April 9 6:30pm
Lakota West Freshman Theater
Dr. Ed Amend-National Presenter on Gifted Children

On April 9th at 6:30 pm, LEADS will be hosting a presentation by psychologist Dr. Edward Amend.  Dr. Amend focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of gifted children, teens and adults.  Please join us in the Lakota West Freshman theatre to learn some helpful strategies for parenting gifted children. 

​​​LEADS Parent Connect Series

Past Events/Resources

Understanding the Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Children 
Gifted students sometimes “look perfect” on paper, but beneath test scores are often complex social and emotional issues that make life in the classroom and at home a challenge. Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Diane Frey presented to families about anxiety, depression, perfectionism and other psychosocial components that sometimes “get in the way” of real life for families. She provided some intervention strategies for families based on her private practice work with gifted children and her teaching work which has spanned over four decades in the field of gifted studies. Diane is the author/co-author of over 17 books and has spoken at innumerable regional, state, national and world conferences on gifted children.

How to Take Great Care of Yourself and Build Functional Kids
Living with gifted children can sometimes be filled with intensity! Perfectionism, anxiety, overexcitabilities and more create unique stressors for your home. During this presentation, “How to Take Great Care of Yourself and Build Functional Kids,” Scott Ervin, aka The Kid Whisperer, showed participants how to guide children to exhibit positive, pro-social behaviors in a low-stress manner.
Visit him on the web at or

Understanding the Misunderstood: A Look at the Twice Exceptional Child

Raising a twice exceptional student—one with a disability and who is identified as gifted—brings a unique set of parenting challenges. Does the disability mask the giftedness? Or does the giftedness mask the disability? Or at times both? From ADHD to Asperger’s, knowing how to best prepare your 2E student for school and the road ahead can be frustrating and difficult. LEADS Parent Connect, Understanding the Misunderstood:  A Look at the Twice Exceptional Child, expert psychologist Dr. Suzanne James helped families maneuver through the trials and tribulations of raising these extraordinary children.


Susan Rakow, national expert on gifted children, addressed the unique developmental needs of gifted children, youth, and teenagers and how these affect individuals, families, and school performance and behaviors. Here is a link to her presentation by age group:

Grade K-4
Grade 5-12


What is the common element that makes some people successful while others struggle? Dr. Misty Swanger met with parents, teachers and administrators to discuss the importance of Grit, Empathy, Motivation and Optimism and how they relate to academic success. These important skills can be taught, can be learned—and the teaching starts at home! Visit Misty's website to see the presentation and here are some links to some additional resources.

Dr. Swanger's Website 
GRIT Video
No Child Left Behind and Global Competitiveness


LEADS and Lakota staff hosted families to look ahead at HS credit opportunities. Credit flex, internships and other opportunities were explored. See this presentation for more information and visit


LEADS and Lakota's Gifted Services Department recently held a session on Executive Functioning presented by nationally-renowned speaker Marydee Sklar. Ms. Sklar had just completed some sessions at the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Conference before coming to Lakota.
The session with over 100 families in attendance focused on helping children with:

  • Keeping track of time
  • Making deadlines
  • Staying organized
  • Figuring out how to get past "stuck" when beginning a project and
  • Other organization and time management techniques that often may keep children from living to their full potential.

You can read more about MaryDee by
visiting her website.

LEADS hosted a SENG webinar which shared the research and insights on internal motivation. This presentation was given by nationally recognized speaker Lisa Van Gemert aka The Gifted Guru. Lack of motivation can be a factor in underachievement of gifted children, creating tension in the family as well as conflict with school. Internal motivation is one of the key elements to achievement. 

Here is a link to Lisa's presentation and more wonderful materials
on her website


Parents listened to University of Cincinnati’s Lauren Clark discuss learning styles, what the research says, and what families can do to support students given their identified style. 

In her presentation, Lauren discussed how learning styles suggest that different students learn more efficiently depending how they are taught concepts. The presentation reviewed distinctions between “learning styles” research.

Lauren also briefly explored research in motivational psychology, talking about goal theory-- why some people continue to work when challenged and why others become discouraged.

Lauren is the Coordinator for the Academic Coaching program at UC where she teaches students about their learning styles, helps students re-establish their motivation and conquer other academic difficulties. For more on her presentation, see these resources.


LEADS held our second Parent Connect meeting: Adventures Around Cincinnati. Families learned more about planning summer adventures or family-centered weekend excursions. Author Terri Weeks talked about the wonderful destinations that await families all spelled out in her book Adventures Around Cincinnati. These destinations are within a 2-hour drive.  Terri discussed with families how these journeys prepare kids for challenges, build their confidence and truly build memories for a lifetime.  

Encouraging families to break out of their comfort zone, Terri shared attractions in the tri-state area and what families can expect on their visits.  These adventures have been kid-tested by Terri's family (and others) so they’re sure to please your Lakota family! For more about the book, 
click here.


November was the first of our LEADS Parent Connect Series, designed to provide parents with resources to support their Lakota students. This session Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Testing But Were Afraid to Ask highlighted the in's and out's of assessment and testing in the district. This link provides a copy of the evening's handouts.  

LEADS and Lakota Gifted Education Services sponsored a seminar by author and gifted educator, Mr. Nathan Levy.  Mr. Levy--author, educator, former principal and national speaker-- shared powerful ways to help children become better learners and explored numerous methods to reach learners in different and interesting ways. 

Parents discovered how to:

  • Nurture more confident and successful children
  • Help children develop fluency in thinking and writing
  • Provide enrichment opportunities at home     
  • Aid children in developing and accomplishing goals


LEADS arranged a presentation for families and educators called "Overcoming Perfectionism" by Dr. Tim Conrad.  To see Dr. Conrad's presentation, click here.