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Meeting the Asynchronous Needs of Your Gifted Child

I remember her online comment like it was yesterday.

Her seven-year-old was reading at an eleventh grade level, had just completed sixth grade math, was exceptionally emotional, and had trouble holding a pencil.

the aysnchronous needs of your gifted child

She was struggling to meet all of her daughter’s needs as a new homeschooling mom and was reaching out for help.

Other readers chimed in, some offering great advice, but others criticized her for “pushing her child” and said that “all kids are gifted;” they just show their gifts at different times.

And I felt for her.

Her child was asynchronous and she felt all alone, tired, and defeated. She felt like homeschooling her gifted child had been a mistake.

I remember her post because it was like she was typing out my own thoughts. 

How do you meet the asynchronous needs of gifted children?

The term “gifted” holds, for so many people, negative or even threatening connotations. But, like not all children have special needs, not all kids are gifted.

As defined by Webster’s, gifted means having exceptional talent or natural ability.

The National Association for Gifted Children goes further:

Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.

Unfortunately people often confuse the term giftedness with gift.

Children are a gift. They’re a blessing. They are all important and have special talents, abilities, and struggles.

Meeting the Asynchronous Needs of Your Gifted Child

 

What does a gifted child look like?

While gifted kids are as different from one another as anybody is from another person, there are some traits and characteristics that bear watching for if you think your child is gifted. Keep in mind that not all gifted kids exhibit all of these traits.

Gifted kids:
  • process information faster and more effectively than same age peers.
  • may exhibit a highly developed vocabulary earlier than most children.
  • speak in complex, grammatically correct sentences early on.
  • are continually asking increasingly complex questions that show insight and advanced understanding.
  • spontaneously begin reading at very early ages.
  • pick up on the nuances of language and can precociously converse with adults at early ages.
  • perseverate on topics of interest (focus intensely for long periods of time), and seek out their own exposure to these topics.
  • have depths of background knowledge about the world around them that surprises even their parents.
  • remember things with little to no repetition.
  • are critical and creative problem solvers, often finding connections between seemingly disconnected things.

 

How do you keep gifted kids challenged?

Knowing beyond a doubt that your child is truly gifted (through ability, achievement, and IQ testing) isn’t nearly as important as creating a nurturing and challenging environment in your home. Being the kind of parent that recognizes ability and interests, and then capitalizes on those to help their child learn is the best thing you can do for a gifted child.

So how do you do it?

  • Follow your child’s interests. Gifted children who aren’t challenged can often become undermotivated and turned off of learning altogether. An underachieving child can spend more time arguing with parents about homeschool than actually learning. By tapping into your child’s interests and focusing their learning in that direction, you can stimulate their motivation to learn.
  • Find mentors for your child. Is your child interested in programming, but you don’t know your way in and around technology? Find someone they can learn from. A computer-engineer friend might be willing to meet with your daughter on the weekends to talk and play around with computers.
  • Fill up the house with resources. Books, computers, DVDs, streaming video subscriptions, toys that inspire creativity, etc. all provide outlets for learning and thinking. It’s important to bring your gifted child up in a resource-rich environment and encourage him to become a lifelong learner.

Meeting the Asynchronous Needs of Your Gifted Child

By tapping into your gifted child’s interests and strengths, you’ll motivate him or her to keep moving forward, and you can work on weaknesses within the framework of strengths.

Like the mother reaching out for help in meeting the asynchronous needs of her seven-year-old daughter, you may struggle from time to time keeping up with your gifted child. We all do!

Remember that you’re not alone and that gifted kids have special parenting and academic needs. Your child can and will learn, and you will be able to nurture his or her unique abilities.

Are You Homeschooling A Gifted Child?

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

Meeting the Asynchronous Needs of Your Gifted Child

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Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness In Your Child

My oldest son and youngest daughter both have my tan complexion. The other two are fair like my husband. All four of them boast deep, chocolate eyes like Brian, not the blue I’d hoped they’d inherit from me. When we’re all together, you can see that we’re a family.

They’re opinionated, assertive, and loads of fun – always on the look out for the next adventure. I like to think that, while they arrived in this world full of confidence, spirit, and a boatload of intelligence, that I’ve helped to cultivate it.

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

Nurturing a child’s gifts means first recognizing those gifts.

Even if others around you don’t see them.

You see them.

You see the way your child sprawls out, upside down, in the patch of sunlight coming through the blinds with a book bigger than he is.

You see the intensity in her eyes when she asks you (again) to tell her exactly how food is processed in our bodies and converted to energy.

You see the way he cringes when a mom at the ice cream parlor snaps at her little one who is tired and cranky, and how he empathizes with her and engages her in a game of peek-a-boo to help break her out of her funk and give that tired mama a reprieve.

You see her, weighing in on a debate with her big brother about the pros and cons of war, while holding onto her lovey, and with cheeks still flushed from the temper tantrum she just threw because you told her she’d had to wait the 15 minutes until you put lunch on the table to eat, and that no, now was not time for a snack.

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

I see it too.

I live it, right along with you – you’re not alone.

I like to think that both nurture and nature play a role in our kiddos and their giftedness. Nature made them who they are, and it’s up to us to nurture those dichotomies and help them channel their intensities for good.

So, what does giftedness look like?

Recognizing Giftedness in Your Child

When you’re trying to figure out whether or not your child is gifted, or what a gifted kiddo looks like, it’s often a good starting point to know what some of the early characteristics are. It’s also helpful to know some of the traits that characterize different types of giftedness – creatively, cognitively, or academically.

Your gifted child may:

  • need constant mental stimulation.
  • learn and process complex information quickly.
  • need to explore topics in depth.
  • have an insatiable curiosity.
  • ask endless questions.
  • seek precision in thinking and answering questions.
  • focus obsessively on subjects or activities of interest for surprisingly long periods of time.
  • be unable to focus on tasks that are not intellectually challenging.
  • not be willing to participate in repetitive lessons or tasks.

