Beyond IQ

Last updated: 6/28/02

Beyond IQ: None of These Children is Quite Like the Others

Chicago, IL - June 28 - 30, 2002

Adult Weekend Program

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This page describes the Saturday and Sunday adult sessions. See these links for information on the weekend children's programming and young adult programming.

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Salon 4

Josh Shaine

1st Time Attendees

Michelle Kane

But I Want To Do Everything!
Career Dilemmas of High Ability Students

Salon 5

Kathleen Kustuch

So You Think You Want To Homeschool?

Mike Robison

There is no trivial mathematics, only trivial assignments

Salon 6

Carolyn Kottmeyer

Internet Resources for Highly and Profoundly Gifted Children!

Kara Sheehan

Cuckoo Eggs in the Family Nest:  Working with our beliefs and emotional responses




Salon 4

Lisa Rainen

Keynote: Self And The System

Lisa Rainen

Where Do I Fit in All This?  Finding social connections for highly gifted children

Salon 5

Josh Shaine

Non-linear Thinkers in a Linear World

Salon 6

Wenda Sheard

Game Theory for Fun

11:40 to 1:10



On your own




Salon 4

Ellen Fiedler

Evolutionary Children:  The Need to Respond

Betty Meckstroth

Social and Personal Efficacy

Salon 5

Wenda Sheard

Brain Research and Intelligence

Maddi Wallach

Connection Theory, Radiant, Whole-Brain, Global Thinking in Schools

Salon 6

Joan Smutny

Supporting Highly Gifted Girls (K-5): Identification and Intervention

Anna Caveney

Underachievement: Understanding Motivational Paralysis




Salon 4

June Mack

Imagination as Communication Device in Higher Order

Thinking Processes

Mary Anna Thornton and Marilyn Wallace

Tips for Choosing School Situations for HG/PG Children

Salon 5

Kathleen Kustuch

Homeschooling: Practical Information, Open Discussion, and Questioning an Expert

Nathan Levy

Practical Ways to Reach Highly Gifted Children in Class, School, and Out of School

Salon 6

Michael Rios and Sarah Taub

Being Different: How extreme giftedness changes the way we, as adults, perceive, believe, work, play, and love

Sue Jackson

A Conversation  with Sue Jackson


Joan Smutny

Creative Activities, Materials, and Strategies for Serving Highly Gifted Young Children (K-4) in the Regular Classroom






Salon 4

Jill Howard

Academic Options Through College

Stephanie Tolan

Keynote: Eachness and Suchness:  The Paradox of Individuality

Salon 5

Stephanie Tolan

Let's Pretend -- Child's Play or The Centerpiece of Mind?

Salon 6

Michael Rios and Sarah Taub

Being Different:  Personal Explorations and Strategies for Highly Gifted Adults


Elizabeth Mika

Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration and the Gifted: Developmental and Clinical Considerations


Program Descriptions

Stephanie TolanEachness and Suchness: the Paradox of Individuality (Keynote Speech)

Every individual is unique (eachness) and yet every human is more like other humans than different from them (suchness). In a world of educational norms we have had to single out gifted students, to define the characteristics that set them apart, in order to meet their unusual needs. By doing this, we sometimes set up new and limiting "gifted norms." It is important for both adults and children to come to terms with the paradox that each child is both a unique individual and a member of a larger unity.

Stephanie TolanLet's Pretend -- Child's Play or The Centerpiece of Mind? (Breakout Session)

Young children naturally fill their lives with fantasy. In the educational world imagination and pretending are considered at best minor aspects of consciousness that are best outgrown so that adults can focus on the weighty issues of reality. But pretending is among the most powerful capacities of the human mind, combining imagination with emotion and individual action, literally capable of creating new versions of reality. This session will deal with the importance of supporting and developing the child's ability to both imagine and pretend.

Stephanie Tolan is a playwright, novelist, and well-known advocate for extremely bright children. She co-authored the award-winning nonfiction book, Guiding the Gifted Child, and has written many articles about the challenges gifted "asynchronous" children and adults face as they find a way to fit into their world. She lectures throughout the country to audiences of parents, educators and counselors attempting to find ways to meet the children's needs. Her experiences with these "amazing, off-the-charts" young people inspired the themes of Welcome to the Ark. The first volume of a projected trilogy, Welcome to the Ark is a powerful novel about four brilliant young misfits in a world teetering on destruction. Ark is followed by Flight of the Raven, now available from HarperCollins.

