#067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer

#067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer

It’s Gifted, Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week; and we’re Bringing Joy & Equity in Focus with this year’s theme.

As a proud partner of The G Word, Our Gifted Kids is delighted to raise awareness once again with a whole week of podcasts. Actually, 6 episodes! Where we talk about #gifted joy!

Podcast Line Up

  • Marc Smolowitz introduces the week with – #064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy
  • Monday
    • #065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue
  • Tuesday
    • #066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff
  • Wednesday
    • #067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer
  • Thursday
    • #068 A Higher Skate of Mind for Gifted Kids w/ Josh Smith
  • Friday
    • #069 Why Dungeons & Dragons is Gifted Bliss w/ Sam Young


Enjoyed the podcasts? Our online community is currently open until midnight Thursday 3 November! Find out more here!

Or subscribe, join our online community or get freebies, say thanks at ourgiftedkids.com

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Our GTN Awareness Week Links



Johannes Dreyer

Johann Dreyer is a South African-born music producer, educator and expressive therapist. Johann’s ethos can be defined as: “Ask not what the pen does to the paper, instead ask what the paper does for the pen.”

Johann’s diverse experience and formal qualifications provide a broad perspective when working with clients, creating an interactive and personalised experience. Johann has a great passion for working with neurodiverse people, assisting with creative expression and emotional well-being.

For the past six years, Johann has provided a person-centered approach utilizing modern technology to facilitate music production or digital art sessions. Client outcomes have included public performances, art exhibitions and the formal release of music on public platforms.

He has been involved in the music industry for the past 15 years and teaching for the last eight years. He actively creates music and art and amongst his qualifications has completed a Master of Creative Industries and a Bachelor of Audio Production.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello and welcome to today’s podcast. It is Wednesday of gifted, talented, and your diversity awareness week. We have private partners of The G Word Film, and we’re excited to be celebrating gifted joy this week on the, our give to kids podcast.

[00:00:17] In today’s episode, we’re looking at creative expression. Specifically. Digital art and digital music. And I have the great privilege to bring to you on the podcast, people from all over the world. People from my backyard here in Australia. And also people quite literally from my dining room table. And Johanns Draya is one of those dining room table people.

[00:00:46] Uh, someone we found to mentor our kids. Through digital art and digital music, and he does such a fabulous job. And what they create is so awesome. That, when it came to doggy about gifted joy this week, I naturally wanted to share.

[00:01:06] The creative expression that your hands brings into our world with everyone and encourage parents to consider. What kind of toolbox you have and your children have when it comes to. Expressing those big emotions creatively. And there’s so many different ways to do this, whether it’s poetry, songwriting, I mean, we all wrote angsty poetry as teenagers, right? Was it just Uh, paintings, you know, drawing art, digital

[00:01:39] Music, listening to music, creating music. It doesn’t matter what the creative expression is. Or when it looks like there is no wrong when it comes to creating and being creative. The important thing is the journey. It’s the expression. And when you’ve got a few things to draw on. When you wanting to express some big emotions or process and work through a bigger event, it just means you’ve got more things in your toolbox to.

[00:02:12] Possibly use to process those things. And for me as a parent, I want my kids to have options in their toolbox. So that they can process those big emotions when they need to both as children, as teenagers and later in life as adults, because we continue to have big emotions and need to process things as grown ups as well.

[00:02:36] So this conversation with your hands is certainly about digital art and digital music, but it’s also more broadly about that creative process and creative expression. And I do hope that having listened to it, you’re feeling a bit inspired to. Dabble a bit yourself and with your kids. So if you’re thinking it’s Wednesday and you’ve already missed heaps in gifted, talented, and your diversity awareness week, do not fear.

[00:03:04] You can still register at The G Word and last year, everything. Like stayed online afterwards and you can actually even tap into. Last year’s GTN awareness week. Uh, content at The G Word. So it’s not too late. You can still tune in. There’s lots of great stuff going on and you can register

[00:03:25] And our gifted kids podcasts always available. We’ve got two more this week and a bonus next week. So there’s plenty to listen to. And if you’re wanting a bit more out of the gifted community, Our online communities are open until the 3rd of November. And what does that look like? You may ask? Well, I have created three different options for

[00:03:50] So there’s something for everyone. There is dip your toes in which is quite literally dipping your toes into supporting the podcast in a really easy way, but getting something back for that, you’ve got your exclusive online portal, exclusive member, only videos of the podcast. And principals for each podcast. So it’s a nice way of supporting the podcast and we really appreciate your support. Keeps us going.

[00:04:17] And then we have two more options be seen and found, and our mission to thrive, which access a different online portal, full of resources. They come with a bonus journey to a new normal parenting course, private Facebook group. Bonus unpacking gifted course and all sorts of things. You can check that all out@ourgiftedkids.com backslash hub.

[00:04:42] And there are links in the show notes.

[00:04:46] And today instead of playing our usual intro. Let’s get everyone to thrive, jingle that we play. I’m actually going to ease you into this podcast with a little tune that one of my children created with Johanns shared with permission by the artist. In this podcast. And enjoy stay quirky and I will see you again tomorrow.

[00:06:12] The theme for this year’s Gifted, Talented and Neurodiversity Awareness Week is gifted joy, which is a super exciting excuse to talk about the things that we love doing.

[00:06:23] And our Gifted Kids podcast, we thought we would focus on play as a part of our joy. So this week we’re exploring those things that bring us joy through. How delightful . Sometimes as a parent of a gifted kid, it can be hard to navigate what supporting our kids look like and navigating those kind of treacherous waters of pushing our kids into things they don’t really wanna do.

[00:06:48] So in our family, whenever we’re considering a new kind of, Adventure or extracurricular activity, we always have a very conscious conversation about why are we doing it? Because with like three kids, two parents and a dog in the household, you know, if everyone does one thing, that’s a very busy week already.

[00:07:09] So we’re always trying to be very conscious of what we are doing and the things that we do are very deliberate and, and a big question for us is, Are we doing it for us as the parent, Or actually, does our child really wanna do this? Will it bring them joy? Uh, and are they motivated? And I have to be conscious about that as much as anyone because I have always been a very creative person, all sorts of things.

[00:07:42] and I feel like it’s super important for my kids to have some kind of creative outlet just because, you know, whether it’s traversing those teenage years and some very heartfelt poetry or thrash metal, you know, whatever it is, we need to lean on that creativity at some point in our lives to process big emotions.

[00:08:07] And so I want my children to have a toolbox of things that they can lean into, but I have to be very wary that I’m not wanting to put things in the toolbox for my own sake, and they get to choose what goes in the toolbox, if that makes sense. So like, I would love my kids to play an instrument, but at this point in time that motivation isn’t entirely there.

[00:08:35] So, I was delighted nonetheless, or one of my kids discovered an interest in digital music and another in digital art, and today I’m incredibly excited to talk about why music and art are so awesome with Johan Dryer from Beat Frequency Mentoring. Welcome, Johan. I’m absolutely desired to have you here for this conversation.

[00:08:59] Thanks

[00:08:59] Johannes Dreyer: so much, Sophia. I’m really happy to be here

[00:09:03] Sophia Elliott: Now, full disclosure, Johan. Is someone that we found to meet this need for our children, . And I was actually thinking today that on this podcast, I have the great privilege of talking to people all over the world and in my backyard, and often people who are a part of our lives as well.

[00:09:25] And so, Johan’s, totally seen our messy house and our busy family, and has been a part of that picture and brought great joy. To our children with digital music and digital art. So I’m very excited to to have you here and share you with the world. .

[00:09:45] Johannes Dreyer: Thank you so much. It’s a very big privilege for me to be able to come into your house and share that experience with your kids and the family.

[00:09:54] I’m super lucky to be doing what I’m doing. It

[00:09:58] Sophia Elliott: is, it’s a really fabulous thing and I, you know, I often like will cook dinner or something while you guys are there and I just. I love the joy to know that it obviously brings the kids and. It’s just really beautiful. So first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up doing beat Frequency mentoring.

[00:10:17] I feel like there’s a story behind this.

[00:10:19] Johannes Dreyer: Oh, there’s a very long story and I probably won’t bore you all with the, the whole story. Funny enough, a friend of mine did a podcast about creativity and what the messy process is and I was on his podcast talking about my life journey. So I might share the link.

[00:10:34] Yes, please do. Yes, . Cause it is actually quite a funny story. But I’m gonna kind of skip through a bit of that. So I guess, you know, growing up in South Africa I was very lucky to be exposed to a lot of really cool music. My dad was into some really heavy metal stuff, so listening to Black Sabbath and, you know, Uriah Heap and Jethro Toll and all sorts of stuff like that.

[00:10:57] And they were very open to sharing music. So from a very young age, I was already making mix tapes back in the day when we were making, you know, tape mix tapes and recording off the radio. So I’ve always had a love for music. In that way. Then, oh yeah, I went through high school, studied marketing, did some retail stuff that wasn’t really very fulfilling and first forward, we’ll skip to 2008 when I came to Australia to formally study music production and audio engineering.

[00:11:26] So I knew I needed this to be a part of my life. I did my bachelor’s degree in Byron Bay as you do.

[00:11:34] Sophia Elliott: And you do that sounds like a great place to do a batch, learn anything.

[00:11:37] Johannes Dreyer: Exactly. So ended up, started to work at this private uni ended up teaching and interesting enough as when I was teaching, I got approached by a mom who had a young son who had cerebral palsy and I had just received some funding for him to.

[00:11:59] To learn to dj and I jumped at the opportunity. I was like, I wanna hang out and I wanna do this with this young man. This sounds amazing. So it was really cool. We had funding for, I think it was about 12 weeks of catch ups every week. And then we were, had some money to put on a little event at the end so he can actually showcase his skills.

[00:12:21] And I guess that was kind of the start of beach frequency. It didn’t, wasn’t quite branded quite yet. But then from that moment on, I just kept on meeting people. It was just like people found me. Then in 2016 I moved to Adelaide. And because I was working for this uni, you know, you’d often have people come through the door who were really excited about music.

[00:12:48] They wanna partake, they wanna get involved, but the formal education, System doesn’t necessarily allow for neuro diverse or people with living with some sort of a disability and me being me, that that doesn’t fly. So , I ended up like collecting about, I think three or four clients that I would stay late at night after I finished the day of work would bring them into the studios and we’d start, you know, I’d kind of just do mentoring or teaching them, tutoring them and doing all sorts of stuff.

[00:13:23] And then I just realized that this is really a big passion of mine and I wanted to kind of get to know how it all works and really get my head around, especially working with Neurodiverse people. Because I found my personal lived experiences. I’ve got a daughter who’s a stepdaughter, who’s on the spectrum.

[00:13:44] And so that fascinated me. So for my masters, I did a masters of creative industry. I wanted to create a online musical making tool to help kids with emotional regulation. Because I found her every morning kind of just, you know, struggling with the, the sound of the blender or, you know, kind of loud noises and stuff like that.

[00:14:06] So I was really fascinated about sound and how it affected people living with autism specifically. So I ended up making this, this music making tool, and then I spoke to someone who was like, You need to get into counseling and kind of formalize that, that framework that you’re working with. And by that stage I had collected enough clients to really quit my full-time job and, you know, start giving two days a week to, to beat frequency and, and yeah, it’s just grown from there to where we are now And yes,

[00:14:44] Sophia Elliott: how beautiful and what, how beautiful, what a lovely thing to do, like you said.

[00:14:51] It’s great to feel very lucky. You know, getting up each day and doing the things that you do. So what does the mentoring look like? What are some of the creative tools that you

[00:15:01] Johannes Dreyer: use? So, yeah, like you mentioned before, I kind of focus on music production and digital art. So those are kind of my, my passion.

[00:15:10] So I. Luckily the way that the music industry has evolved, digital music making is very accessible at the moment. So I use some of the industry standard software and kind of mid controllers so the, you know, little midy pianos and launch pads and things that people might be familiar with cuz their kids are watching people on YouTube playing with them.

[00:15:34] So I use Ableton and I use an Ableton push to do the music product. And then in terms of digital art, I’ve got a iPad Pro and I use a program called procreate. Yeah. And so that’s kind of the, the main tools that I use at the moment

[00:15:51] Sophia Elliott: when, you know, certainly of my generation, growing up, you know, we didn’t even have the internet.

[00:15:58] I often tell my kids, you know, when I was a kid we only had two TV channels. . Yes. But so, and I just kind of say that, Some parents listening might, it might feel very inaccessible, but the reality is these days it’s so incredibly accessible to do digital art or digital music. There’s so many different resources and it really is, you know, just completely different to what was available for our generation.

[00:16:34] So it doesn’t need to be this a big, expensive thing either, does it?

[00:16:38] Johannes Dreyer: No, no, Definitely not. And that, yeah, that’s the thing. So you know, the software can range from Yeah. Being free software that you get, like garage band Yeah, there’s a couple of others, but up to, you know, the professional. Software that then does cost a bit of money.

[00:16:54] And then the controllers, again, like the, the gear that I use is pretty expensive because it’s a very professional piece of gear. It’s made to be taken on the road to go perform, live with and so on. But for $120 you can get a controller that the kids can, can kind of play with. And I guess this is one of my approaches is that creative expression.

[00:17:14] So the software is really cool in the way. We don’t have to think about music theory straight away. Yeah. We don’t necessarily have to play, you know, in time as much as this is definitely one of the skills we wanna develop first off. But kids and adults, I work with some adults as well. We just get the opportunity to.

[00:17:34] To literally just express ourselves and just smash some buttons. And then from there we kind of start the process of going, Okay, how do we start fleshing this out? How do we start focusing on rhythm? Because, you know, even just drumming or kind of ticking along, it’s already a way to kind of regulate our ourselves.

[00:17:53] Mm-hmm. , you know, we start feeling like we kind of I’m gonna use the word vibing cuz you’re vibing. You know? And like, I think that’s a lot of what this kind of interactive music stuff does. It’s about connection, you know? So yes, I have all these other kind of formal frameworks lying underneath that we wanna look at.

[00:18:11] But ultimately what I’ve noticed, the most important thing is just that connection. Just someone who’s, you know, willing to sit down. A person and go, Hey, let’s do something creative. Let’s make some music. And because this software is so like the formal music teachers almost get really upset because it’s almost like cheating.

[00:18:34] You know? Like we could literally, I’ve built a full song in a two hour session, like literally ready to release onto Spotify. And so, and that’s what I like about it. I like the fact that we can, we can get results straight away. So we start building that momentum. We’re not sitting there getting frustrated, trying to learn music theory, not understanding, why do I need to know music theory?

[00:18:57] So we’re kind of doing this like pool strategy where we get to make music first, and then when kids start getting bored with what they’re making or they hear other stuff and they’re like, Oh, why doesn’t mine sound. X, Y, Z, we can go, ah, that’s because they are using, you know, augmented scales. They’re using not just C Major the whole time.

[00:19:18] We can go into diminished things, we can do this, we can do that. And so then there’s an interest and then we can go. And I think this is where the gifted kids particularly kind of excel at because they get to that point a lot quicker. And because there’s so many different ways we can go with music, you know, and then, You can do challenges where you just walk in, they might like lesser house music, and then one day you walk in, you go, Alright.

[00:19:43] Today we’re doing drum and bass. And then it’s like, oh, okay, you know, we’ve got a challenge now using reference tracks and you just go, Okay, this is the sound we are going for today. Yeah, you might give them a couple of tools. So there’s a lot of ways to engage a very active and, you know, kind of extraordinary mind as well as at the same time people who are, you know, on the other side of the spectrum, we’re struggling to understand basic concepts.

[00:20:08] We can have them also interact and have.

[00:20:12] Sophia Elliott: I think it’s that lovely, uh, instant gratification within that creative process, you know, which I think has really been lovely and, and what I’ve seen as you’ve been there with my kids in particular, it’s like at the end of every session there is something, you know, that has been created or whether it’s music or art, and it’s really beautiful and I think.

[00:20:38] Being, you know, a creative person and experiencing that kind of journey where one thing leaps to another, to another. Uh, I think I just, I think I want to say to parents listening as well to never underrate or undervalue the starting point. And I think especially with gifted kids, We talk a lot about that kind of vertical acceleration, but also that kind of horizontal kind of expanding them horizontally.

[00:21:15] And so for an example of that would be, uh, you know, with my children, for example, for us, we started off with a very big focus of science, very factual science. And then, Kind of went horizontally to particular video games where you could build rockets, but very hardcore detailed, like grown up type. I say game, but it’s like pretty full on, which then kind of opened doors into, uh, creativity like Dungeons and Dragons with that multidisciplinary approach.

[00:21:56] But then that kind of led to. Digital music, do you know? It’s just kind of that very abstract. One thing leading to another thing, leading to another thing. And it kind of doesn’t matter where your child starts in terms of that creative process. The the juice is in the journey, isn’t it? You know, it’s kinda like value wherever the starting point is, because you never know what it’s going to lead to.

[00:22:22] Yeah. And yeah, and it, and what I see and what I just. Love about the digital music and art is what a beautiful sort of leap it is for kids who are into, I mean, every kid’s into screens, you know, every parent’s got a phone and we’re all doing it. We’re all doing it. You know, like Exactly. But it’s that beautiful leap from the screen to this creative outlet, which I think is really nice and.

[00:22:56] Yeah, and I just sort of, I think sometimes parents can be a bit shy of the fact that it’s digital. It’s not like a real instrument or a real painting. But actually it really is, isn’t it? Like

[00:23:07] Johannes Dreyer: it totally is, and that’s exactly how we should look at it. Like you just said, it’s the starting point. We kind of, you know, feeling it out going, how interested are they in this?

[00:23:17] How you know, do they really love it? And then from there you kind of build on that. So for example, with some of my kids that I work with who are really good at art, I’ll actually, after a couple of sessions, we’ll put the digital stuff away and we’ll actually get pen and paper out and go, All right, cool.

[00:23:33] Now we’re gonna do still life drawing because we really need to, If you really good and you wanna get better at art, we have to get really good at that. And that’s interesting that you say like this kind of horizontal expansion, one of my clients, it’s been the most classic case. When I started working with him, it was to do music.

[00:23:53] Because he, he wanted, he was starting to play piano from memory, and then he, he kind of, I got involved and he was like, Oh, I wanna make beats. Then we started doing stock motion. And we ended up doing stop motion videos for about six months, and then we kind of got back into drawing and now we’ve kind of come back to music and, and the beautiful thing is that yes, we can tie all those things together.

[00:24:18] So again, the software, it makes it so accessible and easy, so appropriate. For example, we can actually draw animations. So we can animate anything that we want. Then at the same time, we can make music that we can put to our animations. We can obviously use our iPads to do stock motion again, do sound effects, you know, for that.

[00:24:38] So using a phone, we go out. So again, we don’t need expensive stuff. We’ve got all the stuff we need. We just going out and, and I think another important thing for me about that sometimes, especially when we’re working with Neurodiverse our kids in general, really is to be very adaptable on the day. Mm.

[00:24:57] Like I’ve caught myself so many times driving to a client thinking, Oh, what did we do last week? Oh, cool. We should probably work on that song again. Or, you know, I wanna show them some cool thing that I saw on the internet. And then I walk in there and they’re already on a mission. Yeah, but they’ve got something else that they wanna do.

[00:25:14] Yeah. And then I have to just kind of take, and it’s like, and that’s I guess my approach is that person-centered approach about Yeah, I let them lead. Exactly. So on a day they might not feeling be feeling great. And that’s okay. You know, and, and a lot of times I’ve had sessions where we haven’t done anything but just talk.

[00:25:32] So, Yeah. You know, sometimes people just need a bit of a, a chat and, and that’s great too. So.

[00:25:39] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, that’s really great. I mean, I remember being a kid, I was just always very creative and I just, I did a lot of craft as like a, you know, in those primary years. I remember being in a high school and I just, I, I saw this black and white picture of an eagle in a book, and I don’t know why I’m like, I could draw that.

[00:26:00] I picked up a pencil and I drew it, and then I was about 14, and then suddenly I became known. As an art person, and I went on, did a degree in visual arts. Yeah. But it was, and then ironically went into politics, . But it, but I always, you know, my success in politics came from my creativity very much so.

[00:26:26] And exactly. Because with creativity I always look at it as it’s a series of problem solving, you know, and going with the flow, isn’t it? That creative flow. And so it was always like going with the flow. And so, which ultimately led me to working with vulnerable teenagers in Scotland where we would use arts to build confidence and self-esteem.

[00:26:54] Get them outta bed because these were kids with generational dysfunction, you know, really tough lives. And we used to use, we would anything, music, fashion, any kind of art because it’s such a beautiful, affirming, expressive. There is nothing wrong, you know, you can’t do anything wrong. Absolutely. Kind of medium and so, I just think it’s one of those things that has so much to give and, but don’t box it as a parent.

[00:27:32] Don’t kind of go, Well, it has to look like this or it has to look like that. Yeah. And I think that’s what you do really beautifully with the kids as well. And I love those particular days when you’re very gracious and the kids are like, pressing buttons and like, No, try it this way. And, uh, you know, and I don’t know, one day they were there and they managed to get.

[00:27:56] Two screens linked or something. .

[00:27:59] Johannes Dreyer: Yes. That was fantastic. They got, yeah, they got my iPad. They got the mouse from the computer to go into the iPad, which is something I had managed to do myself. But .

