May 2012 - News from the Gifted Development Center


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In This Issue
Spotlight on Miriam Darnell
Tribute to Dr.George Dorry
Kimmy's Corner: Tipsy on the new WPPSI
The Perspective of 50 Years
Dabrowski Conference
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GDC Speakers' Bureau 


Contact our office for more information about having a GDC speaker at your conference or event. 

Linda Silverman
Bobbie Gilman


Linda Leviton pic
Linda Leviton

Steve Haas



Quote of the Month
"Thank you for your fascinating series of lectures at the symposium sponsored by the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District. So much of what you described fit me perfectly." 

James Bishop, doctoral student, UNT
Linda Silverman with Dr. Bobby C.Burns, Superintendent, and Mary Hawkins, President of Association for Giftedand Talented, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD


Oh, What a Night!
In conjunction with the Dabrowski Congress, we have arranged for group rates to see "Jersey Boys" at the Denver  Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, July 18th, at 7:30pm.  Orchestra seats are available for $66 each.  Contact LeeAnn to reserve your spot.



Spring seemed to blossom overnight this year.  GDC plunged into the WPPSI-IV study, and I immersed myself in writing Giftedness 101 for Springer (NY). As these projects wind down, we look forward to summer happenings. After 4 years, Miriam Darnell is moving back to Denver, the birthplace of her Druidawn creative writing groups and science fantasy writing, gaming and art workshops.


GDC Staff Spotlight: Miriam Darnell

We are pleased to introduceMiriam Darnell, director of Creative Writing Solutions and the Druidawn Summer Camp. Miriam Darnell, M.Ed., has a masters degree in Special Education and has taught Language Arts in private schools for gifted and twice-exceptional students for 25 years.   


"For as long as I can remember, creative writing has always been my passion. As a child and teenager, the real world was never half as exciting as the imaginary one that lived a very active life in my mind every day. Any tree I stood near immediately became my friend, filled with ancient stories only I could understand. The bees flying from flower to flower were really fairies in disguise, and the rocky mountain surfaces were really dragons that only I could see. Any book, game, or movie I could find that fed my overactive imagination was quickly devoured, regardless of how much homework sat on my desk awaiting my attention. I wrote many stories and novels when I was young that no one ever read but myself. I was too embarrassed to show them to my family, and the few teachers who I connected with had no time or interest in reading them. At times I felt so utterly alone, though I had a loving family and lots of friends. No one knew the imaginary world that was constantly in the background, if not the foreground, of my mind." Read more about Miriam Darnell and her journey that led to the creation of Druidawn and Creative Writing Solutions.


Druidawn is a community of creative learners that offers fantasy writing and gaming clubs, exciting summer camps, private mentoring and tutoring services, an interactive website, and publishing opportunities for young authors.  Druidawn is for imaginative students of all ages and writing abilities, from reluctant writers to young professional authors.   Their services can be enjoyed in person for Colorado residents, or online through Skype video conferencing, no matter where you live. Visit their website for more information.




Druidawn Fantasy Summer Camps:  

Room Still Available
EXTRA Week Added in Colorado!!!


Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Longmont:   

June 18-22 and June 25-29  FULL

July 9-13 has been added to accommodate high demand. 


Helios New School in Palo Alto, CA  
July 23-27 (4-6 openings)

Click here for more information. 



You might be a Druidawn Kid if...


* You're more comfortable in your imaginary world than the real world, and sometimes you have to be reminded which one is which.


* Your best friend is a dragon... no, a real one! But you're the only person who can see him.


* You use big words when you speak, like "actually" and "fascinating" and "incidentally", but you don't have a clue how to spell them. 


* You hate writing because your ideas are complex and extraordinary, but your ability to get them onto paper is frustratingly limited.  




*You're a great writer, and you're passionate about your work. You're in the middle of writing five novels at once. Sadly, you've never written the words "The End" before... Ever.  


Dr. George Dorry (1948- 2012)


On Easter morning, we lost our dear friend, Dr. George W. Dorry, who was a member of our GDC Speakers' Bureau and the Visual-Spatial Learner Study Group. Georgeorgege was in practice as a licensed clinical psychologist for over 25 years. He founded and directed the Attention and Behavior Institute in Denver. Specializing in AD/HD and mood disorders, George was our go-to person who understood the interactions of giftedness, visual-spatial learning style, attentional and mood issues. For the last 5 years, George followed his artistic bent and made unique jewelry at his Noble Elegance Studio. We will miss his kindness and wonderful sense of humor.


