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Webinar Recording: Understanding ADHD and Twice Exceptionality

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Description

While Twice Exceptional is not a medical diagnosis; it’s a very useful concept that can explain individuals that exist in the paradox of having both profound gifts as well as significant challenges or disabilities. A gift is when an individual has a significant strength distinguished from one’s peers; this can be in art, music, academics, athletics, gaming, general intelligence, etc. Twice exceptional individuals are identified because of the substantial discrepancy between their gifts and challenges. However, this asynchrony is not always obvious, as either the strengths or challenges can mask the other(s), or they can appear to cancel the other out, leaving the individual to appear “just average”. Despite appearances, 2e individuals almost always feel the discrepancy, within themselves, even if they can’t explain it. This usually leads to certain themes in their lives that contribute to being misperceived, misunderstood, feeling “less than”, social, emotional issues, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. ADHD is often a lifelong challenge. While both research and treatment options to manage ADHD have made major strides, 2e individuals with ADHD typically find that ADHD coincides with their gifts. Each can overshadow one another which leads to misdiagnosis, the identification of just the ADHD, the identification of only the gift, or the ADHD and the gift disguising one another.

Who: Lisa Zaretsky CSW, LMSW, NYS Certified Teacher

Recorded on June 13, 2018

While Twice Exceptional is not a medical diagnosis; it’s a very useful concept that can explain individuals that exist in the paradox of having both profound gifts as well as significant challenges or disabilities. A gift is when an individual has a significant strength distinguished from one’s peers; this can be in art, music, academics, athletics, gaming, general intelligence, etc. Twice exceptional individuals are identified because of the substantial discrepancy between their gifts and challenges. However, this asynchrony is not always obvious, as either the strengths or challenges can mask the other(s), or they can appear to cancel the other out, leaving the individual to appear “just average”. Despite appearances, 2e individuals almost always feel the discrepancy, within themselves, even if they can’t explain it. This usually leads to certain themes in their lives that contribute to being misperceived, misunderstood, feeling “less than”, social, emotional issues, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. ADHD is often a lifelong challenge. While both research and treatment options to manage ADHD have made major strides, 2e individuals with ADHD typically find that ADHD coincides with their gifts. Each can overshadow one another which leads to misdiagnosis, the identification of just the ADHD, the identification of only the gift, or the ADHD and the gift disguising one another.

Who: Lisa Zaretsky CSW, LMSW, NYS Certified Teacher

Biography

Lisa Zaretsky is a NYS licensed social worker and certified teacher in special education, reading education and elementary education. She specializes in gifted, twice exceptional, and special needs students and their families. A practitioner in the practice of Melissa Sornik, LCSW PLLC Lisa also volunteers her time and expertise to Twice Exceptional Children’s Advocacy, Inc. (TECA), Brooklyn Free School, and her local community where she spearheads three forums a year for special needs families and multidisciplinary professionals through her school district’s local Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) chapter. Lisa provides professional development and parent workshops on the subject of 2e, cognitive diversity, social emotional development, assessment tools, and compassionate parenting. A central tenet of her work is identifying and expanding best practices within the education and mental health systems. Lisa has presented at numerous national conferences and on a variety of panels, and has co-presented (with Melissa Sornik) the first online course on 2e for NASW (National Association of Social Workers) NY Chapter. She is a contributing writer for the upcoming book, Auditory Processing Disorders: Assessment, Management, and Treatment 3rd Edition, authored by the renowned expert in APD, Dr. Donna Geffner (November 2017). She is currently developing 2e screening assessments. Lisa is the mother of three twice exceptional children.