Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D., Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC, passionately guides parents of gifted and distractible children, mentors 2e adults, and advises educators and professionals on bringing out the best and raising self-esteem in their students and clients.
Julie serves as Secretary on the Maryland Superintendent’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council, is the Maryland liaison for Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), reviews parenting strand conference proposals, and is a Committee member for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and serves as an advisor to “The G Word” feature documentary currently in production.
Through “Let’s Talk 2e!”, the digital media division of With Understanding Comes Calm, Julie produces 2 Days of 2e Virtual Conference.
A frequent speaker and prolific writer, Julie is also the mother of three twice exceptional children who keep her on her toes and uproariously laughing.
Don Ambrose, PhD, is professor of graduate education at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and editor of the Roeper Review. He serves on the editorial boards of most of the major journals in the field of gifted education and for several book series. He has initiated and led numerous interdisciplinary scholarly projects involving eminent researchers and theorists from gifted education, general education, creativity studies, cognitive science, ethical philosophy, psychology, political science, economics, law, history, sociology, theoretical physics, and critical thinking. Some of his recent books include Conceptions of Giftedness (forthcoming, with Robert J. Sternberg); Creative Intelligence in the 21st Century: Grappling with Enormous Problems and Huge Opportunities (with Robert J. Sternberg); Giftedness and Talent in the 21st Century: Adapting to the Turbulence of Globalization (with Robert J. Sternberg); How Dogmatic Beliefs Harm Creativity and Higher-Level Thinking (with Robert J. Sternberg); Confronting Dogmatism in Gifted Education (with Robert J. Sternberg and Bharath Sriraman); Expanding Visions of Creative Intelligence: An Interdisciplinary Exploration; Morality, Ethics, and Gifted Minds (with Tracy L. Cross); The Roeper School: A Model for Holistic Development of High Ability (with Bharath Sriraman and Tracy L. Cross); and A Critique of Creativity and Complexity: Deconstructing Clichés (with Bharath Sriraman and Kathleen Pierce). He also invents new creative and critical thinking strategies based on concepts discovered in multiple academic disciplines and professional fields. Don has received international, national, and regional awards for distinguished scholarship from the NAGC; the NJAGC; the ICIE; the Routledge/Taylor & Francis Educational Expert Panel; and the American Creativity Association; among others. He has done invited keynote presentations throughout the world.
Dr. Paul Beljan is a Scottsdale, Arizona pediatric neuropsychologist in private practice. Dr. Beljan served at the Governor’s pleasure on the Arizona Board of Psychological Examiners. He completed two Post-Doctoral Fellowship programs specializing in Pediatric (Medical) Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology. He holds child and adult diplomate certifications with the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPdN) and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN). Dr. Beljan is a past president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPdN). In 2016, Dr. Beljan completed a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmachology from New Mexico State University. Dr. Beljan’s professional focus is on Gifted Intelligence, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), Learning Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Physical and Emotional Trauma, and Attention and Executive Functioning Deficit and associated interventions. His past hospital based work in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsychology included assessment, pain management and trauma recovery with children suffering from burns, cancer, sickle cell anemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), traumatic brain injury, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and learning disorders. He also evaluated hundreds of infants in neonatal clinics.
Dr. Beljan is an expert in evaluating and understanding gifted children and their common misdiagnoses. He is a co-author of the book: Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults and Large Scale Brain Systems and Neuropsychological Assessment. The Misdiagnosis book is a Legacy Book Award Winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Winner, and Arizona Book Award Winner. Dr. Beljan also has authored several chapters and articles in various publications.
Greg has worked as a therapist for the last 20 years with adolescents in a variety of settings. He has worked as a primary therapist and as a clinical director in residential treatment, community mental health, and wilderness treatment. His current specialty is working with a neurodiverse population. He has the privilege of watching young people who have been in pain and are not able to navigate complex emotions in effective ways find a clear path to begin healing. He works with more severe acting out 2e individuals. They are the amazing students who can’t stay in even nontraditional settings due to their level of dysregulation and acting out/escape style ways of dealing with their inner turmoil.
Greg regularly speaks at conference on topics related to the 2e population. He feels driven to challenge the status quo and standard methods of intervening with young people. He also believes in the sharing of ideas in ways that everyone can relate to and understand. He finds the science fascinating and loves making that information practical.
He believes in living a life of emotional growth and physical challenge without sacrificing relaxation and enjoyment. He is fond of saying that ”it is a thousand times easier to be a therapist than to be a parent” and “if imperfect parenting caused the level of acting out to require wilderness therapy then… all children on the planet would require it.” His desire is that we don’t judge each other and that we don’t excuse our influence on our children either.
Dr. Richard M. Cash is an award-winning educator and who has worked in the field of education for more than 30 years. His range of experience includes teaching, curriculum coordination, and program administration. Currently, he is an internationally recognized education consultant (www.nrich.consulting). His consulting work has taken him throughout the United States, as well as into Canada, The Czech Republic, China, Cyprus, England, Indonesia, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, and Turkey.