Lisa RainenSelf And The System (Keynote Speech)

Lisa RainenWhere do I fit in all of this? Finding social connections for highly gifted children (Breakout Session)

The lack of fit between the highly gifted student and lock-stepped school programs is seen in more dimensions than just the intellectual. So often highly gifted students have a difficult time finding a social fit, particularly if they are kept with age-mates who are not ability peers. Explore the reasons behind this lack of social fit, and work together to develop specific strategies to find positive social situations and potentially close friendships for highly gifted children. Professionals and parents can gain ideas for interventions that help highly gifted students find their social fit. We will develop tools for advocacy, such as ways of refuting the common claim that accelerating students puts them at a social disadvantage.

Lisa Rainen entered the University of Washington through their Early Entrance program for gifted high school students, and earned a B.A. in English there. She went on to get a M.A.Ed in Gifted Education from the College of William and Mary. Lisa is now a first-year teacher in a 5th grade gifted and talented classroom in WausauWisconsin.

Ellen Fiedler, Ph.D. : Evolutionary Children:  The Need to Respond

Children with evolutionary viewpoints are being seen more often – children who are virtually redefining "reality" and may be the next wave of evolution. This presentation will discuss the aloneness that these "evolutionary children" experience and the precarious place they are in when caught in conflicts between their "knowing" and what others say is "truth." Evolutionary children need help from caring adults in learning how they can respond in light of their complex thoughts and feelings. Parents, teachers, and counselors can learn how to listen and respond to them in effective ways so that these children can deal with the dilemmas that arise as when they are in conflict with others and within themselves. This session emphasizes what can be done and the help needed to do it.

Ellen Fiedler is a Professor in the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Jill Howard: Academic Options Through College

Your child is three years old and writing algebraic equations in base two.

At five, your child is excited to begin kindergarten.  He comes home, bewildered by the teacher’s assurance that he will learn letters and numbers from 1 to 10 this year...

Change schools?  Home school?  Self-school?  Your child deserves a place where he can learn, and only you can find it for him.  Research by Karen Rogers, Miraca Gross, Deidre Lovecky, John Feldhusen and others suggest some possibilities.

Jill Howard has been a trial attorney for 20 years, and a child advocate attorney for 10.  She writes, “The most important part of my job as a child advocate attorney has always been to learn as much as I can about each child's particular needs, and what can be done to meet those needs.  About 10 yrs ago, I began developing an expertise in the area of profoundly gifted children.  I was Associate Editor of the newsletter of the Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children, and I have been presenting workshops on the needs of profoundly gifted children for the past eight years.”

Michelle Kane: But I Want To Do Everything! Career Dilemmas of High Ability Students

Making a career choice can be difficult for high ability students.  These difficulties may also be compounded when outstanding competencies in multiple areas vie for attention.  Balancing skills, values, interests and abilities are important during the selection process.  Join in a discussion of ways to navigate through these trouble spots along with strategies for career guidance throughout the life of the student.

Carolyn J. Kottmeyer: Internet Resources for Highly and Profoundly Gifted Children!

Highly gifted children are just like any other children -- some are writers, others readers, some excel in creative pursuits including art or music, others in math or science, or any other area you can name. Highly gifted children are hardly "all alike."

But the big difference between highly gifted children and any other children is that highly gifted children are more: more intense, more inquisitive, more interested in the depth and breadth of a subject, going beyond the everyday and ordinary. Most importantly, highly gifted children learn more quickly, and more deeply than other children. And this presents more challenge for their educators and parents. (For the Saturday session, reverse to parents and educators.)

Find out how the Internet can help you deal with these unique and wonderful children. Through the ever-growing resources of Hoagies' Gifted Education Page and Hoagies' Kids and Teens Page, discover new and exciting information on the intricate life of the highly gifted child.

Carolyn J. Kottmeyer: Raising and Educating the Profoundly Gifted Child – A Parent’s Perspective times 2

Profoundly gifted children are far outside the moderately gifted child that they are often difficult to spot. These children sometimes appear socially backwards, academically lazy, and generally un-gifted. Others appear as perfectly normal, moderately gifted children.

Come hear a parent's perspective on the profoundly gifted child (two of them!), complete with professional documentation and research studies from some of the biggest names in highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted children from the last 80 years.

Carolyn Kottmeyer is the webmistress of Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and parent of two distinctly different PG children.

Kathleen Kustusch: So You Think You Want To Homeschool?

Homeschooling is a very big adjustment! Can you do the job? The transition from public or private school to school at home can be emotionally challenging for both parents and students. This session will focus on three areas: 1) addressing the transitional academic needs of the student; 2) meeting the social-emotional needs of the student, which includes character development; and 3) clarifying the relationship between parent as teacher and child as student, and building bridges between them

Kathleen Kustusch: Homeschooling: Practical Information, Open Discussion, and Questioning an Expert?

