Recent News

Bridges Academy Plans Boarding Program (11/09)

Bridges Academy, an independent school for 2e students grades 5-12 in Studio City, California, will offer a boarding program for high school students beginning in the fall of 2013. The program will offer both five- and seven-day options.

“The need is there,” said Director of Admissions Doug Lenzini. “Over the past decade we have had countless requests to include a boarding element. Several families have moved to Los Angeles to enroll their children at Bridges — not only from outside of greater L.A. but from other states and as far away as Japan and Korea.”
In addition to core academic classes, boarding students will access  enrichment courses, talent development opportunities, and extracurricular activities. Dorm life will enable them to work on social development, life skills, and executive function skills in a real-world setting and experience independent learning/living prior to college enrollment.

More specific information about the program will be available on the Bridges website (www.bridges.edu) in late spring 2012.

Hoagies’ Website (11/09)

The Hoagies’ Gifted website has a set of reading lists that are very popular with gifted kids, according to webmistress Carolyn K. One, a list of cartoon/humor books, is particularly popular with the 2e kids for their good content and graphic format. Hot Topics Reading Lists are at www.hoagiesgifted.org/hot_topics.htm, and the Cartoon/Humor section is www.hoagiesigfted.org/cartoons_humor.htm. There’s also Hot Topics On Being Gifted (including gifted/LD, gifted/Asperger’s, and more) at www.hoagiesgifted.org/being_gifted.org . “Great reading lists for our gifted and 2e kids!” says the prolific webmistress.

Separately, don’t forget that the Hoagies’ site is self-supporting, with no advertising.  To help support this great resource, you may either use their “Shop Hoagies’ Page” before you visit your favorite online retailers (Hoagies gets a referral gratuity), or you may make a direct donation on the Hoagies’ main page.

The Quad Manhattan (11/09)

This fall the Quad Manhattan inaugurated a Quad Preschool class for gifted or high potential 2- to 5-year-olds with and without developmental lags. Next year, says director Kimberly Busi, the school will expand to three classes: a 2e class plus two classes of 3- to 5-year-olds, complete with sensory gym, nooks, art studio, and kitchen.

The Quad also offers a summer program for older kids. Last summer, says Busi, families sought out the Quad from as far away as Hong Kong. Next year the organization plans to expand its camp offerings to give teens and ‘tweens their own separate spaces.  In addition, inspired by Bridges Academy’s Intersession, the Quad will also offer winter and spring break camps. Find more information at www.thequadmanhattan.com.

Susan Baum Presenting (11/09)

2e pioneer Susan Baum has two upcoming presentations on December 17 at the Los Angeles City-County GATE Conference. In one session, titled “Accommodations or Differentiation: That Is the Question?,” Baum will provide strategies to make the classroom a positive place for learning for 2e students. A second session, titled “2e Students: The Challenge of Production and Writing,” will explore why some students who are intellectually advanced have such a difficult time producing written work and what educators can do to help.

NAGC Article on RTI for Gifted, 2e (11/09)

A recent edition of NAGC’s Parenting for High Potential contained an article co-authored by Michael Potsma, Dan Peters, Barbara Gilman, and Kathy Kearney. The article is titled “RTI and the Gifted Child: What Every Parent Should Know,” and includes considerations for using RTI with twice-exceptional children as well as children who are “only” gifted. Find the article at www.nagc.org/uploadedFiles/RtI%20and%20the%20Gifted%20Child.June%202011%20PHP.pdf.

Gifted Development Center Moves (11/09)

Linda Silverman’s Gifted Development Center has moved from central Denver to Westminster, Colorado. Their new contact information is: 8120 Sheridan Boulevard, Suite C-111, Westminster, Colorado 80003; phones, 303.837.8378 or 888.443.8331.

