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For most of us, the word “gifted” conjures images of privilege and automatic success. What if I told you that gifted people also suffer because of this false notion?


What is giftedness?

Gifted people reside in every culture, every race, and every country on this planet. The part that most can agree on is that giftedness means a higher IQ. While this is usually true, what is less commonly known is that it can also involve acute sensitivities to noises, smells, and other environmental stimulation, an unusually strong sense of justice, high creativity, and sometimes crippling perfectionism. The personality “quirks” that manifest from these characteristics are often misunderstood by not only lay people, but by educators and other professionals including those in mental health. This lack of understanding impacts the gifted individuals and their family members, but it also affects all of us.

In the article, “Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children,” Webb, et al., explains that the gifted individual’s inherent drives “together result in an intense idealism and concern with social and moral issues, which can create anxiety, depression, and a sharp challenging of others who do not share their concerns.”

What happens when we misunderstand or ignore giftedness?

The most common problem I see in my work is the child who is struggling in school because he doesn’t think or learn at the same level or in the same way as the rest of the classroom.

Many gifted learners I work with are what are called visual-spatial learners (those who learn holistically). They, like all children, desperately want to fit in, but in our typical classrooms designed for linear-sequential learners (those who learn step-by-step and in succession), they cannot. These are kids who are highly creative at math, art, tech, science, or emotions in ways that are often different than the norm. As many schools become more focused on linear-sequential teaching and testing, these children have fewer learning tools at their disposal. As a result, they may act out, become silent and depressed, and, because they have different learning needs, are often diagnosed with learning problems rather than giftedness.

In fact, gifted kids are more likely than any other population to be misdiagnosed. While their needs would be best met through more, faster, and different avenues in education, they may instead be put in special ed classes where the pace is slower and memorization is often emphasized. This exacerbates their boredom and can lead to depression, higher incidence of ADHD symptoms, acting out, and deep self-esteem and social issues.

The result: we have a recipe for disaster and suffering for both the gifted child and for other students in her classroom. Years later, the impact remains as many gifted adults today ironically don’t view themselves as smart and are underusing their strengths. This is not good for our society as a whole.

What I’ve observed is that we get stuck in trying to understand this in terms of our “normal” selves and “normal” people. Gifted individuals are wired differently, and I believe that if we were to truly understand giftedness, with all of its challenges and actual gifts, we would also be able to appreciate ourselves more – no matter where on the scale we fall.

If your child is struggling and you think he or she may be highly gifted, please seek help. Forcing a square peg to fit into a round hole can be harmful. When allowed to learn as they need to and to socialize with those they naturally connect with, these gifted children will find their place among the rest of us so that we can all benefit.

In this video clip from the documentary, aptly named “The G Word,” (set to be released in 2019) director Marc Smolowitz shines a new light on giftedness. Produced by Ron Turiello, the movie includes highly regarded experts in the field of giftedness. I hope their movie will help to create a better understanding of what gifted people face and why they are important members of our society.

THE G WORD | 1st Promo from Marc Smolowitz on Vimeo.

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When you become a parent for the first time, there is an undeniably steep learning curve. Add to that the struggle of sorting through fact and fiction when it comes to advice and—whew—it's enough to make you more tired than you already are with that newborn in the house.

Just like those childhood games of telephone when one statement would get twisted by the time it was told a dozen times, there are many parenting misconceptions that still tend to get traction. This is especially true with myths about bottle-feeding—something that the majority of parents will do during their baby's infancy, either exclusively or occasionally.

Here's what you really need to know about bottle-feeding facts versus fiction.

1. Myth: Babies are fine taking any bottle

Not all bottles are created equally. Many parents experience anxiety when it seems their infant rejects all bottles, which is especially nerve wracking if a breastfeeding mom is preparing to return to work. However, it's often a matter of giving the baby some time to warm up to the new feeding method, says Katie Ferraro, a registered dietician, infant feeding specialist and associate professor of nutrition at the University of California San Francisco graduate School of Nursing.

