News Item Details

Exceptional in Two Ways: Understanding & Supporting Gifted Students Who Have Learning Needs

Posted: 12/18/2017

The Summit Educational Service Center (ESC) will host a twice exceptional conference on March 10, 2018, for parents and educators looking to better understand and support gifted students with disabilities. The conference, titled Exceptional in Two Ways: Understanding, Supporting & Connecting Gifted Students Who Have Learning Needs, is set to be an exciting opportunity in professional development that will provide both education and awareness about the needs of students identified as gifted, who exhibit deficits in other areas. 

The conference will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Summit ESC, located at 420 Washington Ave. in Cuyahoga Falls. The cost to attend is $35 and includes lunch. Educators can receive six contact hours for attending.

This informative event will include several industry-leading speakers, including keynote speaker Carol Sparber, Ph.D., Kent State University’s gifted project coordinator and instructor; Tracy Mail, State Support Team, Region 8 (SST-8) consultant; Shawn Jividen, Summit ESC consultant; Carrie Spangler, Au.D., Summit ESC audiologist; Karen Rumley, Kent City School District’s director of instructional program; Patricia Farrenkopf, Ed.D, Ashland University’s adjunct professor; and more.

“We are very much looking forward to the upcoming conference, which we hope will deliver much-needed information to all of the attendees and promote awareness,” said Kristin Fazio, Summit ESC’s director of student services. “Twice exceptional students need to be supported in various ways—educationally, emotionally and socially—and the event is set to open key dialogue about these issues that need to be at the forefront of gifted students’ education.”

Moreover, the event will speak to the ESC’s motivations to provide school districts with the resources and services to help all students learn. Attendees will be able to not only better understand how the ESC meets the goals of Twice Exceptional students, but they will also gain the knowledge of how to advocate for gifted students and to teach self-advocacy, as well.

According to ESC Superintendent Joe Iacano, the conference plans to delve into topics such as executive functioning, standards of gifted operating, identity development and social/emotional support.

“Twice Exceptional children need support that incorporates many factors, and we hope the event will give parents and educators the chance to gather experiential knowledge from the speakers that can lead to better overall support and care,” said Iacano. “We encourage anyone who is interested to attend.”

By definition, Twice Exceptional refers to students that are identified in one or more areas of giftedness, and who additionally give evidence of one or more federal or state-defined disabilities, such as speech and language disorders, emotional/behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, autism spectrum, or other learning or health impairments, such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

“Connecting people who work for the education and well-being of twice exceptional students is so important,” said Fazio. “We anticipate this conference to be a rewarding and enlightening experience for everyone involved - in terms of networking, furthering knowledge and skill-building.”

For additional information, please contact Brenda Palinkas, the secretary of student services, at 330-945-5600 ext. 511234.

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