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#054 [Gifted Awareness Week] 5 Things I Wish I Knew When my Child was Diagnosed as Gifted

#054 [Gifted Awareness Week] 5 Things I Wish I Knew When my Child was Diagnosed as Gifted

It’s Gifted Awareness Week and we are raising awareness with three new episodes this week!

In this episode we’re talking to parents, from one parent to another, about the 5 Things I Wish I Knew When my Child was Diagnosed as Gifted.

Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your show notes, free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com

Memorable Quote

“So, the psychologist has just told you your child is gifted. Breathe, take a few deep breaths…

You know that it’s actually because your child’s brain is wired differently. And that encompasses not just a high IQ, but also these intense emotions and physical sensitivities that need to be taken into account as you parent, and as your child goes through school.

You know that it’s okay to grieve and feel any of those big emotions that you have and that you need to find your people.

That’s the beginning.” – Sophia Elliott

Resources

 

Hit play and let’s get started!


#053 Extreme Gifted Boy Behaviour w/ Teresa Currivan

#053 Extreme Gifted Boy Behaviour w/ Teresa Currivan

In this episode, we’re talking to Teresa Currivan, psychotherapist, author, coach and parent, about understanding extreme behaviour in gifted boys.

We talk about how boys externalise their feelings and what perfectionism, their strong wills, sensitivity, and sense of justice has to do with unpacking this behaviour.

Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your show notes, free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com

If this episode inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group or Instagram or feel connected & supported in our community, the Our Gifted Kids Hub.

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

Memorable Quote

“He’s got his sense of how he wants to be perceived, how he wants to please his teachers, how he wants to please himself. He wants to get things right in school, and so he’s judging himself, even if nobody else is, our gifted kids tend to do that. The more gifted they are, all these factors seem to be a little more extreme.” – Teresa Currivan

Resources

Bio

Teresa Currivan is a licensed marriage and family therapist, parent coach and school therapist for the San Francisco Unified School district. She consults and speaks to faculty at schools in the San Francisco Bay Area about twice-exceptionality and differently wired learners.

She received her MA in Counselling Psychology using Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and completed post-graduate training at The Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley, CA. She has used drama therapy with young children and talk therapy with parents and other caregivers in the community health setting.

Years ago, her own child was having difficulty in school both socially and academically. She became frustrated trying to figure out how to navigate the world of professionals and educators and was unable to find one person or place who could put all of the moving parts together.

Through her experience helping differently wired children over the years, she has learned that each differently tuned-in child comes with strengths and challenges in unique combinations. Out of this, she developed the Currivan Protocol™. It is a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan that identifies what can be treated, accepts challenges, and embraces strengths.

The Currivan Protocol™ Assessment Tool has been adapted for implementation in the public and private school settings.

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#052 Meltdowns, Anger & Perfectionism in Gifted Kids

#052 Meltdowns, Anger & Perfectionism in Gifted Kids

“Sophia, today we’ve had a two-hour meltdown and it’s all fuelled by anger and unrealistic expectations and perfectionism – do you have a podcast on that?!”

We do now.

This episode unpacks meltdowns, what they are and what to do; anger, shame, perfectionism, imposter syndrome and those feelings of not being enough… and what we can do about it.

Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your show notes, free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com

If this episode inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group or Instagram or feel connected & supported in our community, the Our Gifted Kids Hub.

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

Resources

Hit play and let’s get started!


#051 How Our Brains Impact Behaviour w/ Allison Davies

#051 How Our Brains Impact Behaviour w/ Allison Davies

Today we talk to Allison Davies, researcher and previously music therapist, about how the brain impacts our behaviours and new ways of understanding those behaviours.

We talk about what to do when your child has a meltdown or expresses their emotions, autism, music for regulation and more!

Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your  free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com

If this episode inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group or Instagram or feel connected & supported in our community, the Our Gifted Kids Hub.

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

Memorable Quote

“And I think probably the most important point to reiterate right now is that is really bloody hard. Like there is nothing easy about honouring a meltdown or an angry outburst. There is nothing easy about us staying regulated and consciously in control enough to then come in and not start to discipline. It’s so hard for us to come in with love.” – Allison Davies

Resources

Bio

Allison Davies (she/her) lives and works on Tommeginne land, Lutruwita (Tasmania), Australia. She creates online resources for parents and teachers seeking guidance around how to use music therapeutically in their own lives, and to reclaim their inherent musicality along the way.

Working within a neurodiversity framework that favours regulation over intervention, and sharing her lived experience of autism, Allison empowers others to use music as a tool for neuro-regulation at home and in the classroom. Her programs, workshops and speaking events have received international acclaim for their ability to enthral an audience, deliver lightbulb moments and shift paradigms away from behavioural management and towards brain care.

An autistic, songstress, former music therapist and super passionate about remembering our sovereign voice and reclaiming our musicality.

Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Teaching and a Master of Music Therapy and training with the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy.

From 2005 – 2020 she worked in private music therapy practice across the fields of early childhood, juvenile detention, adult mental health, aged care, dementia care, palliative care and neuro rehabilitation.

Hit play and let’s get started!


Transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast episode. First of all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for joining us for neuro diversity celebration week. It was amazing. It was. I’m just going to say. Resounding success. There was a massive over. Like there’s been. 8,000 downloads, , throughout March and as a result of the week and I’ll podcasts and.

[00:00:27] Like huge, thanks to all of the guests that we had on and everyone who engaged, listened. Got in touch with their stories and questions and aha moments. Like just massive appreciation. Thank you for sharing the podcast with friends and family and your community and just getting involved. , It’s been, it’s been really awesome.

[00:00:54] If you want to get more involved, of course you can subscribe and I’ll give to kids. Don’t come. We have a free ebook on there, a free what? He’s gifted course. And all sorts of resources and you can find the link in the show notes.

[00:01:08] April is autism awareness month. Well, actually, This is like a day there’s a week. So I’m just going to call it the whole month. , whether that’s the whole thing or not. , and so I’m delighted actually to share today’s episode. , with our guest who is also autistic. So I thought that was a nice kind of Roundup.

[00:01:27] And her name is Alison Davies and she’s pretty freaking amazing. She creates online resources for parents and teachers seeking guidance around how to use music therapeutically in their own lives. And to reclaim their inherent musicality along the way. . She works within a neurodiversity framework that favors regulation over intervention.

[00:01:51] And sharing her lived experience of autism. Alison empowers others to use music as a tool for neuro regulation at home and in the classroom. She is a music therapist, a researcher. And her programs, workshops and speaking events have received international acclaim for their ability to deliver. Light bulb moments and shift paradigms.

[00:02:13] Away from behavioral management and towards brain care. So you’re in for a great episode today. I love her work. I just love it. And I highly recommend following her and checking her out. All her details are in the show notes. , she’s just one of those super brilliant people pulling together. The things that she loves to really make an impact and share with parents.

[00:02:38] A new way of looking at behavior. And the way our brain impacts on behavior. It’s an absolute don’t miss out. So today we talk about exactly that, how does our brain impact our behavior? Uh, kids being naughty or is it actually something going on with their brain?

[00:02:57] And how can we use music to regulate? And so this episode might just change the way you parent certainly will change the way you look at behavior. Yes. We also talk about autism. And why you might ask is autism important for a podcast about giftedness? Well, gifted kids and gifted adults can also be autistic.

[00:03:20] Just like they can have ADHD or be dyslexic or any number of learning and life challenges. Autism and giftedness can often be misdiagnosed for each other. In fact, there’s been some research that suggests that if you go to, you know, if, if a child was to. Get assessed by someone with, um, a strength in giftedness. They may get a giftedness diagnosis. If that same child went to someone who had a strength in diagnosing autism.

[00:03:49] They may get an autism diagnosis. Like research has actually shown that, which is fascinating. So there’s obviously a lot of shared traits and it’s a very interesting cross sort of. Crossover there. So it’s important. , when we talk about giftedness that we also talk about, , Things that can come along with that.

[00:04:08] Things that can be. Aligned with that.

[00:04:11] In this episode, everything we talk about is about the brain . And can apply to anyone with a brain. So it’s not exclusively about the autistic brain or the gifted brain. But Ellison’s knowledge and tools will of course be a great benefit to anyone. Especially those with a neurodivergent brain.

[00:04:31] So, and that includes giftedness autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia. All of those things. So, let me know what you think. , you can find us in our Facebook group or an Instagram. I love to hear people’s aha moments. I really cherish those and appreciate them. If you want to dig deeper, you can download our free ebook or free. What is gifted cause at.

[00:04:55] Our gifted kids.com on the Woody’s gifted page. All of Alison’s details are also in the show notes. She is freaking amazing. So follow her to. And thank you again for an absolutely amazing neurodiversity celebration week. It was just totally blew me away. And thank you for engaging and getting involved and to amazing guests. I hope that.

[00:05:21] Uh, you know, you’ve taken the opportunity to follow and get to know them a bit better. And I really hope that you enjoy this episode. So thanks so much. Bye. I’m super excited today to have Alison Davies on the podcast, which is very exciting. Cause we’ve had some technical hiccups,

[00:06:09] Allison Davies: Allison,

[00:06:10] Sophia Elliott: welcome to the podcast. I thought perhaps we could start by having a quick chat about what you do and who you’re serving.

[00:06:21] Allison Davies: Sure. Well, this is, I’ve just come out of a 16 years of being a registered music therapist and I’ve just left that profession.

[00:06:29] And so it’s exciting times, I’m starting a whole new chapter right now. And right now I am an independent liberatory scholar, which means I’m researching and I’ve chosen rather than to do a PhD. I’ve chosen to research independently with some fabulous mentors and supervisors. And my research is based in liberation.

[00:06:50] So I am looking at deconstructing the idea that some people are musical and some people are non-musical. And my hope there is to really help people to understand that, to be human is to be musical. There’s no such thing as out of tune and, you know, we can all express ourselves musically. And so.

[00:07:09] You know, I feel like this research hopefully is going to be serving a lot of people a lot. Maybe all of us have a big vision anyway. Yeah. And

[00:07:19] Sophia Elliott: that is a really big vision. And congratulations on, you know, like you say, study a whole new chapter and doing something that sounds like you’re very passionate about.

[00:07:29] And yeah, and just trying something a bit different. That’s really exciting.

[00:07:36] Allison Davies: Yeah. I mean, it was scary as well because I had to, I had to let go of an identity that ha I’ve had for more than half of my life. I spent six years at university to get to the point where I was as a music therapist. And then I trained with the academy of neurologic music therapy.

[00:07:52] So I could really specialize in understanding the brain and how it works and, and the relationship between music and the brain. And so it’s really defined me for a long time and it still does. It’s just that I no longer identify as a therapist and now I identify as a researcher, so I’m still creating the same work in the world.

[00:08:13] And not a lot has changed more. So my identity, I think, has.

[00:08:17] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, which like you say, it can take some getting used to that definitely resonates with my only my own journey of, of late to be honest. So while you researching, we can still access your e-course and your online community. Perhaps tell us a little bit about

[00:08:33] Allison Davies: that.

[00:08:35] Yeah. So these are my sort of babies. I’ve got two resources that are my, that have my sort of favorite things that I’ve produced in the world. Work-wise so I’ve got my 10 week e-course brains equal behaviors, and that will continue, that has always run twice a year online. And that’s all about understanding our children’s brains how they develop.

[00:09:02] And, you know, we place expectations on children that are far beyond what their brain can actually achieve. And that’s because we don’t understand because you know, so much of what we’ve learned in the brain about the brain we’ve only learned in the last 20 years. So we’re still very firmly entrenched in a behavioral based paradigm.

[00:09:22] But now we have so much science about how the brain develops. We really need to start adjusting our expectations on children. So that the brains equal behaviors is all about that. It’s also about really deeply accepting your divergence and I’m an autistic woman and my children, and you’re a divergence.

[00:09:40] So I’m very passionate about sort of shifting the way we think about supporting our children so that it’s not so much about. You know, I never aimed to, I never want my resources to be sort of used for people to, to like, we don’t want our children’s brains to be better, faster, stronger, more like someone else’s, I’m not, I’m not into comparing I’m into deeply and wildly accepting they’re our own neuro type, their own trajectory of development and celebrating exactly where they are.

[00:10:14] And we use music to support the brain to regulate. So that’s what brains equal behaviors is all about understanding the brain and using music brace that music based strategies, not to improve functionality or anything like that, but just to support the brain to regulate and feel safe and nurtured and loved.

[00:10:33] Sophia Elliott: I love that. I really do love that. Likewise, my children are as am I, neurodivergent and And my own journey over the last few years has been very much about understanding the brain, our brains, and the impact of that. Especially as a parent and parenting, and that really resonates with me. It’s kind of like the more information we have, we can know what to expect.

[00:11:01] And even before then, in my parenting journey, I was always asking that question of, is it reasonable for me to expect to this old my child, like, is that a reasonable thing? And often that wasn’t a clear answer, but it’s just always questioning. And I think that’s actually a really healthy thing to do. And so beyond the course, you also have a community called the brain care care.

[00:11:27] Allison Davies: I do so the brain care cafes, my online membership, the brains equal behaviors is contextualized around understanding our children’s brains and supporting our children, the brain care cafes for adults. And whilst the strategies that we do in the brain care cafe can absolutely be used with our children and for our children.

