#041 Perfectionism, Diagnosis and her New Book with Emily Kircher-Morris
Today we talk to Emily Kircher-Morris about perfectionism, getting diagnosed (and whether we tell our kids) and her recently published book, Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Todays’ Classroom.
Hit play and let’s get started!
“To me, perfectionism is an anxiety based response to feeling as though there’s an expectation that somebody is not going to live up to, but that can look like a lot of different things.” – Emily Kircher-Morris
“[Perfectionism] doesn’t always look like somebody who is an overachiever or somebody who is constantly, trying to get all straight A’s. It can look like that, but it can also look like somebody who is avoidant, in their approach to tasks or somebody who really is just worried about how other people perceive them, and so then they try to mask or hide what might be perceived as deficits.” – Emily Kircher-Morris
“My thought is that a child can’t self-advocate unless they know what’s going on [being gifted/2E]… And I think what we’re really doing [when we don’t tell them] is we’re sending the message that it’s something to be ashamed of… [when] It’s not better than, or less than, it’s just different.” – Emily Kircher-Morris
- Teaching Twice-Exceptional Leaners – a book by Emily Kircher-Morris
- About Emily Kircher-Morris
- The Neurodiversity Podcast
Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a neurodivergent person, is dedicated to destigmatizing neurodiversity and supporting neurodivergent people of all ages. Originally starting as a teacher and is now a licensed professional counsellor, specializing in supporting neurodivergent kids and adults (and their families).
The author of two books related to the development of children and teens who are neurodivergent and cognitively gifted. “Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom” (Free Spirit Publishing, 2021) focuses on supporting 2e learners in the educational setting, and “Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted Kids” (Routledge, 01/22) is a guide for parents navigating the world of twice-exceptionality.
Emily hosts The Neurodiversity Podcast, speaks at state-wide, national, and international conferences and frequently provides virtual and in-person professional development to educators, mental health clinicians, and parents worldwide.
[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: I’d like to welcome to the podcast. Emily Kertscher Morris, counselor, educator, author, host of the neurodiversity podcast, twice exceptional and mom of two kids.
[00:00:11] She’s got it all going on. It’s a delight to have you joining us
[00:00:14] Emily Kircher-Morris: today. Welcome Emily. No, thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. It
[00:00:19] Sophia Elliott: really is a delight. And today we’re going to talk about your recently published book, teaching twice exceptional learners in today’s classroom. And thank you for sending me a preview copy.
[00:00:30] This may have been an awkward conversation if it wasn’t so incredibly fabulous and I can genuinely thank you for writing a truly awesome book and coming to talk to us about it. I think firstly, I wanted to. Get out of the way, all the things I loved about the
[00:00:47] Emily Kircher-Morris: book.
[00:00:47] Sophia Elliott: Firstly, and probably this is going to sound kind of obvious, but I love that it’s up to date on everything.
[00:00:54] It feels like the latest, research and information on all of this sort of teaching twice exceptional kids. And I say that because when you go looking for resources, so many of them. I feel, uh, a bit out of date or were written 10, 20, 30 years ago. So it’s really lovely to have a very current modern kind of take on everything and, talking about where we’re at and what we know as of now, because it has moved a lot in the last, even 5, 10, 15 years, hasn’t it?
[00:01:30] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah. Yeah. I think. And there are some excellent resources out there, but. A lot of the work that is out there is written by people who are academics or they are, they haven’t been in the classroom or in the counseling office in years. And so, yeah, that was definitely something that I wanted to do.
[00:01:49] And even now there are things that I’m like already going, oh my gosh, I wish I, when did we do the next edition? I already went to things to update. Yes.
[00:01:59] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, I’ll bet. And it’s lovely that, you now have this amazing, very thorough resource that you can do future additions and keep updating.
[00:02:06] And it is very thorough. It, you talk about how do identify to each student’s independent learning plans, accommodations, modifications, interventions. I love that you include all sorts of checklists for recognizing different to learners. You’ve got. Worksheets and checklists for accommodation needs, screeners, all sorts of principle, practical things that teachers can use.
[00:02:32] That was obviously very deliberate. And I guess, co came from your teaching experience, making it easy for people. Yeah. There’s lots of case studies, which I think is a really great way of seeing, right. What does this look like in the real world? What we’re talking about? I love that you’ve lived.