[00:28:13] Sophia Elliott: So I guess in your experience of that creative process and the mentoring, and if we’re talking about gifted joy or just joy, You know, and, and what it brings to our lives.

[00:28:26] Uh, any kind of words of advice there for parents in. Mm.

[00:28:34] Johannes Dreyer: I think it’s exactly like you said,

[00:28:35] Let’s not box it.

[00:28:36] You know,

[00:28:37] creativity isn’t necessarily someone who can draw an absolutely fantastic still life, or someone who can paint beautiful abstract stuff. Creativity is so much more than that.

[00:28:49] It is that,

[00:28:49] it’s that process of self-reflecting and

[00:28:52] kind of

[00:28:53] building confidence and then

[00:28:54] kind of

[00:28:54] problem solving as you do all of that.

[00:28:57] So yeah, I think that’s the first thing. It’s just, except that that’s, that’s part of our lives. We are, we’re all creative in some way,

[00:29:05] you know, even business people who are always like, Oh, I’m not, I don’t have a creative bone in my body, but they can negotiate big deals, which is creative. So, Yeah. I guess in terms of other, Things like parents shouldn’t be scared to kind of get down on their, you know, knees next to the kids.

[00:29:25] And I found something like particularly coloring. Is a really, especially with younger kids, although I do it with a lot of older people as well, for like more mindfulness stuff, but, And kind of like using gel pens and stuff like that. Yeah. But get involved to kind of lead by example. Kids love that interaction.

[00:29:44] And you’ll be surprised actually at how relaxing it is and how, and then that’s when that process starts. It’s as simple as coloring in a mandala. Yeah. Then you go, Oh wow, you know, that’s, You feel great. Especially when you can kind of detach from that, Oh, it has to look perfect, or it has to look like something.

[00:30:03] I always joke about this the way of the budha. There’s this detachment, like you just, you’re doing it for that time, that moment. You enjoy that process, and then you don’t worry about. Like, you don’t, you don’t worry about putting it out on the internet. Which is funny cuz that was one of my big issues when I was kind of really in the music industry because I didn’t have that drive to always wanna have my stuff out there.

[00:30:28] I’d just be like, Oh no, I’m, I’m happy to just have a, a folder with 6,000 songs. That’s okay. , you know, as, as you do. But yeah, so kind of just, just give it a go, you know, get involved. Have a play. I know, especially with a lot of parents around devices and apps and stuff, they wanna have a go themselves first.

[00:30:50] Yeah. So yeah. You know, just have a play. You, you might be surprised at how, how much fun you can have because it is so accessible. It really is, you know, easy and then researching, you know, if you dunno how to do something, get onto YouTube. So then again, we’re building life skills with the kids. Mm-hmm.

[00:31:07] like how do we actually research.

[00:31:09] Sophia Elliott: So, and as much as YouTube is the bane of my existence with my kids, it is a just a wonderful resource in terms of how do I do this? How do I do that? Like, it’s the best thing ever. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think you hear the nail on the head there when you mention perfectionism, especially with this audience,

[00:31:27] Yes. And, and that creative process is a great cure for perfectionism because it’s, you know, it’s, you have to kind of. Be a bit messy in the creative process. I think

[00:31:41] Johannes Dreyer: it is. It’s absolutely messy. And I think, and I always preach this when it comes to the music, like especially the, the music production and the electronic type music, the radio stations, and I’m not gonna name and shame them on here, , but you know, they always have this This vision of, or this thing that they portray of the people, you know, Oh, Susie has just picked up a piano and she was just like smashing some buttons and all of a sudden she’s got this hip song.

[00:32:06] But no, actually she’s been playing piano since she was three. She’s got like great whatever in, you know, classical piano, but that’s not. You know, Pardon, sexy. You know, it’s, it’s this thing of like, Oh, this person’s just burst out of the, you know, wherever and here they are. Oh no, they’ve actually been making music for a very long time and it’s as soon as we can change that thing.

[00:32:27] Cuz that’s exactly where this, so young people are seeing this, they’re getting those messages going, Oh wow. These people that I look up to manage to do it. You know, This is the second song they’ve ever written. No, it’s not. It’s really not. And that’s the, that way of just making stuff. The more you make, the better you’re going to get.

[00:32:48] And then yeah, just kind of, you know, really having, having fun with the process I think is very

[00:32:54] Sophia Elliott: important. Yeah, yeah. Definitely. Going with the process, that lovely creative process of, I, uh, always remember a, a weekend painting thing I did, and I was probably about 20. And the artist there who was, who’s taking us would say, Throw away your darlings.

[00:33:12] You know, in reference to those bits of the painting, whatever it is, the painting, the music, whatever, that you kind of love, but you’re afraid to touch because you’re like, I might mess it up. And it was kinda like, we’ll mess it up. You know, Don’t be afraid of making that mess and seeing where else it can go.

[00:33:31] And I always sort of, that always stuck in my head, just like, Mess it up. It’s okay. We’ll see where this goes. Yeah, which is my entire philosophy of this podcast, I have to

[00:33:41] Johannes Dreyer: say, . That’s perfect. It’s absolutely perfect.

[00:33:46] Sophia Elliott: Well, Johan, thank you so much for joining us for Gifted, Talented and Neurodiversity Awareness Week and talking about Gifted Joy.

[00:33:56] It brings me great joy to see my kids, uh, you know, creating that digital music and digital art with you. I might ask them if they’re happy to lend a little tune that we can put in this podcast as a bit of a segue here and there, which would be really lovely. But before we go, how can people find you?

[00:34:21] Who do you is. You’re here in Adelaide?

[00:34:25] Johannes Dreyer: I am in Adelaide, yes. So most of my clients I see face to face. I do have a couple that I see over Zoom and stuff, but yeah, I guess beat frequency.com au. It’s my website so you can reach me on there or my email is johan beat frequency.com au. If you wanna reach out, even if you have questions about software and gear to buy, I’m always happy to help people there.

[00:34:52] Yeah, it’s probably the best way to reach me. Awesome.

[00:34:56] Sophia Elliott: I’ll put all those links in the show notes. Everyone can find you. And just thank you once again for joining us today. It’s been a real pleasure.

[00:35:03] Johannes Dreyer: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been awesome. .

#066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff

#066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff

It’s Gifted, Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week; and we’re Bringing Joy & Equity in Focus with this year’s theme.

As a proud partner of The G Word, Our Gifted Kids is delighted to raise awareness once again with a whole week of podcasts. Actually, 6 episodes! Where we talk about #gifted joy!

Podcast Line Up

  • Marc Smolowitz introduces the week with – #064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy
  • Monday
    • #065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue
  • Tuesday
    • #066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff
  • Wednesday
    • #067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer
  • Thursday
    • #068 A Higher Skate of Mind for Gifted Kids w/ Josh Smith
  • Friday
    • #069 Why Dungeons & Dragons is Gifted Bliss w/ Sam Young


Enjoyed the podcasts? Our online community is currently open until midnight Thursday 3 November! Find out more here!

Or subscribe, join our online community or get freebies, say thanks at ourgiftedkids.com

Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us!

Our GTN Awareness Week Links



When I think of board games I don’t know anyone else who knows more than my friend, Justin. I’m delighted he came on the show to share his joy with us!

He’s introduced our family to sooo many board games!

Justin is originally from the US, is a high school teacher, a parent, and a self-confessed board game enthusiast & proselytizer!

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome to day two of gifted talented, and you heard diversity awareness week here in our gifted kids. We’re celebrating gifted joy this week, and we’re super excited to be doing

[00:00:12] Today’s episode is with my friend, Justin. He was originally from the U S now living in Australia. He’s a dad, he’s a high school teacher. And most importantly, he is a self-confessed obsessed board gamer. And when I thought about doing gifted joy, I naturally thought about board games. And I actually thought about Justin because I don’t know anyone else who has gone as deep.

[00:00:36] As a deep dive. Into board games is Justin. He’s a wealth of knowledge and it was an absolute delight to talk to him today. About board games. So thank you very much for your time, Justin. Hugely appreciate Board games are awesome. And they can be a bit of investment as a family. We’ve gotten to a habit of.

[00:00:57] Every Christmas, investing in, , a significant board game as a family. And. Smaller board games, , for birthday presents and things like But there are a lot of fun and there’s such a huge variety. And as we talk about in the podcast, Let’s I didn’t. Really grow up, being a big board gamer.

[00:01:16] , when I was a kid, it was all operation and monopoly. There wasn’t a whole lot around, like there is today. So this was a whole new world for me as a parent. And it’s one that we really enjoy. So I hope that you get a lot out of today’s episode as well, and find that it’s something that you could explore more deeply with your family.

[00:01:36] Whether that’s yourself with your kids, or like, just as grownups I have actually been to. Uh, social evening with other mums and we played board games and it was a huge laugh. So lots of fun to be had. And this week we’re of course talking about. Gifted joy. We’re doing a podcast every day. This week.

[00:01:58] To support gifted, talented, and your own diversity awareness week as brought to us by The G Word. And we’re proud, proud partner. Of The G Word

[00:02:08] So be sure to register, uh, the details are in the show notes. There’s lots going on this week outside of what we’re doing. So do check that out at The G Word.

[00:02:19] If you haven’t already, you can subscribe at our gifted kids. So you don’t miss any of our podcasts. And at the moment until the 3rd of November, And the, our gifted kids online communities. Uh, open, we have three new communities online for people to choose from. So there is something for everyone. So check that out in the show notes, take care and jump onto Facebook or Instagram. And let me know, what is your favorite board game?

[00:02:46] What is it that your family loves to play? Either your kids or yourself and let us know so we can share. And. Inspire others to try them out as well. So stay quirky and, oh, we’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Take care. And bye.

[00:03:35] Hello everyone. Welcome to today’s podcast. It has been a very big week here on the Our Gifted Kids Massive Week for Gifted, Talented and Neurodiversity Awareness Week, a whole week of podcasts. And the theme this year is all about. Equity and joy and our gifted kids were focusing on the joy component.

[00:03:56] Cause I thought, why not? Let’s have some fun this week and shake it up a little. So today I’m very excited to be talking to a friend of mine, Justin Ratcliffe, because when I thought about joy and the things that my kids love and we do as a family, For me, unlike board games came up and when I was thinking about doing the podcast, I’m like, who can I talk to about board games?

[00:04:22] And I don’t know anyone who knows more about board games than Justin. So Justin, welcome. I’m really excited to have you here today.

[00:04:29] Justin Ratcliff: Uh, thanks for having me.

[00:04:31] Sophia Elliott: So, when I think about this week’s theme and gifted joy, board games definitely come up because I, I don’t know about you or anyone listening, but when I was a kid, board games extended to connect for Monopoly operation. And like guess who, right? The one where you’ve gotta guess the face. We weren’t a big board game household, and I don’t know, maybe that was just the eighties.

[00:04:59] Maybe that was all that was on offer. I don’t know. But when I became a parent, this was a really new space for me and early on in our parenting journey. It was actually a psychologist who had suggested to us it when we were looking at some challenges we were having with one of our kids about not just winning and losing, but trying hard things and doing difficult things and being uncomfortable in difficult places because that was such a rare occurrence for them.

[00:05:33] She was actually. Just play some quick card games like fish or just something really quick because then you’re just practicing that winning and losing really quickly and it’s low stakes and it’s just about forming that habit. And so ever since then, our family has kind of gone on this board game adventure, uh, which greatly accelerated when we.

[00:05:59] Justin and his family and started playing board games. Uh, so Justin, first of all, what is it about board games that you love?

[00:06:09] Well, I have a confession. I didn’t care for board games in my probably like twenties or thirties. And I, I was working with someone that was really into board games and I’m like, Really?

[00:06:21] You’re a grown man? Like, what are you doing? Still playing board games or whatever. So I kind of this chauvinistic attitude about it. And then of all games, we had a copy of Pluto kicking around and we sat down and played it and I was absolutely hooked. So through the power of Pluto, which. Doesn’t necessarily rate very highly.

[00:06:40] That was, that was my, uh, my introduction to board gaming. And I became, I’ll say obsessed. And then leading to quite the collection now. But, uh, yeah, just, uh, beware that if you, uh, a game could hook you. So, uh, but in my teenage years I played a lot of risk with my friends, which is a very mean, uh, player elimination.

[00:07:05] Board game that falls under the category of Amer trash, but it’s an Amer trash classic. And it’s the, if monopoly is still selling copies, risk is definitely still selling copies even in, uh, 2021 or 22. So Pluto, watch, watch your stuff.

[00:07:24] Yeah. You never know what gets you, I have to say I really enjoy playing Uno flip with the kids.

[00:07:29] Uh, and I played Uno as a kid, but the new version, you know, flip. It’s quite cheeky. Uh, it is. And yeah, and it can be quite harsh and it’s a little, Well, it’s got

[00:07:40] Justin Ratcliff: that dark side in that

[00:07:41] Sophia Elliott: light side, doesn’t it? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s just that added complexity, because let’s face it, the gifted brain loves complexity, loves problem solving, making connections, uh, you know, Many gifted people will have strengths in the visual spatial areas and working memory and processing and all these sort of things.

[00:08:03] So like board games, this is our jam. Right.

[00:08:07] Justin Ratcliff: Well, you know, UNO has always been a top three favorite. Like when Michelle and I first met and we were, uh, backpacking around Japan and like camping and stuff, like we had a deca uno cards with us. I love Uno. It’s, I think it’s a fantastic game. Yeah,

[00:08:19] Sophia Elliott: it is, it is.

[00:08:20] It really is one of my faves. But you touched on something there when you were talking about risk and you categorized that game. And so this is something I learned only a few years ago at the beginning of my board game journey. And it’s that there are different types of board games and. So one that we have latched onto is a collaborative style of board game.

[00:08:45] And we did that because as a family, sometimes it can be a challenge. The winning and losing can be a challenge, but if you’re playing one on one against each other, like losing can be really hard. Right. But if you’re playing as a team to. In that board to like win in that board game. It lessens the impact of losing.

[00:09:07] Yeah. So it becomes a really great way of learning that, you know, practicing not being good at something or, or losing something without the stakes being quite so high. Right. And so we, we kind of dived into this collaborative board game space, but tell us, uh, a little bit about some of the different types of board games that are around these.

[00:09:30] Justin Ratcliff: Well, as you mentioned, there’s collaborative, there’s a competitive, so that would be one of the most basic categories. Uh, and a category, probably even more basic than that, is whether or not it’s an abstract game or it’s a game that has themes. So the game that’s gonna be closest to our understanding of abstract is chess.

[00:09:51] Chess is an abstract game. Chess is also a perfect information game where you don’t, you’re not hiding your cards behind you. You’re definitely hiding. You know your intentions other than winning, but there’s no theme whatsoever, even though the pieces are carved until like Rook and Queen and stuff like that.

[00:10:09] Beyond that, there’s no theme whatsoever. Whereas you can have a very heavily themed game. And this is an example of a cooperative, uh, this game horrified where you’re actually defeating or fighting. Cooperatively against classic, uh, like silver screen monsters. So you’re fighting against Dracula, you’re fighting against the mummy, the werewolf.

[00:10:35] There’s even the swamp creature in here. So, uh, this would be an example of a heavily themed game, Uhhuh, and then sitting underneath of that theme are the mechanics. So, whereas chess is just raw mechanics, Some games like Horrified will have that layer of theme sitting on top of the mechanics of the game where it’s like hard drafting or set collection.

[00:11:00] And then I mentioned the categories of Amira trash versus, uh, the opposite. I don’t know if it’s the opposite, but you have a category of game called Euros. So going back to your copy of Kaan Katan is probably the classic example of a Euro based game. There’s not a lot of conflict. Uh, you’re gaining victory points, uh, high end wood components and stuff.

[00:11:26] Whereas Amer trash is just, you open the box and it’s 800 pounds of plastic and cards and just bits and pieces flying everywhere. And that title of Amer trash is kind of, uh, it’s, it’s not meant to be pejorative. It’s meant to kind of be endearing, but when you open a box of risk, It’s just plastic everywhere.

[00:11:44] So someone, I don’t know where the origins are when it originates that, it’s called Amer trash, but that’s a, a whole genre. And then in the fullness of time, like you have hybrid euro slash Amer trash, so you give it enough time, people are gonna put all the bits and pieces together. But that, that’s, that covers probably the, the broadest categories within board gaming.

[00:12:09] Sophia Elliott: Wow, I hadn’t even heard of those. So let grab it’s,

[00:12:13] Justin Ratcliff: People do very deep dives with this stuff, but I mean, it’s a creative process. I mean, you’re talking about there’s probably easily 10,000 different kinds of board games and stuff. So there’s a lot of creativity in there. There’s a lot of like, just rehashing of mechanics and stuff, cuz it’s hard to create something completely new.

[00:12:31] So a lot of

[00:12:33] Sophia Elliott: so, and mechanics being, uh, do you. The way the game is played. What

[00:12:39] Justin Ratcliff: exactly like, are you throwing dice to advance the game or the story? Are you using cards? Are you using action points? All kinds of things. Yes. Is it a, is it a deck builder? Like I know that, uh, star realms is very popular in your house and it’s Yeah, definitely popular in our house too.

[00:12:56] But that is another genre called a deck builder, where you start with a deck of pretty weak cards. But then you can use the currency from those cards to buy more powerful cards, and then you slowly build up a hand of cards that can be quite devastating. And that’s the charm of it. That’s when you get, when you lay down all your strongest cards, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, you just get a big grin on your face.

[00:13:18] Cause you , you’re about to unleash Hell .

[00:13:21] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And there’s a lot of strategy and complexity to that. So star realms, I, I meant to grab it, but it is a card. There’s lots of cards now. The kids always wanna play it with me. And I’ve just never quite, it’s never quite stuck. So I’m always like, uh, help mommy be kind.

[00:13:42] Uh, but it’s this, this complexity to it, this strategy to it. And you sort of, one of these card games you can play, I think with up to four people. And you’re, like you said, you’re kind of building a deck of. What am I looking for? Spaceships? Uh, yeah. You know, and it’s like this inter galactic conflict and my kids love it.

[00:14:04] My youngest in particular totally kicks mot and. And so there’s lots of really interesting card games. Actually, I’ve also, this is another one. This is about where I’m at. It’s called Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, and this is hilarious to play of Violent games. We

[00:14:22] Justin Ratcliff: own .

[00:14:23] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, right. It’s sort of, and I think that’s the, you know, it’s the breadth.

[00:14:31] Options you have these days. So you’ve got Taco Cat Go cheese pizza at one end, Star realms on the other, and so many different things in between. So with Taco Cat Go Cheese pizza, there are, you’ve kind of gotta say the name. In an order, but the cards might be different and there’s different actions for different cards and it’s just hilarious.

[00:14:53] Uh, well, it’s basically

[00:14:54] Justin Ratcliff: snap right? With a, with a few more bits sprinkled on top. So it’s a proven game that, that kids enjoy and will understand very quickly. But it’s also really

[00:15:03] Sophia Elliott: fun. Yeah, it’s, it’s hilarious. And then before we were talking to about games like Kaan, which is also another favorite in this household.

[00:15:15] And my, the, I mean, my understanding of that, it’s you, you, it’s a dice game and you’re trying to build roads and cities to resources. So it’s about getting resources to build things and you’ve gotta trade with people. Uh, and so, Yeah, a really fabulous game to play as

[00:15:35] Justin Ratcliff: a family. Katana’s a really, I think the, the enduring quality of Katana is the, is that negotiation mechanic where I might have three I’m, and I’m gonna give a terrible example here, cause I think wool is the one that everyone always is running short of.

[00:15:49] But you might have a lot of this one resource and you need that one resource. Yep. To to complete one of your goals and you have to negotiate with other people around the table. So you, our kids would be experimenting with negotiation techniques and stuff, and, and there’s always gonna be one player like, No, I don’t want you to get ahead.

[00:16:08] But just giving them experience with negotiating with, with others, I think is worth the price of admission. And then, uh, just going back to star roams. A big component of that game that, that attracted me to it playing with Sam was the arithmetic. Cuz you have to track how many uh, points that you have, how much currency you’ve built up, and then for each hand you have to do a bunch of adding and subtracting.

[00:16:33] So playing that with younger kids, it’s, it gives them a reason to interact with math that they might not feel comfortable with otherwise. That, that classic example of sneaking, uh, the veg into this bag bowl, so to speak.

[00:16:45] Sophia Elliott: Yes, definitely. And I think that’s the great things about board games is. There’s, there’s so many different benefits.

[00:16:54] Uh, a lot of them, especially if you’ve got dice or something, you are, you’ve got maths involved. You’re connecting with people, so yeah, you’re socializing. It can make socializing easier as well. Yeah. Cause you’re kind of, they’re doing something. You’re learning about how to interact with people, like you said, negotiating sometimes strategy.

[00:17:15] How am I gonna approach playing with this person and having a

[00:17:18] Justin Ratcliff: poker face?

[00:17:20] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, that’s right. And there is tons of research out there. I did a quick Google and I was like, Yeah, there’s like heaps of benefits of board games. It’s the cognitive skills. And you’ve got all those complex thought processes, which gifted kids love.

