individuals may be wired differently. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss and explore their own values, adaptations, and sense of self, plus receive tips for reducing intrusive thoughts, improving mindfulness self-esteem.


How to Connect to Yourself Using Creative Journaling

Creative journaling is a special method that can help gifted to calm the “bicycle in their head”. It is also effective in developing emotional intelligence, enhancing creativity, and even finding their purpose. Nathalie will show you how to get the best out of yourself using a journal. You will learn how to use it daily, learn the different techniques of journaling and what they are used for. Nathalie will guide you through the process so that you can experiment with the method while in the session. Creative journaling is a method of journaling based on 3 languages: writing, drawing and collage. It was developed by Anne-Marie Jobin, who has been teaching the method since 1998. There is absolutely no need to be good at art to participate! I am a certified facilitator and have found these exercises very useful for many gifted people (adults or kids).


Powerful Strategies to Enhance the Learning of Gifted & Highly Capable Students

This workshop, by noted Stories With Holes author Nathan Levy, explores numerous, proven ways to reach gifted learners in challenging ways. The objective is to have participants leave with a variety of new strategies and specific ideas to help pupils become better creative and critical thinkers. A variety of successful teaching and parenting techniques, relating to social emotional needs will be shared. Bring your thinking caps and your funny bones to this dynamic presentation.


Empowering Gifted Girls: Young women need to know it’s okay to be smart

What does it mean to be a gifted girl in today’s media driven, highly sexualized culture? Gifted teen girls often find themselves immersed in the dilemma of pursuing their intellectual passions while at the same time not knowing how to fit in. I’m not talking about the typical teen desire to fit in, though. As we know, gifted individuals often have a difficult time finding like-minded peers anyway. So, the teen and tween years become doubly isolating for gifted girls. Two extremes typically emerge: 1) the gifted girl pursues her intellectual passions and the other girls think she’s a “know it all” or 2) the gifted girl sinks into herself and hides her intellect from others and ends up not being authentically herself. Unfortunately, both extremes, and everything in between, often leads to anxiety and even depression. This interactive talk will help you help gifted tween and teen girls develop self-concept and self-esteem that allows the intellect to be a social asset rather than a liability. The presenter approaches this topic from both the educator and parent perspective. Cam Werley-Gonzales is a seasoned teacher and administrator at an all girls’ school with a program for gifted girls. She is also the proud mom of four children, two of them gifted girls!


Feeling Color: Insight into a Bright Mind and Gifted Diversity

Learn the latest neuroscience, physiology, and psychology research providing insights into over-excitabilities, perfectionism, imposterism, and resilience within gifted people. Giftedness originates with unique brain circuitry leading to intensities that are often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. This information can help you manifest meaning and wellness for life by embracing your gifted voice.

Gifted people are often misunderstood and mislabeled as awkward geeks, mad scientists, maladjusted poets, oversensitive artists, hyperactive clowns, or antisocial misfits. Drs. Nicole Tetreault and James Webb debunk these myths and misinformation by translating scientific evidence from neuroscience, physiology, and psychology research along with observations from clinical practice. Originating with a unique neuroanatomy and physiology, gifted people perceive and respond to the world differently, experiencing heightened emotional, sensory, motor, imaginational, and intellectual processing. The presenters’ recent studies have emphasized this by showing that people with a high IQ are at risk for particular psychological and physiological conditions. These studies join a growing body of scientific evidence providing guidance for gifted individuals to live a good life based on an accurate understanding of their greater capacity to take in the world based upon their uniquely expanded and elevated neuroanatomical and physiological systems. Participants will learn how our brains are as unique as a fingerprint, and how gifted experiences may be intense because we are simply “hard-wired” differently! “Gifted” are not better, not worse, but neurodiverse. This talk opens a discussion, based on accurate information and appropriate language, that engenders compassion for the gifted experience. The presenters intend to transform understanding of the gifted experience through science, so as a society we can learn to support the lives of gifted people as empowered advocates who own their voices and stories and who engage in a global dialogue.


The Gift of Nature: Exploring the Relationship between Gifted Learners and Environmental Literacy

Nearly 40 years of research about Significant Life Experiences suggests that direct contact with nature in childhood and a caring adult who models respect are essential to creating “pro-environmental behaviors” in adults. As the field of environmental education has developed, other scholars have documented the importance of “action competence,” in which young people learn environmental behaviors by taking action. Emerging research also suggests that nature contact is a vital component of health and restoration – in providing benefits for attention, creativity, stress reduction, and immunity. In the age of the Anthropocene, where human impacts to nature are unprecedented and pervasive, this session will explore the relationship between giftedness and the development of caring attitudes and behaviors toward nature. It will consider the potentials for highly sensitive and anxious children to worry about environmental degradation alongside the power of action competence in empowering gifted learners to find meaning through action. It will explore the role of nature at different stages of development, and the neurobiological, social, and emotional benefits that are particularly salient for gifted children. Through project examples, it will explore benefits, including the construction of hope and trust in social actors, that are particularly important for gifted children. For many gifted learners, relationships are central to learning and meaning-making. This session will bring nature into this context, as both a restorative source and a reason to act.


KEYNOTE – Every Day Magic Restores Balance and Joy to Gifted Adult Lives

Parents work endlessly giving to their family and responding to the demands of the world at large.  Over time we can find ourselves depleted, weakened and sullen.  For our personal health and for the well-being of our family, it is essential for us to know how to create balance, strength, and contentment in daily life.  Come join me to learn ways to listen within, beyond your mind to your whole self, for guidance and direction.  Become fully aware of fundamental perspectives and behaviors which encourage or prevent personal stability and security, and attitudes and actions which enhance or deter family synergy and harmony.  Come back to constructive ways to think and act, and know you have the power to craft a life of joy and satisfaction!


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