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Teaching The Gifted  The Skills  For Self-Advocacy. Dr. Agnes Meyo Cyrie Wilson Kelly Roth St. Louis Association for Gifted Education St. Louis, MO 314-780-3621. Outline 1.  What Do The Gifted Usually Want? 2.  What Are Three Steps to Self-Advocacy?

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teaching the gifted the skills for self advocacy

Teaching The Gifted The Skills For Self-Advocacy

Dr. Agnes Meyo

Cyrie Wilson

Kelly RothSt. Louis Association for Gifted EducationSt. Louis, MO314-780-3621

Outline1.  What Do The Gifted Usually Want?

2.  What Are Three Steps to Self-Advocacy?

3. What Are Some Strategies For Teaching              Self-Advocacy?

4.  Summary

5.  References

what do the gifted usually want
What Do The Gifted Usually Want?

SchoolMore:Technology        Higher level sharing        Options for demonstration of mastery        Meaningful instructional methods        Clarity of expectations for performance

Less:        Repetition of information


        Conformity to structure

        Group work

        Written proof of mastery

what do the gifted usually want1
What Do The Gifted Usually Want?

                    HomeMore:        Validation and approval of opinions        Meaningful discussion        Choices regarding activities        Natural consequences        Clarity of expectations for performanceLess:        Inconsistent limits and consequences        Negative statements and yelling        Rigidity of values and beliefs        Worry regarding future success

what are three steps to self advocacy
What Are Three Steps to                                            Self-Advocacy?

1.  Assess the Situation

2.  Speak up

3.  Kill Them with Kindness

what are three steps to self advocacy1
What Are Three Steps to Self-Advocacy?

1. Assess the Situation

  •         What is my request?
  •         Who is the audience?
  •         Where is the environment?
  •         What is my personality and learning style?
what are three steps to self advocacy2
What Are Three Steps to Self-Advocacy?

2.  Speak up“When you (___________), I feel __________.”                                     (their behavior)                        (my feelings)

“When I _________, then ___________, and I                      (their behavior)                  (results of behavior)feel________.”         (my feelings)

“Could we try this?”

what are three steps to self advocacy3
What Are Three Steps to Self-Advocacy?

3.  Kill them with Kindness            Use pleasant tone and body language.

            Ask their opinion.

            Express appreciation.

what are some strategies for teaching self advocacy
What Are Some Strategies                 For Teaching Self-Advocacy?
  • Goal -Setting
  •  Imagery
  • Self-Talk
what are some strategies for teaching self advocacy1
            What Are Some Strategies                     For Teaching Self-Advocacy?

Goal -Setting

Goal Setting Guidelines

           Goal Setting Exercise:  My Goals

           Goal Setting Exercises:  My Motivators 

what are some strategies for teaching self advocacy2
What Are Some Strategies             For Teaching Self-Advocacy?


   Imagery Guidelines

           Imagery Exercise

           Controlling Images

           Imagery Exercise

           Increase Self-Awareness

what are some strategies for teaching self advocacy3
     What Are Some Strategies                  For Teaching Self-Advocacy?


        Self-Talk Guidelines

        Self-Talk Exercise:

        Restructuring Negative Self-Talk 

                            into Positive Self-Talk

         Self-Talk Exercise:  

                        Developing Positive Affirmations

goal setting guidelines
Goal-Setting Guidelines

Identify methodstechniquespracticeAssign target datesshort-termlong-termInclude all typesprocessperformanceoutcome

Establish baselinefrequencyintensityTarget specific goalsmeasurabledifficult

Set rewardsmotivationconsistent

goal setting exercises my motivators
Goal Setting Exercises: My Motivators

        In my free time, I like to ...       







goal setting exercises my motivators1
Goal Setting Exercises:                                 My Motivators

I would enjoy....          On a daily basis:

           On a weekly basis:

          On a monthly basis:

imagery guidelines
Imagery Guidelines

1.  Imagery coupled with physical practice is superior to either alone.

2.  Internal and external perspectives of imagery are both beneficial, but an internal perspective produces greater neuromuscular activity.

