Gifted Children

April 9, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Beth Onufrak

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Episode Description

Parents of gifted children often say their child’s extraordinary intellect is “not a gift.” That may sound strange because high IQ is generally presumed to confer only advantages. In reality, giftedness brings significant challenges - for the children themselves and for adults trying to understand them. Gifted children experience the world in a very intense way. Their strong emotions and unusual behaviors can perplex adults and lead to misdiagnosis. In this episode, we discuss gifted children and explain their unique characteristics and under-recognized needs.

Child Psych Central

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

Child Psych Central: Discover the KidBrain explains and demystifies child mental health issues in young children. From diagnoses to discipline, from family relationships to challenges of millennial life, Child Psych Central arms parents with preventive, accessible information for the critical early years. Dr. Onufrak and her expert guests discuss child psych matters of the day. We break down confusing concepts and explain how child development drives kids’ behavior and thinking. We peek inside the brain to reveal how brain function affects children’s choices. Finally, we describe diverse child treatments and offer parenting solutions and resources. Dr. Onufrak believes the greatest improvements in child behavior arise when parents change their view of a child. Child Psych Central may help you see your child in a different light, the first step toward greater compassionate competence in parenting. Tune in to Child Psych Central to change your view and what you think, say and do!

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Dr. Beth Onufrak

Dr. Beth Onufrak is a Clinical Child Psychologist of more than 20 years. An early childhood specialist, she enjoys a thriving private practice devoted to preschool and primary age children. Pediatricians, educators and clinicians across the Phoenix, Arizona region refer young children to her specialty care and struggling parents to her workshops and seminars. She authors the blog A Child in Mind.

Dr. Onufrak holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida at Gainesville. She completed Research and Clinical Fellowships at Indiana University and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. A former Professor of Psychology, Dr. Onufrak enjoyed a decade of teaching undergraduate and grad curriculum at Arizona State University West and University of Phoenix, concurrent with her private practice. She consulted for six years to City of Phoenix Head Start, providing expert enrichment for Masters level clinicians. Dr. Onufrak is a frequent Continuing Education presenter for her mental health colleagues.

A respected clinician and parent educator, Dr. Onufrak is also an acclaimed speaker and transformative workshop presenter. Known for her accessible style, she translates complex concepts into commonplace terms with a colorful, lively delivery. Her mission is to help adults interpret children's needs, decode behavior, and respond with compassionate competence that builds healthy brains.

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Episode Directory

April 2015

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Sue Atkins

Sue Atkins is an internationally recognized Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best selling books "Parenting Made Easy – How To Raise Happy Children” & “Raising Happy Children for Dummies" in the famous black and yellow series. She is also author of the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. Sue has just launched the 1st in her series of Parenting Made Easy apps for iPhones and iPads – The Secrets To Well Behaved Kids, available on iTunes. Sue Atkins offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, resilient children from toddler to teen & specializes in using her “5 Step Self Esteem Solution” with families to boost long term self esteem & self confidence. In the United Kingdom, Sue Atkins regularly appears on the award winning flagship ITV show “This Morning,” BBC Breakfast and “The Jeremy Vine Show” on BBC Radio 2. She is the parenting expert for many BBC Radio Stations around the UK. Sue is a regular contributor on radio and TV and her parenting articles are published all over the world. Her free ebooks with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen can found at View Guest page

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Bonnie Dougherty

Bonnie Dougherty, M.A. is the Head of School at Lexis Preparatory School, a school for students with diverse learning needs, in Scottsdale, Arizona. She joined Lexis in February, 2010, following a 31-year career in the Montgomery County Public School System in Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Dougherty was an elementary school principal and a program coordinator for the Division of Speech and Language Programs. She provided therapeutic and diagnostic services to students in 9th through 12th grades. Ms. Dougherty holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in New York and a Master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has also competed postgraduate coursework in school administration, supervision, leadership training, curriculum development, and counseling. Throughout her career, Ms. Dougherty has championed equal opportunities and appropriate accommodations for students with special needs. She was honored for her work with ESOL/Bilingual students and students with speech and language problems. You can find Ms. Dougherty at View Guest page

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Annie Fox, M.Ed.