So, you’ve recognized the giftedness in your kiddo… now what? Do you need to have your child identified? Is testing really that important? Maybe… maybe not. You can read my thoughts about testing and decide for yourself.

I think, though, that it’s infinitely more important that we, as parents, nurture those abilities in our children. There are lots of great books that explore the effects of denying our gifted kids’ abilities. You can check some of them out:

 

As a mom of gifted kids, I made the decision long ago to shift my paradigm and homeschool my kids when traditional schooling wasn’t working out. But, whether you homeschool your gifted kids or not, it’s crucial to nurture their giftedness so that they are empowered to reach their potential.

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

 

 

Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

It’s important to remember that, above all, your gifted children are kids. They need you more than anything else. You are the perfect parent for your gifted kiddo and he or she was given to you for exactly that reason. You’re perfect for your kid.

Love him, appreciate him, and help him grow into the person he is meant to be. Your gifted child needs you to appreciate him right now, and help him develop.

Yes… you know that, right? But how? You’re wondering how you should go about nurturing your child’s giftedness. Here are five simple suggestions…

Follow Your Child’s Interests

Remember the characteristics above? I know that my son will focus intently and passionately on anything that HE chooses to learn. So, I try as often as I can to tap into my kids’ interests and let them drive their learning.

As your kiddo gets older, try getting him involved in choosing his own curriculum. Build on your littler kids’ interests and dive into delight-directed learning. Take field trips. Get hands-on. Enjoy museum memberships.

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

 

Strew Great Resources

Get those kiddos of yours to expand their interests by strewing. While it’s important to nurture your gifted child’s potential and love of learning by following his interests, it’s equally important to expose him to new things. Create a learning-rich environment with loads of great books, games, and puzzles.

By rotating exciting new things, your kids may discover new passions. We have a small science table in our kitchen. Right now there are bird books, a bird log, identification guides, and a chair. This past weekend we put up a feeding station outside so that we’d attract birds to where we can observe them. I also put out small pots, seeds, and soil, along with a book about seeds. It’s springtime, and I’m hoping to encourage nature observations and an interest in getting a garden planted.

Think about the possibilities… what could you strew?

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

 

 

Pose Problems to Solve

Get your kids thinking. One of my favorite things to do when I taught third grade gifted kids was to challenge them to beat me in the strategy game of NIM. NIM is a mathematical game where players are required to remove objects in certain quantities.

There are endless variations of the game, but all involve inductive reasoning and can be won by the child who “discovers the secret.” I taught the initial variation to all the third graders in the building, then challenged kids to practice increasingly more difficult versions on their own and stop by when they thought they could beat me. If they’d solved the strategy and executed it flawlessly, they earned a sticker that boasted, “I beat Mrs. Kessler at NIM!” If they successfully solves all 20+ variations during the quarter I had the challenge live, they joined me and all the other problem solvers for a pizza party.

I had lines out my resource room door every morning for months, with my gifted kiddos all fighting to be the first to beat me at all of the games.

My own kids have loved the challenge, too.

Besides NIM, I’ve challenged my kids to beat me at Mancala, Mastermind, and other strategy and thinking games. I’ve also used great resources like It’s Alive, Real Life Math Mysteries, 100 Math Brainteasers, and Grid Perplexors.

Find Local Resources to Help Ease the Load

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of coming up with all of the ideas, activities, and materials to pique my curious kids’ interests all the time. I tap into the huge abundance of local resources I have at my fingertips.

We have memberships to local museums and zoos, and we frequently visit botanical gardens and nature centers. So many of them offer great classes during the summer and over spring break, and most of them offer classes and programs during the year, too.

And if they don’t – ask them if they will.

So many of the  amazing class opportunities we’ve had here in Northeast Ohio have come about because a homeschooling mom has asked if a theater program, community college, museum, or zoo would offer classes to homeschoolers.

They have the staff, love sharing what they know with the community, and are often eager to accommodate learners who want to learn. So… call around. Set something up, and then get on Facebook and shout out about the new offering. Parents and their kids will come. And you might make a few new friends in the process.

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

 

Find Community

This might be the hardest part of it all when it comes to nurturing your child’s giftedness. You and your child need community. You need other moms and dads who get exactly what you’re going through. You need a place to brag and cry and get help. Your child needs help making friends.

One of the toughest things about raising outliers is that they often don’t fit in with same-age peers. My 13yo has great friends – but they’re either adults or kids half his age. Asynchrony means that he likes to work through complicated ideas and bounce them off mentors four or five times his age, but wants to play Transformers with the 7yo brother of my daughter’s best friend.

Nurturing his giftedness means letting him be himself, and enjoy playing with young friends, and making time to take him to my father-in-law’s house to meet up with the “train guys” who come weekly to build model railroad layouts.

Whatever we do, we need to remember that our kids need us more than anything else. It’s up to us to recognize and nurture their giftedness – and to brag about them so they know we’re proud to be their parents.

Are You Homeschooling A Gifted Child?

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

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Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Gifted Child

As parents, we want our children to excel. We want them to strive for excellence, and to feel accomplished with a job well-done. Whether it’s their education, music lessons, dance, performance, or any other skill they’re pursuing, we teach our kids to aim high and master new things from an early age.

Gifted children know this expectation well. Because they rarely struggle with anything they attempt early on, we set high standards for them. After all, striving for perfection in the sense of learning to excel can be healthy and admirable. We just want our children to succeed.

gifted child perfectionism

 

The Unhealthy Side of Perfectionism

But, when reaching for perfection turns compulsive, it becomes an unhealthy struggle. And this type of pervasive perfectionism can become debilitating to a gifted child. Gifted perfectionists can be unsatisfied with their performance on anything – even when they’ve done beautifully.

My son has been taking flute lessons for a little over a year and a half. When he went in for his first “try out” and tested different band instruments to see what he was most suited to play, he was told that he had a natural ability, and could play whatever he wished. He chose flute.

At first, he practiced well and often, but as time has gone on, and the pieces have become more challenging, he’s pulled back. I know that it’s because he’s afraid he’ll fail. He has been told since the beginning that he is a natural, and so with every failed note, he feels increasingly devastated and angry.