This session will allow you to ask questions in an informal setting about anything related to homeschooling. This can range from curriculum suggestions to character development, from ”Physics to Friends” and everything in between. Come and Chat!

Kathleen Henneberry-Kustusch is the administrator of The Westbridge Academy, a correspondence school for academically accelerated home educated students. Kathleen is a trained social worker by profession and mother of five highly gifted children. She has homeschooled her children until they are ready for college and she has been a homeschool support group leader for almost twenty years. She is a consultant and speaker on many topics related to her experience.

June Mack: Imagination as Communication Device in Higher Order Thinking Processes

In this presentation I will address the use of imagination in receiving, interpreting and sending information. Exercises in visualization, auditory and kinesthetic imagination will be conducted as examples of skill sets which can be intentionally developed for the enhancement of creative internal/external dialogue. Current research on imaginary friends as tools, guides, and sources of information will be discussed.

Higher order thinking processes, such as complex creative problem solving, will be analyzed as applications for these communications. Consideration will be given to communication between parts of self, self and the problem, and self and others as components of higher order processing.

In addition to covering the above material, at this session I will introduce my current research project and allow for participants to sign up if they wish. As a communications researcher, I am currently collecting stories from children and parents describing encounters with imaginary friends. Those who have experienced this phenomenon are invited to be a part of this study.

June Mack has worked for 25 years as a teacher and researcher in the area of creativity theory and practice. For 20 years she has worked as a professional playwright, theater director, choreographer, composer, and filmmaker, with philosophy and physics as hobbies. Her films have garnered 18 international awards. Her graduate degrees include a Masters in Fine Arts in film production from Florida State University and a Masters in Education, with a concentration in the arts in education (creativity in children), from Harvard University. For 10 years June has been researching and presenting papers at professional and academic conferences on a constellation of topics, centering around cross-thinking in the arts and sciences and educational applications of these concepts.

Now on the faculty of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she is teaching in the areas of the psychology and philosophy of communication, specializing in internal/external dialogue. Currently she is researching the phenomenon of imaginary friends in highly gifted children.

Betty Meckstroth: Social and Personal Efficacy

Intrinsic abilities may contribute a small part of a person’s happiness and life satisfaction. We will scan the range of gifted people’s characteristics, sensitivities, and especially probe their psychological type influence of introversion and intuition. I will draw on ideas from Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership to help our children and ourselves become more effective. Our goal is to promote self-awareness, confidence, intelligent behaviors, satisfying social relationships and effective decision-making. Such life skills enable people to use their abilities and accomplish their hopes of success.

Since 1979 Elizabeth “Betty” Meckstroth, M.Ed., M.S.W. has worked in supportive cooperation with families of gifted children and related organization, co-authoring Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom and Guiding the Gifted Child; assessing children, speaking, consulting, counseling, facilitating parent discussion groups and writing numerous chapters and articles.


Elizabeth Mika: Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration and the gifted – developmental and clinical considerations

Do giftedness and overexcitabilities (OEs) go hand in hand? What are those OEs, anyway, and how good are they for you? What is Dabrowski’s model of development and mental health, and how it applies to the gifted? Can one grow through falling apart? How positive is positive disintegration? When do we pathologize exceptionality and when do we glamorize pathology? What’s asynchrony got to do with it? These and other issues related to Theory of Positive Disintegration will be explored during this session, based on the original writings of Kazimierz Dabrowski. Familiarity with the TPD concepts is helpful, but not necessary.

Elizabeth Mika, M.A., LCPC, decided to obtain her clinical psychology training after discovering K. Dabrowski’s writings a long time ago. She presently works as a tester and consultant to gifted children and their families in the Chicago area. Her other occupations have included mental health counseling, writing, translating, and mothering two gifted sons.

Michael Rios and Sarah Taub: Being Different: How extreme giftedness changes the way we, as adults, perceive, believe, work, play, and love

What happens when gifted children grow up? We will use small groups, and open discussion to explore the impact of overexcitabilities, school experiences, and other differences on EG/PG adults’ friendships, careers, and family relationships. The workshop will also address existing research, resources, and next steps for participants.

Michael Rios and Sarah Taub: Being Different: How Personal Explorations and Strategies for Highly Gifted Adults

This workshop provides an opportunity for discussion and personal exploration of the topics developed in the previous workshop. Through a mixture of small groups, large group discussion, and brainstorming we will create an interactive space for participants to think and talk about the impact of overexcitabilities and other differences on their own lives.

Michael Rios is the parent of profoundly gifted children, has published on giftedness, and has done extensive healing work with gifted adults.

Sarah Taub is a professor of linguistics at Gallaudet University and a recovering PG child. She also teaches martial arts and co-counseling techniques.

