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MorganAppel, Director
Department of Education and
Behavioral Sciences
This presentation and a host of related
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Stressed Spelled
Backwards…
Is desserts —
little
consolation to
those as young
as Preschool
who are
compelled to
contend with it
on a daily basis.
 Status as a high achiever or gifted is a gift—unless you are the one
experiencing it first hand (both blessing and burden): culture of
increasingly high expectations/heightened sensitivities
 Many gifted and high-achievers have a tendency to look outwardly
for approval and inwardly for blame
 May experience unique pressures to ‘perform’ as if the spotlight is
always on—even when alone (high standards, even when not
observed by others)
 High achievers tend to possess the metacognitive skills (sound habits
of practice/study skills/organizational skills) that enable them to
realize objectives
 For gifted and talented, things come naturally—without having to
work hard. When effort is required, something must be wrong
 Being gifted or a high achiever does not necessarily mean that one is
also a perfectionist, but there is often intersection.
Happy Outside,
Anxious Within
Because our gifted and talented
tend not to wear emotions on
their sleeves (out of fear of
embarrassment or disapproval),
one may never be fully aware of
the level of stress experienced
until it is too late.
So many live lives concealed by
an emotional suit of armor until
the pressure builds up to an
extent where everything is
released suddenly.
What we may perceive to be an
immediate change in behavior or
disposition may have been
building for years.
Remember that it is the
affective domain that truly
warrants our collective
attentions.
 Stress is the body’s general response to any
intense physical, emotional or mental demand
placed on it by self or by others.
 Stress in and of itself is not bad (in some
cases, it involves levels of excitement in
engaging in an enjoyable activity, including
falling in love).
Source: Kaplan, 1990
 Diligent work on long
projects (occurs over
time)
 Activity overload
(sometimes as a
means to live up to
expectations (self and
others)
 Vacations and free
time (wanting to fill
the void)
 Busy work (lack of
challenge/perceived
time wasting)
 Lack of immediate
and clear solutions
(the burden of complex
thinkers)
 Loneliness/Isolation
(even if self imposed)
 Compromise or
Accomodation
 Striving to Live up to
(Exaggerated)
Expectations
 Perfectionism and
Frustration at an
Imperfect World
 Deviation from
Routine
 New Situations and
Environments
 Social Situations,
Making Friends
 Feeling Like a Fraud
(Impostor Syndrome)
 Overwhelming
Choice/
Multipotentiality
 Having to ‘work’ at
something
 Loss of Control
INTERNAL
 Anxiety-prone personality
 Fear of failure and/or
success
 Anger/fear about a
disability
 Strong need for control
 Low self esteem/worth
 Fear of strong
emotions/intensity
EXTERNAL
 Lack of nurturing during critical
developmental periods
 Divorce/difficult sibling
relationships
 Any type of abuse in family
 Rigid role models
 Performance pressures
 Lack of fit between abilities and
environment
 Discipline (types)
 Bullying
Source: Anxiety and 2E Kids, 2008
The Top Five Sources
of Stress Among
Gifted and Talented
School
Family Issues
Social
Relationships
Time
Management
Expectations
 All learning activates the
‘survival’ mechanism
 Immediate focus on
understanding the
environment and resolving
immediate problems
 The lightning-fast processing
involved in gifted and
talented individuals and the
incessant ‘what ifs’?
