In this episode, we’re talking to Deborah Gennarelli about gifted and twice exceptional (2E) boys. A great episode unpacking those dangerous myths about gifted boys, diving into what makes them different, and providing real hands-on strategies to walk away with.
Memorable quote… “
“I’ve particularly noticed, with the boys that I worked with, the emotional intensity. So these students think and feel deeply and often differently than other children. This is especially true for 2E boys who are wrestling with the fact that they’re gifted, but they also feel inadequate or shame or other negative emotions. And I saw that with all the boys that I wrote about. They knew they were really smart, but then they started questioning, “Am I really smart?” – Deborah Gennarelli
An experienced educator and gifted intervention specialist, Deborah Gennarelli has a master’s degree in gifted education and her passion has been recognised by Teacher of the Year awards in three different school districts as well as an “All-County Teacher” award.
As a gifted intervention specialist, she developed gifted education programs in several districts and now also consults; providing professional development on topics relevant to gifted children and supporting parents and students. A national speaker on the identification and support of gifted and 2e children, Deborah has also written the newly released, ‘Twice Exceptional Boys: A Roadmap to Getting it Right’.
She is currently co-writing a second book about neurodiversity in adults and is a member of NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children), OAGC (Ohio Association for Gifted Children, and SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
[00:00:00] Hello. And welcome back to the podcast. I’m excited this week to be talking to Deb generally,
who is a gifted intervention specialist, gifted educator and advocate.
And also author of twice exceptional boys, a roadmap to getting it right. And in this episode, we talk about gifted boys and twice exceptional boys and some of the very unique and complex. Additional challenges.
That we might experience as parents or as educators of these amazing little people.
I’ve always felt that it is really important to understand gifted boys As a distinct group of people. Because there’s so much about what is inherently gifted. That is expressed. When you’re a boy. Or a man, I think that contradicts so much of what has been considered traditional masculinity.
And in this [00:01:00] episode, it’s really nice to talk to Deb about androgyny and how that expresses for gifted boys. We talk about. The complexity, their sense of justice.
And we really dive into a bit of a case study because I’ve always felt that. It’s in hearing. Other people’s stories that we. Are able to see our own story. And so we have a fabulous conversation about some of the boys that she writes about in her book.
We talk a lot in the gifted community about the special supports and accommodations that are gifted kids needed and are gifted adults as well. And in this conversation, I really feel like we get to walk away with some concrete. Opportunities to reframe our understanding and reframe our approaches. That might actually lead to. Introducing and expanding on some of those sorts of supports and [00:02:00] accommodations that are gifted boys need. They certainly are. Uh, a unique group of people. Just as gifted girls are. And of course, all of our gifted children and adults who are non binary and may express their gender in other ways.
And it’s really important for us to understand. All of these groups within that are gifted in your idea of edging communities.
And for our boys in particular. As people who are very likely to externalize their feelings and be caught out in that.
Narrative about bad behavior and being naughty And all these other negative narratives. It’s a real opportunity for us to reframe that. And have a look at what’s going on underneath. So it’s a wonderful opportunity today to listen to Deb, talk about her book and her work and her understanding of boys and why this is such an important topic. And certainly as a parent of two boys, it was [00:03:00] wonderful to really unpack that and lead to a great understanding. Of of my kids and how I can support them more and how I might look at things differently as a parent. So, thank you so much, Deb, for joining us for this episode, it was so lovely to have you on the show. And I’m excited to be sharing this with, uh, with you all the listeners. I hope you love the episode. If you’re enjoying our gifted kids, please leave a review or give us some stars. That’d be lovely. It helps other people find us. If you’re wanting to dive in a bit deeper, we do have a membership. We have a course. Uh, or you can join us on social media on Instagram or Facebook. Check out those links in the show notes and have a wonderful week. And I hope you enjoyed the episode.
Sophia Elliott: [00:04:00] Hello and welcome to today’s podcast. I am very excited to be introducing you to Deb Generali, a gifted educator and author.
Sophia Elliott: Deb has worked from kindergarten to grade 12 as a gifted intervention specialist. She’s got a master’s degree in gifted from Kent State Universities and is such an awesome educator that she has been teacher of the year numerous times in different school districts and all county teacher award for her efforts to advance gifted education and secure two considerable technology grants.
Sophia Elliott: As a gifted intervention specialist, she develops gifted education programs in several districts. [00:05:00] To ensure that smart students are offered a variety of options to meet their needs in school, ranging from curriculum compacting, mentorships, and acceleration. She’s now a gifted consultant with her company’s SMART strategies and provides professional development on topics relevant to gifted children.
Sophia Elliott: She also speaks nationally about identification and the support of Gifted and two E Children. But we are here today to talk to Deb about her book. She’s now an author as well called Twice Exceptional Boys, A Roadmap to Getting It Right, which was published just last year. And Deb, I’m incredibly excited to have you on the program.
Sophia Elliott: Welcome.
Deb Gennarelli: Thank you, Sophia. I am so happy to be here. And thank you for the opportunity to talk about Twice Exceptional
Sophia Elliott: Boys let’s get started by sharing with us a little bit. How did you get into gifted education? [00:06:00]
Deb Gennarelli: Great question. So I began my teaching career as a kindergarten teacher and right outta high school, I always knew I wanted to teach.
Deb Gennarelli: And so after about five years of teaching in the regular classroom, I noticed that the really high potential kids in my classrooms were the ones not getting quite what they needed. It seemed like all my other students were doing well. Even my students who were struggling to be on grade level were doing well, but my high potential kids were not doing well.
Deb Gennarelli: So after about seven years or so I decided to go into gifted education. And began working as a gifted intervention specialist. Not all schools in America have gifted specialists. It just depends on the school district’s needs funding and how they wanna service their high potential kids.
Deb Gennarelli: So I’ve been very fortunate. The states that [00:07:00] I’ve taught in had gifted programs in most of their schools. So I was very fortunate to work with gifted kids K through 12 and their families, and I never looked back. It’s a passion of mine and most of my 40 year career is in gifted ed. I’m, I’m extremely passionate about it.
Deb Gennarelli: And fight’s exceptionality is another passion that began long ago because not only did the gifted kids in the classroom, Tend to struggle, but the twice exceptional kids weren’t even identified for many reasons. And we’ll talk about that today. So it’s, it’s been a passion and even though I’m not in a regular classroom anymore or in a school district teaching directly with kids I am now consulting with parents teachers, administrators.
Deb Gennarelli: I just did an in-service last week in a large school district here in Ohio with about 60 parents on social-emotional needs of gifted kids. And those parents were thirsty [00:08:00] to ask lots of questions that they had not, had not, they had not been answered the way that they, they were hoping to get answers from their school district.
