Beyond IQ

Saturday, April 28

Regular Conference Sessions (subject to changes and additions)

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.           Registration - Breakfast breads, coffee and juice

9:00 - 10:15 a.m.         Breakout Sessions I

Presentation Title: What to look for at your first conference – Staff

This will include a brief presentation on terminology you are likely to hear during the weekend, which presentations are aimed at newcomers, and other introductory material.  A good chunk of this period will be spent doing Q&A with the attendees.

Presentation Title: Homeschooling Teens: Putting Your Child in Charge of His Education – Kit Finn

Teens are wonderful people, and they want so much to be adults.  They still need the Garden of Childhood.  They also need to be welcomed into the Wide World.  Strategies for putting a swinging gate on the Garden.

Presentation Title: Discovery - How I found out my child is gifted and how I came to grips with it - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

Did you know from early babyhood that your child was uniquely gifted?  Or, did you assume that this was normal until your child started kindergarten or even later?  Maybe it was a gradual realization when you compared notes with other parents and realized that your child surpassed many of the goals other parents were bragging about.  In any case, the realization of just how gifted can come as quite a shock and finding people to discuss your concerns can leave the impression that you are bragging or that you are one of those pushy parents.  To complicate it, many parents realize for the first time, that they, too, must have been "somewhat" gifted.  Come share your experiences!

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.       Keynote – F. Richard Olenchak Ph.D., Professor, Psychologist, and Director, Urban Talent Research Institute, University of Houston

Deliberate Differentiation: Effective Affective Accommodations for Students with Eminent Gifts

Despite the collective label that serves to group them, each gifted and talented student has acutely unique needs distinguishing him/her as an individual. Yet, most popular techniques for differentiating curricula and instruction for students of high ability fail to acknowledge – let alone accommodate -- social and emotional and educational needs at a personal level, particularly for students who possess eminent giftedness. How well do present-day differentiation efforts serve highly gifted and talented students? Moreover, how useful are current differentiation approaches for highly gifted students who have concomitant learning, attention, and/or social-emotional concerns? Against a backdrop of research that was completed within the last three weeks, participants will learn the theoretical rationale for improving differentiation and will become acquainted with methods for improving instructional and curricular accommodations in both the cognitive and affective dimensions for young people with eminent gifts and talents.

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch On Your Own

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.          Breakout Sessions II

Presentation Title: Introduction to Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration - Cheryl M. Ackerman, Ph.D.

The theory of Positive Disintegration is a developmental personality theory that describes development across the lifespan and has specific implications for gifted and highly gifted populations.  This session will focus on the main theoretical components (overexcitabilities, dynamism, levels of development, developmental potential) and integrate its relevance for personal, relationship, and community understanding.

Presentation Title: Different Minds - Maddi Wallach

This workshop explores the notion that most schools are designed for people motivated primarily by mastery and organization and that this focus is too narrow, leaving those with other motivations to sometimes feel at a loss to feel passionate about and connected to their education.

This workshop focuses on an exploration of the highly gifted child motivated by creativity, ethical imperatives, invention, connection, and/or meaning.  The workshop will include guided imagery, music, lecture, and discussion.

Presentation Title: As your child enters "The Real World" - Theresa Schultz-Jones, et al

You may still be in denial about how gifted your child is, but at some point, your child will begin interacting with other people and realize that they are different.  Many children, upon entering school for the first time become depressed.  Is this awareness of difference the cause?  How can you help your child (and yourself) cope?  Do school professionals help or hinder the process?

2:30 - 3:45 p.m.           Breakout Sessions III

Presentation Title: Internet Resources for Highly and Profoundly Gifted Children! - Carolyn Kottmeyer

Highly gifted children are just like any other children - some are writers, others readers, some excel in creative pursuits including art or music, others in math or science, or any other area you can name.  Highly gifted children are hardly "all alike."

But the big difference between highly gifted children and any other children is that highly gifted children are more: more intense, more inquisitive, more interested in the depth and breadth of subject, going beyond the everyday and ordinary.  Most importantly, highly gifted children learn more quickly, and more deeply than other children.  And this presents more challenge for their educators and parents.  (For the Saturday session, reverse to parents and educators.)

Find out how the Internet can help you deal with these unique and wonderful children.  Through the ever-growing resources of Hoagies' Gifted Education Page and Hoagies' Kids and Teens Page, discover new and exciting information on the intricate life of the highly gifted child.

Presentation Title: Selective Camouflage: A Paradigm for Social Interactions - Kevin Johnson

Gifted individuals have a strong desire for personal expression.  They wish to share their rich inner worlds with others.  Their attempts at self-expression, however, do not always result in the experience of welcoming, appreciative acceptance that they had hoped for.  The non-gifted individual often has a low tolerance for the complexity, intensity, and depth of the gifted individual's inner life.  Many people respond defensively to the gifted individual's attempt at personal expression.