 We tend to dwell on the
negative as a matter of
survival (primitive) and avoid
those situations
In many ways, the brain is akin to a
volcano on the verge of eruption,
always trying to make sense of
circumstances and
solve problems in the world that
surrounds it
 Physiological: headaches, stomachaches,
nervousness, insomnia
 Emotional: excessive crying, lashing out, hostility,
anger, violence
 Relational: conflicts with family and friends,
withdrawal
 Mental: anxiety, panic, confusion, feeling
threatened or frightened, apathy
 Spiritual: helplessness, submission, no way out
Source: Bradley, 2018
 Ulcers
 NervousTwitches
 Hair Loss
 Migraines
 Failed Relationships
 DrugAbuse
 Eating Disorders
 Desolation
Source: Bradley, 2018
 Generalized (extreme, unrealistic worry about everyday
activities)
 Panic Disorder (periods of intense fear, accompanied by
physical symptoms and fear of imminent death)
 Separation Anxiety (difficulty leaving parents)
 Phobias (related to certain situations or objects)
 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (repetitive thoughts and
behaviors)
 Social Anxiety Disorder (fear of being watched, judged,
being embarrassed)
 Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (reliving stressful events
through strong memories)
Cross Cutting:
Perfectionism and
Stress
Perfectionism takes on any
number of forms in school and in
the world outside of campus. It
is not universal.
In many ways, perfectionism is
driven by anxieties over approval
and rejection by others versus
envisioning positive outcomes.
Many behavioral scientists have
suggested that the difference
between a producer (or high
achiever) and a perfectionist is
that the former has drive and
the latter is driven (Joelson,
2018).
In many cases, it is a matter of
motivations behind actions and
the ability to find a sense of
solace and satisfaction in one’s
efforts.
 Rooted in a sense of
conditional acceptance:
if one cannot be perfect,
one cannot be
acceptable to people
(and self)
 A relational issue that is
highly dependent upon
interaction with and
perceptions of others
 Our world is guided by
series of emotional
convictions about
ourselves and others
 The substance of these
convictions is
determined in an
ongoing way by our
attachments to others
Source: Davidson Institute, 2007
POSITIVE
 Reliable
 Responsible
 Dedicated
 Driven
 Persistent
NEGATIVE
 Critical
 Unrealistic
 Approval Seeking
 Prone to Depression
 High Anxiety
 Obsessive or
Compulsive Behaviors
(seeking solace)
 Performance paradox
— anxiety over
performance defeats
performance
 Undermines working
memory
 Influenced by parents’
own perfectionist
tendencies and
separation anxiety
 The perfectionist
leads a stressful
existence (self-critical;
hiding mistakes;
among others)
 How does brain
chemistry impact the
learning potential of
the perfectionist
(adrenaline, cortisol)?
 Strong sense of purpose
and high ideals
 Methodical and detail
oriented
 May come across as critical
and/or judgmental
 Inner critic may impact
relationships with others
 Frustrated with those who
do not ‘pull their weight’
 Prevents seeking out
challenging experiences
 Frequently deal with self-
esteem issues
 Self critical and seek out
(positive) feedback –
almost obsessively as a
means to bolster self worth
 Vulnerable to depression
and intense anxiety
 Externalize feelings—harsh
on those around them
 Reduces ‘playfulness’ and
creativity
The Longest
Road
For perfectionists, just
arriving at the destination in
a perfect way is insufficient.
We tend to underscore the
need to appreciate not just
the product but the process.
But what does that mean
for the perfectionist who
demands a perfect
conclusion, but perfection at
every point along the way?
The road becomes not just
hard, but never ending. And
exhausting.
 Depression
 Performance anxiety
 Test anxiety
 Social anxiety
 Writer’s block
 Obsession
 Compulsiveness
 Gloominess
 Loneliness
 Impatience
 Frustration
 Anger
 Rigidity
 Low motivation
The best project is a done project. We
know perfectionists focus on outcomes
not processes, act in fits and spurts
and only find temporary satisfaction in
achievements because there is always
more to do.
UNDERACHIEVEMENT
‘Feel good
Chemistry’
Obsession
Stress
Chemistry
‘Hitting the Wall’
PRAISE
Exaggerated
Expectations
Many iterations…
PRAISE
Icing on the
Perfectionist Cake:
Impostor Syndrome
For the perfectionist, there is
only fleeting joy in the now.
Successes are only
temporary (and likely to be
flukes or odd coincidences).
In an imperfect world, the
pursuit of self-defined
perfection can prove
mentally and physically
exhausting.