Deb Gennarelli: So those are the kinds of things I’m enjoying now. So I, I’m keeping my hands all in it. I’m just not working directly with kids in the classroom.
Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And it is really important that we have folk like yourself who are there as consultants for us as parents, but also educators to lean into to get your expertise and help a variety of people.
Sophia Elliott: And I have to say like, congratulations on the book. Like it’s, it’s an excellent book. Thank you. I really loved reading it. Some of the things I really liked about it is you, you’ve done it in three parts and one of the sections is you go into four case studies of particular boys who you have worked with over the years and it’s a [00:09:00] really great to get that sense of.
Sophia Elliott: Detail and journey because you, you know, you unpack the child, there’s reflections from parents about those early years and then you talk about like, kinder through grade four and that the journey the child goes on and the ups and downs of that journey. But then also within that is embedded like actions.
Sophia Elliott: So you can really take away from it things that you can do either as a parent or an educator, which I really love. It’s there’s plenty of like, okay, because sometimes you’ll read something and you’re like, okay, that’s great, but where do I go now? And you’ve just got it all through the book, is the way you go now with this and what to do next.
Sophia Elliott: Right. And things to consider. It’s such a useful, it’s almost like a manual, you know, there, there’s so many tips and things in there and I think Right. You know, obviously I love stories and. [00:10:00] You know, and this is why, why I do the podcast because I think it allows us to see like our student or our child within someone else’s story.
Sophia Elliott: And really, as I was reading those 4K studies that, you know, there were components of those boys that resonated, you know, for me and, and my kids. And, and it’s, I think it’s really lovely to be able to see that in others when you’re parenting really complex kiddos. And and I wanted
Deb Gennarelli: to actually Thank you Sophia.
Deb Gennarelli: Yeah.
Sophia Elliott: Yes. Yeah. Well, you know, like writing a book,
Deb Gennarelli: congratulations.
Deb Gennarelli: Thank you. I will just say with those four students of mine that I wrote about, and there are many more like them that I’ve worked with. But I picked those four because I worked with them for many years. You know, they may maybe were identified in first and second grade, and I followed them through sixth, seventh, and eighth grade.
Deb Gennarelli: One of them [00:11:00] I followed all the way through high school. And I’m still in touch with today. I mean, he’s, he’s an adult working in the world. But I would tell different parents you know, hopeful stories about their Tuy boys. Because at the time that they crossed my path, many of these families were struggling, challenged, hopeless.
Deb Gennarelli: They didn’t know where to go. They thought their schools were failing them. They thought their son was going to end up dropping out of school. All kinds of very sad stories. So, One of my, my big purposes for this book was to give hope to parents and teachers who work with gifted kids that there are ways to really help them go from just surviving in school and at home to really thriving at school and at home.
Deb Gennarelli: And that’s the big thing from, from really just let’s not struggle anymore. Let’s start thriving and, and really being happy and successful in school and at home. So those four boys are [00:12:00] still near and dear to my heart.
Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And I love at the end of book, you, there’s actually a reflection from one of the boys now.
Sophia Elliott: Oh, a young man who actually reflects back. Yes. And, and we may have a little look at that later, but I wanted to read Yes. A little passage out of the book, if I may. Yes. Now I opened up, I opened up the book and I’m looking at the first paragraph of the preface. So many years ago in my teaching career, I met a very smart seven year old boy who lit up a room when he entered it. His enthusiasm for learning was contagious.
Sophia Elliott: He could never just sit still and wait for his dozens of questions to be answered. This smart boy was always went after the knowledge he sought with a passion. As the year progressed, I noticed that regular schoolwork became more frustrating and difficult for him. By the time this boy was 10 years old, the shining light in his eyes had glossed over and turned to anger.
Sophia Elliott: [00:13:00] Like that. That’s the first paragraph of the whole book. And I just kind of went, I wanna, I wanna cry. Oh man, this is gonna be good. I know. I’m like, I know. I like, I read that and I was like can I read this out loud without crying? Like, it just, for me, it sums up the entire challenge of parenting to e boys in that one paragraph.
Sophia Elliott: So I was like, oh my God, that’s so, such a powerful statement. And so let’s start with why two E Boys? [00:14:00] Why did you write a book about
Deb Gennarelli: two E Boys? Right. Well, Sophia since I’ve been talking about this book it’s the number one question I get asked. You know, why did I write about boys as compared to girls?
Deb Gennarelli: Why just not twice exceptional gift, you know, kids, boys and girls. It was never my intent to really sit down and, and write about boys. However, when I met that young student you just read about many, many years ago it impacted me a great deal. I would come home and worry about him and stress about him like he was my own child, my own son.
Deb Gennarelli: The interesting thing that happened was the Tuey Boys started coming at me like a deck of cards. You’re passing out cards. I worked with, I worked with twice exceptional girls as well, but the boys were almost four to one. That. You know, teachers, parents, administrators, were coming to me with questions about [00:15:00] these boys.
Deb Gennarelli: So I started doing some research, like, like, why is this happening? I thought I really knew so much as a veteran educator, but I really found out that, you know, I didn’t know so much as I thought I did. So some of the things I found out, and I’m just gonna read a couple things that or talk about a couple things that I wrote about.
Deb Gennarelli: And that is you know, if, if you just Google on your phone I asked parents to do this at the in-service I was doing the other night. If you just Google on your phone, boys in school, the first things that come up, Sophia, are there’s a u s A Today article. Boys are falling behind how schools must change to help young males.
Deb Gennarelli: The next article is from New York Post, why American Boys are Failing at School and Men are Losing In Life. That was a powerful one. And then there’s one boys are falling behind and what can we do about it? And I, I went, whoa, like, why is there nothing good [00:16:00] in these articles? But then I started looking at the fact that when, when the attention for STEM kind of focused on girls, why girls, you know, the gender focus related to STEM education, science, technology, engineering, and math it took a little bit of focus off boys in that they were experiencing some equally troubling issues just like the girls were.
Deb Gennarelli: And then I dug a little deeper and the National Center for Education in America. Recent statistics show that boys are more likely to be suspended from school. They’re expelled two and a half times more than girls. They’re more likely to use illicit drugs. They’re twice as likely to be in a fight at school.
Deb Gennarelli: According to the Center for Disease Control, the suicide right among young males is four times higher than females. And then there’s some, you know, going into minority gifted boys, there is even some more significant and [00:17:00] alarming information. These inequalities cross racial boundaries. Black boys are threatened or injured with a weapon at school more often than white boys.
Deb Gennarelli: Twice as many black boys are expelled from school as white boys and boys from minority and low income backgrounds are underrepresented in gifted education programs and overrepresented in special education. And some high minority in high poverty schools hesitate to provide resources for gifted coursework because they feel like they don’t have enough gifted kids to warrant the course offerings, which is horrible to hear.