[00:17:36] Yeah. Uh, and I wanna, I’ve got a couple of games here for a particular reason. So when we first started out, uh, the kids were younger and so we were looking for collaborative board games, so games that we were playing together and. A couple here that we got and like, and if you’re listening and think, uh, it’s not about finding these specific games, they’re just kind of examples of different types of games because there’s so many out there.

[00:18:07] But two that we have, one was called Catch. And one’s called out Fox and you play them together and catch you. Basically there’s a mouse, everyone’s a cat, and you’ve gotta work together on this board to catch the mouse. And out Foxed. Uh, There’s a thief and you’ve got to collectively figure out who the thief is and before, and you’ve gotta stop.

[00:18:33] You do it before the fox kind of gets away kind of thing. So just great examples of games that are a aimed at younger kids now. I think on the box it says six and plus and five and plus, but we were obviously playing with our kids at younger age than that because, Were gifted and asynchronous and, and so that meant their needs.

[00:18:56] But, uh, so when it sort of, when you’re thinking about your own children, your own family, I think it’s just good to know there’s so many board games out there these days that no matter what the age, there would be some kind of collaborative, uh, board game that would would work if that’s what you’re after.

[00:19:15] Another one of like the forbidden. And the, what’s the other one? There’s, there’s a few Forbidden.

[00:19:23] Justin Ratcliff: There’s Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island. And then the last one in the series, I believe is Forbidden Sky, or Forbid Forbidden Skies.

[00:19:31] Sophia Elliott: And again, similar kind of. Working together, but for older age groups, more complicated.

[00:19:38] I really enjoy these ones as well. With the kids.

[00:19:40] Justin Ratcliff: Yeah, I, I reckon, uh, Forbidden Island and Forbidden. Probably Forbidden Island more than Forbidden Desert. Cuz Forbidden Desert has an added dimension of difficulty. Whereas, uh, Forbidden Island is definitely what would be considered a gateway game in that.

[00:19:54] Mm-hmm. , you would introduce non-board gamers to it and it would very likely hook them on board . So it’s referred to as a gateway game,

[00:20:03] Sophia Elliott: and I think I’ve also gotta do a warning for parents. And that warning comes around the complexity of games. And so I’ve got a game here called Subatomic, which my.

[00:20:18] Eld who is right into all things molecular, absolutely loves to play, but is really complicated. And so what you really want is to find like-minded peers, , so they can dive into that complexity together. But it’s nice to know that there are games out there like that that can meet the the quirky high complexity needs.

[00:20:44] Our gifted kids

[00:20:45] Justin Ratcliff: and, and our educational nature. Cuz that same writer is, uh, John j Co view. I only mispronounce his name, but we have two copies of his games. He went on to make a cellular or biology game called Psychosis. Oh wow. Yep. And uh, he’s got one out recently from Kickstarter that we’ve got called, uh, Genotype.

[00:21:05] So it’s basically the story of Mendel and his peas. But it’s talking about like your, the job is to basically create different kinds of p plans, which it sounds very, very, uh, geeky and stuff. It is, but it’s also got this educational quality to it and that mixed with like really, really high end components and stuff can, can make for quite a, quite a pleasant experience and, and educational nature.

[00:21:31] So there is, you could almost say that there’s this extra genre of board game around just educational board games and sub atomic and cytosis would be really good examples of that.

[00:21:41] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, I think I could get into making P plants. Over and top of the, you know, making the different molecules. That sounds like a great game.

[00:21:51] Something for everybody. Yeah, definitely. Uh, so some of the great advantages of playing games, you know, it’s all about turn taking. You’ve got maths, you’ve got the connection. And I think as well, it’s a great opportunity, uh, to have that connection time with your kids. And I know. If I’m kind of wanting to spend some one-on-one time or family time, uh, it’ll often default to a board game that I know that particular child likes or we enjoy as a family.

[00:22:29] Because, you know, it’s that opportunity to sit down, to love to work together or against each other, whatever it might be. And, uh, it can be a really nice. Place to kind explore as a family.

[00:22:44] Justin Ratcliff: Some of these games scale really well as well. We should probably mention board game geek.com. Mm-hmm. is a website that, uh, is, it’s basically a huge Library of information on every board game pretty much ever made.

[00:23:02] But one thing it does really well is it will tell, it allows the, uh, board gaming community to weigh in on what the appropriate age for a game is. So a box might say, This game is designed for 12 plus. Whereas the community might say, No, no, no, I play this with my nine year old, and they’re totally comfortable with it.

[00:23:18] So then there would be that, that community grade of what the appropriate age is. Uh, you mentioned, uh, the weight of a game or the complexity of a game that that’s also described on board game geek.com. But most importantly is that player count. Like what, what, how many players does this game absolutely shine at?

[00:23:40] Because there are games that are designed for two players. Chess being an example, and there’s a whole ton of head-to-head games. And another thing it does really well is there’s a community rating about how good the game is. Mm. So Katan sat, I want say Katan. So Katan came out in like 1995. And it was at the, it was number one on board Game Geek for like 15 years, cuz there Oh, wow.

[00:24:06] A, there wasn’t a lot of competition, but b I think a lot of kids grew up playing Kaan and fell in love with board games and then they became board game designers themselves. So that became, that, you know, their starting point would be Kaan, so they would be building off of that. Whereas the, the people that created Kitan, like who were they building off of Monopoly.

[00:24:25] And Chas, So, uh, board game geek.com is an excellent place to, if you’re curious about a game, is it, is it worth spending a lot of money on? Cause some of these games are really quite expensive.

[00:24:37] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Well, and, and let’s talk about that. So yeah, there is the, the investment aspect of this, uh, some of them are quite the investment.

[00:24:48] But we were actually. Talking earlier, saying that these days actually Kmart is actually doing a lot of, uh, board games at, at very reasonable prices.

[00:24:59] Justin Ratcliff: Kmart’s got a great popular, legitimately good games.

[00:25:05] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, some, so some really good games there at Kmart. So worth having a look around. I know when we, uh, were starting.

[00:25:15] We would head down to the game store and have a chat with people who worked there. And that was really helpful, uh, because that game rolled up Marion.

[00:25:25] Justin Ratcliff: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, they’re super, super because they love board games. Uh, the services been really good there and they will definitely steer you in, in the right direction.

[00:25:34] Yeah,

[00:25:35] Sophia Elliott: so it could be really helpful if, if the people who work there are, are board givers because it can feel quite overwhelming. Where to start. And it’s nice to get some recommendations and ideas, uh, about what works. And so I think, uh, actually, you know, a social media Posts about this podcast, I will put out there, What’s your favorite board game?

[00:25:58] So that people can let us know, you know, what are they playing and really enjoying because I think that, uh, knowing getting those recommendations is gold. Uh, definitely. And so, and let’s maybe end on, what are some of your favorite board games at the moment? Let’s say at the moment, ,

[00:26:16] Justin Ratcliff: Uh, no, it’s very much at the moment probably.

[00:26:20] I think my number one favorite game right now, and Sam’s now old enough to start playing it with me, is a game called Terraforming Mars, which came out a couple years ago. Uh, there’s constantly, there’s like hundreds of games coming out every year, but Terraforming Mars just for, so like the, it marries a lot of the mechanics we were talking about.

[00:26:43] So there’s a card aspect of it. There’s a puzzle aspect of it. Cause you’re actually putting. Tiles on Mars to indicate like you’ve, you’re planting a forest or you’re building a city, but the whole object of the game is basically to get the oxygen level up to 14%, the temperature up to eight degrees Celsius, and to have, uh, nine oceans set somewhere on the map.

[00:27:08] And then the way that you place them on the. The way that they fit together can earn you more points. So it’s very puy, It’s can be slightly mean, but it’s, anyways, it’s, it’s got the right level of complexity, uh, the right play time. I quite enjoy it. And now that Sam’s starting to play it and, and being quite good at it, it’s, it’s fun to play with them.

[00:27:31] And it plays relatively well at a two player count. I think it’s three players where it’s really shines, but, so that would be number one. Uh, we tend to play a lot of, uh, pandemic, which is available at Kmart. This is a, an upgraded version of it. An expansion. But you can get pandemic at Kmart, I wanna say for like $39, which is an amazing game.

[00:27:56] It’s a cooperative game. Very easy to learn and pick up and quite challenging. And then, uh, we, we were talking previously about this, uh, this game Yin, which I couldn’t recommend just because it’s hard to get hands on, but this is a, uh, very compelling, uh, abstract that I quite enjoy playing. Game lasts maybe 20 to 30 minutes.

[00:28:25] Uh, it’s very easy to teach. Just not hard or just not easy to come by, frankly. But yeah. You mentioned uh, Out Fox was a very popular title in our house and it, it plays really well with the young ones. Uh, it’s relatively gentle. If should the fox get away, it’s like, ah, he got away. But it’s, you know, it’s, it’s very, very gentle and very pleasant experience I reckon.

[00:28:48] So yeah, those would, and then, uh, Variation on pandemic would be this game, uh, called Ghost Fighting Treasure Hunters. That plays really well with young kids where you’re basically going into a haunted house and stealing these gems. But as the game plays on, the number of ghosts that are in the house increases, and then eventually the ghosts turn into Poltergeist and then it gets so, so the tension ratchets up, but it’s not like extreme.

[00:29:19] It’s not scary. But it’s always like, can I get out of the house in time before we’re, This place is totally overrun with ghosts. And so when you win a cooperative like that, you, you get that sweet. Release of like serotonin and it’s, it’s, it’s fun. It’s a fun game and it’s a fun family experience, I

[00:29:35] Sophia Elliott: think.

[00:29:36] Yeah. I actually remember Lil and Michelle playing that game, uh, when we were over one time and it looked like a lot of fun actually. That was really the different,

[00:29:46] Justin Ratcliff: Yeah. Cause Michelle put like the little blinking lights up in the Polar guys, so it like added to. To the theme of it, and it made it like, even, it made it special, you know?

[00:29:54] Yeah,

[00:29:55] Sophia Elliott: yeah. And do you know, it’s just, it’s a lot of fun. Uh, board games highly underrated if you’re not into board games already. I definitely recommend and checking some out and exploring that as a family. One thing I, I do wanna just kind of end on is it’s not just for kids, like you said, uh, and, uh, over the last kind of year.

[00:30:19] You know, a group of moms and I went to our local, there’s like a cafe for gamers here in Adelaide called The Lost Dice. And they have lots of games there. And you can basically pick a, pick a game, go to your table, play the game, and order like coffee or pots and food. And it’s just a really nice way of socializing over a board game.

[00:30:43] And that’s actually. I came across that pizza, goat cheese, a card. Daniel was hilarious with a bunch of mums who, some of whom had a glass of wine, like it was really funny and. So there’s bound to be places like that around if that appeals to you, check it out. And I know there were a bunch of dads that also went to the same place and, and had a good time.

[00:31:06] So it can be a nice alternative way of socializing, uh, as parents or, you know, getting together. So definitely something

[00:31:15] Justin Ratcliff: for everyone. Well, there are, there are groups that get together in community centers and stuff specifically to play board games. So there’s, there’s quite a board gaming community worldwide and definitely here in Adela.

[00:31:27] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, and I think community is such a important and sometimes challenging thing for gifted kids and families. Do you know that finding that peer as a gifted kid can be incredibly difficult? So this is, uh, a possibility where you might find other peers. In that kind of extracurricular activity and well worth having a look at.

[00:31:54] And I will be doing another episode on d and d alone, but it’s a classic example of my, one of my kids goes to a d and d group and I’m like, You can’t sue a cat for hitting a gifted person in that group. So it’s that opportunity of finding like my peers and I think the board gaining community would potentially be similar.

[00:32:13] Certainly, you know, lots of people with a shared interest.

[00:32:18] so thank you Justin for joining us today. I really appreciate your insight there into board games, and I know you’ve got an absolute stash of games,

[00:32:27] Justin Ratcliff: there. Yeah. And it takes up a lot of real estate in the house, so

[00:32:31] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Well worth it though.

[00:32:33] Absolutely. And yeah, appreciate your time in, in. Through, uh, all the different types of board games and just kind of opening up that world for us a little bit. I will share the link to, is it board game geek.com? Yeah.

[00:32:49] Justin Ratcliff: And, and there one other link that I would recommend is, uh, I think it’s called the Board Game Oracle, but it.

[00:32:55] It goes out to all the different websites that sell board games, and it will, it’ll rank from cheapest to most expensive. So if you’re looking for a bargain, if someone’s got it on sale, that’s the place to go to find the cheapest copy available in Australia

[00:33:09] Sophia Elliott: Gold. That’s brilliant. Thank you. I’ll share those and.

[00:33:13] Yeah. Encourage everyone to go check out board games and something other than Monopoly or connect

[00:33:21] Justin Ratcliff: and don’t underestimate UNO or Pluto because they are powerful gateways to the world of gaming. .

[00:33:27] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely, Absolutely right. Awesome. Thanks so much.

[00:33:31] Justin Ratcliff: Thank you for having me. Thank you.

#065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue

#065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue

It’s Gifted, Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week; and we’re Bringing Joy & Equity in Focus with this year’s theme.

As a proud partner of The G Word, Our Gifted Kids is delighted to raise awareness once again with a whole week of podcasts. Actually, 6 episodes! Where we talk about #gifted joy!

Podcast Line Up

  • Marc Smolowitz introduces the week with – #064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy
  • Monday
    • #065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue
  • Tuesday
    • #066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff
  • Wednesday
    • #067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer
  • Thursday
    • #068 A Higher Skate of Mind for Gifted Kids w/ Josh Smith
  • Friday
    • #069 Why Dungeons & Dragons is Gifted Bliss w/ Sam Young


Enjoyed the podcasts? Our online community is currently open until midnight Thursday 3 November! Find out more here!

Or subscribe, join our online community or get freebies, say thanks at ourgiftedkids.com

Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us!

Our GTN Awareness Week Links



Kate Donohue

Kate has been working in the disability sector for more than 20 years. She has been a DIR therapist, kindergarten and school teacher, service leader, mentor, support worker and public speaker & presenter.

Kate was raised in rural SA and was a first-generation university attendee. She taught on Pitjantjatjara land, leading the special needs programs and co-facilitating the aboriginal inclusion programs with Aboriginal elders. Kate is grateful to be able to live and work on Kaurna land.

Her passion developed from her experiences of growing up ‘thinking, learning and experiencing my world differently’. She found ways to thrive in her own unique way in a world that is not designed for people who are different. This gives her valuable insights and a natural ability to relate.

Kate’s work experiences include researching disability inclusion in Norway, working with youth at risk in Canada and supporting children with severe and complex needs in the Cook Islands and rural Australia. Kate has facilitated many parent support groups and committees.

Kate’s learning journey really began when she became a parent to 2 neurodivergent girls and began to explore her own neurodivergence from a neurodivergent-affirming perspective.

Kate has supported hundreds of neurodivergent people and their families, educators, therapists & employers in the last 20 years. Kate has a deep understanding of neurodivergence which she uses to mentor, educate and support regardless of where people are on their journey.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome to gifted, talented and your ID. Awareness week. As a proud partner of The G Word Film, we are super excited to be involved again this year. Thank you to mark and his team for being behind GTN awareness week. It is a lot of fun. And this week, the theme is around equity and joy. And at our gifted kids, we’ve decided to focus on the joy component because.

[00:00:27] Well, we all need a bit of joy and you know, it can be really taboo to talk about gifted joy and those things that the gifted community. Really loves and does well. And gets excited about and like let’s face it totally geeks out on. And I thought what a great opportunity for us to just spend a week talking about the things that really get us excited and bring joy into our life.

[00:00:53] So we kicking off the week with a. Podcast with Kate Donnie here. And. Kate is one of my favorite people. She has been working in the disability sector for more than 20 years. She’s been a DIR therapist, kindergarten and school teacher service leader, mental support worker and public speaker and

[00:01:15] Kate herself is neurodivergent and found ways to thrive in her own unique way in a world that is not designed for people who are different. This gives her valuable insights and a natural ability to relate. Who are working experience includes researching disability inclusion in no Working with youth at risking Canada and supporting children with severe and complex needs in the cook islands and rural Australia.

[00:01:41] Kate has facilitated many parent support groups and communities. But her learning journey really began when she became a parent to two neurodivergent girls. And began to explore her own neurodivergence from a neurodivergent affirming perspective. She supported hundreds of neurodivergent people and their families, educators.

[00:02:03] Therapist and employees in the last 20 years. She has a deep, deep, deep, deep understanding of neurodivergence, which she uses to mentor, educate and support, regardless of where people are on their journey. I often suggest that people get in touch with Kate when they have really complex. Kiddos and really complex families because.

[00:02:28] She just one of those people that really gets the complexity and how one thing. Impacts on another. So it was fabulous today to talk to Kate about play. And why play is really important. And why it’s different for us as neurodivergent folk. So it’s a re despite we’re both a little bit knackered and my brain was probably a bit slower than Kate. She did a great job.

[00:02:55] Uh, and despite that really great episode, On some really important things to keep in mind as parents and as people. When it comes to play and exploring our joy. So I hope that you enjoy it. Now as gifted, talented and your diversity awareness week, you can register at The G Word. And stay on top of all the free stuff that goes on this week.

[00:03:19] Uh, because there is a lot out there and some really cool things. So please check out those links.

[00:03:26] Also here at our gifted kids and we are putting a podcast on every single day. So it’s a big week for us. And I hope you enjoy those. You can subscribe at our gift to kids and not miss anything. We’ve also got our doors open to Al three new online communities. So you can check them out at our gifted kids, backslash hub.

[00:03:46] And see what the fuss is all about. There’s a couple of cool videos there that show you what our online portals look like and tell you a bit more about what we And this is the way, the whole point of all this is, how do we make the journey easier? The parents. For us as people for our kids and bringing together.

[00:04:06] All of the knowledge, the experts are professional, the parents, the lived experience so that we can feel seen. We can feel heard. We can feel less alone. We can stay quirky. So stay quirky, have fun. And I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Enjoy.

[00:04:57] I’m here with Kate Donahue. One of my favorite people, uh, because it’s anyone listening, is like Monday a week. No it’s not. It’s Monday of day one of gifted talented and neurodiversity awareness week. And we’re here to talk to Kate about play because play is this massive part of joy, Joy play, right?

[00:05:21] And we’re honestly, our brains are both a little bit fried. So , it’s been interesting conversation. I’m. Trying to do effectively seven podcasts in a week and a half. So I’m a little bit fried. I, I always enjoy these things, but they they’re a challenge to get through. So I hope everyone’s loving, uh, these episodes and listening and sharing.

[00:05:51] So, Kate, welcome. You’ve been on a guest on the podcast before, and. You just for anyone who hasn’t come across Cape before, you can go back and listen to previous episodes. She’s just an awesome person and one of the few folk out there who just kind of gets that very deep complexity of neuro divergence and welcome.

[00:06:21] It’s a delight to have you here. Thank you.

[00:06:23] Kate Donohue: Thank you for having me. And I’m very excited to be talking about play because over 15 years ago, I started my first degree in early childhood development, which was all about the importance of play. And then I went out into the real world of teaching and parenting and realized that our society and our culture has a very different view on play than what the research says about the importance of play and the developing brain.

[00:06:49] And. So this is a topic that I love to talk about. So thank you for inviting me and

[00:06:55] Sophia Elliott: anyone who’s watching the video on our online portal. Uh, Kate’s brought along her bunny .

[00:07:02] Kate Donohue: You but yes. This is blue. Oh, blue shine blue.

[00:07:05] Sophia Elliott: He’s hiding. He’s snuggling. Uh, it’s so beautiful.

[00:07:09] Hello Blue. Welcome to the podcast as well. Yeah, play right. As a parent, I. Came across Montessori philosophy quite early in parenthood, and one of the things that I really love that’s always stuck with me was they say something along the lines of play is the work of children. It’s.

[00:07:33] It’s literally that important. It is their work and it should be respected and not interrupted. And we should allow that grace for them when they’re playing and getting into things because they’re doing real work for themselves.

[00:07:48] Kate Donohue: Well, absolutely it is what children are generally naturally drawn to.

[00:07:54] It’s the space where they are actively involved, their whole brain, their entire body. And when real problems arise, this is when they can actually access different parts of themselves. So it’s, when we are teaching children, they have a, a, it’s lot less effective because their engagement level varies their interest level, their capacity, where they’re at as an individual, but play.

[00:08:22] Come at it from where they are at that time. So it is always very relevant to them. And the thing that we miss, so in Scandinavian countries, they don’t introduce formal literacy and numeracy learning until about seven years of age. And their outcomes are much better than other places where we start at five.

[00:08:38] So we have this idea that repetition is best and really narrowing down into what learning can look. But children’s brains and bodies are much more dynamic than often what we think as adults. There are many things that are underlying development that we don’t know about. For example, if a child is struggling to write, the best option isn’t always to.

[00:09:01] Get them to practice with a pencil more and more. This doesn’t always produce very good outcomes because there are some underlying fine motor skills that need to be developed. So playing with Play-Doh, playing in the sand, building things with their fingers is actually what they need before they can start to write.

[00:09:19] So doing more of the same thing won’t necessarily get better results Doing a. Range of activities like what play can offer one, it is actually what they need for the developing bodies, and two, it is very engaging. So they’re invested in this. We are as neuro divergent people when we are in that flow state, when we are engaged in what we’re doing, our brains are 400 times more effective at learning than a neurotypical brain.