In his "A CALL TO ARMS! (and legs and eyes and ears)," George invited us to recognize the importance of the arts and movement in learning:


"Let us renew the celebration! Break out the finger paints, and the building toys and, more importantly, the Computer Assisted Design programs!! Make banners and posters to support the intellectual revolution! Strike up the band! Move through the streets dancing for joy that we have more senses than just hearing and more ways to learn than just step after sequential step....Embrace the fact that the human body was not designed to remain indoors in a sitting position for the majority of every day. It was meant to actively participate in the whole of the world that surrounds it!"



Kimmy's Corner: Tipsy on the New WPPSI 


As many of you know, the GDC was asked to assist Pearson Assessments in collecting data on young gifted children to create extended norms for the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, 4th Edition (WPPSI-IV).  The GDC was enlisted because of our expertise in the nuances of testing this population. 


As one of the testers at the GDC, I had the privilege of participating in this data collection, and it appears Pearson has made some brilliant upgrades to help get the best picture possible of an age group that can be very tricky to test.  We don't test a lot of these little ones at the GDC; we usually recommend testing after age four. Additionally, most of my teaching experience, and my preference is with the intermediate-aged kids.


But what an amazing experience I had, as I gained more valuable skills testing these exceptional children.  The most difficult part was the separation from mom...sometimes there were tears.  But once their wet little eyes focused on the first task, the tears dried and their eyes came alive with the challenge of novel and engaging activities.  Seeing a barely-three-year-old from Kansas City correctly answer the questions at the top of many of the verbal subtests took my breath away.  I giggled to myself watching the chubby toddler fingers of a child from San Francisco point to the correct picture in the book and then grasp his tippy cup for a drink of water. And I held a two-year-old from rural Nebraska in my lap as I recorded his verbose answers in the vocabulary subtest.


It saddens me to know that these children will probably not see a gifted program for several more years, since many schools don't even begin to identify until the middle of elementary school.  And at the rate we are going in many of our schools, that gifted program may not even exist by the time they get to school.  However, I am encouraged that because of this newest revision, we may see even more children tested, and parents can come to kindergarten roundup with data and informed questions.


I am very thankful to have participated in this study for so many reasons.  The GDC will be taking part in the future revision of the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, 5th Edition (WISC-V).  When that time comes, we will once again be looking for children to participate.  (This future announcement will be shared on Facebook and this newsletter.) Thank you to those of you who helped spread the word about the study, and to those who shared the gifts of their children with us.  


The Perspective of 50 Years   

Five decades of experience and findings on over 6,000 children who have been tested at the Gifted  DevelopmentCenter since 1979 have brought us a unique and informed perspective of giftedness. 


Did you know...


Giftedness can be observed in the first three years by rapid progression through the developmental 

*These milestones should be documented and taken seriously as evidence of giftedness.  

*Early identification of advanced development is as essential as early identification of any other 
exceptionality.  This early intervention promotes optimal development in all children. 

10th International 
Dabrowski Congress
Sponsored by the Institute for the Study ofAdvanced Development

The 10th Annual Dabrowski Congress will be held in Denver, from July 18th through the 21st, at the Curtis Doubletree Hotel. The theme of the Congress is "From Conflict to Peace both Personally and Globally." Over 40 presenters from the United States, Canada, Poland, Australia and The Netherlands, will address development, giftedness, and different aspects of Dabrowski's theory. There will be introductory and advanced sessions, leadership workshops, an international panel, banquet speaker, and the opportunity to see the musical, "Jersey Boys," at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Topics include overexcitabilities, ethical developmentgiftedchildren and adults, twice exceptional children, women writers, temperament, learning style, sensitivity, crisis, inner conflict, loss, poverty, courage, peace, service, religious experience, creativity, poetry, authentic educational practice, classroom strategies and homeschooling. Something for everyone!  

Elizabeth Mika

Keynote Speakers


Keeping with the theme of the Congress, Dabrowski scholar Elizabeth Mika will discuss "Sudden Dynamic Insight: Moving from Conflict to Peace."   


Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage, will address "The

Marti Olsen Laney

Neurophysiology of Temperament SupportsDabrowski's 'DevelopmentalPotential'."   


Special Events  

Come join us for a showing of The Jersey Boys [See sidebar] on Wednesday evening, a welcoming wine and cheese reception on Thursday evening, and a banquet on Friday evening.  


Your participation is the key to a successful event. 




We hope to see you at The Dabrowski Congress this year. It promises to be enlightening. Please like our Facebook page and visit our new office soon.



Linda's signature


Linda Silverman, Ph.D.
Director, Gifted Development Center