April  2017
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Dear Friends,
It is with much gratitude and anticipation that I have accepted the position of Executive Director for the SENG organization. This organization has always been near and dear to our family, from our first SENG Conference more than ten years ago to my participation on the SENG Board of Directors to this new position, the SENG organization has been a positive impact on myself and my family in meaningful ways. However, to better understand this impact, you must first understand my roots.

Growing up in Canada as a twice-exceptional child in the 1970's was not easy, educationally speaking. Of course, there was no such thing as twice-exceptionality at that time and I struggled to maintain the balance of high intellectual potential with low social/emotional skills throughout my formative years and beyond. I certainly could have used SENG back then! Now, as a husband and parent of four children, three of whom have been diagnosed as twice-exceptional, I am ever so appreciative of the resources that SENG has provided in assisting our family through some difficult times. To put this in perspective, my oldest son has Aspergers, my second son battles debilitating anxiety, and my youngest daughter struggles with ADD, anxiety, Aspergers, and Sensory Processing Issues (although she is a stunning visual artist). When I first encountered SENG, the three of them were still young, just entering the school years. Armed with information accessed through SENG and with the support of friends met through SENG Conferences, we were better equipped to advocate for our children during those tough school years. To be sure, I do not think we would have made it without that on-going support. Now as they enter early adulthood, we are able to look back and say thank you to SENG. Its resources have made a positive difference in our lives and theirs.

In my new role as Executive Director, I am hoping to expand SENG's offerings to make a similar difference in the lives of gifted families and individuals around the world. We will continue to offer our stalwarts; the SENG Conference, SMPG Trainings, SENGinars, as well as an ever growing database of resources; but we also have plans to continue growth. I am very excited about the development of SENG Connect, an online portal with the capacity to connect SENGsters of all ages, ethnicities, orientations, and communities across the globe. I am also thrilled to explore continued expansion into Europe, Latin America and other gifted communities around the world. In addition, we are excited to launch a new SENG e-book with chapters written by experts on all relevant SENG topics, and much more. Yes, there is much to be done. I hope that you will join me, the Board, the SENG staff, and the greater SENG community in building a service model that will last for our lifetime, and that of future generations.

Finally, a note about SENG Chicago, 2017. Please join us for this incredible event. Personally, I believe this is one of the best speaker lineups that we have ever assembled. In reviewing the proposals, I was astonished by the level of quality within the content. We had to make some tough choices in selecting a balanced schedule of presentations. For myself, the SENG Conference has always been a transcendent experience; a place to reunite with my 'tribe' and learn a few new concepts or ideas. It is, and continues to be one of my favorite times of year. Will you come join us? Info and Registration are available  

In gratitude, 

Dr. Michael Postma
Executive Director of SENG

The Affective Side: Emotional Issues of Twice Exceptional Students
by Jean Strop and David Goldman

I remember a day in 2nd grade when the whole class was sitting in a circle taking turns reading a book. The number of students between the reader and myself slowly dwindled while my pulse rate quickened. Everyone read so fast!  Despite my best efforts, I still got stuck on the five-letter words that everyone else read with ease. The entire class started laughing; what an idiot I was; everyone could read this but me. 

It is not an easy task to balance the expectations of being gifted while trying to overcome learning challenges. Consequently, twice exceptional students need a strong support group to assist them with several key emotional issues that may impede their academic achievement.  More...
Alphabet Soup and Stardust 
by Evelyn King Metcalf 

From the back seat of the van I hear the most amazing music. That's where my daughter shares it with me. I rarely see her otherwise, tucked up in her room, under her covers. It's been a hard winter. And a long yet short 15 years of figuring and not figuring things out. 

Her official Aspie diagnosis was a long and winding road. In 1996, two years before her birth even, I attended my first SENG conference. My eyes were OPENED! When Sidney was born, her eyes were open, too.  More...
Talking Circles - The 2e Student: Damaging Myths
by Dr. Michael Postma 

Jillian was actually quite smart. Just last week one of the more rambunctious boys in the class, Tommy, had grabbed her backpack right off her shoulder and dumped it all over the floor revealing what most would agree was a good report card: mostly A's and B's.