[00:09:49] So as gifted in neuro dive, People, particularly as kids, the ability to. Throw our whole selves into our passions is our learning style. It is how we learn best. So if we are stopping our children, and this is the way schools designed to from that deep dive, cause we go really, really deep, we go really, really broad.

[00:10:11] We, we want to know all the connections and all the pieces and know. About our passion at that time, but we can’t do that in small blocks. That is really difficult because transitions are often really difficult. Switching tasks are really difficult and sometimes starting a task even if we want to. So there’s executive function differences in a neuro divergent brain, including gifted children and adults that mean.

[00:10:35] Some of the structures we have in society don’t allow us to get the best out of our brains to really be able to develop the skills, to know how to follow our passions and interests. Cause sometimes when we watch our kids, we kind of sometimes are like, I wish they would. Put as much energy and effort into, you know, getting ready for school or going to school or reading or science when that’s not their passion.

[00:10:57] But we have to trust that they’re learning a lot of skills in the play and the engagement that they’re, that they’re doing. We just don’t always know where they’re going, so we can’t control what they’re learning, how they’re learning what they’re doing. Particularly a lot of our gifted kids, they charge full ahead and we are just struggling to keep up and run behind them to try and.

[00:11:17] Them to, or, well, we need to understand where they’re at so we can support them. But we, and the analogy we were talking about before this podcast is sometimes we mistaken ourselves for being the engineer of our children. And this isn’t the case. We’re actually more like a shepherd, so that we’re providing the environment, we’re supporting them, we’re scaffolding them, and we’re encouraging them to be themselves and learning ways that work for them and plays the perfect medium to be able to do.

[00:11:45] video2016907852: So

[00:11:45] Sophia Elliott: a few things you’ve said there, I mean, there’s a bunch of things you said there, but a few really relevant that jump out for gifted Neurodiverse kids is like, repetition is not as great as it sounds, uh, and doing more of the same. So it’s that typical kind of thing of, oh, they’re gifted, give them more worksheets.

[00:12:10] And it’s kind of like actually, That’s the number one way to lose engagement, uh, and, and make for a very unhappy, gifted child, uh, is just more worksheets. Uh, but what we could be doing instead is respecting that depth, that deep dive, and actually creating that space for them to get fully engaged in what they’re really engaged about, which I think is.

[00:12:37] Important to know and get as a parent because we wanna help, we wanna support, uh, you know, we wanna see them improve in those areas where they might be struggling and they’re racing off ahead of us and we’re trying to keep up and provide opportunities. It can get really kind of overwhelming and it can be hard to know, you know, are we doing the right thing?

[00:13:02] Is it too much? Is it not enough? But some of what you’ve said there is take a breath and play because within that play and that special interest, you are actually going to get the focus and the skill development on those things that they need without kind of feeling like we’ve gotta force the issue all the time.

[00:13:31] Because I, you know, I know myself. Having to have learnt that lesson, especially in the early days of kind of trusting in the journey and trusting in your kids. Yeah. And, and understanding how important it is to support those special interests, even though they might seem a bit odd , or they might be, Okay, we are memorizing all of the Pokemon, or, you know, we’re memoriz.

[00:14:03] all of the train time tables or I don’t know, whatever quirky kind of thing, uh, it might be. But what I found is one thing will lead to another. Hmm. And you never know where you, you will end up that Pokemon obsession and learning them all may end up with some creative writing stop motion animation. Uh, do you know?

[00:14:26] And it’s kind of like, where can we take that special interest? How can we expand on that a bit and explore because they’re so engaged in that particular play. So, and, and I think this is one of the things I wanted to talk with you about today is, Is the special interest and how important that is to the gifted neuro divergent brain and how much we need to kind of honor and respect that space because it’s a space that really does provide intense joy and satisfaction regardless of how quirky it is.

[00:15:04] Kate Donohue: And it’s deeper than that as well. It’s also how we identify often for many neuro divergent people, we relate to our special interests, just like a child relates to significant family members. So spending time with that. Interest builds a sense of wellbeing and a sense of self. Joining a child in their special interests also builds a strong bond because you are bonding in a safe place for them, a place that makes sense for them, a part of who they are and a part of their identity, and you are choosing to join in with that.

[00:15:37] So it’s a lot. Particularly if, if for neurotypical people to understand our relationship to our special interests should be seen as a significant relationship that we would have with someone important in our life. That’s why it’s really important not to take away interests as punishments or to interfere with that because it would be similar to taking a parent away from a child because they threw something like, We’ve gotta really be mindful that special interests are relationships that need to be protect.

[00:16:06] That need to be invested in and. From that place, it’s not just about the content of what they’re learning. If they’re learning geography, you might be like, Great. If they’re learning about Pokemons, you might be like, Oh, that’s not valuable, but it is because underneath that are dispositions for learning and that’s what’s important and what sets us up for success later on is how do I problem solve?

[00:16:30] Like it’s all the things that are going on in their brain, all the neurons that are developing through the activity, even if we don’t value the activity within itself. So we can often think, Oh, but they’ve spent so much time doing this thing that I don’t think is actually very educational or valuable.

[00:16:45] But there’s a lot of things going on underneath. And the thing is, yes, it might be better if they were doing other things, but that’s not real. That’s not who they’re, that’s not where they’re at at that time. Often I find parents say things like, Oh, but they won’t join me in other things. I try and play with them.

[00:17:03] I try and engage them in other things that other kids their age are engaging in. We always must join our children first, so when we bond with our children and we engage with them, and that relationship is really enjoyable for them and mutually respectful. We’ve got a lot more scope to say, Hey, I found this really exciting thing I’d love to share with you, and they’re more likely to be able to join in with us.

[00:17:26] And that’s also developing reciprocity and social skills, but it’s done from a place of joy rather than a place of. We should be doing this. So when we come from that really authentic place, this is very therapeutic for our kids who struggle with other relationships because we’re role modeling, how to follow le follow their lead, and then maybe inviting them to follow our lead.

[00:17:47] So there’s a lot we can do by joining our children very naturally and by seeing where they’re at in that space and, and if we decide we want to be able to introduce them to other things, we can just trial that out and it’s OK if they. At that moment, they might not be ready. But if we do it with a lot of safety and we do it with a lot of care and consideration, there’s more scope to be able to do those things in the future.

[00:18:12] Sophia Elliott: I really like that. Just the simplicity of what is my child into, right? Shall we spend an hour doing that? And I mean, to be sure as a parent, it can get a bit exhausting listening to the special interests because they will tell you for a long time, many times, uh, in great depth and detail. And so I wanna validate and acknowledge , how exhausting that can be.

[00:18:41] But at the same time, I’ve certainly seen and experience that connection. Just taking the time and kind of going, Oh, tell me what you’ve learned in that thing, or what’s, what’s your newest kind of fact of the day? Or, Yeah, just even a small amount of connection on that point can be really beautiful and I, I think, yeah, you know, I think the kids feel really seen by that as well, which is really.

[00:19:10] Kate Donohue: I’d like to extend on what you’re saying about the challenges of the reality of doing this, because a lot of what I do is about reality and how complex it can be. So it’s okay to say things like, I can see this is really important for you right now, but I have a bit of a traffic jam going in my brain.

[00:19:26] I’m gonna go grab a cup of tea, take a couple of breaths. When we’re role modeling regulation, we’re also putting some boundaries around. Not all kids can cope with boundaries, but if your child can, it’s okay to say this. I can see this is really, really important to you and I wanna be able to be in a position to listen or to join.

[00:19:43] You gonna grab my snacks or gonna grab my cup of tea? And then we can, we can go from there. And then that gives you a moment to prepare. Cause sometimes it’s a lot, like sometimes my brain hurts. Like I literally, I’m like, I don’t think I can like hear anymore words. They’re just, even if I wanted to, I’m having sensory.

[00:20:02] So it’s okay to talk to our kids and they go, This is really important. My brain’s not really working right now. Let me go and do something about that. And then we can come back and connect or you know, the logistics of like, I am in the middle of dinner right now and I’m really struggling to do two things at once.

[00:20:18] Can we put a timer on? Can we make a special time? Can we make a date to do that? So it’s about working it in and there’s. Perfection in any of this. We are so hard on ourselves and so many different ideas about what’s important. Like I’m very clear in what I teach about what’s important, and it’s always based in regulation and relationship.

[00:20:41] So there are many wonderful things we can do as parents. We can provide all sorts of things being that shepherd in that pasture. But everything comes back down to if our child is not regulated and our relationship. And if our relationship is fractured, none of those things are gonna matter. So there are oftentimes when I’ve wanted to pursue my children’s special interest with them, say, going to a science fair, but I’m pretty sure that the drive home is not gonna go well.

[00:21:08] And you know, particularly when I had two young children and I was on my own, I’d be like, I don’t think I can co-regulate them after a full day of sensory overloaded science fair. So I’ve had to make a decision that investing in their special interests in that way isn’t in the best interest of our relationship and regulation.

[00:21:27] So we’ve done other things so we don’t have to do everything and be everything. If we can’t manage it, it’s okay to make other choices and make sure it’s sustainable and. The underlying message is we love you or I love you. What you love is important to me and I’m going to show up for you in that way where I can.

[00:21:50] But we don’t have to be able to do that at all times. And if we can’t, that’s okay. They might not always like that. But we can try and work towards regulating and supporting them around that as well.

[00:22:04] Sophia Elliott: And like you say, that’s great modeling of. By being just honest with our kids of where we’re at, what we can manage, what we can get through is really great modeling for them.

[00:22:15] If we’re, you know, talking that out loud with them which is really great.

[00:22:20] My brain’s gone a bit blank. It’s

[00:22:25] Kate Donohue: okay. I think we’ve done quite well since West, I think so as well. I’m like,

[00:22:30] Sophia Elliott: that’s a pretty good podcast. So in modeling to our kids that we’re trying to take care of our own regulation as well, it’s obviously really important for us as parents to model that in a positive way, which can be tricky in the moment. So have you got any thoughts on that for us, Kate?

[00:22:51] Kate Donohue: Absolutely. So neuro divergent people are wired very different from neurotypical people. So we do have a tendency to do things that what are often referred to as monologing or sharing from our perspective, which isn’t always two way and reciprocal.

[00:23:06] And this is just the way that our brains are wired. So it’s really important that we communicate that we care about their interests and who they’re cause that is linked to identity, as we mentioned before. We get a lot of shame. Well, we get, we get told that what we’re doing is not okay because the world doesn’t quite understand the neuro divergent brain and gifted kids are intense.

[00:23:29] The, our curiosities as an adult gifted kid you know, the, I’ve had to suppress so much of who I am, my identity, my. Intensities to not overwhelm or get criticism from others. And that actually taps into mental health and wellbeing when we do this too much. So we really wanna prevent any of those messages where we’re saying that it’s a character flaw or you are too much, or you are too intent, or you are too dramatic.

[00:23:56] You’re not compliant enough or cooperative enough or any of those things because those messages get internalized. And of course sometimes we make mistakes, but we can always come back and say, Oh, I’m really sorry that I said this. It came out cause I was stressed. What I meant to say is that the noise was just so overwhelming for me that I needed a break, but I didn’t take it early enough.

[00:24:16] So I think next time I’m. Take that break a bit earlier because it’s not on you like, you know, your curiosity, you know, is an amazing quality within you. So we are framing the challenges around needs. So I need some more quiet space. I was overwhelmed because I was doing three things at once. I would like.

[00:24:39] Meet your needs of connection through your interest, but I need to make sure it’s working for my needs as well, which is a tricky conversation to have if we’re not used to speaking in terms of needs. We’re often used to going to your too much or stop that or be quiet, or, I’ve already told you three times that you know to go and do your shoes and not talk about rocks.

[00:25:00] So we’re really. This time and space where there is more information about neuro divergent brains and we’re having to relearn how to parent. So we need to also be compassionate with ourselves when we say these things, but also aware that we need to own those mistakes as well, so that we’re framing that we care.

[00:25:21] We love them. We find them as they are lovable. They don’t need to change to be someone else. But meeting needs in the family system is really important. So talking about. Our need for being able to get dinner done. I need to be able to concentrate on dinner right now. And then rather than saying You’re too loud.

[00:25:41] So it’s a shift in language that sometimes isn’t instinctual, but that’s the journey of growth, right? That’s what we’re, That’s why we’re listening to this podcast. That’s why we’re reading books. That’s why we’re on groups around neuro university. W our way of being has never been validated. It’s almost like our way of being in the world didn’t exist.

[00:26:03] We had to either mask or get excluded because of our differences. And that’s starting to change now. But we all have this internalized ableism, even us who have these disabilities, we have to unpack the messages that it’s not okay to be this way or it’s too much. So unpacking. Unfortunately, it’s a hard thing to face in ourselves.

[00:26:27] But unpacking internalized ableism or externalized ableism is a part of this parenting journey that we’re really called to be on so that we can provide emotionally safe relationships and spaces for our kids so they do get a better sense of belonging than those of us who grew up in the decades before because, We want them to grow up to be healthy and well.

[00:26:47] That’s what we all want and a primary need for all of us is to feel like we belong and if we’re getting lots of small messages or large messages that what we are doing. Excludes us or isn’t. Okay, then we, we don’t develop that sense of belonging and, and that’s a foundational need. And when needs aren’t met, there are often secondary health issues and mental health issues.

[00:27:09] So by working on how we frame and how we think it actually comes from the thinking as well, or catching our thinking and changing our thinking, when we do this work, we can actually change the course of our, our children and the impact that we have on them.

[00:27:26] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, so the messages that we are getting from the world within our families, you know, unintentionally can be really important to have a look at and be conscious about.

[00:27:40] And so a couple of things I was thinking of there is, you know, that moment in the afternoon where it’s all a bit loud and instead of going, ah, you’re all too noisy, uh, reframing and going. My brain is feeling completely overwhelmed with sound. Can you use your inside voices? Can you go play outside for me?

[00:28:02] Which would really help me. I’m also gonna go put my ear things in. Mm-hmm. , because I’m gonna look after myself in that way and I’m gonna turn the music off and kind of talking about it in terms of what we need to open up those conversations about needs and expressing those, which I think is really. And can be a shift in terms of that parenting language.

[00:28:25] I certainly have gotten in the habit of having a very similar conversation to what I just described, because I do get really overwhelmed with noise and sometimes I’ll, We have music on a lot, which I usually like, and sometimes I’ll just be like, I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with the sound. That sound. Is it okay if we turn the music off and just.

[00:28:47] Communicate where I’m at with members of my family, which I think is really helpful. . So we introduced this gifted, talented Neurodiversity Awareness Week last week with an episode with Mark Smolowitz from the The, G Word. And. One of the things he was talking about was the reason why the theme for this week is about joy, or part of the theme is joy, is because as a community, a neuro divergent community, there has been a real taboo around celebrating those things, which bring us joy.

[00:29:24] You know, celebrating those areas where we. Succeeds, especially in the gifted realm, sometimes wildly succeed because it brings us joy and it’s very much a part of who we are and what comes naturally to us. And there’s a real taboo about that, which just kind of sucks. And so this is an opportunity for a week to kind of go, This is actually, this is what brings me joy and I wanna share it and I wanna talk about it.

[00:29:52] And. And hopefully get a little bit of validation to go deep dive into that thing as a parent and encouraging your kids because as you’ve said, you know, during this podcast, it’s a really important part of the way our brain works, our identity, our key relationships, uh, those things that we deeply love and bring us joy.

[00:30:17] You know, this week is a real opportunity to have a little look around at yourself and your family members. And maybe just take a moment to kind of think, well, what is it that brings them joy? What is it that brings me joy? And how can we get involved in that or support that or reframe that? Uh, now that we understand what an important thing these deep, special interests are and the different things they can bring us.

[00:30:46] And if anyone wants to, you know, share that thing that brings them joy, like tag our gifted kids and, and share it online, or, you know, we would love to highlight those, uh, things that bring people joy because this is one of the things that I love the most about our neuro divergent and gifted community.

[00:31:07] The very wide ranging random things that people get into, and it’s just, I love listening to people talk about their stuff because it’s this very deep, expert level knowledge of stuff and it’s fabulous. I think

[00:31:24] Kate Donohue: one of the really. Important things that have stuck with me is when somebody said that a lot of neuro virgin people have an internal curriculum.

[00:31:33] It doesn’t line up with the school curriculum or the expectations that society has of people at certain ages, but. We need to trust that our neuro divergent people are going to learn and grow. It may not look like how everybody else does it, but it’s a very valuable and important thing that we give them the space to do that because this is being neuro divergent affirming.

[00:31:59] This is allowing our child to be and grow. As they need to. So, and then amazing things happen. Like I have had a 20 year special interest in development, attachment, relationships, autism, neurodiversity, and now I get to do every single day what I love. I can have a really bad sleep, I can have a really bad day, and then I jump online and I do consulting sessions and every single one, even the challenging ones, I’m like, I have the best job.

[00:32:30] I always feel better about my life and what I’m doing because I’m able to connect with people around my passion that I’m getting paid to talk to people about the thing that I’ve, you know, took such a deep dive and looked at in such a broad way for the last 20 years. And not everybody makes a career out of their passion, but a lot of us do when we are given the time and space.

[00:32:58] Allowed to explore who we are. And there are some really interesting entrepreneur sort of enterprises popping up all over the place. But the important thing is to keep our children well and healthy from a mental health perspective, because we often shut these things down about ourselves. But this is our, our, I guess our talent, right?

[00:33:17] Is to go deep, is to go broad, is to be an expert and the way the world is moving forward. Is, experts are gonna be highly sought after, and whether it’s in drains and how the flow of water goes through pipes, that’s a specialist industry. And whether or whether it’s about autism and neurodiversity. So by really trusting our children’s internal curriculum and supporting that and being in awe of that and being like, Yeah, that’s great you do.

[00:33:45] One of my kids is into beauty at the moment, like she’s gifted and I have no issues about directing her path in any direction. If she wants to wax legs and eyebrows for the rest of her life, and that brings her joy, I’m happy with that because that’s her, that’s me. Really respecting and seeing her for who she is, not who I think she should.

[00:34:10] And I think we get a bit stuck in that when we’re looking at neuro division people because we don’t fit in boxes. And in order to have that joy, we need to be given that space to play to then learn about who we are. This is how we find ourselves. So it’s a very essential part of our childhood is to be able to explore our relationship with our special interests.

[00:34:33] Cause it helps us find who we’re

[00:34:35] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely, I mean, what better goal in. is there. Or what could you wish more as a parent for your child than to for your kids to wake up every day and do something that they love? And as parents, we can’t choose the things they love. They’re gonna love what they love. So it’s our opportunity to support them in that and grow in that area.

[00:34:55] Thank you Kate, for joining us today. I think it’s been hopefully a really helpful, insightful chat for parents about play and joy and. Hopefully people will have something there to think about this week. And maybe if you’re listening, you would like to share with us what your joy is. We would really love that.

[00:35:17] Regardless of whether it’s still gifted talent in neurodiversity week or not, we’re always up for sharing the joy. Before we go. Kate, tell us how people can get in touch with you because you work online, you do a lot of Zoom, so you can work with people from all over the place. So we will put your website in the show notes, but tell us a little bit about that.

[00:35:39] Kate Donohue: Yeah, so I have two things that I support parents with. Essentially, most of what I do is with parents because it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s about helping parents to understand their individual child’s needs and also who they are. And how they can be that mentor in their child’s life. So I do group sessions.

[00:35:59] I have a community where I’ve got a recorded course, which you can go through at your leisure with a heap of online resources. And then we catch up every fortnight and talk about everything and anything that comes up. And it is about that. How do we do life with our ch because we are just supported in the same way as other parents.

[00:36:17] Many of our children need accommodations at school. We can’t attend school. You know, there’s extra health issues that we need to manage as well. There’s the executive functioning load, the appointments, there’s so many other parts to parenting. Are invisible to society that we don’t get a lot of support with.

[00:36:36] So really it’s about bringing those parts and we talk through these things together. We also have a focus, which I prepare prior. So we talk about what is Alexia or what is Spoon Theory, and we discuss those things as well. But also I do one on one sessions as well where we unpack what’s going on and really.

[00:36:57] Have a deep look at what, what might be going on for your child or for yourself as a parent, and we work through the complexities of parenting.

[00:37:08] Sophia Elliott: I highly recommend it. Anyone with highly like. Doesn’t have to be, but those parents that I meet with super complex kiddos and lots going on, I’m always like, Yeah, maybe you should have a chat with Kate

[00:37:24] Kate Donohue: I love the, yeah, they’re the people I love. Like come and chat to me because that’s the life I’ve lived and that’s the person who I’ve been, I’ve got like five different disabilities, so. You know, I, and so do my kids and so do all the people that I work with. Like the people come to me when they have often PDA profiles, often two E profiles.

[00:37:47] So, uh, girls who haven’t been diagnosed because of, uh, their internalizing profile, people with five or six different diagnoses, uh, children who, who can’t go to school violent and complex behaviors. These are the things. I support parents with, and this is the area that I feel very passionate about because I find that it’s really important to do that deep dive.