Many high-achieving and
gifted perfectionists also fall
victim to the Impostor
Syndrome—which is adding
a thick layer of self-
defeating icing to an already
restless sponge cake.
 Difficulty accepting praise, even when deserved.
 Feeling like a fraud who will be found out—eventually.
 Discounting/qualifying successes.
 Overworking/compulsion to be the best.
 Probably described as a perfectionist.
 Paralyzed by anxiety.
 Hide/avoid showing confidence.
 Odd relationship with success: equal parts desire and dread (because you
feel you do not deserve it).
 Compare struggles (everyone seems to be getting by/ahead with less
difficulty)
 Believe your successes lie in your charm, not abilities.
 Focus more on what you have not done, versus what you have.
 Convinced you’re just not enough.
 Increased distance=increased symptoms.
The Unique Case
of Dual
Exceptionality
Children who are both
gifted and learning–
disabled are often called
dual exceptional /twice-
exceptional (or 2e),
because their abilities lie
outside the norms at
both ends of the bell
curve.These 2e children
are immensely diverse. In
fact, they embody every
imaginable combination
of strengths and
weaknesses.
--Eide and Eide:The
Mislabeled Child
 Research suggests that 2E individuals may be at
greater risk due to unique challenges owing to
characteristics associated with giftedness and talent
as well as impaired functioning (attention problems,
difficulty reading, difficulty socializing, among
others)
 Living in the world of ‘shoulds’ and all or nothing
perspectives; oversensitivity to rejection and
criticism
 Advanced oral vocabulary but difficulty with the
written word
 Bright children who are ‘difficult’ (class clowns or
troublemakers)
 Masters math concepts easily but has trouble with
computation
 Asynchrony between development of strengths
and weaknesses (extends beyond asynchrony
associated with giftedness)
 Much is discovered about 2E in the context of
discussions with parents (with desire to know more)
Students, children or youth who give evidence of
achievement capability in areas such as
intellectual, creative, artistic or leadership
capacity or in specific academic fields, and who
need services or activities not ordinarily provided
by the school in order to fully develop those
capabilities – Title IX, Part A, Section 9101 (22)
 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA), 2004:
 Specific learning disabilities
 Speech or language impairments
 Emotional disturbance
 Hearing impairment/deafness
 Orthopedic impairments/physical disabilities
 Visual impairments
 Other health impairments
ASSETS
 Creativity
 Thinking Ability
 Long-Term Memory
 Abstraction
 Problem Solving
 Insight
 Sophistication
 Giftedness may be
enhanced by the presence
of a learning disability
CHALLENGES
 Appropriate Self Expression
 OrganizationalAbilities
(complicating factors)/Study
skills
 Short-term Memory
 Sense perception (distractibility,
etc.)
 Social Interaction
 Self Esteem
 UnevenAcademic Abilities
 Moving from ‘head to paper’
 Auditory and/or visual problems
 Stubborn/obstinate
 ‘Street smarts’ do not
translate into classroom
 Highly sensitive to
criticism, especially in
areas of deficit
 Highly impulsive
 Unusual intensity of focus
 May use humor (or even
bully) to distract from
areas of deficit
 More pronounced during
adolescence
 Experience and express
frustrations related to
brain/body control
 Humility
 Unusual persistence
 Negative reactions to first
schooling experiences
(painful memories—often
accused of being lazy)
 Frequent comments related
to stress and worry
 Clinging behaviors
 Excessive nail biting
 Avoidance of school or other
situations/tasks
 Repeated signs of distress
 Repetitive behaviors
 Behavior problems (running
away, defiance, aggression)
 Excessive need for
reassurance
 Loss of appetite/over- or
undereating
 Hyperarousal/difficulty
relaxing
 Excessive concern about
competence
 Excessive or unrealistic worry
(how fast can that happen?)
