The annual SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) national conference is coming to San Jose, July 18-20, 2014 – in the Bay Area for the first time ever. Summit Center is taking part as a sponsor and Executive Director Dr. Dan Peters will be presenting the opening keynote speech “2E 360: Lessons Learned From Working with 2E Youth, Raising 2E Kids, and Living 2E.” Many Summit Center staff members will also be speaking and Dr. Peters will present on a few other topics as well.

We asked Dr. Peters to give us a little insight on being the parent of a twice-exceptional (2E) child as a teaser for what we can expect at the conference. Enjoy the Q&A below:

What are three things a 2E child can do to conquer fear?

Learn about how worry and anxiety work in our body to begin with. To understand that the fight and flight response is designed to protect us but that it often goes off when we don’t need it to.

Remember that our thoughts determine how we feel and what we do. Ask themselves what they are thinking and CHANGE their thoughts to be more rational and less scary.

DO something, even little, that they are afraid of doing like going to a birthday party or new class – they will be showing the Worry Monster that they are not afraid of him.

What is different for a 2E child dealing with anxiety as opposed to other children dealing with anxiety?

2e children, like other gifted children, often tend to be more sensitive to their inner experience and the world around them thus may feel more intensely. 2e kids have challenges in an area of their life that often cause them more anxiety like reading fast, getting their thoughts on paper, paying attention and staying organized, or understanding social situations.

What are three signs you know you’re a part of an anxious family?

When people are worrying a lot about lots of different things.
When people avoid doing anything new and keep to a rather narrow routine.
When people have very high, and often unrealistic standards, and are often very self critical – this is perfectionism.

What are three things 2E kids need to consider when planning for college?

Knowing and understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are with a realistic view of their learning and developmental profile.

Setting up a plan that utilizes their strength areas while seeking support and accommodation for their challenge areas.

Asking for help when they need it. Using the learning center resources to support their successes and to recognize that as an opportunity rather than a crutch.

What should we teach our kids about what fulfilling lives actually mean?

Having fulfilling lives consist of engaging in meaningful activities that have purpose for others and ourselves. These activities can be big or small. The key is finding what one likes to do while also meeting one’s obligations to themselves, their family, friends, and community. Our kids need guidance and support in learning that life is not a sprint, but a marathon, and that we are all works in progress.

For more information on the conference, visit online at https://www.sengifted.org/programs/conferences/2014-seng-annual-conference.