 

That amazing solo happened because neither his teacher, nor his parents {us} allowed him to quit. He told us over and over again that he wasn’t going to perform. He argued that he’d been practicing the song for a year and still didn’t get it right every time. But we wouldn’t back down because he needed to play the song. He’d worked hard, and would be sitting in a gymnasium with other 5th and 6th grade musicians, none of whom practice perfectly every time. And almost every one of them was performing a solo.

He nailed it. And once he did, and heard the applause, his whole demeanor changed. He sat straighter. He clapped harder for his friends. And he smiled through the rest of the concert.

And then he fought me again the next day as we tackled a math concept that was new to him.

When Perfectionism Leads to Underachievement

Perfectionism is different than the motivation for excellence. The dissimilarity keeps gifted perfectionists from every completely feeling good enough about themselves. It keeps kids from taking risks. They become so afraid of failure that they avoid work, play, and new experiences altogether.

I still get this way as a perfectionistic adult. I get anxious and procrastinate on tasks or projects I have coming up when I’m afraid I won’t be able to meet my own high standards. I’m speaking about giftedness and managing intensity in a few weeks, and still haven’t put together my talks, slides, and handouts. It’s not because I don’t know the topics inside and out – I live those topics on a daily basis!

Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child

I just don’t want to let my audience down. I’m headachy and nauseous when I think about it. I love speaking. I love writing. And I’ve done it for years – and get myself worked up each and every time because I care so much about creating the perfect experience for others.

I know exactly how my son feels.

I know how your gifted perfectionist feels. He might seem depressed or avoid basic work, making excuses and blaming others for his lack of follow-through. He may become defiant or rebellious.

Perfectionism And The Gifted Child

Unhealthy perfectionism affects the child {or adult} physically, emotionally, and intellectually. But it also affects his family and friends. Perfectionists may subtly cause others to feel down about themselves by pointing out their flaws and mistakes in an attempt to make themselves feel better.

One of my children is constantly pointing out a sibling’s flaws, and offering unsolicited advice. It’s not warranted, and all it does is make the recipient feel less perfect than the advice-giver. And the advice-giver feels more important, smarter, etc.

Giving others unsolicited advice reassures gifted perfectionists of how intelligent they really are. Causing others to feel bad has an unconsciously confirming effect on their own perfectionism.

10 Tips For Helping Your Gifted Child Manage Perfectionism

So, as parents who want our gifted kids to reach their potential and excel, without becoming unhealthy in their quest for perfection, how can we help them manage?

1. Let them hear about your mistakes.

Kids who struggle with perfectionism often think others are perfect. Talk to them about your failures and the lessons you’ve learned from them. When I taught gifted children in the public schools, I started the year by going into all of the third grade classrooms and reading excerpts from the book, Mistakes That Worked. In that book, inventions that were created from someone’s failures are profiled. The Frisbee, Toll House chocolate chip cookies, and Post-It Notes are some of the amazing things discussed in that book.

Sometimes the best learning happens from the biggest failures. After we discussed the books, their classroom teachers each shared a story of failure from their own lives. It was powerful, and enlightening. The kids loved it.

Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child

2. Teach them to practice… and to lose.

Many things come easy to gifted kids, so by the time they find something that’s hard, they give up rather than fail. Find something they’ll have to work at – an art class, horseback riding, stop motion animation – and sign them up. Practice with them between sessions. Teach them that great things come through hard work.

Then, teach your kids to lose. Play games with them, starting with games of chance and moving onto skill-based games. Celebrate gracious losing.

3. Focus on the process, not the product.

Too often, perfectionistic kids have an idea of what something should look like when it’s done. Their picture may or may not match up with reality. Throughout the process of their work, ask them questions and offer compliments. When they’re done, ask questions. “What made you use that color?” “How did you come up with this idea in the first place?”

4. Explain your expectations, and stick with them.

Gifted kids are literal and need to know up front what it means to be done with a project. What does a great journal entry look like? How do we measure success on the ball field? What should his flute practice include? Tell your literal-minded kiddo what to expect and tell him to stop when he gets to that point. Use a time limit if necessary.

Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child

5. Be silly sometimes.

Gifted and perfectionistic children can be so hard on themselves. Take time to laugh with each other – especially when mistakes are made. Practicing how to take falls, trying flips on the trampoline, and watching silly shows on television all help draw families closer together and remind kids to enjoy moments… and that everyone fails.

6. Talk about your own struggles.

If you’re a perfectionist too like I am, talk to your kids about it. I just chatted over Starbucks with my son about how I struggle when I have too many things on my plate. I get overwhelmed, think I can’t do it all perfectly, and just want to give up altogether. When he knows that I struggle with paralyzing perfectionism, too, he doesn’t feel so alone.

7. Break routines from time to time.

Like all children, the perfectionist craves routine. Help them see that the occasional break from routine is okay. If you’re in a hurry to be somewhere, model that it’s okay to let some chores go until later. If you always let your kiddo read before bed, but you got home really late, have them go to bed without reading from time to time. Teach them that routines and structures are meant to help us focus our days – not become slaves to them.

8. Make and progress towards goals.

Help your child see the bigger picture, and realize that mistakes and trip-ups are part of the journey. Start by having them think about things they want to achieve and break it down for them. For example, if your child wants to write and self-publish a book, have him first set the small goal of outlining his story. Then, have him set and meet the goal of writing the first chapter. Keep going like this in small intervals, helping your child see that there are many steps to ultimate goals, and nobody get there right away.

Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child

9. Enjoy a state of rest.

Many kids get more worked up over their perfectionism when they over-extend themselves. Make sure that everyone is well-rested and takes good care of their physical needs. Set aside time to eat together as a family and reconnect. Include quiet down time in your day for kids and adults of all ages – we all need downtime.

10. Be a role model for healthy excellence.

Take pride in your work and don’t hide your mistakes or criticize yourself aloud. Congratulate yourself when you’ve done a good job, and let your children know that your own accomplishments give you satisfaction. Don’t overwork. You, too, need to have some fun and relaxation.