Mike Robison: There is no trivial mathematics, only trivial assignments

Starting with a couple of my experiences as a parent, I provide examples of how simple mathematical topics and ideas can be used as an opening to important ideas. There will be some observations on the implications for "acceleration" and "enrichment" of capable students, as well as ways to deal with frustratingly repetitive daily assignments.

Mike Robison is the father of two gifted children who are not always motivated students. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics Education at Michigan State University, with particular interest in highly capable mathematics students in relation to Mathematics reform. And finally, he is a secondary mathematics teacher with several years experience with gifted students in various contexts.

Josh Shaine: What to Look For at Your First Conference

This will include a brief presentation on terminology you are likely to hear during the weekend, which presentations are aimed at newcomers, and other introductory material. A good chunk of this period will be spent doing Q&A with the attendees.

Josh Shaine is Josh Shaine. Hey, someone had to be. He's also an accomplished teacher and chess player, and has been known to organize a conference or three.

Wenda Sheard: Brain Research and Intelligence

This presentation will discuss recent neurological research finding correlations between high levels of intelligence and certain aspects of brain anatomy, physiology, and function. The presentation will also address the legal, ethical, and educational implications of these findings.

Wenda Sheard: Game Theory for Fun (for Ages 9 through Adult)

Why is game theory, the science of interactive decision-making, a natural partner for hg/pg minds? How can game theory help us win in sports, politics, school, business, love, and war? What was John Nash’s (“A Beautiful Mind”) contribution to game theory? Come experience game theory in an interactive format.

Wenda Sheard is an attorney, Ph.D. candidate (A.B.D.), and mother of three hg/pg children. She has presented at gifted conferences, won awards for her gifted advocacy work, and published articles in the fields of gifted education and political science.

Kara Sheehan: Cuckoo Eggs in the Family Nest: Working with our beliefs and emotional responses

A theory on the formation of certain negative beliefs about ourselves, most often made in childhood, will be presented in the context of a spiritual philosophy. The analogy of the Cuckoo Egg offers a playful yet profound metaphor for understanding ourselves at a deep level and for improving communication with loved ones through humor and personal responsibility. Focus will be on increasing awareness of our beliefs and emotional habits in order to cope with intensities and find the healing path out of stuck and painful places. Seeing Life as our mirror and consciously creating the experiences we desire are the goals of this insight-oriented approach. Tools for increasing happiness and family bonding will be discussed.

Joan Smutny: Supporting Highly Gifted Girls (K-5): Identification and Intervention

Without proper identification, support, and guidance, highly gifted girls may be at risk of underachievement. This session will explore strategies for identifying highly gifted girls, nurturing their abilities, and helping them to overcome the causes of underachievement (e.g., low self-esteem, peer pressure, and gender bias.) The facilitator will present activity ideas, materials, and strategies that teachers can use to increase confidence and support the early growth and development of highly gifted girls. A notebook of materials will be included.

Joan Smutny: Creative Activities, Materials, and Strategies for Serving Highly Gifted Young Children (K-4) in the Regular Classroom

Highly gifted young children hunger for creative learning opportunities in the regular classroom. This session will present creative activities, materials and strategies most suited to the unique needs of highly gifted kindergarten through fourth-grade students. It will demonstrate how teachers can use the visual and performing arts and will also explore the appropriateness of such options as diversified learning centers, student-centered activities, clustering and individualized learning. A notebook of materials will be provided.

Joan Smutny is a nationally recognized author, educator, and advocate for gifted education. She has directed The Center for Gifted at National-Louis University since 1983, lectured at numerous national, regional, and local conferences on gifted education, and has authored more than ten books for parents and educators on gifted children and their educational needs.

Dr. Mary Anna Thornton and Marilyn Wallace: Tips for Choosing School Situations for HG/PG Children

Many different options will be covered. The presenters will give parents tips on how to best interact with teachers and other school officials. The last twenty minutes will be reserved for questions from the audience.

The presenters will share brochures and other information about their current schools with interested parents.

Marilyn Wallace is Head of School at Quest Academy, Chicago, IL. She holds an M.Ed. from National-Louis University in Educational Leadership, and a B.A. in Music, Elementary & Secondary Education from Principia College. Marilyn has 27 years experience in teaching and administration in public and independent schools, including extensive experience in gifted ed. She was awarded the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator award in 1994.

Mary Anna Thornton is Academic Dean at Conserve School, Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University, and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Dallas. Mary Anna has 12 years experience in teaching and administration in college programs for gifted students and in independent schools for gifted and talented students, preschool through 12th grade.

Marilyn and Mary Anna are both parents of gifted children.

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