Are gifted and special-needs students being left behind?

Many thanks to reporter, Lisa Wirthman, for her Denver Post Article regarding the recent conference of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Lisa instantly recognized the similarities between what Jonathan Mooney and my friend/colleague, Dr. Linda Silverman were saying in their keynote addresses for the NAGC Parent Institute, sponsored by the Colorado Association for Gifted & Talented.

Here are some of the highlights of the article:

Jonathan Mooney writes, “Brain scans of individuals with dyslexia show that while parts of the left hemisphere are smaller, the right hemisphere of the brain is often larger than average.” “You can’t divorce the deficit and the strength; they go hand in hand and intermingle in a really profound way.”


Many gifted learners are hard to identify because they think differently and have strong “right brain” learning skills, said Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman, who founded the Denver Institute for the Study of Advanced Development and also spoke at the conference.  While there are a number of ways to achieve educational reform, the more critical issue is where that reform is headed. By setting our sights on the middle of the educational bell curve, where children reach proficiency rather than excellence, our best case scenario is a nation of average performers.

“We need to challenge the very narrow definition of what it means to have human strengths, gifts, and talents,” said Mooney.

The best way to teach those skills to all kids is to start recognizing — and nurturing — the neuro diversity of students across the learning spectrum.

Read the article here.

By Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Colorado Optometrist in Vision Therapy, Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center

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Lynn Hellerstein

Developmental optometrist, author, speaker at Hellerstein and Brenner Vision Center
A pioneer in vision therapy and developmental optometry, for more than 30 years Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, has helped thousands of children and adults improve their vision and transform their lives — at home, in the classroom and on the sports field.
Founder and co-owner of Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center, Dr. Lynn Hellerstein is the author of an award-winning book series, SEE IT. SAY IT.DO IT!
Dynamic and engaging, Dr. Hellerstein is a popular speaker nationally and internationally.
Lynn Hellerstein
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