[00:11:47] This one’s really about us supporting our own brain. And my definition of brain care is giving our brain more of what helps it run and less of what shuts it down. And the reason we use music based strategies as a tool for regulation and a tool for supporting our brain to feel safe and in control, as opposed to confused and overwhelmed.

[00:12:09] Is that the relationship between music and the brain is just off the charts? So when science shows us that when we experience music, more of our brain becomes active simultaneously than it does when we experience any other thing. So the relationship, what the impact that music has on our brain is huge.

[00:12:32] So much of our brain becomes active and that helps us integrate and process and move emotions and all of the things that we need to do to feel our best and our safest. So yes, the brain care cafe brains, equal behaviors, the equals is sort of very information dense. We learn a lot. It’s very science-y and very exciting and you learn a lot and the brain care cafe is kind of strategy dense.

[00:12:58] So we have a lot of brain care strategies, which are tiny, tiny, tiny musical experiences that are strategically used because we know that they support our brain to feel safe and to regular. I

[00:13:14] Sophia Elliott: that’s very exciting and very intriguing. That’s kind of ticking all my boxes. I love brain sciences stuff and very practical strategies and tools that I can use for myself or with my kids.

[00:13:27] I thought it might be helpful today if we kind of talked through a few kind of real-world examples to help us get our heads around how we might use music strategies in our parenting. Yeah. So how does thinking about our children’s behavior from this perspective of the way the brain works? Help us as a parent.

[00:13:50] If we’re supporting a child who maybe has a lot of anger.

[00:13:56] Allison Davies: Okay. So behaviors or behaviors are always, always the by-product of what’s going on in the brain. Yeah. So the first thing is. When ever we focus on the behavior. So if a child is experiencing anger and I say, I like to say experiencing anger rather than is an angry child, because we know all emotions are transient.

[00:14:18] Emotion literally means energy in motion. So it’s, it’s just an energy that is moving through us. It’s not a state that we permanently are in. So, if a child is experiencing anger, which they will, because we’re all human and all of us will. However that is externalizing behaviourally, that’s not the focus.

[00:14:36] So the first thing is to move away from the focus, being the, hitting, the punching the hole in the wall, the, The, all of that, the angry sort of behaviors that we would associate and to recognize that they, their brain is in survival. Our brain goes into survival mode very quickly, these days for most of us.

[00:14:58] Because this modern Western world we live in is surrounded by sensory input, too much sensory input, too much information, so many options, so many choices, and because of our fast paced life where there’s so many expectations, so many things we’re getting done we’re moving quickly to do all the things.

[00:15:16] It’s just so fast that our brains are many parts of our brains are sort of in this heightened state of arousal or like high stimulated, highly stimulated and that’s adults and children alike. Which means that some parts of our brain are going to be going overboard. The little part of the brain in right in the middle called the amygdala, which detects our threat responses.

[00:15:37] If that’s highly likely. We want our amygdala to pick up threats, but not like every second noise or movement that wasn’t expected in the room. But if our, if our brains or our children’s brain brains are highly active or overactive or highly stimulated, because of all the, The, this modern world we live in, then their brain will be basically jumping at all of these.

[00:16:01] There’s a noise. There’s something unexpected. I didn’t, I don’t know who that was. What’s this and the brain’s like, okay, these are all potential threats. Not quite sure what to make of all of this. So let’s just go into survival mode to ensure you’re safe because our brains are only job in the. Is to keep us alive.

[00:16:20] That’s its only jobs. So whenever it’s overwhelmed, it will put us straight into survive. My just in case it’s missing anything important so that we have the best chance of saving our own lives. So it sounds very dramatic, but the brain doesn’t know the difference between real threats and perceived threats, which is why children will be experiencing anger.

[00:16:40] So it’s always, when you, when we understand it from that perspective, it makes so much more sense to support our children in a way that allows them to slow down, allows them to feel safe, that create, create an environment for your child, that they feel connected to you as a parent or a caregiver that they feel nurtured and loved and safe.

[00:17:06] And all of those things are the things that’s going to help the brain come out of survival mode. So it’s a complete different spin on how we manage. Behaviors, because it’s always, always been about focusing on the behavior. Like we don’t hear it. So is it, and this is completely different. Yeah. So is it,

[00:17:28] Sophia Elliott: So is it focusing more on the foundational feelings of safety and security and connection as opposed to being very responsive, like.

[00:17:42] Yeah. Focusing on the being responsive to emotions as they’re expressed, whether that’s anger or

[00:17:47] Allison Davies: whatever. Yes. So it’s kind of a preemptive thing. When a child is in an emotional outburst, I saw this beautiful meme yesterday, which said meltdown and had been crossed out tantrum crossed out, and then underneath it, it said emotional release.

[00:18:04] And that’s what that’s what, anything like that is an angry outburst, a child smashing a window you know, throwing rocks at someone I’m going all to like, you know, the big, the big

[00:18:17] Sophia Elliott: adult shouting, you know,

[00:18:20] Allison Davies: or an hour adult shatter. So it’s exactly the same for children. Yep. Yeah. As adults. Yeah.

[00:18:25] And so when we are supporting, so when they are having an emotional release it’s happening. Yes. And the best thing you can do. And this is what, what I suggest for meltdowns as well. There’s two things you can do in the middle of a meltdown or an emotional release is just as best as you can remove any direct triggers.

[00:18:50] So if you know that there is a noisy thing happening, or there was a flashing light happening and you can easily just turn that off and fix that trigger, we’ll then do that. Well, I can try and micromanage the triggers, but just if there’s something obvious and then the other thing is just as best as you can make sure that everyone who’s in that area is safe.

[00:19:10] You know, you can’t get in there and stop it while it’s happening. So when the emotional release, when the angry outburst is happening, it’s happening. And then as soon as it’s finished, you’re moving to the comfort stage where you tell the child, they are loved, they are safe. It’s okay. It’s not their fault.

[00:19:27] Sometimes traditionally that’s when people have gone in with punishments and like, okay, you shouldn’t have done that, but we know that a brain that is dysregulated needs to feel safe and loved and validated to be able to regulate that it makes so much sense. It’s really hard for us adults because we are one of the first generations to know this science.

[00:19:48] So we’re one of the first generations to move past what we are deeply conditioned into, which is to look at the behaviors and manage the behaviors and reward or, or punish behaviors because. Our generations have always done at school and at home. Yeah. So it’s hard for us and it can be really hard after an angry outburst to then just come in with love and compassion and support.

[00:20:13] But as soon as you have, then B being able to reconnect and your child feels safe, then you are straight back into what I call the management stage, which is finding ways, a little moments in your lifestyle every day to support your little one’s brain to feel safe. And that is the best way you can reduce the likelihood of them being in survival mode.

[00:20:38] So what you’re doing then is helping delay the next meltdown, and it’s never going to stop. I’m never, ever against stopping angry outbursts because we’re human. So we will absolutely have them no matter what happens, but when we are consciously SU creating an environment for our children, Or finding ways to support their regulatory needs day to day when things are going fine, not when they’re already going into that angry space.

[00:21:05] That’s when we sort of, we ended up developing a sort of a bigger window of tolerance for them, or more capacity, more resources for them before they start to get into that heightened state where they’re not coping. So what would their emotions?

[00:21:22] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, so really understanding those foundational pieces around creating that environment.

[00:21:30] And so as you were talking there, I’m imagining a, and then imagining a massive declutter of my house, which seems to be like we’ve been on that mission for the last six years, but. And, and that really resonates with me because there’s so much of our modern environment is constant. And it’s, and even with adults, like a couple of months ago, I turned off all notifications on my phone, on my watch, I get a text message or a phone call, and that is it now.

[00:22:05] And I didn’t realize until I did that, how hyper alert I had become on this constant state of you know, tension and hyper alertness, this just because of these notifications all the time. And so it is relentless and our kids are growing up in that environment as well. So, so the big message I’m getting is let’s have a good look at our, our immediate environment, how that’s serving our needs.

[00:22:32] And, and no doubt. You’ve got a bunch of strategies around. Creating that environment and stuff. And then in the, in the moment of these emotional releases cause you know, kids do it, we all do it. We’re all human, all sorts of emotions come out and it’s really important that they do. It’s kind of just, I guess, stepping back, honoring that moment for.

[00:22:54] Making sure they feel safe, everyone’s safe. And then coming in with the love and support as opposed to a discipline old-school discipline and consequences. Yeah.

[00:23:08] Allison Davies: And I think probably the most important point to reiterate right now is that really bloody hard. Like there is nothing easy about honoring a meltdown or an angry outburst.

[00:23:23] There is nothing easy about us staying regulated and consciously in control enough to then come in and not start to discipline. It’s so hard for us to come in with love. And you know, I remember one time. After a meltdown a few years ago, it was a really big one. There was like kind of three hours there of really hard work.

[00:23:49] And I had strangers, you know, other adults had to come and help me. And you know, it wasn’t my mind melt down. It was a child and I had another child with me and it was in a place where it was just really awkward. It was really, really hard. One and at the end of that when we could finally kind of get in the car and drive again, I went to the bakery and bought the kids, treats like kiss biscuits with icing on them.

[00:24:15] And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Like I was so. Like I had nothing left in me. I was so empty. I was so terrified. I was so traumatized. I was so triggered. I was I’ve almost got tears remembering it. And I mean, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, really, but for me to drive straight from that situation to go and buy treats for them, that’s things I’ve ever done.

[00:24:43] I just really felt like if any other parents or what I was doing right now, they’d be like, you’re so soft on them. You should be, this is your fault. You’re not, you’re not blah, blah, blah. It’s really, really hard to be the person who understands the science and makes parenting choices based on that.

[00:25:03] When you know that all around, you are going to be people who only see the behaviors and only see what they perceive is the right or wrong way of you responding to that. And so it’s very, very hard. It’s not an easy thing, but it is the right thing.

[00:25:20] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And I absolutely hear you on that. There is, I mean, there’s so much judgment at the best of times, which is awful.

[00:25:28] And I’ve certainly heard myself that accusation of being soft from folk who honestly don’t understand the complexities of my kids and the reasons why, you know, they’re like you say, they’re having that emotional release at that point in time. And it’s kinda like. They’re not misbehaving, they’re in this state because they’re, you know, they’re really tired.

[00:25:55] They’re hungry. There’s been a lot of change recently. And they’re they’re overloaded with it, sensory overloaded or any number of complicated factors. Yeah. Everything. And it’s like, you know, as a parent in that moment, they don’t, they don’t need discipline. They need that love and they need to feel safe.

[00:26:16] And especially with all the generations, but even, any generation there’s, there’s definitely a lot of judgment around being soft. I, I hear that a lot from parents and, and that kind of thing. And as you’re talking there, I’m kind of imagining, , my own trio. I have three kids Four seven and nine, who are all most likely on your diverse and complicated little people.

[00:26:49] And, and, you know, in sometimes they all kind of eat, reach the end of their rope and they’re, they they’re at each other and each other’s face. And those can be really, really hard days really hard to come in with the love and and different approaches. So I’m always looking for tools and strategies.

[00:27:10] One, two, okay. Two things I was curious in asking you about in terms of how it relates to the brain and behavior in particular is anxiety and hyperactivity. Anxiety comes up quite a lot, because I think this demographic of folk that we’re kind of talking about predominantly are anxious. But also incredibly hyperactive as that brain function oozes out into the physical movement.

[00:27:43] So, any thoughts on those particular areas?

[00:27:47] Allison Davies: Yeah, lots. This probably we’ll come back in six hours. I’ll try and keep it quick and we’re going to separate them for The, to begin with. So let’s look at hyper activity. There’s a couple of things, all humans and children, all adults and children, all humans will experience hyper activity.

[00:28:05] When you research hyper activity, all you’re going to find is information about ADHD and it’s really. It’s only part of the story, because like I said, our brains are in a hyper-stimulated and hyperactive state. So child or adult alike, when we are in a heightened state of arousal, our brain becomes highly active.

[00:28:23] So there’s this part of the brain like right. Underwear, my headphones sit across the front of the head there, the top of the head called the motor cortex, that part of the brain is in control of all of our movements. It is prone to hyperstimulation very easily, especially in relation to the things that we’re hearing, what auditory input, the things we hear.

[00:28:47] And the motor cortex have one of the strongest relationships in the brain in terms of neural pathways. So the things that we hear really impact how our body will move. So if we’re in a noisy place, if we’re in a supermarket in the school yard and there’s kids everywhere in a classroom our. Al and you know, there’s just hectic noises all over the place.

[00:29:08] The brain will become, the motor cortex will become highly hyper-stimulated and we will therefore move a lot and we will wriggle around and we will run and we’ll be fast and we’ll be hyperactive. That’s that? That’s all of us.

[00:29:22] Sophia Elliott: That’s all my, you have just described

[00:29:24] Allison Davies: my kids going shopping. Yes. And adults experience it too.

[00:29:29] But because we have more highly developed executive functions than our children, we can just cope with it. And then it comes out in a different way. Or we channel it into something else. Like we channel it into like, the thing we’re doing in the shop where we channel it into like madly, trying to find the right brand of the thing we’re looking for.

[00:29:47] So it’s less, it’s less visible in an adult than it is in a child, but it’s still. And then there are people who are neurodivergent who experienced hyperactivity as part of their neuro type and that’s who they are. And it’s not because their brain is just in this heightened state because of the environment.