If your child’s perfectionism is getting in the way of normal activities and preventing him from getting involved in new activities, or if your child shows symptoms of anxiety related to perfectionism, like stomachaches, headaches, or eating disorders, you may want to get professional psychological help for your child and your family. Seeing a psychologist or a family counselor can help give you the tools to get your kiddo and yourself back on track.

Do you or your child struggle with perfectionism? What are some of the successful ways you’ve tackled the problem? 

 

An additional resource to help you as you help your child with perfectionism – 

perfectionism and gifted children

Get all the details about Never Good Enough, by Colleen Kessler  HERE. 

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Dear Tired Mom of Gifted Kids

It’s been a long day already, and you haven’t even taken your first sip of coffee. You didn’t get to bed until well after midnight because the oldest couldn’t shut his mind down and wanted, no needed, to talk about every single swirling thought he’d ever had.

Dear Tired Mama of Gifted Kids

At four a.m. you were violently shaken awake by the six year old who just needed to hear you say, yet again, that it was highly unlikely that the sun would explode whilst she slept. And what scientific proof you had to back up your stance.

You finally got her settled again, snuggled next to your slumbering husband when the toddler started crying. He just needed to cuddle, and so in desperation you brought him into bed with you praying that this way you might both get some sleep.

You did.

For a few hours.

And then you awoke to a crash in the kitchen at 7:30ish.

Your sweet eight year old decided to make you coffee, and dropped the canister, then tripped over the chair she’d used to get the coffee out of the cupboard in the first place. And you looked at the table and saw that she’d pulled dough out of the fridge and was rolling it out for biscuits – and had spread flour everywhere.

Dear Tired Mama of Gifted Kids

Bleary-eyed, you finished making the coffee, and worked together with your daughter to clean up the mess, and soothed her sobs. Her plan had been to surprise you with a complete breakfast, ready to go, as soon as you woke up. And she’d hoped to be halfway through her independent school work before that.

But things often don’t look like the perfect picture in her head, and she just can’t handle that when perfectionism rears its ugly head.

So, for sanity’s sake, you are now sitting on the couch, cradling your coffee in your cupped hands, breathing in the vanilla flavored creamer and the peppermint essential oil you dropped in, hoping it would clear the cobwebs from your cluttered mind – and the television is on with Leap singing the alphabet to your littlest.

Dear Tired Mama of Gifted Kids

And you’re gearing up for the chaos of the day.

Homeschooling – no, parenting – gifted kids is not for the weak. There’s the anxiety. And the asynchrony. And the overexcitabilities. And the intensity. And the perfectionism. You often think that whomever came up with the term gifted to describe children like yours, may have used the word gift to remind themselves that children were a blessing.

Because oftentimes giftedness is not.

Take heart, mama, it is worth it.

The late night theological discussions, the endless curiosity, the boundless energy, the constant noise… it’s all worth it.

But, because the traditional parenting tips don’t typically work with gifted and intense children, you often feel alone and like you’re failing.

Miserably.

Dear Tired Mama of Gifted Kids

Dear Tired Mom of Gifted Kids

Here’s the thing, mama of gifted and intense kiddos… you’re not failing. At all. There are other moms out there who are experiencing the same failures, the same exhaustion, the same endless unanswerable questions from pint-sized brains that run laps around your own.

And the supermom myth… well it’s just a myth. You can’t do it all, and you certainly can’t do it alone.

Moms of gifted kids need help – and they need to be okay asking for it.

Help can be a conversation in a support group for parents of gifted children. Something simple to remind you that you’re not alone, your kids will be fine, and you’ll make it through this adventure of parenting. If you’re looking for a fantastic and supportive community full of parents who get you, I’d love to have you join us in The Learner’s Lab

the learners lab for gifted kids

Help is going out for coffee with a friend – just to be a normal woman for an evening. It’s getting together with with a small group of moms and their kids, and being okay with whatever means fun for your kiddo, even if that’s reading under a tree while the other kids run around on the playground.

It’s even pulling away from everyone for a few days or weeks to regroup and reconnect as a family. To sit at home and cuddle on the couch with one another.

Help is whatever YOU need most.

But, tired mama, the best thing you can do to help yourself through this journey of parenting misunderstood kiddos is to remember that you ARE a fantastic parent. You are exactly the mother designed for your kids. You’re perfect for them. Especially in your imperfection.

There’s no such thing as a perfect mama. Only one doing her best, learning and growing alongside her kiddos.

Sip that coffee, regroup, and rely on Netflix from time to time if you need to. But don’t doubt that you’re doing a wonderful job. You ARE a great mom.

I’m sitting here with my coffee, and thinking about you. Knowing that you’re out there helps me through my struggles too. We’re in this together, tired mama of gifted kids, and we can do this.

Thinking of you – and clinking my mug to yours… Be brave today. Smart kids are cool – and so are you. Carry on and know that help is a FB message or email away.

 

For more posts on parenting gifted kids, check out:

         

Dear Tired Mama of Gifted Kids

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I Just Want My Son Back | What it Feels Like When Your Child is in Crisis

This is an electrical outlet in the emergency room. You’ll notice it looks different from what you’re used to seeing – it’s not only covered for safety, but locked.

There is no way to access it.

There is no way to charge my phone while we wait.

There is also no way for a child to harm themselves with it.

when your child is in crisis

This is what the outlets look like in the specialized rooms in a closed corner of the emergency room, where children are taken when they are brought in during a behavioral emergency. This is where children are taken when they attempt suicide, become so manic they’re uncontrollable, have psychotic breaks, fits of rage, and homicidal ideation.

This is where we ended up when my son attacked me.

when your child is in crisis

It’d never happened before, and I almost smugly believed it never would. I’m in a few Facebook groups for parents of troubled kids, I know a few families in real life who have had to bring their children to these rooms, but I always comforted myself that no matter how hard it got with my own boy, he’d never hurt me.

Until he did.

