Or: How I came to be doing what I do
So tell us a bit about what it is that you do at Gifted Matters.
I help QUASIEs and the people who love them. QUASIE stands for Quirky, Anxious, Sensitive, Intense and Excitable. It’s my personal acronym for the types of questions that bring people to my door. I work with adults, adolescents, children and parents who deal with being smart and struggling. I also write, speak, and train others about these issues.
What can a client expect to get from working with you?
After working with me, parents begin to feel less anxious about the prospects of living with and raising their child. They feel hopeful, and they begin to construct a personal roadmap of the terrain ahead and around them. Their relationship with their child is improved, and they are able to experience all the wonderful aspects of their unique child. They come out from under the pall of focusing only on areas of weakness and problems. They have new skills and strategies to help their child at home and in the world.
Parents also gain a deeper understanding of themselves, for as they learn about their child’s gifted issues, they frequently revisit their own childhood and understand themselves, and their own parents, differently.
The same is true for adults who work with me, or adolescents – we explore their understanding of themselves and the world, identify any areas where improved skills can help, deal with negative self-talk, find new ways of handling stress and develop a way of being in the world that is comfortable and enjoyable for them.
Why do you do what you do?
The brief answer is because someone needed to do it. I have a child who copes and lives with the sorts of issues I work with now with my clients: anxiety, perfectionism, twice-exceptionality, intensity, dysgraphia and more. I’ve been the parent who is called to the principal’s office too many times, the parent who dealt with meltdowns that seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve been worried about my son, embarrassed by him, angry with him, sad for him and joyful at what others might see as minor accomplishments. I’ve been able to learn to enjoy my life with him, but it’s been a long, crazy trip, and I didn’t have anyone I could go to for support and guidance. I’ve felt alone and misunderstood and crazy for thinking that my son is different from other kids. I’ve felt out of options, out of energy, out of ideas and out of patience – and still do, some of the time. But I also adore my quirky kid – I enjoy his sense of humor, his musicality, his intensity, his love of animals and his good hearted intentions. He is awesome, and we have come to a pattern of life that works pretty well for the whole family.
So what it boils down to is that I do what I do because I think it’s incredibly important, and truly fun and fulfilling for me. I hope I get to keep doing this work for the rest of my life!
Anything else you want folks to know about you?
Well, I’ve co-authored many articles on giftedness, homeschooling and counseling in a variety of print and online venues. I’ve also co-authored a book, Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child. I speak at conferences about giftedness, twice-exceptionality, homeschooling and counseling, and I occasionally give talks locally to groups of parents, educators or other providers. I’m the Director of the Professionals Division of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and I have a lot of other interesting projects I’m working on….when I’m not crocheting. There’s more detail on my LinkedIn page for those who are interested.