[00:38:16] Cause it is often very complex. There’s no simple strategy, can’t just, uh, follow a textbook or a training program because it is really about how do. Help our child to know that they’re loved and supported while also helping them to navigate the world while they’re really struggling within their body.

[00:38:35] And that’s a really complex task for the parent. Oh,

[00:38:38] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. Absolutely. So if you’ve. If that resonates with you, super complex kiddos, families, grownups, definitely check out Kate and find her online at Dynamic Parenting and Links will be in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been

[00:38:59] Kate Donohue: absolute delight.

[00:39:00] I’ve absolutely loved it. Always loved being on your podcast and, and just talking cuz we’re on such the, and being able to talk about what we’re interested in is an absolute pleasure.

[00:39:11] Sophia Elliott: It out on

[00:39:13] Kate Donohue: favorite.

#064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy w/ Marc Smolowitz

#064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy w/ Marc Smolowitz

It’s Gifted, Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week; and we’re Bringing Joy & Equity in Focus with this year’s theme. As a proud partner of The G Word, Our Gifted Kids is delighted to raise awareness once again with a whole week of podcasts. Actually, 6 episodes! Where we talk about #gifted joy! GTN Awareness Week Podcast Line Up
  • Marc Smolowitz introduces the week with – #064 Gifted Talented & Neurodiversity Awareness Week does #giftedjoy
  • Monday
    • #065 Gifted Joy & Gifted Play; Why it’s Different w/ Kate Donohue
  • Tuesday
    • #066 Why Gifted Folk Need Board Games! w/ Justin Ratcliff
  • Wednesday
    • #067 How to Express Your Gifted Self with Digital Music & Art w/ Johannes Dreyer
  • Thursday
    • #068 A Higher Skate of Mind for Gifted Kids w/ Josh Smith
  • Friday
    • #069 Why Dungeons & Dragons is Gifted Bliss w/ Sam Young
Enjoyed the podcasts? Our online community is currently open until midnight Thursday 3 November! Find out more here! Or subscribe, join our online community or get freebies, say thanks at ourgiftedkids.com Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us! Our GTN Awareness Week Guest Links Bio Marc Smolowitz Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ independent films. The combined footprint of his works has touched 250+ film festivals & markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His credits include films that have screened at the world’s top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Tribeca, Locarno, Chicago, Palm Springs, SF FILM, AFI Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, CPH: DOX, Tokyo, Melbourne, Viennale, Jerusalem, among others. In 2009, Marc founded 13th Gen, a San Francisco-based boutique film and entertainment company (see: https://www.13thgenfilm.com/) that works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. The company has successfully advanced Marc’s career-long focus on powerful social issue filmmaking across all genres. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious Gotham Media Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network marking him as one of the USA’s most influential independent film producers. In 2022, Marc is currently in post-production on THE G WORD — a feature-length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the United States. The film asks the urgent equity question — In the 21st century, who gets to be Gifted in America and Why?. Learn more at: https://www.thegwordfilm.com/ Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. It’s extra special. It’s extra special because we have Marc, Smolowitz joining us to introduce next. Week’s gifted, talented. And neurodiversity awareness week. Yep. It’s been a whole Since last And you may have been around last year, but we did a whole week of podcasts. It was a bit crazy. And so naturally we thought let’s do crazy again this year. And so next week we have a whole week of podcasts.

[00:00:33] And we’ve got mark here today to introduce the week to you. So we have a great chat. First of all, he gives us a bit of an update about The G Word now. If you’re not aware of The G Word, The G Word is a film length documentary that is currently. Under post production. And mark is the producer and director. And.

[00:00:54] The person behind And. It’s going to be awesome. I’m really looking forward to it. Eventual release. And our gifted kids is one of many partners of The G Word and it’s our absolute privilege to support it in any and every way that we can, because. Just having a feature length documentary on giftedness is much needed in our world. And I know mark and his team are going to do.

[00:01:21] An incredible job of it. So mark updates us on where The G Word Film is up to and what we can look forward to in that, which is really exciting Also, he gives us a little background about this year’s theme of gifted, talented, new I diversity awareness week,

[00:01:40] which is bringing joy and equity into focus. So that provided all sorts of opportunities for The G Word partners, such as ourselves and here in our gifted kids, we have decided to focus on joy. Because why not, who couldn’t use a little bit of joy and a little bit of play in a little bit of silly. And so we usually have pretty let’s face it pretty intense episodes. And I’m not saying they’re any less intense next week, but they are about joy and play. And so we have a week’s worth of guests joining us to talk about all sorts of things that bring us joy.

[00:02:16] And play, and maybe you’ll get a few ideas for yourself and your family.

[00:02:21] So check out the show notes. There is a link to gifted, talented in your Ida Versiti awareness week. If you sign up, it’ll be through The G words page. You will be kept up to date on all of the free events that are going on next week. Outside of our amazing week of podcasts, there is all sorts of free programming.

[00:02:45] Online that you can join into is truly awesome. Check it out, sign up. And the link is below. Uh, also at our gifted kids, as I said, you can tune into a whole week’s worth of podcasts. You can sign up@ourgiftedkids.com to stay ahead of what’s going on and what podcasts are coming out. And our online communities are open.

[00:03:09] Until the 3rd of November. So it’s an opportunity to join one of our online communities. We have three different options to join, which is all a little bit new and very exciting. So there’s bound to be something there that suits you again, links in the show notes. Have an amazing joyful week. Please enjoy this episode.

[00:03:31] They will be a bonus part to Mark’s episode that I think I’ll release after the week is over where he talks about. Some of the most surprising things and interesting things he’s learned on his journey. It’s a really great conversation. And I’ve decided to do that as a second. Part of a podcast because is really interesting.

[00:03:53] So we released that after GTN awareness week. So have a great week. Sign up, get involved and stay quirky. See you soon. Bye.

[00:04:36] Well, hello and welcome to another podcast. I am actually very excited to be welcoming back, Mark Smolowitz, uh, Mark. I’ve, I’ve got your new bio here and I’m gonna do the whole shebang cuz I was reading it earlier and I was like, damn, that is impressive. . Let’s remind everyone who Mark is because you’ve been on the podcast a few times and it’s always been such a delight.

[00:04:59] So everyone meet Mark. Mark Smolowitz is a multi award-winning director, producer, and executive producer has been significantly involved in over 50 independent films. His credits include films that have screened at the world’s top tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Tribeca, A Bunch here. Palm Springs, I d a, Tokyo, Melbourne, Australia, uh, Jerusalem, and so many others.

[00:05:28] In 2009, Mark founded 13th Gen, a San Francisco based boutique film and entertainment company that works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers.

[00:05:50] The company has successfully advanced mark’s career long focus on powerful social issue filmmaking across all genres. So remember that one. That’s key. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious Gotham Media Fellowships to attend the Kane’s film festivals produces network marking him as one of the USA’s most influential independent film producers.

[00:06:15] I feel like I should suddenly be in awe. .

[00:06:19] Marc Smolowitz: Well, thank you. I mean, I always, Yeah, absolutely. You know, these bios are so funny, right? Because these sort of, they, they serve their purpose, right? And they sort of, you know, they do, they do encapsulate, you know, kind of who you are and your accomplishments. But at the end of the day, for your listeners, I guess what I want them to know most about me is that I’m a pretty lucky guy who gets to wake up every day and do the thing that he loves, and that’s film.

[00:06:43] And I’ve been doing this thing. Absolutely. I’ve been doing this thing called independent filmmaking now for over 30 years. I’m my own boss. I’m the entrepreneur of my own company. I get to kind of, you know, when I’m doing my job really well, I’m creating jobs for other talented people. I’m helping get their movies on the screen.

[00:07:00] You know, I wear a lot of different hats and my day is very diverse. This company is typically involved in at least 10 projects at any given time. You know, I, I’m, you know, I’m a producer with a Capital P, you know, that’s the way I often describe it. But I also, you know, I take lots of different kinds of roles now, you know, the older and wiser I get, I’m able to sort of distribute my time and my efforts across many more films and filmmakers.

[00:07:23] So that portfolio is really global in scope. And so I, you know, I’m based in San Francisco, but I’m in touch with many time zones around the globe every day, every week. And my work typically touches about. 50 to a hundred people each week depending on, you know, how engaged or active my teams are. And yeah, it’s so, I’m, I’m a lucky guy.

[00:07:43] I, I really love my job and yes, it’s hard work and yes, I need to raise a lot of money all the time. So there’s pressure and stress and deadlines, but the payoff is, is when the work speaks for itself and it can connect with audiences and, and sort of touch their hearts and change their minds and entertain them and enlighten them and, and yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been a huge gift.

[00:08:04] I’m a very lucky guy.

[00:08:06] Sophia Elliott: Well, it is truly awesome and I really draw attention to the fact that you’re very much about the social issues. Mm-hmm. And you really see that if in the films that you do. So in particular you are in post-production for The, G Word, a feature length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the us.

[00:08:33] And the film asked the urgent equity question, and I love that, the urgent equity question in the 21st century, who gets to be gifted in America and why? Thank you for doing all that work and working on well, I can’t wait to see in the future as an awesome document.

[00:08:54] Marc Smolowitz: Well thank you for that. I mean, you know, it is now easily year seven on the road to making The G Word documentary, so I wanna own that, you know, in front of your audience that this has taken some time.

[00:09:06] You use the word comprehensive that is in the description because it really is going to be very comprehensive. It’s probably been no film quite like it yet. The film will have six very bold and beautiful stories. It took quite a bit of time to find those stories and, you know, kind of, you know, they didn’t just appear, you know, on my laptop one day.

[00:09:25] I had to really go out in the world and find them, right. That took years and it took years to raise the money to kind of build the relationships and the infrastructure to kind of, you. The film really to be made. And long story short, you know, we had basically shot the whole movie by the end of 2019 and then the pandemic happened.

[00:09:44] Right. And, and mind you, it’s been quite possible for me to be making movies during the pandemic. It’s not like my business stopped. It really did not. And in fact, you know, I’ve been extremely busy. But, but it did, The pandemic did sort of shift some things around sort of, you know, how I wanted to approach The G Word documentary.

[00:10:02] We started editing and it was really important to me to take my time to figure out how to do this right? Right. Because as you know, through your podcast and the important work that you do, that the gifted communities around the world, if we can call them, that, you know, they are struggling quite a bit and have their struggles and there’s a lot of trauma there.

[00:10:19] And so it behooves me as the independent filmmaker who wants to make this movie to make it extremely well right. And have it be very meaningful and very impactful. So during 2020 and during 2021, we spent a lot of time getting feedback and really sort of testing the stories. So those six stories that I had mentioned I had to kind of create them first with my editor as standalone stories.

[00:10:45] Standalone stories. So six, basically six movies, right? And together, you know, they were about two hours and 40 minutes, right? So that’s not, you know, you can’t sit down and watch a movie for two hours and 40 minutes. But we had to sort of make sure that these six stories worked right and that they were, you know, kind of powerful and could stand on their own legs.

[00:11:05] And so what I did was I screened them virtually on Vimeo, privately in, in small groups of stakeholders among our advisors and partners and people who have expertise in the field to really gut check, are we doing this right? You know, then took all that feedback back into the editing room and have started to build out the long form movie.

[00:11:25] So this year, 2022 has been that process of trying to weave together the six stories and make them, make them make sense together to answer that question, Who gets to be gifted in America and why? And you know, knowing that you are based in Australia and that your audience is global. I mean, one thing I will say is the film is decidedly American because it’s set in the United States.

[00:11:45] I have found these stories. So our education system is the focus, but I really have, I’m creating a movie that is decidedly human in scope and really focuses on the emotional journeys of my characters. So I do feel with great, great deal of confidence that it will work all around the world. It will probably really work here in the US and or maybe in North America, but I think it’s gonna make sense in all the English language territories.

[00:12:12] You. Easily. And then outside of the English language territories, I really wanna, I really think we’re gonna connect with people and sort of show them a way to think about giftedness in the 21st century, which is unexpected, right? And really founded on this belief that, that giftedness and neurodiversity really are part of the same conversation.

[00:12:31] And that if you’re gonna think about giftedness and neurodiversity in the same conversation, you cannot separate that conversation from people’s identities and lived experience, right? Mm-hmm. . So if you’re African American and gifted, that’s gotta be a part of the story. If you’re queer or LGBTQ and gifted, That’s gotta be a part of the story, right?

[00:12:50] If you’re Latinx, if you’re Asian American, if you’re anything else, and gifted, like if you’re poor and gifted, like, so the movie really leans into this idea that identity is always in the room. And so one of the ways I also described the film is that is sort of a polyvocal meditation on how, how, how our identities intersect with our giftedness.

[00:13:13] And you really see that in my characters, right? And, and we will take you to places and spaces that you don’t expect to encounter giftedness. And so I have a story that is at the US Mexico border in a, in a migrant community that is largely Latinx, Spanish speaking. I have a story on a Native American reservation, so there’s kind of an indigenous arc.

[00:13:32] I have a story that takes you inside of prison. I think that’s really gonna surprise people. So there’s, there’s a lot going on here that will be decidedly unique, I hope. And I’m, you know, I’m excited to. Get the movie done. I’m, I’ve stopped making promises about the delivery date because I don’t wanna sort of set myself up for, you know, we didn’t raise the money or we didn’t quite get there.

[00:13:52] But, you know, full, full disclosure of this movie costs about 1.3 million US dollars, right? So it’s been quite a lift to raise all the money and we still have about 200,000 more to raise to really finish it, right. But we’re doing well, We’re doing well. So I’m excited about what 2023 can bring and whenever it’s done and whatever it winds up looking like, it will be, you know, delivered as relevant and timely.

[00:14:17] Because there’s so much going on in real time with gifted and, you know, in our country and around globe. And it’s important that there be a timeliness factor to these stories. So the stories will stand on their own, but, but we’ll embed the movie with some urgency. There’ll be some smart archival storytelling in there to kind of remind us all that this stuff doesn’t exist in a vacuum, right?

[00:14:36] There’s a news and ecosystem news and information ecosystem that is fueling a lot of misunderstanding and stereotypes and kinda mischaracterizations of the gifted narrative, you know, in the United States and elsewhere. So our movie is part and parcel of all that wonderful craziness, right, that we all struggle with every day.

[00:14:53] Who, and people who care about this stuff and care about these populations who are work, working on these issues. Like, like, you know, my hope is that this movie is for you, and you’re gonna see this movie, You’re gonna sit in this movie theater, and you’re gonna just go, Wow, this is our stories, these are our stories, but it’s also gonna be created and delivered in such a way where the mainstream can see it and connect with it too, right?

[00:15:14] And. And so, yeah, it’s, it’s an exciting moment. You know, I, I sort of see the finish line, you know, you know, if it’s a, you know, a marathon is 26.2 miles or something. Mm-hmm. I think that, you know, this is, we’re at mile 24, 25. We’re really getting close. It’s, it’s on the horizon.

[00:15:32] Sophia Elliott: Well, that’s super exciting and I love that, you know, , you’re just talking to the complexity of identity.

[00:15:40] Uh, and if there’s one thing that I have definitely experienced doing the podcast is just that universality of giftedness, and you’re a divergency. Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, these themes resonate so personally, and, and you know, we have listeners from all sorts of very surprising places, and the feedback is always it’s just that universality of.

[00:16:12] The, the journey and the, the highs within the journey and the lows within the journey and the struggles, you know, al almost seem to be global. Like I don’t, I’ve yet to come across anywhere that does this well. And for the most part we’re all suffering under a lot of misconceptions. So very excited that we’re in the home straight for something that can shine a real light for all of us.

[00:16:36] Because I do think, you know, while you’ve said there sort of US based stories, I do think and feel very strongly that we’ll be able to connect with that from wherever we are. And you have released shorts that will give people a sense and a taste of the film. And we periodically share and reshare those on, uh, on our Facebook page because they’re.

[00:17:00] Such beautiful touching stories. And I can say if that’s anything to go by when you, you know, when we all eventually do sit down to watch a, I bring tissues because it is a very emotive, these journeys like very intense, complex, emotive, uh, narratives. And I’m super excited that you’ve gone to different places, the unexpected because just that idea of what is giftedness and where will you see it, uh, I think is, is something that really needs a, a light shined on it.

[00:17:35] So that’s so exciting. And Yeah, it’s, it’s no pressure about an end date, but we’re super excited that we’re, we’re getting to those final stages, .

[00:17:46] Marc Smolowitz: It’s okay. You know, I, I put plenty of pressure on myself and that’s kinda the nature, the nature of the job, Right. But I think, you know, I want people to be hungry for it, and I appreciate people’s excitement and, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m excited to get it out there.

[00:18:00] So we’re, we’re, we’re pushing hard. This is a big time for

[00:18:02] Sophia Elliott: us. Absolutely. And there’s a lot that goes on. Like, we first spoke, uh, back in about January, 2021. Uh, I was only five months into doing the podcast, uh, so it was like our 11th episode, and you’ve been back a couple of times since then. So it’s like, as I reflect on that journey and you coming back to let us know how you’re going, I’m hugely grateful for your presence along the way and that we’ve sort of have been able to.

[00:18:36] Share your journey through, you know, our podcast journey as well. Mm-hmm. , I had a quick look. The very first time you joined us we were, we had about a thousand listens a month and we’re up to over eight, more than 8,000 a month. Last month it was like 8,000. Amazing. Yeah. And it’s just kind of like, it was interesting to look back at that journey and that growth in this sort of parallel.

[00:19:07] But I do feel like since, you know, we last spoke so much has happened. It was like another year ago for me. So like how has the last year been for you?

[00:19:19] Marc Smolowitz: Well, it’s been remarkably productive. I mean, I, you know, for me, you know, I have this vibrant film company and every day I’m making movies and wow, this has been a great year for that.

[00:19:28] I mean, there’s been, you know, a lot of personal and professional success, and I’m really proud of that. And the company is doing well and it’s nice to be able to say that and really be proud of that. And then on The, G Word, you know, it’s been a great year. It’s been a creative year. I mean, we, like I said, we’re weaving together the, the movie and, you know, there’s nothing more creative than that.

[00:19:49] I mean, as I sort of, you know, look back on that process, you know, 20, I told you 2020 in 2021 were about these kind of six parts, right? And getting deep feedback from the gifted community This year and fairly recently we got the movie to a two hour and five minute rough cut. I, I guess I’d say it was the first sort of screenable rough cut if you.

[00:20:10] And I was invited to a very prestigious filmmakers retreat in Vermont, you know, here in the Northeast. And I sat for a week with nine other filmmakers, and we just watched each other’s work in progress and gave each other feedback. And it was powerful for me. It, it was the first time I’d ever shown this work sort of to filmmakers, you know, to my colleagues who were, you know, also very accomplished and deeply involved in the field and had, you know, important things to say about the work and, you know, and just as you can expect, you know, with any kind of feedback, I didn’t agree with everything.

[00:20:42] Right. You know, but there was some feed. Yeah, there was some feedback that I really was, was excited to hear and interested to hear, and, and then it also kind of confirmed and affirmed some things that I was concerned about or that I’m noticing that, you know, we need to do better or differently or go deeper, get clearer on, and, and there’s basically like a thesis across the film that, you know, It has to, it has to work.

[00:21:07] Like it has to all make sense. So the six stories feel really like they’re part of the same larger story. And if I don’t nail that perfectly and artistically and in a way that feels immersive and seamless, like the movie will fail. Okay? Like I can own that as an artist. Like I know that in my heart of hearts.

[00:21:24] And so that is my challenge and opportunity is to really nail that and make it seamless. So you sit down and you are just for a hundred minutes. Completely with this. Right? And we’re not there yet, you know, we’re gonna get there. I, my goal right now is to really hit a milestone around Christmas. So in about three months, you know, I think we might be at a place where I could probably say that we maybe have, you know, almost nailed it.

[00:21:51] And that will put us on a different sort of schedule, right? If I really feel we’ve achieved that, you know, that moment of that seamlessness then I’ll be able to, I think, find the rest of the money to get the movie done because that mm-hmm. that is something I’ll be able to show people, like, Look at what this is and, and it will click for them, right?

[00:22:09] Yeah. Yeah, so it’s, it’s been an extremely creative year on that, in that way. We have continued to develop and kind of figure out how. Expand our impact work, right? So I have this impact enterprise around the film, uh, for your listeners to remind them. This is a kind of baked into how I work as a filmmaker, especially on my bigger social issue movies.

[00:22:32] Like I’ve done a lot of movies about a lot of different issues. And the idea is how do you take the movie off the screen and into communities to do good work with those communities that are already do in the field doing the work, right? So I didn’t just show up and make a movie about gifted people have been doing this work for years, right?

[00:22:49] And, you know, now I’ve been doing it for years and we’ve built these deep relationships, right? So you, you are a part of our advisory board, our partnership network. Uh, we have more than 36 international advisors. We have more than 80 partners around the world. Now, this is a remarkable number of groups that have joined with us.

[00:23:04] And by, by join, I mean they’ve paid to join. And I’m very touched by that. I’m inspired by that. I take that, take that investment very seriously. And every month there are more groups joining. And I think it shows that, that we have a kind of staying power to this thing. That we are more than a movie. We are a movie and we are supporting a movement around the movie.