[00:02:49] Each exceptionality through the lens of giftedness, which sounds pretty obvious in a book about two or three kids, but it can be really hard to find that information that looks at ADHD or autism through that gifted lens, because it does change things. Doesn’t it like? Oh,
[00:03:08] Emily Kircher-Morris: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so often kids are missed because we see only the gifts and, or the flip side, we see only the struggles, but it does, you have to look at it through that lens of giftedness because it does influence greatly.
[00:03:27] How those other identifications, other types of neurodivergents manifest.
[00:03:33] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Hugely important. And as a parent, it can be really hard to find professionals let alone teachers who have that understanding of not just what giftedness looks like, but what. ADHD, autism looks like when you’re also gifted.
[00:03:46] So it’s great that you’ve got so much detailed information about that. And also like checklists and worksheets and different things. I also love that it’s written for. Very strengths based point of view or approach and a very neurodiversity affirming position. Can you talk a little bit about
[00:04:05] Emily Kircher-Morris: that?
[00:04:06] Yeah. So for so long, different types of neuro divergence have been actually, let me rephrase that. Any type of differences. Related to development, whether we’re talking about giftedness, ADHD, autism, dyslexia, whatever, have been pathologized for a really long time. And we often went to diagnose them, medicate them, fix them without recognizing that there are strengths that come along with this, just because a child or a person.
[00:04:50] Operates differently in the world than what perhaps a majority of other people do doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that. And I am a firm believer that. When we, as a society, put kids in an environment where they feel like they are not able to be authentic, the gifted child who has to hide their ability, the ADHD, or who is afraid to fidget, because they’re worried that’s going to be, perceived in a certain way.
[00:05:21] The autistic kid who is just frantically. Trying to fit in and make friendships. Even though that’s maybe something that doesn’t come as naturally to them. And so they’re trying to hide certain parts of themselves that is just a really traumatic way for kids to go through life. And I really believe that we need to adjust our expectations.
[00:05:49] And adjust the environments where we put that we put kids in order to allow them to flourish. And so say for example you have a twice exceptional kid who’s gifted and who is autistic and they have a lot of sensory needs. And one of their sensory needs is to pace while they’re thinking this is a really common one, or they, or they do certain things maybe with their hands that kind of help them regulate their emotions.
[00:06:18] Just because that is different. Why in the world would we try to keep them from doing that? Like why can’t we accommodate that and make the space in the classroom for a student to pace back and forth while they’re working something out or let them know that? Yeah, absolutely. If when you get excited and you’re winning a game and you like to wave your hands back, do that, it’s not a problem with them. It’s a problem with the way we perceive it. And we judge people. And so when I was writing this book and when I work with my clients and I’m working from a strengths-based approach, I feel like. There might be areas that we need to work on. Maybe we need to work on emotional regulation.
[00:06:59] Maybe we need to work on social communication executive functioning skills, like whatever that is, that’s fine. But let’s also not deny the fact that when we harness those abilities, And use those as the jumping off point to support those. First of all, we’ll be much better off. And also when we bring the kids into the process and collaborate with them and make sure that we’re not trying to fix something that isn’t really a problem.
[00:07:25] We empower them to be who they are and that’s just really a powerful experience for kids.
[00:07:32] Sophia Elliott: And I think the real, lesson there is. , it doesn’t have to be that way to know where we have. We have the power to change the way that we approach these things for the benefit of everyone and yeah.
[00:07:47] And to give all kids that opportunity to acknowledge their strengths and. And then let them thrive and build on those strengths because new neurodiversity brings an awful lot of strengths with it, as well as the challenges. And I think you touch on both of those things really well throughout the book for teachers and in a great deal of detail.
[00:08:09] There are chapters in the second part of the book that look at. A bunch of different neuro diversity’s like ADHD, autism anxiety, and a bunch of other things in great detail. I think that’s really helpful to see, the challenges, but also the strengths and different ways of approaching that for children that are going to build them up.
[00:08:28] Rather than just make them feel broken. And I think that’s a really nice tone, supportive, comforting, positive tone throughout the book, just, and like you say, it’s that normalizing neurodiversity and actually just. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. There’s a whole bunch of people out there, like more than we acknowledge or realize that on your diverse, this is actually a normal thing.