[00:30:04] It probably also is, but that is who they are. And I think too often we focus on trying to reduce hyperactivity in children or people whose neuro type includes physical hyperactivity. And that doesn’t really that’s not really the best way we can support if someone is actually hyperactive because of their neuro type.

[00:30:27] Like I am Accepting that hyperactivity and finding ways to use it and live with it and accept it and channel it and love it are the best ways we can support our child’s brain to feel safe in control and loved. And that is the best way for them to stay regulated. So adding anxiety into that, because we are often trying to reduce hyperactivity in a brain that that is their natural state, and we’re constantly trying to reduce it, reduce it, reduce it.

[00:30:58] The brain is going to start to feel like confused, like, hang on. This is who I am. Like, I can’t do this. I can’t sit on the Matt. I can’t not move my fingers and all of those kinds of things. And then the brain will go into survival mode because that’s just not what that brain is meant to do. Survival mode is anxiety.

[00:31:18] So survival mode is the thing that’s happening in the brain. Anxiety is the physiological experience of that. So what we’re feeling in the body is anxiety. So for many people who are. Hyperactive people or who are experiencing hyper activity when we try to what we call manage that, which means reduce it so that they are more like the non hyperactive children.

[00:31:40] What we’re doing is perpetuating the anxiety. Yeah. For those of us who are experiencing anxiety and we are in survival mode, not necessarily because when you’re a divergent, just because we’re humans in the world right now, which is like too much for anyone to cope with. So we’re in survival mode that can also amplify the hyperactivity of that we’re experiencing because our brain is like, you’ve gotta be aware of what’s going on over there, over there, over there, quick move, get, get home.

[00:32:08] And so we’re in this heightened state. So they do go hand in hand and as always the best way to support our or our children’s hyperactivity is not to try and reduce it. But. Find ways to create an environment in which their brain feels safe, loved, and connected, and then it can be, their brain can be the best version of itself.

[00:32:30] And that might still be hyperactive if that’s their neuro type, but it might be that it’s less, or it might be that it’s easier for them. And they experienced more regulation and the anxiety might go, they might still experience hyper activity because that’s who they are. Yeah. But it always comes back to finding ways for the brain to feel safe.

[00:32:50] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And let you say that’s a very different way of looking at hyper activity and anxiety. And it makes so much sense. You know, we can’t just continue to squash people’s natural instincts, you know, like hyperactivity. Absolutely. Hi, Kay. Thank you very much for that. That’s food for thought.

[00:33:13] I’m going to move that.

[00:33:15] Allison Davies: Yeah, I mean, for a ch can I add for like child just say a child with ADHD we might, or a teacher might, and we might, with the most beautiful, compassionate, holistic child centered intentions in mind might find ways to support them, to sit still or to sit at the desk at school and to do the things so that we feel like once we put these supports in place and they’re able to sit on the Matt now, we feel like we’ve helped.

[00:33:46] We’ve helped to support them, but what’s actually happening for a child with ADHD. Who is now sitting still on the Matt. They are no longer, they no longer have the same capacity to listen, engage, interact, feel safe learn. So what we’re seeing out externally is them sitting still, and we think we’ve helped, but what’s happening internally is that now that they are putting all of their energy into doing this thing, that everyone wants them to do, and they’re doing it, they don’t have the capacity then to, to learn and to actually feel safe.

[00:34:25] And that’s where a lot of the dysregulation stems from that

[00:34:28] Sophia Elliott: so much sense. It’s like, you can’t, you can’t learn when you’re in survival mode, you know, you can’t, you can’t learn, you can’t be creative. And and, and that really resonates with me. And I think my kids as well, we’ve been having these conversations recently.

[00:34:44] So I was diagnosed with. Autism a few months ago. And so I’ve been going through a very interesting journey of reframing a lot of my lived experience into that new identity and understanding how those things manifest and having those conversations with my kid with my children and, and I think what we really fail to appreciate so much.

[00:35:15] And in so many different examples is when we’re working hard to be something that is not natural to do something that is not a natural fit, especially when it comes to the way our brains are set up. It’s like, There’s not a lot else going to go on or, you know, there’s not a lot else that’s going to happen because so much energy is to going into that.

[00:35:42] And that’s all going to come out or come apart at some point. So cue emotional release down the track. When that child who’s had to sit in the Matt all day you know, really focusing on being good with, you know, air quotes there. Hasn’t learnt, you know, during the day, because probably getting very hyperactive at lunchtime and probably falling apart as soon as I get home.

[00:36:06] Yeah. Because of just that intensity

[00:36:09] Allison Davies: yeah. Also creating stories of shame in their mind, like, why can’t I do this? I can’t do I’m dumb. I’m silly. I’m like too silly. I’m not good enough. And we need the kind of stories.

[00:36:24] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. I did a podcast only recently with Dr. Geraldine Townsend about self-concept into a kids.

[00:36:33] And she was saying how at these very early ages in these early schooling years, that negative cycle is, is impacting a child self-concept already, which they then inevitably carry on through for most of their life. So that you can imagine this small child in reception grade one grade two, sit on the Matt, sit on the Matt.

[00:36:58] No, don’t do that. Sit on the Matt. No, don’t do that. Sit on the Matt and the messages they’re getting is I’m not good. I’m bad. I can’t sit on the Matt like everyone else. And that’s becoming a part of their sense of identity. That’s really scary.

[00:37:13] Allison Davies: It is. Yeah. Yeah. The mental health of, of neurodivergent people who have an expectation on them to achieve in the same way as non neurodivergent children.

[00:37:25] And that’s often the ones who the world calls high functioning, which we don’t like that word, and that word is misleading and it’s a myth and there’s no such thing as high or low functioning. But they’re, they are typically the people who are expected to be able to achieve or do things the way non neurodivergent children are doing them.

[00:37:45] And it’s, it has a huge impact on our mental health. And yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a real, it’s a real problem. A real problem.

[00:37:55] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And so for any of the listeners who haven’t come across. I am either the terms high and low functioning or the challenges around those tens and why they’re not actually very representative of those two groups.

[00:38:12] Do you want to quickly explain that? Sure.

[00:38:14] Allison Davies: I can speak in a context of autism because I’m an autistic person. So I’ll do that. You know, often we think of autism as a spectrum and when we think of a spectrum we think of a line it’s it’s. We think of it as a linear thing, like, like a volume knob where it’s minimum and maximum and every, and as you turn the knob, you’re somewhere on that line of volume that’s and, and that’s the way a lot of people think autism is we think there’s severe autism or low functioning at one end.

[00:38:45] And then at the other end, it’s high functioning and. I think initially those functioning labels were brought in to determine like, support needs and funding and stuff like that. And it’s become part of just the narrative of how we talk about people. And it’s, it’s detrimental to everybody that’s autistic on your own to Virgin because when you call, when you think of people who are non-speaking or who have very complex support needs as low functioning, we’re completely undermining their intelligence, their capacity their potential, you know, what they can bring to the world, their potential and the fact that they can live very fulfilling lives without meeting the milestones that the world says you need to meet.

[00:39:33] And when you call people high functioning, you are undermining. Their trauma, their pain, their absolute, like the way we spend our entire life, trying to work out what the hell we’re meant to be doing so that we can fit in to all of these neuro normative expectations around us. And it’s very, very painful and traumatic and it’s harder than you can imagine.

[00:40:03] And so when you use any of those functioning labels, you are completely miss identifying what autism is in the first place. And you’re really also diminishing individual. They’re very harmful functioning labels have a very harmful, but you know, people don’t know that. So thank you for asking, because a lot of people don’t know that and they think, well, that’s just this, they’re just the words we use.

[00:40:27] Yeah,

[00:40:28] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. Yeah. And, and also just quickly, cause we’re talking about kind of labels and perceptions, it’s that idea around, you know, people will say, well, it’s a spectrum, we’re all on the spectrum somewhere. Do you want to go into that one

[00:40:45] Allison Davies: quickly? Yeah. The thing is we do all have brains. We do humans have brains, so all of our brains will do things like have meltdowns, be in survival mode be anxious, be hyperactive have preferences for routines that help it be predictable.

[00:41:03] So all of us will experience all the things that brains do, but it is very, very different to be neurodivergent where everything. About our entire life depends, or is a brain that foundationally only works that way. So when someone says we’re all a little bit on the spectrum, what we’re, what they’re saying is what’s happening is the, our neuro type is being denied and invalidated.

[00:41:39] And also it’s a sign that they are not, they do not understand how complex our support needs are. So it’s very invalidating. It’s a very hard thing. People say that to us, I think to be kind. ’cause they’re like, oh, I think a lot of people say it like, oh, we’re all a little bit on the spectrum. As people say it to me a lot.

[00:42:06] And I think they do it to be like, it’s okay. You’re one of us. We’re all like, we’re all a little bit like that. And you know, it’s not the case and I don’t want to be, I want people to understand that my identity is autistic. I’m not, non-autistic nothing about me is non-autistic. And so for me, when I hear that, the hardest thing is that people think that the kind thing or the compassionate thing is to help you feel less autistic.

[00:42:38] And the autistic community are like, Hey, we’re here. We’re celebrating. Like we are autistic. And that I would not change. Yeah. And I’m not imagine the kind of person I would be if I was not autistic. Like, there’s nothing about it. Apart from the real difficult difficulties that we live with w which are not to be minimized, I still wouldn’t change a thing.

[00:43:00] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Yeah. , so one of the things that I wonder is that I think some of that ease, , the struggle of understanding, like the many strengths that come with, not just autism. Being neurodiverse you know, as, as an autistic person there, there are many strengths in terms of our brains and brain function, we ADHD or being dyslexic, , unlocks a lot of creativity in people.

[00:43:35] And so for me, it’s, I think a part of that is about always focusing on the deficit and not really understanding or seeing actually they come hand in hand with many strengths as well. So it’s kind of like, yeah. So I think that’s part of it. And it’s also sort of, yeah, you know, we’re all a little bit quirky and it’s like, I didn’t know, cause I know a lot of quirky folk, but you know, they’re, they’re all very neurodiverse.

[00:44:03] I think I, yeah, I don’t know. It’s, it’s, we’re all on the spectrum and that, and one of the. One event that stands out for me was I was having a conversation last year with psychologists that my children were saying, and we’re obviously talking about autism and and looking at that as a diagnosis. And I said to the psychologist, I’m like, I actually think I might be autistic and that’s something I’m looking at.

[00:44:36] And she said to me, well, we’re all a little on the spectrum and I’m kind of went,

[00:44:41] Allison Davies: okay, it’s really hard when it comes from doctors and professionals. Yeah.

[00:44:48] Sophia Elliott: And that really stuck with me because it was like you said, very invalidating of what I just said, but also that person actually assesses autism. And so as I’ve learnt a lot more and the learning curve has been huge in the last 12 months.

[00:45:06] I now look back at that and I’m like, wow, that’s actually really not cool. Yeah. And I think, yeah, most people just don’t have that broader understanding and it may have been something that I have said in the past, but I think it’s something important to talk about and, and just help people understand actually why that’s not, it’s actually not a cool thing because you’re either neuro-typical or you’re neuro atypical and, and that’s okay.

[00:45:37] Do you know, strengths and weaknesses challenges and everything else. But let’s not kind of diminish folk who are identifying as not being neuro-typical.

[00:45:47] Allison Davies: Yeah, yeah, yeah,

[00:45:50] Sophia Elliott: yeah. So some, yeah, some big conversations there. And I actually love that this all comes back to the brain and how the brain works and.

[00:46:00] And that we can actually use that very science, you know, that obviously appeals to me using the science and the data to parents and and have that insight into my children and myself in terms of my own response to parenting and the emotions because children certainly do bring out emotions in us.

[00:46:17] They do so thank you so much for kind of digging down into a few of those scenarios with us today. I absolutely love the idea of looking at all of this through how we can use music to help us sort of calm the brain and regulate the brain. And that’s definitely something that I I’m going to check out your stuff.

[00:46:45] I know you’ve got a couple of eBooks that people can check out your website, Alison davies.com.edu for some more information and tips and to find the cause and the community. And yeah, and, and again, kind of have a look at this different, different approach, which I think is just amazing. Wonderful.

[00:47:06] Allison Davies: Yeah. I, I love it as well.

[00:47:09] It just, it just gives us permission to move away from focusing on behaviors when it’s, it feels, so I think for most of us now instinctively, we feel that it’s not the way. Yeah. And this gives us the permission to be like, actually, you’re right. This isn’t the way. Yep. Try this. Yeah. And, and I mean, for me using music as the tool, as the regulatory tool is.

[00:47:34] Obviously where I’m at as a, as a former music therapist of 16 years, that’s my passion and that’s my area of interest. And, and so to be able to support people, to use music strategically in tiny, tiny ways, it does not mean you have to be able to play an instrument or consider yourself musical, or, you know, do anything fancy.

[00:47:52] This is us using the most basic of music music based elements like rhythm and melody and silence and tempo and volume in tiny, tiny ways throughout our day, you know, as part of our lifestyle when we use those strategically to keep the brain feeling safe and in control like we have, you know, I went maybe five years ago, I was having meltdowns multiple a week and I haven’t had one for more than two years now.

[00:48:21] And, you know, there could be a lot of reasons for that, but I really do attribute it to the way I am just piecing together tiny moments of brains. And controlling my environment and understanding how my environment impacts me and changing it to the way I need. Yeah. And doing the best I can, like, in terms of supporting and accommodating my particular brain.

