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In this time of school closures and social distancing, some leading social-emotional learning experts are temporarily making their webinars free, even though they’re small business owners.
If you’ve started to figure out a “new normal” routine, and can spare a little time here and there, I encourage you to soak in these individuals’ wisdom.
It can help immensely when trying to understand:
- cognitively “gifted” kids
- autistic children
- children with an anxiety disorder
- kids who are twice exceptional (which can be particularly difficult to determine because their weaknesses often mask their strengths, or vice versa)
Here are two excellent businesses dedicated to teaching us more about social-emotional issues related to these complex kiddos.
I first became familiar with Summit Center through my Bright and Quirky membership. Dr. Dan Peters, licensed psychologist and Summit Center co-founder, often offers online Q&As to Bright and Quirky members, along with Susan Baum of Bridges Academy. Summit Center has a great team of psychologists, consultants and educators, who use a collaborative, strengths-based approach with clients. They believe that a better understanding “the why” of a person’s behavior can provide relief to parents, teachers and the individual – and that it’s often the first key step toward maximizing potential.
Here are some topics on Summit Center’s vimeo channel:
- Taming the Worry Monster with Dr. Dan Peters describes a model for overcoming anxiety by understanding how the “Worry Monster” tricks children – and adults – into being scared. (This talk by “Dr. Dan” covers some material that he addresses in his Worry Monster book and workbook series for kids and adults.)
- In Living with Intensity, Dr. Susan Daniels demystifies the five types of overexcitabilities that Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski identified in the 1960s when studying children with higher-than-average intellect. (He realized all of them had unusually high levels of intensity when it came to their interests and other aspects of everyday life.)
- Math Difficulties: Reasons and Remedies, with Dr. Nancy Knop, addresses four issues that can impact a child’s ability to do well in math, even if he or she is very bright (developmental dyscalculia, perception and processing issues, foundation gaps, and math anxiety)
- Supporting Smart Girls, with Dr. Lisa White, explains the expectations bright girls face, the difficulties they can have fitting in at school and with peers (and maladaptive ways some of them deal with it), portrayals in the media, and what parents and schools can do to help
- Time Management with Deanna Kim, M.Ed. Executive function skills are a struggle for many types of differently wired kids. This webinar explains the complexity of time management and the associated brain skills that it requires.
- Several other topics related to differently-wired kids
Summit Center tells me they’ll offer free access to these videos until May 1, 2020. Here’s the promo code: FREEFROMSC
If you’ve read my Building Social Smarts story, you know what a fan I am of Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP, and her Social Thinking Methodology.
Michelle and her team have created a Free Stuff to Use at Home and School page on their website. It contains: articles, video lessons, read-aloud books and thinksheets.
As someone whose son struggled for years in unstructured social situations (even after being part of a school counselor’s Friendship Group), I highly recommend checking out these Social Thinking freebies. Children like this are in every community, school and sports league. They want to be accepted; however, the nuances of “the social world” that come fairly easily to most kids, are completely foreign to them because of how differently they perceive situations and other “input” around them.
For more aspects of social-emotional learning, visit my Social Smarts and Self-Esteem board. (If you’re a school counselor, I also have a School Counseling board.)