[00:08:51] And those differences really aren’t so great. It’s just seeing them for what they are and making people feel. Welcome and comfortable in whoever they are. And yeah, I think it’s a really lovely thing throughout the book and that definitely recommend it for the teachers. And as a parent, I got an awful lot out of it, but you are doing a book for parents, which is out in January.
[00:09:15] So we will definitely have a chat about that one. I’m looking forward to seeing that one as well. I imagine it’s going to be very thorough as well. So. Hold fire parents. I mean, by all means rush out and buy the teacher one. It is fabulous, but there’s a parent one coming.
[00:09:31] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah. So the way this book is structured, the first half of it is just. A variety of strategies and topics that we need to think about and use to support two kids. So what are their social and emotional needs? What are, you know, what, how do we help them with goal setting and motivation and all of those things?
[00:09:50] And then the second part is each of those chapters, like you mentioned, has a different diagnosis. That’s specified in how that looks in a gifted child. The parenting book is a little bit. So I don’t go into as much the details for each diagnosis. I do a little bit, but not as thoroughly as I do in this book, but so I have different sections there.
[00:10:10] So like how to talk to your child about twice exceptionality, how to collaborate with the school. And then I break it down into basically a chapter, the five skills that I think all two kids need and how parents can help support those. So we talk about. Emotional regulation executive functioning skills self-advocacy harnessing motivation and then appropriate and positive communication skills.
[00:10:37] And so the, and I just go into specifics about how parents can help support those skills, because I felt like those were things that were broad enough to apply to all twice exceptional kids, but it was hard to figure out how do I frame this because. You could have a book, an entire book about gifted autistic kids.
[00:10:54] You could have an entire, it’s like there’s so much there. So I’m trying to figure out how and where to narrow it down was difficult. So my point is, though, if there’s somebody who is really interested in how those diagnoses look, especially in a school setting with giftedness, this is the one.
[00:11:10] And then the other one we’ll focus a little bit differently on skills that parents can help. Excellent.
[00:11:15] Sophia Elliott: So it sounds like the two great resources, even like side-by-side and as I said, I certainly got tons out of it as a parent, and I’m looking forward to getting my hard copy and, earmarking pages and whatnot.
[00:11:29] So we’re going to have a little dive into perfectionism today and have a little chat about that. But first of all, there was one question I wanted to ask you that you talk about in the book and that is, should parents be worried? Over-diagnosing the gifted kids, because this does come up. I’ve heard this a number of times parents are like, I know my kid is gifted.
[00:11:52] I know something else is going on. I’m worried about labels. And I’m just worried about all those different diagnosis, but what’s your view on this?
[00:12:04] Emily Kircher-Morris: My. Thought is that a child can’t self-advocate unless they know what’s going on. , first of all, there is often a lot of talk in the gifted world about misdiagnosis of gifted kids.
[00:12:22] And I think this is a concern, of course We see, a teacher who has a gifted child in their classroom, who is bored and might be not really engaged somebody who is untrained and doesn’t understand what giftedness really looks like. Might think that child is having an attention, uh, difficulties with focus and attention.
[00:12:41] A parent who doesn’t necessarily know I don’t know, kind of similar things like what those characteristics might look like might misinterpret some of those things. However, research really doesn’t bear out that gifted individuals are being over-diagnosed with any particular. Identification. And I think the reason that we have this idea that is happening is because people who are not necessarily, like I said, not necessarily as trained.
[00:13:09] So teachers who don’t really know a lot about it might see it and go, oh, well, I think it’s this. But ultimately when people are going through a full evaluation, those numbers, aren’t coming up, we’re not seeing that. I think more than anything, if you’re having a concern, like look into it and it might just be giftedness that needs some other supports, but it might be that your kid’s twice exceptional and having that language de-stigmatizing that diagnosis normalizing it and just saying, listen, this is what it is, very.
[00:13:43] Parents don’t really worry too much about telling their child that they’re gifted. Some do. I mean, I’m not, you know, but, but I think in general, it’s like we don’t really worry about having that conversation because societaly, that’s okay. Like that’s an acceptable, unacceptable label to have, but we’re so worried about telling a child that, The brain is wired in a way that is autistic or, has some attention issues.