"For mothers returning to work, if you're breastfeeding but trying to transition to bottle[s], try to give yourself a two- to four-week trial window to experiment with bottle feeding," says Ferraro.

2. Myth: You either use breast milk or formula

So often, the question of whether a parent is using formula or breastfeeding is presented exclusively as one or the other. In reality, many babies are combo-fed—meaning they have formula sometimes, breast milk other times.

The advantage with mixed feeding is the babies still get the benefits of breast milk while parents can ensure the overall nutritional and caloric needs are met through formula, says Ferraro.

3. Myth: Cleaning bottles is a lot of work

For parents looking for simplification in their lives (meaning, all of us), cleaning bottles day after day can sound daunting. But, really, it doesn't require much more effort than you are already used to doing with the dishes each night: With bottles that are safe for the top rack of the dishwasher, cleaning them is as easy as letting the machine work for you.

For added confidence in the sanitization, Dr. Brown's offers an incredibly helpful microwavable steam sterilizer that effectively kills all household bacteria on up to four bottles at a time. (Not to mention it can also be used on pacifiers, sippy cups and more.)

4. Myth: Bottle-feeding causes colic

One of the leading theories on what causes colic is indigestion, which can be caused by baby getting air bubbles while bottle feeding. However, Dr. Brown's bottles are the only bottles in the market that are actually clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to an ingenious internal vent system that eliminates negative pressure and air bubbles.

5. Myth: Bottles are all you can use for the first year

By the time your baby is six months old (way to go!), they may be ready to begin using a sippy cup. Explains Ferraro, "Even though they don't need water or additional liquids at this point, it is a feeding milestone that helps promote independent eating and even speech development."

With a complete line of products to see you from newborn feeding to solo sippy cups, Dr. Brown's does its part to make these new transitions less daunting. And, for new parents, that truly is priceless.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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This month isn't just the start of a new year, but the start of a new life for those due in 2019. If you're expecting a baby this year you've got plenty of celebrity company, mama.

Here are some fellow mamas-to-be expecting in 2019:

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega 

The Spy Kids actress and mom to 2-year-old Ocean will soon have to get herself a double stroller because PenaVega and her husband Carlos are expecting again.

"Holy Moly!!! Guys!!! We are having another baby!!!!" captioned an Instagram post. "Do we wake Ocean up and tell him??!! Beyond blessed and excited to continue growing this family!!! Get ready for a whole new set of adventures!!!"

Over on Carlos' IG the proud dad made a good point: " This year we will officially be able to say we have 'kids!' Our minds are blown," he write.

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald

In January Counting On Jessa Seewald (formerly Jessa Duggar) announced via Instagram that she is pregnant with her third child with husband Ben Seewald.

We love that she was able to make the announcement in her own time, not worrying about speculation about her midsection. She's been over that for a while.

[Update: January 18, added PenaVega]

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The shape appeals to kids and the organic and gluten-free labels appeal to parents in the freezer aisle, but if you've got a bag of Perdue's Simply Smart Organics Gluten Free Chicken Breast Nuggets, don't cook them.

The company is recalling 49,632 bags of the frozen, fully cooked Simply Smart Organics Gluten Free Chicken Breast Nuggets because they might be contaminated with wood.

According to the USDA, Perdue received three complaints about wood In the nuggets, but no one has been hurt.

The nuggets were manufactured on October 25, 2018 with a "Best By" date of October 25, 2019. The UPC code is 72745-80656. (The USDA provides an example of the packaging here so you'll know where to look for the code).


In a statement on the Perdue website the company's Vice President for Quality Assurance, Jeff Shaw, explains that "After a thorough investigation, we strongly believe this to be an isolated incident, as only a minimal amount of these packages has the potential to contain pieces of wood."

If you have these nuggets in your freezer you can call Perdue 877-727-3447 to ask for a refund.

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