 Social isolation
 Avoidance of being alone
 Refusal to participate in
activities previously enjoyed
 Any noticeable change in
behavior or performanceSource: Anxiety and 2E Kids Newsletter, 2008
 Take stress and anxieties
seriously (no matter how
young—even though they are
‘just kids’)
 Handling stress is a learned
skill like manners
 Mindfulness training (please
see my Slideshare for a PPT on
this subject)
 Remind children that their
anxieties do not define them
and that taking action—
though scary—is much easier
than living with constant
anxieties
 Explain how stress works
and its purposes (the more
you know)
 Do not hide stress.
Acknowledge it and deal with
it (de-stigmatize)
 Be a good model in handling
stress
 Work to identify the root
causes of stress (categorized:
school, home, other)
 Cultivate resilience and
formulation of realistic
expectations
 Incorporate humor as much as
is possible: laugh at your
situation
 Bibliotherapy: (email me for
resources to help remove the
spotlight)
 Talk to others: Misery, in many
cases, loves company—always
better to know others contend
with the same thing
 Adequate sleep (note the
adequate)
 Spend time with energy
boosters (people, that is)
 Seek help when it is needed.
 Take care of your body:
nutrition and exercise makes an
impressive (and neurochemical)
difference. Run it out.
 Use positive self talk—realistic
and assuring.You’ve handled
worse before and you will get
through this.
 Help others and wind up helping
yourself. Shift the focus.
 Schedule time for relaxation
and understand its purposes—
not a ‘guilty pleasure’ but
absolutely needed!
 Learn to embrace mistakes
and celebrate failure
 Explain shortcomings of
‘all or nothing’ perspective
 Emphasize the role of
learning versus
evaluation
 Explain how perfectionism
can be counterproductive
(appeal to the rational
side, not the emotional)
 Understand where your
children are coming from—
telling them to ‘loosen up’
won’t do the job
 Everyone makes mistakes
 The objective is not to
eliminate perfectionism,
but to guide it in a positive
direction
 Help with setting priorities
 Empathy and self-
awareness
HOWTO PRAISE
 Reward process and
effort, not always the
result
 Praise efforts with
specificity (I really see you
were able to connect x with
y versus ‘you are brilliant!’
 Rely on intrinsic versus
extrinsic (material)
rewards
HOWTO CRITIQUE
 Solicit self-appraisal with
supporting evidence
 Ask what is needed to
achieve sought after
objectives
 Ask what might be done next
time to improve results
 Understand the nature of
mistakes and failure as
information, not fixed
outcome
Source: Psychology Today, 2013
 Own your successes – even if they are not yours alone.
 Own your thoughts—also relates to our ‘survival wiring’ and risk
avoidance. Shift the focus (versus ‘I will not be self critical’)
 Understand the purpose of the feelings: to become motivated to do
something.
 Understand that you are not alone. Misery loves company, and in this
sense, can prove reassuring.
 Give others credit for crediting you. You were complimented /selected
for a reason.
 Understand expertise versus perfection. Lower the bar to a reasonable
level.
 Prove your own case. Examine the evidence—are you really that good as
an impostor to garner so many accolades?Amend the statements of the
internal killjoys, if nothing else: ‘I am not an expert in X—YET’
Source: Psychology Today, 2013.
 Embracing versus rejecting reality
 Understanding that there may be setbacks on the way to
success
 Venturing out of one’s comfort zone (taking risks versus
adhering to routines with predetermined positive
outcomes)
 Accepting painful emotions (versus judging success in
terms of uninterrupted stream of positive emotions)
 Perfectionists by definition reject the possibility of
success—both in the personal and abstract senses
 Focus on cultivating resilience, flexibility and
adaptability
Understanding the
Issues Using Plato’s
Allegory of the Cave
In many ways, high-achieving and
gifted students may be thought of
as akin to the imprisoned featured
in Plato’s Allegory.Their
perceptions are shaped by shadow,
distortion and exaggerated
interpretation emerging from their
unique neurobiology and socio-
affective characteristics.