[00:14:12] And I think what we’re really doing is we’re sending the message that that’s something to be ashamed of. And we’re also creating a sense of helplessness because we’re, it’s like it’s out of their control. It’s just this thing that they can’t really understand, but when we just are very direct about it, This is how your brain works.
[00:14:34] These are the things that you’re really good at. Yeah. You’re an ADHD or you are super creative and have all of this divergent thinking, that is just so amazing. And that is a strength that you have. And that’s also part of the reason why it’s hard for you to focus because your brain is always going in these different directions.
[00:14:49] It’s not better than, or less than it’s just different. You know yeah. You’re, you are you’re autistic. That means that, you prefer to have really deep, meaningful relationships with people, and it’s not important to you to have all the little small talk stuff and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.
[00:15:06] But there might be situations where you have to deal with a small talk. How do we want to help you manage that? And if we want kids to self-advocate, if we want kids to be empowered, I think just taking a very matter of fact approach to it is important. And I think also because giftedness so often masks these other disabilities.
[00:15:28] We often lose time to be proactive and provide supports for kids. So don’t hesitate if you have concerns. I remember a family that I was talking with and a parent. And they came to me when their child was in fifth grade and he was gifted and it was like all of a sudden he was just really struggling and I was able to, so I don’t do a lot of I don’t do like a full psychological evaluation.
[00:15:56] Like I do more of the counseling side of things, like the therapy side of things. But anyway, we talked, they went and got an evaluation. Their child was identified as gifted and autistic. They went back and they were talking to the teachers and the teacher said, oh yeah. I knew I could see that. And the parents were like, why didn’t you ever say anything?
[00:16:14] But it was because the parents were worried about how it was going to be perceived. I’m sorry, the teachers were worried about how the parents would perceive that information. But we lost so much time to support that kid when he was young, because we didn’t have the information.
[00:16:28] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And I hear that as quite a common thing.
[00:16:31] And. Yeah, I would just encourage, the grownups in a child’s life to be brave enough to have those conversations, because it’s like you say, you miss out on years of opportunity to provide that support and understanding. And I’ve not met a single adult who has had a diagnosis as an adult who hasn’t been relieved and all of a sudden their life makes sense.
[00:16:59] And who has been like, I wish I knew this sooner as a kid, I would have known who I was, I could have got help. There’s not a single adult I’ve met who hasn’t wished that. You know, let’s learn from that. And. And make those inquiries. If we’ve got a gut feeling, and if you’ve got suspicions about a student, just having an honest conversation, they can feel tricky, but it might have significant change because that kid is struggling one way or another, not knowing that and not getting those supports.
[00:17:33] So I thought that was a really important sort of. Initial conversation. And I love that you have that conversation in the book for teachers and anyone reading the book to, to have a look at. So you also talk about, and you’ve already mentioned sort of social and emotional wellbeing and a part of that.
[00:17:51] You go into quite a bit of detail around perfectionism. And so I thought it would be nice to have a little. A little deep dive into that during the podcast, because it’s another issue that comes up a lot with parents trying to figure out what is going on with their kid. So first of all, like what is perfectionism?
[00:18:12] Emily Kircher-Morris: I think perfectionism is a really important topic and I think that it is often misunderstood. I know. So to me, perfectionism is it’s an anxiety based response.
[00:18:26] To feeling as though there’s an expectation that somebody is not going to live up to, but that can look like a lot of different things. I think sometimes parents are shocked when you might be talking about their child, who is. Not only a mess like at home and has all of these things and is maybe also having difficulty getting their homework turned in.
[00:18:50] When you talk about the fact that it’s some perfectionism that’s maybe father like, like feeding some of that. But it doesn’t always look like somebody who is. And overachiever or somebody who is constantly, trying to get all straight A’s. It can look like that, but it can also look like somebody who is avoidant, in their approach to tasks or somebody who really is.
[00:19:16] Just worried about how other people perceive them, and so then they try to mask or hide what might be perceived as deficits. So, yeah, I think it’s a really, a really important piece that a lot of times we see, especially in twice exceptional kids, because they often are so cognitively strong, then they have these areas of deficits that don’t live up to it.
