You Are Not Alone!
Join hosts Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 32 with Sophia Elliott
In episode 32, Chris and Emma talked with Sophia Elliott, parent, advocate, and host of the Our Gifted Kids podcast. We covered a wide range of topics in this conversation, from learning about Dąbrowski’s theory, neurodiversity, and giftedness to education, policy, and parenting challenges. We also covered storytelling, podcasting, and the value of sharing our personal experiences.
Sophia talked about the beauty of positive disintegration as an alternative framework. She described the overexcitabilities as a “gateway drug” that draws people in and said that it’s meaningful to go deeper into the theory as a way of understanding ourselves from a non-pathologizing perspective. We talked about Dąbrowski as a forerunner of the neurodiversity movement and his theory as intuitive and forward-thinking. As we have seen clearly in recent years, anxiety and depression are often natural reactions to the world we live in.
We discussed giftedness as a neurodivergent way of being in its own right and that its impact goes far beyond the educational setting. Although education is the field that has taken it most seriously, Sophia reminded us of the need to study giftedness in other fields, such as psychology and medicine. For instance, general practitioners, pediatricians, and other doctors need a basic understanding of the reality of this experience.
There are real challenges to giftedness as well as overexcitability. We discuss how Dąbrowski’s views are more aligned with how neurodiversity “ought to be” today—to recognize that all neurodivergent people are whole people and that everyone has strengths and challenges in their lives.
We addressed the need for community and finding other people who get it. As podcasters, we know that it’s critical to be brave enough to question and share, and we want to encourage others to do the same. The message that came through loud and clear is that we do have an international community, and we support each other. You are not alone!
Links from this episode
Our Gifted Kids (website)
Why You Need Dabrowski (Chris and Emma’s episode on Our Gifted Kids pod)
NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman
Gifted Research & Outreach (GRO)
Emma’s videos about OE and their challenges
Jen Merrill’s book, If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?
Jen’s blog Laughing at Chaos
Check out #gtchat on Twitter (shout out to Lisa Conrad, the #gtchat moderator)
GTN Awareness Week with Marc Smolowitz
Social links and other info:
Join the Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook
Join Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook
Please, consider supporting the podcast. Positive Disintegration is brought to you by the Dabrowski Center.
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