Gifted Minds has a history of providing services to other states. Fiona regularly visits Western Australia, Queensland and the ACT. We are also happy to visit rural areas and to travel overseas, if there is sufficient client interest. Please let us know if you are considering an assessment, but are unable to get to Sydney.

  

Fiona will be returning to Perth conducting assessments, counselling sessions and a Q & A session for parents in May and September 2017. Please contact GATCA WA to register your interest in assessment for your child or personal counselling in 2017. The May trip is already fully booked.

  

Any enquiries regarding interstate assessments or one-on-one counselling sessions during 2017 in Melbourne, Adelaide, the Gold Coast,  Brisbane or Hobart should be made to fiona@giftedminds.com.au .

  

 NEWS!! Beginning in 2017 Gifted Minds will be offering individual or small group tutoring for gifted creatives. We are privileged to have Anna Westbrook, published author and tutor in Creative Writing and English Literature at NYU's Sydney Campus, available for mentoring young writers.  Later in the year we will also be offering mentoring in Drama and Visual Arts. Psychometric and achievement testing will also be available as a package, starting soon.

  

  

TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS 2015  

Fiona and Dr Helen Van Vliet presented at the Diocese of Wollongong Gifted Education Conference, Raising the Ceiling, on Thursday July 16. Keynote Speakers include: Professor Karen B. Rogers, Dr. Katherine Hoekman, Dr. Margaret Varady AO and John Charadia.

Fiona and Helen's Workshop is entitled: Empowerment through Appropriate Identification and Supportive Settings  

Abstract: Gifted children are a diverse group. However research reveals that many share a number of distinctive characteristics, particularly in the intellectual and emotional domains, for instance a drive towards perfectionism. Some such characteristics have been considered to create problematic challenges for gifted children, their families and their teachers. This presentation aims to recast such views. It presents a case for seeing such qualities as critical strengths that can enable meaningful learning and constructive social interactions. This view becomes possible when gifted children, their families and their teachers have access to appropriate identification information and supportive educational and social settings. Case studies undertaken in Sydney, Australia, involving primary school children scoring in the top 2% on tests of IQ, along with anecdotal accounts gleaned from working with gifted children, will be used to illustrate the discussion and to inform a consideration of ways to effectively support gifted children.

   

Fiona and Helen talked to staff at Bennet St Preschool to help with appropriate interventions for exceptionally gifted preschoolers.

  

Fiona presented at the SENG Conference in Denver in July. This was the second in a series asbout patterns of giftedness within families.

Patrilineal Ability – giftedness in the male line - Grandfather, Father and Grandson

Abstract: Identification of giftedness in a son can be a double-edged sword for many fathers, who may struggle to comprehend and accept their own giftedness. Formal acknowledgement of their son’s ability may unearth memories of both positive and negative socio-emotional experiences in childhood and adolescence regarding schooling, family life and gender stereotyping. 

This presentation will focus on how an understanding of the nature of their own ability and patterns of intensity and sensitivity can impact on their life, work and family dynamics.

The presenter will outline the process she uses to encourage fathers to accept and explore their own giftedness, helping them come to terms with the choices, decisions and often curving career paths they have taken since the end of their formal schooling. She will focus particularly on grandfather-father-son giftedness and patterns, profiles and pathways across the generations.

  

  

Fiona and Dr Helen Van Vliet gave a talk to parents at The Emanuel School on August 10 at 7.00pm

  

Celebrations and Frustrations – The Joys of Parenting a Gifted Child

  

Intensity; Sensitivities; Overexcitabilty. How do these characteristics impact on learning at home and school, and on wellbeing

Parenting styles. How do parental expectations, over-scheduling, use and abuse of technology, lack of independence and responsibility, and issues with perfectionism, narcissism and anxiety impact on the gifted child’s performance and self-esteem.

This seminar will offer information and creative strategies to facilitate the development of a deeper understanding of the social and emotional needs of gifted children and the fostering of life-long learning.  

  

Fiona provided a full day of Professional Development for psychologists and school psychologists interested in gifted children and their needs in Launceston, Tasmania on September 22nd.

  

2016 TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS

  

JUNE 1ST - FIONA PRESENTED FOR K-12 STAFF AT LAKES GRAMMAR, WARNERVALE - Divergent Minds

 

JUNE 16 - FIONA PRESENTED FOR K-12 STAFF AT ROSEVILLE COLLEGE IN THE AFTERNOON - AS WELL AS FOR PARENTS OF GIFTED STUDENTS IN THE EVENING

  

JULY 16 - FIONA PRESENTED AT THE DABROWSKI CONGRESS IN CALGARY - Walking In Another’s Shoes: A personal account of the blessing and curse of intense empathy as a force for personal growth. (This is available on Youtube for those who are interested.)