The disappointment that gifted individuals experience as a result of this lack of acceptance can often lead to maladapted social responses.  Some may give up on personal expression altogether, and become socially isolated.  Some may attempt a crusade against peoples' defenses, creating more conflict and frustration in social relationships.  Still others may try to extract revenge upon the world for its lack of acceptance of them.

What is a gifted individual to do?  Is there a strategy or paradigm for social interactions that will help the gifted individual to create intimate relationships with people who can really understand and accept his or her inner life, while at the same time maintaining graceful, constructive social interactions with people who are incapable of doing so?  Are personal authenticity and social graces mutually exclusive, or can they be mutually supportive?  These are the questions that will be discussed.

My own view is that a model of "selective camouflage" can be helpful.  Selective Camouflage is a way of being aware of a particular social context, and making pragmatic decisions about how much of one's identity and perspective to disclose.  Even when one chooses to "play one's cards close to one's chest," however, there are still authentic avenues for creating adaptive social relationships.  Choosing not to disclose a part of one's self is not the same as pretending to be something that one is not.  What remains on display is still "the real you."  The model also encourages gifted individuals to find those social contexts that allow for the deeper levels of personal expression that they desire, and to continuously monitor social contexts for cues about what kinds of things are likely to be well received.

I will try to draw on the vast experience of the discussion participants and make the session as interactive as possible.

Presentation Title: Educational Options I: Traditional Settings/Untraditional Approaches - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

Many families choose to work with the school system to accommodate their children’s needs.  Such accommodations usually require some creativity, whether it be radical acceleration, subject acceleration, or gifted enrichment programs.  What has worked for you?  How does one go about advocating for such accommodations?  And is there anything wrong with doing nothing?

4:00 - 5:15 p.m.           Breakout Sessions IV

Presentation Title: Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Our Twice-Exceptional Children - Meredith Warshaw

Gifted children with learning disabilities or other special needs often use their giftedness to compensate for their special needs, making identification of either exceptionality difficult.  Twice-exceptional children are often accused of being lazy or oppositional, and fail to receive the remediation and accommodations they need.  This discussion will address issues of identification, modifications, and support for twice exceptional learners.

Presentation Title: Close to the Bone: Insights into the Character and Temperament of the Highly Gifted - Susan Jackson

(Not available when the program went to the printer.)

Presentation Title: Educational Options II: Homeschooling/Unschooling - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

Whether it’s by choice or because there are no other options, a great many families of the highly gifted homeschool.  Along with all of the common issues a homeschooler may face, what unique issues come into play as a result of giftedness?  Topics that may be discussed include: finding curriculum to fit your child, securing homeschool approval, and finding support groups in which you and your child fit.

6:00 - 10:00 p.m.         Available for your meetings

Sunday, April 29

Regular Conference Sessions

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.           Registration - Breakfast breads, coffee and juice

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.         Breakout Sessions V

Presentation Title: Breaking the Mold: Facing and Overcoming Stereotypes of Our Children - Lisa Rainen

Highly gifted children face two major stereotypes: that of the typical child at their age and that of the gifted child – in particular the ‘genius’ image of the highly gifted child.  This workshop will examine both stereotypes as we hold them and as our children and we face them from others.  We will develop and share strategies for overcoming these misconceptions and working through our own.  Young adults are also welcome to come and share their experiences.

Presentation Title: An Advanced Discussion on Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration - Dr. Cheryl Ackerman

This session is for those who already have a fundamental understanding of Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration.  It is an opportunity to delve more deeply into the theory and its applications.  The discussion format of this session will be driven by the questions and interests of participants:  There will be little if any formal presenting.

Presentation Title: The Odd Problems That Nobody Ever Told You About - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

Your child is radically accelerated and has been invited to a party with his/her classmates.  The problem?  They are fifteen and your child is eight.  What do you do?  It’s time to take the SAT’s: where does your young homeschooler get a photo ID?  College: Do you accompany your child to class?  Scouting: Do you go by age or grade?  What if the scouting organization disagrees with you?  All these and more…

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.       Breakout Sessions VI

Presentation Title: Raising and Educating the Profoundly Gifted Child: A Parent's Perspective times 2 - Carolyn Kottmeyer

Profoundly gifted children are so far outside the moderately gifted child that they are often difficult to spot.  These children sometimes appear to be socially backwards, academically lazy, and generally ungifted.  Others appear as perfectly normal, moderately gifted children.

Come hear a parent’s perspective on the profoundly gifted child (two of them!), complete with professional documentation and research studies from some of the biggest names in highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted children from the last 80 years.

Presentation Title: Working with Non-Linear Learning/Thinking Styles: Teacher, Parent, Self - Josh Shaine

People often speak about non-linear thinkers as if there were only two types of thinkers in the world: Linear and Non-linear.  We will explore some of the various types of non-linear thinkers, and then dive into what their needs are, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to recognize and avoid common pitfalls.

