212: Twice-Exceptionality & Asynchronous Development, with Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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Intelligence and learning and doing are different things. An individual can be highly intelligent and also struggle with getting things done or even with learning itself. When someone has both a high IQ and a learning disability, they’re referred to as twice-exceptional, or 2e. As you can imagine, this can be a struggle in school, as well as other aspects of life, because people tend to automatically think that an intelligent person is a highly capable person.   

I’m joined by 2e expert and counselor, Emily Kircher-Morris, to discuss the asynchronous development that leads to twice-exceptionality and how we can help 2e kids and teens self-advocate and create an environment for their success.

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My Guest

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a neurodivergent person, is dedicated to destigmatizing neurodiversity and supporting neurodivergent people of all ages. She started her career in education and is now in private practice near St. Louis, Missouri as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in supporting gifted, twice-exceptional, and neurodivergent kids and adults (and their families). Emily hosts The Neurodiversity Podcast, which explores the psychological, educational, and social needs of neurodivergent people. She is the author of two books related to the development of children and teens who are neurodivergent and cognitively gifted. “Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom” (Free Spirit Publishing, 2021) focuses on supporting 2e learners in the educational setting, and “Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted Kids” (Routledge, 2022) is a guide for parents navigating the world of twice-exceptionality.



 

Transcript

Emily Kircher-Morris 0:03

It's not that they can't figure it out or understand the concept. It just takes them a little bit longer. But then when you put them in this situation where they are failing, because they have these other things that are standing in their way, what are they learning about themselves? What are they learning about their ability to do math or their ability to stick with something that's difficult or feel motivated about learning? We are creating barriers that don't need to be there.

Penny Williams 0:29

Welcome to the beautifully complex podcast, where I share insights and strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your a typical kid. Let's get started. Welcome back to the beautifully complex podcast everyone. I'm excited to be joined today by Emily Kircher-Morris. And she hosts the neurodiversity podcast, which is also amazing. And we're going to talk about twice exceptionality, also known as to E, what is it? What does it mean? Could your kid be a twice exceptional kid? And we'll talk a little bit about advocacy and school for two kids as well, which can be really tough. So really excited to have this conversation with you. Emily, will you start by letting everyone know who you are and what you do?

Emily Kircher-Morris 1:27

Sure. So as you mentioned, I'm the host of the neurodiversity podcast. But beyond that, I am a clinical mental health counselor, and I specialize working with neurodivergent kids and their families. But prior to entering the practices, being a mental health counselor, I actually worked as an educator. And so I taught in schools I taught in elementary and middle school, both in the general education classroom and the gifted ed classroom, and I also worked as a school counselor. So those things kind of all inform my experiences and my work. And I'm also the parent to three neurodivergent kids.

Penny Williams 2:03

Full house.

Emily Kircher-Morris 2:04

Yes. Yes, it is.

Penny Williams 2:07

Let's talk first about what 2E is what is twice exceptionality.

Emily Kircher-Morris 2:12

Yeah, it's kind of a funky term and I think sometimes people misinterpret it or they think it's like a euphemism of some kind. But essentially, what twice exceptionality is, is the concept that somebody can have more than one area of exceptionality as far as their neurological wiring. And so typically, it's an educational term that really means somebody who is both cognitively gifted, and has another disability of some kind. So for example, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, like any other type of learning disability, any of those things, those can be layered on top of each other. And of course, you can also have kids who are multi exceptional. Yeah, but for whatever reason, the term that we've kind of settled on is twice exceptional or 2E.

Penny Williams 2:54

Yeah. I think many of our kids are multiple exceptionalities, we often end up with an alphabet soup, you know, my own son has ADHD, autism, anxiety. dysgraphia. You know, and gifted? Yeah. So it creates this real a synchronous individual, which can be really confusing to people who don't understand that.

Emily Kircher-Morris 3:18

Yes, you know, we talk a lot in gifted education. And in gifted psychology, we talk about asynchrony, because that really is kind of the crux of being gifted is this uneven development. But really, when you think about neuro divergence in general, we have a lot of those what we call spiky profiles, right? Like strengths and struggles, that some are very strong, some are very weak, and it's very kind of confusing to support kids, because their development is so unpredictable, sometimes it just doesn't follow that normal trajectory that we would expect, with neurotypical kids.

Penny Williams 3:54

Yeah. And I think it can be really confusing when you have a kid who maybe is ahead, say in intelligence, maybe verbally, and then they are really behind their age or grade level in say, executive functioning skills, like getting their homework turned in. And so when you don't know that a synchronicity is a thing, it feels like, that student just doesn't care, right, or is not properly motivated to do well.

