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Embracing Intensity

Use your fire without getting burned.
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Embracing Intensity
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Now displaying: February, 2022
Feb 28, 2022

Today’s show focuses on the twice-exceptional experience. As with so many people in this line of work, my guest looks to provide for students and families the help and support that he needed–and didn’t have as he grew up. Join us to learn more!

 

Barry Gelston is the president of GHF, Gifted Home Education Forum. They do amazing work with gifted and twice-exceptional families. Barry is an educator through “Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse,” an online homeschool program focused on providing individualized educational services for gifted and 2E learners. In this episode, we enjoyed discussing how being 2E ourselves led us to the work of helping and supporting 2E families. 

 

Show Highlights:

  • Why Barry is intensely passionate about making a difference by being a positive activist who loves his family and tries hard to be a good person in the world
  • How Barry’s personal brand of intensity shows up with constant focus and rumination about one topic at a time and being aware of sensory overload
  • How Barry grew up totally dysregulated as an underachiever with social and emotional issues from being in a divorced family
  • How Barry approached his problems with his attempt at executive functioning skills to become a good student and make more of his life
  • What Barry would say to the adults in his life “back then”
  • Why Barry’s work today revolves around what he needed as a 2E child
  • How Barry learned to overcome his reading struggles and dyslexia to become a voracious reader
  • Why wonderful things are happening in strengths-based approaches with 2E students
  • How Barry’s cultural identity formed largely around growing up in a Jewish family in Queens
  • Why Barry always felt like he had to tone himself down or tune himself out as he grew up and learned the art of conversation
  • How Barry’s intensity felt out of control in early adulthood because of social pressures
  • How Barry uses his fire for good through teaching and his work, trying to fix for others what he wishes would have been fixed for him
  • How mindfulness, meditation, self-centering, and 2E awareness have helped Barry harness the power of his intensity
  • How creating systems and structures has helped with executive functioning for Barry–and how he uses it to help students
  • How Barry helps others use their own fire through connecting and learning from each other

 

Resources:

Connect with Barry:  GHF Learners and Mr. Gelston's One Room Schoolhouse

 

Feb 14, 2022

Today’s show looks at the differences and overlap of giftedness, twice-exceptionality, autism, and ADHD within the overexcitability framework. Join us to learn more!

 

Chris Wells is a writer, therapist, and researcher on all things Dabrowski. She has a nuanced take on the concept of overexcitability, a topic on which she has focused much time, energy, and study. Chris is our first three-time guest on the podcast, having appeared most recently to discuss positive disintegration. Let’s hear more from Chris!

 

In this episode:

  • How Chris came to overexcitability in 2014 on her quest to learn more about twice-exceptionality
  • How Chris was identified as gifted as a kid but felt more disabled and mentally ill
  • How Chris felt broken and emotionally intense by the time she was 40
  • How overexcitability turned around her perceptions of herself as problematic and defective
  • How Chris became hyperfocused on understanding overexcitability
  • How Chris found Dabrowski’s early work, which identified four types of overexcitability: psychomotor, imaginational, sensual, and emotional
  • How the gifted education world has finally accepted overexcitability as a characteristic of giftedness
  • Why overexcitability is an umbrella term that brings together all the elements of neurodivergence
  • Why Chris says autism and ADHD are “clearly neuro-cousins”
  • Why there are so many misunderstandings about overexcitability in gifted education
  • How overexcitability brings a whole different reality to those who have it
  • How Chris’s imagination would take her to another place and another reality when she was growing up–and overexcitability gave her the answers for it
  • The problem in learning to live with overexcitability
  • Why giftedness is a meaningful difference, even in adults
  • How we can best support those with overexcitability in light of the knowledge we now have and the labels we use
  • Why we struggle as a whole to figure out the right language to use


Resources:

Check out our calendar of upcoming events: www.embracingintensity.com/community

 

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