It seems that the further out the bell curve a person is, the more likely she or he is to be one of the non-linears – and that doesn’t even begin to account for the vast percentage of non-linear thinkers who don’t deal well with the most common tests!  So, if you are raising one, married to one, teaching one, or are one, yourself, join us!

Presentation Title: Existential Angst - Teresa Schultz-Jones et al

When your child is very young and thinks very deep thoughts, his/her ideas and worries can be greatly out of sync with his/her age.  Other kids may be learning that living things grow while your child may be wondering, “What is the meaning of life?”  In Sunday School, a first-grader may be learning that God created us all.  Your child may lie awake at night wondering “Who created God?”  Does it help to discuss these issues with your child?  Will your child be reassured that he/she is not the only one to wonder?  Or, will it open a Pandora’s Box of more worries for your child?

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m  Lunch On Your Own

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.           Breakout Sessions VII

Presentation Title: Transitioning to Homeschooling - Shirley Minster

It is tragic when children show signs of burn-out because it means that they believe they are not being honored for their unique gifts and qualities, but are instead just names in the attendance book. Parents feel frustrated because they know their children's needs are not being met. Shirley will discuss the signs to look for when trying to decide if

homeschooling is the right choice for your Suzy or Johnny. She will also give practical suggestions to help the transition be as smooth as possible. This workshop will address the issues of indications of burn-out, depression,

sleeplessness, unhealthy behaviors, parents as rescuers, filling needs, and empowering children in their homeschool.

Presentation Title: Beyond Hothouse Flowers, Nerds, and the Nobel Prize - Elizabeth Lovance

The images available for highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted youth in terms of role models are sparse and can create "interesting" situations when explaining what it actually means to be or have a child who is

highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted. Some of these stereotypes can be useful, if wielded correctly, but many serve to constrain the expectations and opportunities available.  How can we correct misassumptions and avoid creating new ones?  How can we help maneuver ourselves and others through the chasms of these images? What good role models and examples are there to present to ourselves and/or the broader community?

This will be a presentation of my own experience as well as a discussion and time to share strategies and questions with all participants.

Presentation Title: Topic to be determined - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

2:30 - 3:45 p.m.           Breakout Sessions VIII

Presentation Title: Buying a home in a good school district is not enough! - Tonya Andersen

(Not available when the program went to the printer.)

Presentation Title: What Dabrowski had to say about So-called Mental Illness: Implications for the Highly Gifted - Susan Jackson

Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration offers a different view of psychological distress. Current treatment emphasis on both brief therapy and medication suggests that most forms of mental illness are biochemical in

nature; there is strong emphasis placed on pharmaceutical response. States of anxiety, depression, anorexia nervosa, obsessive states and others are, in Dabrowskian theory, reframed as indicators of psychological growth, as distressful and painful ways of psychic transcendence. This workshop considers the innate intense functioning of highly gifted persons along a Dabrowskian developmental trajectory. There will be opportunities to discuss

states of  psychological distress  and to become familiar with indicators of positive disintegration. Suggestions for differential diagnosis and treatment response will be provided.

Presentation Title: No One Right Way; No One Gifted Child - Anna Caveney

When visiting "gifted land" as some call it one realizes that there are several different groups of people with different ideas of what Highly and profoundly gifted kids are like and what they need.  Sometimes these different views interfere with our capacity to help each other.  In this session I will discuss the wide range of H/P Gifted people and lead you through a process of Identifying which of the many facets that can affect ones experience as a H/P Gifted person are most relevant for you/your child.  A brief overview of issue, skills, common mistakes, and useful information for creating a plan to address the most important of your/your child's needs.

{Much of the advice was collected by asking the YA attendees what they would tell their younger selves that would have made their childhood and schooling easier}

Presentation Title: Wrap Up - Teresa Schultz-Jones, et al

Feel that something was left out of all this?  Have some new ideas to share?  This last session will be the catchall to discuss the book and or any ideas related to it.

4:00 - 5:15 p.m.           Keynote - Dr. Aleene Nielson

Relationships, Research, Reasoning, Reflection, Reciprocity:

Constructing Curriculum for Each Gifted Learner

Scientific research in many diverse fields supports the hypothesis that each individual constructs new knowledge based on interaction among past knowledge, present experiences, future goals, and environmental conditions.  The relationships among these factors and implications for highly gifted students will be explored and applied to the design and/or selection of effective learning environments.

The organizers would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their help with this conference:

The Boston Globe

Hoagies Gifted Pages and Carolyn Kottmeyer

Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children and Jill Howard

Homeschool Support Network/Home Educator’s Family Times

Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education

New England College Financial Aid Association

New Hampshire Association for Gifted Education

Stop and Shop/Ahold Information Services

Our presenters!

And, of course, our families and friends, who have tolerated the crazy schedules and odd phone calls throughout the past harried four months…

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