[00:23:24] And that’s really the sort of guiding principle of The, G, Word Enterprise. So we’re a documentary and a social impact enterprise. And on the social impact side, you know, we do lots of different activities and we support other groups doing their activities. And it’s, it’s a very much a, you know, communal collective sort of en engagement process where we do lots of different stuff around, around, around the calendar year.

[00:23:47] And I think the pandemic was an interesting time to develop that strategy because everything was so virtual and we kinda bring together people in Zoom rooms and, and make magic happen in that format and feel connected. But actually we are connected, right? And, and in this beautifully global time, support these conversations about giftedness.

[00:24:05] And they’re happening everywhere. I mean, I, I mean, you hear from people everywhere. We hear from people everywhere. This is, this is really a global story. I always say from Switzerland to Singapore, like, we’re getting emails totally, you know, from all over the world. And it is so inspiring to connect with these people.

[00:24:22] So, so I’m out there constantly doing appearances, keynotes, conferences, talking the talk and walking the walk of, you know, telling people about The, G Word and the diversity, equity, inclusion sort of priorities of the movie and the movement around the movie. And I love doing that. You know, I love talking about this stuff, and I mean, it’s my job as a filmmaker about this kind of topic to become an expert.

[00:24:46] And dare I be so bold? I think I am. I mean, I’ll share with you a funny anecdote. I mean, I was on a meeting today where someone tried to school me about giftedness, and I was like, Girl, what do you, you, you didn’t do your due diligence on who you’re talking to, You know? I mean, I. I’m the gifted guy. Like, whatever, whatever that might mean for people who are out there listening, like, you know mm-hmm.

[00:25:06] I’ve spent, I mean, the first email in my inbox about this movie was in 2012. Like, this has been essentially a 10 year journey. Yeah. I spent four years deeply researching these topics to figure out like, what am I doing with this movie? Right. And yeah. So it’s, you know, you know, anyone can challenge me.

[00:25:24] Anyone can ask any question. You know, I write forwards for books. People ask me to, you know, I’m that guy now. Right. And I, and, but I do that on every movie, like every movie that I’m, that I’m involved in as a producer in a significant way. I have to become a subject matter expert. Like if I, if I can’t, like how can I be of service, Right?

[00:25:41] So, so whether it’s been post traumatic stress and mental health or LGBTQ issues in, in, in same-sex marriage, HIV and aids, organ donations, cystic fibrosis, I, I mean poverty. I’ve made movies about so many different topics and you can’t just do that without, you know, almost getting a PhD on the subject each time you undertake on.

[00:26:00] Right? And yeah, that’s a beautiful thing. I’m kind of, you know, I’m sort of a knowledge sponge, you know, likely gifted myself, you know, and I think it’s, you know, not surprising. I’m the one making the gifted movie. And, you know, for those who don’t know, I was in gifted programs when I was a kid and, and I was someone who was really well served by that, right?

[00:26:20] So, but I’ve also had a lot of my own personal trauma and when. Was developing the movie and I encountered all these traumatic narratives in spaces that were for the gifted. That’s when my light bulb went off, where it just clicked in that, you know what? I understand trauma and I’ve had, I had a positive experience in gifted education, but I’ve also can understand trauma.

[00:26:42] So I can be of service here. Right. I can be kind of a, I can be a connector, I can be an ambassador, I can, I can help people, you know, understand how the power of storytelling can be in service of advancing the cause of giftedness. And, and you know, it’s interesting. There’s the, the terms are always evolving.

[00:27:00] The words we use are always evolving. I’ve been doing this movie for significantly for seven years and, and I love the child The, G, Word, cuz it’s so open-ended. You know, it kind of, you know, it riffs on this idea of the F word, which is the word we’re not supposed to say out loud. Right. But it’s a troubling word.

[00:27:14] Right. The, G, Word. The G. Word is a troubling word, right? Oh yeah. Because gifted is full of baggage. We all, those of us who are involved know what all that means, right? But I love how people in the gifted communities, and that’s, that’s something that I sort of say broadly, you know, the gifted communities sort of work to figure out how to explain giftedness to other people.

[00:27:36] Right? And lately there’s this idea of giftedness expression or gifted expression. Yeah. And I really kinda like that phrase. Yeah. Because I feel like it’s sort of, you know, it leans into this idea. You know, giftedness can really look and smell and taste and behave like things that we may not necessarily notice or necessarily identify.

[00:27:55] And yeah, and that’s really, yeah, that’s the part of giftedness that I relate to is this almost, almost kind of things that exist in more liminal spaces that are hard to define, that are hard to explain. Like that’s where the really interesting stuff of our intelligences reside. And I think in the 21st century, like.

[00:28:15] The, the most interesting part of the phrase neurodiversity is the diversity part, right? And we live and work in this extremely diverse time where people are more diverse than not add in their brains, right? And there’s another, a aspect of diversity in the room, in our everyday experience, and this is why it behooves us to really contemplate in school settings and in work settings and in communal settings and in family settings.

[00:28:39] Like, like who’s in the room? What identity hats do they wear, and how does that affect their brain and their intelligence and how they, how they move through the world and interact with others. And, and I think more and more we have social movements and kind of communal movements that are open to at least the contemplation, that the brain is more complex than we ever really thought.

[00:29:00] And that this century is kind of trying to honor that and figure that out. And so the prospects for what. Like who can be included in the intelligence conversation are pretty exciting. Right. One thing that I have noticed a lot lately is that there has been a big push on the gifted sign. To actually conjoin, giftedness and neurodiversity from the gifted perspective.

[00:29:24] And the neurodiversity side. The neurodiversity side, like those folks who are focused solely on neurodiversity, they’re not all yet on board giftedness. Right. And including giftedness in the conversation. Mm-hmm. . And so we have work to do, right? We have work to do. We need, we need things that can sort of equalize, you know the dynamic.

[00:29:43] And that’s where I think a movie can actually be of service. Like we can actually, it’s good storytelling that with strong characters, powerful stories. That can keep people in the room and touch them differently than data, touch them differently than a white paper, touch them differently than, you know, making activist noise about something.

[00:30:00] We need activist noise. I’m an activist too, but, but it is my hope that the movie will sort of speak for itself purely at a level of powerful storytelling with strong characters. Because I, me interact with these characters like all throughout my day, all throughout my week when I work on this movie, doing the impact work, right?

[00:30:18] Uh, people like you who are so committed and so involved and so passionate about serving these folks and meeting them where they are and meeting their needs and. So, yeah, it’s, so that’s, the last year has really been interesting to that. And you know, I know we’re gonna talk about the Gtn Awareness Week context in a minute, but, you know, there’s been a big interesting shift in my perception this year that I want to telegraph before we talk about, you know, gtn Awareness Week.

[00:30:45] Was that mm-hmm. , A lot of the way that I’ve been talking about giftedness in the last few years has been in the frame of trauma and empowerment, right? So I give a lot of talks about this idea that there’s trauma and giftedness, right? And we have to combat that trauma with the other side of the coin, which is empowerment.

[00:31:04] So trauma on the one side of the coin, empowerment on the other. You can’t have one without the other, right? Mm-hmm. . That tra we can’t, like eviscerate and evaporate trauma, like trauma is gonna be there. Right. We, and trauma is not a lights on, lights off phenomenon, but empowerment can be a tool to sort of, you know, combat the trauma.

[00:31:23] That is something that I, that I’ve seen in my own life, and that is something that I’ve seen in others and it’s, it’s an important piece. And empowerment is kind of what like helps you to break out of trauma, to push through, right? But there is something that I’ve been landing on in the last number of months that has been missing in the conversation.

[00:31:42] And that word is joy, okay? Mm-hmm. . So I have this new concept of, it’s called the three legged stool. And that stool is propped up by trauma, empowerment, and joy. And I feel like what happens with joy is. That’s when it becomes a communal expression, right? The empowerment piece is an individual narrative, right?

[00:32:02] That’s how the individual pushes through their trauma. The joy is how that empowerment turns into something communal and that we can share with others, right? Mm-hmm. . And so, so that’s why this year to pivot into the, the sort of topic of the day is that our second annual GTN Awareness Week, our second annual gifted talented Neurodiverse Awareness Week, we’ve decided to lean into this idea of hashtag gifted joy.

[00:32:28] I think officially our tagline is bringing joy and equity into focus, right? Cause we’re always gonna be that equity. This movie really wants to own the equity piece, but can we have joy and equity side by side, right? Yeah. And, and for me, the joy is so paramount because. Why are we even in a community if we can’t show up for each other to have fun?

[00:32:47] Why are we even in a community if we, if all we’re showing up for is to, is to experience trauma, right? Yeah. If everything is just trauma, trauma, trauma, trauma, like, you know, shoot me now, you know, is kind of what I would like to say about that. Right? And it cannot all be trauma because if all we’re doing here is, is sort of talking about trauma and not other things it doesn’t invite people to be a part of a community.

[00:33:10] A community has to be about reinforcing positive things. The glass is half full. You know, we don’t have to be Pollyanna. There’s a lot of tough stuff in the room with this, with this stuff. But, but Joy has to be in the equation and Joy is not the purview of any one community. Everyone should be able to access it.

[00:33:28] So why not the gifted community? Like why can’t the gifted communities embrace joy and celebrate who we are and have like, have tools to come together, community to do that? And so, So I liken it, You know, I’m openly queer. That’s a huge part of who I am and always, always has been. I liken it to LGBTQ Pride month, right?

[00:33:49] Mm-hmm. , we in the queer communities, you know, we have, you know, every June, you know, we figured out we need a month, 11 months out of the year we’re targeted and we deal with homophobia and transphobia and all kinds of prejudice and stigma. Like we get to have one month, that’s our month, right? And we’ve been doing this, you know, pretty consistently since Stonewall in 1969, right?

[00:34:08] So more than, more than, you know, 50 years of pride. And now people expect it. It’s on the calendar, it’s there. And actually our straight allies love it. And they wanna participate, right? And we get to all be together and have a celebration. That is a point of pride. and what is it? What is pride, if not joy.

[00:34:29] Right? So hashtag gifted joy. Mm-hmm. come out the closet is gifted, come out of the closet as neurodiverse and come out of the closet is twice exceptional. Whatever your words are to describe yourself, like own them and be proud. And can’t we, can’t we do that one week a year? Don’t we deserve that? Right?

[00:34:49] We work so hard, 51 other weeks, like can’t we have one week where the gifted, talented neurodiverse narrative is centered and celebrated through the lens of joy. So that’s, that’s the second annual GTN awareness week. And it’s all about gifted, gifted joy.

[00:35:07] Sophia Elliott: I love that. A and as you’re talking through that there, I’m having these flashes, these images of like a gifted and neurodiverse Does Mardi Gras, do you know, like what, what would, what would that look like?

[00:35:26] As a, a gifted and neurodiverse kind of event of, of, given the complex identities within giftedness and neurodiverse folk already and some of the downright quirky deep dives and expressions of interest and joy within an already very quirky community. And I, I’m just kinda like, Oh my God, that would be totally amazing.

[00:35:51] Because I think, and I feel that one thing parents have gifted kids really struggle with is mm-hmm. the taboo around celebrating and expressing joy, Right. For this

[00:36:08] Marc Smolowitz: is exactly why we’re doing it. This is exactly why we’re doing, It’s exactly why we’re doing it. No, it’s exactly why we’re doing it. Yeah.

[00:36:16] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. A hundred percent really need to be debunked.

[00:36:21] Marc Smolowitz: I’m glad you used that word, because I feel like we should not have to apologize for celebrating, you know? Yeah. The diversity of our, of our kids, of our adults, however, that manifests. Right. And I, I don’t think it takes away from anyone else’s expression of theirs.

[00:36:37] Right. And I think as groups kind of self-organize into communities, the reason why people show up are to do those things, which are, uh, you know, to mark their life stories, to celebrate and to experience joy together And mm-hmm. and the gifted community deserves that too. Last year, GTN Awareness Week, the first installment, you know, in 2021.

[00:36:59] What we did was we, we delivered, you know, five days of free virtual programming. It was over nine hours of webinars. It was so amazing. We had more than 2000 people register from 16 countries. I mean, it was. Crazy successful. It really was beyond our expectations. The content, it lives on our website. The artful archive is there.

[00:37:21] People connect with it anytime. And what I love about what the content we did last year is that it’s, it’s a little bit like giftedness 1 0 1. It’s, I mean, it’s giftedness from through a diversity equity, inclusion lens 1 0 1, right? So, so if you’re a, if your listeners are out there and they’re interested in diversity, they totally get the equity piece.

[00:37:37] They wanna learn more about identity and giftedness. Like go to our gtn Awareness Week 2021 archive page on our website and, and watch those webinars. They’re evergreen, they’re star wart. They’ll work now as much as they did a year ago, and they’ll work in a year. Like they, they really have shelf life and I think they’re beautiful content and, and anyone can watch them and sort of see themselves in there.

[00:37:57] Right. This year I didn’t wanna do exactly the same thing. None of us on our advisory board in partnership wanted to do exactly the same thing. Like why repeat the exact same kind of programming. So, and given that we are opened up more as a society and the pandemic has kind of relaxed a little bit and there’s more in person events and hybrid approaches to events and different kinds of things happening, we decided to take a more distributed approach to our gtn Awareness Week offering.

[00:38:23] So we’re doing some producing of content, but we’re also having our advisors and partners produce content with us and for us, and we’re guiding them and supporting them. Right? So, for example, we have a number of schools, you know, that are part of our partnership network and some are doing events that week and are gonna actually have me show up virtually and I’m gonna just.

[00:38:42] You know, sort of zoom in and you know, kind of connect with young people or connect with the audience of teachers and students and kind of get them charged up to kind of have their own awareness moment. Right. And I think especially in schools where young people are, and if it is a gifted program within a school or a school that is, you know, committed to gifted and twice exceptional students, like so important for those kids to have a moment of kind of, you know, Expressing that expressing their giftedness through the lens of joy.

[00:39:11] Like, like how can, then there’s only upside in that happening, right? So mm-hmm. . So we wanna support that, you know, where and when we can. And I think Gtn Awareness Week is gonna become an experiment this year of a more distributed approach to supporting communities to prop up their own content, right? I mean, we’re a small bootstrap, you know, movie enterprise, you know, we, you know, we don’t have, you know, oodles and oodles of money.

[00:39:33] So we have to be very strategic about how we kind of create scaffolding and do the work and support others to be involved when engage with the work. And so I’m really excited by this model this year to see how it, how it plays out. And so the panels are not kind of gifted diversity, equity, inclusion 1 0 1.

[00:39:51] They’re actually very specialized and very much coming through the lens of people’s passions. Like what makes them passionate. So we have someone doing a panel on African American authors who focus on sci-fi. You know, we have someone doing a workshop on origami. You know, we have different types of workshops that are gonna tap into people’s passions, right?

[00:40:12] And one thing we know is that gifted people and through gifted expression, have all kinds of things that excite them, right? That give them joy. And that’s what I want people to be thinking about this year, that week, is what is your passion? What gives you joy? What gets you excited to wake up every day, go to work, go to school, be in a community, right?

[00:40:32] And bring your whole self to that experience. You know, sometimes we do those things for ourself and they can be kind of singular activities, but when they are also communal ones, man, that can be so joyous. Right. And, and really special when people can come together to sort of see and be seen with one another around a celebratory act.

[00:40:53] And, and that’s the, that’s the experiment this year. And so, so some of it we may not even witness cuz we won’t be in the room. Right. But it will happen and it will be, it will be beautiful, Right. Because it’s just from the mere fact that it’s happening,

[00:41:08] Sophia Elliott: it sounds absolutely amazing. I love the concept and I think it’s well overdue that within this community we actually get to celebrate what brings us joy and celebrate our expressions of giftedness.

[00:41:21] Because like you said before you have been deep diving into giftedness for many, many years and have amassed a great knowledge. And, and that is, What gifted and many neurodiverse folk do, they go into these areas of great passion and joy and amass great amounts of knowledge just because of the pure joy of it.

[00:41:43] And, and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate that. I know for one, that my son will love the sci-fi , uh, webinar. We will be looking out for that line because he’s a huge fan. Absolutely. I love as we, as we all are in this family and there are many things, many interesting, quirky, eclectic things that bring us joy.

[00:42:06] And so we are going to do a bunch of podcasts next week. We’re focusing on that’s so happy play that gives, brings joy and that’s actually going to be a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it.

[00:42:20] Marc Smolowitz: That’s so amazing, so fabulous. Yeah, it’s great.

[00:42:23] Sophia Elliott: I think one thing I just wanna highlight for our listeners is that, The way I see it is you, you have, you’re actually bringing two gifts into the gifted community, this wonderful documentary, but also this gift of bringing us all together.

[00:42:41] Like you’ve mentions over 80 different partners within the network already who are committed enough to, to pay to be a part of that process. But also, you know, outside of that there are the people who are also connected. And I think you’ve done a wonderful service of unifying in that kind of, you know, gathering, which is that inevitable kind of activism and bringing of people together, which is a huge.

[00:43:13] Part of my personal value set is that just bringing people together. So, and I think that’s a huge gift that you would have le you know, bringing to the gifted community and have left us with. And so that was a big part of obviously why you guys started gifted talented Neurodiversity Awareness Week last year.

[00:43:34] Massive success. Very excited for it this year.

[00:43:38] how can people support The, G, Word, but also get involved in gifted, talented, and you’re a diversity awareness week next week and start to be a part of the movement and the conversation.

[00:43:57] Marc Smolowitz: Oh, well thank you. Well, first of all, go to The G Word Film dot com. That’s our website. And The G Word Film dot com is your hub for everything, right? So, so all the G chain awareness programming links will be there. You can register, you can sign up, you can connect. You should follow us on social. We’re at The G Word Film, and we’re on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.

[00:44:18] We’re very active. I have an incredible co-producer named Danielle Hoke who does all of our social marketing, and she is right there. In real time monitoring all the important topics and sharing stories and, and you know, really, you know, lively and engaged with people you know, in real time. And we want you to be a part of our social media community.

[00:44:38] Yeah, there’s just, you know, that, that’s sort of, that’s, that’s the point of entry. And then if you are so moved and you like what you see you can make a donation of The G Word documentary. We, in the United States anyway, we operate as a 5 0 1 C3 nonprofit through, so we’re charity through a fiscal sponsor.

[00:44:55] So folks here in the US can get a tax deduction for their donation through the Center for in documentary. And that sometimes motivates people to wanna donate. I mean, we’ve had more than 700 donors make donations to this movie, so I’m, you know, take that very seriously. That’s a huge, you know, vote of confidence and trust in me as a filmmaker.

[00:45:15] And I’m really grateful for everyone’s, everyone’s donations. You know, we’ve had people donate from, you know, from. From $5 to $50,000. And so if you’re, you know, if you’re out there and you’re listening and you’re rich and you wanna be an executive producer on a movie, you know, send me an email and I’m happy to hear from you.

[00:45:31] We’ll, we’ll, we’ll talk deal, we’ll talk deal terms. But if you’re someone who just, you know, like, like we, we sell, you know, knowing that the culture of philanthropy is that, you know, people join organizations that they’re passionate about, you know, so I would be honored to have you and your listeners, you know, consider The G.

[00:45:47] Word be something that you would like to support this year among the many important causes that you probably support in your own life and in your own communities. We can’t do this alone. It takes a village to make a movie. It takes a village to support the movement around the movie. But go to our website, learn about our partners, 80 groups and many of them in your state or your town, or your, your country, doing great work where you can connect and learn more about what it means to be gifted.

[00:46:13] But yourself, your kids, your teachers, your, you know, all the stakeholders that are kind of in the room. Everybody touches our, our community. I mean, I’ll lead you with this today. Like no one movie can be all things to all people, and I would never pretend that, right. We’re gonna do our best job to make this as meaningful for as many people as we can.

[00:46:32] And it’s really the impact work around the movie that will sort of fill in the rest, right? The, G, Word doesn’t belong just to me and the people around me who are helping to make it. It belongs to everyone who has a connection to this, these themes, these stories, and these concepts, right? So when you see The, G, Word, you’re gonna see six stories that I’ve chosen that I think are powerful, but I hope it will hold up to you like a mirror and get you to think about this stuff in your own life and in your own way and in your own time.

[00:47:02] And if I’ve done my job and I’ve touched your heart, made you think maybe surprised and delighted you a little bit. You know when the lights come up in the movie theater or you look at each other, you know, at home when you know in the living room, when you’re done watching, like, you know, let me know what you think, you know, this is a virtuous act.

[00:47:19] We’re making art feedback is important. I don’t pretend to know everything. You know, I’m well studied and deeply researched, but I’m learning all the time. And The, G, Word Enterprise is exactly a reflection of that. Like, like, join us and be a part of the movement and we’d be glad to welcome you.

[00:47:35] Sophia Elliott: Well, I thoroughly look forward to the next chapter and getting across the line with that last bit.

[00:47:41] And like Mark said earlier, there’s a little bit more fundraising to do. We’re at the, what is it, The 24th mile in the marathon. So by all means, if you have the opportunity to support The, G, Word, Film, get across the line, that would be amazing. And in the meantime get involved in gifted talent in Neurodiversity Awareness Week.

[00:48:02] So much cool stuff. I’ll put all those links in the show notes so that you can find everything. And Mark, thank you for your time this evening. It’s been absolute delight to catch up again. I look forward to eventually coming back and you’re like, It’s out ,

[00:48:20] Marc Smolowitz: I can’t wait. And my dream of dreams is to join you down there in Australia.