Deb Gennarelli: So. I, I kept digging on the topic of boys and then the twice exceptional boys. When, when I left teaching in the classroom, Sophia, I had seven, twice exceptional boys that I was servicing. Seven. I mean, that’s, that’s pretty significant. So I felt like I really had to write about it. You know, I, I’ve heard many writers talk [00:18:00] about, you know, you’re doing the right thing when you, you just have to do it.
Deb Gennarelli: You just have to write about it. You have to take that trip or, or you just, you have to do it. And I, I was so devastated by some of these these facts, these are facts about boys in general in school, and then gifted boys, and then twice exceptional boys. It just kind of gets, it gets more profound as you go.
Deb Gennarelli: And so when I wrote that in the preface. That’s exactly how that young boy was. And all the others that followed behind him were exact, they’re all different boys, all unique, but they all felt the same way. They were so excited about school, they were so happy, their eyes were lit up, but by second grade or so, there was no more light in their eye.
Deb Gennarelli: And that’s, that’s a horrible thing to send a child to school and they don’t wanna be there anymore. So
Sophia Elliott: yeah, that’s devastating, isn’t it? It really is powerful and yes, it [00:19:00] cert, yeah, it certainly resonates with me as a mom of two boys. I have absolutely been in that situation, the, that sort of early year implosion of just that educational space, not meeting needs.
Sophia Elliott: And even with one of my children, having that experience before they even got to school. Like in just like a, a childcare situation. Yes. Which was pretty confronting and, oh, like, so, a number of years ago, I actually went on a quiet, the deep dive into gender equity as a a, you know, a mum at the time I’d had about four years off having, you know, three children and was returning to work and faced all those very typical barriers that you’ve, that yes women face in that situation.
Sophia Elliott: And, you know, naturally, yes, I went on a massive deep dive [00:20:00] into gender equity and the issues and the barriers and, and all sorts of things. And mm-hmm. You know, over the decades there’s been a big focus on gender equity issues, but, But in an attempt to redress that, like fixing the girls or fixing the women as an approach, you know, to try and, you know, balance things.
Sophia Elliott: And I’m using lots of air quotes here in fixing girls and fixing women, right? But then what we actually know now is like, women aren’t winning here, but men aren’t winning here either. You know? Yes, boys. Yes. Girls and boys are not winning. Women and men are not winning. We don’t fix the gender equity issues by focusing on one gender.
Sophia Elliott: No. First of all, we now know gender is not just binary. There are, it’s even more complex. But we, we really need to, and yeah, we really need to focus on how do we support boys [00:21:00] and men. As a way of solving some of those issues for girls and women. But then it’s, you know, it’s a very holistic problem and, and systemic problem.
Sophia Elliott: Yes. So it’s much bigger. So, yes. So I think it’s great that you’ve taken this time and felt compelled to, you know, dig down into this niche of twice exceptional boys within that kind of broader, you know, big picture, you know, challenges Wow. To a cohort of boys who are incredibly bright, but have a range of varying challenges, but also inevitably incredibly sensitive.
Sophia Elliott: Yes. And one of the, actually one of the things in your book that I thought was really interesting, let me just find my notes, was you were actually talking about
Sophia Elliott: Androgyny in gifted boys. Yes. Yes. Being that [00:22:00] combination of traditionally masculine and feminine interests and behaviors and that psychological Yes. Andro androgyny. Tell us a little bit about that. Yes.
Deb Gennarelli: That’s one of those, those topics, Sophia, that I didn’t know a lot about, and when I started researching some information, I, I was, it made so much sense to me as a gifted Yeah.
Deb Gennarelli: Specialist. Yeah. It made so much sense. It’s like that light bulb going off because I have boys who you know, may like to play football or sports, but I have some that, that don’t some that really enjoyed music, played instruments but you know, I had a couple boys who They tried very hard not to show what I say, a feminine side.
Deb Gennarelli: And what I mean by that is some of their interests, some would stereotype as feminine interests, for example, designing clothes. Although some of our best designers are [00:23:00] men, right? Or cooking, and some of ’em are best chefs are men. So, but it’s still a stereotype that particularly when boys are growing up, they need to be more masculine.
Deb Gennarelli: And I talked a little bit about you know, boys should be boys and those types of things particularly in American culture. I’m not sure about Australia, but American culture, boys from a young age are really, you know, generally, you know, you, you need to play athletics and. And by a certain age, you definitely don’t wanna cry.
Deb Gennarelli: And you, you need to really just pull up yourself from your bootstraps and let’s get on with this. And that sensitivity factor that we were talking about is pushed down. I had another student who, from like fifth grade, he was gonna be an actor and he talked to me at length about how much he enjoyed performing in the school plays.
Deb Gennarelli: And he, his mother [00:24:00] actually took him over the summer to some acting camps, I’ll call ’em camps, but they were we have a really great art center here performing arts center in Cleveland. And she would take him there in the summer and he would try out for different parts. So I knew that he loved acting, but his dad wasn’t real happy about it.
Deb Gennarelli: So he was already getting that, that pull, that dynamic pull of. I really love acting. My mom’s supporting me. My dad’s not. And why is that? You know, like, why is my dad not supporting something that I’m so happy about doing and I’m actually good at it? So androgyny was an important thing that I wanted to just put a little blurb in my book about.
Deb Gennarelli: Hmm. And when I thought about performers feel like prince David Bowie different, very well known artists who have, you know, prince is now, well, David Boy and Prince are both, have both passed, but when you watch [00:25:00] videos of them performing in their earlier days, signs of androgyny, you know, the way they dressed a lot of their performances that you know, and, and some people thought that perhaps they were gay, that doesn’t mean you’re gay.
Deb Gennarelli: It means you’re tapping into to that side of you as a gifted artist. So I think that’s real important for parents and teachers to understand when they come across those highly, highly gifted boys, because boys do get more you know, people talk to them more about that than than girls do. I mean, girls can experience the androgyny too, but the boys get it a lot more in our culture than the girls do when they start leaning towards, you know, performing arts and things like that, ballet, dance and so forth.
Deb Gennarelli: So it’s, it’s a sensitive topic with some, but I think it’s important to know about gifted boys that that could be something that, that you observe. Yeah,
Sophia Elliott: absolutely. It’s [00:26:00] certainly something that I see a lot amongst, you know, all the gifted kids. I, I know, and I think you’re right for a girl to. Interested in what might be considered traditionally masculine interests.