[00:48:44] And it has just made the world of difference. Yeah,

[00:48:48] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. And as I’ve changed my language and understanding, and just even over the last few months I can absolutely feel the difference. So if there’s anyone out there thinking. You know, and often I think when you’re, you’re getting that mature diagnosis, it’s because someone said, have you looked at autism or dyslexia or ADHD with your child?

[00:49:10] And then it’s kind of a good opportunity to kind of go, Hmm. I wonder where that might be coming from in the family. Does that resonate with me? Because the empowerment from understanding yourself and then that lived experience with your child is

[00:49:26] Allison Davies: huge. Like, I would, it can be scary. I know that it can be scary for people and that’s legit and it’s a big emotional roller coaster.

[00:49:37] But I, I could never, ever, ever imagine going back to a life in which I didn’t know that I was autistic. Yeah. You know, and almost all of us who were being assessed as adults and diagnosed as adults are it’s happening because our children are being assessed and diagnosed. And we know, we know without a doubt that it’s genetic.

[00:49:59] So it’s, it just put, puts pieces together. It makes it makes sense. And it gives us an identity that just like changes can, can change our life. Yeah.

[00:50:11] Sophia Elliott: A hundred percent echo that it’s a, it’s definitely an emotional roller coaster, but it’s exhausting. It’s Word. Yeah, absolutely. So thank you so much for today.

[00:50:21] It’s been such a wonderful conversation. I really do appreciate it. And I think, you know, we talk about our gifted kids is obviously looking at You know, kids who are going through that process and that particular assessment, but that broader conversation is it’s about being neurodiverse. There’s often a lot of complexities going on and some of those behaviors that we see are anxiety, school, refusal depression, sensory, overloads, meltdowns.

[00:50:48] So, you know, what we’ve been talking about today is hugely relevant right across that kind of neurodiversity. I was going to say spectrum that doesn’t quit

[00:50:58] Allison Davies: this conversation throughout the world of neuro exactly right. The world of neurodivergence. So thank you so much. My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

#050 The Gift of Community

#050 The Gift of Community

We have been celebrating our awesome neurodiverse community all week.

In this podcast we look into what community really means for us in the gifted community. We also breakdown the Our Gifted Kids Hub and share all the secrets!

Hit play and let’s get started!

Resources

 

Our Gifted Kids Hub

A community just for you… the Our Gifted Kids Hub brings together parents of gifted kids to connect, for support, with resources… to get peace of mind.

The Our Gifted Kids Hub includes:

  1. ❤️Monthly live online information sessions.
  2. ❤️Monthly live online gatherings to meet other parents of gifted kids.
  3. ❤️Access to Our Gifted Kids Hub private Facebook Group.
  4. ❤️Exclusive member-only Podcast video and interviews.
  5. ❤️OGK Hub online portal to more information and resources.
  6. ❤️❤️BONUS COURSE – Everything you need to know about gifted in the ‘Understanding Gifted Course’
  7. ❤️❤️BONUS JOURNEY – A pathway through parenting gifted kids with ‘Journey to a New Normal – 5 Steps that take you from Survive to Thrive!’

The Our Gifted Kids Hub costs about the same as a coffee & cake per week and as long as you remain a financial member, the price you sign up on is the same price you will always pay – it will never go up.

We use the best online security and you’re in control – you can cancel any time and you will not be charged any further fees. So what have you got to loose?!

If you’re ready to feel supported, find like-minded parents, get esay access to information and connect, join now!

If you’re ready to make this journey easier for yourself, check out www.ourgiftedkids.com/hub

Doors close midnight, Sunday 28th March.

 


Transcript

[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome to a final podcast of neurodiversity celebration week. My goodness. It has been such a big week and an amazing week, and I want to thank everyone for getting involved, connecting, listening. I have not checked the stats, but the last time I looked, we were over 6,000. Listens for this month.

[00:00:21] And from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone for listening and sharing and, and ask you to keep sharing, subscribe to our gifted kids.com so that you don’t miss out and spread the word because it, this, this is what it’s all about creating this community and this connection. And so in this podcast, I just talk a little bit about.

[00:00:48] The journey and this CA this connection, the point is connecting and, and connecting this global gifted community and why that is so important about the work that we’re doing. And I also dive into exactly what the, our gifted kids hub is all about. Provide a bit more info about that, and there is info on the, our gifted kids.

[00:01:11] Websites of our gifted kids.com backslash hub, or you’ll see the hub in the menu there where you can actually have a closer look and join. So I encourage you to check that out. We’re open until midnight on Sunday, wherever you are. And it’s really exciting. And in this episode, I won’t talk too long because it’s kind of all in there, but I shared the vision and.

[00:01:38] Of of kind of what we’re doing here. And I go into what we’re doing in the hub, and it’s just a real privilege. And I want to say a massive thing. Thank you. Like, I feel very humble and grateful that everyone. Yeah. Is getting what they need out of this. And that really just brings me great joy and really just warms my heart.

[00:02:00] And I appreciate your messages and comments and yeah. And thank you for being a part of the journey. So I hope you enjoy. This episode. Bye. Hi, I’m Sophia Elliot as a parent of three gifted kids. I’m here to talk about all things gifted because I’ve been isolated and uncertain, and I felt like that parent, then I found peace of mind.

[00:02:24] Support and my community. This podcast is about sharing that journey, actually parenting gifted kids and connecting with advice and support. So we have everything we need for every member of our family to thrive. This is the, our gifted kid podcast. Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I think interestingly, we talk about gifts a lot within the gifted community.

[00:02:51] But if I was going to think of the one gift that we actually need as parents to help us on this journey of parenting our complex and quirky and amazing and challenging, awesome gifted kids is actually the gift of community. I remember starting out on this journey and like so many people. Just in that period of crisis.

[00:03:22] And like my child is desperately unhappy, depressed, even looking back now, actually I think probably experiencing that gifted burnout that we’ve talked about earlier in the year and looking for answers and finding some answers, but ultimately feeling kind of gaslighting. About my gut instincts, , you know, doing their best, although falling short, the school that we were at at the time, kind of gaslighting me in terms of telling me that.

[00:04:00] There wasn’t a problem, you know, at school they’re fine. There’s no problem. And have we looked at sleep, we looked at food and it’s like, you’ve got no idea how much I have looked at sleep and food. And every other thing that I can possibly control from home to try and meet this clearly unmet need in my child and, and being in that situation.

[00:04:27] It’s so easy to feel isolated and alone. And like, you’re going a little bit bonkers. It’s kinda like you have this gut feeling. It’s not all right, but you can’t make sense of it either. It’s, it’s such a tricky, stressful situation to be in it’s so flipping hard. And I hear that all the time from parents who are in our community and sharing the experience.

[00:04:58] And what shifted everything for me was finding community, was finding a school who understood my children, but also a community of parents who were on the same journey and, and understood because they too had felt like they were going a bit crazy, like though hitting the brick wall, like though completely isolated and making stuff up and just that awful stressful journey of your child.

[00:05:25] Hurting, but you can’t help them.

[00:05:29] Yeah. And that still upsets me now, just thinking about that.

[00:05:37] And so when I found this community, It shifted everything, but I also recognized how incredibly lucky I was and how rare that was like, you know, I have this, just this amazing bubble here in Adelaide and was so flipping lucky. And as the years went by. That sense of internal justice that I have just kind of said, this is not okay.

[00:06:08] We need to do better. What about everyone out there who does not have this? It’s not good enough. And so I was like, someone needs to do something about this. Someone needs to create this and help bring people together. And that someone ended up being.

[00:06:25] Because, you know, I just can’t let injustice go. Do you know, like who would have thought?

[00:06:31] So I thought I want to make a podcast because. Because we need to talk about this issue. We need to just get it out there, own it. We need to get rid of the taboo and we need to expand that understanding within our community, within the education sector, within the health sector, just everywhere. Right. And I’m like, that needs to be a conversation.

[00:06:57] So let’s literally make that a conversation. And I had no idea where that would end up. Like I was really just taking a leap and trusting that there were a lot of people out there like me and there is. And I have to say that the podcast has been amazing. It’s exceeded all of my expectations. I always feel very humble and grateful for the response.

[00:07:27] Not just people listening, you know, and I get messages regularly, which I love, like, please let me know that this is meeting your needs in some way, because it really helps me to keep going and to know that where. That we’re on the right track. And inevitably people say, I’ve just heard your podcast.

[00:07:49] I’ve listened to. You know, so many episodes I’m like crying. I’ve always felt so alone and I’m like, oh, I just want to reach out and give you a hug. And I’m so grateful that you have found this community, but also all the guests that have been on the podcast, like have been amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever reached out.

[00:08:10] And someone said, no sometimes it can be hard to schedule and you know, that. A little while, which is totally cool. It’ll come together. But people in the gifted community are so incredibly generous with their time and then knowledge. And I think that’s because everyone comes from this place of really knowing that.

[00:08:31] Like, it’s not okay. What’s going on. Kids are paying that cost and everyone wants to do everything. They can to really change that. And they want to be a part of this conversation. They want to connect and they want to share what they’ve learnt. And it’s so beautiful. It’s so incredibly beautiful. And we’ve just had some amazing guests and conversations and I feel so incredibly grateful for that.

[00:08:56] And this week we’ve had five podcasts. Three people I had never even met before. We often do a pre kind of meeting before we record, but we actually just jumped right in and recorded these podcasts. And everyone’s been so amazing. We’ve had Jennifer from, into gifted. And they’ve kind of helped partner the week and Jen support, right from the beginning of this idea of doing this week has been awesome.

[00:09:25] And Nadja from unleash Monday, we, we sort of started our journey at a similar time and pull a pro barf author of rainforest mind as a first time I’ve met polar and she’s like every bit is awesome as she comes across, like seriously, follow her on Instagram. She just does these lovely meet. She’s so supportive and Emma Nicholson and Christian Wells, who were like the hosts of the positive disintegration podcast and like so much knowledge in those two ladies, just incredible, such a complex, incredible credibly complex issues.

[00:10:02] Dubroski is amazing to dive into. And so we have this awesome community. Plus the four women that I interweaved into Friday’s episode, Kate Donahue from dynamic parenting and Amanda Drury who have been previous guests. And that’s actually an excerpt from a podcast have not released yet. And then Kathleen humble and Rebecca folly from a podcast that we did recently like just.

[00:10:30] It was still a lineup of people within the gifted community, just completely amazing. And so far like the month is not over so far, we’ve had over 6,000 downloads of podcasts just in March. And so that says to me, like, first of all, thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing with the people.

[00:10:54] But it really. Says to me that this is needed. We need this conversation. We need this connection. And so, yeah, like I just want to say a massive thank you for not saying that already. This was what the idea was all about. It was creating like our gifted kids in the middle, but connecting to this web of people all around the world who are engaged in this gifted community and neurodivergent community and finding these people, talking to them about, you know, their zone of genius and what they do and how they support our community to make it easier for us to all connect.

[00:11:36] I want it to make easier for a parent just to find, find out gifted kids, but it’s like a door opening to the rest of the world and what’s going on out there, you know, either directly through a guest, listening in a podcast or through links and information and resources and just, just that world of other parents as well.

[00:11:59] That was the vision it’s being like that hub in the middle that, that links everything. And that’s. Like 150% behind anyone out there doing things in this community. It’s been an absolute, like privileged to share. Last year we shared, the ed screening developing something for, for, helping to assess gifted kids.

[00:12:24] And we put the call out for people to participate in the research phase, which was like, Just so incredibly excited too, to help where I could, in that journey. And we’re all also always sharing what different people are doing out there. I feel like .

[00:12:40] , everyone, we all have our little niche, our little service to feel our little way of contributing to this community. And I see our gifted kids as this hub in the middle. We have the web connecting that was kind of the vision behind it. Interestingly, I think that’s kind of how my brain works, so I’m just kind of realized that I’m like, okay, I’ve tried to create my brain in an organization.

[00:13:06] That’s cool. Anyway So a part of that obviously is the podcast and the online community and the social media. And we do lots of lives and videos throughout the year, different times, which are always a lot of fun. But part of that, it was creating the, our gifted kids hub. And so the hub itself is actually a literal thing as well as a conceptual thing.

[00:13:32] And what we’ve created in this. Is is trying to be that center to create those connections. And we do that by. Monthly live online information sessions, which actually is often more than monthly. We do online gatherings monthly, so we get together on zoom and there’s like people from all over the world and we get to meet and share our stories.

[00:13:57] And sometimes that involves, someone’s got. I’ve got this thing happening and we’ll all get involved in actually kind of brainstorming and supporting each other. And so that’s like, it’s just been such a privilege to get to know all of those parents and be a part of that journey with them. It’s so beautiful.

[00:14:18] And we always leave that session feeling very buzzy and seen and heard and reassured that , There’s folk out there going through a similar journey. It’s not just us, which is nice. It’s nice to be feeling seen and heard. We also have a private Facebook group. And in that I do lots of lives.

[00:14:40] We share information, we share videos and people can ask questions. And sometimes if someone’s asked a question, if it’s easier, I’ll just jump on and do a video in response. Cause sometimes it’s easier. Yeah. Writing heaps. So that’s kind of a, interactive space for us to use as, as we need it.