Thus, one of the most important
duties educators and parents have
is to help bring children into
daylight and offer them a quality of
life with a lesser degree of anxiety
and intensity.
The same neurochemistry that
fuels all we love about the eager
students in the classroom and at
home can wreak havoc internally.
That is why counseling takes all the
king’s horses and all the king’s
men.
Contact Information
Morgan Appel, Director
Education Department
UC San Diego Extension
9500 Gilman Drive #0170-N
La Jolla, California 92093-0170
858-534-9273/ mappel@ucsd.edu

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Stemming the Flow of Cognitive Lava (CVESD, January 2018)

  • 1. MorganAppel, Director Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • 2. This presentation and a host of related materials and resources may be accessed directly using Slide Share (https://www.slideshare.net/). Just search my name and you will be there in a flash!
  • 3. Stressed Spelled Backwards… Is desserts — little consolation to those as young as Preschool who are compelled to contend with it on a daily basis.
  • 4.  Status as a high achiever or gifted is a gift—unless you are the one experiencing it first hand (both blessing and burden): culture of increasingly high expectations/heightened sensitivities  Many gifted and high-achievers have a tendency to look outwardly for approval and inwardly for blame  May experience unique pressures to ‘perform’ as if the spotlight is always on—even when alone (high standards, even when not observed by others)  High achievers tend to possess the metacognitive skills (sound habits of practice/study skills/organizational skills) that enable them to realize objectives  For gifted and talented, things come naturally—without having to work hard. When effort is required, something must be wrong  Being gifted or a high achiever does not necessarily mean that one is also a perfectionist, but there is often intersection.
  • 5. Happy Outside, Anxious Within Because our gifted and talented tend not to wear emotions on their sleeves (out of fear of embarrassment or disapproval), one may never be fully aware of the level of stress experienced until it is too late. So many live lives concealed by an emotional suit of armor until the pressure builds up to an extent where everything is released suddenly. What we may perceive to be an immediate change in behavior or disposition may have been building for years. Remember that it is the affective domain that truly warrants our collective attentions.
  • 6.  Stress is the body’s general response to any intense physical, emotional or mental demand placed on it by self or by others.  Stress in and of itself is not bad (in some cases, it involves levels of excitement in engaging in an enjoyable activity, including falling in love). Source: Kaplan, 1990
  • 7.  Diligent work on long projects (occurs over time)  Activity overload (sometimes as a means to live up to expectations (self and others)  Vacations and free time (wanting to fill the void)  Busy work (lack of challenge/perceived time wasting)  Lack of immediate and clear solutions (the burden of complex thinkers)  Loneliness/Isolation (even if self imposed)  Compromise or Accomodation
  • 8.  Striving to Live up to (Exaggerated) Expectations  Perfectionism and Frustration at an Imperfect World  Deviation from Routine  New Situations and Environments  Social Situations, Making Friends  Feeling Like a Fraud (Impostor Syndrome)  Overwhelming Choice/ Multipotentiality  Having to ‘work’ at something  Loss of Control
  • 9. INTERNAL  Anxiety-prone personality  Fear of failure and/or success  Anger/fear about a disability  Strong need for control  Low self esteem/worth  Fear of strong emotions/intensity EXTERNAL  Lack of nurturing during critical developmental periods  Divorce/difficult sibling relationships  Any type of abuse in family  Rigid role models  Performance pressures  Lack of fit between abilities and environment  Discipline (types)  Bullying Source: Anxiety and 2E Kids, 2008
  • 10. The Top Five Sources of Stress Among Gifted and Talented School Family Issues Social Relationships Time Management Expectations