Sophia Elliott: You know, they can be a bit of a tomboy and that’s okay. You know, that’s acceptable. But the reverse for a boy is, I think, still much harder. We still have a lot of that toxic masculinity and yes, and I love how you sort of differentiated between, you know, it’s that even the difference between like an external androgyny, like you said, David Bowie, you, you know, certainly you, you know, to look at them, you can see this sense of androgyny, but even the difference between that and just the psychological androgyny, which is like, like you say may well be a heterosexual boy or young man, but just is interested [00:27:00] in what culturally we’ve assigned as feminine interests, but really like, We, we need to pull back from these gendered labels, don’t we?
Sophia Elliott: Because like you say, what’s, what’s feminine about cooking when we have great chefs who can be women or men or great designers who can be women or men. And, and why does, you know why, right. A boy who’s interested in art, why does that have to be seen as a feminine interest where many great male artists, as well as female artists since pulling back from these traditional, you know, concepts of, of feminine and masculine.
Sophia Elliott: And I think Exactly. Yeah. And I think within that intense sensitivity of gifted kids in general, but especially gifted boys, because it’s not a traditionally masculine thing, to be highly sensitive emotionally. It’s really something that I think parents and educators need to, [00:28:00] I’m not quite sure what the word is, but see and.
Sophia Elliott: Just sort of support and know that that’s who they are and that’s okay. Yes. And it’s like, how do we support this child who is intensely sensitive and that’s okay. Regardless of their gender identity, because it’s such a big part of who they are. Yes. One of my children, yes. Their kindy teacher once described them as paper thin.
Sophia Elliott: You know, like their skin was like not thick skinned at all. Yeah. He was paper thin. Yes. Just this incredibly sensitive, and, and it’s something that we have to be mindful of, like 24 7 because Yes, it affects his lived experience in so many ways. And Absolutely. And if you, if you don’t work with that as a parent or an educator, he, he can really shut down and just really, yeah.
Sophia Elliott: [00:29:00] Takes it very deeply. So I love that you’ve put androgyny in there just to kind of highlight that, particularly for boys and Right. You know, and it’s, and I, and it’s not something I’ve seen in any other book. Like, you’ve, you’ve done an absolutely smashing job here, so thank you so much. And Right.
Deb Gennarelli: Sophia, let, can I, can I just add Yeah. One thing one of my favorite movies is Robin Williams, dead Poet Society. And I, I mentioned that in the book that that’s a good example of it’s an all boys school that Robin Williams is teaching at. And one of his students sees that he’s really good at performing.
Deb Gennarelli: As I mentioned, one of my students was, and his parents found out about it and his dad said, you’re here because your path is to be a doctor. And you quit those plays, no more acting. And the student ended up committing suicide [00:30:00] powerful, powerful scene in the movie when the students find out that your friend has taken his life because his life has been planned for him.
Deb Gennarelli: His, his parents can’t see that, you know, there’s another way to his, his talents. It was so, I still get chills when I think about that, but that’s, that’s where it could lead. If, if we’re not more open-minded to all children have interests, whether they’re boys or girls, and we just need to be more open about, you know, helping them, supporting them, as you said.
Deb Gennarelli: And they’ll, they’ll find their path.
Sophia Elliott: Totally dead Poet Society was one of my favorite movies as a team, and yes, that storyline is, is really great because, and the sad thing about that is as. As, you know, parents, grownups, just individuals ourself. These things don’t have to be like either or they can be both, [00:31:00] you know?
Sophia Elliott: Right. That young man could have performed in theater and studied to be a doctor and filled up all of those, you know, interests and pursuits and it’s, you know, and a young boy may well love writing poetry and playing football. Like we don’t have to put people in these buckets and Yes. Put limitations.
Sophia Elliott: And I think as part of being a well-rounded and grounded person, yes, it’s having lots of different experiences. Yes. I know one of our, we we tend to set, you know, as parents, we’ll have a bit of a. Each year for each of our kids, you know, in terms of their, perhaps strengths and areas where they need support.
Sophia Elliott: And one of our goals this year is quite simply to help one of our kids find a, or experiment in a number of creative outlets to try and help in that journey of finding a [00:32:00] creative outlet that will help them express emotions. Because, you know, oh, great. It, it’s so important to have ways of expressing intense emotions.
Sophia Elliott: And it’s important to try lots of different creative pursuits because, and I mean, doesn’t have to be creative, but creative pursuits are so great in terms of that emotional expression. And so what has he
Deb Gennarelli: decided to do? What, what does he wanna
Sophia Elliott: do? Well, he’s, he’s actually found a bit of a niche in.
Sophia Elliott: Creating digital music. Oh, yay. That’s great. Yeah. Yeah. And so he’s exploring that at the moment and like he’s apparently really good at it, which is obviously a bonus. But the, yeah, the thing for us as parents is that it’s, he is motivated to do it, it’s creative and it just, you never know where it leads and it’s just kind of That’s right.
Sophia Elliott: Interesting. Right now, and it might move on to something else, but it’s providing a creative [00:33:00] outlet on top of what can be very, some very kind of logical science interests. Yes. And you know, things like that. Yes. So, oh, that’s excellent. Yeah. Yeah, it’s been really great. And so let’s take a little step back for a moment and mm-hmm.
Sophia Elliott: For any of our listeners that aren’t familiar with the term two E. Perhaps you could give us a little definition of what two E is and because in your book you, you cover like a whole range of these complicating factors. So share, share with us a little bit about that. Right. So
Deb Gennarelli: yes, so twice exceptionality the two stands for strengths and areas of need.
Deb Gennarelli: So you’re gifted, but you also have some kind of learning difference or differences and giftedness. One of the reasons we have trouble [00:34:00] identifying twice exceptional children in school, Sophia, is because there’s so many types of twice exceptionality. When you talk about just giftedness alone, we’re not just talking about academic giftedness.
Deb Gennarelli: You know, there’s musical giftedness and artistic giftedness and. Emotional giftedness. We could just go on and on. And then when we talk about learning differences, there are so many on that side. We have, you know, dyslexia and dyscalculia and autism and language learning disorders. I’m trying to think of some of the ones that, that the boys I wrote about.
Deb Gennarelli: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsession compulsive disorder. So you start putting all those things together and you have your giftedness with your learning differences twice exceptionality. Some of the reasons that those kiddos perhaps aren’t identified, there’s three categories.
Deb Gennarelli: One is their giftedness masks their learning difference. So you might have a gifted kid, [00:35:00] but you’ll never know that they have a learning difference or flip that you have a kiddo who you don’t. You don’t have any idea that they’re gifted, but they have some learning differences. And that speaks volumes to three of the boys in my book.
Deb Gennarelli: When they were identified gifted, all three of their teachers went what they’re gifted. And then the third category is the giftedness and learning difference mask each other. So the kid looks just like an average kid, you know, coming in and outta your class every day. You wouldn’t know they’re gifted, but you wouldn’t know they had a learning difference either.