[00:14:58] You also get as part of the hub exclusive like video footage of the podcast because they’re actually videoed. So you get to watch them as video or listen to them. But also I do extra snippets of videos with most guests and I’ll do like 15, 20 minutes on a hot topic. And, those kinds of things that come up a lot and that’s available in the.

[00:15:24] Which is really exciting because , guests are always full of just such a wealth of knowledge. You could sit and talk to them all day. But there’s also bonuses included in that there is a course called understanding, gifted with. Like literally walked through or every single aspect and explains all the different terms and like, everything I could think of, it was like, if you want to know what that means, how that works is in there as well as resources just to kind of help because I think we always start that journey with, right.

[00:15:59] What is this gifted thing? Or. It’s like the first step is understanding what we’re dealing with. Understanding that we’re not just talking about a bright kid, we’re actually talking about a child and usually the adults, the parents with like literally a different brain. And so that manifests in different ways.

[00:16:22] And. It’s really that shift in mindset from going okay. It’s not just about having a smart kid. It’s about actually this bigger clump complex brain and, and, and all the different needs and expressions of that. And then I think the next step is, is often dealing with the immediate educational crisis and kind of knowing how to.

[00:16:46] How to advocate, what is it okay to ask for? What is it my child actually is needing. And so I’ve actually put this together in a journey and it’s called the journey to a new normal, the five steps that take you from survive to thrive. And it’s like a pathway through this parenting, gifted kids. And it starts with like, what is.

[00:17:08] Gifted understanding what we’re dealing with and it goes on to education is power. So kind of understanding, you know, like I said, the advocacy, what, what your child might need, those kinds of things around education, then it’s finding their happy place. So often. When you’re at the beginning of this journey, there, there are wellbeing issues around our kids.

[00:17:33] It’s kind of like, how do we make sure everything else is in place? What else do we need to consider? But then it’s kind of like a new family blueprint because, well, actually, you know, our children are not an island or a part of a. Generally a complicated family. And so this year is a part of that. We’ve been talking a lot about burnout and parent burnout, but and as a subsidy of that gifted van out, but we’ve spent a lot of time acknowledging.

[00:18:01] First of all parenting gifted kids is really hard on the research shows is it’s as stressful as parenting a child with a physical disability. So we actually, we have that validation that this, this job we’re doing is, is a hard job and it’s a stressful job. And. And because we’re, co-regulating with our kids for so much longer that wears us out.

[00:18:26] And so burnout is a huge thing. And that new family blueprint is really important because it’s, we need to make sure we’re meeting our needs. So we don’t completely fall apart. Eventually, you know, if it could be, if you give, give, give, give, give, you will eventually hit the wall. So how do we balance that?

[00:18:42] How do we make sure other members of our family are also thriving? And then the final part of that step is looking forward. It’s like, I’m looking towards the future and it’s kind of like, what do we do need to do now to make sure that the future is a future that we’re, that we’re striving towards. So it’s mapping out a bit of a journey.

[00:19:08] So, as I said, the, the mission of all that is to connect parents of gifted kids, to our parenting peers, other parents on the journey, information, resources that are out there doing the hard work of finding this stuff like in this people that have found guests that I didn’t find for years. And I want to be like, I don’t want other people to spend years finding these people who might be of service to them.

[00:19:38] I want them to like, just jump into the hub and go, like, what do I need? Who are the people out there doing things. And then. And being able to connect with them or reading that information or finding what they need, that’s the whole point of it. And that’s also why the hub is like it’s a low cost monthly membership.

[00:19:57] There’s really important to me that it’s inclusive and accessible. And, you know, if you’re a single parent and you’re going through this journey of parenting, your gifted kid, you need support and you need something affordable. So that’s why it will always be as affordable as possible. Yeah. Not because it isn’t worth more and great value.

[00:20:20] Like it’s actually tons in there, but I, it’s just a huge personal value set around making this something that everyone can access. That kind of thing that you can. Access easily. The, how gifted kids hub is all about providing parents with confidence. So you’re understanding what gift is all about and you, you feel like you can go into those conversations and feel like, you know, where you’re talking about. Just that support in parenting your gifted kid.

[00:20:52] Like it’s so hard to find people who get it and, and feel supported. And, and everyone just wants that peace of mind that we’re doing the right thing for our kid, because we all want them to thrive. And we need to know that we’re going to get through this to the other end. Cause sometimes it feels really fricking hard and we just need that peace of mind.

[00:21:15] I think it’s the biggest thing parents. As well as that connection with other parents so that we can share our stories. We get that opportunity to see ourselves in others, but also the incredible wealth of knowledge in the lived experience of parenting and gifted kid. Do you know that opportunity to connect with someone who has been through the exact same thing as you, but maybe they’re a year or two ahead in the journey and you can talk about that and share tips and strategies.

[00:21:46] We all need just to have that sense of relief from having a direction, knowing where we go on. Knowing we’ve got that support and that connection around us and having that safe place that we can share both the celebrations and the challenges. And it’s like in the gifted community, both are equally as important.

[00:22:08] We need to be able to talk openly about what is hard, but also what is amazing because our kids, you know, we, we focus a lot on, on it being hard because it fricking is. Dan they’re amazing. Like aren’t, they, they just, the stuff they come out with, the things that, where they have their strengths, like, oh, they just have these amazing strengths and we should be able to share that and build them up and kind of celebrate con you know, that moment of feeling as a parents, like, okay, we’re doing something wrong, even if it’s got nothing to do with us, but you know what I mean?

[00:22:46] We need to be able to share those celebrations. And we just, we just all want to be belonged. You know, we don’t want to have to fit in somewhere change who we are to fit. We just want to show up as we are in our. Jammies. Sometimes it doesn’t matter just a place to belong, a place to be seen a place to connect with other people.

[00:23:09] And so that’s what we’re, we’re creating here and we have created and, and that’s the invitation. So the doors are open to the gifted kids hub at the moment. And. Like it’s a, we don’t have it so you can join at any time. And we do that because there’s a lot of energy and focus involved in kind of having that constant open.

[00:23:31] And so what we do instead is we have these periods where the doors are open. We invite people to join us. Then we close the doors because then we kind of get on. Now, focuses on the journey, focuses on the members of the hub. And many are needs and making impact and connecting and, and it just allows us to be kind of all in.

[00:23:53] And then we, you know, we opened the doors again, down the track in the future. So that’s kind of why we do it that way. So midnight, Sunday wherever you are is the, when the doors close and. There is opportunity on Facebook sharing some videos about what you can see inside that online portal.

[00:24:14] Because the online portal is my baby. I’m really excited. It’s it’s like, it’s a website and you log on and it’s where all the information collects and. It’s fully searchable. Like you literally pop in a couple of words and it will search through all the video content and all the content and show you the exact moment in the video where that’s being talked about.

[00:24:41] So you don’t have to listen to a whole heap of stuff just to find what you need. And that, that was the big reason for me going with this particular platform. It was just that ability to make that information so accessible. And within that we have. So much already and it’s growing all the time is always being added to.

[00:25:00] So, first of all, yeah, you can get all of the podcasts. You can get all of them on video extra videos with our guests, but also we’ve got a focus on play and looking at the different neurodivergency is, and, and how do you kind of use play to. You know, as a strengths based approach we have some tips on no Yang’s screen time and we talk about perfectionism.

[00:25:23] There’s a whole resource there about burnout. All of those topics that come up again and again challenges of parents, of gifted kids. We’ve, we’re, we’re getting in there and we’ve got in there as this online resource to, to go through. So, and it’s. And it’s really easy to navigate and really pretty.

[00:25:44] I mean, pretty important. Right. So yeah, so it’s just amazing. And I will do a couple of little videos in Facebook, you know, prior to Sunday, just kind of showing what that looks like and in there, because yeah, because I’m really proud of that. And I think it’s a really great resource and it’s, you know what, it’s what I want to do.

[00:26:04] When I started, this is, this is kind of like I’m creating exactly what I wanted as a parent. When I started this journey somewhere I could go into and it’s kind of a collation of everything I could want to know. And that’s what we’re creating in there and where we’re pretty well on that journey of creating that.

[00:26:23] Well, obviously we’ve got tons, more plans for that, but, but we will and truly on that road. So. That’s about the hub. And look joining these things online can be scary. But just want to assure you that we use a very secure online payment process. It’s, it’s a low cost. It’s like 24 99. We’ve discounted that for this launch per month and that’s in Australian dollar.

[00:26:49] And as long as you remain a financial member, that price will never go up. You can choose to pay monthly or annually. You can update your details at any time through like the customer portal. And importantly, you can cancel it anytime and you’ll not be charged any further fees. So. You are in the driver’s seat, you have control.

[00:27:10] And that’s obviously deliberate because like I said, I’ve created something I wanted. And when I do, you know, do these things online, these are the kinds of things that I want. I want to know that I’m always going to pay the same thing, but it’s secure. I can cancel anytime. I’m not going to pay anything else.

[00:27:27] And that I can get in there and update my details and have choices around that. So that’s kind of why, you know, why we have those things in place. So if you have any questions, jump online, we’ve got Facebook or Instagram and ask me, I’m delighted to answer them about the hub. And I’m, I’m excited to, you know, go on this journey with you and, and welcome more into that family, the, our gifted kids, hub family, and, and.

[00:28:02] Meet you and provide that support and impact because I tell ya our community’s freaking awesome. Like we’ve got the most interesting. Complex. Fascinating, wonderful, funny, just awesome individuals in this community. And we should totally celebrate that. And it’s been an absolute joy celebrating that this week in neurodiversity celebration week, I hope that you have loved all the podcasts.

[00:28:32] We’ll of course continue to be doing our fortnightly podcasts all year. And it’s an absolute privilege to bring that to, to everyone so that everyone can access that. And, and thank you so much for tuning in and contributing to more than 6,000 downloads this month. Like, I dunno, what’s the word? I’m just like, ah, I was like, really, I looked at those numbers several times, like, wow, that’s incredible.

[00:29:03] A huge, thank you for, for sharing it out there and listening and like, please do please share because I, you know, the more we have in this community and connection, the more impact we can make and, and, and that at the heart of. You know, is my kind of time working in politics. And it’s kind of like, I want to make an impact.

[00:29:26] I want to change this for our kids. And the way that we do that is we do that together. We do that together by connecting and that’s what the podcast is about. It’s also what the hub is about this like, We can change things. I fundamentally believe that. And so that’s an underwriting desire of the hub and our gifted kids as well.

[00:29:47] So thank you so much. I’m going to head off now Saturday morning. I’m going to go jump out there and have some pancakes. So take care and I hope you have an awesome weekend. Bye. If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about your biggest takeaway in the comments.

[00:30:07] For more episodes, you can subscribe and to help others find our podcast. Please leave a review. You can find show notes and more resources@ourgiftedkids.com and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. See you in the same place next week.

#049 Why We Need to Talk About Women

#049 Why We Need to Talk About Women

It is Neurodiversity Celebration Week and we are diving into neurodiversity and what it is like to figure out you are neurodivergent as an adult.

In the episode, we talk about why we need to talk about women and neurodiversity.

We get into autism, ADHD, giftedness, girls, women, lived experience, and a bunch of research. We include excerpts from published and unpublished podcasts of Kate Donohue, Kathleen Humble, Rebecca Farley and Amanda Drury talking about being neurodiverse.

Hit play and let’s get started!

Memorable Quotes

‘Almost none of the research on giftedness beginning with the very first study of Tarmin starts with an IQ test of an entire population. It starts with teachers picking out who to test.

That means almost every test out there on giftedness, and how awesome it is, starts with eliminating the majority of children who are disadvantaged. They’re poor. They’re a member of a minority group. They don’t speak the same languages as their teachers or they’re disabled.’  – Kathleen Humble

‘So I started researching for my kids. The best way I can describe it was I had a very emotional response to doing that research. I couldn’t quite rationalize in my head at that point, that that emotional response might be because I am autistic because at that point I couldn’t rationalize or understand how I might be autistic.

And it took a lot more digging and understanding to understand how autism kind of manifests and expresses particularly in adult women and girls. And to find things that resonated with me.’Sophia Elliott

Resources

Our Gifted Kids Hub

A community just for you… the Our Gifted Kids Hub brings together parents of gifted kids to connect, for support, with resources… to get peace of mind.

The Our Gifted Kids Hub includes:

  1. ☺️ Monthly live online information sessions.
  2. ☺️ Monthly live online gatherings to meet other parents of gifted kids.
  3. ☺️ Access to Our Gifted Kids Hub private Facebook Group.
  4. ☺️ Exclusive member-only Podcast video and interviews.
  5. ☺️ OGK Hub online portal to more information and resources.
  6. ☺️ BONUS COURSE – Everything you need to know about gifted in the ‘Understanding Gifted Course’
  7. ☺️ BONUS JOURNEY – A pathway through parenting gifted kids with ‘Journey to a New Normal – 5 Steps that take you from Survive to Thrive!’

The Our Gifted Kids Hub costs about the same as a coffee & cake per week and as long as you remain a financial member, the price you sign up on is the same price you will always pay – it will never go up.

So for peace of mind, join now! Doors Close mid-night Sunday 28th March

www.ourgiftedkids.com/hub


Transcript

[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: I’m looking forward today to have a conversation about women and girls. We’ve been talking all week about neurodiversity and neuro divergence and different lived experiences, but I think it’s worth. Having a special conversation about women and girls within all of that. And I think it’s really important, not just because I’m a woman because I have a daughter.