This room is so bare it’s unsettling. The bed and chair are made of a rubber-like foam. There is no bedding, no paper covers, no railing, no legs on any of them. Just blobs of hard, blue foam. The bed looks like a giant blue pill. There are no wires in this room. No call buttons, no lines to the oxygen in the wall. There’s a tv mounted behind a case but no remote to turn it on. Even the sink faucet is small with no visible plumbing.

“Where is the trash can?” my son asks.

“There’s not one in here. They can’t risk you throwing it at them.”

I look up, raising my eyes in an attempt to keep the hot tears from spilling out.

A failed attempt.

I see the large mirror in the corner that allows doctors and nurses to make sure no one is lying in wait to attack them. My son and I are sitting calmly on the giant blue pill bed and all that’s reflected back is how very empty the room is. Even with my eyes closed I can feel how empty it is.

I can feel how empty I am.

I know I’m not giving up. I know I never will give up. But right now, in this moment, on this hard, blue bed, I don’t know where I’ll draw my next breath from.

I’m so tired.

So worn.

So desperate.

So sad.

I know I’m not alone…

There are several rooms like this one in this corner of the ER, and many of them are currently occupied. The police are in the hall outside of another room, filling out paperwork and discussing the patient.

Will they come for my boy?

Has a nurse told them he hit me?

I clutch him, realizing all over again how serious this is. When you find yourself in a situation you never anticipated, you have to process it multiple times. It’s all too unreal to be real. It’s all so different, that you can protect yourself for a little while by not really accepting it.

Related: When Anxiety Looks Like Anger When Your Child is in Crisis

This Is What It’s Like When Your Child Is In Crisis

But those police officers are real.

My sweaty boy leaning against me is real.

The marks on my arm are real.

We are really here, in the emergency room, in a small, specialized room, designed to minimize the damage my child is apparently capable of.

I’m torn between wanting to cling to him and wanting the doctors to take him, just for a little while, just so he can get some help and I can get some respite.

Every parent likes to brag about their child when they’re asked about them, but instead I have to tell this intake specialist about the worst things my son has ever done.

His creativity and sense of humor don’t come up here.

No one is appreciating how well he does with his schoolwork.

Instead of eyebrows raising at being impressed by him, all of the brows around here are furrowed, worried, vigilant.

Are they judging me?

Do they think I let him get this way?

Do they wonder what I missed, what else I could have done?

Do they shake their heads at my decision to have children despite my family history of mental illness?

Do they search for ways to make this my fault?

Because I do.

I am.

I’m filled with guilt over something I didn’t even do.

I look down at my precious boy, leaning against me, calm, and lose touch of the reality we’re in just for a moment.

Surely this baby didn’t mean it.

Surely this will never happen again.

Surely this will be a wake up call to him and this behavior will stop.

But I’m not sure.

I don’t know what is causing this behavior.

I don’t know what will  help it.

I don’t know if we’ll be back in this room.

I know that I love him, and he loves me, but he is fighting something so strong inside him that he’s currently losing. He’s overtaken by something he’s not strong enough to fight on his own and has ended up on a hard, blue bed in a small, empty room.

He’s seen several doctors, several therapists, my boy. He’s been in various treatments for varying amounts of time over the years, and the diagnoses always change.

“It isn’t an exact science,” I’m told when I ask about the fluid, ever-changing labels. Then I’m handed a prescription for a very strong, very scientific medication and asked to trust the non-exact science with the very long list of side effects. No two therapists or doctors ever agree on what alphabet soup best explains my son, and I admit that as I grow increasingly dependent upon mental health professionals I trust them less and less.

He’s released.

He’s calmed down now and hasn’t made any threats against himself or anyone else.

He’s lucid but tired.

Without a charged phone or a clock I realize we went over 8 hours without eating and the knots in my stomach untie just enough to release a growl. I’m glad to be heading home with him. I know he didn’t need to stay, I know he didn’t meet the criteria for inpatient care, but I still feel like we didn’t accomplish anything.

I’ll follow up with his therapists tomorrow.

Tonight we’ll rest in our own beds — beds with linens and pillows and usable outlets nearby.

I don’t know if we’ll be back to that small, empty room with the hard, blue bed.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow when I call his therapists.

I don’t know what will happen when we walk back into the familiar environment of our home where he punched, clawed, bit, and kicked me.

I don’t know what’s going on in that mind of his, and to be honest, I don’t really know what’s going on in mine. I’m too tired to think, or maybe too afraid to.

I never wanted to see a room like that one. I really didn’t even know they existed before tonight.

I never thought my boy would hurt me, on purpose, repeatedly.

We crossed more than one threshold today and I didn’t like what was on the other side.

I know that whatever awaits, whatever doors we have to go through or whatever rooms we have to revisit, I’ll be there.

Related: Helping Your Child Cope with AnxietyWhen Your Child is in Crisis

If Your Child Is In Crisis, You Are Not Alone.

I’ll keep going wherever my boy needs and sitting wherever we find ourselves. I’m not giving up, on him or the system that runs on inexact science.

I have to believe he’s still in there, my boy, somewhere under the angry layers he’s burrowed into.

I have to believe I’ll see him again someday, see a twinkle in his eye and not a fire.

I miss him.

Deeply.

Painfully.

Whoever said it was better to have loved and lost has never held the shell of their child. I have to get him back, for his sake and my own. So I will sit on 1000 hard blue beds and give up all the outlets in the world until some doctor, somehow, finds some relief for him.

I’m not alone.

I’m not at fault.

And I’m not giving up.

What It Feels Like When Your Child is in Crisis - Raising Lifelong Learners

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100 Hints That Your Child May Be Gifted

Admit it, you’ve thought about it. You see your precious little one handling blocks with expert dexterity. Your heart swells as they garble through their ABCs. Your pride and joy is walking already or handles math problems with ease and you wonder, Could my child be gifted?

Maybe.