Emily Kircher-Morris 4:26

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm twice exceptional. I was identified as a kid, but it was interesting, because that was at a time that we did not have that terminology. So I was identified as gifted when I was in second grade. And I started participating in the gifted ed program, but I was kind of a hot mess all over the place. And my teachers really didn't know what to do with me. So my mom went and had me assessed and I was diagnosed with ADHD at a time when we were really kind of just learning what ADHD looked like, at that time, kind of back in the early 90s. And I happened to be a girl who was diagnosed with ADHD back And that was just not very common. ADHD back then, really is kind of like where autism is today where we're really starting to understand it and know a lot more about it and what it looks like in different kids. And I would even say that if I were a child, today, autism would at least have been one of those diagnostic questions, because I recognize a lot of those trades in myself, especially when I was younger. But, you know, my teachers had literally no idea what to do with me, I had teachers who thought I shouldn't be allowed to participate in the gifted ed program. My grades were really poor. And I had a lot of anxiety surrounding all of it. Because I knew that when my teachers or my parents were frustrated with me, and was asking me, why aren't you doing this? It's supposed to be easy. I didn't know. I'm like, yes, it should be easy. I know, I can do these things. But I'm not doing these things. And I didn't have the vocabulary or the understanding of it. And neither did they. When I got my master's, actually, in gifted education, we didn't even have the term twice exceptional. Like we talked a little bit about kids who might be gifted and like, also have ADHD or something. But our awareness of it in the last couple of decades has just grown so much. But we still have so far to go.

Penny Williams 6:10

Yeah, we really do have so far ago, I think that so often, schools don't support both right sides of twice exceptionality, that was certainly true for us. And we had to choose a path. And even though the law says that you shouldn't have to do that, the reality was that our school system was not set up, to be able to accommodate both in the same student. And, you know, as you were talking, I was jotting down some notes, and I said, misunderstood equals anxiety, because I saw so much of that in my own kid. And I see it in the families that I work with, too, that kids just fall apart when people don't get it, right. Like when they are trying really hard, but they're being told that they're not trying, it creates a lot of anxiety, and a lot of other emotional dysregulation, and then they're not available to learn, right? Right now their cognitive abilities are shutting down because their emotional and survival brains are taking over. And, you know, it's just this really perfect storm almost Yeah, you know, of things going on there. And it's really hard to navigate as a parent, how do you help the school understand that someone can be, you know, advanced in one area average in another area and way below average, and yet another?

Emily Kircher-Morris 7:32

Yeah. And it's always amazing to me, I feel like a lot of times word is getting out to the teachers, especially teachers who are gifted at teachers, right, they are starting to understand twice exceptionality. I think special educators as well are starting to understand that you can have both, but there's this huge gap for general education, classroom, teachers, administrators, even counselors in the schools, or a lot of times, especially as you get to the high school level, there's not often gifted ed services as kids get older, they kind of rely on like AP classes and those types of things. But those teachers especially, are not prepared to accommodate and understand their typical suggestion is, well, they should take a different class, it's like, well, no, that's not an accommodation, right? That's preventing access. And so we want to make sure that kids are able to be both cognitively challenged in an appropriate academic setting, and be accommodated for what their struggles might be. But it is really hard, the school system is not set up for that. And the professionals who are in charge of making a lot of those decisions, don't have appropriate training or ways to make a lot of appropriate decisions about that.

Penny Williams 8:39

Yeah. It's so hard to because, you know, in our case, these were special education administrators who were saying, you can't have it both ways. You have to ignore one part of your kid and help the other part. Right and right. It's so disheartening. And I think it's the same for our kids. You know, my son in particular, he had to go the special ed route, because in our area, gifted education is a greater volume of work. There's always more work faster. And he does less work slower. Right? It especially with dysgraphia, his output was just so difficult. And so twice we tried to do gifted in elementary and middle and both times, his anxiety was off the charts, just completely crisis mode falling apart. But he just couldn't handle it because he wasn't given the opportunity to have those accommodations in those classes. Right. So I think parents really have to advocate for their gifted kids to have accommodations, like reduced work would have been great, right in those areas for Luke.

