Meeting the Needs of Intense Adults, Online and Off

What are your social-emotional needs? Intellectual needs? Creative needs? Physical needs? Twice-exceptional needs?

Not your children’s.

Yours.

Are you meeting them?

And does the very idea make you squirm with discomfort? (Sure, my kids are gifted, but me??)

Many of the posts in this group blog, hosted so graciously by Christine, have been a fascinating discussion of questions such as these, forming a virtual support group for gifted adults, regardless of whether they think of themselves as gifted, whether they are posters, commenters, or lurkers. I learn something from every post and comment, even though I haven’t been nearly as active a participant on this blog (or any other blogs, including my own!) as I’d like to be recently. My excuse is that I have been busy co-chairing SENG’s (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) 2012 Annual ConferenceShining Light on Giftedness: Empowering Families and Communities, to be held July 13-14, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin (just west of Milwaukee).

One aspect of the conference this year that I am most excited about is a new breakout strand on gifted adults, where you can continue this online support offline and in person. Parents, teachers, and other adults usually come to gifted conferences such as SENG’s to understand their children better, but they go home realizing that there is much to understand and celebrate about themselves, as well. I love to see the spark (sometimes an anxious spark, but a spark nonetheless) in their eyes that is the beginning of a new road of self-understanding.

Here is a peek at some of the gifted adult breakout sessions we are offering this summer in Milwaukee:

  • Disorganized Adults:  Is It Too Late to Learn New Skills? (by Kathleen Crombie)
  • Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon Together (by Willem Kiupers)
  • Finding and Claiming Your Adult Giftedness (by Lisa Erickson)
  • Gifted Comes of Age: Generativity, Integrity, Entelechy (by Joy Navan)
  • Giftedness Beyond the Classroom:  How to Survive and Thrive in Adulthood (by E. S. Vorm)
  • Grappling with Giftedness: A Lifelong Challenge (by Ellen Fiedler)
  • “My Child Is Gifted, Not Me!” Parents Coming to Terms With Their Own Giftedness (by Dan Peters)
  • Staying Close to Your Profoundly Gifted Spouse (by Suzanne James)

You can learn more about the conference at the SENG website. I hope to see some of you in my home town of Milwaukee this July!

8 thoughts on “Meeting the Needs of Intense Adults, Online and Off

  1. Robin

    Hey! No one answered this yet!
    Though labelled “gifted” as a child, I assumed I wasn’t THAT gifted since I never achieved GREAT things. I never knew about SENG issues until trying to figure out my kid. Then I started seeing a gifted counselor for ME. And it changed my life. Here is what I learned:
    – I am happier when I use my creativity.
    – If I am not learning new things, I get bored and unhappy.
    – The reason I am so self-critical is not because I was criticized too much as a child.
    – I make good friends with people twice my age and that’s just usual for me. I should stop thinking I don’t have enough friends, just because few of them are my age.
    – my overthinking is not necessarily pathological; my moods may not be indicative of a mood disorder…errrrrrr uh.
    Sometimes I think about how the whole paradigm shift I experienced in understanding myself is just a theoretical construct, and therefore no more valid than any other construct through which we interpret our lives. (but it’s sure a lot more fun). For example, I think a lot of my personality traits have to do with me being an INFJ. I was into blogs about that for a while too. Sure hope there are some other theories out there soon. or I’ll have to come up with some of my own.

    1. Robin, I’m sorry if I didn’t see this comment previously. I agree that we can look at all of these kinds of traits from many different perspectives (INFP, for me), which only adds to the richness of our understanding and, as you wrote, the fun.🙂

      1. Robin

        i meant no one answered your question yet. i think i am by the accidents of my life, the least employed person who responds to this blog. at this particular time.

    2. Hi Robin — Hmmm…well, I haven’t been employed since I got remarried in 1996. I have done volunteer work; some for my church (in which I am currently considered inactive) and some for my kids’ classrooms. I am also a terrible housekeeper. I am also INFJ (Hi!). I was labeled gifted as a child and for a while, I wholeheartedly agreed with that “diagnosis.” I generally grokked things better than my peers (though I only learned the meaning of “grok” a few years ago–it just seemed to be the best fit for the occasion) Later, I feel like due to a combination of circumstances and choices, I sold myself short and my giftedness seemed to atrophy a bit. I realize that giftedness does not actually atrophy, I’m just describing things from my POV. I think our individual personalities and our wiring combined with our giftedness, combined with external factors all seem to be part of the recipe that makes us who we are.

      btw, I think I am the least formally educated person who not only responds to this blog, but contributes twice a month!

      1. Robin

        Hi Donna – I am also a terrible housekeeper and I had to look up grok. I relooked up entelechy too. It’s been a while. I am also trying to write for publication and live in Southern California. I live in the South Bay. Where do you live? I assumed you lived in the mountains from your photo.
        My dad was in the Navy in the 40s when they did IQ testing. He was invited into Mensa and he said, “I’m not joining no elitist organization.” He was a little dyslexic but very wise and loved to read psychology philosophy and religion with me.
        I had articulation delays and trouble with phonics, but great comprehension once I could decode. I seemed to work harder in school than most of the GATE kids who had unique talents. I was just a really great student all around. I thought I was amazing and I wanted to be the editor of the NY Times or a professor.
        I came to not see myself as gifted in college, when surrounded by brilliant people. I learned that IQ tests were culturally biased and I really questioned the whole GATE thing. Then I took an education course where the prof said that there were all these educated families whose kids had IQ’s of 120 and they thought they were gifted because they’d get added to the programs but that was just normal for that type of family. So I thought, that must have been ME because my parents were both teachers. (I later learned the cut-off was 130). Then I hung out with friends for years where I was the only one without a PhD (I seem to easily make friends with smart odd people). And I felt dumber and dumber. (my friend kindly pointed out to me that if my IQ is 140 and my friend’s is 180, then the relative difference is like I am mentally retarded.)
        Then I discovered the SENG literature, and I don’t know about IQ, but HEY I GOT TRAITS! I have always been intense.
        So I am trying to rediscover my inner self-confidence in my own intelligence and creativity, which I lost when I went to college, and do something that makes me happy and helps others at the same time.
        THE END

  2. Wishing I could make it to Wisconsin from So Cal! AND I learned 2 new words today! “Generativity” and “Entelechy.” I was somewhat correct about the meaning of generativity before I Googled it, but I had never heard of entelechy –even when I was learning about Aristotle in my high school Humanities class. My spell check hates both words. Maybe they aren’t really words.😉

  3. Hi This is a great strand,I don’t forsee myself able to go to the conference. But It Sounds Amazing! Are there going to be transcripts available or video or something for those of us who are interested? On Linda Silverman’s site for Gifted Development there’s a section for adults but not a lot of content available. Adult 2-e (ADHD inattentive) Organizing the household kinda happens as needed. i’m thinking of calling a friend who is a professional organizer for help. Just finishing up homeschooling my Senior daughter so there’s all that stuff, and now my two sons are in Public school. And I’m a visual, so like there’s three cork boards in my dining room of different sizes for different reasons.I’ll get it together one of these years. I’ve started creating lenses on Squidoo.com (I’m up to four), and yet I have this transcript to assemble-Soon for my daughter’s college. Uugh. Its not always going to like this.
    Sincerely, Anna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s