Last month, I gave the opening keynote address on “2e 360: Lessons Learned From Working With 2e Youth, Raising 2e Kids, and Living 2e” at the annual SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) Conference in the San Francisco Bay Area. In my profession, this annual conference becomes a lifeline to parents the world round who are dealing with the particular challenges of raising gifted and 2e children.
Those of us who spend our days working in such specialized areas such as this can sometimes forget that likeminded individuals do not always surround parents and siblings living with a gifted or 2e child. More often than not, they are the lone rangers in a sea of so-called “normal” parents and families, navigating for that special child in their life from a sometimes very lonely space. This is why I always have such a great time at the SENG conference and become re-inspired towards the work I do.
At July’s conference it became very clear to me that parents of children with special needs always benefit from coming together, sharing their stories, and engaging in a community of peers who understand what they are going through. There is no reason any of us ever have to feel as if we are doing it alone.
Conferences such as these remind us as parents of gifted and 2e children:
- that there are safe places where our children can be themselves.
- that there are places where we can speak freely and without shame about our complex children.
- that we are not alone but are represented in communities the world over.
- that we can learn more about ourselves by understanding more about our children.
- that more and more people in the world are beginning to understand our children and their special needs because of the existence of conferences such as this.
I want to acknowledge and show gratitude to SENG for existing and for being such a consistent and stable force in advocating for, educating, and supporting 2e and gifted children worldwide.
I will leave you with a piece of writing I did about my own journey as a parent of a 2e child: http://summitcenter.us/a-parents-point-of-view-the-2e-journey-by-dr-dan-peters/