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Educators: Scholarships offered for SMU Lecture: Anxiety in Gifted and 2e Youth

March 1, 2011

Click here to apply for an educator scholarship for this event.

Application for scholarship is due: March 11, 2011
Eligibility requirements:
1) CISD educator
2) member of CGA

Taming the Worry Monster: Anxiety in Gifted and 2e Youth
April 13, 2011
Presented by Dr. Dan Peters

Those of us who teach, parent, and/or counsel gifted youth are keenly aware of their intensities, sensitivities, intuitiveness, ability to think abstractly, connect divergent concepts, and seemingly innate ability to detect, and struggle with, contradictions in the world. As many individuals seem to be experiencing increased worry, fear, and anxiety about the state our economy and individual and collective futures, gifted children, because their aforementioned characteristics seem to be especially vulnerable to feeling anxious. Further, gifted youth who have exceptionalities or challenges, such as a learning, processing, social and/or attention issues, experience additional adversity, and thus worry in school due to their less developed abilities. The main problem with anxiety, besides being extremely uncomfortable, is that it often prevents our gifted kids from maximizing their potentials and fully living.

Gifted kids can be taught about how anxiety works in their brain and body, and how they can use simple and effective strategies to minimize the impact of their worry, often overcoming it altogether. Armed with knowledge about their brain, they learn that their thoughts produce the awful feelings, and that they can identify, challenge, and modify their anxious thoughts, making them more healthy and adaptive. They are then encouraged to practice, rather than avoid the thing that makes them feel anxious because the more they do something, even something scary, the more they will get used to it, and the more comfortable they will feel. In sum, anxiety is a bully that often keeps our gifted kids from fully developing, performing, and living.

In this workshop, participants will learn: (1) The components of the brain and body responsible for the fear and relaxation response (2) the characteristics of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) youth that make them more susceptible to anxiety (3) to identify symptoms and behaviors associated with different types of anxiety (4) the role of thinking in determining emotions and behavior (5) cognitive and behavioral strategies for managing and overcoming anxiety (6) to develop creative anxiety reduction and management plans for students.

Dr. Dan Peters, licensed psychologist, is Co-founder and Clinical Director of the Summit Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) children, adolescents, and families. He presents regularly at state and national conferences on anxiety, twice-exceptional individuals (2e), and a variety of gifted issues. Dr. Peters serves on the SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Editorial Board, and consults with GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) and Special Education Departments. He is also Co-founder and Co-director of Camp Summit for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative – a residential summer camp. Dr. Peters’ clinical interests include the diagnosis and misdiagnosis of gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) individuals, overcoming anxiety, and helping individuals achieve their developmental potential.

6 hours — Social/Emotional Needs

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