[00:19:36] And so that’s really a weird disconnect for them. And that can be really frustrating.
[00:19:43] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And so I can totally imagine, there’s this sort of stereotype of perfectionism, a child who maybe looks neat has a very neat room, achieves, highly and really yeah, works at that.
[00:19:58] Possibly not in a healthy way, but it doesn’t always have to look like that. It can be the kid with the messy room, the kid who’s avoiding tasks and they’re voiding them because if they can’t do them perfectly, they don’t want to do them. That kind of that kind of thing in your book, which I thought was really.
[00:20:16] Helpful way of looking at it is you talk about perfection and Islam as being the denial of any vulnerability. So they, and then this is a little quote from your book. They fear that any errors that make, that they make will be seen and judged negatively by. This perceived judgment triggers, shame, which causes stress.
[00:20:39] So it’s this idea that if I don’t do it perfectly, other people are going to think badly of me and I will feel shame and I’m going to get really stressed and anxious about that because who can live up to that and shame. And I love that you. Quoted Renee brown there being a big Renee brown fat shame. Is that kind of idea that I am broken, not just, I did something that wasn’t great, so I think as parents, it’s really helpful to know those root causes and as teachers.
[00:21:15] And I love that you go into that quite a bit in the book. So how can we help Al our T E students or our children overcome these sort of perfectionistic tendencies. And we know that it looked like can look like a bunch of different things. How do we help them work through. Yeah.
[00:21:34] Emily Kircher-Morris: You know, I, I think there are a variety of things that we can do just as far as normalizing making mistakes or not being perfect.
[00:21:45] I think that gifted kids specifically. Sometimes because I mean, you know, gifted kids, all of a sudden, it’s like they’re four and they’re reading and nobody has taught them how to read or whatever the situation is, they learn these things almost through osmosis. It’s like without ever being taught these things.
[00:22:05] But because of that, In the academic setting, they internalize this message that learning is easy and that they’re smart. And so then if things aren’t easy, then they interpret that as meaning that they are no longer smart. And so we have to really undo a lot of that. We have to help kids understand that it is the process that is more important than the outcome.
[00:22:32] It’s not about the grade as much as it is. What you did and learned, as you were, as you were going through. So I find sometimes. Gifted or twice exceptional kids, when you give them an assignment or a project that has a very open-ended answer, it’s very ambiguous. They might panic and freeze.
[00:22:53] They would prefer something very straightforward, like a math problem. Give me a math problem that has a right or wrong answer that way. I know that it’s correct. I’m not really taking any risks. You know, we can help them. Identify some areas to take some risks and we can help them. You know, just really take some of those chances.
[00:23:10] I think also. Being able to disclose our own imperfections. Sometimes kids have this idea that adults somehow have it all together and oh, how true that isn’t and it’s like, no, no, we’re not perfect. So, you know, and, and just normalizing that and talking to them about it, I think is really helpful. And then the other part of it is just really encouraging.
[00:23:33] Self-advocacy. How do you ask for help? Who do you ask for help from it’s? What is. There’s nothing that should hold you back. And a lot of times the thing that is holding them back is that perfectionism, that, that belief that I should be able to do this on my own. And helping them just know where to turn and encouraging that self-advocacy is, is huge.
[00:23:56] You know, as they go forward
[00:23:59] Sophia Elliott: that last bit really resonated with me. And it’s something that I have worked on growing through over the years is that idea that you have to do everything yourself. And it’s like, because you can usually, if you, if you figure it out, you can figure it out.
[00:24:15] And you know, there’s this expectation. You’ve got to do it by yourself. If you don’t have to. And there’s a huge lesson there in just knowing actually you don’t have to do it by yourself. You just because you could there’s that there’s so much to be gained from working with other people and learning from other people.
[00:24:34] And so there’s a few really tangible things there. So that looking at the process over the end result and talking to our kids about the journey, rather than like you say, the grade at the end of the day that reflection on making mistakes, modeling that as a parent, , my daughter loves frankly, anything with wheels, skateboards, but a bike for her birthday.
