Addressing The Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted

When I was hired in to work in a high school, it is was left up to me what I wanted to do in that High School. The first couple of weeks I was standing outside by office during passing time.  Soon, kids wanted to know who I was and what did.  I talked with my colleagues in the middle school and elementary schools and we came up with an option.  In the middle school and high school we would schedule group meetings.  We spent time setting the groups up.  We knew we needed teachers’ buy in.  So we said we would not hit the same hour each week with the same groups and if their challenges for the individual student, we would leave it up to the teacher. I shared with the counselors a clerical aid.  I had her issue passes each day for the sessions. I started with one group because they asked me to do so.  I found other groups I had by I asking kids I had met and had them find like minds to join us.  We were learning.  
Over time,  I developed with these kids a trust that I continued to expand because I told them that what happened in that room, stayed in that room.  Because a lot of these kids had an intensity that played out in their interactions with their teachers and friends, I ended up being called in for consults with other counselors and me calling in counselors to deal with issues I was ill equipped to respond to.  But most often students would come in alone and unload an issue, and challenge, a frustration, seeking an answer from me.  I learned to listen and they trusted me talk with them.
Every gifted program needs to have a proactive counseling program in the middle and high school, a period of time when brain development is whacky and hormones are creating havoc in the lives on boys and girls.  They need a safe place.

Balancing learning loss against social and emotional harm | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Panorama Read Aloud Resource_English


Gifted Students The Role of Contagion in Suicisal Behavior Among Students with Gifts and Talents


How K12 is Outwitting Anxiety


The Trevor Project National Survey



The first resource addresses a methodology for addressing the SEL needs of students through literature.  Take a look.  It is available in other languages

Many gifted students are challenged by the intensities they experience in each of their worlds.  For some, a slight breath on their check is like a slap.  For others constant sense awareness is their gift, touching a soft piece a fabric.  All of my sons could not operate without the blanket, sock monkey or soft stuffed bear.  Successful gifted programs establish groups in middle and high school for ongoing SEL training through proactive counseling groups.  Those students find commonalities in their groups and find a safe harbor to explore their understandings of the world with others of like intellect.  All students need support for the Social Emotional Needs.  Counselors need professional development for counseling all students during this pandemic and the heightened anxiety fostered the murder of George Floyd.  




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