Emily Kircher-Morris 9:54

Yeah. Like how can you show it differently? And I think that's kind of you know, one of the things Is that I really mentioned. So I actually have also published a couple of books, one specifically for parents of twice exceptional kids, and another one for educators. But in the educator book I specifically talk about like, you need to really look at something and determine what is it that you're trying to assess? What is it that you want the child to learn in a particular lesson? Because here's just a really good example, I think there are a lot of kids who are neurodivergent, and twice exceptional, who are very bright, who struggle either with the fine motor skills of writing things down, or they have slower processing speed.

Those are two things that can affect something so many schools still use timed math tests. Yep, you have two minutes to answer a million math questions or whatever. And what I want to ask is, are you looking to see if they are learning their math facts and have math fluency? Or are you assessing their executive functioning skills in their process? And to me, because those are two separate things that you're assessing? Yeah, and you can't have it both ways. And so for our 2E kids, if they're struggling, it's not that they don't know the math, it's not that they can't figure it out or understand the concept. It just takes them a little bit longer. But then when you put them in the situation where they are failing, because they have these other things that are standing in their way, what are they learning about themselves? What are they learning about their ability to do math, or their ability to stick with something that's difficult or feel motivated about learning? We are creating barriers that don't need to be there.

Penny Williams 11:27

Yeah, we're not paying attention a lot of times to confidence in kids, you know, kids who feel confident and competent, are able to do so much better, and feel good about being at school, right? Yeah, so many of our kids don't even feel good about being at school. We had a lot of school refusal and avoidance for eight years, all the way through the end from fourth grade. And it was so difficult. And it was because he kept going in that building. And people kept telling him that he wasn't good enough. He wasn't measuring up. He wasn't trying hard enough, right. And so confidence is a big piece of educating in my mind, but we don't talk about it in IEP meetings. We don't talk about it in 504 meetings. We don't accommodate for helping kids feel like they're capable. I think it's such a missed opportunity.

Emily Kircher-Morris 12:23

Yeah, yeah. When I was growing up, actually, I was what they call the frequent flyer to the nurse. So So I was never able to refuse school like I could never, you know, my parents were never, I could never manage that. Somehow, I always tried. But I was always trying to avoid I was very avoidant of everything, because it was so stressful. And I actually remember in second grade, I would have to walk up this big huge flight of stairs to get up to the nurse's office in our school. And I remember on multiple times, like, as I would walk up this huge staircase, I would hold my breath. Because my hope was that if I held my breath, while I was walking up the stairs, and I got up to the nurse's office, when she used the thermometer to take my temperature, my temperature would be hotter. So I could go home from school. And I look back, and I'm like, I was so anxious. And I was so stressed, and I was having such a difficult time staying in that classroom and staying seated. And you know, really, I feel like there are two types of people who get into education. There are people who get into education, because they love children, and they love school, and they love learning, and they want to instill that in other children. And then there are other people who like I hated school, we need to change the system. Right? And that was me. Yeah, I was like, we need to do something different here. Because it was really hard.

Penny Williams 13:41

How do we help the schools to help our kids feel more confident and competent when they're two, we think it's really hard. Like, you know, my kid has graduated, he's moved on. He's a young adult. But I still think back to those times. And those conversations that I tried to have, that didn't ever really amount to a whole lot. For the most part, there were a few teachers who really sort of got it. And I think one thing that you mentioned already, too, is maybe key here is asking what is actually the learning goal here? What are we trying to determine through this assignment? Because so often it can be done different, right? But how do we help kids feel capable, when they have to go into the classroom when they can't go to the nurse and go home, which is reality? Right? That's reality, they have to go to school, unless you're homeschooling. And so you know, it feels like there's so many different aspects of that one is like helping the educators understand your kid, but also, how do you help your kid with that, as well?

Emily Kircher-Morris 14:47

Yeah. I think the biggest thing that we can do in this starts at home is listen to what our kids are saying. You know, and sometimes it's not even saying sometimes it's showing, right, but we have to help them have some self aware fairness. Because once they have self awareness about how they're feeling, that then gives them the tools that they need to self advocate. We cannot be there at school with our kids day in and day out. My daughter, Maggie is 12, almost 13. She's in seventh grade. She's gifted, she's super gifted, she's just creative and brilliant and artistic and all of these things. And she is significantly ADHD like it is. I mean, she's, she's really pretty disabled by it. I mean, I'm just gonna be really honest about it, you know, it's really hard for her, she thinks she hates math. And so what I tried to kind of help her understand is like, well, Maggie, you don't hate math, you just don't like the feeling that you get when you're trying to do math.