  

JULY 24 - FIONA PRESENTED AT THE SENG CONFERENCE IN WILLIAMSBURG VIRGINIA - Gifted Families, Past and Future: Understanding intellectual giftedness across gender and generation. This presentation will focus on intergenerational patterns of giftedness through matrilineal and patrilineal lines: mother-son, father-daughter, grandmother-grandson and grandfather-granddaughter.

  

  

FIONA PRESENTED AT THE Australian Psychological Society (APS) Congress in MELBOURNE on SEPTEMBER 16 - this talk is available on the APS website.

  

Psychologists and gifted clients: Intellectual and creative giftedness can influence and compromise psychometric and personality test scores leading to misdiagnosis and pathologising of atypical yet psychologically healthy individuals.

  

This workshop aims to educate Psychologists who have had no specific training in the emotional and social needs of gifted individuals. Discussion will focus on the impact of heightened intensity and sensitivity and will offer strategies to identify these traits in gifted clients without misinterpreting them as symptoms. Psychometric and personality tests will be examined to determine how certain questions and scores may be compromised. The SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of Gifted Children), initiative: “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children”, the brainchild of Dr James Webb who served on the  American Psychological Association Council of Representatives  and founded SENG will be discussed in relation to Australian concerns.  The second half of the workshop will aim at helping Psychologists understand how  reactions and behaviours are exacerbated by the chronic boredom and resultant frustration that gifted individuals often feel at school and in the workforce. Specific case studies and profiles of gifted and creative students and adults will be presented for discussion as to best practice.

https://events.psychology.org.au/ei/speakers/2016APSPresentations/9D_FionaSmith.PDF

  

  

TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS 2017

  

FIONA WILL BE TALKING TO TEACHERS AT THE EYES CONFERENCE IN PERTH ON MAY 19TH

  

EYES recognises that early childhood education is developmental and provides for the child’s physical, social, emotional, intellectual and cultural development. In this session talking, and sharing thoughts and feelings about the gifted children you have encountered in your classrooms will be encouraged. The presenter aims, as a psychologist, to listen to your concerns and offer practical suggestions regarding social, emotional and intellectual issues that may arise around: 

•identifying the gifted children in your care and in your class and helping provide for their unique thinking and learning needs

•understanding that sensitivity and intensity responses can be heightened by frustration and that social and emotional maturity can be a slippery concept 

•finding coping strategies for the times when reactions become extreme – building mood kits

•looking out for invisible gifted children and for gifted children who may have a learning difficulty

  

FIONA WILL BE PRESENTING WITH DOMINIC WESTBROOK, COUNSELLOR-IN-TRAINING, AT THE WORLD GIFTED CONFERENCE IN SYDNEY IN JULY

The Frustration Inferno: Counselling gifted children experiencing chronic boredom and acute frustration

Most educators, medical practitioners, psychologists and counsellors receive no specific training in working with gifted clients. Yet, by definition, gifted individuals are different to the norm and practices that may work for others may not necessarily work for them. In this session a Psychologist and a Counsellor-in Training will discuss effects of chronic boredom and how easily extreme frustration can masquerade and be misinterpreted as mental health issues and learning difficulties.

  

FIONA WILL BE PRESENTING AT SENG IN CHICAGO IN AUGUST 2017

Gay, trans and gender diverse gifted creatives: personal narratives of the experience of extreme diversity.

A person’s gender identity and expression, intelligence and creativity all encompass multiple factors including genetic influences, brain chemistry, learned behaviors, and personal choices. These factors are shaped by culture, custom, social constraints and beliefs, and affect us all.

For gifted creatives who are gay or whose gender identity and expression diverges from those traditionally associated with the sex assigned at birth, the experience of being different and of not ‘fitting-in’ can be overwhelming. This seminar presents case-study research showcasing the individual voices of gay and gender non-conforming gifted creatives.

  

While my preferred instrument for assessment is the Stanford Binet Fifth Edition, I am able to use the WISC-V now the Australian norms are available, if parents or schools require it. Please email me at info@giftedminds.com.au if you have any queries regarding an assessment using the WISC-V.

  

See our Resources page for our position paper on levels of ability/giftedness.

Check out our recently updated Books for Kids page, which now includes some recommended reading lists organised by theme.

  

 

  

    GIFTED MINDS PTY. LTD.                                          Phone: 0411 370 388                                                         Email: info@giftedminds.com.au

  

                                                                                                                                                                        

  

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