Gifted & Distractible
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Summer is here and With Understanding Comes Calm has lots of plans to spread the word about the wonderful strengths and amazing talents of gifted and distractible kids!

Please note this is a "double" Newsletter as we will not publish in July. See you in August with a great overview of the SENG conference!

In this edition of "Gifted and Distractible" check out:
  • Link to register for the SENG (Supporting the Needs of the Gifted) Conference - July 22-24.
  • Photo and impression from our Virginia screening of "2e: Twice Exceptional!"
  • Julie's new blog, "Be a Super Model ... a Super ROLE Model"
  • A Letter to the Editor Julie Skolnick wrote to the Washington Post blasting a front page article making a comparison of an apparent unwillingness to learn to the need to learn differently.
  • A learning specialist's suggestion for summer engagement.
  • Great video describing dysgraphia.
  • Article on Existential Depression.
  • Can college students benefit from their H.S. 504 plans? 
  • Check out the WorldSpeak School - an immersion language school that pays attention to social-emotional needs.
  • Natural instincts to move just might be the best way for ADHD folks to focus.
  • Julie's toy review; Happy Salmon.
  • Upcoming events in and around Maryland, Virginia and DC.
  • Survey of interest for a Parent Empowerment Group.
SENG Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted is holding their annual conference in Williamsburg, VA on July 22-24.  

I am so excited to present "The True Meaning of Giftedness and Twice Exceptionality" where I will take participants through the inner experience of gifted and twice exceptionality and give strength-based strategies to bring out the best and raise self esteem in these awesome kids!  

I'm also honored to introduce Tom Ropelewski's award winning documentary, "2e: Twice Exceptional" Friday night at the conference.

This is a DO NOT MISS opportunity to learn about the emotional experience of the gifted and to mingle with like minded parents, educators and professionals CE Credits available). The weekend includes programming for children through the College of William & Mary. Register.  
An inspirational night at the Auburn School, Fairfax Campus when With Understanding Comes Calm screened "2e: Twice Exceptional" and taught about the true meaning of giftedness and twice exceptionality to a capacity audience of parents, educators and professionals.
Read Julie's latest blog; "Be a Super Model ... a Super ROLE Model" and learn strategies for helping you and your children practice patience and forgiveness with others and with yourselves.

Julie's submitted, but not printed, Letter to the Editor:
The May 4 front page article, “Metro has a ‘learning disability,’ NTSB Says,” quotes Robert L. Sumwalt, a member of the NTSB as stating that Metro “…has had a severe learning disability,” and that “Quite simply, they have not been willing to learn from prior events…Learning disabilities are tragic in children, but they are fatal in organizations.”  What is tragic is comparing an apparent unwillingness to learn to a different way of learning.  What is catastrophic is when adults categorize children with learning disabilities or differences as lazy or unable or refusing to learn when in fact these children have a different way of learning – maybe in some cases, an even better way of learning.  Was Albert Einstein tragic? Steve Jobbs? What about Whoopi Goldberg? Justin Timberlake? Daniel Radcliffe? Steven Spielberg? Anderson Cooper? Keira Knightly? Cher? Or how about a whole host of Presidents of the United States; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy, to name a few.  What would our world be lacking if these people hadn’t persevered beyond ignorant assumptions made about their abilities? Metro may need to change its ways, but comparing Metro’s inadequacies to people who learn differently or whose brains are wired uniquely, is not only inaccurate and ignorant but also hurtful.
Looking for summer enrichment ideas?  Check out this Learning Specialist's thoughts on how to enhance your already-made summer plans. Read article.
Challenges with written expression come in different forms. This video does a great job describing dysgraphia and suggesting helpful strategies.
Can College students benefit from their High School 504 Plan? Check out this article to find out.
The  WorldSpeak School in Los Angeles, CA includes social/emotional success as one of its top cornerstones. Read about it.
Existential depression can occur when we contemplate deep and meaningful questions without the tools to handle these overwhelming considerations. Read about existential depression in gifted children here.
Happy Salmon! A new game from NorthStar Games is catching on RAPIDly! Loads of fun, movement, group collaboration! Described as a "High fivin', fin flappin' card game." Watch a video!
Upcoming Area Events for Families of Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children:

LDAMC Events (LD Association of Montgomery County):
-  The science of processing speed: Why some children struggle to keep up and how it impacts learning and attention
Tuesday June 14
7pm - 8:30pm at the Rockville Memorial Library
More Information

- "Brown Bag Lunch" Teacher Discussion Group
Wednesday June 29
11:30am - 12:45pm at the Rockville Memorial Library
More Information

- Calling all Teachers!  Facilitated "brown bag lunch" discussion group to share your challenges from the past school year and get ideas and suggestions from veteran teachers about how to address those classroom challenges in the future.
** bring your lunch and your questions!
More Information

- Getting Ready For a Great New School Year
Tuesday August 23
6:45 - 8:15pm at the Olney Library
This program and facilitated discussion group is for parents.
 More Information. 

- Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Sunday September 18 & 25
2-4pm at the Olney library
Parents and teachers join us for a viewing of the video FAT (Frustration, Anxiety, Tension) City: How Difficult Can This Be? Created by educator and author, Rick Lavoie, this enlightening video helps you to “put yourself in their shoes” and experience what it is like to have several different learning challenges.  More Information.

Other MD, DC and VA events:
- Council for Exceptional Children 2016 Special Education Legislative Summit.  July 10-13, Alexandria, VA.
More Information.

- Innovators in Education: From Theory to Practice Full Day Workshop
September 10, 2016
The Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville, MD

- Diamonds in the Rough Conference
September 23-24
Pooks Hill Marriott, Bethesda, MD.
More Information.

- 2016 State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education October 21, 2016 
George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland (Baltimore County). Keep track registration information here.

- NAGC's (National Association for Gifted Children's) 63rd National Conference
November 3-6, 2016
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Information and Registration

Ongoing Resources
Weekly Study Skills Classes – The StudyPro is offering 5-session classes weekly to help students better plan, initiate, manage and complete work.  Class times and dates by grade.  McLean, VA.  Register.

Interested in getting together with other parents of gifted and distractible children in a safe and confidential setting to discuss unique challenges and accomplishments that gifted children bring to families?  As a SENG certified parent group facilitator, Julie will start a Parent Empowerment Group in Maryland based on interest. Please email her if you are interested and specify whether you prefer morning or evening.
If you like what you see in our Newsletter, please share widely!
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