Richard received his doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. Along with his Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Richard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theater from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. For over 10 years, he co-directed a children’s theater company in Minnesota, and co-authored 4 award winning children’s plays. He was recipient of the National Association for Gifted Children’s Early Leader Award (2011), recognizing his leadership in programing for gifted children. Richard was also named the “Friend of the Gifted, 2016” by the Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented.
His areas of expertise are educational programming, rigorous and challenging curriculum design, differentiated instruction, 21st century skills, brain-compatible classrooms, gifted & talented education, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Cash authored the books Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century, (2011, Revision & Update 2017), a finalist for the Association for Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award (2011) and winner of The Legacy Book® Award for Outstanding Educators Publication (2017); Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics (2014) (co-author Diane Heacox), winner of The Legacy Book® Award for Outstanding Educators Publication (2014); and Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn (2016). All books are published by Free Spirit Publishing, Inc. (www.freespirit.com).
Richard lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Joanna Haase, Ph.D., MFT is a private practice psychotherapist whose specialty is working with the gifted population. As a mother of two 2e children and a therapist who works with 100’s of gifted individuals and families, Dr. Haase is passionate about creating a whole person approach to understanding and treating this population. Dr. Haase co-founded Gifted Research and Outreach, a non-profit organization promoting a comprehensive and accurate understanding of giftedness through research and outreach. A frequent presenter at local, state, and national conferences, Dr. Haase’s areas of expertise include, giftedness, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders in highly and profoundly gifted individuals.
Diagnosed with a learning disability in the third grade, LeDerick Horne defies any and all labels. He’s a dynamic spoken-word poet. A tireless advocate for all people with disabilities. An inspiring motivational speaker. A bridge-builder between learners and leaders across the U.S. and around the world who serves as a role model for all races, genders, and generations.
The grandson of one of New Jersey’s most prominent civil rights leaders, LeDerick uses his gift for spoken-word poetry as the gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, self-determination and hope for people with disabilities.
LeDerick served as the Founding Board Chair of Eye to Eye (eyetoeyenational.org), the only national nonprofit mentoring program for students labeled with LD/ADHD, and continues to serve on the board today. And he is on the advisory board for The National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-determination and Employment (RAISE) Technical Assistance Center (www.raisecenter.org).
In 2016, he and co-author Margo Vreeburg Izzo, PhD, The Ohio State University, released the book Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success — the definitive compendium on transition support for students with LD / ADHD and other hidden disabilities — published by Brookes Publishing Co.
Femke Hovinga is a gifted specialist from Zeist, The Netherlands. When she was a six-year-old struggling with the challenges of giftedness, Femke said she would 'make the world a better place for the gifted, when she was a grown-up'. There's no more denying: Femke is a grown-up now, so it was time to keep the promise! After getting degrees in journalism and business, Femke took a post-graduate course in gifted education and coaching. Ever since, Femke has been active in the field of gifted. She is currently the Executive Director for SENG in Europe, she runs a coaching practice for profoundly gifted youth and has a recruitment firm for gifted people who are looking for a job that suits them and their talents.
Creating a collaborative environment that brings together practitioners from the field of education, cognition, and behavioral health drives Maria’s leadership as the director of Youth and Family Innovations through the University of Texas at Dallas’ Brain Performance Institute. With a strong foundation in research, business, and education, she is passionate about working closely with schools for students with learning differences, and is proud to offer access to virtual social learning programs to families from coast to coast. As a Speech Language Pathologist that has specialized in social cognition for the past 18 years, Maria thrives on giving children the knowledge and confidence they need to grow as strong social citizens. As a mom of a twice exceptional child for the past 13 years, she is an avid advocate for the educational rights of children for mental health supports, especially within the public school system. She is proud to serve as a key community resource in assisting clinicians, teachers, and families discover how to best support the social, emotional and cognitive development of the youth in their lives.
Renae D. Mayes, PhD, NCC, is the Director of the MA Program in School Counseling and an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and School Counseling at Ball State University. Her research focuses on the intersection of gifted education and special education for students of color in urban environments. Additionally, Mayes focuses on comprehensive school counseling models and interventions that support the holistic development and success of historically underserved student populations.
Deborah Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker who moved her career in a more personal direction in 2016 when she founded TiLT Parenting, a website, weekly podcast, and social media community for parents like her who are raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has grown to be a top podcast in the parenting space, with more than 850,000 downloads. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World (Workman Publishing, 2018). In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxAmsterdam, delivering a talk entitled Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired.
Prior to launching TiLT, Debbie spent more than fifteen years writing inspiring books for women and teens. Before embarking on her own path as a solopreneur, Debbie worked in TV and video production, producing documentaries and PSAs for CARE and UNICEF, working on Blue’s Clues for Nickelodeon in New York, and developing original series for Cartoon Network in Los Angeles. She has an MA in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research and a BA in Communications from Pennsylvania State University.
In December 2018, Debbie and her family relocated back to the NYC area after living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for the past five years. She currently homeschools her 14-year-old twice-exceptional son.
Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th - 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted "disgruntled" students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted.