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Counseling the Gifted. General Needs Special Populations By Kristi Whitesell. Defining the Gifted. High General Intellectual Ability Academic Talent Creative & Productive Thinking Skills Leadership Visual & Performing Arts Exceptional Psychomotor Skills. Public Law 95-561.

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Counseling the Gifted


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    1. Counseling the Gifted General Needs Special Populations By Kristi Whitesell

    2. Defining the Gifted • High General Intellectual Ability • Academic Talent • Creative & Productive Thinking Skills • Leadership • Visual & Performing Arts • Exceptional Psychomotor Skills • Public Law 95-561

    3. “Giftedness is a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences” Dr. Annemarie Roeper (1982)

    4. Dabrowski Forms of Overexcitability • Psychomotor • Sensual • Intellectual • Imaginational • Emotional

    5. Psychomotor • Surplus of energy • Rapid speech/gestures • Nervous habits • Pressure for action • Competitive games and sports • Workaholism

    6. Sensual • Sensory pleasures • Desire for comfort • Aesthetic pleasures • Overeating • Buying sprees • Pleasure at being admired

    7. Intellectual • Probing questions • Problem solvers • Theoretical thinking • Passion areas • Avid reader • Metacognition

    8. Imaginational • Invention/Fantasy • Vivid imagery • Use of metaphor & images • Vivid recall of dreams • Mixing truth and fiction • Fears of the unknown • Tendency to dramatize

    9. Emotional • Intense feelings • Strong attachment to others • Somatic expressions (eg. blushing) • Timidity/shyness • Concern with death • Loneliness • Self-judgment, feelings of inferiority

    10. Why Counsel the Gifted? • Characteristics can be manifested in both POSITIVE and NEGATIVE ways. • Prevention • Academic guidance • Special populations

    11. Characteristics Positive and Negative Manifestations Counseling Issues

    12. Positive Innovative Self-starter Creative Negative Curious questions Digressions Dislike of group work Rebellious Morbid imagination Non-conformist Divergent Thinker

    13. Counseling Issues Divergent Thinker • Be honest about complexity of issues • Emphasize desire to understand • Help child build stronger sense of self • Help child learn to listen in a focused manner • Encourage a positive relationship

    14. Positive High energy level Emotional intensity Long periods of concentration Variety of interests Enjoys challenges Negative Hyperactive Easily bored Less need for sleep Difficulty com-pleting projects Anxiety/phobias Excitability

    15. Counseling Issues Excitability • Self regulation and self control • Maintaining comfortable level of arousal • Finding satisfaction with creative endeavors and intellectual pursuits

    16. Counseling Strategies Excitability • Use time to structure activities • Rewards in accomplishment/satisfaction • Relaxation strategies/sef talk/humor • Judge quality & completeness of tasks • Manage environment • Recognize cues for impending loss of control/ ways to alleviate feelings

    17. Positive Intense commitment to people and ideas Compassionate Empathic Involved in local/global causes Negative Personal pain & frustration Take on too much responsibility Feel responsible for everything/guilt Sensitivity

    18. Counseling Issues Sensitivity • Child needs to know: • s/he is not responsible for everything • why s/he gives in each instance • when it is not acceptable to give • how to receive as a gift to others • set boundaries for feelings • how to distance self physically/mentally

    19. Positive Grasps patterns Finds hidden meanings Seek & tell truth Negative Take negative comments to heart Honest with little regard to feelings Negative behavior towards others Perceptiveness

    20. Counseling Issues Perceptiveness • Learning when/how to trust own perceptiveness • How to be trusting, but not naive • Learn about differences of opinions • Learn to regard other’s feelings • Try “people watching” & role playing

    21. Preventive Counseling Needs and Benefits Goals of Developmental Counseling Interventions

    22. Needs and Benefits • Proper academic planning • Prevent development of behavioral disorders • Prevent underachievement • Prevent social/academic conflict • Affective needs of special populations • Career planning • Family impact

    23. Goals of Counseling for Gifted • Understanding of their strengths and weaknesses • Self-acceptance and recognition of their limitations • Commitment to nurturing their abilities • Development of internal locus of control • Acceptance of mistakes as learning experiences • Conflict resolution skills (Silverman, 1993)

    24. Goals of Counseling (cont.) • Problem-solving skills • Awareness, understanding, and acceptance of others • Communication skills • Ability to be assertive rather than aggressive • Interpersonal skills • Leadership and decision-making skills • Knowledge of stress reduction techniques • Ability to view themselves and events with humor (Silverman, 1993)

    25. Grouping with peers Restructuring systems Networking Group counseling/ discussions Bibliotherapy Moral exemplars Mentors Internships Peer counseling Family counseling Individual counseling Support groups Interventions

    26. Academic Counseling Academic Planning Individual Educational Plan Educational Alternatives Career Planning

    27. Academic Planning • Type and time of coursework • Mentorships • Internships • Test-taking skills • Decision-making skills • Study skills

    28. Individual Educational Plan • Annual goals and objectives • Benchmarks of progress • Relevant assessment data • Procedures and processes • Recommendations from staffing conferences

    29. Educational Alternatives • Special courses within school setting • AP courses • Grade skipping • College coursework • Talent search • Competitions • Gifted programs outside school setting

    30. Career Planning • Selecting an area of interest • Selecting a school/college that is best suited for individual and his/her interest • Selecting coursework for admission • Mentors/Internships

    31. Special Populations Culturally Diverse Gifted Handicapped Gifted Girls Gifted Learning Disabled At-Risk Gifted

    32. Culturally Diverse Counselors can • Help students search for and establish positive identity with own culture • Encourage questioning, introspective attitude toward self • Encourage full development of potential despite peer pressures • Discuss opportunities available during critical decision making. (Colangelo & Zaffran, 1979)

    33. Gifted Handicapped Counselors can • Help students understand their own attitudes/expectations towards handicapps and abilities • Involve family in information and program planning sessions • Work with all involved to provide a favorable school environment for growth of these students (Colangelo & Zaffrann, 1979)

    34. Gifted Girls Counselors can • Provide female role models • Encourage non-sexist activities in class and at home • Academic and career planning • Encourage independence and leadership • Counsel girls concerning conformity and individuality

    35. Gifted Learning Disabled Counselors can • Counsel the GLD and the family about special needs • Be an advocate for the “giftedness” of the child • Provide group counseling to allow children with similar needs to converse • Address self-perception and self-esteem • Provide positive role models

    36. At-Risk Gifted Includes: • Disadvantaged • Culturally Diverse • GLD and Handicapped • Girls • Underachievers • ADHD • Perfectionists

    37. General Strategies • Group and individual counseling • Goal setting • Peer and social relationships • Academic planning/Career planning • Mentoring/Internships • Bibliotherapy • Alternative education