May  2017
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Dear Friends,
As the school year draws to a close, we hope you and your families are thriving! This is both an exciting and trying time of year. Many gifted students are excited for the end of the school year -- but many dread it, as they struggle with changes in routine and are easily bored outside of school. 

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we offer a few informative articles in this newsletter reflecting the topics of anxiety and depression. Mental health issues can affect anyone -- but due to intensity and emotional sensitivity, these issues often hit gifted individuals harder. There is no shame in this, and there is no shame in seeking support, information, and help. 

Finally: if you are searching for things to do t his summer, we invite you to join us at SENG's 34th Annual Conference in Chicago! Our yearly conference is a fantastic place to connect with other gifted individuals and those who are passionate about the gifted community. 
This event for the whole family will take place August 3-6, 2017.  Visit our website for more information and to register! 

In gratitude, 

Dr. Michael Postma
Interim Executive Director of SENG

Unpacking SENG's Mission, Vision, & Values: A Framework and Standard for Comprehensive Support of the Gifted Across the Lifespan 
by Dr. Kristina Henry Collins, Ph.D. 

Last year at SENG's 2016 annual conference, I had the pleasure of presenting as one of the keynote speakers.  As part of that presentation, I briefly chronicled the history and challenges of gifted education over the past 60 years.  I referred to SENG's mission, vision, and value statement as an appropriate and ideal framework by which they could guide their efforts.  I asserted that SENG's mission and vision encompass the value of the development of the whole child from head to toe, inside and out; its mission boldly advocates for the inclusion of the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual contexts of intellectual and talent development. Through its mission, vision, and values, SENG signifies a belief that any attempt to address the intellectual development of the gifted separate from these contexts is not only fallible but is also a disservice to the gifted individual.

As we move into and prepare for SENG's 2017 annual conference I would like to extend that conversation in support of this year's theme: "In Our Hands: Creating New Possibilities". Again, I reference SENG's mission, vision, and values as a framework to guide our efforts to create new possibilities in gifted education. 
Depressive Disorder in Highly Gifted Adolescents
by Susan Jackson and Jean Peterson

Depression is potentially debilitating, invasive, and toxic. It is feared, frequently misunderstood, and often peculiar in its course.  This paper connects highly gifted adolescents' experience of depression, general information about depression, and depression-related phenomena peculiar to this population, arguing that highly gifted children are particularly 
capable of masking symptoms of this 
disorder.  More...
Keeping a Healthy Perspective on Stress and Test Anxiety
by Vidisha Patel

Test taking can be stressful for many individuals, and when you add gifted tendencies to the mix, stress levels can reach alarming levels. In some instances, gifted students get so anxious and stressed about assessments that they are not able to function. Normal, everyday tasks are forgotten, and simple assignments become too complex to  understand.

Parents can assist their children to ease the stress and anxiety around test taking in a variety of ways.  More...
Trauma: A Call for Collaboration
by Kate Bachtel

Meet David and Anna.  Both David and Anna are gifted and have a history of trauma. 

Anna has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression as a result of having experienced severe social bullying at school. David's teachers and parents are currently working in partnership with mental health providers to better understand David's strengths and needs. 

The signs of injury in David and Anna look different. When students have a history of trauma, support for healing and learning in school environments becomes particularly complex.  More...
Finding the Right Mental Health Provider for Your Gifted/Talented Child
by Tiombe Bisa Kendrick-Dunn

Parents of gifted and talented children often find themselves searching for guidance to help them deal with the academic and social/emotional needs of their children. 

Many gifted and talented children show signs of extreme sensitivities and/or weaknesses in social skill development early in their development, which may negatively impact the daily functioning of the child in home and/or at school. As a result of the latter, parents of gifted and talented children often scramble to find professionals in the mental health field to help them navigate these choppy waters.  More...
Counseling Gifted Adults - A Case Study
by Paula Prober

Gifted children are often identified by their insatiable curiosity, advanced mental ability, intensity, and thought-provoking questions. If we've worked with them in our counseling offices, or raised them, we find other traits, including: advanced empathy, intense emotion, hyper-sensitivities, and perfectionism. 

But what happens when these children become adults? What are they like and do they have any particular mental health needs? This paper uses a case study of one particular gifted adult to explain the typical issues these clients bring into counseling.  More...


SENGVine's "Voices" column seeks to share creative works reflecting the gifted experience. Art, poetry, essays, articles, and stories are accepted from gifted individuals of all ages. Submit yours to:

Post of the Month 

"Smart kids will take care of themselves," I've heard more times than I care to remember, "let's spend our money on kids who really need it." 