  • 11.  All learning activates the ‘survival’ mechanism  Immediate focus on understanding the environment and resolving immediate problems  The lightning-fast processing involved in gifted and talented individuals and the incessant ‘what ifs’?  We tend to dwell on the negative as a matter of survival (primitive) and avoid those situations In many ways, the brain is akin to a volcano on the verge of eruption, always trying to make sense of circumstances and solve problems in the world that surrounds it
  • 12.  Physiological: headaches, stomachaches, nervousness, insomnia  Emotional: excessive crying, lashing out, hostility, anger, violence  Relational: conflicts with family and friends, withdrawal  Mental: anxiety, panic, confusion, feeling threatened or frightened, apathy  Spiritual: helplessness, submission, no way out Source: Bradley, 2018
  • 13.  Ulcers  NervousTwitches  Hair Loss  Migraines  Failed Relationships  DrugAbuse  Eating Disorders  Desolation Source: Bradley, 2018
  • 14.  Generalized (extreme, unrealistic worry about everyday activities)  Panic Disorder (periods of intense fear, accompanied by physical symptoms and fear of imminent death)  Separation Anxiety (difficulty leaving parents)  Phobias (related to certain situations or objects)  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (repetitive thoughts and behaviors)  Social Anxiety Disorder (fear of being watched, judged, being embarrassed)  Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (reliving stressful events through strong memories)
  • 15. Cross Cutting: Perfectionism and Stress Perfectionism takes on any number of forms in school and in the world outside of campus. It is not universal. In many ways, perfectionism is driven by anxieties over approval and rejection by others versus envisioning positive outcomes. Many behavioral scientists have suggested that the difference between a producer (or high achiever) and a perfectionist is that the former has drive and the latter is driven (Joelson, 2018). In many cases, it is a matter of motivations behind actions and the ability to find a sense of solace and satisfaction in one’s efforts.
  • 16.  Rooted in a sense of conditional acceptance: if one cannot be perfect, one cannot be acceptable to people (and self)  A relational issue that is highly dependent upon interaction with and perceptions of others  Our world is guided by series of emotional convictions about ourselves and others  The substance of these convictions is determined in an ongoing way by our attachments to others Source: Davidson Institute, 2007
  • 17. POSITIVE  Reliable  Responsible  Dedicated  Driven  Persistent NEGATIVE  Critical  Unrealistic  Approval Seeking  Prone to Depression  High Anxiety  Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviors (seeking solace)
  • 18.  Performance paradox — anxiety over performance defeats performance  Undermines working memory  Influenced by parents’ own perfectionist tendencies and separation anxiety  The perfectionist leads a stressful existence (self-critical; hiding mistakes; among others)  How does brain chemistry impact the learning potential of the perfectionist (adrenaline, cortisol)?
  • 19.  Strong sense of purpose and high ideals  Methodical and detail oriented  May come across as critical and/or judgmental  Inner critic may impact relationships with others  Frustrated with those who do not ‘pull their weight’  Prevents seeking out challenging experiences  Frequently deal with self- esteem issues  Self critical and seek out (positive) feedback – almost obsessively as a means to bolster self worth  Vulnerable to depression and intense anxiety  Externalize feelings—harsh on those around them  Reduces ‘playfulness’ and creativity
  • 20. The Longest Road For perfectionists, just arriving at the destination in a perfect way is insufficient. We tend to underscore the need to appreciate not just the product but the process. But what does that mean for the perfectionist who demands a perfect conclusion, but perfection at every point along the way? The road becomes not just hard, but never ending. And exhausting.
  • 21.  Depression  Performance anxiety  Test anxiety  Social anxiety  Writer’s block  Obsession  Compulsiveness  Gloominess  Loneliness  Impatience  Frustration  Anger  Rigidity  Low motivation The best project is a done project. We know perfectionists focus on outcomes not processes, act in fits and spurts and only find temporary satisfaction in achievements because there is always more to do.
