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    Illinois Association for Gifted Children

Parent Saturday Presentations


Keynote Address
9:00 a.m. - 9:50 A.M.

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, PhD

Center for Talent Development, 
Northwestern University

Parenting for Talent Development: The Importance of Cultivating Psychosocial Skills

What you believe about the nature of giftedness will influence how you view your child, their education, and your parenting. In this session I will present a view of giftedness that is based on current research and emphasizes that giftedness is best viewed as a developing quality that can be developed and nurtured. Parents role in talent development is vital and particularly their role in cultivating psychosocial skills that support high achievement such as resilience, a positive attitude towards challenge, and managing stress and anxiety.


9:50 A.M. - 10:20 A.M.

Eric Calvert, EdD

Local, state, and federal education policies shape public school priorities, curriculum, and opportunities available to each student. How can families who value advanced learning opportunities engage productively with school leaders and policy makers to help ensure schools provide appropriate curriculum and support to help bright students discover and develop their talents? This session will provide an overview of the political structure of public education in Illinois to help participants better understand how they can influence positive change. The session will also explore current local and state policy issues that impact gifted education and share strategies for advocating effectively on behalf of gifted and advanced children

Our plenary sessions will be followed by two sets of break-out sessions.  Choose one in each group to attend.

BreakOut Sessions I -  10:30 a.m. - 11:20 A.M.

The Accelerated Placement Act: What Parents Need to Know

Julie Luck-Jensen & Kris McElligatt  

The 2017 passage of the Illinois Accelerated Placement Act brought excitement as well as some confusion. Join us as we answer frequently asked questions regarding the law and discuss how parents can best use it in considering acceleration options for their children.

Role of Parent-Family Involvement for Gifted Students and Schools

Leodis Scott, Ed.D.

This session explores research into the role of parent-family involvement for gifted students and schools. The session considers strategic tools for parents, families, and communities in support of gifted children and the extent programs can be advocated by parents collaborating with principals and teachers in urban and suburban communities.

Chicago Gifted Community Center’s Ideas for Roaming Chicagoland with Your Gifted Child 

Linda Zanieski & Niamh Muir 

What do you do when the questions your 4-year-old asks require you to have a Ph.D. Astronomy? You go to the Dearborn Observatory on a Friday night, of course! This is just one example of the multitude of activities in the area that will appeal to your gifted child. We will share our favorite local venues and activities and give a new "gifted" slant on old favorites. All ages discussed. 

Neuropsychological Assessment of the Gifted Child

Josh Wolff

This presentation will cover the ‘nuts and bolts’ of neuropsychological assessment for gifted children, including what is tested, how the results can inform learning and growth for your child, and a review of psychological research on gifted children.

BreakOut Sessions II -  11:30 A.M. - 12:20 P.m.


Jessica Rohlfing Pryor 

While gifted children regularly experience success, these experiences may become yoked to increased pressure and expectations, internal or external, to continue to perform exceedingly well. Additionally, gifted students are not typically given adequate tools to navigate such pressure and the likelihood of setbacks, mistakes, or outright failure. In tandem, these factors often lead to unhealthy perfectionism. In this talk, Dr. Rohlfing Pryor will discuss how unhealthy perfectionism can develop in gifted children. She will also provide tools for how to prepare your gifted, perfectionistic child for the inevitability of imperfection.

Parenting Gifted Children: Strategies for Success

Catherine Gruener  

Learn parenting approaches specifically designed to meet the needs of gifted children.  Catherine will share information about the unique social and emotional characteristics of gifted children, common parenting challenges, and practical and useful parent strategies using hands-on parent training exercises.

How Parents of Mathematically Gifted Students Can Nurture a Passion for Mathematics

Ed Zaccaro   

Research shows that thousands of hours of meaningful practice are the key to excellence in mathematics. Because of this, mathematically gifted children must not only progress through their curriculum at the proper pace, but also must be exposed to material that lights a fire and nurtures their love of math.  A failure to find mathematics challenging, interesting, or relevant are significant factors when children lose interest in the subject.  This session will give parents information that will help them nurture their children’s passion for mathematics by showing them high-interest uses of mathematics in the real world.

Why STEM Matters: Supporting Your Child's Creative Explorations of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

Ann Gadzikowski 

Let’s talk about STEM! Award-winning author and educator Ann Gadzikowski will lead a discussion about how parents can nurture their children’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Ann will share ideas for conversations, projects, and enrichment activities from preschool through grade five. We'll focus on creative activities related to robotics, architecture, and design thinking.


Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: 630-907-5047
Fax: 630-907-5976

email us:

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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