[00:48:24] Screen the movie in person, we can celebrate together.

[00:48:27] Sophia Elliott: That is a wonderful dream. Let’s hold onto that cuz that’d be amazing. Will take care. Thank you for joining us this evening. I’m very excited about next week’s activities and all the exciting joy that we get to share

[00:48:40] Marc Smolowitz: next week. Hashtag gifted joy.

[00:48:44] Let’s do it. Hashtag Thanks so much, Sophia. Thank you.

#063 The Journey of Parenting Gifted Kids w/ Dr Gail Post

#063 The Journey of Parenting Gifted Kids w/ Dr Gail Post

In this episode, we’re talking to Dr Gail Post about the very different journey that we experience as parents of gifted kids.

Memorable Quote

“There’s so much more now about what to do when you’re raising a gifted child… but, very little looking at what the parents are going through and their experiences and as we know, raising a gifted or twice exceptional child is challenging in ways that folks with neurotypical kids may not experience.

A lot of the intensity and heightened sensitivity and quirkiness and asynchronous development, all of that make it a more challenging job, on top of the fact that it often falls on parents to advocate in the schools or figure out some way of patching together a more enriching education for them.

So it’s quite a challenge and that leaves families with a lot of emotions that are really hard to talk about… there’s very little that’s written about it.” – Dr Gail Post




Gail Post, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, parenting consultant, workshop leader, and writer. In practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted, parenting consultation and workshops, and consultation with educators and psychotherapists.

She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Dr. Post is the parent of two gifted young adults and served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy group when her children were in school. Her writing includes online articles, several book chapters, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges.

Her upcoming book through Gifted Unlimited Press, “The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self-discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children” extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. I’m very excited to be back with Dr. Gale post. Gail joined us recently for an episode where we talked about how to tell your child that they are gifted and how to have that conversation, which was just lovely.

[00:00:18] And I think you’re really going to enjoy today’s episode as well. Today, we talk about the journey of parenting gifted kids. Like. We’re talking about the parents and our experience and how that’s different and those different things that we need to negotiate. That other parents may not need to negotiate.

[00:00:40] So we dive into things like, how do we Uh, our own expectations. How do we manage to navigate the expectations? And dare I say, judgment of other family, friends, and other parents. How do we share the successes of our children, which can often feel like a very taboo thing to share? Where do we find support?

[00:01:10] How do we navigate other people in the world? And Gail has written a fabulous book, which is all about that journey of the parents who have gifted children. And it’s really lovely because they really. Aren’t other resources out there like this, and it’s very much what we do here at the gifted kids podcast. We talk about that.

[00:01:33] Journey. We get real. About the highs and the lows of it. And through sharing that. It can help us all feel seen, I think, less isolated and like, it’s not just us. And so. Gail has written a book called the gifted parenting journey, a guide to self discovery and support for families of gifted children.

[00:02:01] I had a thoroughly enjoyable time reading it. It was really lovely. It is very different. And it’s really nice to feel seen as a parent and dive into some. Challenging topics that. That are tricky. You know, managing our own emotions and expectations around this very different parenting journey.

[00:02:23] And if you haven’t met Gail before. Gail post PhD is a clinical psychologist. Parents consultant, workshop, leader, and writer. She’s been in practice for over 35 years. She provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted.

[00:02:43] And she does consultation with both parents and educators and psychotherapists. She’s an associate professor of psychiatry at the university of Pennsylvania school of medicine. Dr. Post is the parent of two gifted young adults. And She served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy

[00:03:03] When her children were in school. Her writing includes online articles, several book chapters, and a longstanding blog called gifted challenges.

[00:03:13] So her new book, the gifted parenting journey is recently out. I think at the moment it’s on early order with full. Publication and availability over the coming days and weeks. So you can find it on Amazon and all those places where you find good books.

[00:03:32] So have a listen, check it out. Let me know. Does it answer all your questions? What other questions do you have? Perhaps we could get Dr. Gale back to discuss those. You can get in touch with our gifted kids through our Facebook page or our free Facebook group. We’re also on Instagram and you can subscribe@ourgiftedkids.com so that you don’t miss any of our podcasts.

[00:03:56] Thank you very much stay quirky. And I hope that you enjoy this episode.

[00:04:35] I absolutely delighted to have Dr. Gal post back on the podcast this week. Thank you so much for joining us. Scale.

[00:04:44] Everyone will remember Dr. Gail from an episode we did earlier, which was all about how to talk to your child about being gifted. Awesome episode. Thank you so much for that.

[00:04:57] You’re welcome.

[00:04:58] But excitedly, we are here today to talk about a book that you have written, and it’s released this month, October.

[00:05:10] And it’s called the Gifted Parenting Journey. So first of all, Gail, absolute congratulations on writing a fabulous book. I really enjoyed it. And what I love, love, love about the book is it is different to other books about giftedness that I have read because you. Well, you tell us. How have you done this differently,

[00:05:40] Dr Gail Post: Well, you know, I. There’s so much out there. Fortunately, that’s emerging about, well, obviously there’s a lot out there about parenting, a lot of articles and research, tons of it, but there’s, there’s more and more, certainly from when my kids were young, there was almost, there was very little out there at that point.

[00:05:59] There’s so much more now about what to do when you’re raising a gifted child, what their needs are, how to address their needs, how to address the schools, all of that. But, Very little looking at what the parents going through and their experiences and as we know, Raising a gifted or twice exceptional child is challenging in ways that folks with neurotypical kids may not experience.

[00:06:23] So, uh, a lot of the intensity and heightened sensitivity and quirkiness and asynchronous development, all of that make it a more challenging job on, on top of the fact that it often falls on parents to advocate in the schools or figure out some way of patching together. A more enriching education for them.

[00:06:45] So it’s, it’s quite a challenge and that leaves families with a lot of emotions that are really hard to talk about, like very, uh, troubling emotions at times, sometimes embarrassment or envy or anxiety and, There’s very little that’s written about it. So, uh, one of my goals was to provide a place where people could learn more through theory and research and also, you know, clinical experience of my own.

[00:07:13] But to have a place to see what is out there, what information is out there about how parents grapple with these concerns, and also some tools for what to do about it as so support. And then secondly, The, uh, importance of really, I believe learning more about yourself so you can parent best, sort of like on you know, you go on a plane trip, the flight attendant says, you know, if in case of emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child so you can handle things.

[00:07:50] And as parents, we need to be able to handle our own emotions, otherwise, we’re. You know, just flailing around trying to, you know, patch together each incident that comes up with our kids as opposed to having sort of a sense of, this is my overrid goal, these are my plans, this is what I wanna do, uh, as a parent, and I’ll do the best I can and I’m gonna make plenty of mistakes.

[00:08:14] But, uh, overall knowing more about what’s, what values you have and what is most important. What

[00:08:26] Sophia Elliott: I love was, in your book, you actually can’t remember which chapter, but there is a point at which you actually have a bit of a chat about what research has been done on parents of gifted kids, and it’s very little, and which I guess doesn’t really surprise me.

[00:08:47] But I remember feeling the incredible sense of validation. I think it was late last year when I came across some research that said that parenting a gifted child is as stressful as parenting a child with physical disabilities. And right. For me it was this massive moment of oh my God, yes, it is hard.

[00:09:12] It’s not just me. You know, like some acknowledgement of those incredible different challenges that we go through. And so it’s lovely to hear you air killing that in your book. Talking about that, talking about that lack of research, what research has been done because. And as you touch on in your book, some of those things that we have to grapple with are very unique.

[00:09:40] And we’re gonna talk about some of those things in today’s episode. And I just wanna sort of say like, you know, Bravo for seeing that this had not been covered and providing, I think parents with this validation of. Yeah, these are the, these are challenges and you know you are not alone in those challenges.

[00:10:03] If you’ve got a gifted kid, chances are you’re having these challenges too. Like, you know, there’s that universality within that parenting gifted kid niche. So, yeah, really important because like you said, and I’ve certainly have felt this a lot as a parent, if we can, there’s so much. Uh, relief that comes from that validation and from, and that personal awareness that makes you better parent.

[00:10:36] Uh, so some of the things that we were gonna have a look at today, and these are things that you touch on in your book, is.

[00:10:43] What advice do you have for parents about how to navigate other people’s judgment or expectation of your child and. I think this is a big one to put on the table cuz first of all, it’s that acknowledgement that as parents have gifted kids, there is something very tangible that we must navigate about other people, the way that they judge us, our parenting and our children, and the expectations they might have.

[00:11:16] So let’s start that.

[00:11:19] Dr Gail Post: Uh, yeah, I mean that’s one that I think one of the rude awakenings parents often find is that because their child is so different, they don’t come across many other parents. And so it’s, it’s really, uh, you know, amazed to like, navigate basically. How do I find people who get this?

[00:11:38] Because there aren’t gonna be many when you think about iq. Giftedness is defined as the top one to 5%. That’s not a lot of people, That’s not a lot of kids. And so you’re not gonna find a lot of parents either who are parents of those kids to communicate with. So it’s, it’s really tough. And then there’s so much stigma and stereotyping and misunderstanding about giftedness that it, it really is, it’s a tough situation.

[00:12:07] So in, in terms of. Dealing with other people’s misunderstanding, or if you wanna call judgements as well. One thing I I like to think about is that as parent of a gifted child, you are an ambassador for giftedness. It is your job, sadly, to add onto everything else we do as parents, to educate other people because they don’t know.

[00:12:29] And a lot of times it’s not malicious, it’s just that they don’t understand. They have these stereotyped views of what giftedness is and. Think it’s all about high achievement or that parents prep their kids or that, Oh, these parents think their child is so special. And it’s, it’s not about that, as we all know.

[00:12:51] It’s, it’s these additional demands and expectations on families. So one of our jobs is just to tactfully in a matter of fact way. Just explain, just clarify, just to see ourselves as you know, we’re out there. Even if it’s not about our own child, we have to explain and educate other people cuz they’re not gonna know it otherwise.

[00:13:14] And they may be astounded like, Oh, I had no idea. I really didn’t realize that. Uh, and. There, there’s some different things that you could even try. I mean, I’ll just throw out a few examples. You could be like, Well, you know, he has different learning needs or, uh, we found that she learns best when exposed to somewhat different material in the classroom.

[00:13:34] You know, just again, very matter of fact, just like you might say, if your child had a sports injury and couldn’t play football or basketball or volleyball anymore, that for a while because they’re healing from that. It’s just a matter of fact, this is what happened. It’s not their fault. It happened. And the same thing with giftedness or twice exceptionalities, that it’s, it’s who these kids are and we’re there to help them.

[00:14:00] And we, you know, one of the things we do when we protect our kids is to explain to the other adults in the room you. This is what’s going on. So, And another, you know, another thing one might say is, you know, for example, we know that giftedness is a confusing and loaded term, which it is. We don’t like the term either because it implies that gifted kids are special in some way, but all kids are special.

[00:14:23] Our child just has different needs, so, Regardless of the term, we’ve learned that our child has special and specific learning needs that require different approach. And the other thing to be that it’s important to explain would be we also know that gifted kids have something called asynchronous development.

[00:14:42] So sometimes his behavior’s a lot less mature than his ability to grasp knowledge. Uh, it’s quite a challenge for him, for us, and probably for you having to deal with him. So again, just to kind of put it out there as a matter of fact as possible and be ready to answer questions. And hopefully you’ll be dealing with people with an open mind.

[00:15:01] Not always, but hopefully Absolutely,

[00:15:05] Sophia Elliott: because we’ve all got it is really tricky. There’s. Parents at the school gate, family members, and there’s so many misconceptions, like you say. So it’s just try and be as matter of fact, as possible about it and just stick to the facts really. , they just learn differently.

[00:15:25] And I’ve certainly kind of approached it this way with. Some family members of older generations and , it can be quite, I guess, what’s the word I’m looking for? Confronting or challenging when, , gifted kids are correcting us, on, , matters of which they know a lot.

[00:15:47] Uh, and that can be really challenging, but it’s, it. Trying to approach that with openness, I guess, and not see that as a disrespect. It’s, it’s more about the excitement of learning, excitement of the topic and things like that. So, yeah, so just trying to be really matter of fact about it. So I love that your introduction actually starts with, Surprise, your child is gifted

[00:16:15] It really made me laugh because it’s kind of like, Oh my God, , You know, I just was like, I remember that moment. Uh, for us, and it’s kind of like surprise. It’s like, Oh my God, what are we, You know what the, we entered a surreal twilight zone right.

[00:16:37] Dr Gail Post: And for a lot of people it’s, it’s, you know, excitement.

[00:16:40] Like, wow, they’re gifted. And then it’s like, oh my gosh, now what? It’s really, Yeah.

[00:16:45] Sophia Elliott: Oh, absolutely Right. So many, so many emotions at that point in time. So how do we navigate our own? Expectations, our own emotions. Judgements, . In this kind of parenting, a gifted kid space.

[00:17:02] Dr Gail Post: Well, you know, it’s a tough one, but it really comes down to understanding ourselves and where our expectations are coming from.

[00:17:08] So being able to dig deep and look at where is this coming from? Is this something that is almost pre-programmed that I assume X, Y, and Z should happen? Or is it. Really based on my value. So first of all, expectations are normal, right? We all have them and we all have them for our kids in, in good ways and, and important ways.

[00:17:30] Uh, and it could be based on our values or our culture or, uh, a sense of, uh, personal responsibility we wanna infuse in our children or a work ethic or loyalty to family, whatever it is. These are values that all parents have, you know, or they come to some terms with what is important. And not all expectations are bad.

[00:17:51] Uh, maintaining, especially with gifted kids, positive, realistic, and appropriately high expectations lays the groundwork for internalizing values related to responsibility and achievement. It also boosts their self-esteem to feel like they can complete tasks. And I’m not talking about anything extreme.

[00:18:11] It could be, yeah, I took out the garbage, or I cleaned my room, just anything. They had to tackle somebody they didn’t wanna do or was difficult. They can feel good about themselves for behaving responsibly. The problem is with gifted kids and their families, there are usually increased expectations that parents have for their kids because they see this tremendous potential and all this ability that they want to nurture, and it’s terrifying to not know what to do because there aren’t a lot of supports or resources.

[00:18:43] Courses out there, as we all know. So parents often feel this, this daunting responsibility to find enrichment activities or find the best possible school or homeschool or put all their money into extra activities for their child to do. And it’s, it’s really overwhelming. And they struggle with how much do I push my child?

[00:19:03] Do I push them a lot? Uh, do I do like that tiger mom thing and really push hard or do I hold back and let them find their own way? And again, the more we know about ourselves, the more we can look at where is this coming from. So a parent who might have been a super high achiever might think, I, I want my child to be with that too.

[00:19:25] Or they might think that nearly killed me. I don’t want my child to achieve, so I’m not gonna push them at all. In fact, I’m gonna try to like hold them back a little bit either way. It’s not being attuned to what your child needs in any given situation. Cause every child learns at a different pace, uh, with a different level of intensity.

[00:19:44] They have different interests. They have good days and bad days, just like we all do. And. We need to be as attuned as possible, imperfectly attuned, because we’re always gonna be imperfect at it, but to really try to pay attention to that. So I, I can talk more of that. I wanna, you know, give you a chance to respond, but a little bit more about expectations, but it’s, it’s a really complicated topic for parents.

[00:20:11] Sophia Elliott: Uh, yeah, no, please, please continue. , if you’ve got more,

[00:20:16] Dr Gail Post: it’s really good. Well, one thing, you know, I, part of writing this book is I put out an online survey asking parents to respond. Parents have gifted children, and I put it out on different Facebook groups for parents, have gifted kids, and my website and my blog side and other websites like gifted homeschoolers for a lot of different places.

[00:20:37] Got over 400 responses was really amazing. But. In, in terms of this particular topic, over 50% of parents indicated that they either almost always or always, Feel this sense of, of responsibility to help their child reach their potential and worried that they, their child wouldn’t reach their potential.

[00:21:02] And similarly felt this confusion most of the time, or always about how much to push their child. So a lot of anxiety goes into what to do, What the heck do I do? What’s the best course of action for right now with my child or in the long run? And if I don’t push them now, will they? Just, you know, being miserable and not having a career that they want or will, uh, will they blossom or will it make them so miserable that they’ll retreat and withdraw and rebel and become anxious and develop too much perfectionism, All of that.

[00:21:40] So it’s, it’s quite a fine line. We all have to walk on how to handle. Parents also worry about how others will perceive them. Will they be labeled as pushy? You know, even just advocating with a teacher in school can get you that label, which is, I think, why so many parents are worried about advocating because they don’t wanna be seen as that pushy parent.

[00:22:04] But. If your child had a learning disability, it would be understandable to push for that. If your child had difficulty reading, it would be understandable to push for more services. But when a child who’s seen is seen as having, having it all right, being super bright, Then parents are looked at a little bit sideways about what’s this all about?

[00:22:24] Can’t you just be happy for what your child has? But as we all know, that doesn’t work because our kids get bored and then they get rammy and, and impatient and difficult and, and cause problems at school and start to underachieve and feel bad and all that, all that bad stuff that happens. Uh, so I, I can go into some questions.

[00:22:45] People could ask themselves for exploration if you’d like me to, or if there’s anything else you wanna ask or say. I,

[00:22:56] Sophia Elliott: that’s really great because I think it helps to know. You know, like we’ve all got, this is a challenge common to, to all of us parenting gifted kids. And it’s like, where do we find that balance between . You know, nudging, pushing you know, influencing, uh, and. And and finding the balance. And it’s a really tricky one and I certainly remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed initially cuz it was kind of like, Oh my God, how do I meet this insatiable need to learn in a particular area that is so far removed from anyone their age.

[00:23:44] And it took us a long time to. Find the balance and relax into that and understand that it was okay if, if they revisited things cuz they’re learning something different each time. And uh, it’s okay if they’re reading books again cuz it’s a year later and picking something else up and, but it’s a huge sense of anxiety and stress.

[00:24:11] For parents. I, I am, I’m not as surprised at all at the numbers there that you quoted from your survey, because I’m like so many parents are, are trying to find that particular balance. Another issue that comes up a lot is parents who are having conflict or friction between family members who. Are not understanding, I think why we’re parenting in a particular way and struggling to, uh, communicate to family members.

[00:24:54] Why, you know, our children have these particular needs and we do this in a particular way, and there’s that friction, you know, can start to develop. Have you got any advice around those kind of closer relationships and how we might manage those?

[00:25:13] Dr Gail Post: Yeah. As always a tough one, right? A delicate balance. Yeah.

[00:25:19] Because they, these family members could be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, whomever, may have certain expectations of what kids are supposed to be like. And then your kids are just a little different. They’re a little off. You know, they may see them as, you know, these smarty pants, like why are they talking like that?

[00:25:36] Or why don’t they have better manners? Or why can’t they? Be rough and tumble and fit in with all the other kids and they just need some guidance. And again, tact being, matter of fact about. Uh, trying to be as educational as possible, You know, point out that, hey, you know, this is who they are, just like the color of their eyes or their height.

[00:25:58] I mean, this is who they are. This is how they came into this world, and we’re just along for the ride as parents and would love you to help us along the way with this, with your support and what we’re doing. But, you know, you can say from what we’ve learned, With gifted kids and with our particular gifted child or children, they respond best to X, Y, and Z.

[00:26:20] So it’s about enlightening them about what giftedness is that it’s not a gift, but it’s basically a different way of approaching the world. Looking at the world, like looking through a different pr. Different colors that they see the world differently, they respond differently, Their pace of learning, their intensity, their grasp of information, it’s also different.

[00:26:42] And explaining a little bit about that intensity, explaining about asynchronous development, like, yeah, sure, they can tell you all the facts and figures about, uh, about what’s going on in the world. They’re, they have a meltdown if they don’t get their way, because there’s some immaturity going on there, and we’re working on it.

[00:27:01] You know, we’re, we’re trying to help them navigate that and get past it, but it can really be a challenge. So we need to explain about any, twice exceptional concerns, explain a synchronous development mentioned that. Just like they have a very active mind. They have an active nervous system, and so they might react intensively to things they might not like certain food textures or colors or sounds they might struggle with.

[00:27:33] Uh, melting down and starting to cry because they saw something on the news about some, something that seems so socially unjust, unjust to them. They might, uh, respond really overly, intensely. They might have trouble fitting with other kids their age. This just goes with the territory and we’re there to try to help them.

[00:27:52] And also to maybe discourage family members from saying things like, Oh, you’re so smart. Or I bet you’re gonna go to Harvard, or just to over, to put too much emphasis on their intelligence. And also not try to shame them. For their behaviors. Yeah, they misbehave. They’d do something wrong. You talk to them about it, but that’s different than shaming them.

[00:28:13] Like, You seem so smart. What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you, why don’t you know this already? But just to say that, you know, sometimes they lack a filter. Sometimes they don’t censor themselves. Sometimes they come across as bossy with their other cousins. Just again, matter of fact, explanation, but trying to give some guidance in a.

[00:28:36] Careful and tactful way with family members or neighbors or anyone else about how to best deal with their, your child.