Deb Gennarelli: Because those are kind of, masking each other. So one of the things that, you know, I worked with teachers at great length about was trying to find these kiddos in their classrooms. And there are signs you just have. Really well trained to find them. Something is gonna pop up and [00:36:00] a lot of times it happens where you see a student has such a discrepancy in their learning, you’ll notice that, you know, like for example one of the boys actually the one in the preface, he his verbal ability off the charts, off the charts.
Deb Gennarelli: When you sat and talked with him as a seven year old, you thought you were talking with a 15 year old. And but in second grade he could not read or write. So by second grade, his teacher was like, something’s not right here, something, you know, what is going on here? This boy is extremely smart, high potential, eager to learn.
Deb Gennarelli: Talks about so many different things on such a high level, asks questions that are. That are, you know, really, like a junior high student would ask, but he can’t hold a pencil and write a sentence and he can’t pick up a book on a second grade level and read. So now that’s a big extreme, but [00:37:00] those discrepancies in, in, you know, that teachers and parents observe are flags that you probably have a twice exceptional kid here.
Deb Gennarelli: And more assessing needs to be done to really identify those kids so we can get a plan for them, which is really what my book’s about as well, is getting that roadmap planned for them so they can have a more smooth journey throughout school. So yeah, there’s, there’s so many kinds of twice exceptional kids, Sophia and they’re really hard to find and
Sophia Elliott: abs.
Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And it’s the complexity, isn’t it, like the incredibly complex kids and Yes. Unpacking all that can take. Years of, of figuring out. So perhaps you would like to tell us another little story about one of the students that you’ve worked with and Yes. And what their journey
Deb Gennarelli: was like. Yes. Let me continue telling you about the, the [00:38:00] student that was mentioned in the preface.
Deb Gennarelli: So he, he after second grade, we the school district that I taught in, at the time, Sophia tested all second graders as a whole group for giftedness with an ability test. And his teacher and I, we suspected that he was gifted, but we also really knew in our heart he probably was not going to identify based on this whole group test.
Deb Gennarelli: And he did not. So went on to third grade. And at the beginning of third grade, I really flagged him. For individual identification get our school psyched to, to test him. But before that happened, he was at recess one day and he had a verbal altercation with another third grader. And both boys were hauled into the principal’s office and the principal began asking each one of them, their side of the story.
Deb Gennarelli: And my student [00:39:00] began speaking like a junior high kiddo and telling this principal his side of the story. And after she let them go, she sought me out and said, is he in the gifted program? And I said, no, he’s not actually. She goes, you would not believe what he just told me in, in my office about what went on at recess.
Deb Gennarelli: I thought I was in a court case. I thought I was in a, like a, you know, he was a lawyer presenting his point of view. So we had him individually tested. And sure enough, he identified gifted he was also receiving services for reading and this language disorder, learning language disorder that he was formally diagnosed with by fourth grade.
Deb Gennarelli: He was so done with school that he did, he acted it out more than any kid in fourth grade. And I advocated for him. There were times where I thought he was gonna get suspended but it [00:40:00] was solely based on the fact that his regular classroom needs were not being met. Fortunately I want, I, I wanted to take him with me all the time, but that wasn’t gonna happen.
Deb Gennarelli: I couldn’t keep him in gifted ed all day. So by the end of fourth grade, his parents said he needs to skip a grade. And I said, I agree with you. And he’s twice exceptional. And so some of the administrators were like, wait a minute, skip a grade. And he’s. You know, still kind of struggling with writing and reading.
Deb Gennarelli: And so we went through the acceleration process and lo and behold, he was a great candidate for it based on the criteria that, that the state sets up for districts to follow to see if a student is a good candidate. And he skipped fifth grade. Sophia went on to sixth grade and right before he went to sixth grade, at the end of fourth grade, he started talking to me about he wanted to be an attorney, which go figure, he’s in the principal’s office, you know, debating why he wasn’t the problem.
Deb Gennarelli: At recess I [00:41:00] found an attorney, a local attorney who would come in and mentor him, and I pulled him out. Some of his strength areas, which is I another option I highly recommend for teachers. If you have a highly gifted student, a very smart kiddo in your room, and there are some strengths that they don’t need to, they don’t need to sit through this, this, and this because they’ve already mastered it, then let’s find a challenge for them.
Deb Gennarelli: Let’s find something that they can do that really fills that, that need for them. So this, this father of some kids in the district said he’d come in and sit with my student, and they sat and talked like two law buddies from law school. And it was, it was the most astounding thing to watch, you know, a nine year old talk to this gentleman about being an attorney and the kinds of questions he asked him.
Deb Gennarelli: And, and it really saved him. It, it saved this student from [00:42:00] going down a really dark, dark hole in fourth grade. So when he skipped fifth grade and went on to sixth grade, his tra his trajectory started going up Sophia, because now he’s had a mentor, he’s had gifted services, he is now accelerated, he’s moving on.
Deb Gennarelli: And by high school he found mock trial and other extracurricular activities that filled that void where he’s a great leader. He wanted to find things where he could speak and be a leader. And lo and behold, he ended up getting which I could not be more proud, he went to an Ivy League school and got his law degree and now he’s practicing law in Washington DC So that is that surviving and thriving.
Deb Gennarelli: And it was all the different educational options. We put strategies we put in his place on his roadmap to help him. See that school was [00:43:00] really a good place for him. Mm-hmm.
Sophia Elliott: I love that you so brought, brought the mentor in to help. Oh, yes. Give him context around why he needed to get through school. Well, you know, necessary evil.
Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Sort of thing. And, and at the, I think it’s a very last page of the book, that student actually writes some comments. So I’ll see if I can read these without crying. Yes. Hang on. Take a deep breath. Yes. And he says if I were to give advice to another gifted student like me first, I would say take it day by day.
Sophia Elliott: And do not focus so much on being an adult right now. Although you may be very mature, there is still joy to be found hanging out with people your own age. Next, I would recommend that students should diversify their interests, play a sport, or join a club that is not just science or math oriented. Third, I would advise you to pick your battles [00:44:00] wisely, although you may be correct in principle, yes, in that a matter, it’s not worth getting into a heated debate about it.
Sophia Elliott: Fourth, I would tell students like me to be crazy ambitious. You have so much potential. Don’t rel. Don’t relegate yourself to mediocrity. Don’t ever settle. Also, don’t let your parents, teachers, or counselors think you’re dreaming too big. Finally, taking a deep breath. Finally, focus on being happy. Don’t be cocky about how smart you are because no one likes that kind of person and you won’t make friends that way.
