Dashing Into December!

Oh What Fun It Is To Create!

December Gifted and Talented Newsletter!

Challenging Minds and Making Memories!

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The Unique Inner Lives of Gifted Children

By Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman

“Why do you make everything so complicated?”

“Why are you so sensitive?”

“Why is everything so important to you?”

“Why does it have to be perfect?”

These are among the most common indictments of the gifted. Why, indeed. The answer should be “because I’m gifted.” These are the personality traits that distinguish the gifted from others. To be gifted is to be different. That’s the nature of the beast. So the next time you hear—in a saccharin tone of voice—“All our children are gifted,” it’s OK to cringe. All children are a gift to the world—each child is unique and a blessing, but to say all children are gifted is akin to proclaiming, “All our children have dyslexia” You can’t sweep away developmental differences with political ideologies.

Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally. (The Columbus Group, 1991)

The definition of giftedness as asynchronous development was strengthened by parents who were struggling to meet the needs of their children. Stephanie Tolan described the gifted as an “amalgam of many developmental ages.” They appear to be different ages in different situations.

Kate…may be six while riding a bike, thirteen while playing the piano or chess, nine while debating rules, eight while choosing hobbies and books, five (or three) when asked to sit still. How can such a child be expected to fit into a classroom designed around norms for six year olds?

While many are now aware of the concept of asynchrony, one facet of the definition has been overlooked: intensity. Asynchrony is much more than uneven development; it also involves emotional intensity, complexity and depth. The turbulent inner lives of the gifted can best be understood through the lens of Dabrowski’s theory of Overexcitabilities.

Give your child the quiz below and see if you can discover which overexcitabilities they feel challenged by.

The Kids’ Guide to Overexcitabilities

Psychomotor Overexcitability

Do you have lots of energy?

Do you love movement?

Do you love fast games?

Do you talk a lot?

Do you have trouble sitting still?

Do you bite your nails?

Sensual Overexcitability

Do you love to touch things?

Do you love food?

Do you love music?

Do you love sunsets?

Do you love shopping?

Do you hate the tag on your clothes?

Imaginational Overexcitability

Can you picture things vividly?

Do you have a great sense of humor?

Do you like to invent things?

Do you love fantasy?

Do you worry a lot?

Do you like to stretch the truth?

Intellectual Overexcitability

Are you are very curious?

Do you love to read?

Do you love learning?

Do you want everything to be fair?

Can you concentrate for long periods of time?

Do you always want to be right?

Emotional Overexcitability

Do you care a lot about other people?

Do you love animals?

Are you very sensitive?

Do you try to be and do your best?

Do you get easily frustrated?

Are you shy and nervous sometimes?

Another key insight to consider is extraverstion and introversion. Introversion appears to increase as a function of IQ. While 60% of a school for the gifted rate themselves as introverts, 75% of the exceptionally gifted rate themselves as introverts (Silverman, 1998).

Try having your child take the following quiz!

The Kid's Guide To Being An Extravert Vs. An Introvert

Do you need time to adjust to new situations ____

Or do you adjust to new situations pretty easily?____

Do you rehearse things in your head before you say them out loud?____

Or do you just say whatever comes into your head?____

Do you long for just one really, really close friend?____

Or do you like having lots of friends?____

Do you keep your feelings to yourself?____

Or do you share your feelings easily with others?____

Do you hate everybody looking at you?____

Or do you love having lots of attention?____

Do you like to do one thing at a time?_____

Or do you prefer to do many things at once?____

When someone asks you a question, do you need time to think?____

Or do you think fast?____

Do you need time by yourself?____

Or do you need to be with people all the time?____

Do you learn by watching others?____

Or do you learn by doing?____

Do you find it easy to concentrate?____

Or are you easily distracted?____

Are you quiet in large groups?____

Or do you talk no matter how many people are there?____

Do you hate going to parties?____

Or do you love going to parties?____

A concept that facilitates self-understanding is the appreciation of perfectionism. As perfectionism correlates strongly with giftedness, it must serve a positive function. Yet, it has been disparaged throughout the psychological literature. I have found that all gifted individuals are perfectionists, and all introverts are perfectionists. A gifted introvert is a perfectionist squared. While it is commonly accepted that perfectionism stems from a deep well of inadequacy, I believe that in most of the gifted population it originates from a desire to do one’s personal best. Individuals with high Sensual OE are attracted to beauty, and they may spend endless hours making something beautiful. They do so out of their own aesthetic needs rather than to please others and gain approval.

According to the NAGC, here are some perfectionist behaviors and ways to manage them.