[00:28:47] Sophia Elliott: I love that you touched on asynchronous development. And you know, because I think sometimes, , within our family kind of network, Like I, for years, we just opted out of dinners out, you know, like some family members would be like, Oh, we’re going for dinner. And it’d be like, Oh, oh, thank you. Love to,

[00:29:12] Dr Gail Post: That’s just,

[00:29:13] Sophia Elliott: , that’s bad time or too late and, and , that would be a factor, but it’s just also just kind of like the reality is.

[00:29:21] there is no way due to the asynchronous development and sensory seeking behavior that my children will sit at a table , , and so I guess it’s having those conversations, isn’t it? Where we can, uh, and, and just trying to be upfront about it. Uh, and in more recent years, We’ve been able to go places that have those kids’ playgrounds and things.

[00:29:46] Right. You know, and it’s becoming something we can do. We don’t do it often , but it’s becoming something we can do cuz it’s somewhere for them to express their energy and, and work around that expectation to sit at the table, which they just can’t sit at a table and eat food. It just is beyond any reason, unfortunately.

[00:30:06] As much as, but we’re supporting them with that. And so I can see that that’s a conversation that we can have and just try and be, , as honest but tactful and appropriate as possible. And I think it helps to have some words like that to, to use . And the other thing that’s really tricky and comes up a lot is how do we navigate.

[00:30:32] What I feel is a real taboo around talking about our kids’ successes or for that matter, their challenges, because it’s another really hard topic, whether it’s friends especially, and I’ve heard this particular story quite a few times. It’s like, well, we were in the mom’s group and everyone’s kids were developing.

[00:30:55] Actually, I read this possibly in your book, this anecdote. Tell me if I’m right. This, I think this is actually from your book, and it was like a little story of like, we’re in the mom’s group and, and as the kids started to develop, my child was obviously developing in certain areas more quickly. And then that parent was like, I can’t talk about the milestones anymore because it’s like this taboo, because they’re advanced.

[00:31:23] And you know, and I, I know that we’ve all kind of felt that so. Oh, that’s so hard. Well, how do we,

[00:31:32] Dr Gail Post: I mean, well, I mean I think that that was from the book something along those lines because it was I believe it was one of the quotes from people in the, that survey I sent around. They, they. I was just, I was just blown away and so grateful that there were so many amazing, heartfelt responses where people talked about their experiences.

[00:31:55] And that was one of the, one, I, several examples came up. I mean, I had hundreds of responses, so I only included a few in the book, but, well, fair amount of book. But uh, yeah, the sense of we don’t fit in, My child doesn’t fit in, and what the heck do I do now? Mm-hmm. , it’s really tough. So I, I think that, you know, we have to, First of all, in an ideal world, we find like-minded folks.

[00:32:19] We find other parents have gifted kids, or if your child has. Uh, an extracurricular activity where there’s a meeting of the mind. So something, whether it’s theater, music, chess robotics, whatever, whatever it is that you can find some other parents whose kids really excel or have these intense, passionate interests and be able to talk about what’s going on.

[00:32:43] So just again, to find your peers, just like your children need to find their peers. And in those situations, or you can start to talk more about these things. That are just part of daily life that you don’t have to qualify what you’re saying so much. Uh, but with other folks, I mean, if it’s a close friend who doesn’t have a gifted child, they care about you, they love you, so they’re gonna wanna understand.

[00:33:08] And if you explain it in a way and just talk about your joys, your struggles. They’ll be there for you and you can educate them a little bit. Like, Well, this is why my child is like X. Just like if they had some other issue going on, you, you try to explain it. Uh, there are gonna be plenty of people who aren’t gonna get it.

[00:33:27] And you’re probably not gonna wanna share a whole lot with them. And that’s just reality. Almost like we teach our kids to stay away from the bullies or the, or the mean kids in class. Right. You know, you tell that that kid was mean to you, so why don’t you not hang out with them? Don’t keep trying to play with them if they’re gonna be mean to you.

[00:33:42] So that not, I’m not saying other adults are mean, but I mean, they don’t get it. So you, you kind of hitting your head against a brick. But if they do make comments about your child, you know, whether it’s positive or, or a criticism, again, just to respond in a very practical, educational way and, you know, show your humility and your sense of gratitude.

[00:34:02] Like, yes, thank you. You know, they did skip a grade and I’m, you know, really, you know, happy that they are maybe finding some classes that are engaging for. You know, something just very simple along those lines. One thing that parents often do, and I certainly have been in culprit with that, uh, along the way, is they do something called undoing.

[00:34:24] So when they share something positive, they quickly come up with a negative to equalize it or to try not to make the other person feel bad. So it might be, uh, you know, yeah, he read that the whole Harry Potter book in a week, but he can’t tie his. shoes Or, uh, yeah, you know, she won this, uh, award for her acting skills, but you should see her messy room.

[00:34:50] Like there, there, there’s always a yes, but mm-hmm. and. Not that those, you know, we don’t have to have those valid complaints or concerns. If you’re concerned, your child’s tying their shoes or the room’s a mess. You can, That’s the kind of thing friends talk about with each other, right? Parents, you know, we talk about and complain about our kids, but that’s different than feeling compelled to minimize or, or put some other, you know, another ribbon around these accomplishments with this caveat that, Oh, well, yeah, but they have all these other problems.

[00:35:22] And so we have to watch for that.

[00:35:25] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Uh, and I think, like you said, I think we’ve all done it at one point or another. It’s like, Oh yeah, they did really great at that, but you know, they really suck at this or whatever. It’s just kind of like, and that’s like, Oh my God, where are my children?

[00:35:42] I hope no one heard that. Cause I’ve just torn them down in front of this person. You know? But it’s that, yeah, it comes back to that sort of sense of. We can’t just be proud of them, , when they’ve done something amazing that’s beyond their years, which I think is really hard. Uh, and so, yeah, I’m, I’m inclined to agree with that one.

[00:36:07] It’s like your advice about finding your parenting peers and, and sharing within that safe group. They get it as well. You know, like a recent milestone for us in this family is one child in particular has actually learned to tie their shoes and it doesn’t sound, this is the achievement. Parents have gifted Kids will get that.

[00:36:37] Right. You know, they will be like, bravo, well done and yeah. So I think sometimes the successes, much like the challenges can look very different as well, can’t they? You know, and it’s, when you’re amongst peers, they kind of, they get the significance of things and it’s safe. And I have to admit that if I have a sense that a place isn’t. Going to be receptive to or understanding of my kids. I just don’t share that stuff, , in those places because it’s not worth my energy. Right. Of, of going down that path. And then sometimes I’m like, no, I’m gonna advocate a bit here and educate a little bit, but I don’t have always that much energy,

[00:37:25] Dr Gail Post: so.

[00:37:26] Right. I love that you’re saying, you know, you gotta conserve your energy and put a word needs to go and not beat your head against a brick bull.

[00:37:34] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. Very, I, I wanna share with everyone some of the chapters of your book because a lot of the things that we are talking about in this episode you actually really dive into in your book.

[00:37:51] And I wanna just sort of help listeners get a sense of some of those. So Naturally, you kind of go into what is giftedness all about. But then it’s like the social and emotional aspects of giftedness. You talk about that intensity and asynchronous development. And then with the chapters, you kind of have this really helpful little, what’s next section where you’ve actually got some tips.

[00:38:18] And so in terms of this conversation we are having here about expectations and judgment and navigating these different scenarios, uh, some of those, what next things, what might be sort of like, how do we find that? And what kind of support might a parent of a gifted child look for? So maybe you could share with us some of those ideas.

[00:38:42] Cause that’s something I know you, you touch on in the book as well. Quite a lot is different places that we can sort of seek out support. Yeah.

[00:38:51] Dr Gail Post: Yeah. I, I, I appreciate, First of all, I appreciate you reading the book, Sophia. I really appreciate that. And, uh, but secondly, the There, there’s a lot about some of these difficulties parents face, you know, some of the challenges, anxiety, envy, embarrassment, regret, disappointment, and also pride and joy.

[00:39:13] Like how do you express that? And expectations. And then just dealing with basic challenges around parenting, You know, how to. Just engage in a loving, wonderful relationship with your child, but also be able to set limits when needed. So there’s all that, and parents desperately need support. And there, there are different ways to get it, but one thing is just again, to know yourself and know what works best for you.

[00:39:40] So I. First of all, as we were talking earlier, finding like-minded peers, finding other adults who understand, who get it, who really support you unconditionally, who are not being judgemental towards you. And again, you can sometimes look for that in the schools. You can look for that through extracurricular activities.

[00:40:03] There are a lot of online parenting groups, which again, you don’t know those people, but sometimes you can get some helpful advice. My one caveat is that sometimes in those groups, people get a lot of advice about a problem they’re presenting and. It’s important to remember that each person is putting out what they, what’s worked for them, but that may not work for you, so you have to just take it and, and thank them for it, but decide, does this fit for me or not?

[00:40:30] Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it fits a little bit and, and to move on. But either way, you’re getting some support and validation. Uh, on a basic level, just read as much as you can, read as many books, articles, uh, research articles as, as you mentioned earlier, there, there actually is not a lot of research about this topic.

[00:40:50] It’s, it’s really shocking. Uh, just, just as an aside, one of the. Few researchers that I, I wrote about in the book, Remlinger, who actually is from Australia, and she did her dissertation on parenting issues, uh, when parenting gifted kids. And she was, she was amazing. I mean, she talked about how. It would be nice if giftedness were considered an exceptionality because then maybe parents would have that legitimacy that this is, this is something we’re struggling with.

[00:41:21] But one thing she did was really interesting. She, she did a, she’s Google scholar, which as we know is a way of getting more up to date research information. And she typed in, uh, what was it? What was it? Parent, Parent wellbeing Autism. And came up with 26,000 hits in terms of articles. Now, certainly autism, you know, there should be articles about that because it’s always an additional challenge, of course, but then barely a handful.

[00:41:55] Of articles about parenting gifted kids without an exceptionality. Uh, so it, it’s, it’s pretty amazing how little research there is out there. But you, you still can find research about giftedness. You still can find research about parenting. I mean, there’s, there’s tons of things out there. So to educate yourself, Which may feel like, ugh, another task really as a parent, you know, that I have to do something else.

[00:42:19] Like, why can’t I just send my kid off to school and they’ll take care of it? It’s like, now, unfortunately, we have a lot to do. So a third thing is getting some support from other, uh, other adults who are in a different position of expertise. So if there is a trusted. That you really respect and admire, uh, if there’s a gifted supervisor at the school who runs the gifted program, uh, maybe a school psychologist and maybe even a mental health professional, if you want some support on how you’re dealing with dealing with all this and, and ideas for, for your child.

[00:42:55] So that can be, and those can be amazing resources. Again, it’s not the same interpersonal validation that you get from peers, but it’s worthwhile. And finally, A gifted parenting group. I, I just can’t say enough positive things about it. I, I experienced that when my kids were in school where, uh, several of us came together.

[00:43:17] We formed a parent advocacy group to try to affect changes in the schools. And at that time we were able to get some changes done, like universal screening, uh, different ways of identifying kids, all of that, But, Beyond that. It also was a tremendous support where we could talk about what’s working for our kids and what’s not and what to look out for in the schools.

[00:43:41] And it was, it was just a tremendous support. So if there’s any way, if any of you have those groups through your school or homeschooling cooperative, and if there isn’t any to start one because you just, It’s word of mouth, really, just you can. Find as many folks who have gifted kids or talk to the gifted supervisor to see if they’ll put that information out, that you wanna start a group, but sometimes it falls on you as a parent to get this going.

[00:44:08] And it, it’s so valuable not only for your own support, but also if you are gonna advocate in the schools, because then you have, uh, a large number of voices. It’s not just you as the only parent walking in feeling like, Oh, I’m the only one, but. Instead that you have a group of people who can advocate. And there also are some other groups, formal groups out there like through sang, supporting the emotional needs of the gifted.

[00:44:31] They have these sang model parenting groups and other groups out there, sometimes in local communities, uh, where there, there are more supports available, but. Whatever you can do, You know, again, think about what do I need at this point in my parenting? Cuz what you need when you have a preschooler, or what you might need when your child is going into middle school is different than when they’re about to go off to college.

[00:44:54] So, to think about what do I need at this point? How will I, where can I find the support to help me parent at my best to feel confident, clear, uh, more in attunement with my child, even if they’re, you know, driving me up the wall because they’re being annoying and difficult. I still wanna be as attuned as possible to what’s going on.

[00:45:16] Awesome.

[00:45:17] Sophia Elliott: And

[00:45:17] it makes me think of, you mentioned there in different places to find support and when necessary finding that, , professional support through C therapist. And that’s certainly something that we have done over the years with our family. And there was one, there was one time where we were really challenged by a particular issue and we tried a variety of, Different ways of, , trying to manage and parent strategies and, and we, we eventually are having this conversation with the therapist and it was incredibly validating

[00:45:57] and she sort of said, Look, Any one of those things could’ve, would’ve and should’ve worked with a typical child. And you have run into X, Y, Z problems because of the asynchrony, because most kids of that age are older, won’t be thinking about the things that your child is thinking of and and you know, and the reasons why they’re not working.

[00:46:19] And so it was actually very heartening to kind of go. Okay, , we’ve been trying perfectly reasonable strategies. Yes. Now I understand why they haven’t worked because we’re dealing with something that’s not. Typical, I wasn’t gonna say perfectly reasonable, actually. Very perfectly reasonable child, but just not typical and you know, and was looking at things beyond their years.

[00:46:45] So it took extra special approaches to kind of navigate that and eventually find our happy place, which we did. But, and I think sometimes, We don’t always know what typical looks like. Like as a family, I often, I’m like, I got no idea what typical looks like because we are who we are as a family.

[00:47:07] Our kids are our kids. I haven’t. Been in a, in a job where I’ve met lots of kids and typical kids, , until I held my own baby, I think it was possibly one of the first babies I’d ever held. , I didn’t have the big family units with siblings and babies and kids everywhere.

[00:47:24] So it can be very hard to know , the broader context. And I think that’s where, for me Therapists and you know, whether it’s speech therapists or an OT or a psychologist or whoever it might be, have been really useful resources because it’s that opportunity to kind of go, where does this sit within the scheme of the context?

[00:47:48] Give me the context, help me understand, what we are dealing with here. And so, and I always encourage people to. Find those people, those helpers in the mix. And so I think that’s really great advice there.

[00:48:04] Dr Gail Post: You know, you, you described something also that is, is interesting in that, you know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

[00:48:11] And usually gifted kids, if they’re biological children, you know, they’re, the parents are likely gifted or, uh, somewhere in that vicinity, but often don’t recognize it, especially if they were not identified. So one thing that happens is that we rely on our history to define what seems normal. So, It may be hard to appreciate you have a gifted child, because what they’re doing is what your parents told you did at that age.

[00:48:39] Like, well, of course you talked before you were a year old, or of course you were walking at ex ex age. You know, like there’s this information that you think, Oh yeah, that’s normal. That’s the way it is. But like, no, not necessarily at all. You know, it’s not, it’s not normal in terms of being normative. For children to talk before a year or read by the age of three or those are not normal, but we may have grown up for that with that in our families and assume that’s the way things are, and it can be really a shock to find out that the world isn’t that way.

[00:49:12] One example I have, uh, that just is occurring to me now is, and by the way, I don’t usually share a lot or hardly anything actually about myself or my kids in the book because I really wanted it to be based on information that’s out there. But my heart was in it because, I mean, I went through this raising gifted kids, but one time, and I was volunteering in the classroom in first or second grade, and.

[00:49:35] Volunteer. One of my jobs was just to take one of the kids aside and took a little room and do flashcards on addition and subtraction. And I was stunned that my very mathy children, you know, that’s what I was around these very mathy kids and now suddenly these, these students I was working with were struggling with some very, very basic stuff.

[00:49:57] And it was quite a reminder to me like, wait a minute. These weren’t necessarily kids in special ed at all. These were just regular kids and wow, what a difference. So I think it’s, It can be quite an awakening to realize that, oh, our children are different.

[00:50:16] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, it really is. I had a similar experience when my youngest was in kindy and I went and facilitated a kind of group.

[00:50:26] Art project, we, we did some canvases and we got everyone involved. And so I would have sort of six kids at a time contributing to this kind of group artwork. And I, I, it was similar because obviously within that kindy there was a whole variety of children and it was really interesting for me to see what stood out the most.

[00:50:51] And, you know, it was a kind of a creative. Context, but was the difference just in intensity in kids and, and it really helped me to appreciate the difference in intensity of my children. Yeah, and, and it was really interesting to say how different children approach to. That activity. And unless you get these little opportunities or it’s something you do professionally or something, it’s, it’s really hard to have that context.

[00:51:32] And I think as parents, we rely on teachers a lot to give us a sense of and I think that’s where it can be really challenging when we kind of don’t feel like we’re not getting that feedback back. You know and it’s, you know, or they’re not seeing it for, for a variety of reasons. Hugely tricky.

[00:51:56] And so I love that you have taken us on this. You know, the Gifted Parenting journey is the name of the book, but it’s also very much the thread of the book and. And you really kind of delve into what it is like as a parent of a gifted child, to go from surprise your child’s gifted to what are some of the, what’s the terrain that we have to navigate?

[00:52:27] And it’s kind of like our own self awareness. The taboos around talking to people, our natural kind of reaction where we might be embarrassed or a bit envious or. Amazed, you know about kids’ behaviors, uh, and you really kind of traverse this terrain really beautifully, and I think it’s just a lovely resource for parents.

[00:52:51] So thank you. Thank you so much for doing all that work and writing it. And coming and talking to us about it.

[00:52:59] Dr Gail Post: It was something to do during the pandemic, you know, there was more time available. , well, thank

[00:53:03] Sophia Elliott: goodness for the pandemic making,

[00:53:05] Dr Gail Post: making lemonade outta lemons I guess.

[00:53:08] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. Well that, that is really great.

[00:53:11] So how can people get in touch with you? I like to, cuz people be listening and and I guess it’s like, where can they find the book? Okay, I

[00:53:23] Dr Gail Post: know that you.

[00:53:25] Sophia Elliott: Uh, you sort of practice clinically, locally, but you do parent coaching online. You can do that more globally and that kind of thing. So just, yeah, let us know how we can get in touch with you.

[00:53:37] Okay.

[00:53:38] Dr Gail Post: Well, uh, Again, I’m a clinical psychologist and so I, I do practice locally. I, I don’t see people for psychotherapy outside of the states, outside of the United States. There, there’s a pact in the United States called Side P where I can see people in different states that have that authorization.

[00:53:56] But my local practices in Pennsylvania the Philadelphia area, But because of Zoom, the advent of Zoom, I, uh, see people all over. And something I did even prior to the pandemic was I was doing parent consulting or coaching where I would meet with parents because that’s, it’s different than psychotherapy.

[00:54:14] It’s a completely different process where you figure out, Okay, what’s the problem? What are the concerns? Let’s put our heads together, Let’s come up with a plan. It’s very fast paced and, and problem focused. And it could be anything from, how do I. Figure out if my preschooler is gifted based on their behaviors and their intensity, or how do I get my child tested when the schools won’t let them be tested, What kind of schools they need.

[00:54:39] And even college planning, which is a completely underrepresented concern because parents often rely on the schools to help their kids find it in college. So I try to, I try to work with a lot of these concerns and. I, uh, you know, in terms of reaching me, I have a blog site, Gifted Challenges. I have a website, which is just my name, gale post.com, and I have a few social media sites, uh, Facebook page, a gifted Challenges Facebook page, and also one on Twitter as well.

[00:55:14] So, uh, I try to post a lot of articles, not just stuff I write, but things that I find interesting and helpful, hopefully. And this book has been, A great opportunity for me to kind of put together a lot of the ideas I’ve been writing about for a long time, but also to combine research and theory of all the great minds out there and pull it together.

[00:55:35] But hopefully with some relatability, especially with so many Vignettes and comments from parents of the survey and my own, you know, experiences clinically. And again, I don’t share a lot about myself, but my heart’s in it because I’ve been there like everybody else. So thank you for sharing this.

[00:55:55] Sophia Elliott: Oh my absolute pleasure. And there really are lots of lovely stories weaved throughout from, from the survey that you got. So it. It’s very relatable and I love seeing those in books because you can just imagine yourself, you might have been in that situation or something very similar, and I think that’s really great.

[00:56:16] And where can people find the

[00:56:17] Dr Gail Post: book? Well, it’s, uh, available for pre-order. It should be out October 5th, I believe, fully out. But it’s, uh, available for pre-order on, you know, all the usual sites, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Mm-hmm. . The publisher is Gifted Unlimited, uh, used to be. Under a different name, but now it’s Gifted Unlimited and they it’s there, but it’s, it’s on all the different sites and I imagine there might be some overseas as well.

[00:56:44] I just am not familiar with what’s out there, but mm-hmm. No

[00:56:47] Sophia Elliott: worries. We’ll put all those links in the show notes so people can find them nice and easily and find you. So thank you so much for joining us today. Absolute pleasure to have you back and have a chat.

[00:56:58] Dr Gail Post: Thank you so much. You’re so easy to talk with today.

[00:57:01] It’s really been a pleasure. So thank. Oh,

[00:57:04] Sophia Elliott: you’re welcome. Thanks.