Melissa Sornik Gears Up Her NY Practice (11/09)

Melissa Sornik, LMSW, has formalized her practice under the name Exceptional Children & Families Network. The practice supports gifted and twice-exceptional children and adolescents and their families with services such as individual and family counseling, parent coaching and training, support groups, and school support and advocacy. Sornik is cofounder of LI-TECA (Long Island Twice-Exceptional Children’s Advocacy) and a SENG-certified facilitator for Parents of Gifted Children groups. Contact information: 516-801-3286 or info@ECFNetworkNY.com. Address: 32 9th Avenue in Sea Cliff, New  York, 11579

CASE on Pediatric AD/HD (11/09)

Following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ announcement expanding the age of possible AD/HD diagnosis down to age four, the research committee of CASE (Council of Administrators of Special Education) commented on the controversy in the move. CASE noted that the APA has issues with diagnoses at the age of four, but also noted that the DSM-IV criteria for AD/HD diagnosis are the same for four-year-olds as for adults. CASE also pointed out the difficulties (and possible dangers) of using the usual first-line treatment, medication, on children so young. On the other hand, the importance of early action means that emphasis should be placed on intervention rather than medication, according to the organization. The CASE research committee promises to release additional information on the concerns and benefits involved in the early recognition of AD/HD in young children. (Thanks to Mary Ruth Coleman for sharing this information.)

St. Thomas Offering 2e Certificate Program (11/09)

Beginning in January, 2012, the School of Education at St. Thomas University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, will offer an official cohort certificate program in twice-exceptional education. According to Karen Rogers of St. Thomas, all the coursework is online (virtual meeting rooms, blogs, etc), allowing participation by educators from all over the country. The program is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
“We are, I think, the only nationally accredited twice-exceptional certificate program,” says Rogers.

According to the program’s page at the university website, the program will “prepare educators to identify, provide services for, and develop/administer programs for children with dual exceptionalities.” The program is designed for classroom teachers, gifted specialists, special education resource teachers, curriculum coordinators, and building administrators, or for educators who want to provide services in twice-exceptional talent development. Along with Rogers, Dr. Karen L. Westberg will instruct.

Registrations are being accepted now. For more information, visit www.stthomas.edu/education/academics/certificates/twiceexp/default.html.

New Book from the Drs. Eide (7/2011)

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide have written a book titled The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. The book is scheduled to be released on August 18th by the publisher, Penguin (Hudson Street imprint).

In the book the Eides cover what dyslexia has meant to people both ordinary and prominent. They offer a new theory for the way the dyslexic brain works, and explain the strengths that may accrue with dyslexia.

Fernette Eide says that the interviews for the book were “such fun — just calling all these interesting people and talking to them.” [That’s the way to do a book. —Ed.]

The book may be ordered at the Eide website, The Dyslexic Advantage; at IndieBound; at Penquin; and from other resellers. Read a review at Kirkus Reviews (www.kirkusreviews.com) or find more at Amazon.   

GHF: New Imprint, New Book (7/2011)

This month the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum is introducing its own imprint, GHF Press, for the purpose of publishing a book series called “Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling.” Each book in the series is planned to be approximately 100 pages in a 6- by 9-inch format for distribution primarily as ebooks, although GHF says that print versions will be available. Each book in the series will focus on a very specific gifted homeschooling topic. 

The first book from GHF Press, with a release date of mid-July, is called Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Work for Your Atypical Child, by Mika Gustavson and Corin Goodwin. The book covers:

Priced at $5.95, the book will be available by July 18 at www.giftedhomeschoolers.org/ghfpress.html or at www.createspace.com/3611314.

Sarah Wilson is the series editor. The topic of the next book planned in the series, by Wes Beach, is teens moving on to college and adulthood.

Beverly Trail’s Book Nominated for Award (7/2011)

Beverly Trail’s book Twice-Exceptional Gifted Children (Prufrock Press, 2010), reviewed in the May, 2011, issue of 2e Newsletter, has been nominated for a Legacy Book Award. The award honors outstanding books published in the United States that have long-term potential for positively influencing the lives of gifted young people and contribute to the understanding, well-being, education, and success of students with gifts and/or talents.

The awards are administered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). The winning books are selected by a nationwide panel of reviewers for their excellent long-term potential for improving the lives of gifted youth, categorized by audience.  

Prufrock Book on AT (7/2011)

According to Lacy Compton at Prufrock Press, one of that publishing company’s fastest-selling special needs books has been The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education, a compilation of the best assistive technology tools for students with a variety of education needs. The book’s author, speech and language pathologist Joan L. Green, recently presented on the topic at the ASHA Schools Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.  

GPP Book on Parenting the Gifted (7/2011)

In a new book from Great Potential Press, 10 Things NOT to Say to Your Gifted Child: One Family’s Perspective, author Nancy N. Heilbronner, Ph.D., discusses some common mistakes that parents of gifted children make. Available August 1, the book reflects the author’s belief in:

  1. The importance of unconditional love and a secure environment
  2. Respect for each child’s uniqueness
  3. Support and nurturance of children’s talents. 