And it's frustrating. You know, you don't like the feeling that you get when you go into math class. And because you didn't get your homework done the day before, that shame that you feel by not because you don't have your math homework done, because you have to do it every single day. You don't like the way that it feels that you don't, it just doesn't automatically click Like everything else does, like you have to actually pay attention in the class. And, you know, but but the more I can kind of try to help her understand what's really going on there, the more that she can have that self awareness, you know, the better she's able to then understand herself and self advocate. Now, I'm not saying that that fixes it, because we have this conversation almost daily. Yeah. But I'm working to try to empower her and help her understand that she can get through that struggle, and be successful with it, you know, so that's what we can kind of do at home. But the other part of it is, we have to be able to find some people at the school who will help us you know, and I think that there's usually at least one, one that you can find who gets your kid who understands who's willing to go to bat with you. But I think it is always fighting an uphill battle. And I have found in my own experience, it is so much easier for me to go in and advocate and be a bulldog for someone else's kid.

When it comes to my own. It is so hard. Yeah. Because there's just a lot going on there emotionally. And I don't know, there's just a lot, a lot to try to go through with that. There's a lot of emotion. Yeah, you know, but I think it's unfortunate, that change has to come from outside the system. But that often is where it is. Yeah, I have sat in a 504 meeting. This was not that long ago, for a high school student, who was you know, it was gifted an ADHD and also probably autistic, but didn't ever have that official diagnosis. But she was extremely anxious, but also a perfectionist, because she was a rule follower. But she was really struggling to get all of her homework done. So she was like getting home on a Friday evening, and literally spending almost all weekend working on homework. And she really needed some extended time on some things, not everything, just some things, not even tests, but just some homework and some assignments, so that she could relieve some of the pressure that she's feeling. Because the way it was finally manifesting was she was getting so anxious that she was having suicidal ideation. And she was starting to self injure. And this was obviously a major concern.

So we went to the school. And we're asking for a 504. And the administrator, and the school counselor of that school sat in this meeting, and tried to tell me that she doesn't qualify for a 504 because her grades are she's getting all A's. And I'm like, that's literally not how that works. And so I pulled up the law, and I was like, there are some stipulations within an IEP that are reliant on a student's performance, specifically like what their grades are, but not for 504. So don't let anybody tell you that it's about how that is impacting that particular individual. And even if they're masking at school, even if it's not showing up, that doesn't mean that it's not having a substantial or significant impact on their daily functioning. And so, you know, we were finally able to get it but I'm going how does this person have an administration degree, and not know this? Because they don't have to. And luckily, this particular parent had the knowledge and the means to seek out somebody who would help them advocate so I was in this meeting, but most parents don't know just don't know, I want to add one thing. I do believe that all educators really do have the best interest of kids at heart. Absolutely. You know, I think sometimes parents feel like, well, this educator doesn't like my kid or doesn't doesn't like it or just wants to be em like I don't I don't believe that necessarily. I just think that they're just like we would say with our kids. They're doing the best they can. Yeah, well in there. They have some lagging skills. Right to build in, they might not have the knowledge. But gosh, that's a lot to ask for parents to try to fill that in for them.

Penny Williams 19:41

Yeah, it really is. You know, it was really striking to me when I learned that even to get a degree to become a teacher to be fully qualified to be teaching in public schools. You do not have to learn anything about learning disabilities, ADHD, autism. them, none of it. And when you understand that, then it's a whole lot easier to put yourself in that teacher's shoes, and recognize that they're doing the best they can with the information that they have in that moment. And a lot of times, they just don't know. But they also get overwhelmed. They also are overworked, that you know, and we have to as compassionate human beings, we have to take that into account. But we also have to advocate for our kids. And sometimes those two things really caused a lot of friction for us, right? We don't want to hurt feelings, we don't want to be confrontational. But we also really need our kid to be set up for success. And that can be really challenging. I think anytime you can have someone else in a meeting with you, even if it's just a friend who doesn't know anything, can be so valuable just to kind of make you feel a little more empowered, because you do typically walk into a room with a whole lot of school people. And then you like, it was always up to me, my husband was an hourly employee, he had, you know, scheduled things, and he almost never could be available for school meetings.