Healthy Perfectionism

· Doing the best you can with the time and tools you have–and then moving on

· Setting high personal standards with a gentle acceptance of self

· Managing behaviors to not interfere with daily life

Unhealthy Perfectionism

· Emphasizing and/or rewarding performance over other aspects of life

· Perceiving that one’s work is never good enough

· Feeling continually dissatisfied about one’s work–which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other physical symptoms

· Feeling guilty if not engaged in meaningful work at all times

· Having a compulsive drive to achieve, where personal value is based on what is produced or accomplished

Tips for Parents & Teachers in Managing Perfectionism

· Watch for signs of unhealthy perfectionism and intervene if necessary

· Adults should model a healthy approach and be aware of their own predispositions toward compulsive excellence

· Refrain from setting high, non-negotiable standards

· Emphasize the effort and process, not the end-result

· Do not withhold affection, support, or encouragement if goals are not met

· Teach your gifted child to manage perfectionistic behaviors and focus on positive self-talk

The gifted have rich, turbulent inner lives, laced with idealism, self-doubt, perceptiveness, sensitivity, moral imperatives, and a desperate need for understanding, acceptance and love. They feel everything intensely and see electrically charged layers of meaning.

Gifted children need to be recognized as a special needs group, like any other exceptionality. They are wired differently and must come to terms with their unique traits. Unfortunately, they are the only exceptionality that can pretend to be like everyone else.

Unfortunately, they are the only exceptionality that can pretend to be like everyone else. Some learn early in life to hide their giftedness so that they are more acceptable. Elizabeth Drews’ (1972) wrote, “Our children are taught to don masks before they recognize their own faces. They are made to put their tender, pliable forms into prefabricated shells” (p. 3).

Developmental advancement can be a positive experience in an environment where individual differences are not only accepted, but celebrated!

We have been called to help gifted children appreciate themselves, to follow their own paths, and to develop into emotionally healthy adults. Society needs their passion, their idealism, their creativity, their sensitivity, their problem-solving abilities. They are our future. We who cherish them have been entrusted with guiding and guarding the future of our planet. With our help, their gifts will become blessings to themselves and to the Universe.

Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman

Stay Warm This Winter with Hot Cocoa & A Great Read for Gifted Learners!

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Winter Break. . . Make It A "Gifted" One!

Logic, Strategy, and Tactic Games for GT Learners!



Brain String


Color Sticks


Gravity Maze


IQ Twist




Quirkle Cube


String Railway


Tetris Stress Blocks

Tic Tac Ku Red and White


Apps for the Gifted Learner

Geo Bee Challenge

Hidden Object: Mystery Estate

Hidden Object: Mystery Guardian

Kookie Tangram

Minecraft. . . yes, it challenges the imagination, ha!


Scratch (online)

Simple Physics


X Construction


STEM Challenge: The Tallest Building

Supplies: Stack of Index Cards, Masking Tape

STEM Challenge:

Build the tallest tower possible using only index cards and masking tape. Experiment by molding the cards into different shapes for stability! The possibilities are endless!

Supplies: Solo Cups

Stem Challenge:

Create the tallest tower possible only using solo cups!


Dash Out In December To . . .

Below are some upcoming events that may be fun for your family. Please note that these events are not associated with nor supported by Frisco ISD.

Perot Museum presents IMAX Wonders of the Arctic

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 10am

2201 North Field Street

Dallas, TX

This event occurs Daily from 11/22/2015 to 01/14/2016

Location Name: The Hoglund Foundation Theater @ Perot Museum

Location Address: 2201 N. Field Street Dallas, Texas 75201-1704 Click for Google Map

Description: The Arctic has always been a place of mystery, myth and fascination. Wonders of the Arctic 3D centers on the ongoing mission to explore the Arctic and the compelling stories of the many ventures into this captivating place. The film continues to explore the state of the Arctic today by visiting the polar bear capital of the world, interacting with ice scientists, and joining a beluga biologist expedition. Underlying all these tales is the crucial role that ice plays in the northern environment and the changes that are quickly overtaking the people and animals who have adapted to this land of ice and snow.


Friday, Nov. 13th, 2pm to Sunday, Jan. 3rd 2016 at 4pm

1501 Gaylord Trail

Grapevine, TX

It's the 11th annual freeze fest at the Gaylord Texan Resort presents hand-carved ice creations from The Nutcracker, plus 2 million lights, lavish holiday displays that include larger-than-life decorations. Enjoy Milk & Cookies with Mrs. Claus and ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman.

New This Year: A live ice carving zone. Watch a masterful ice carver create amazing sculptures before your eyes.

Nov 13, 2014 through January 3, 2015.

Gaylord Texan 817-778-2000 for more details and packages.