A few weeks after the Tommy incident, Jillian did not come to school. She missed a couple of days; then a week and eventually two weeks went by with no sign of Jillian. She had fallen into a deep state of depression. Her parents and the school officials were baffled. What could have happened? Had they understood the intricate world that is the education of kids with multiple exceptionalities, they might have recognized and addressed the ominous signs of her downward spiral years in the making.  More...
A Tour of Learning Diversity
by Wenda Sheard

 Some people might question how a person deeply committed to the unique social and emotional needs of gifted children and adults could also be deeply concerned about the needs of people with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities.  For me, the answer is simple: I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

I believe that educational advocates, to be effective, must understand how education policies affect all children, and must be willing to advocate for the best possible education for all children.  The key to successful education policy lies not in arguing for one group of children at the expense of another; the key lies in arguing for the best interests of all children.  More...

Voices - "The Dichotomy of My 2e Child"  
by  Julie F. Skolnick 

Your child is amazing. 
Your child is disrespectful.
Your child is bright. 
Your child cannot write.
Your child has such empathy.
Your child does not know how others feel.
Your child will change the world. 
Your child does not know how to behave.
A breath of fresh air. Annoying.
Fun. Challenging.
Creative. Stuck.
Out of the box. Black and white.
Joyful. Weird.
Helpful. Inappropriate. 

Parents of 2e children hear these adjectives simultaneously on any given day. Their kids know others think these things. The concern is that 2e kids doubt the positives and self-define as the negatives.  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: editor@sengifted.org.

Post of the Month 

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

The article When diagnosing ADHD, consider possibility of giftedness in some children  by  Erik von Hahn, M.D., FAAP  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. 

Community Announcements

SENG is pleased to announce that we have a new executive director -- Dr. Michael Postma. Please join us in welcoming him! 

Dr. Michael Postma is a consultant, speaker, and author dedicated to the  holistic development of twice-exceptional children and other non-typical  learners through his company Agility Educational Solutions. Born and  raised in the Toronto area, Dr. Postma received his Bachelors Degree in  Classical History at McMaster University before enrolling at Calvin  College in Grand Rapids, MI to obtain his teacher licensure. He lived and worked briefly in Vancouver, British Columbia before moving to Minnesota where he enrolled at the University of St. Thomas in the Gifted, Talented & Creative Education Masters Program. After completing his M.A., Dr. Postma continued his education at St. Thomas and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Critical Pedagogy). Over the last two decades, Dr. Postma has worked as both a teacher and administrator in the public school system and is the architect of the Minnetonka Navigator Program, a magnet school for highly and profoundly gifted students. He currently lives in Surf City, SC and is the father of four children, two of whom have Aspergers.

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: 

May 4th   
A Delicate Balance: The Relationship 
Between Giftedness,  Learning Disorders, 
& Asynchronous Development
  with Andrew Mahoney
May 17th  
Academic Acceleration: A Practical Guide 
to Decisions and Implementation
with  Sharon Duncan 

May 25th
Meeting the Academic & Social-Emotional Needs of  Gifted Hispanic/Latino & ELL Students
with Jaime Castellano

June 8th
Reinforcing Resilience: Navigating Trauma 
Through the Eyes of the Gifted 
with Christine Turo-Shields 
Registration for these upcoming events will be available soon --  check 

Beyond IQ Conference - April 28-30

Join SENG Board member Barry Gelston for his presentations at the upcoming Beyond IQ conference in Boston! 

Self, Identity, Math, and Problem Solving  
9:00 AM April 29 
& 1:15 PM April 30

Check out the Beyond IQ Programming Schedule for more information! 

Film Screening - 2e: Twice Exceptional in Silver Spring, Maryland

Presented in collaboration with With Understanding Comes Calm, LCC. Join us for a screening of Tom Ropelewski's award-winning documentary,  2e: Twice Exceptional. 

Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Silver Spring Civic Ctr
8525 Fenton,  Silver Spring, MD

This film follows the personal journeys of a group of high school students in Los Angeles who have been identified as twice exceptional (gifted with learning disabilities or differences). 

This is not your typical screening event.  For your $8.50 ticket price you will:
  • Mingle with like-minded parents, professionals and educators
  • Meet exhibitors (schools and professionals) working with this profile
  • Receive a FREE giveaway bag filled with resources
  • Enter a FREE raffle for products and services
  • Hear Julie Skolnick, Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, give a short talk about "The True Meaning of Giftedness and Twice Exceptionality"
Tickets are going fast -- Purchase yours today! 

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 an exceptional event! 

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

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. This month, facilitator trainers Heather Cachat and Carol Malueg trained a group of fifty new SMPG facilitators in Las Vegas, NV! 

Thank you both 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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