Ten chapters offer stories, insights, and examples from the author’s own family, including some mistakes she made, and comments at the end of chapters from her three now-adult children. 

An assistant professor of instructional leadership at Western Connecticut State University, Dr. Heilbronner teaches and advises in doctoral-level courses in talent development, creativity, and statistics. She is on the board of the Connecticut Association for Gifted Children and also serves on committees for the National Association for Gifted Children.  

Free E-book from SENG (7/2011)

In honor of National Parenting Gifted Children Week (July 17-23), SENG has released a free e-book called The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children. Among the authors of the various sections of the book, you’ll find some familiar to readers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, including Editor Linda Neumann. Her contribution: “Don’t Get Caught in the Lazy Trap.” Go to www.smashwords.com/books/view/71933 to read the book online or to download it.  

New Publication from Glen Ellyn Media (7/2011)

Not to be outdone by Prufrock, Great Potential Press, GHF Press, SENG, and the Eides, 2e Newsletter Editor Linda Neumann is putting the finishing touches on a new offering in Glen Ellyn Media’s “Spotlight on 2e” series of booklets. This one, titled Caring for the Mental Health of the Twice-exceptional Child, provides introductory information on giftedness, twice-exceptionality, and three of the most common mental issues faced by 2e kids — anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. It also provides a guide to practitioners who may be helpful to children and families in the 2e community facing mental health issues, along with pointers to additional resources. The 40-page booklet, priced at $11 for newsletter subscribers and $12.95 for non-subscribers, will be out soon, and readers can be certain we’ll let them know when it’s available.  

Amy Price Leaves SENG (7/2011)

Executive Director Amy Price has left SENG for another non-profit opportunity. Price was SENG’s first executive director and, in our opinion, brought lots of energy, creativity, and out-reach to the organization. We wish her the best of luck in her new position.  

2012 Davidson Fellows Scholarships (7/2011)

Students 18 or younger as of Oct. 10, 2012, and who are working on a graduate-level project in any field of study, are encouraged to apply for the 2012 Davidson Fellows scholarship. The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2012 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000, or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in science, technology, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy, or outside the box.   

And Yes, Some Davidson Young Scholars Are 2e (7/2011)

The national Davidson Young Scholars program helps profoundly gifted students discover others with similar interests and abilities, utilizing their unique skills and talents to maximize their educational potential and make a difference in the lives of others. Parents collaborate with a skilled team of family consultants who provide individualized services based on each family’s unique needs, such as in the areas of educational advocacy, social and emotional development, and talent development. With a deadline of the first of each month, the Davidson Young Scholar application can be found at www.DavidsonGifted.org/YoungScholars. Also on the website are Young Scholar success stories about how the Young Scholars program has helped make a difference in students’ lives.

Hovem Case Supported by U.S. DOE, DOJ (5/2011)

On April 22, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of Per Hovem in the appeal by the Klein Independent School District of the Hovem victory in the U.S. District Court in Texas. Such a brief is filed by an entity with an interest in a case’s outcome but which is not a party to the actual case. This brief was a joint effort by the U.S Department of Education and the Department of Justice.

A lower court had ruled that Klein ISD violated Per Hovem’s right to a free and appropriate public education. Hovem, a gifted student with severe problems in written expression, dropped out of the district before high school graduation and finished his education at Landmark School; and the lower court had ordered Klein to pay the cost of that education.

In the brief, the government states that the appeal by Klein ISD “raises important questions involving the interpretation and policy goals of [IDEA]. Accordingly, the United States and the Department of Education have a strong interest in the correct interpretation of the IDEA and its regulations.”

Attorney Doreen Philpot says that in the 11 years she has been practicing special ed law, this is the first time she has seen the government file such a brief.

Signe Hovem, Per’s mother, says, “We are obviously very thrilled to have this unexpected and relevant brief filed on behalf of Per by the United States.” The family is hopeful their case will be affirmed by the 5th Circuit Court.

Representatives of the Department of Justice declined to comment on the case or the brief. For more information on the case, read “Fighting for FAPE.”

