LAPS: Support For Emotional Needs Of Students Identified As Gifted

LAPS News:

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Thursday, Oct. 13, a dozen parents with gifted children were gathered in the library of Los Alamos Middle School for a Support for the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) parent group. They were being led through a guided relaxation exercise because one of the biggest emotional challenges that gifted students face is learning how to deal with stress.

The SENG Model Parent Group is facilitated by Alison Semanision, GATE instructor at Mountain Elementary and Linda Pike Bennett, MA, GATE Social Studies teacher at the middle school and a licensed mental health counselor. It is sponsored by the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

Mountain Elementary School Teacher Ali Semanision

SENG is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) entity. According to the SENG website (, SENG was formed to bring attention to the unique emotional needs of gifted children which are often misunderstood or ignored.

Los Alamos Middle School Teacher Linda Bennett

Parents of gifted children will meet for 6 weeks to discuss “The Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children” by James T. Webb, Ph.D., Janet L. Gore, M.Ed., Edward R. Amend, Psy.D., and Arlene R. DeVries, M.S.E. and cover other issues that gifted children face like motivation, discipline, and peer relationships.

Here is what some of the participants said about the group:

“This book group has been like a support group. It is great to be around other parents who understand and who are going through similar experiences. The reading has helped to open my eyes to new ideas, understandings, and awareness.”

“We come to increase our parenting tools. The book and the group have helped us to expand our awareness of our children’s needs.”

“This group has been very good. As a parent of a gifted child, it is a lonely experience. Many do not understand the challenges of parenting a gifted child. Talking with parents who are facing the sameI issues has been a huge relief. I have learned a lot.”

“It’s been wonderful to find from others who have gifted children—to not feel along in the challenges of having exceptional children.”

“A great reminder that we’re not alone in the challenges and joys of parenting gifted children. Nice to meet new faces in the community.”

“I am here to try to get more information to help my child who has some behavioral issues. What I’m getting from the group primarily is normalizing his sensitivity, the power struggles, negotiating and his extremely observant nature. I am already learning some tools that are working with my child.”