  • 22. UNDERACHIEVEMENT ‘Feel good Chemistry’ Obsession Stress Chemistry ‘Hitting the Wall’ PRAISE Exaggerated Expectations Many iterations… PRAISE
  • 23. Icing on the Perfectionist Cake: Impostor Syndrome For the perfectionist, there is only fleeting joy in the now. Successes are only temporary (and likely to be flukes or odd coincidences). In an imperfect world, the pursuit of self-defined perfection can prove mentally and physically exhausting. Many high-achieving and gifted perfectionists also fall victim to the Impostor Syndrome—which is adding a thick layer of self- defeating icing to an already restless sponge cake.
  • 24.  Difficulty accepting praise, even when deserved.  Feeling like a fraud who will be found out—eventually.  Discounting/qualifying successes.  Overworking/compulsion to be the best.  Probably described as a perfectionist.  Paralyzed by anxiety.  Hide/avoid showing confidence.  Odd relationship with success: equal parts desire and dread (because you feel you do not deserve it).  Compare struggles (everyone seems to be getting by/ahead with less difficulty)  Believe your successes lie in your charm, not abilities.  Focus more on what you have not done, versus what you have.  Convinced you’re just not enough.  Increased distance=increased symptoms.
  • 25. The Unique Case of Dual Exceptionality Children who are both gifted and learning– disabled are often called dual exceptional /twice- exceptional (or 2e), because their abilities lie outside the norms at both ends of the bell curve.These 2e children are immensely diverse. In fact, they embody every imaginable combination of strengths and weaknesses. --Eide and Eide:The Mislabeled Child
  • 26.  Research suggests that 2E individuals may be at greater risk due to unique challenges owing to characteristics associated with giftedness and talent as well as impaired functioning (attention problems, difficulty reading, difficulty socializing, among others)  Living in the world of ‘shoulds’ and all or nothing perspectives; oversensitivity to rejection and criticism
  • 27.  Advanced oral vocabulary but difficulty with the written word  Bright children who are ‘difficult’ (class clowns or troublemakers)  Masters math concepts easily but has trouble with computation  Asynchrony between development of strengths and weaknesses (extends beyond asynchrony associated with giftedness)  Much is discovered about 2E in the context of discussions with parents (with desire to know more)
  • 28. Students, children or youth who give evidence of achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic or leadership capacity or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities – Title IX, Part A, Section 9101 (22)
  • 29.  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 2004:  Specific learning disabilities  Speech or language impairments  Emotional disturbance  Hearing impairment/deafness  Orthopedic impairments/physical disabilities  Visual impairments  Other health impairments
  • 30. ASSETS  Creativity  Thinking Ability  Long-Term Memory  Abstraction  Problem Solving  Insight  Sophistication  Giftedness may be enhanced by the presence of a learning disability CHALLENGES  Appropriate Self Expression  OrganizationalAbilities (complicating factors)/Study skills  Short-term Memory  Sense perception (distractibility, etc.)  Social Interaction  Self Esteem  UnevenAcademic Abilities  Moving from ‘head to paper’  Auditory and/or visual problems
  • 31.  Stubborn/obstinate  ‘Street smarts’ do not translate into classroom  Highly sensitive to criticism, especially in areas of deficit  Highly impulsive  Unusual intensity of focus  May use humor (or even bully) to distract from areas of deficit  More pronounced during adolescence  Experience and express frustrations related to brain/body control  Humility  Unusual persistence  Negative reactions to first schooling experiences (painful memories—often accused of being lazy)
  • 32.  Frequent comments related to stress and worry  Clinging behaviors  Excessive nail biting  Avoidance of school or other situations/tasks  Repeated signs of distress  Repetitive behaviors  Behavior problems (running away, defiance, aggression)  Excessive need for reassurance  Loss of appetite/over- or undereating  Hyperarousal/difficulty relaxing  Excessive concern about competence  Excessive or unrealistic worry (how fast can that happen?)  Social isolation  Avoidance of being alone  Refusal to participate in activities previously enjoyed  Any noticeable change in behavior or performanceSource: Anxiety and 2E Kids Newsletter, 2008
  • 33.  Take stress and anxieties seriously (no matter how young—even though they are ‘just kids’)  Handling stress is a learned skill like manners  Mindfulness training (please see my Slideshare for a PPT on this subject)  Remind children that their anxieties do not define them and that taking action— though scary—is much easier than living with constant anxieties  Explain how stress works and its purposes (the more you know)  Do not hide stress. Acknowledge it and deal with it (de-stigmatize)  Be a good model in handling stress  Work to identify the root causes of stress (categorized: school, home, other)  Cultivate resilience and formulation of realistic expectations
  • 34.  Incorporate humor as much as is possible: laugh at your situation  Bibliotherapy: (email me for resources to help remove the spotlight)  Talk to others: Misery, in many cases, loves company—always better to know others contend with the same thing  Adequate sleep (note the adequate)  Spend time with energy boosters (people, that is)  Seek help when it is needed.  Take care of your body: nutrition and exercise makes an impressive (and neurochemical) difference. Run it out.  Use positive self talk—realistic and assuring.You’ve handled worse before and you will get through this.  Help others and wind up helping yourself. Shift the focus.  Schedule time for relaxation and understand its purposes— not a ‘guilty pleasure’ but absolutely needed!
