THE JOURNEY TO CREATING 2E MINDS
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the stories of bright minds such as Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo DaVinci, and Albert Einstein. One thing they all had in common was their natural tendency toward self-actualization. They reached higher. They were not afraid of exploring their talents and pursuing a life of purpose. They were disciplined about envisioning and embodying their highest potential.
Let me tell you a little bit about the vision of my highest potential. I intend to make a real impact in the lives of gifted/twice-exceptional (2e) and highly sensitive children. I seek to inspire neurodiverse children to embark on a journey of self-actualization so they can cultivate a life of meaning, purpose, and creativity.
I help uniquely gifted, 2e, and highly sensitive children identify their natural strengths, abilities, and talents while celebrating their unique brain wiring and learning differences. I encourage them to take ownership of their learning and social-emotional experiences and empower them to take action so they can live their best lives.
My ultimate goal is to help thousands of neurodiverse children embrace their uncommon abilities, unleash and embody their highest potential, and help us accelerate humanity’s evolution.
For over a decade, I’ve been developing effective strategies to support the unique needs of children and adolescents with all kinds of learning, processing, and emotional challenges. I know what these challenges can do to your self-esteem, attitude, and mindset because I’ve struggled with my own. I have a laundry list of processing differences, including mild dyslexia, severe dyscalculia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), auditory processing difficulties, slow processing speed, sensory processing sensitivities…you get the idea!
While I’m aware of my weaknesses, I’ve designed my life in a way that capitalizes on my strengths. I use the same approach with the children and families I work with.
Throughout my career, I’ve adopted a view of learning disabilities that is different from the norm. I see them as different abilities. Having a significant weakness that affects many areas of your life can also help you discover and develop new abilities. It can invite you to reach higher and expand beyond your limits. Overcoming them can also provide you with a unique opportunity to become more resilient and develop a growth mindset.
Without the proper guidance and support, this can be extremely troublesome and frustrating for twice-exceptional and highly sensitive children.
DISCOVERING MY STRENGTHS
My experience with gifted children began with my little brother. His learning experiences highly influenced my decision to specialize in giftedness. When he entered middle school, he began struggling academically and I worried he was not living up to his potential. After exploring his setbacks together, we problem solved and created a strategic plan to approach his difficulties. Over time, he was able to overcome these challenges and, today, he is a successful and thriving young adult, currently studying mechanical engineering.
As I was providing guidance to my brother, I reached an important realization about my innate strengths in guiding children as they work through learning and social-emotional roadblocks.
I enjoyed this process so much that, a few years later, I obtained my Master of Science in Counseling and Human Systems and my Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology. Since then, I’ve attended countless conferences, workshops, and training programs to further develop my skills to work with the gifted/neurodiverse population.
After attending my first Confratute, which is a summer institute offered by the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program at the University of Connecticut, the urge to create a real impact in the lives of gifted children was incredibly overwhelming. Little did I know, this experience had planted a seed for what today I know as 2e Minds.
That’s my little brother pondering the meaning of life, or maybe just talking to his finger!
Other highlights of my professional life have been working for a middle school designed to meet the unique needs of high-achieving and gifted students, being a school administrator in a Micro School for 2e children, and working for Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP). Each of these experiences has touched me deeply and shaped my understanding of what it means to be gifted. I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredibly compassionate, young minds with huge hearts and amazing potential.
These bright minds and their stories have inspired me to fight and advocate for the unique needs of gifted and neurodiverse children.
I have the feeling that your ultimate goal for your child may be the same goal I have for my gifted brother. We want to see them thriving and living a happy life. But for many families of twice-exceptional children, this goal may seem way out of reach. As the parent of a 2e or highly sensitive child, you may be just trying to survive. You may have already given up on public (or even private) education. You may be wondering if you will ever be able to provide the appropriate support for your child.
This is what motivated me to create 2e Minds. Whether your 2e child is home-schooled or attends public or private school, my job is to support you and your child in maximizing their strengths, addressing their learning and social-emotional differences, and guiding them through their self-actualization process so they can contribute their unique gifts to society and help us create a better world.
We are facing extremely urgent global issues today. The world needs these bright minds with deeply sensitive hearts to step in and help us create real solutions to these very complex problems. It is in our hands to provide these 2e minds with the tools to create the world they deserve.