[00:25:03] She’s just writing that down ramps now. And she got roller skates for Christmas and I, so I thought I still like roller skating as a kid and I got a pair as well. We’ve been going to the roller skate rink that fairly regular. And I, as a part of that was like, I’m actually going to show my kids, me learning something and practicing.
[00:25:27] Cause we talked a lot about practicing. Because that’s been one of our barriers as a family to work through and learning to skate backwards. It’s you know, I practice that. I couldn’t do it straight away. So that modeling thing I think is really important because I don’t think we take time out enough as parents to, spend enough time.
[00:25:47] Doing our own thing, quite frankly, let alone learning something
[00:25:50] Emily Kircher-Morris: new. So yeah. And showing it to our kids as we’re doing it, like talking about the process, just being really explicit with it. I think actually, yeah, that’s such a good example of a way to really model that for kids. And I think the other thing sometimes that we forget as parents very bright kids We forget that sometimes we just really need to be explicit with things because they pick up on so many things.
[00:26:12] So automatically we forget that sometimes we just need to backtrack and like, okay, they’re kids. We need to really like yes. Outline specifically. Yeah. Spell it out. And I think especially for twice exceptional kids who maybe don’t know what they don’t know, that’s, that’s huge. I think sometimes we jumped to conclusion.
[00:26:29] With neurodivergent kids. It’s like, why did you do X, Y, and Z? Because to us as common sense, it doesn’t make sense. But to them, they really probably might not know. They really might need us to just step in and tell them like, well, here’s what was happening in that situation. And here’s maybe what was maybe an expected way to respond.
[00:26:49] And a lot of times when I talk to kids and just do that from a very nonjudgmental place, they’re like, oh, didn’t know that we’ll continue to take
[00:26:57] Sophia Elliott: that into account. So lately I think there’s a thing. I assumed knowledge, it’s you know, go put your laundry away, go put your clothes on.
[00:27:05] It’s kind of like, well, how do you put clothes away? You know, the process of putting clothes away and breaking that down. And one of my kids in particular, I think executive functioning is a bit of a challenge. And so. I’m trying to be conscious as a parent, that when I’m asking them to do something, it’s kind of like, and this is what, what that means.
[00:27:27] We, we make a pile, we put things in piles. We find where they go and really talking through that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s just the roller skating. Experience has been really good because we had the opportunity I sent you out. I always wanted to skate backwards. Let’s go ask, do you want to do that?
[00:27:47] And she was like, yeah. So I’m like, well, let’s go ask someone for some tips. It’s a really lovely place we go to. So we got some tips and every now and then an experienced skater will just kind of go, yeah. Try this, and so it’s that constant being of mega of accepting help from others, gracefully and willingly and, and learning.
[00:28:09] So it’s been really good. Yeah.
[00:28:11] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah. Well, and I think the other thing that’s really good about doing it in that environment is that that’s a really, it’s a low stakes and a fun experience rather than something that is actually. Or whatever the situation is. And so it makes it a lot easier to show that vulnerability for your, for your child to, to, because there’s not this perceived expectation that they’re already supposed to know how to do that.
[00:28:34] And I think for gifted kids, that’s what they see in the classroom is like, they, they have this, they feel like. I should know how to do these things, even though I haven’t never been taught how to do it. And so, but then being able to generalize that and, and make those connections back to the classroom, it’s really
[00:28:48] Sophia Elliott: powerful.
[00:28:49] Yeah, absolutely. And for us, it’s given us something to refer back to because my son set some challenges around skateboarding and now, it provides us that opportunity to say, do you remember when you couldn’t do. And now you can and and what did you need to do to get from not being able to do it, to do it.
[00:29:07] And, we can have those conversations, uh,
[00:29:12] Emily Kircher-Morris: I talk in the book about goal vaulting. I don’t know if you, if you caught that part, it’s a term that was coined. I believe by Dr. Jim Webb. Who’s now passed away, but go vaulting is something that, that bright kids often do where they set a goal for themselves.
[00:29:25] And then as they approach that goal, they raise the bar. And so they, this is also goes into that perfectionism piece where they often feel like they’re never accomplishing anything because every time they get. They raise the stakes and they have the, and they forget all of those little itty-bitty steps that it took them to get to that point.
