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

Biography

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a twice-exceptional (2e) learner, is dedicated to supporting 2e children—including her own—in a way she wasn’t during her academic years. She has taught in gifted classrooms, has been a school counselor, and is now in private practice as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in helping gifted, twice-exceptional, and neurodivergent kids.

 

Emily is the author of several books related to the development of twice-exceptional learners. 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. She is also a co-author on the second edition of A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Gifted Unlimited, LLC, 2023).

Emily hosts The Neurodiversity Podcast, which explores parenting, counseling techniques, and best practices for enriching the lives of neurodivergent people. She is the founder of the St. Louis-based nonprofit Gifted Support Network. She speaks at statewide, national, and international conferences and frequently provides virtual and in-person professional development to educators worldwide. Many of her presentations and workshops can also be found at the Neurodiversity University online learning platform. Emily lives near St. Louis, Missouri.

Emily Kircher-Morris

Keynote: "A Little Weird is Good"

Embrace neurodiversity and lean into the weird! Neurodivergent people (like gifted and 2e kids) are a bit different, but these differences are what make the world a vibrant and thriving place. Rather than conforming, kids can live their authentic lives - through vulnerability, self-advocacy, risk-taking... and not being afraid of being a little weird.

Breakout 1: Helping Gifted Kids Manage 'All the Feels' 

Processing and managing emotions is hard for even the most level-headed of us. For gifted and twice-exceptional kids and teens, dealing with "all the feels" can be exhausting. The skills needed to develop emotional regulation can be developed over time with guidance and compassion from parents and educators. Emily will break down the 4-step process of emotional regulation so we can help our kids who are "a little bit extra" find healthy ways to manage their emotions.

Breakout 2: Parenting Playbook

If only raising gifted kids were as easy as everyone thinks! Parents of high-ability kids know that finding ways to coach their child to become an independent, confident, and successful young adult is harder than most people realize. This session focuses on helping parents find neurodiversity-affirming strategies to support their gifted sons and daughters. (Teachers welcome, too!)

Mark Talaga

Developing False Mastery: The Siren Song of Video Games

Many families struggle with the integration of gaming into their lives. While not all gifted kids are fixated on electronics, many find that the enticement of gaming seems to outweigh any other aspect of their development. Come hear from a former video game professional (and current gifted counselor) how to support your gifted child's development when they're stuck on gaming.

Kiyo Morse (and panel)

Meeting the Needs of the Gifted Child in the Classroom...The "Akaba" Model

The Akaba Model of gifted education will be presented including the why to use it and the how it works.

The Raymonds

Parent Perspectives: A Roundtable Discussion

Breakout Sessions

Michelle Gierman

Unleash the Magic of AI!

Unleash the magic of AI! Join me in exploring three transformative tools: Magic School, Curipod, and ChatGPT. Enhance teaching, planning, and engagement. Experience the power of personalized learning, real-time feedback, and immersive experiences. Let's make education enchanting! Participants are encouraged to bring a device for the workshop portion of the presentation.

Kelly Schultz and Nan Janecke

Teaching Executive Function Skills = Decreased Anxiety

Executive function deficits are a source of anxiety for gifted students. As learners encounter more challenging and time-consuming homework, the inability to initiate projects, organize, plan, prioritize or manage time jeopardizes emotional and academic well-being. Learn tips and techniques to help!

Valeria Jackson 
Equitable Gifted Identification in Detroit

The Detroit Public Schools Community District, Office of Exceptional Student Education, with support from the Javits grant, has implemented a protocol for equitably identifying 2nd - 5th grade students.  This protocol consists of four measures which, when integrated in a balanced manner, provide a wholistic view of a child's gifted potential and fit for gifted and talented instruction and programming.  The protocol includes an extended learner profile to help us also identify twice-exceptional learners.

 

Current research shows that while gifted children tend to share some characteristics, giftedness presents differently in each child.  Furthermore, there are cultural roots in the behaviors that many black and brown children manifest that members of the dominant culture often don't recognize for what they are—signs of creativity and giftedness.  By training teachers to interpret students' behaviors using Dr. Mary Frazier's TABs framework along with a careful analysis of nonverbal cognitive abilities scores, DPSCD teachers are developing an understanding of giftedness that is not tainted by social bias or skewed by opportunity gaps.

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