[00:00:24] But because there’s some real fundamentals that get assumed and, and it’s worth just questioning the basis on which we assume those things. So there’s two things that I want to do in this podcast today. First of all. Let’s be open to considering what we don’t know. Let’s be prepared to ask some questions and even be open to the possibility that we’re asking the wrong questions that we’re actually not.

[00:00:56] We’re not asking the right questions yet. And so in not getting the right answers that we actually need. And also the possibility that our lived experiences are more complicated than we realize. And we talk a lot about everyone having a very different lived experience. And what do I mean by that first of all.

[00:01:19] So lived experience for me. Is the way in which we experienced the world and being open to understanding that actually we all experience the world differently. If you’re, neuro-typical, you’re going to experience the world albeit within that, neuro-typical kind of fear. But within that, everyone’s going to be a bit.

[00:01:48] And so we’re talking about being neuro atypical this week or neurodivergent so. Those individuals like myself that are outside of that typical box. And so it’s understanding that that lived experience is significantly different to the typical lived experience. So what does that mean? It’s the nitty gritty of, I think day-to-day living, it’s our emotions.

[00:02:14] It’s our senses, our social. Connections. I mean, if you think about the way we live as humans, it’s about existing in our own body relating to others, processing the information around us, emotions, feelings, all of that stuff that we kind of take for granted as being well, we all live, we all got to get through the day, right?

[00:02:46] Actually when you consider that some people’s lived experience actually makes it harder for them to get through the day because our world is constructed for the very neuro-typical majority. Which is understandable if you’re going to do something, you’re going to do it. So most people will fit into that box and neuro-typical is the majority.

[00:03:13] That’s why it’s typical. So that makes sense, but we need to do better. And I think we’re learning that we need to do better. And so we also touch on today the social model of disability, because that’s relevant to this conversation is.

[00:03:29] you may have heard the podcast that I did recently with Kathleen humble and Dr. Rebecca folly, and it was a great podcast and it was a lot of fun and they’re amazing women. And I was interviewing them because they had contributed articles to a recent publication by G H F perspectives on giftedness.

[00:03:51] And within that book, there are actually a few articles that Kathleen has written that relates to our conversation today. So I’m going to refer to those throughout today’s conversation as well. And actually I’m going to be putting in a few snippets from other. Podcasts that I’ve done as well. So I haven’t done this before.

[00:04:11] It’s a little bit exciting. But first of all, I’d mentioned the social model of disability.

[00:04:16] Kathleen refers to it in one of her articles that she wrote.

[00:04:21] About identifying gifted kids.

[00:04:23] So the social model of disability is looking at a disability as a lack, rather than a difference. And she thinks that’s fundamentally wrong. It’s a way we organize and cater for the different needs. That is the problem. Not the different needs themselves. That’s straight out of her article. So what does that mean?

[00:04:42] What she’s saying there is, we all have differences. What makes the difference harder is that point in time where we hit the brick wall of the system. It’s that interaction with the system, whether or not the system I L community caters for Al needs. Allows us to be ourselves and thrives within that system.

[00:05:08] That is actually the problem, not the difference itself.

[00:05:12] Kathleen also talks about research by Natalie rumbling. Now from ANU who’s in her research found the actual experience of raising a gifted child. With or without disabilities with similar in stress level to that erasing a disabled child who is not gifted. So she says this drives home an important point.

[00:05:36] The difference of ability doesn’t cause stress, the lack of support and help for those different abilities is what causes the anxiety and stress. So why is this all relevant today? It’s neurodiversity celebration week. And we’ve been talking a lot about neurodiversity. Well, this relates, because what we’re finding is, and we know this. If you’re a parent of a gifted kid, you have bucked against that system that does not cater for your child’s difference. And it sort of says, we will cater for those things that are broken the deficit.

[00:06:15] And we, but we won’t actually cater for the difference itself. We won’t stretch to actually cater for what that difference needs fully. And that causes an incredible amount of

[00:06:28] so how does that relate to women and girls? Well, what I’m trying to say here is women and girls have a different lived experience. What we know about and you being neurodivergent in that research has been heavily dictated by research done on boys. And what their society is not doing for women and girls is meeting the needs of that particular difference.

[00:06:54] And it’s because we don’t understand it well enough yet. I want to play a little bit from the podcast that I did with Kathleen humble and Rebecca finally, and this is Kathleen talking about the research and some of the challenges with the research we have today, especially for girls and therefore women, but also interesting for high IQ boys.

[00:07:19] Let’s listen to that now.

[00:07:21] Kathleen Humble: It can be really, really tough because the characteristics, even, even within that cutting edge stuff, they found that some of the kids that were gifted and autistic didn’t show up on the tests that are the gold standard and, and vice versa.

[00:07:39] So some of them were just gifted, came out as autistic when they weren’t. So that was a real problem with the autism tech stuff, but there’s a, another thing that is a major problem with. Autism and ADHD research and that’s the absence of girls and women. So we have, I think autism has a three to one ratio three times as many boys diagnosed as girls.

[00:08:12] And when you actually have a look at that, the actual average IQ of the girls is lower, which led them to realize that what was actually happening was that they were missing the average and high IQ girls with autism diagnosis and same with ADHD and because they present differently. So, autistic girls, for instance, better at masking and appearing neuro-typical better learning scripts.

[00:08:39] And of course the smarter you are, the. And the more passions you have, the better you are at creating those little scripts that you can go, okay, in this situation, I can, I can do this. And then this situation, I’ll say this, and in this situation, I’ll say that. And you’ve got the little scripts in your head because you’re incredibly bright.

[00:08:59] You’re able to cope a little bit better with the upsets the things don’t go to plan because you’ve you spending more time obsessing about the way things can go wrong. And unfortunately though, that sounds just fine. The problem is masking actually has in the longterm very bad mental health issues associated with that, which I didn’t talk about in articles.

[00:09:26] But yeah, they, they found that autistic people who mask ended up with worse. Mental health outcomes in your lifetimes and those who don’t. So, yeah, and, and I think similar for ADHD the really interesting thing for me with the ADHD one was that gifted children with ADHD don’t have a low average working memory deficit, which is one of the hallmarks of the ADHD diagnosis.

[00:09:57] They got less than many of their other scores on an IQ test, but the working memory isn’t necessarily a negative. But because their brains are wanting to do so much work, they can’t keep up with remembering how to do things compared to where their brain wants to go. So it’s very frustrating and Sorry, I’m just rambling.

[00:10:24] But yeah, I was thinking the other bit that was worth talking about is that for boys who have a high IQ, their actual presentation matches that for girls in the research I’ve done. So when we actually have a look and we go, well, ADHD is average or below average represented in hierarchy kids. We go, is that right?

[00:10:50] Is that actually true? We don’t know because we’re, if we’re missing all the ADHD girls and we really are the research, it’s just not there. You could actually rename most of the research where it says ADHD in children just cross out children, right. Boys with one or two girls, because that’s usually what’s what’s there.

[00:11:10] But for high IQ boys, they look like. With ADHD and if we’re missing the girls, we’re missing the high IQ boys. And as a result, there’s probably far more gifted kids with ADHD out there that haven’t been diagnosed because they don’t match the current clinical presentation that I found fascinating

[00:11:30] Sophia Elliott: so that’s really interesting. And it’s really important as Kathleen says that we consider actually the research that we have in these different areas of neurodivergence ADHD and ASD here and giftedness as a great example, who are we researching? Consistently, as Kathleen has found it, it comes back to us that actually we’re getting very stuck on identifying and researching boys because they have stood out and externalized these things.

[00:12:09] And instead girls tend to internalize these things.

[00:12:14] Kathleen actually also wrote an article on this in perceptions of gifted called most gifted children have never been studied, which is really interesting. And in that she notes that there was some research done in Broward county. And what they’re looking at is whether or not teachers are actually good at spotting gifted kids.

[00:12:35] And interestingly, what they found was there about half, right? About 50% of those kids that they selected were found to be gifted. So then they looked at the kids that the teachers weren’t selecting, and that is actually where the researchers came across something really interesting.

[00:12:56] Of those kids that the teachers didn’t choose. The results in that particular study showed that teachers had only found about 40% of the gifted children or four in every. So who were they living out? Interestingly, it was black kids, poor kids, disabled kids, kids whose first language isn’t English. So Kathleen says this point is worth emphasizing.

[00:13:25] When teachers looked at these kids, they saw disadvantage, not potential. And these disadvantaged kids were never chosen for gifted programs. She goes on to say, Almost none of the research on giftedness beginning with the very first study of termin starts with an IQ test of an entire population. It starts with teachers picking out who to test.

[00:13:50] That means almost every test out there on giftedness and how awesome it is. Starts with eliminating the majority of children who are disadvantaged. They’re poor. They’re a member of minority group. They don’t speak the same languages. They’re teachers or they’re disabled.

[00:14:05] And of course what we’re finding now and what this shows is an, an absence in girls in that research as well.

[00:14:13] Kathleen goes on to say there’s a massive hole in the research.

[00:14:17] It’s not that. It’s just that they may be more limited than we previously thought. Hence, our knowledge of gifted children is also lacking primarily as a result of those who have been studied. The one thing we can say for sure is that white middle-class boys with educated parents do do better. If they’re also identified as gifted.

[00:14:39] there has been other studies done. Of course, since then, for example, a paper on a culturally responsive equity-based bill of rights for gifted students of. And Kathleen refers to this. She says there’s finally been some focus on this much neglected area. This has spurred work looking at black gifted, rural students teach her equity training with a focus on giftedness and where the barriers exist for gifted kids from minority backgrounds being included in gifted programs.

[00:15:10] So for me that says, we still have a lot to learn,

[00:15:12] especially about children who are coming from different cultural backgrounds, speak a different first language are disabled, or just simply poor. Kathleen also touched on though, a really serious issue about mental health. Kathleen talks about the impact on those people with autism who masked throughout their lives. And this is typically girls, although it’s. Identified there. We also seem to be missing high IQ boys in this research. Because they present similarly to girls and in research, I’ve read this whole idea of boys and girls is actually in itself inaccurate.

[00:15:59] We keep taking these gendered approaches to identity, identification, and stereotype, but actually if we start to think them not as gendered stereotypes, but just as different ways of presenting. And so. You could be a boy or a girl, and you might present as what we would consider stereotypical autistic or what we have come to consider as a female presentation.

[00:16:28] But actually it’s not just female. It is just a different presentation of autism. So that in itself is worth. Knowing and understanding, cause it also means that there’s boys out there being missed. So there’s boys and girls who then end up spending a lifetime masking and paying a huge toll later in life in terms of their physical and mental health.

[00:16:55] And I have an excerpt here from a podcast that I have not released yet where I talked to Kate Donna here from dynamic parenting and Amy. From gifted to me, support who have both been previous guests of mine. And we’re actually talking about our own experiences, lived experiences of being identified as neurodivergent as adults.

[00:17:20] And of course we touch on the impacts of mental health in that conversation as well. So let’s have a listen to that.

[00:17:28] I started doing that research because it came up with a few therapists in terms of my children. So I started researching for my kids . The best way I can describe it was I had a very emotional response to doing that research. And I couldn’t quite rationalize in my head at that point, that that emotional response might be because I am autistic because at that point I couldn’t rationalize or understand how I might be autistic.

[00:17:58] And it took a lot more digging and understanding to understand how autism kind of manifests and expresses in particularly adult. Uh And to find things that resonated with mango. Yeah. Okay. And that person maybe not the stereotype that I had in my head at the beginning of this journey, but now that I’ve dug deep for months, I am, I totally resonate with that person that I’ve read about or listened to.

[00:18:26] And, and for me, my identity started to unravel in a pretty bad way. It was a bit messy there for a little while, because it was a lot to comprehend and come to terms with, and, and then I went through a good few months of an assessment process where I did lots of various types of assessment tools with my psychologist, including cognitive and, and too, because I felt in understanding my autism and how that expresses that it helped you understand where.

[00:19:08] Where I was in terms of giftedness, because obviously my kids are gifted. And so we did that assessment as well, and that came out as highly gifted,

[00:19:16] but it was, it took months of processing. And, and it was a really pretty full-on kind of journey. And, and I think what I keep coming back to was in the early days, it was a very physical, emotional response, rather than me thinking that I was autistic. I kind of, it resonated with me somewhere far deeper and very unsettled me and I couldn’t actually rationalize it initially.

[00:19:40] And so I think in terms of understanding autism in girls, in women, in that late diagnosis, I think it’s really helpful to understand that it’s really not the stereotype and, and have now having gone through that assessment, I can actually look back on myself as a kid and go, yeah, I totally was, you know, I spent my primary years in the library being a library, monitor, reading all the books, not actually playing the games with kids, but like just dishing out the games, you know, like it’s just classic.

[00:20:11] So, and I, and I get that now. And so, as Kate said before now, the focus is on, what does that mean for me on a day to day basis? How do I start to fill my cup? Because it got very, very empty. Like Amanda was saying I’ve been there somewhat recently hitting that wall. And, and like Kate was saying rebuilding in kind of a new identity even, and.

[00:20:36] And trying to meet my needs. And it’s actually gave, given me this amazing narrative and language to understand my kids and start to talk to them. So that’s kind of me in a nutshell who wants to go next?