Sophia Elliott: Getting the best grades and highest test scores won’t make you happy. You need more than that in your life. You need fulfilling hobbies and good friends have some.
Deb Gennarelli: It’s so beautiful. Well said, right? Well said. I know. I, I just, and that student boy, he grew over time because some of the things he said there to me and [00:45:00] those, that is an exact quote for those words are his words.
Deb Gennarelli: He, he always was battling adults in high school constantly, you know, looking for an argument, those kinds of things. Thought he had to have the best grades to be valedictorian. Didn’t wanna veer off that road to try something new. He had to stay really focused on. You know, the advanced placement courses.
Deb Gennarelli: And, but he finally started seeing that he had to be more flexible and the friendship part was important. And, hey, I think I wanna try a pottery class. And he did. And he loved it. You know, he wasn’t just doing mock trial where he was speaking all the time. He actually started doing some hands on stuff, you know?
Deb Gennarelli: Yeah. It was great. So, for him to write that at the end of his senior year I told him, I said, you know, I, I think I’m gonna be writing a book and you’re gonna be in it. I said, can I use that? And he goes, absolutely. Ms. Gen Rei, please [00:46:00] use that. It was great.
Sophia Elliott: I love that because I can absolutely see that, you know, young, I think you said nine year old in that principal’s office.
Sophia Elliott: Yes. Arguing the point. I can absolutely see that. It’s so beautiful and I think it comes back to something else you talk about in the book, which is Do no harm. And I like that you, I really love that you included this and talk, talk us through that.
Deb Gennarelli: Talk us through that. Yes. In my teaching career, Sophia, I have seen too many times where a team of, a team of pro professionals would be sitting around a table discussing a student, and ideas would be discussed, you know, to put in place for the student that, that I knew were gonna be harmful.
Deb Gennarelli: And so when I think about any child who’s having any kind of [00:47:00] educational plan written for them, we have to think about. No harm and you cannot put on paper anything that the entire team does not. They, they must all come together and agree that everything we’re suggesting is an accommodation or strategy or educational option for this kid is not going to do him any harm or her any harm.
Deb Gennarelli: I have recently been on a case where I am working with a school consulting about a first grade boy who is in the highly gifted range. They suspect he’s autistic. And the things that the last two quarters of school, Sophia, some of the things that have been implemented have broken my heart and they definitely have harmed the child.
Deb Gennarelli: So it, it, we have to think about. We have to, we have to understand [00:48:00] giftedness, we have to understand in detail what the learning differences are, if there are any, before we ever start thinking about, you know, what should we do for this child. And the case that I’m referring to an example of, of something that was harmful this student has been acting out a lot lately, and that means that he’s, he’s angry because his needs are not being met.
Deb Gennarelli: So prior to this situation, escalating Sophia, he was actually being accelerated and reading. He’s a first grader reading Harry Potter. So he was going to the gifted teacher for reading course, reading coursework. And right before spring break I talked with the new gifted teacher that I’ve been mentoring, and she said, Deb, I’m so upset the principal removed him.
Deb Gennarelli: From his advanced reading class and put him back in his regular first grade reading class because of his behaviors. And I, I [00:49:00] thought I was just going to scream because that is doing harm. We have now taken his strength area away from something that, that he loved and was excelling at and pulled him back into his regular classroom to read with first graders.
Deb Gennarelli: And this happened right before spring break. So I, I was on the phone with his mother right before spring break and we had a conversation about some things that need to be talked about, discussed for her son. He’s being punished for his behavior. Mm-hmm. And that’s doing harm because his behaviors, as we know, you’re a mom and I’m a mom, we know that when behaviors escalate like this, there’s a reason for it.
Deb Gennarelli: So let’s find out what the reason is. Absolutely.
Sophia Elliott: And unfortunately, that’s non uncommon story. Yes. Yes. And it’s, it’s this idea [00:50:00] that you can take away tho that those gifted accommodations as punishment like there’s some kind of a privilege and not actually exactly the truth, which is this is an essential accommodation.
Sophia Elliott: And learning need of a gifted student. They’re not a privilege. They’re not to be taken away for punishment. You don’t have to jump through hoops to get to them. You know, it’s that whole, show me what you can do before I’ll let you do things that you know, where you’re at. Idea. And unfortunately, you, I hear more of this than I wish I did.
Sophia Elliott: And it, I know, and it comes back to that as, you know, lack of understanding Yes. Of what giftedness is all about. And, and it is really heartbreaking because you are never gonna see improved behavior by taking away the things that kids need. No, [00:51:00] no. Like the, the lo there’s no logic in that at all. No. And if, and if that child was already accelerated in reading and the behavior was still an issue, then obviously like you say, there was more needed.
Sophia Elliott: You know, what else can we do? Try other things but not take away stuff like that. That’s, it is heartbreaking because like you say, it does do damage and the sad truth is a lot of twice exceptional students, boys and girls Yes. You know, can experience trauma from their educational experience and, and move from school to school and just become broken.
Sophia Elliott: And I’ve seen that a lot as well. And that’s just absolutely heartbreaking. And that’s why. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why it’s so important that you’ve written this book and we’ve got this spotlight on this, you know, niche within a niche. And there was another great podcast I [00:52:00] did a little while ago that I often refer back to with Dr.
Sophia Elliott: Geraldine Townsend. And she was doing research on the self sense of self of twice exceptional students. And her research showed that as early as five, six or seven, that impact of knowing that they don’t fit into the classroom was already eroding their self-identity. And so I think it just, like you say, highlights even further that we have to do no harm.
Sophia Elliott: Right. Fundamentally. Right. So thank you so much for mapping that out for us and including that in the book. Absolut. As I said, there are heaps of suggestions and tips and you know, and direction and actions throughout the whole book. And I’d like to just kind of close off perhaps by sharing some suggestions for supporting our Tui Boys, boys in different areas.
Sophia Elliott: [00:53:00] And so in the book, you covered some areas like emotional intensity, hands-on learning, curiosity, questioning and coping. Perhaps there’s some, some suggestions you could, you could take outta those for us.
Deb Gennarelli: Absolutely. So, and again, you know, as I, as I talk about these in the book, Sophia, it’s, it’s, , they apply to boys and girls, but I’ve particularly noticed with the boys that I worked with, the emotional intensity.
Deb Gennarelli: So these students think and feel deeply and awfully and often differently than other children. This is especially true for two e boys who are wrestling with the fact that they’re gifted, but they also feel inadequate or shame or other negative emotions. And I saw that with all the boys that I wrote about.
Deb Gennarelli: They knew they were really smart, but then they started questioning, am I really smart? Or, you know, I’m really good at this subject, but I’m really horrible at this subject. You know, like Jake, who couldn’t read write in second grade, but knew [00:54:00] he could speak to any adult in the room and keep a conversation going.
