Wanting your conference advice

I’ve just sent in my registration for Parents Day at the National Associaton for Gifted Children conference, which is being held in Minneapolis this year.

I’ve gone to the state gifted ed. convention, which has been helpful, but I’m excited to see that there are some bigger names for the national convention. I know some of you out there have been to Davidson and SENG events, so I thought you might have some input on which speakers are really great.

These are some sessions I’m considering:

Parenting to Prevent Underachievement – Sylvia Rimm: The environments which foster giftedness in children also make them vulnerable to feeling extreme pressures. The praise and power which cultivate a positive learning environment may cause them to internalize highly competitive pressures . . . Some topics included are counter identification, competition, perfectionism, sibling rivalry, and the achievement-social balance.


Parenting Gifted Children – Edward R. Amend, James T. Webb, Janet L. Gore, Arlene R. DeVries: Presenters will review techniques to help gifted children balance time alone and time with others, manage stress, modulate intensity and sensitivity, and learn self-discipline. Panel members will share information about how parents can be alert to physical and psychological signs that a child may need help as well as strategies to help parents achieve the balance so necessary in their own lives.


The Faces of Gifted Homeschoolers – Lisa M. Rivero: Parents and others curious about whether homeschooling can work will hear examples of gifted homeschoolers, learn of the many ways that gifted children can get a home education that is both challenging and joyful, and look critically at how parents can make the homeschooling decision.


Living With Intensity: An Exploration of the Impact of Overexcitabilities on Family Dynamics – Susan Daniels: Parents, teachers and counselors often describe sensitivity and intensity as hallmark traits of gifted children. Kazimerz Dabrowski identified five forms of mental functioning (psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational and emotional), called overexcitabilities (OEs), that contribute to the developmental potential of the gifted. We will explore the impact of OEs on gifted children and their families and the presenter will provide tools and strategies to assist in approaching the dynamics of overexcitabilities from a positive and proactive perspective. The impact of overexcitabilities on the intellectual and social-emotional development of gifted children will be one emphasis of this presentation along with the dynamic interaction of overexcitable siblings and self-care for parents.


Perfectionism: What parents should know – Sal Mendaglio: Counseling experiences with parents have convinced me that they need to be educated regarding the construct of perfectionism. Parents’ use of perfectionism as causal attribution of gifted children’s undesirable behaviors suggests that parents may be unaware of its conception in the literature. First, there is no research evidence to support the claim that perfectionism is characteristic of giftedness. Second, there is substantial evidence associating perfectionism with psychopathology. Third, parental expectations and criticism are implicated in the development of perfectionism. This session presents research to support these points and provides recommendations for parents.

[I confess that one intrigues me, since I’m not sure I agree with the premise!]


Ten Most Important Issues for Parents of Gifted Children – James T. Webb: These ten issues are: Communication; Motivation; Discipline and Self-Discipline; Asynchronous Development; Intensity and Sensitivity; Peer Relations; Sibling Relations; Idealism and Perfectionism; Values and Traditions; Parent Roles as They Face Societal Pressures. Unless families understand and learn to manage these issues, problems are likely.

There are others, too, and I can’t attend them all, of course, so I’m looking for recommendations. Who’s good?



Filed under Gifted Ed, Gifted Heart and Soul

4 responses to “Wanting your conference advice

  1. No suggestions on the comments but I’m wondering if you know about the homeschoolingcreatively yahoo group. Not specifically for giftedness, but rather right-brained learners. I’ve found some really helpful suggestions from that crowd. The personality of the moderator doesn’t suit everyone but it might be worth a try. The moderator also blogs (sporadically but there is good stuff in the archives) at applestars on homeschooljournal. (I’m pretty sure it’s linked from my blog in the left side-bar.)

    That perfectionism thing looks iffy to me, too. I’d say don’t go to any sessions where you think from the description that you’ll just get really angry. Only go to sessions that look like they might give you things that help.

  2. shaunms

    ha! yes, i think you are right — stay away from what will make me angry. (does that include my kids?) in truth i probably give way too much attention to what makes me angry!

    i think i have bumped into the applestars blogger across the web –i’ll check it out.

  3. I have been to SENG twice and Davidson once.

    Sylvia Rimm I heard at a local group she was a good speaker and very interesting.

    I think I heard Amend at SENG and he gave address. It was ok.

    Webb is from around here and I have met his wife a few times. They own a publishing company. I have enjoyed his talks. I have heard him at SENG a couple of times.

    Arlene DeVires sp is good too.

    Lisa Riviero gave a talk about homeschool PG. So if you have questions she would be knowledgable.

    A lot of times these conferences are aimed at the larger population of gifted, but you can still get a lot of information. Especially if they have them host a table at lunch.

    If you ever have a chance to hear Susan Jackson or Ruf, I recommend them because they are very knowledgable about the extremes of giftedness and their messages resonate at least with me.

  4. Lisa Rivero was good but I felt like it was preaching to the choir in my case. I mean, I am already onboard with the whole homeschooling thing.

    Do you think that Violet has particular problems that are addressed by any of the speakers?

    If it were me, trying to deak with Z, I would be most interested in the first two and the one on overexcitiabilities.

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