There is a growing community of support for gifted children, but still a lot of murky information about how to actually tell if your child is gifted. ~Raising Lifelong Learners #gifted

There is a growing community of support for the families of gifted children, but still a lot of murky information about how to actually tell if your child is gifted. I remember when my oldest was still a toddler, I was reading a popular parenting magazine and came across a one-page article discussing giftedness in children. Intrigued and convinced that my precious firstborn was obviously a genius, I began comparing him to the checklist they provided… and promptly discovered that he didn’t match a single criteria. Oh well, I thought. I wouldn’t know what to do with a genius. He’s fine how he is.

Years later, surprise! Not only is he gifted, but so is his brother… and his sister. It took a teacher telling us that they were likely gifted – and multiple test results – to convince me. As we began to learn more about what it meant to be gifted, hindsight became more and more clear. The signs were always there, I’d just been wholly misinformed as to what they were!

100 Hints That Your Child May Be Gifted

Here you’ll find 100 real-life and classic hints that your child may be gifted. Since gifted kids are as unique from one another as they are from the general population, not every one of these will be true for every gifted child, and there will definitely be anecdotes experienced by gifted families that aren’t mentioned here. But in general, you may very well have a gifted child on your hands if:

  1. The word “intensity” drums up your child’s image. Intensity is the hallmark of gifted children. Intense feelings, intense reactions, intense drive. Intensity is the word when it comes to gifted kids.

  2. Your child learned to read at an early age, or

  3. they taught themselves how to read.

  4. The questions never, ever stop.

  5. She often seems wise beyond her years, but

  6. sometimes she can seem to behave younger than her actual age, especially when it comes to social and emotional issues.

  7. He experiences fears that children his age don’t.

  8. They are aware of their own mortality.

  9. He sleeps less than other children. Less than the parenting articles say he needs. Less than you need to maintain your sanity.

  10. He takes hours to fall asleep – often because he can’t “turn his brain off”.

  11. She can draw inferences from data, evidence, or Sesame Street.

  12. She can grasp metaphors at a young age.

  13. He can understand and appreciate sarcasm.

  14. He is sarcastic.

  15. She isn’t content to simply absorb information and often asks “why?” what she’s learning is important

  16. They experience anxiety.

  17. He is able to grasp concepts quickly.

  18. She is observant.

  19. He has a large, diverse vocabulary.

  20. She does well in math and can easily apply mathematical concepts to new challenges.

  21. He can’t learn enough. His desire to investigate and ask questions and immerse himself in a subject is insatiable.

  22. She has a rich, vivid, active imagination.

  23. They make up their own elaborate rules to games… or even make up their own elaborate games.

  24. He has a strong sense of justice and becomes particularly upset when faced with inequality.

  25. She can pay attention for long periods of time, especially when compared to her age peers.

  26. He has an excellent memory and can recall facts and information accurately.

  27. Others commented on what an alert infant she was.

  28. He has an intense curiosity about just about everything.

  29. They experience intense reactions to pain.

  30. He corrects others, sometimes rudely, and is usually right.

  31. She has an increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli – noises are louder, smells are more offensive, sock seams are evil.

  32. He can retain information, not just sit through it.

  33. She experiences intense empathy for others in pain or peril.

  34. He thinks so far outside the box that sometimes the box is no longer visible.

  35. They offer creative solutions to basic – or complex – problems.

  36. She often has great insight into situations.

  37. He forms strong attachments – to people, to stuffed animals, to trains, to shoes, to a favorite toothbrush, to anything.

  38. She is able to identify connections between information, facts, and people.

  39. He’s just so original. Your kiddo is quirky and awesome and there doesn’t seem to be anyone like him.

  40. She requires fewer repetitions to master a new skill.

  41. They have passionate interest in (sometimes unusual) topics

  42. He can be pretty argumentative. Any disagreement is apparently an invitation to debate, and

  43. He oftentimes win those debates (whether you tell him or not is up to you!).

  44. She becomes frustrated with repetition and review. Spiral instruction is not for her.

  45. He lacks patience or understanding when others struggle with a task he’s mastered.

  46. She frequently finds school boring.

  47. They have very high standards for everyone around them, but they are often highest when it comes to what they expect from themselves. This often leads to

  48. Struggles with perfectionism.

  49. She daydreams.

  50. He craves and appreciates novelty.

  51. She has a deep self-awareness – though may lack the ability or language to actually identify and describe her inner experiences.

  52. He has an interest in politics and enjoys discussing the latest issues.

  53. They often speak quickly. Their little mouths sometimes can’t keep up with their excitement and ideas.

  54. He’s the classic absent-minded professor – brilliant and disorganized, smart but scattered.

  55. They have a parent or sibling who has been identified as gifted.

  56. She could carry out multi-step instructions from an early age.

  57. He’s very picky – food, textures, smells, oh my!

  58. She asks deep questions.

  59. He has little need for instruction and can often master skills on his own.

  60. She frequently seeks out older children or adults for conversation.

  61. He might have excessive energy, almost like he’s driven by a motor inside.

  62. She’s skeptical, sometimes cynical.

  63. They work well independently and

  64. May even prefer to work independently.

  65. She’s so creative.

  66. He’s aware of how different he is from the kids his own age.

  67. So. Much. Talking.

  68. He expressed an early interest and/or understanding of time.

  69. Her development is asynchronous.

  70. He spoke early… and well.

  71. She exhibited early mastery of motor skill functions.

  72. They hit several developmental milestones early.

  73. She has a deep need to learn, create, go, do…

  74. He has a laser-like focus and

  75. He’s able to multitask successfully.

  76. She has a great sense of humor.

  77. He appreciates puns and dad jokes, long before becoming an actual dad.

  78. She’s able to recognize problems and

  79. She’s able to propose solutions.

  80. “Why?”

