Resources: Articles by Fiona
An Australian Mensa Initiative
2017 Australian Mensa Inc. mensa.org.au
Celebrating your gifted child's sensitivity (available on the Mensa website)
Patrilineal Ability: Nurturing Giftedness in Grandfathers, Fathers and Sons
Parenting for High Potential Fall 2015, Vol 5, Issue 1, pp 8-12
Mindful Measurement – Identification practices and their impact on the creative-divergent child.
Walking in Another’s Shoes and Getting Blisters: A Personal Account of the Blessing and Curse of Intense Empathy
ADVANCED DEVELOPMENT A Journal on Adult Giftedness Vol 15, 2016, pp 96-106.
Dominic Westbrook's Speech - part of The Frustration Inferno Presentation at the 22nd Biennial WCGTC World Conference held at UNSW July 2017
"As a child, I could have easily been diagnosed with an attention disorder, maybe even ADHD, and looking back I can recognise that throughout a lot of my childhood I truly was an over-excited, attention diverted kid. My mind wandered and my fingers itched to hold and play with something new and more interesting than the last. My mother didn’t even consider diagnosis and medication as I seemed normal to her. Instead she imbued my home life with myriad imaginative and creative activities for my over-active mind to grasp when I got home. Seeing this distraction as an intellectual and creative platform to work from, instead something to be fixed with meds, allowed my perception of my own learning issues to be positive.
My high school days of timid steps towards individuality were marred through my often adverse relationships with teachers. As I did not learn like the rest of the class, I was often seen as apart from the rest of the class, a nuisance, a distraction for the other students. Much of the time I was absolutely and utterly bored. This boredom led to frustration, this frustration led to anger and the anger led to an egotism and disdain for the system I was in.
There simply were not enough outlets that allowed me to learn and discover through my own volition and using my own style and technique. As a fifteen-year old fledgling, discovering all manner of things and timidly testing and moulding the edges of a malleable and fluctuating individuality and character, to have avenues for self-expression and systems designed catered to individual needs was paramount. I was lucky in that I went to a performing arts school, and those hours of drama in the afternoons were the cathartic river into which I flooded all my pent-up frustration, boredom and anxiety.
I see these feelings reflected in a young person I am mentoring now. He is utterly bored. He feels stuck, stagnated, stupefied by the perpetual repetition in his classroom. Right now, the work I have been doing with this student involves seeking avenues of communication through counselling techniques, motivational interviewing and cathartic, physical exercise. It’s quite interesting to see the relaxation of an individual after a game of basketball or a jog. The flow of conversation is positive and natural and there is a more open exchange taking place. I have noticed subjects he will avoid as we recalibrate from last session on the walk to the courts that will be brought out after we play some ball. This method is especially useful at the start of a therapeutic relationship as it creates and fosters an energetic dynamic and trust with these young adults. For bored and frustrated teenagers, fidgeting to be able to express their full intellectual, creative and emotional range, I believe physical exercise of their choice is cathartic as well as a relaxing and affirming way to commence a session and build a therapeutic relationship.
During the sessions with my client we have been able to talk openly about his stress about upcoming exams, his feelings of boredom and frustration and his anxiety over what the future holds. Having felt all these emotions myself as he did, allows a natural empathy that affirms his own situation. Through these mentoring sessions we have been able to work on his decision-making abilities, his methods of dealing with anxiety and the worries he has about impending exams and the future after high school. It is a heart-warming yet a strangely deja-vu experience to see that his greatest excitement is that after high-school he will be able to steer his education and passions in the direction HE wants. As he told me yesterday, “it’s bloody great! I’m excited. I’ll never be bored again……”.
Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child by Karen B Rogers
The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman
Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child by Linda Kreger Silverman and Alexandra Shires Golon
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine Aron
High IQ Kids: Collected Insights, Information, and Personal Stories from the Experts by Kiesa Kay, Deborah Robson and Judy Fort Brenneman
Please note that Gifted Minds does not have any affiliation with the publishers of these texts
PAPERS and TALKS
Please click on the link below to access our position paper on levels of giftedness
Gifted Minds Ability Levels.pdf
Please click on the link below to access our research on the similiarities and differences in intellectual ability in gifted siblings. This research was first presented in July 2010 at the 12th International European Council for High Ability (ECHA) Conference
"This world is but a canvas for our imaginations."