[00:29:45] And so I think that, again, that kind of goes along with, they learn things really automatically and naturally. And so they don’t really notice those things, but we need to bring it to their attention.
[00:29:55] Sophia Elliott: Yes, absolutely. That’s so interesting because probably not that long ago for me personally, I, I realized.
[00:30:05] When you actually reach a goal, the importance of stopping and celebrating, because then it completes that loop and cycle. And so if you’re constantly changing the goal and never actually achieving an outcome and therefore never celebrating the outcome, Man, that’s just going to get exhausting.
[00:30:23] Why would you strive for anything? So,
[00:30:26] Emily Kircher-Morris: yeah, that’s a recipe for burnout. It is,
[00:30:29] Sophia Elliott: right? Yeah, absolutely. So I love that kind of consciously sticking to one goal, celebrating that and then sure. Adding a new goal afterwards, but kind of making that concrete, celebration
[00:30:42] Emily Kircher-Morris: point. Yeah, I agree. I agree. And I, and that could go for a variety of areas in life, but I think that that’s also just part of.
[00:30:49] It’s like a little bit of self care too, like, like being able to take that moment and just reflect on that and, not just, not just continuing to spin your wheels.
[00:30:59] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I really liked that in the book, you have the asking for help worksheet for students.
[00:31:06] So just, a worksheet there for a variety of different ages just to help with that narrative around. Figuring out where a student is at and that guidance, therefore teachers or parents, if they’re looking at that too, how to have those conversations around perfectionism, and I love that you include that very practical help throughout the book.
[00:31:28] And, and briefly. It all you also go into, you’ve mentioned sections on anxiety, but also that existential depression, self-injury suicidal thoughts. And these are scary kind of topics for parents, but very real. You know, possible, journeys for many parents, unfortunately, that I know they gifted child, at a really young age, well under 10 or having these, existential depression, self-injury suicidal sort of thoughts.
[00:32:03] So it’s, I think I love that you’ve included that in there as a. Challenge with this demographic.
[00:32:11] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Something to watch for and be aware of and, and recognize that it’s not all kids, but part of that is developmentally. I mean, the easiest way to understand this is that gifted kids understand that the concept of death at a much younger age, Like they understand the concrete nature of it, the universality of it.
[00:32:35] And so, but they don’t have the life experience behind them to manage those emotions. And that can be really overwhelming. I mean, it’s overwhelming as an adult. And so, sometimes kids just, aren’t always quite sure where to go with all of that. And you know, I think again, but normalizing the, talking about it, not being afraid to address it head-on is one of the best things that we can do to support them.
[00:33:01] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And I think providing some guidance there for teachers and parents about what might be behind. So like for example, self-injury all that, suicidal thoughts Just providing some direction, of course, while also getting some concrete professional assistance, because they can be very intense periods where you do need that sort of third party help.
[00:33:29] Yeah. So you just cover some wonderful topics. It’s a really is a wonderful resource. Congratulations on writing. I think what a nice way to wrap up would be there’s a quote at the end of the book which is we need to start looking at individuals who have succeeded because of their difference instead of despite them.
[00:33:49] And I think that really. Sums up the tone that you’ve got throughout the book, which is lovely and a big list of people who are new ideas that we might all recognize. There’s a lot of people out
[00:34:02] Emily Kircher-Morris: there. Yeah. And probably more that we don’t know. I mean, I think they say, what is it? Something like one in 50 ish people are identified as autistic right now.
[00:34:14] And so, I mean, and maybe even more, I think there are a lot of. I think there are a lot of people who go undiagnosed with a lot of types of neurodiversity.
[00:34:23] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it helps our kids to have that normalizing conversation and even recognize sort of celebrities and people out there doing wonderful things.
[00:34:35] Not despite of it, but because of it, because of all those wonderful strengths that come along with it.
[00:34:40] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah,
[00:34:40] Sophia Elliott: definitely. So thank you so much for chatting with us today. It’s. It’s been really lovely to sit and talk to you and, and have a great conversation about perfectionism and everything people can find in your new book.
[00:34:54] Emily Kircher-Morris: Yeah. Thank you so much for, for having me. It’s been a great talk.
[00:34:58] Sophia Elliott: Thanks