Deb Gennarelli: You know, it was that, that really out of sync thing going on there. The two E Boys, they give little value to the things they do well, but instead focus on the things that they don’t do well. That’s kind of human nature, really. Teachers and parents may criticize them for not trying hard enough. Three of the boys that I, that I wrote about, talked about that a lot, either their teachers parents, or both said to them all the time, you’re not trying hard enough.
Deb Gennarelli: You’re not trying hard enough. You’re so smart. Why, why is, why are you not doing better? So some of this, these were just a few of the suggestions. There’s more in the book, but try not to minimize emotions by saying things, saying things like, you’re being too sensitive or you’re too intense. The parents that I spoke to last week at, at the the school district seminar were really interested about the overexcitabilities aspect of gifted kids.
Deb Gennarelli: Most of them had not really heard, heard about that because they were all asking [00:55:00] questions about, you know, my daughter, my son is so, you know, intense and so this and so that. And, and so when I talked about over overexcitabilities and sensitivity, they were like, oh, that makes sense now. Focus on coping mechanisms instead of trying to change your child.
Deb Gennarelli: As you mentioned, Sophia, we’re not here to fix anybody. These, these children are, are, are perfect human beings as they are. We just wanna help support them the best that, that we can help the child understand that intense feelings are normal for gifted kids. Listen to your child. Don’t rush to give them advice.
Deb Gennarelli: Don’t expect adult responsibility. My husband and I did that with our daughter. She spoke early and did a lot of things early, and we all, we all, we caught ourself one time going, she’s only four. Why are we like thinking She’s seven, you know? So, and then hands on learning. That’s a big one. Research tells us that to engage children’s brains, we must allow them to move, touch [00:56:00] and experience to learn.
Deb Gennarelli: That’s, that’s everybody, girls and boys. But research shows that in boy’s brains, a larger part of the cerebral cortex is dedicated to spatial and mechanical functioning. We sometimes learn better through movement and pictures than by listening to words. And some of the issues that I talked about in the book are in elementary school.
Deb Gennarelli: A lot of the teaching styles are geared towards girls as compared to boys. So when that happens, we have problems. So suggestions allow children to demonstrate their learning, not just by paper and pencil. I, I taught, I taught a lot of teachers how to do some great activities to assess learning that were paper and pencil, and they were like, oh, wow, I don’t have to do a worksheet anymore.
Deb Gennarelli: Allow students to perform plays or skills to demonstrate historical events or scenes from books. They’re up moving and acting and performing. Use interactive displays and collections in your room. This is a great [00:57:00] one. I did this and I’ve had some other teachers do it, use scavenger hunts to search for items related to a unit of study.
Deb Gennarelli: So you’re getting the kids up and moving lots of hands-on activities and when that happens, they’re out of their seats. They’re not sitting at a hard desk or a hard chair, and you will see a lightning bit of difference, like huge when kids are engaged as compared to just sitting and listening to lectures.
Deb Gennarelli: And that happens unfortunately as junior high. They get older. It seems like those activities kind of go away in some classes, which is unfortunate. Curiosity and questioning. Truly gifted kids tend to be intensely curious and ask a myriad of questions. And sometimes that gets them in trouble because if they get a teacher that doesn’t like lots of questions you know, they’re, they’re.
Deb Gennarelli: The teacher may look at them as they’re trying to derail their lesson plan. I had a teacher come to me one time and said, so and so is trying to [00:58:00] derail my lesson plan by asking me all these questions. So I had to give her a little gifted 1 0 1 lesson. The curiosity of gifted children becomes problematic when they must narrow their many interests to a single topic or idea to study for a class project.
Deb Gennarelli: Picking just one thing seems limiting to them. When a topic is selected, the child may have difficulty finishing the assignment because he wants to dig deeper into the content. Work deadlines should be extended. I’ve talked to teachers about just extend the deadline a little bit, or again their strength area should afford them some time to complete the chat.
Deb Gennarelli: More challenging project that they want to do. So, so the classroom needs to be a little more flexible with those high potential kids who really wanna go the extra mile. To finish something that, that they’re really interested in. Questioning, be accepting of all points of view. Provide time so students can continue to formulate, ask and discuss more questions.[00:59:00]
Deb Gennarelli: Sophia, I think questioning is one of the best ways to identify your gifted kids. If teachers learn how to be better at asking questions, higher level questions, you’d, you’d spot your high level kids like this. Curiosity. Create a room that invites inquiry. Be understanding about how high levels of independent thinking can lead students to question authority.
Deb Gennarelli: Teach children how to safely look for the answers to their questions, like utilizing age appropriate search engines and then coping. Many gifted boys who are expected to conform either by their families or society, find themselves in a dilemma about how to handle their situation. Some smart boys rebel and become angry, and I’ve seen that more than once at their parents, at their teachers because they don’t want to conform to fit a mold.
Deb Gennarelli: Two e boys must learn to cope with the fact that they’re gifted and excel in some areas, but are delayed in others. Gifted boys need coping mechanisms because they’re likely [01:00:00] to face different problems. And again, gifted boys. overexcitabilities can be seen by teachers as an effort to derail classroom management.
Deb Gennarelli: And we can lead, this can lead to failed like discipline kids when they don’t really need to be disciplined. But if the kids start acting out to the point where they have to go see the principal you need to kind of dig a little bit deeper about, well, what was the problem that caused them to act out again?
Deb Gennarelli: Suggestions start early by helping the child talk about their emotions and take his, take his s his issues seriously when he talks about them. Explain his heightened sensitivities can make him more emotional than other children and that his feelings are normal. But he must learn to recognize that he is getting out of control.
Deb Gennarelli: So he needs to understand his overexcitabilities is part of who he is, but there’s a way that we don’t wanna get out of control, you know? So as they get older, we start helping them learn how to do that and recognize that[01:01:00] work on a plan for what to do when he feels overwhelmed. Help develop your child’s tolerance for stress and frustration by exposing him to increasingly more age appropriate, challenging situations.
Deb Gennarelli: I’ve seen this so much kids that would come to my class. I’m a big project based. Teacher always doing in-depth critical and creative thinking projects. And I would, I would increase the challenge level for each project in the course of a year with one grade level. And they would start to notice how much more challenging it was getting.
Deb Gennarelli: And some of them, some of my gifted kids, Sophia, were like, whoa, I, I’ve never right. Felt this way before. But we want them to feel that challenge before they ever get to high school. Right? Yeah. Yeah. We don’t want them to get to high school and then they get to college and we don’t know how to handle a challenge.
