© 2020 AAGTS


AAGTS 41st Annual Conference

Saturday, March 7, 2020​

Getting out of our Heads and into our Hearts:
Nurturing the Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted

Featuring Lori Comallie-Caplan

We invite gifted and regular education teachers*, parents, mental health professionals, and education administrators 

to learn about the social-emotional needs of the gifted, the unique challenges of gifted neurology, and

how to address the perfectionism, procrastination, and anxiety that gifted children frequently experience.


AAGTS is thrilled to host Lori Comallie-Caplan as our keynote speaker this year!  Ms. Comallie-Caplan has over 30 years of experience in the field of counseling, evaluation, mediation, and educational consultation, where she is best known for her work with gifted individuals across the lifespan.  She has been a featured keynote speaker at Edufest, Washington Association for the Talented and Gifted, New Mexico Association for the Gifted, Nebraska Association for the Gifted, Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented and the Triple 9 Society.  She is a Licensed Master Social Worker, currently in private practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Ms. Comallie-Caplan currently serves as the President for the New Mexico Association for the Gifted, and is a former President of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).  She received her master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Mexico and additional certification in Educational Diagnostics and Educational Administration from New Mexico State University.  

Register now to get our Early Bird rates. Ms. Comallie-Caplan will speak on three topics:


Getting out of our Heads and into our Hearts:  Nurturing the Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted

Let’s talk about nurturing our gifted children.  Encourage their complex thinking and sensitivity, for one moment they will be pondering the physical properties of the sun and the next they will be shedding silent tears over the beauty of the sunset. Understand their perfectionism and their idealism, for there will be times of confidence and there will be times of self-doubt. Support their intensity, for it will bring great disappointment, but it will also bring great joy. But, most important, listen, listen, listen. And then say, “must instead of mustn’t, and do instead of don’t, should instead of shouldn’t and will instead of won’t, then his future he will see, that anything can be!” (Shel Silverstein).

Understanding and Intervening: The Psychological and Social-Emotional Dimensions of the Gifted
The social and emotional needs of gifted children is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. Our gifted students are more than just little (or big!) brains. They require nurturing and development of both their hearts and their minds. What do we do when that social/emotional development doesn’t keep pace with the cognitive development?  This workshop will help parents and professionals working with the gifted to understand the impact of the unique neurology of the gifted brain.  It will address the intensity, sensitivity, idealism, and perfectionism of the gifted as well as asynchronous development.  Strategies for nurturing the social-emotional needs of the gifted will be shared and discussed.

Moving Past Perfectionism and Procrastination
Children who are perfectionists have a need for achievement that does not allow room for mistakes. They have high expectations for themselves and for others. They are the children who erase the page until there is a hole in the paper, or those who fail to turn in homework for fear of a mistake being revealed. To the teacher or the parent these children appear to be unmotivated when, in fact, they may be afraid of failure. The fear of failure is actually more motivating than the completion of the task. For much of the early years, schoolwork is often so easy for gifted children that they never learn what it is like to be challenged. When work comes easily and perfect scores are often achieved, they come to expect perfection from themselves. They learn to be perfect and are rewarded for perfection by good grades, parental and teacher praise, and accolades from classmates. They do not learn how to take risks, possibly fail, and then learn from their failures. When finally faced with a daunting task, gifted children may not have the tools to deal with the challenge. This presentation will assist parents with understanding their perfectionist child as well as provide strategies to help them move beyond their perfectionism.

There will also be breakout sessions on finding emotionally appropriate books for above-grade readers, the double challenge faced by LGBTQ+ gifted students, and more!  Register now to get our Early Bird rates.

*Teachers/professionals will earn CEU credits.