And so that was me, and it felt so lonely. And like the deck was stacked against me a lot of times, and I learned a lot of different strategies to help with that. But just even bringing anybody, any body that can like sit next to you on your side, can really feel more empowering emotionally. And I want to talk a little bit too about, you know, you mentioned the ally. And that was something for us that I learned really early on, I had to find someone in the school building, who got it, who not only could my kid go to, but I could go to. And fortunately, we had a great ally in high school, who I probably call it on way too much because she was an administrator. But like, every time I wasn't being heard, that was my person, and she was happy to be that person for us. And I truly think my kid probably wouldn't have graduated high school if he hadn't had somebody in that building, who got it. And there were others at different times, too. But she was kind of that constant, all four years. But I want to talk to you about the self advocacy piece, I think that our kids are afraid to speak up and you were talking about the some in the student example that you gave, they're afraid of getting in trouble, they're already called out enough for being off task or not turning in their work, or whatever it is. And they don't want to stir the pot anymore. But it's always more valuable, I think, when it's coming from them than when it's coming from a parent, especially in the teen years. So how do we really build those self advocacy skills and help our kids know that it's okay, that they won't get in trouble? And I'm already thinking of sort of a strategy. But I want to hear what you Yeah, your thoughts first?

Emily Kircher-Morris 22:58

Well, you know, it's interesting when I wrote the book for parenting for parents, a handbook for parents of what am I calling it? Raise it, I do know the title of my own book, but hang on, give me a second, raising twice exceptional children, a handbook for parents of neurodivergent gifted kids, and one of the sections in there. It's like a parent toolkit. But like, what what do you need to teach your kids? What are the five skills that all kids who are neurodivergent really need. And as I was going through, I knew I wanted to include self advocacy. And at first I kind of as I was outlining it, I had, it actually is like the last section of that the last chapter of that part, and I moved it up. And I put it as number one, because it really is the foundational piece, our kids have to be able to self advocate. So a few things that stand in the way of self advocacy, like maybe that's a good place to start. Sometimes it's a fear of vulnerability, right? It's really hard to admit that you need help, especially if you have a kid who's really bright, even if they're not, you know, identified as gifted, whatever, but that is really hard for them. Sometimes it's the language piece, like I just don't have the words to say it or to explain exactly what's going on.

So sometimes we have to give some explicit instruction on exactly how do you communicate this. Sometimes it's just not knowing, like when or how to advocate like, you can't just stop in the middle of class and say something and then expect the teacher to then respond to that, like you have to have some appropriate time in place to know how to do that. We have to realize also that self advocacy doesn't have to look like you know, standing up and verbalizing something in a really strong tone of voice. It could be sending an email, it could be writing a note there are a lot of different things that that could look like. But then kind of going back to what we were saying earlier about what we have to do at home is we have to allow our kids to self advocate at home. We have to let them know that when they self advocate they're going to be heard. Because if they're not if we dismiss that and let me tell you, sometimes I feel like a huge hypocrite because I say things and I am not perfect. I do not do these things all of the time. You know, don't feel like if you're like oh Oh, I don't do that, that I must be a bad parent, trust me. If that was the bar, none of us would pass.

Yep. But really, you know, we have to, like, let down our own neurodivergent stuff, we have to be aware of how we are responding to kids, we have to help them and even just know like, for me, I know that if somebody interrupts me when I'm trying to do something, and they're trying to self advocate, that's a terrible time. So I try to teach my kids I'm like, I want to listen to you, I try to check myself on it as well and try to stop what I'm doing. But also, I'm like, here are some good times, like every person has a different pattern for what works for them. So how do we, you know, find that time that's going to be you that's gonna get you what you want and what you need. And I think that that's, you know, a huge part of it. Two other quick things that I'll mention about this. The first is that we can help our kids self advocate, we can scaffold that we can build it with them, we can start small, like, Okay, we're gonna write this email together, or we're gonna go in and talk to your teacher together. And you know, you're gonna be there with me, you're part of this process. And then the other part of this, oh, no, I'm gonna forget what I was gonna say. I said, I was gonna say two things. There's the ADHD come, and I don't remember, it'll come back to me. Okay. Anyway, what was the thing that you were mentioning?

Penny Williams 26:14

Yeah. So the thing that came to mind for me, and this is something I learned to do with my own kid, is to have conversations with teachers ahead of time. Yeah, you know, he had a real fear that he was being disrespectful, if he questioned the way something needed to be done, right. So self advocating for him, was really hard, because he had a fear that he would be seen as being disrespectful, and then he would be in trouble, right. But also, he's just such a kind kid, it was, I think more even about that than getting into trouble. He just really was very compassionate. And so you know, we had to have conversations with teachers at the beginning of the year, sometimes Luke might need to have a conversation with you to ask to do something, a different way to ask for help. And he wants you to know that he's not disrespecting you, right. And we're having this conversation together is not just me and the teacher or he's there, he's, but I'm helping him facilitate it. Because he wouldn't want to have that conversation either, right? Like, he was afraid of hurting someone else's feelings always. And so we learned to like find that ally, at meet the teacher the night before school started, right? Or find times to have a conversation with teachers ahead of time to lay out some of the things that caused anxiety for him. So that he felt the door was open to self advocate, which helped some I mean, it didn't erase that fear for him totally right, it's not going to, but being able to sort of set the stage and have the adults say to him, I'm totally open to this, I won't think you're disrespecting me, then allowed him to feel a little more comfortable with taking that role on for himself.