--Jim Delisle
Every day, SENG shares articles and information with the gifted community via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. 

The feature article  Sorry... Differentiation Still Doesn't Work  by Jim Delisle   was widely read and appreciated in our online community this month. 

Visit us on Tumblr!  Tumblr is a valuable and vibrant online community, where many teens and young adults find solace if they feel "different" from the rest of the world... whether it is because of their interests, their identities, their disabilities, or their gifts. 

Mark the Date

SENGinars are online presentations on giftedness, hosted by many of the top experts in the gifted field.

Recordings of our past SENGinars are now available for purchase! 

Check out recordings for some of these popular SENGinars: 

June 8th   
Reinforcing Resilience: Navigating Trauma Through the Eyes of the Gifted
  with Christine Turo-Shields
June 15th  
Suggestions for AdministratorsIn Search of a Better Light - Illuminating Needs of Twice-Exceptional (2e) Learners
with  Ken Dickson

June 22nd
The Heart of the Gifted Underachiever
with Josh Shaine

July 13th
Social and Emotional Development of Twice-Exceptional Students: What does the Research Say?
with Megan Foley-Nicpon
July 20th
Relinquishing Dreams: A Classic Grounded Theory Study of Gifted Adults
with Dr. Nicole D. Dietrich

July 27th
Raising Healthy Gifted Children: Balancing Self-Regulation
with Dr. Richard M. Cash

September 14th
How to Set Expectations that Work
with Joanne Foster

Registration for these upcoming events will be available soon --  check 

SENG conferences prioritize recognition, understanding, and acceptance of the social and emotional needs of the gifted population. At conference, SENG provides a wholly original forum to empower, support, and connect gifted individuals as well as teachers, parents, and counselors.  Join us in Chicago for this exceptional event -- Early Bird pricing ends May 31st!

Chicago Marriott Naperville
Thursday August 3, 2017 Pre-Conference
August 4-6, 2017  Conference

Conference Activities Include: 

  • Continuing Education Sessions
  • SMPG Facilitator Training
  • Welcome Reception and Cocktail Party
  • 6 Keynote Presentations and 80+ General Sessions
  • Voices Live! New in 2017
  • Children's Enrichment Program (Ages 6-14) -- including field trip to Chicago Field Museum of Natural History! 
  • Children's Program Welcome Reception
  • Discussion Groups
  • Sponsors and Exhibitors
  • The SENG Sanctuary - a quiet space for conference participants to relax and recharge
  • Much more!

Minnesota Gifted Adults and Friends Group

Attend the first meeting of this new group on Saturday, July 22, 3-5 pm! 

Guest speakers include Stuart Dansinger, Ed.S., on developmental characteristics and challenges 
of gifted adults, and Terry Friedrichs, Ph. D., Ed.D., on joys and difficulties of these adults' returning to school. 

Full Meeting Room, Floor 2
Southdale Library
7001 York Ave. S. 
Edina, MN

For more information, contact group co-organizer Terry at , or fellow co-organizer Carolyn Healy at

Coming Soon - SENG Connect

Gifted individuals of all ages need a community of understanding.  

Introducing  SENG Connect:  in the coming year, SENG will be forming support groups for gifted teens, young adults, adults, and elders. Meet other people like you. Come together and share personal experiences. Find kinship and support through the incredible members of the SENG community. 

SENG Connect will offer interactive discussions among the adults of our community - those who are so in need of understanding and advice. More information coming soon! 

In Gratitude...

We would like to recognize our SMPG Facilitator Trainers for all they contribute to our community. Recently, SENG's Europe representative Femke Hovinga joined with  SENG founder and SMPG facilitator trainer James T. Webb to train a group of SMPG facilitators in the Netherlands! 

Thank you, facilitator trainers, for your incredible dedication.  It is through our combined effort that we all can make a difference. Changing lives, changing futures! 

Become a Member of SENG!

Join us in our mission to support gifted individuals of all ages and all walks of life. Whether you're new to SENG or a long-time supporter, we welcome your membership!

Memberships are good for one year from the date you join. If you have not renewed your membership recently, please do! 

Your annual membership funds accelerate SENG's efforts to improve the lives of gifted individuals.  Choose the level of membership that is right for you. Learn more  here.

About SENG

SENG is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) entity with a diverse Board of Directors. Our mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their potential: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. 

With the goal of further expanding its activities and reaching more people, SENG is constantly developing new strategies to assist and enlighten members of this unique community.  SENG accepts contributions of all sizes from individuals and organizations. Please join us in our work to increase understanding, knowledge, and services for gifted children, individuals and adults.

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