  81. They have a wide knowledge base that comes from interests in multiple areas.

  82. He’s able to understand cause and effect relationships.

  83. She can imagine multiple outcomes to situations, which often causes her to

  84. Overthink instructions. In fact, she probably

  85. Overthinks everything.

  86. He can apply new concepts to multiple areas.

  87. She struggles socially, often because of the differences between her and her peers.

  88. He creates his own ways to solve math problems.

  89. They exhibited early pattern recognition.

  90. She’s often a square peg in a round hole world.

  91. He has a strong fear of or preoccupation with death.

  92. She is highly critical of herself.

  93. He doesn’t just get interested in a topic, he obsesses.

  94. They unknowingly dominate their peers.

  95. Their standards and expressive skills often push them towards natural leadership.

  96. She deeply experiences her surroundings.

  97. He doesn’t blindly accept unproven authority.

  98. What’s normal for her sounds like you’re bragging to others.

  99. He has a low threshold for frustration.

  100. She thrives on complexity.

Related: If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle

100 hints your child may be gifted

 

Is My Child Really Gifted If They Are Struggling In School?

You may notice that among the 100 traits listed above, not once were grades mentioned as an indicator of giftedness. Being a gifted child is not all about straight-A’s and perfect test scores, it’s a neurological difference that affects many, many areas of their lives and really turns up the intensity knob.

Sure, many gifted kids have impressive report cards, but they also have struggles, fears, and unique experiences that set them apart from the crowd.

No question, It is a unique set of complex circumstances that creates a unique family dynamic and educational challenges. 

But please know, you are not alone in it. 

Are You Homeschooling A Gifted Child?

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

 

Latest posts by Colleen Kessler (see all)
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RLL #107: Learning as an Unschooling Family with Robyn Robertson

 

I truly believe that the best way we can educate our gifted and twice-exceptional (2E) kids is through homeschooling with self-directed learning and unschooling.

Self-Directed Learning vs. Unschooling?

Self-directed learning is a self-motivated pursuit of knowledge not based on a required set of circumstances but learning for its own sake. Using an unschooling approach to learning simply means that activities and lessons are not structured or required.

Children constantly learn through their interactions and experiences with the world around them.  Many families find that creating their own flexible homeschool and allowing their kids to be the driving force in their learning is the very best educational option for our above-average kids.

RLL #107: Learning as an Unschooling Family with Robyn Robertson

Self-directed learning and unschooling is better for gifted and 2E learners

Our kids aren’t cookie cutter, why would we think a one size fits all of educating will fit them? An example might be a kiddo who loves math and excels ahead of his same-age peers but is also struggling with reading. We could encourage his reading through the “strewing” of picture books about math, making them available for him to discover. This would likely be more interesting to him than a remedial reading curriculum. 

A lot of gifted kids are energized by making “dive deeps” into areas of interest. In our family, there is a genuine need to go into detailed study! Just because measures like tests or projects show mastery has occurred doesn’t mean our kids are done with learning about the subject. With self-directed homeschooling, limits are easily removed in open-ended learning at home; there is no timetable to follow. By exploring those tangents, our kids are motivated to learn more in depth and with greater passion.

The benefits of self-directed learning and unschooling point to just how good it is for gifted and 2E kids.

There’s a confidence that comes to children when they have buy-in to their learning. Self-directed learners are motivated in their learning and hesitate less to investigate new things.

More flexible learning gives us a way where overexcitabilities and asynchrony are less of an issue. Home is a safer environment in which to learn strategies to handle differences and adjust behaviors.  Homeschooling parents are readily available to give our kids the support they need if they’re asynchronous. Scaffolding can provide for areas where our child might struggle, so that they can continue to learn and create at their level. Take for example the child who has difficulty with handwriting, but who has a great imagination and concocts wonderfully imaginative stories. Allowing her to dictate her story to a parent to record is a way of giving her space to explore her talent as a “writer” while supporting her as she works on penmanship.

Unschooling benefits the whole family by creating space to create.

Grace Llewellyn explains, “You don’t need a schoolteacher to get knowledge – you can get it from looking at the world, from watching films, from conversations, from reading, from asking questions, from experience. When you get down to it, unschooling is really just a fancy term for ‘life’ or ‘growing up uninstitutionalized.’” 

Unschooling gives us more room to explore interests and have wonderful life experiences in the safest of environments, within the family, those relationships will always be their very best teacher. Important skills like critical thinking, problem solving, fostering authenticity and lifelong learning take time and attention which we can adjust and focus on while we homeschool.

Ultimately, as parents of these “outside-the-box thinkers,” we learn to trust our children better and respect their learning needs. All kids have an intrinsic desire to learn and create; but our kids tend towards MORE of everything. In self-directed learning and unschooling, we can be our kiddos’ greatest champion, cheering them on to becoming the very best people they can be.

unschooling life learning grace llewellyn

Families who already use self-directed learning and unschooling provide support and encouragement.

This week’s podcast episode is a conversation with Robyn Robertson of Honey I’m Homeschooling the Kids. She shares the background of her unschooling family and makes an important analogy of self-directed learning as being a journey we travel on with our entire family.  Some of the ideas Robyn and Colleen share in this episode are:

  • Travel together as a family in your learning, even if everyone is learning about different things.
  • Keep going back to knowing why you’re doing it and adjust as needed.
  • Experience life together, share stories as a family. This will cause you to build connections through these shared experiences.
  • Take field trips, have family projects, attend independent classes and enrichment programs, enroll in online courses and exercise programs, and leave room for a lot of personal time. If the individual wants to pursue a formal class, that can be unschooling as well!

Learning Mindset Happiness is goal Robyn Robertson

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

            

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


 

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If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle

“Boy is he an EXTREME thinker! If he actually took the time to sit and focus on his work, he could accomplish anything…”

when gifted children struggle

As helpful and positive as his preschool teacher thought she was being, words like this can set some of our most intelligent kiddos up for a lifetime of failure. So, why do some gifted children struggle so much?

If they’re really as smart as we say they are, why can’t some of them just do their work? Or behave better? Or act nicer? Or…?

I remember watching my son spin in circles in the back of his preschool classroom while the others sat raptly taking in their teacher’s read aloud. And cringing. Why couldn’t he just sit still? All the other kids were managing it.

Never mind that he understood everything that was going on in the story, and could recount whole passages, identify individual characters and speak to their motivation, inferring cause and effect at a much higher lever than any of his intently listening classmates. He couldn’t do it in a way that didn’t disrupt the others – or distract the teacher.