3.  Individual differences exist in imagery ability but systematic imagery training has been shown to be effective in increasing visual and kinesthetic imagery.

imagery guidelines1
Imagery Guidelines

4.  Vivid images are most effective, and skills for increasing vividness can be developed.5.  High controllability of positive outcome images facilitates performance.  Low controllability results in decreased performance when outcome images are negative.

imagery exercise controlling images
Imagery Exercise:                                 Controlling Images

1.  Choose a particular situation where you have trouble advocating for yourself. 2.  Begin mentally practicing self-advocacy over and over.  See and feel yourself doing this from inside your body.  3.  If you make a mistake, stop the image and repeat it, attempting to perform perfectly every time. 

imagery exercise controlling images1
Imagery Exercise:                 Controlling Images

4.  Recreate past experiences in which you have not advocated for yourself well.  5.  Take careful notice of what you are doing wrong.  6.  Now imagine yourself advocating correctly.  7.  Focus on how your body feels as you go through different situations.

imagery exercise increasing self awareness
Imagery Exercise:                         Increasing Self-Awareness

1.  The purpose of this exercise is to help you to become more aware of things that bother you with your self-advocacy.  2.  Think about the times when suddenly the situation went from good to bad.  3.  Recreate several of these experiences in your mind.  4.  Try to pinpoint the specific factors that negatively influenced you. 

imagery exercise increasing self awareness1
Imagery Exercise:                 Increasing Self-Awareness

5.  After becoming aware of these factors, take several minutes to recreate the situations, develop appropriate strategies to deal with the negative factors, and imagine the situations again; but this time imagine yourself using better strategies to keep the negative factors from interfering.  6.  Reinforce yourself by feeling proud and confident that you were able to control the negative factors and advocate for yourself well.

self talk guidelines
Self-Talk Guidelines

1.  Use of self-talk involves:Identification of automatic self-statementsTechniques for controlling self-talkRestructuring negative self-talk into positive

2.  Positive vs. negative self-talk:While positive self-talk facilitates enhanced performance, negative self-talk may precipitate performance decrements due to increased distraction from the task and autonomic performance.

self talk guidelines1
Self-Talk Guidelines

3.  Types of negative self-talk/irrational beliefs:CatastrophizingWorth depends on achievementBlamingPolarized thinking4.  Techniques for controlling negative self-talk:Thought stoppingCounteringReframingAffirmations5. Anticipate Anticipate a lag time between verbalizing self-statements and feeling increased self-confidence.

restructuring negative self talk into positive self talk
Restructuring Negative                               Self-Talk into Positive Self-Talk

Negative Thoughts        I don’t deserve to get what I want

        I don’t want to let others down.

        I am always causing problems.

        I am always making mistakes.

        I am lazy and uncooperative.

        My ideas are stupid

restructuring negative self talk into positive self talk1
Restructuring Negative                     Self-Talk into Positive Self-Talk

Positive Thoughts

  •     I deserve to get what I want.
  •     I believe in myself and others believe in me.
  •     I am always generating better ways to do things.
  •     It’s okay to make a mistake.  I will learn from my                         mistakes.
  •     I am motivated and want to cooperate.
  •     My ideas are great, and I need to share them.
self talk exercise developing positive affirmations
Self-Talk Exercise                Developing Positive Affirmations
  •     "I will defeat my self-doubts and fears."
  •     "I am confident that I can do it."
  •     "I can think on my feet."
  •     "I can stand up for myself."
  •     "I have new ideas to share."
  •     "I can collaborate.."

1.  Self-advocacy is the key to success for the gifted2.  The gifted have definite ideas about how they perform best at home and school.3.  Self-advocacy involves assessing the situation and speaking up for yourself with kindness.4.  Strategies for teaching the gifted self-advocacy include goal-setting, imagery, and self-talk. 5.  The greater the self-advocacy, the greater the opportunity for the gifted to achieve success.


Baum, S. & Owen, S.  (2004).  To be gifted and learning disabled.  Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.Douglas, D.  (2001).  Four simple steps to self-advocacy.  In     NAGC, Parenting for high potential.Quart A.  (2006).  Hothouse kids:The dilemma of the gifted child.  New York NY: Penguin.Reiff, H.  (2007).  Self-advocacy Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities.  Port Chester: Dude Publishing.Schultz, R. And Delisle, J. (2007).  More than a test score: Teens talk about being gifted, talented, or otherwise extra-ordinary.  Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.Webb, J, Amend, E., Webb, N., Goerss, J., Beljan, P. & Olenchek, R.  (2005).  Misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses of gifted children and adults.  Scottsdale, AZ:  Great Potential.