Emily Kircher-Morris 27:58

Yeah, I love that. And I think that's true. It's like there are so many things that can get in the way, I remembered the second thing that I was going to mention, which I knew would come back to me as you were, as you were talking. But part of the other thing that I think is really important for kids as they learn to self advocate is that self advocacy is not going to somebody and say, I don't get this, or I can't do this, or this is too hard or whatever. We need them to be problem solvers as much as possible. And so when they are self advocating, if they can lead in and say, Hey, I'm having a hard time with this particular thing, and then just offer a suggestion, an idea, a possible solution and help them know that that might not be the solution that works or that their teacher agrees to, but at least it puts them in the driver's seat a little bit to be trying to solve that problem on their own. So you know, I need a little bit of extra time to do this, or I need you to re explain this particular piece. Because ultimately, in the long run, anytime you're self advocating, if you're an adult, and you're in the workplace, or you're in a relationship, if you're going to self advocate, you have to have a solution in mind, like you have to have an idea of what's going to work. Otherwise you just kind of come across as complaining. Yeah. And that's not going to help you achieve your goals.

Penny Williams 29:13

Yeah, I think they need to be specific to you. Because I know that I often make this mistake, as most parents do. And I assume I know what's going on. I assume I know why it's a problem. I assume I know what's going to help them. They know themselves best. You know, if they're having a really hard time with, say an essay, they know what's tripping them up, and they can at least give you signals or clues as to what might help. But when we decide that we know what it is and what's going to help, we're often wrong. And so we're only making it worse. So I love that. You're having those conversations about being very specific about what you need. And, you know, I think all of us as human beings need to learn to do that a little more. to ask for help to be open about the fact that we're struggling with something is really valuable.

Emily Kircher-Morris 30:06

Yeah, one other quick thing that we can do along with that, when our kids are advocating to us is if they have an idea, even if we're like, that's a terrible idea, that's never going to work. Let them try it. Yeah. I mean, a lot of times, it's really low stakes. And rather than undermining their competence are going well. That's a terrible idea. And here's why. You could talk about to them about it and kind of explore it and say, Well, what do you think might work? What might get in the way, but also, you could just say, well, let's give it a shot, and just see. And then if they come to the conclusion on their own, that it didn't work, at least they knew that they were heard and that they had some power in that situation to try something. Yeah. And that, again, really builds their ability to then you know, self advocate in the future.

Penny Williams 30:44

Yeah. So I want to close by giving parents and educators who are listening, an action item, they have twice exceptional child or student, what is like the first thing that they can do to take action to help that kid.

Emily Kircher-Morris 30:59

I think the more that they can help their child understand themselves. Don't be afraid to label it. Don't be afraid to call it what it is. You're neurodivergent, you're gifted, you're autistic, you're ADHD, those are all beautiful things about you. And the more you know, that, that's who you are, and that you have so many opportunities ahead of you. Like none of those things are limiting or define you. But also, you don't need to try to fit into any other, you know, cookie cutter shape, like this is just who you are. I think that that is a really empowering message for kids to hear. And I know that it's something that I've seen students, I've seen clients, I've seen my own kids benefit from knowing those things. And I know it's something that I would have wanted to hear when I was a kid too.

Penny Williams 31:46

Yeah, just talking about it makes our kids feel seen and heard. And that goes such a long way. I love that. Well, I want to thank you, Emily for being here and sharing a little bit of your time and your wisdom. I know that it's been really valuable to the listeners who have someone who's twice exceptional in their life. Or maybe they're noticing now after hearing this, that they have someone who might be twice exceptional in their life and can understand a little more and, and help to empower that child or even adult. For everyone listening. I want you to go to the show notes to be able to connect more with Emily's podcast and website, and all that good stuff so you can learn more from her and the guests on her podcast as well. And those show notes are at parentingADHDandautism.com/212 for episode 212 and I will see everyone next time. Thanks again. Thanks for joining me on the beautifully complex podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses and parent coaching at parentingADHDandautism.com and at thebehaviorrevolution.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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