Related: A Kid with an Issue Can’t Be Gifted, Right?

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

What do Twice Exceptional Children Look Like?

Twice exceptional children are gifted kiddos who struggle with other neurological, learning, or physical issues. Twice exceptional children can look perfectly ordinary in a classroom setting. Their abilities mask their disabilities, and their disabilities mask their abilities, making them seem perfectly average.

Sometimes, though, a child’s giftedness might shine through more than his disability, making it seem like he’s not living up to his potential. He seems like he should be achieving so much ore than he is, but is choosing not to. The reality is that his difficulties make it impossible to live up to his potential. He just can’t overcome them without intervention.

I remember the fall parent-teacher conference we went to when our son was in first grade. We were invited to look inside his desk to see what his teacher “had to put up with.” Our kiddo, who meticulously organized his action figures, cars, and LEGO each night before he went to bed, had a desk full to the brim with crumpled papers, broken pencils, dried out markers, and ripped folders. There was also a thick stack of unfinished worksheets in a folder.

Those were the ones he’d never turned in because they’d gotten lost somewhere in his desk or classroom. The teacher had recopied them and placed them in a new folder for our bright, hyperactive, wiggly, and sensory kiddo to work on instead of going out to recess with his friends.

Does this sound familiar?

Many twice exceptional children struggle with executive functioning issues, and can’t organize their thinking enough to turn things in, keep things organized (when they’re not interested), or follow multiple step directions. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, they just can’t do it. Their lack of organizational skills results in a messy desk, overflowing backpack, and problems keeping track of books and papers. Difficulties with prioritizing and planning make it impossible for them to complete assignments in a timely manner. They are easily distracted and struggle to focus and sustain attention.

Related: Homeschooling Twice Exceptional Kids

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

Why Do Twice Exceptional Children Struggle?

The extreme frustration these kiddos feel when they can’t meet their own and others’ expectations, combined with the frustration of adults who don’t understand why a bright child does not achieve, can lead to conflict, misunderstandings, and failure.

Our twice exceptional kids can seem stubborn, opinionated, and argumentative, but they also appear to be overly sensitive to criticism. Many of these kiddos struggle with social skills which leads to feelings of isolation when they have trouble making and keeping friends. In order to avoid failing, 2e kids may try to manipulate the situation or simply refuse to try an assignment.

These kids are literally wired to struggle.

I mean, really, can you imagine how incredibly difficult it must be to have big thoughts swirling around your head, with the cognitive ability to understand things at a much deeper level than kids your age normally can, but have trouble spelling or reading words?

My 6 year old struggles mightily with sensory processing disorder, anxiety, and reading. She solves math problems for fun. Asks for science experiments and documentaries. Can converse at length about an incredibly intricate and imaginative world that lives only in her head. But she can’t read the simplest text. Her thinking is complex, but she lacks the skills to work independently because she has such trouble with words. It is incredibly frustrating for her.

And, since she already battles anxiety, the difficulties she faces with reading make her feel like a failure, and she acts out and argues when it’s time to read.

Yet she adores stories. She’ll look at the pictures in books for hours and listen to audio books and read alouds all day long. She can make the most amazing connections between what’s happening in stories she hears and the world in which she lives.

Related: Parenting and Teaching a Twice Exceptional Child

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

Living a Gifted/Twice Exceptional Life

We’re in a wonderful position because with homeschooling, we can easily nurture her giftedness while remediating for her disabilities in a loving way. It’s often thought that kids need to have their problems solved before working on pushing their strengths further, academically, but research shows the opposite is true. When we focus on a child’s strengths and build them up, they gain the confidence they need to tackle those deficits.

When gifted kids struggle with anxiety, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, or other struggles they need to be nurtured and built up by the ones they trust most – parents, teachers, and friends. It’s important to work together with the other people in your kiddo’s life to help them understand how best to help your child.

And your twice exceptional child needs to know what a gift he or she is to you. When someone says or implies that, if your child is so smart he should just get it and be able to be successful, you need to be the one to educate – whether it’s a family member, friend, or teacher.

You’re your child’s biggest advocate. And he’s perfect just the way he is.

Extreme thinking and all…

What “If he’s really so smart…” moments have you had lately?

You Don’t Have To Homeschool Your Gifted Child Alone!

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

 

Latest posts by Colleen Kessler (see all)
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RLL #106: [Audioblog] Young Gifted Children | Reflections from Parents


Did you just know that your child was gifted from the start? You know, that feeling down deep in your gut that something was different about your tiny tot, but you weren’t able to completely pinpoint it?  Or maybe you went straight to a search engine with questions like, “signs my baby is gifted” or “What age can you tell if your child is gifted?”

Research shows that parents are pretty accurate when identifying their young children as gifted.  Whether early talking or walking, having extreme abilities of observation or learning, or even needing little sleep, a lot of our quirky kids start demonstrating unusually advanced behaviors from a very young age!

Today’s episode is an audioblog of a post that first appeared on the website, where Colleen asked parents to think back to when their young children were infants or toddlers. The responses were fascinating! Listen as parents share in their own words what traits and characteristics they could see now, in hindsight, that made them realize their child was gifted.  

RLL #106: [Audioblog] Young Gifted Children | Reflections from Parents

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

         

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


 

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RLL #105: Parenting ADHD and Autism with Penny Williams


Parenting our neurodiverse kiddos, whether gifted or twice-exceptional kiddos (including autistic and ADHD), is just plain different. Typical parenting books and practices won’t always work when we’re trying to find ways to help our children become the very best people they can be. Parenting them takes intentionality and a different kind of parenting mindset.

Today, Colleen speaks with Penny Williams of Parenting ADHD and Autism about how we really need to be okay with who our neurodiverse kiddos are and learn how to celebrate their differences.  This is a terrific conversation to glean wisdom from two parents who have faced struggles that are common in parenting atypical kids.

RLL #105: Parenting ADHD and Autism with Penny Williams

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

            

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!