Marlo Payne Thurman (5/2011)

Psychologist and educator Marlo Payne Thurman was in an auto accident on the 10th of April that injured her spine, according to a representative who is handling her e-mail. The report is: “She will need several months to fully recover from her injuries. She will therefore be taking a full leave of absence from her practice until July 1st, making a decision at that time as to whether she will be able to return part-time or will need some additional time to recover.”

We offer wishes for a speedy recovery and her e-mail address so that her fans may wish her well: marlorice@mho.com.  (Or, find her on FaceBook.)  

Prufrock Press (5/2011)

This publisher of gifted materials is releasing several new titles this spring, including Preventing Challenging Behavior in Your Classroom: Positive Behavior Support and Effective Classroom Management, which the publisher calls a practical, user-friendly guide to classroom management written by Matt Tincani at Temple University. Lacy Compton, editor at Prufrock, also points to two new books which may have the potential to help aspiring new teachers of students who are twice-exceptional:

Compton says, “These books are perfect for beginning teachers and those transitioning to teach new populations of students.” 

Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide (5/2011)

The partners at the Eide Neurolearning Clinic spoke at TED-X Eastside Prep in Kirkland, Washington, on May 12th. Videos of the event, which was about the evolution of education, will be posted on YouTube.

In addition, look for the Eides at the SENG conference in Seattle in July.

Commenting on their website DyslexicAdvantage.com, Fernette Eide said, “We’ve added a ton of new articles and contentand have over 700 members.”  

Lang School (5/2011)

The big news from Micaela Bracamonte, founder of the Lang School in New York City, is — surviving the first year. She has evidently impressed even herself, calling the school’s success “a monumental achievement for a middle-class mom on a shoe-string budget.”

Bracamonte says that the school will add a classroom next school year and double enrollment to 30.

Katharina Boser, founder of Individual Differences in Learning and a past contributor to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, is now serving on the board of directors of The Lang School.

The Quad (5/2011)

This complementary service provider to The Lang School, with which it shares space, has announced the opening of a preschool, which will follow a twice-exceptional, play-based educational framework following Tools of the Mind, an early childhood professional development coaching model based on the work of developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky. The founder of the Quad, Kim Busi, calls that model unique in its explicit and intensive support of emotional regulation and self-directed learning.

For those of you in New York City , Busi says that summer camp registration is in full force and almost filled. See page 20 of this issue for more information. 

Educator in Transition    (5/2011)

Sheri Stewart, for the last 10 years the coordinator of gifted education in the Blue Valley K-12 school district, is retiring from the district and turning to consulting. At Blue Valley , a district of 20,000 students in the Overland Park , Kansas , area, Steward has coordinated services for 1,600 “intellectually gifted students.” Previous positions include university teaching positions and a stint as the Nebraska director of gifted education.

Stewart says that in the four decades she has spent in gifted education, a significant change has been the long overdue focus on twice-exceptional students. “I remember Tony, one of my first gifted students,” she says, “and I’m sure now that he was 2e.” Although she worried about Tony over the years, she has discovered through Facebook that he’s doing fine. Stewart later discovered the term “twice exceptional” during her work for an Ed.D. degree some 20 years ago.

According to Stewart, because gifted education is a part of special education in Kansas , it’s much easier to “wrap around” services for these special-needs students. She says, “School psychologists and disability-based special educators work together with gifted education teachers to uncover the unique needs of our 2e students, and then work together to meet those needs.” (As part of her mission, Stewart obtained one of the first group subscriptions to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter so that she could share it with the SPED disability staff, school psychologists, and the gifted education staff.)

Stewart has served — and continues to serve — a variety of professional organizations, including SENG, NAGC, and the Kansas Gifted, Talented, and Creative Association (KGTC). The list of published articles and professional presentations she’s done over her career in gifted education takes up a good part of her 11-page curriculum vitae.

Moving forward, Stewart says that her consulting will focus on the cognitive and affective frameworks schools can use to plan services for our brightest children. “My work will also focus on the individual needs of children — whether those are 2e needs, advocacy needs, or programming and services in the public or private school setting.”

Of leaving the public education system, Stewart says, “I am looking forward to my retirement party when I might see past students who live nearby. I hope to share hugs and let them know how much they helped me realize their potential.”

 Sheri Stewart, Ed.D., will do business under the name Growing Great Minds! Email her at dr.sheristewart@gmail.com.