Deb Gennarelli: So those are just a few things at the tail end of the book about hands-on learning and coping and questioning and all those things that come with both boys and girls, but [01:02:00] particularly boys. Wonderful.
Sophia Elliott: Thank you so much. Some really great insights there. And strategies as well. And I, I think what I love about the book as well is by.
Sophia Elliott: Painting this picture of what is really a long-term journey. You know, as parents and as adults, even, you know, we can be faced with a problem. I’m sorry. Okay, gotta fix this problem now, like tomorrow, today, fix it. But actually when our kids don’t need fixing two, it’s a long-term journey, you know? Yes.
Sophia Elliott: And it’s sort of like, and certainly something I’ve learned as a parent. So like, okay, I don’t, you know, we, we can actually breathe and look at this. As a journey we’re both on and sure. This is where we wanna end up. A lovely yes. Happy, well adjusted, thriving adult. But we’re on a journey [01:03:00] to get there.
Sophia Elliott: We can just kind of deal with, with yes. One or two things at a time and, and, and, and unpack and learn as we go and uncover different complexities because these are really complex kids. Yes. And like you said, there can be masking of different challenges or the giftedness, and so it takes, takes time to unpack all of that.
Sophia Elliott: Definitely see all those things. But an absolutely wonderful book. Thank you so much for putting in all that work. Thank you. To write it for us all. And thank you so much. Yeah. I just, I just love it. It’s just, it’s, it’s great. It’s really excellent and a lot there for both parents and educators. I really love the way you’ve written it is actually from multiple perspectives.
Sophia Elliott: So, you know, anyone picking that up parenting or working with Twice Exceptional boys is going to get you know, their, their needs met through it. So [01:04:00] a really wonderful resource. And where can people find it? I will put links in the show notes. I know it’s through. Oh, great.
Deb Gennarelli: It was, it was published by, it was published by Gifted Unlimited.
Deb Gennarelli: That’s it. Gifted Unlimited. But people can, if they’re unlimited, but people can purchase it at any of their favorite book stores. Amazon, Barnes and Nobles. Any, any book retailer should have it. It’s, it’s not, it’s, it’s distributed internationally, so. Yeah, that, that’s, congratulations. And my website is deborah generali.com.
Deb Gennarelli: Mm-hmm. Thank you. My website’s deborah jenni.com and we’re my publisher’s getting ready to do a reprint with some reviews on the back. We, we now have some people in the gifted field, well-known people that have reviewed the book. So if you wanna see some reviews, they’re on Amazon, but they’re also on my website.
Deb Gennarelli: So you can kind of see what other professionals thought about it as, as well as [01:05:00] yourself. So thank you for asking.
Sophia Elliott: Oh, the last thing I want to ask is, so you do your consulting work, you’re based in Ohio? Yes. Is it just folks in Ohio that you work with? Okay, so if you’re in Ohio, you can get in touch with Deb. Yes. If you’re needing. That kind of consultancy. Tell us a little bit about the consultancy that you do. I, it’s for parents and educators, is that right?
Deb Gennarelli: Yes. Matter of fact, one of my recent clients is a mom from Mexico City and we did some Zoom calls. She has a four year old son with 165 iq and she was telling me that there are no gifted services, gifted specialists in the schools. A lot. There’s not a lot of knowledge about gifted children you know, in, in the school that he is in.
Deb Gennarelli: And she said that some of his behaviors are starting to [01:06:00] become alarming to his teachers. So she found me on LinkedIn and she saw that I had written about two E boys, and one of the boy’s teachers said that he was hyperactive. But very smart. So, thank goodness this mother is an amazing advocate already for her son.
Deb Gennarelli: She is researching and looking and trying to find what is the best thing for her son, right? Do no harm, because she felt like he was getting ready to go down the road of these people, these professionals he was with didn’t understand him, and they were getting ready to put things in place that were gonna harm him.
Deb Gennarelli: And some of those were punishing his behaviors. And I, I I spoke with her three different times, so she found me on LinkedIn and she’s from Mexico. And I, I am so thrilled and I, I think I helped guide her. She was gonna have a big meeting with school psychologists and some [01:07:00] teachers, administrators, and I teed her up well, so she knew exactly the questions to ask.
Deb Gennarelli: And the answer that’s excellent to, for
Sophia Elliott: that’s brilliant. Yes.
Deb Gennarelli: Yeah. Yeah, and I, like I said, I work with school districts on all topics, not just twice exceptionality, but as I said, I did the social emotional needs of gifted kids, and it was a parent night that this district had. So, I’m all over the place.
Deb Gennarelli: I’m getting ready to do a social emotional needs of the Gifted sing.org is an organization that most gifted families are familiar with, and they have a a, their, their national international conferences in Philadelphia this summer. So I’ll be speaking at that on twice Exceptional Boys, and I hope to speak at the National Association of Gifted Kids in Orlando in November, consulting, speaking, writing. I’m writing a sec if I told you about that. It’s, I’m co-writing with a two E adult.
Sophia Elliott: Sorry, the, [01:08:00] the connection just dropped out there where you were telling us about your second book. Just tell us about that project that you’re on again. Are we good? Yeah.
Deb Gennarelli: Two adult and he is highly gifted, has had a very interesting life to save the least very successful life, but, but a lot.
Deb Gennarelli: He was diagnosed and he started learning about twice exceptionality again, he found me on LinkedIn and now we’re writing a book together.
Sophia Elliott: Well that sounds super exciting. I would love to have you both back when you are ready to talk about that book, cuz that sounds amazing. And it it, it dropped in, in and out a little bit there.
Sophia Elliott: But my understanding is the person you’re writing with is a twice exceptional adult who’s been diagnosed later in life. And so you’re working on a project with him to tell that story of, of what has been quite an interesting, you know, Lifetime for him and, [01:09:00] and share that with the world, which is really great to see, you know, these different experiences.
Sophia Elliott: So I can’t wait to read that one as well.
Deb Gennarelli: Right. We’ll, we’ll come back and visit with you, the both of
Sophia Elliott: us. I would love that. That’d be great. I would absolutely love that. And thank you so much for your time today. Hugely appreciate it. Such a, a great episode for parents and educators who are listening and what wonderful resource in your book.
Sophia Elliott: Congrats. I’ll put all those links in the show notes so people can find you. And it’s good to know that it’s not just folk in Ohio. If you’re outside of hi Ohio, you can do some Zoom conversations as well, which is really great cuz sometimes as parents we need people like you to help us through that process and with that, you know, educational knowledge of what to ask, when to ask for it.
Sophia Elliott: And so it’s great that you’re doing that work. Thank you so much.
Deb Gennarelli: Yes. Perfect. Thank you Sophia. Thank you for the opportunity. No worries. Take care. [01:10:00]