Skate The Square

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 4pm

8874 Coleman Boulevard

Frisco, TX

This event occurs Daily from 11/27/2015 to 01/03/2016

Cost: $10 to skate with or without rental skates per person, ($8 with a group of 11 or more)

Ages: All Ages

Location Name: Frisco Square

Location Address: southwest corner of Main Street and Coleman Blvd, Frisco

Description: Enjoy the festive lights while you skate through the holiday season on the outdoor rink returning for its second year. Public Sessions, Corporate & Group bookings, as well as private ice rental will be available daily, weather permitting. Come join us by skating the rink as we bring in special guests for exhibitions and performances throughout the season! Mon - Thu: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm Fri - Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The Trains at North Park

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 10am

8687 North Central Expressway

Dallas, TX

This event occurs Daily from 11/21/2015 to 01/03/2016

Cost: $7/Adults; $3Children (ages 2 - 12) and senior citizens (age 65 and older) Under 2 - Free

Ages: All Ages

Location Name: NorthPark Center (Level Two between Barneys New York and Nordstrom)

Location Address: 8687 N. Central Expressway Dallas, Texas 75225 Click for Google Map

Description: The most elaborate toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark includes trains rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America. Cityscapes include downtown Dallas, with the beautiful Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the State Fair of Texas and the Cotton Bowl; New York City’s Times Square and Grand Central Terminal; Washington, D.C. with The White House; New England’s fall foliage; the Grand Canyon, Route 66, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and various other highlights. The exhibit encompasses more than 4,000 square feet of train themed environments, with all the trimmings of the holiday train travel experience—steam engine and coach cars, a ticket booth and a train station as well as interactive features. More than 80,000 people visit The Trains at NorthPark each season as part of their holiday tradition. The Trains at NorthPark™ hours: Mon - Sat @ 10am - 9pm; Sun @ 12pm - 6pm; Thanksgiving Eve @ 10AM - 6PM; Thanksgiving & Christmas Day -Closed; Christmas Eve @ 10AM - 4PM; New Year's Eve @10AM - 6PM; New Year's Day @ 12PM - 6PM

The Wildest Weather in the Solar System 3D

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 10am

2201 North Field Street

Dallas, TX

This event occurs Daily from 09/19/2015 to 01/03/2016

Cost: $6 plus the price of admission to the museum

Location Name: Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Location Address: 2201 N. Field Street Dallas, TX 75201 Click for Google Map

Description: In this spectacular National Geographic film, you'll witness the most powerful and mysterious weather phenomena in our solar system — from a relentless hurricane that’s raged on Jupiter for more than 400 years, to the electrical storms of Saturn’s “Storm Alley,” where lightning strikes are 100 times more powerful than those on Earth. Travel alongside a fictitious planetary spacecraft whose journey begins at the sun and continues to the outer reaches of our solar system.

IMAX Robots

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 10am

1600 Gendy Street

Fort Worth, TX

This event occurs Daily from 11/22/2015 to 12/18/2015

Location Name: Fort Worth Omni Theater

Location Address: 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth, TX 76107 Click for Google Map

Description: Today's robots are nothing short of astonishing. Those coming in the not-too-distant future are simply revolutionary—and they are becoming eerily like us. What does it take to make a humanoid robot—a robot that can do anything we can do without the benefit of a human brain? How close are scientists to replicating some of the particularly challenging human characteristics? (Think fingers and toes.) Why are we even attempting to create humanoids in the first place? ROBOTS answers these questions and more as it showcases the latest developments—the successes and failures—of robotics around the world. ROBOTS s a fascinating and fun look at what makes us human, how far machines can really go to look and act like us, and how humanoids are already changing our world.


Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 10am

8004 Dallas Parkway

Frisco, TX


Event Begins at: 10:00AM

Cost: $8/Person; $6.50/Seniors (age 60+); Under 3 are Free

Ages: All Ages

Location Name: Sci-Tech Discovery Center

Location Address: 8000 N. Dallas Parkway Frisco, TX 75034 Click for Google Map

Description: New Eyellussions Exhibit! Eyellusions is a Victorian-themed time-traveling exploration of the wonderful and vast world of illusions. The all-star team of scientific consultants responsible for explaining the neuroscience behind magic, the show breaks down the science behind misconceptions and make-believe by using original and interactive displays.

Dinosaurs Live!

Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 10am to Sunday, Feb. 21st 2016 at 5pm

The Heard Museum 1 Nature Place, McKinney, TX 75069

Admission: $0-9
Stephanie Jennings

Included in general admission Encounter the 46-foot T-Rex and eight new life-size animatronic dinosaurs along the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s nature trails at the 9th annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-size Animatronic Dinosaurs at the Heard Exhibit. Field trip and birthday party options available. Please note that we are unable to animate the dinosaurs when temperatures drop below 45 degrees.