Speaking Engagements

Addressing The Elephant In The Room; How To Talk About Giftedness

Presented by Sharon Duncan & Dr. Joanna Haase

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How to Talk About Giftedness

Do You:

  • Hesitate to speak-up or struggle to find the right words to address your child’s needs?
  • Feel conflicted about if and how you should talk to your child about their giftedness?
  • Sometimes feel like you’re bragging or making excuses when talking about your child?
  • Find others cannot relate to your parenting experiences or even belittle your struggles?

Giftedness is misunderstood and for many, painfully uncomfortable to discuss.  Though we freely talk about the joys and challenges experienced by talented athletes and musicians, discussing anything associated with intellectual giftedness is often considered elitist. Further, fueled by myths and their own social conditioning, parents are sometimes even reluctant to talk to their own children about giftedness for fear that it will make them arrogant or impact their motivation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, gifted individuals, know they are different from an early age, and without context as to why, they risk growing up feeling broken. In this talk, we will explore America’s views and discomfort with giftedness, why it exists, and how we can change the myths surrounding giftedness. We will also provide you guidance on how to have the conversation with your child about their own giftedness.

Sharon Duncan is an independent consultant.  She works with parents, educators, schools, districts, psychologists and pediatricians to help them understand and meet the social emotional and educational needs of gifted children. Sharon also consults on educational decisions, options and concerns including homeschooling.  Sharon is a SENG Model Parent Group facilitator and serves on the Mensa Youth Programming Committee. Prior to her work with Gifted Identity, she spent 26 years working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory before leaving to home-school her son. Sharon has served on the Board of Trustees a private K-8 school, as President of the School Site council at a public Elementary School and currently serves on the advisory board of a private school for highly gifted children. Sharon is a regular presenter at State and National conferences on various topics about gifted children. She and a partner have completed a research study of identify formation in the parents of gifted children.

Dr. Joanna Haase is a psychotherapist in private practice in Pasadena, California with over 28 years of experience. She works with gifted individuals and their families to help them understand, navigate and embrace the joys and challenges of giftedness. In addition to working with parents and individuals, Dr. Haase partners with schools and districts to educate teachers and administrators on how to better support gifted and talented students. She is a regular presenter at State and National conferences on various topics about giftedness. In her private practice, Dr Haase also helps individuals with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Depression. She is the President and Co-Founder of the California Gifted Network, an on-line forum which provides a user-friendly place for the California gifted community to find resources, information and support.

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