  • 35.  Learn to embrace mistakes and celebrate failure  Explain shortcomings of ‘all or nothing’ perspective  Emphasize the role of learning versus evaluation  Explain how perfectionism can be counterproductive (appeal to the rational side, not the emotional)  Understand where your children are coming from— telling them to ‘loosen up’ won’t do the job  Everyone makes mistakes  The objective is not to eliminate perfectionism, but to guide it in a positive direction  Help with setting priorities  Empathy and self- awareness
  • 36. HOWTO PRAISE  Reward process and effort, not always the result  Praise efforts with specificity (I really see you were able to connect x with y versus ‘you are brilliant!’  Rely on intrinsic versus extrinsic (material) rewards HOWTO CRITIQUE  Solicit self-appraisal with supporting evidence  Ask what is needed to achieve sought after objectives  Ask what might be done next time to improve results  Understand the nature of mistakes and failure as information, not fixed outcome Source: Psychology Today, 2013
  • 37.  Own your successes – even if they are not yours alone.  Own your thoughts—also relates to our ‘survival wiring’ and risk avoidance. Shift the focus (versus ‘I will not be self critical’)  Understand the purpose of the feelings: to become motivated to do something.  Understand that you are not alone. Misery loves company, and in this sense, can prove reassuring.  Give others credit for crediting you. You were complimented /selected for a reason.  Understand expertise versus perfection. Lower the bar to a reasonable level.  Prove your own case. Examine the evidence—are you really that good as an impostor to garner so many accolades?Amend the statements of the internal killjoys, if nothing else: ‘I am not an expert in X—YET’ Source: Psychology Today, 2013.
  • 38.  Embracing versus rejecting reality  Understanding that there may be setbacks on the way to success  Venturing out of one’s comfort zone (taking risks versus adhering to routines with predetermined positive outcomes)  Accepting painful emotions (versus judging success in terms of uninterrupted stream of positive emotions)  Perfectionists by definition reject the possibility of success—both in the personal and abstract senses  Focus on cultivating resilience, flexibility and adaptability
  • 39. Understanding the Issues Using Plato’s Allegory of the Cave In many ways, high-achieving and gifted students may be thought of as akin to the imprisoned featured in Plato’s Allegory.Their perceptions are shaped by shadow, distortion and exaggerated interpretation emerging from their unique neurobiology and socio- affective characteristics. Thus, one of the most important duties educators and parents have is to help bring children into daylight and offer them a quality of life with a lesser degree of anxiety and intensity. The same neurochemistry that fuels all we love about the eager students in the classroom and at home can wreak havoc internally. That is why counseling takes all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.
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  • 41. Contact Information Morgan Appel, Director Education Department UC San Diego Extension 9500 Gilman Drive #0170-N La Jolla, California 92093-0170 858-534-9273/ mappel@ucsd.edu