A Gifted and Talented Family Night, sponsored by the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented , will be October 8 @ 5:30 p.m. at Professional Development and Education Center, 5800 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, Texas 76034.

Click here to register for GT Family Night

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Download a PDF Flyer Family Night Flyer – GCISD

Come for an interactive and engaging night for the whole family. Hands-on learning for students K-6, plus information for parents on raising gifted students; including coping strategies, social/emotional needs, helping students find their passion and much more!

For Parents:

These workshop sessions are geared toward parents of gifted students of all ages.

6:20 – 6:50 p.m.

11 Things to Never Say to a Gifted Person
Noel Jett, University of North Texas
How much of your knowledge about gifted people is science and how much is stereotypes? This is a chance to prepare yourself for interactions with gifted people and for interactions with people asking questions about your gifted child.

Notes from this session:

10 Things to Never Say to A Gifted Person:

  • You should cure cancer (very pressuring)
  • What did your parents do to make you so smart?
  • You’re home schooled? You must be sheltered and never do any work.
  • You go to public school? Why don’t your parents care about you?
  • You grade skipped? How could your parents let you do something so terrible?
  • Will my gifted kid get less weird?
  • Wow, Now I feel stupid!
  • Will you talk to/hang out with/ tutor my gifted child?
  • If you’re gifted, why aren’t you good at (some subject or skill)?
  • You’re gifted? But you seem so normal!
  • You’re like (smart tv character) Sheldon Big Band theory.
  • Life must be easy being that smart!

The above was her power point discussion. The speaker was a young lady 16 years old that is currently getting her Ph.D and was sharing things that she had heard in the past about her giftedness. She shared how even being as smart as she is that she has gotten C’s before. That she skipped school grades to continue to challenge herself.

She did talk about age 12 being her toughest year in school. She also shared that being gifted does not mean she is gifted in every thing. She said she wasn’t really a strong math student, but sometimes expectation is that you are gifted so you are gifted in everything.


Advocating = Learning
Mattie Oveross, University of North Texas and E.A. Young Academy
Discuss the importance of being a continuous learner in the field of gifted education and gifted children. Explore a wide range of helpful resources for parents of gifted students. Learn how to seek out ways of meeting the needs of not only your gifted child, but also yourself.

Notes from this session: She spoke of the importance of speaking up for your gifted child, supporting both the gifted child and yourself and making changes when it is necessary. The best way do do these things as parents is to read, support and engage.

Suggested readings: 

  • Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds by Jan & Bob Davidson
  • Living with Intensity by Michael Marian Piechowski
  • Raisin’ Brains: Surviving My Smart Family by Karen Isaacson
  • 10 Things NOT to Say to Your Gifted Child: One Family’s Perspective by Jennifer Heilbronner Munoz and Sarah Heilbronner
  • Some of My Best Friends are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers by Judith Wynn Halsted

Support – Ms. Oveross encouraged parents to seek out a support system while also realizing that we can be someone else’s support system.

Engage – recommended organizations were NAGT, TAGT & GC-SAGE


Understanding Social and Emotional Needs: Intensity and Overexcitabilities
James Bishop, University of North Texas / LPC Intern at Fundamental Foundations Counseling
Discover or revisit Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and learn how to identify each type in gifted students. Learn effective instructional and behavioral strategies to support gifted students with overexcitabilities.

Notes from this session:

Overexcitabilities are intensities: Psychomotor. Sensual. Intellectual. Emotional. Imaginational.

Not a disorder. Not a gifted-only trait. Occurs more often among the gifted. Not a well-known subject among psychologists, teachers. Children are sometimes misdiagnosed with something different.

Emotional intensities: labeled “drama queen,” heightened intense feelings, empathy and compassion. Strong emotional attachment to people, places, things. Perfectionism. Existential dread. Could be misdiagnosed as depression or extreme anxiety. Strategies: relaxation, yoga, journaling. Help make a difference by working with charity.

Intellectual intensities: passionate love of learning, avid readers, questions everything, able to concentrate “rage to master” = hyper- focused on topic or task, theory and meta analysis, critical of others who can’t sustain their intellectual dialogue. Strategies: help them meet goals. Connect them with debate and philosophy groups. Help them to see how they are perceived.

Imagination overexcitability: daydreaming, mixing truth and reality, imagination takes precedence over academics. Strategies: Use imagination in problem solving within their academics; example, write historical fiction.

Sensual overexcitability: sensitive to clothing, overcome in a passionate way by the beauty of art, not able to eat certain foods, may feel stressed in noisy environment

Psychomotor excitability: hyperactivity, talks compulsively, moves constantly, workaholic, compulsive organizer. If diagnosed with ADHD – ask if they have the inability to complete tasks in any environment, and if their medication wears off. Teach them to take themselves into time out. Breathing techniques.

6:55 – 7:25 p.m.

Hidden Exceptionalities
Mattie Oveross, University of North Texas and E.A. Young Academy
How to unmask your child’s potential exceptionalities that affect everyday life. Learn to recognize the signs of some “unrecognizable” exceptionalities such as rare disabilities and disorders. From a gifted late-diagnosed narcoleptic, hear about the potential struggles as well as ways to overcome living with a hidden exceptionality.

Notes from this session:

Your child does not need a diagnosis for you to advocate for your child. 

Textbook definition:

Twice-exceptional learners are students who demonstrate the potential for high achievement or creative productivity in one or more domains such as math, science, technology, the social arts, the visual, spatial, or performing arts or other areas of human productivity AND who manifest one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria. These disabilities include specific learning disabilities; speech and language disorders; emotional/behavioral disorders; physical disabilities; Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); or other health impairments, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These disabilities and high abilities combine to produce a unique population of students who may fail to demonstrate either high academic performance or specific disabilities. Their gifts may mask their disabilities and their disabilities may mask their gifts.

