By Debbie Clelland, Past-President of the Gifted Children’s Association of BC
As a parent of two gifted sons, I have been very fortunate over the years to be inspired and consoled by the resources created by Dr. James Webb. That is why I am ecstatic that he is joining us here in Vancouver in April as a speaker for parents, educators and health care professionals! Since I realized that some of you may not really know about him, I wanted to jump up and down a bit about how rare and important an opportunity it is to hear him speak.
Back in 2003 when our oldest son was assessed as gifted, my partner and I turned to each other and said, “OK, now what?” There were two things that really helped us: the GCABC and the resources created by James Webb. We got a VHS tape out of our library of James Webb presenting to a group of parents about understanding giftedness, and then watched it several times. It helped us see we were “normal” gifted parents experiencing “normal” things with our family. That was a huge relief, and so needed for us and our family to make sense of re-interpreting our experience over the previous 9 years with our sons.
James Webb (Jim) is a great humanitarian on a mission to help parents of gifted children, educators and mental health professionals understand giftedness and its many nuances. When he discovered that parents and psychologists were struggling to understand the social-emotional aspects of giftedness, he created the organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). Within SENG, he developed a way to train parents to lead support groups for other parents and created a new publishing house to get books out there as a support for gifted families. He even ended up writing several books on unique things like grand-parenting gifted children and the sometimes world weary existential depression experienced by some gifted people
I have had the pleasure of seeing Jim present at a few SENG summer conferences in various locations around the US, and have always found him to be an engaging speaker who really “gets it”. He speaks to the people in the room in a way that conveys his many years of learning as if we are sitting down at the kitchen table together to have a chat about these gifted folks we all care so much about.
I was over the moon when I learned that our own Maureen McDermid invited Jim to join us in Canada and that he accepted. To my knowledge, this is the first time he has presented in our country. I can’t say enough about how big a deal this is – come and join us!
Still not registered for the conference Power Up Potential 2018 with Dr. James Webb, and a number of other experts on giftedness? Sign up on the conference website before March 1 to take advantage of the Early Bird rate.