So, the question I often ask myself about Breanna, in particular, is this: is she isolated at school, and self-identifies as weird because she is one of the few Black students in a predominantly white school, or because of her gifted characteristics? “Please stop calling me gifted, Mom! Everyone knows that means I’m stupid and weird and useless!” my dear Breanna cried … [Read more...] about Is There a Place for Weird Black Girls?
Once I eventually found other parents who truly understood the challenges of gifted parenting, I could finally relax. I no longer felt compelled to downplay, minimize, or “undo” my sons’ experiences. I stopped worrying about whether my motivations, concerns, or joys would be misperceived, and could engage in a supportive, meaningful dialogue about strategies and … [Read more...] about Finding Your Community: Essential Support for Parents of Gifted Children
My choice would have an impact far beyond anything I could conceive of, and I sensed that. I had accidentally created the haven I’d craved— needed—when I was young, and if I walked away from it, what did that mean? For me? For others? For the community I’d created? I have lived accidental life. For instance, I’d started off my postsecondary … [Read more...] about Living an Accidental Life
Even during periods of social distancing and isolation, children and adults find ways to forge friendships and connections. Online social circles are widening, schooling has become more tech-oriented, and support systems of all kinds continue to fine-tune online offerings (such as exercise sessions, arts programs, mindfulness instruction, resource sharing, and children’s play … [Read more...] about Why Community Matters for Children AND Adults
Are all of the scholars at Valiant Cross Academy, which serves young men in middle and high school, truly academically and intellectually gifted? Consistent with national trends, about 10 percent of the scholars score in the top percentile on achievement and intelligence tests. Yet, the school leaders provide gifted services to ALL 150 scholars.. On Dexter Avenue in … [Read more...] about Young, Gifted and Black: How an All-Boys School Uses Gifted Strategies for all Scholars
The first date with Devin* was at a coffee shop, and over the next week, we decided to meet for dinner. We went to a restaurant that’s part of a large US chain. We opened the slightly unwieldy menus. “My oh my, what to order.” He used a funny, silly voice. “I think I’ll order the kreplach.” I peered over the menu. “Did you just speak Klingon?” Devin didn’t smile. Then … [Read more...] about I’m Not Gifted. I’m Just Weird.
My continuing search for information was often debilitating, mired in ambiguity and desperation to find clarity not for myself but for my students and my own children. Questions that started to plague me included some of the following: Does learning disabled mean broken? Does an affinity for aesthetic beauty and art become void when paired with dyslexia? What about a need for … [Read more...] about Urgent, Paralyzed Possibility
Cutting my hair was not only freeing; it was symbolic. I lopped off excess layers, shed who I tried in vain to be, and leveled up toward Me. Now comfortable in my own skin and confident in my abilities, I am somehow different from who I thought I was yet simultaneously exactly the same. I typically cut my hair only once every two and a half years to give to Wigs for Kids, an … [Read more...] about The Pretty Twin: How a Haircut Shed a Disheveled Layer and Unboxed a Level
Trusting my ability to read other people and their situations is something I need to accept and honor. As I look back on meaningful, traumatic, or momentous occasions where I intuited the situation or the person correctly, I should be confident in my empathic ability. If I’m honest, my empathy crosses over into the unknown, and my fact- and science-based thinking doesn’t set … [Read more...] about Gifted, Empathic, Emotionally Intense, and Highly Sensitive
I have faith that our combined internal compasses will lead us to the next blue diamond as a family. I understand and accept that we will travel over mountain passes and through storms. I also know along the way we will find spectacular sunrises and sunsets and maybe even a few perfect turns in knee deep powder. I will remember that day always. We (my husband, son, and … [Read more...] about Blue Diamond