[00:20:50] Amanda Drury: I will. I wanted to mention what started my journey really happened nearly 10 years ago. GT cars, I joined GT castle gifted and talented association of south Australia.

[00:21:02] When my son was diagnosed as gifted at that time, we didn’t know he was twice exceptional. We didn’t even know what twice exceptionality was. We barely knew what giftedness was, actually, even though it was a teacher. But I, I wanted to find out everything I could about it. So I joined GT cars. I also did Googling as you do to find out everything I could about giftedness and. When I was doing the reading about the gifted stuff, a lot of it sat with me, but at the same time, I’m like, nah, I can’t be gifted too dumb. And seriously, I thought I was done for many, many years. And when I married my husband 20 years ago, almost 20 years ago, he’s very gifted, highly gifted. He made me feel even dumber actually.

[00:21:49] But anyway moving along, this is what ADHD people do. They’re always going on tangents, but I Judy Causa, I became part of the committee there. And then Kate says at one of the committee meetings, oh, I’m starting this group for. God parents, parents with GLD kids gifted with learning disabilities.

[00:22:10] It’s another name that twice exceptionality is known as and one that if anyone was interested in joining me, so I said, yes, please. Because giftedness the label giftedness didn’t quite fit on its own for either my son or myself. And I wanted to find out more. At the time Amy was only a little baby.

[00:22:26] She was probably one or two, three, maybe two, I think. So. I didn’t know anything much about Amy at that point. And we had our first meeting at the Sterling library and that’s when I first found out about what twice exceptionality was all about. Really Kate opened my eyes to a lot of stuff. She had already, she was kind of ahead of me.

[00:22:47] She’d already done a huge amount of research, particularly around a daughter at the time and so helped a lot of parents in that group. There were about eight of us at the beginning. It was a really great year learned a lot became more interested in myself a couple of years later seeing what my son was going through.

[00:23:05] And by then we knew that Amy was gifted and do that. There must be something else, but couldn’t work out what it was. And I decided, well, I talked to David one night and I said, you know, I’ve never felt like I’m gifted at all. I feel like I’m pretty average. Even below average, I’ve never felt very smart because I’ve never been treated that way by my peers or.

[00:23:30] Well, particularly by my peers, by my teachers too. I had teachers in school that called me thick in front of the whole class.

[00:23:36] Sophia Elliott: Oh, that’s awful.

[00:23:37] Amanda Drury: But I said to David, what do you think? He said, I’ve always thought you’re really smart. So I thought, well, maybe I’ll get a test done just to have a laugh I went and got this multi assessment thing done.

[00:23:50] It was also because I was at uni and I knew I’d get extra stuff if I had other things going on. And that’s when I found out that I was mildly gifted though inaccurate because my scores were so high scattered that the psychologist said who works, where she has never seen anything like it in all her career.

[00:24:12] And that she unfortunately can’t give me a average score, like an accurate one. But I wasn’t 91st percentile. So at least mildly gifted, I suppose, but you can’t say for sure, because the schools were so scattered to give you an example, my processing schools, eighth percentile, but my short term memory was 99 percentile.

[00:24:39] Sophia Elliott: Your working memory.

[00:24:41] Amanda Drury: She looked at that, she’s like, I, that never happens normally there at one end or the other together. Not so sick. Yeah. And she decided I had information processing disorder. She said she couldn’t definitively say I had ADHD. Cause that has to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. So I eventually saw a psychiatrist and found that I had ADHD. And that’s kind of what, yeah.

[00:25:06] That’s how I got where I am now. And it’s actually helped me hugely, but I think the person that’s helped the most is more than me. I think it’s helped my husband the most because there were things about me. He never understood. And he used to be very frustrated by it. And he used to think that I was doing things deliberately.

[00:25:25] Like I wasn’t listening to him or, and I’d like, no, I didn’t hear you. I just didn’t hear you. You didn’t need to believe me. Because he didn’t realize that I had ADHD and neither did I. And. He realizes now that all of that’s to do with my ADHD.

[00:25:44] So, it’s really helped him. And it’s helped have relationship too in a very big way, which is the happy thing about it, I suppose. But I’m still coming to terms with a lot of it. I’m still learning about myself and how to manage in this new world.

[00:25:59] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. I think that the journey is ongoing and like you say that I think the benefits ripple starts with ourselves and, and that knowledge about ourselves and the way our brains work.

[00:26:09] Thank you, Amanda. That’s really interesting. And I just, even now I just. Fascinating that we can go our whole lives and not figure this stuff out until we, until we get to this point.

[00:26:24] So Kate you’ve had a similar journey as well.

[00:26:28] Kate Donohue: Yes. And you’ve brought up identity a few times. So I’d like to talk about that because there are so many aspects of this journey that we go on and I think identity is a really good one to talk. So I grew up in a small rural country town, and my mum said to me as an adult, I always would go to bookstores because they didn’t have Google then.

[00:26:50] And try and find a book that might explain you. I love that she never did find the book. So she thought that I might have a hearing problems. So she took me to an audiologist. My hearing was fine. He suggested I go to a psych and look at the learning disabilities. So we did that process. So at seven I got diagnosed as disliked.

[00:27:12] And that was the only diagnosis I had until I was 37. So all of my life, I thought that all of the things that were going on for me, that which caused me to experience my world differently, which due to my dyslexia. So. I found that really empowering to know that it wasn’t, that I was dumb because I couldn’t spell or process in the same way.

[00:27:37] So if people was really protective for me, so people will be like, you can’t spell that age stupid or something, and I’d be like, no, I’m dyslexic. There’s a difference. My intelligence is fine. So it really was protective for me. So a lot of people ask me about, you know, do we tell our child should we get diagnosed?

[00:27:56] You know, what, if you do it different and I’m noticing that they’re different. Like some children don’t notice if they’re happy the content, then it’s your choice. That’s a different discussion, but most of our gifted kids are gonna know. And they’re gonna know when they’re two or three, like often they’re really young when they know a lot younger than neuro-typical people.

[00:28:18] So my experience is that it wasn’t. And the cycle has said to me, you can do whatever you want to do, Kate, but you are going to have to work harder in these areas. So these are hard for you work on them. This is where our strengths are. You’re great. You can do many, many things, so it wasn’t limiting, but damn it was frustrating because I was like having the brake and accelerator on the same time.

[00:28:40] And you, what I wanted my brain to do, there’s all this information in there and I couldn’t get it out. So I went through school, not getting my cure, curiosity and intellectual needs met, but I got through. Okay. But relationships on the other head were a whole different ball game. They were complicated.

[00:29:02] So I was fairly passive, I guess, throughout my schooling years, I didn’t really Thrive, I guess, socially, but I also didn’t stand out and have major issues. So I was really much that standard kind of autistic child who masks and flows and fits, but there’s sort of a corrosion to yourself and who you are when you live that life.

[00:29:25] So when I grew up and I kind of was, there’s a point where it kind of went whole wrong. Who am I, what do I like? What do I want to do? Like I had spent all of my growing up here to love my childhood, all of my teen years, just trying to not get found out that I was different. And I didn’t really know that I was doing this.

[00:29:52] It was often they call it mask. But it’s not a mask. You can’t just put it on and take it off. It’s it’s, it’s sort of etched into your nervous system and your identity and your concept of self and who you think you are as a person it’s real to you. It’s not just take off the mask and be your natural neurodivergent self.

[00:30:12] It is, it is intertwined. It is locked in and it is a journey and it is sometimes painful to actually go, hold on. I’m actually autistic. And that’s why this whole history of things happen. And we get to look back over our responses, our reactions, our choices, our interactions, our relationships, and the way we have grown into the person that we are.

[00:30:41] And then we actually have to go back to the. As we mature, we go, hold on, who am I? And who do I want to be in this life? I’ve only got one life and I am an autistic person in a neuro-typical world. And how do I want to navigate that? And how can I navigate that? In, in the beginning, it was like, how can I actually navigate this and not be sort of assaulted by the world and have these bombardments of, you know, pressure and whether it’s, how to be at work, how to be socially, how to be as a parent, how to hold myself.

[00:31:12] Well, when I feel like I just need to like shut the world out because it’s too damn bright and loud and noisy. And now I’m at a point where I’ve kind of worked that stuff out for myself. And that comes down to knowing myself really well, my needs, what am I foundational core parts of me that I need to make?

[00:31:30] Sophia Elliott: So what is it like to actually be neurodivergent? What is the actual lived experience? And I think this is the crux of my whole week of podcasts. This week. A friend of mine said last year, how do I know if I don’t know what other people’s lived experiences? And when I went through that process of discovery, myself, going online and finding actual lived experience was, was core to me, untangling that web and, and figuring that out for myself.

[00:32:04] And since then, even, you know, even as every day almost, I think of things from my childhood in my past that I just like classic autistic and. It’s a, you know, even now months later, I’m still processing and looking back and identifying things.

[00:32:27] What set me off of my journey was actually the possibility that I had 88. And maybe I still do. I don’t know. I might just need to dig a little bit further into that because it does really resonate for me, but a lot of ADHD traits are also autistic traits. So it’s a very tangled web.

[00:32:47] And in this exit that I’m going to play next. I have an excerpt from the Pocus that I did with Kathleen humble and Dr. Rebecca folly. And we’re just talking about our own lived experiences of being ADHD and autistic, and some of the quirks that go along with that.

[00:33:10] Sophia: I will always credit going backpacking at age 29, full learning how to small talk.

[00:33:16] You know, I went by myself and I, I went through like China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe, and ended up in the UK and I had to learn how to talk to people. And I just, I just don’t to script, you know, I learned, oh, well, if I say these things, people just talk. And then I’ll just ask this and prompt that and share this.

[00:33:40] And it was basically the same conversation I had from one side of the planet to the other. And it was just, you know, and it was just something that I, I learnt and practiced during that time and, and then was able to carry forward, but it never occurred to me that everyone else didn’t do that as well.

[00:33:59] That wasn’t just, you know, that was part of my quirk, I just assumed I dunno. I dunno. Didn’t really think about what I repeat everyone did, or just thought I was an introvert, you know?

[00:34:11] Kathleen Humble: Yeah. On a similar topic for that. My ADHD, I didn’t realize everyone else could remember names. So I, I spent, until I was diagnosed, I was diagnosed in my thirties after my daughter was diagnosed.

[00:34:28] And yeah, so many of the characteristics that they were saying, well, this is ADHD. I’m saying that’s that’s normal. And it wasn’t. And then when I had looked at it and it’s like, oh, ADHD. People struggle with remembering names. So when you’re introduced to someone, you say, hi, I’m oh, nice to meet you. My name is Rachel.

[00:34:53] Nice to meet you Rachel. Three minutes later, I’ve forgotten the name. And then of course, the next day you meet them and they’ll say, hi, Kathleen. Good to see you again. I’ll go. I’ve got, I know you, I can tell you, you know, about, you know, all the things we talked about. I no, any what your name is? Hi, lovely to meet you house.

[00:35:13] You know, so I actually, with, I spent years developing ways, our round, not saying someone’s name. I found that after about the fifth time you asked someone’s name, they assumed that you didn’t actually care about them. And I know it was even worse when they’re a good friend and you’ve forgotten the name.

[00:35:35] And because it was years ago, it got more and more awkward to ask their name as the years went on. And you’re like, I know you, you’re a good friend. I know everything about you. I have no idea what your name is. And it’s one of the wonderful things about social media is names of their photo. So I can go, ah, that’s so on, on here, it’s like, oh, that’s Rebecca.

[00:35:59] Oh, that’s Sophia. I don’t have to remember anymore. And that was a massive advantage for me, but it was something that everyone else just seemed to intuitively do. It never occurred to me that was a disability or that, something that was not into.

[00:36:17] Dr Rebecca Farley: I can do people’s names. That’s one of my mutant powers, Josh, my husband, insane, but I need less to remember what I’ve got to do and where I’ve got to do it.

[00:36:30] And I mean, Andrew and I moved in together at 23 and he was obviously 23 and he was making fun of me because I always had lists, I need a list of this. And that was the thing I just don’t always speak very well at work. And then didn’t really realize, actually, if you took away my list, I would be stuck in the middle of the living room, not knowing what to do.

[00:36:54] Probably with what she thinks the rest of the day, because I’m as Kathleen, I developed this thing that allowed me to function and it was, I always, if you go through my back right now, you’ll find four or five different lists with other notes written on the side. And my used to ride my arm when I was child, my dad discussed some dignity.

[00:37:17] Don’t be riding on yourself, but I knew I couldn’t lose that list.

[00:37:23] Sophia: I’m laughing. Cause I’m like, you’re, I’m resonating with both of you. I’m terrible with names and faces and I I’m dead with Alice. I absolutely I’m like

[00:37:34] Dr Rebecca Farley: everyone doesn’t do this. Exactly. And I’ve got a sister who’s now 51 and she is just starting to use athletes with her husband.

[00:37:50] Because I can like, can share the load that way. She didn’t used to need a lift to tell her what to do every single day.

[00:37:58] She never had that to function. She just knew you get up and you have a shower, then you can get dressed and you have breakfast and then you go to work and at lunchtime, you pop over to the chemist and get the paracetamol, but you find out, oh, she just did it. Whereas if I didn’t have all that written down, I’d be dashing out the door, like with my shirt on backwards.

