Gifted and Grown Up

We spend a lot of time talking about talent development for children, but how does giftedness grow over a lifespan? This year’s virtual SENG conference provided more than fifty presentations that engaged attendees, including parents, clinicians, and educators, with some thought-provoking answers.

SENG President Lin Lim moderated the conference's opening panel discussion, “Well Being and Resilience for the Gifted: Narratives from Multiple Perspectives.” Attendees heard personal stories of gifted individuals with unique experiences about accelerating to college at an early age.

Nicole Mattingly highlighted the importance of committing to an individualized journey while Mahala Burn emphasized community-building, comparing friendships to a garden that requires special care to grow. Jordan O’Kelly discussed his experience as a twice-exceptional student accelerating from 8th grade to college where he is currently studying physics. He stressed the importance of “abandoning ship” when an educational model does not meet the needs of a 2e student. Jordan pointed out that “If you are doing something you are interested in, you won’t have to make time for it. Time will make itself...”

In  “Purpose As A Compass to Navigate Life Challenges,” Benjamin Koch spoke of the importance of emotional regulation to disrupt the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN). He noted that “mindfulness helps us choose to respond rather than react.” He discussed the importance of defining individual purpose in life, clarifying that personal goals and purpose are two different things. Unlike measurable goals, a purpose statement serves as a guide to navigate personal intention through life and brings “clarity, resilience, and deep meaning.”

James L....


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