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A Life Devoted to the Gifted Child - Introduction to Me and My New Blog

People often ask me why I chose to spend my career working with “gifted” and “twice exceptional” youth and the answer is pretty simple.

People often ask me why I chose to spend my career working with “gifted” and “twice exceptional” youth and the answer is pretty simple. Early on while working with adolescents I grew frustrated with the “what’s wrong you” model of mental health and instead wanted to approach helping a challenging child by focusing on what was right with them rather than what was wrong. While working with kids who had ADHD I decided to concentrate on their strengths rather than weaknesses and started to see real success.

When my co-founder Dr. Susan Daniels and I first opened the Summit Center in Northern California we discovered that lots of children were being misdiganosed as having behavioral problems. Gifted children, although very intelligent, can struggle in many ways. They are often are misunderstood, do not fit in with peers, may be teased and bullied, or might be bored in school.  They can be intense and sensitive – and sometimes this leads them to being pigeonholed for life. Counteracting that notion became our passion.

Some gifted children also have learning, processing, emotional, and behavioral issues, which is called being ‘twice-exceptional’ or ‘2e.’ These children are both exceptional due to their advanced cognitive development, but also exceptional because of another issue – such as ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger’s Disorder, or anxiety. 2e kids usually are not detected, and often do not receive support for their gifted abilities -- or deficit area -- because they cancel each other out.

Recently, we came to Southern California and opened a satellite office.  I decided to write a blog here for Patch so that I could help keep parents, educators and members of the community aware of the special needs and issues that surround the gifted child and also create a forum for discussing current events and newsworthy topics. Every week I will write about a post and encourage you to interact with me and ask questions. I will try to answer everyone in a timely fashion.

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Peggy McAllister August 22, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Thank you, Dr. Peters, for your blog here. Since we moved to OC I've truly missed your insight and guidance for our 2e son. I look forward to reading your posts here! PM
Yen Walter August 24, 2012 at 04:39 AM
We recently had our children assessed in your LA office and I was expecting to find my younger child gifted like his older sib but he turned out average or even below average in some of the WISC subtests which truly surprised us as we would have expected the abstract reasoning to be his strength. Anxiety was apparently a big issue at testing yet we always felt he was the smarter one of the two kids. It was not so much the disappointment of thinking he was not gifted but the relief in understanding how much his anxiety was really suppressing his ability to demonstrate his potential to others and the importance of addressing it now rather than ignoring the problem. All his behavioral outbursts were due to us not realizing how bad the anxiety was around his processing issues. I can see now why so many 2e kids don't develop their potential when things like that are so easy to overlook.
Dr. Dan Peters August 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Yen, thank you for your keen input.

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