[00:38:21] Kathleen Humble: Which I spent 30 years doing. I have buzzy things on my phone. Oh yes. I see things. Tell me that now is the time to do the thing. And and if the buzzy doesn’t go, it doesn’t happen. So I’ve missed expensive appointments, very expensive appointments because he didn’t go. And so I I’ve, I’ve had to learn ways around my own thing, but I may synchronous as well.

[00:38:52] There’s stuff that sticks in there that no one else can do. I there’s some things that I can do that other people find tricky. Like I actually love reading. Papers. And I know a lot of people, even researchers find that really difficult, but I love digging into that and I can just hold it in here,

[00:39:17] but not everyone can, but it’s that asynchronous thing of these things are easy. These things are hard, but they’re not the same as what the average neuro-typical non gifted person can do. They’re literally the,

[00:39:35] Dr Rebecca Farley: I don’t want to read scientific papers, but give me some critical theory, some French discourse analysis, and I’m a happy kid, but asked me to.

[00:39:49] Play in my living room, my desk. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. My husband is coaching me through 10 minutes a day on your desk, back 10 minutes a day on your desk because my desk is the most frightening thing in the house. And some days I can do that 10 minutes and some days I kind of hover around the doorway to the study and decide even cleaning the living room floor would be better than this.

[00:40:16] I just can’t pick up a pile of papers and go, these things need to be filed. I shall now file them. That’s hard. Travis, Travis, sit there and really did a deep, critical, theoretical analysis of power.

[00:40:34] Sophia Elliott: so I don’t know if any of those examples resonated for you, but I think it highlights both the similarities and the differences that we all have fundamentally neurotypical in your atypical. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all express that differently. Even if you have. You know, the same diagnosis or labels as someone else, you’re going to be individual in how you present that to the world and to yourself, your own lived experience.

[00:41:04] Kathleen also wrote a couple of other articles in perspectives of giftedness that I want to touch on as well, before we go, she wrote an article in ADHD and article an autism. First of all, she said,

[00:41:17] She says there’s a problem in a manner similar to the guidelines for autism. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD were determined using boys of average IQ. That’s important because girls with ADHD behave in ways that differ from those exhibited by boys with ADHD. Girls exhibit less hyperactivity. They talk more and more likely to be inattentive rather than hyperactive and gifted boys with ADHD can possess the same traits.

[00:41:48] This alone flagged a problem with the rate of ADHD diagnosis in gifted kids. They don’t necessarily look like stereotypical boys with ADHD and for many gifted kids with ADHD, their hyperactivity is in their brain. Not. So they may never get referred for testing. That’s really interesting research that she’s done and it just goes to show how complicated the gifted population is and how much we need to take into account giftedness.

[00:42:16] When, when looking at other diagnoses and you might be tempted to say, Wolf is so much crossover, why get another diagnosis? That’s a reasonable question. I think what I would say to that is. Figuring out where the gaps all and a label can help you with. That means you’re better able to find the accommodations that fit you better able to figure out what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are.

[00:42:44] And I think that’s why it’s worth pursuing

[00:42:48] Kathleen says that this challenge for identifying. Gifted children with ADHD is even greater. In the case of gifted girls with ADHD,

[00:42:59] she actually tells a little bit of her own story in this article. I’d love to read this. Now. She found out she wasn’t just ADHD. She was stereotypical ADHD, but she didn’t find it.

[00:43:11] until her late thirties. She says , I never climbed the wolves as a kid. Well, not after I fell and sprained my knee badly enough for crutches. I was a quiet kid. It took five plus seconds to get my attention. It’s my auto tree buffer it left. I passed my test and I handed in assignments. Granted, I usually did them on the day they were due.

[00:43:34] In fact, on one memorable occasion, I handed in an assignment laced with the aroma of a rotting banana I had forgotten was in my bag. I had to scrape. The banana off the paper, but it got an, a plus on that one, gifted ADHD kids won’t necessarily be failing. And if they are highly gifted, they might even look mostly functional until they don’t.

[00:43:56] And I think that’s the thing. I think that’s the crunch point. Gifted miss allows us to mask and accommodate, and there is a real strength. In that until there isn’t until actually we’ve used up all our energy and we just can’t do it anymore. As we talked about earlier with Kate and Amanda,

[00:44:18] Kathleen says though, it gets even more complicated and this is from her article. Even if we know we’re looking for the red flags, aren’t the same gifted boys with ADHD. Don’t have low working memory scores. This most probably also pertains to girls, but getting together enough, gifted girls with ADHD for a study is hard.

[00:44:41] So gifted kids with ADHD have average working memory scores. This is important because a deficit of working memory, how much information you can hold in your brain at one time as a hallmark of ADHD, if a child’s working memory is impaired, but not well below average, the chances of ADHD being discovered with a quick screening test.

[00:45:03] Average indicates that these kids are using their unusual brains to compensate for greater deficits when properly tested gifted kids with ADHD will exhibit extremely poor working memory processing speed and auditory verbal memory relative to their other abilities. It’s extreme. Asynchronicity

[00:45:23] so it’s incredibly challenging. It’s also really challenging in the gifted and autistic population in Kathleen’s article on this particular topic. Despite organized checklists, the answer isn’t clear. Cut. There are no easy to complete lists and there are many overlapping characteristics that depend for their interpretation on the eye of the beholder.

[00:45:47] She says it can be hard to determine where giftedness stops and autism starts, or even if that’s a sensible way to think about the. And that’s what I keep coming back to. Are we actually asking the right questions?

[00:46:02] Kathleen talks about researchers at Belin blank center and the university of Iowa autistic 81 gifted children with half previously diagnosed as also being autistic. They found that there was little to no difference in the IQ results for both groups.

[00:46:17] and that the characteristics of gifted children, autistic children really are very similar. At least when looked at from the outside using behavioral studies.

[00:46:26] It’s interesting that autism and gifted research has been conducted almost completely separately for an awfully long time. Kathleen says no one was looking for the overlap. It wasn’t until the new millennium that researchers has their call to arms moment and really started taking a good look at whether it was easy or hard to distinguish gifted kids from gifted autistic kids.

[00:46:48] Until that point. And indeed still in much clinical practice, the diagnosis of child received depended on the specialty of the assessing professional. So professionals with experience with autistic children were more likely to assess a gifted child as autistic and professionals with experience with.

[00:47:08] Child child. We’re more likely to assess a child as gifted, but not autistic. It wasn’t until recently that research into , gifted autistic children move much beyond individual case studies and the first truly comprehensive study with a large enough sample for the creation of diagnostic control criteria was only performed as recently as 2014, that was done at the university of Groningen. No, I know I’ve pronounced that incorrectly in 2014 and actually seemed to suggests that we are asking the wrong question. When we tried to find an exact cut off point between gifted, autistic children and just gifted children.

[00:47:51] Instead, these research has recommended a whole child approach that assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each child and develop strategies to help them in their specific area of need. In this model, there was no cut off point because the relationship between giftedness and autism wasn’t linear, but much like both giftedness and.

[00:48:12] Was a spectrum of characteristics that aren’t easy to separate. It was called the S and w heuristic. And of course, Kathleen goes on to say, even this cutting edge research has gaps and includes questions that have yet to be answered. One of the more pressing is about gifted autistic girls.

[00:48:33] Even the developers of the S and w Horistic, which as of 2014 was the best method for diagnosing gifted autistic individuals use the three to one ratio for boys and girls in their development of testing procedures.

[00:48:48] In almost all current research on gifted autistic kids. The number of gifted autistic girls represents in the research sample is less than 10, often being as low as five. And this sadly is potentially too small for the kind of rigorous statistical analysis that would be needed for the use of this research in clinical practice.

[00:49:09] I want to say a huge thank you to Kathleen for doing all of that research and writing those articles.

[00:49:15] The information came from three articles in particular. The first one most gifted children have never been studied. ADHD and giftedness it’s complicated and is my gifted child autistic that we’re all found in the perspectives of giftedness book. I think it’s really fascinating and I think it poses lots of questions and is a really good opportunity just to pause and understand where we are in time.

[00:49:49] Now, if you’ve listened to yesterday’s podcast about positive disintegration, Chris and I got on a little tangent towards the end about the book NeuroTribes is a book written by Steve Silberman about the history of autism. And it’s an absolutely fascinating read, highly recommend. It is a really big book.

[00:50:12] But it’s so good. And I think what I love about it, most of all is in looking at this history of autism. We, first of all, we can see that it’s been around, like, this is nothing new. We can go back into the depths of history and we can find autistic individuals. But more than that, what I think it, it showed me was where we were at in that journey and where we’ve come from and you can see where you’ve come from and where you’re at, where you can’t help.

[00:50:46] But look forward to wonder where you will eventually be. If we look at the last hundred years and how much our understanding of autism has changed in that time, it’s quite phenomenal. And year we’re at this point in time where the research is heavily based on a particular demographic I boys, but. We’re seeing that.

[00:51:11] Now we have the opportunity now to prioritize research in this area so that we’re including girls, but also making sure where, including those other demographics, different cultural backgrounds, uh, how poor you are, any other disabilities as well, taking on all of that complexity and not kind of missing people out.

[00:51:40] So we’ve got to ask the question, where is this headed? What I wanted to do today was put a spotlight on the fact that it is complicated. Like there’s nothing easy about this. Uh, women and girls have been largely missed out. And we’re just starting to understand in ADHD in autism, and goodness knows where else, how women and girls have presented differently.

[00:52:08] But also that it’s not just women and girls. There’s actually high IQ boys out there who are presenting the same way who have been missed as. But I also wanted to put a spotlight on how we all have these different lived experiences. And it’s really important to talk about that because we can get to know ourselves.

[00:52:30] And I think it is a really important journey of discovery because in getting some of those answers,

[00:52:38] Like, I think it was Emma Nicholson in our podcast. Yesterday’s we’re talking about positive disintegration. She actually said that her journey of discovery allowed her to understand why she didn’t adult. Well, she always felt like she wasn’t doing this life thing well, and she wasn’t being a proper adult.

[00:53:01] And so this journey. To understand ourselves, our strengths, but all those, also those areas of weakness, where we need more accommodations or understanding, support strategies and tools. And with that, we can accommodate and thrive. We have that opportunity, but without that, we’re inclined just to think we’re broken.

[00:53:26] We’re going to feel stuck. We’re going to feel like there’s a big brick wall around us and there’s nothing we can do. It’s actually just us and we don’t get it. Whatever this adult thing is, whatever this life thing is, it’s really hard. So it’s obviously me. It’s obviously me doing something wrong and that’s a dangerous narrative.

[00:53:47] First of all. It doesn’t help us live our best life, whatever that is going to be. We don’t feel good about ourselves if that’s how we’re feeling, which is means we’re not going to feel confident. We’re not going to feel happy. We’re going to be prone to mental health challenges and just not putting ourselves out there in areas where we do have strengths, because we just have this undercurrent of being defective.

[00:54:14] And when not, no one is. We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. We all have differences. And it’s not the differences though, are the problem. It’s the interaction with the system where the system is not supporting the differences. So if we can articulate those differences and gaps, accurately understand ourselves, we can start putting things into place, big things and little things so that we can all thrive.

[00:54:42] And I think. We have a generation of girls starting to get identified, hopefully that can also go on to a generation of boys who are gifted, getting identified as well. And we’ve got adults out there going on this discovery journey, understanding themselves better, understanding their kids better and having that opportunity to reframe.

[00:55:06] Their lives and move forward in a positive frame of mind with a positive strengths-based reference. And I think that’s, what’s really important about this conversation. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast. I hope it wasn’t too mish mashy. I haven’t tried this exit thing before, and I really hope that I’ve pulled that off, but thank you for joining me this week.

[00:55:33] A real delight. Um, our gifted kids has always been about community and bringing people together and connection. And so I do need to mention as well, the outdoors are open this week for the, our gifted kids hub. Now, what is that exactly?

[00:55:50] So the gifted kids, hump is an online community for parents of gifted kids. It’s an opportunity to connect and get support. And there’s a bunch of resources. It includes monthly live online information sessions, monthly live online gatherings to meet other parents of gifted kids. Access to our gifted kids, held private Facebook group, exclusive member, only podcast and video interviews and the, online portal to more information

[00:56:18] and resources along with that, we also include a bonus course, which has everything you need to know about gifted and a bonus journey, which is our pathway through parenting gifted kids without journey to a new normal. So put all this together because. Easier for parents of gifted kids. It doesn’t have to be so hard.

[00:56:41] We should have confidence in understanding what gifted is all about. We do need support to parent our gifted kid, peace of mind that we’re going to actually get through this journey. In one piece, we need to be able to connect with other parents of gifted kids, and we all need that relief from having a direction and knowing what our journey.

[00:57:05] We need a safe place to share and talk about our journeys, the ups and the downs, and we need to belong and be seen integrate community. And this is what the, our gifted kids help is. You can find information on our website, our gifted kids.com backslash hub, and the doors are open until Sunday, the 28th of March at midnight.

[00:57:29] Now they’re not always open. We just opened them a couple of times a year. And that’s because in between opening them, we just focus on what’s going on in the hub, serving our members, making an impact, making that progress together, supporting each other

[00:57:43] and we can’t do that, if we’re open all the time, so we closed the doors and we get on with the journey. So the doors are open, they’re closed Sunday, and you can get more information on our website. So check that out and I will see you. Soon. I hope