Identification of twice-exceptional students requires comprehensive assessment in both the areas of giftedness and disabilities, as one does not preclude the other. Identification, when possible, should be conducted by professionals from both disciplines and when at all possible, by those with knowledge about twice-exceptionality in order to address the impact of co-incidence/comorbidity of both areas on diagnostic assessments and eligibility requirements for services.

Educational services must identify and serve both the high achievement potential and the academic and social-emotional deficits of this population of students. Twice-exceptional students require differentiated instruction, curricular and instructional accommodations and/or modifications, direct services, specialized instruction, acceleration options, and opportunities for talent development that incorporate the effects of their dual diagnosis.

Twice-exceptional students require an individual education plan (IEP) or a 504 accommodation plan with goals and strategies that enable them to achieve at a level and rate commensurate with their abilities. This comprehensive education plan must include talent development goals, as well as compensation skills and strategies to address their disabilities and their social and emotional needs (Reis, Baum, & Burke, 2014, p. 222-223).

Strategies for parents. Be mindful of behavioral and physical changes, especially around puberty. Keep an open mind; don’t compare your kid with others. Advocate for medical and psychological testing.

Strategies for students. Don’t be afraid to seek medical attention. Articulate your issues with friends, teachers, parents. Be advocate for self. Know your limits.


Panel of Gifted High School Students – “How to Support Our Goals”
Moderated by Becky Manning, GCISD Director of Advanced Academics
Hear from gifted high school students about how parents and teachers can best support their learning needs and aid in accomplishing their future goals.

Understanding Social and Emotional Needs: Intensity and Overexcitabilities
James Bishop, University of North Texas / LPC Intern at Fundamental Foundations Counseling
Discover or revisit Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and learn how to identify each type in gifted students. Learn effective instructional and behavioral strategies to support gifted students with overexcitabilities.

7:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Appropriate Advocacy
Tracy Weinberg, TAGT
As an advocate, you may meet with administrators, school board members, teachers, and other parents. But no matter who you meet or where you adocate, there are some important points to remember.

Q and A: Open Discussion
Panelists: James Bishop, Noel Jett, and/or Mattie Oveross
Have a question about giftedness and/or your gifted child? This open discussion will focus allow an opportunity to ask about characteristics and behaviors of giftedness, living with giftedness, and advocacy-related issues.

Panel of Gifted High School Students – “Focus on Social and Emotional Aspects of Giftedness”
Moderated by Becky Manning, GCISD Director of Advanced Academics
Hear from gifted high school students about peer relations and the social and emotional aspects of growing up gifted.

Notes from this session:

Q. Do you have thoughts about how teachers and parents and counselors could help you meet goals?
A: counselor does not help.
A: counselor is very helpful as advisor for classes
A: counselor is not in office.
A: parents keep you going, bring you coffee at 2 am. Teachers are helpful
A: counselors work behind the scenes.

Q. Extracurricular activities?

A. It’s worth it because it relieves stress and is a reward for finishing homework
A. Look outside of school for extracurricular activities

Q: Are there misunderstandings about giftedness you would change if you could?

A: I don’t think we are socially awkward. We are kept in a bubble as GT kids in middle school and don’t know as many people. In HS it’s not as much as a problem.
A. We caught on very quickly as kids and now that classes are more difficult, we are challenged and sometimes don’t do as well. Then we criticize ourselves and others criticize us

Q: Would you have preferred a GT program or non GT in middle school?

A: GT. Made long term friends. Collaborate with each other

Q. What makes a successful and happy HS experience?

A. Sports
A. Involved in something I’m passionate about
A. Band
A. Extracurricular activities plus working hard and seeing the results in good grades and scores
A. Keep Saturday a free day and do no homework.

Q. What did your parents do to help get you here?

A. My parents told me it was my decision to take GT classes
A. Parents help give me perspective. Help remind me that academics are important but we don’t lose sight of fun and family.
A. We lived in an environment of learning and expanding our horizons
A. Parents pushed me to try my best but not to the point of stressing me out
A. Parents praised my efforts.
A. Parents helped me have a balanced schedule
A. My parents let me make my own decisions about my learning
A. Parents got me to play piano by playing beautiful music al the time. Parents are driven and successful — and you want to follow in their footsteps.
A: Keep open line of communication. Help them make a decision if they are not liking an activity and help them decide if they want to continue or quit & find what else they are passionate about.


For Students K-6:

Students in grades K-6 will have the opportunity to discover their interests and deepen their knowledge by participating in fun, creative and educational STEM-based activities


About the Speakers:

James Bishop is a licensed professional counselor intern at Fundamental Foundations Counseling, where he specializes in gifted children, adolescents, and adults. He is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas, with a focus in giftedness and talent development.

Noel Jett is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas, with a focus on gifted education. She received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University at age 16. Her research interests include mental health in the gifted community, gifted families and parenting, and advanced curriculum.

Mattie Oveross is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas with a focus on gifted education. She is the Gifted Community Engagement Coordinator for E.A. Young Academy. Her research interests include parenting, preschool gifted education, and sexuality of gifted and talented students.

Tracy Weinberg is the Education Director of TAGT, where he worked since 2000. He has many years of classroom experience, including 15 years as a teacher/coordinator of gifted services. He is also the parent of a gifted daughter, now a young adult.

SAGE 5th Birthday:

SAGE was founded in 2010, and we’re ready to celebrate five years of accomplishments! We’ll have sweet treats to share. Our new #StaySAGE t-shirts will be available for purchase.


Similar events will be held throughout the week in Coppell and McKinney, making our area the first to host the new TAGT Gifted Families Week!