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  • Learning How to Ride the Rollercoaster: Understanding Emotional (Dys)Regulation in Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children

Learning How to Ride the Rollercoaster: Understanding Emotional (Dys)Regulation in Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children

  • 27 Mar 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Christ Church Grammar School, Prep Staff Room



Often, parents find navigating the emotional intensity of their gifted or 2e child a very challenging experience. At best, solutions offered in typical parenting books may work for a short period of time. At worst, given these children can be little lawyers who see the loopholes and inconsistencies in such approaches, the suggested interventions only serve to escalate their outbursts further! 


These are the kind of kids who appear to demonstrate a hair trigger sensitivity when it comes to their emotional state. And regardless of whether their reaction is one of anxiety, anger or any other emotion, they seemingly escalate from 0-100 in a nanosecond, often at the tiniest stimulus. As parents, we may resort to walking on eggshells each time we know we have to make a request of our child. Alternatively, we may feel so helpless and frustrated that we too react from a space of similar dysregulation. After all, apples generally don't fall far from trees - and so the cycle of emotional volatility continues!


This talk will first provide therapeutic psychoeducation that is specific to understanding emotional (dys)regulation in gifted and twice-exceptional kiddos. In addition to this, we'll explore tried and trusted practical interventions and strategies that work for this population - so that hopefully the rollercoaster ride can be more exciting and a little less terrifying!


Dr Kate Burton is the clinical director of Alchemy Therapy Centre, and specialises in neurodivergence and complex trauma. Kate has published in the areas of giftedness, twice-exceptionality, home schooling, complex ptsd and addiction; and frequently provides media commentary in these areas. Kate was the co-founder of Gifted WA, and now serves as the Chair of Complex Trauma WA (COTWA). In a previous life, she was an academic. Most importantly, Kate has over two decades of lived experience parenting gifted and twice-exceptional children. This journey included a lot of 'big emotions': including navigating home schooling; radical acceleration in a Gifted and Talented Program and subsequent early university entrance; a great deal of education-based advocacy; and the absolute necessity of learning self-compassion, and that parenting a neurodivergent child is a gift to be embraced, and not a problem to be fixed.

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