Annie is an award-winning author and blogger. Her books include The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA and Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century. In addition to her own blog at, her popular parenting articles can be read at and View Guest page

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Elie Gaines, M.Ed.

Elie Gaines holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has served the field for 30+ years as a parent, community volunteer, teacher, principal, mentor, and national curriculum and leadership consultant. She has worked in various types of schools, including independent private college prep, public district and public charter schools. Elie has trained teachers and school leaders in all school categories also including, besides those mentioned, faith-based private schools. A 2004 Arizona recipient of the Milken Educator Award, she has served in local, state and national education organization and advisory boards such as the Arizona Department of Education, the National Council on Teacher Quality and as an A+ schools judge with the Arizona Education Foundation. Elie Gaines saw a community need for which there were no such services available in Arizona. She created All Schools Considered (ASC), a personal school search service for students entering Preschool to Grade 12. Elie Gaines can be found at as well as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter & Pinterest. View Guest page

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Jan Katzen AMI, CN, CFP

Jan Katzen AMI, CN, CFP is a Certified Nutritionist who trained with Dr. Michael Crawford, a renowned expert in brain chemistry and human nutrition. She is certified in preconceptual nutrition via the Foresight Preconceptual Care program in England. Jan is a former Montessori educator (AMI) and is currently the Nutrition Instructor for the teacher training program of the The Center for Montessori Guided Studies. Jan has served on advisory boards of The Mother and Child Foundation (UK), The Montessori Education for Autism Foundation (UK), and Epap Nutritionals in South Africa.

Jan has published scientific articles and books on nutrition. In Phoenix, Arizona, she works in Developmental Pediatric practice and in addition to her own private practice. Jan creates customized nutrition plans for couples planning for pregnancy and for families of children with neurodevelopmental, learning, behavioral, and emotional challenges. View Guest page

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Lynne Kenney, Psy.D.

Lynne Kenney, Psy.D. is a mother of two, a practicing pediatric psychologist and author of The Family Coach Method. She has advanced fellowship training in forensic psychology and developmental pediatric psychology from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Harbor-UCLA/UCLA Medical School. Dr. Kenney speaks internationally about enhancing executive function, social and academic skills with motor movement.

Her NEW book with Wendy Young Bloom: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids will be out in paperback Spring 2015. Dr. Kenney’s work is featured in Real Simple, Parents, Parenting and People Magazines. Dr. Kenney has spoken with over 4000 parents and teachers in the past 20 years. Combining her love for motor movement and brain development, Dr. Kenney’s newest endeavor, Play Math, is helping children ages 6-11 learn their math facts with playground balls and hula-hoops for better algebraic thinking. For more visit View Guest page

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Teri Krull, LCSW

Teri V. Krull, LCSW holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. She has been in private practice for over 29 years as a parent coach/educator and a treatment specialist for children, adolescents and families. She is the Director of The Center for Positive Regard, a professional education center for the training and consultation of play therapists and social workers. Teri Krull has served as board member and past president of the national Association for Play Therapy. She was also a founding member of the Arizona branch of APT (AzAPT), and was its first President in 1993. Ms. Krull has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service award from APT and two Social Work Lifetime Achievement awards in Arizona. Ms. Krull has taught and developed courses for Arizona State University’s graduate School of Social Work. She lectures nationally on a variety of play therapy and social work topics and co-facilitates Camp PlayMore, a play therapy professional retreat, in collaboration with Joyce Mills, Ph.D. You can visit Teri Krull at View Guest page

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Terrence Matteo, Ph.D.

Dr. Matteo has worked in the health care field for over 30 years, first as a registered dietitian and then as a Clinical Psychologist. He has worked on health care teams in large teaching hospitals including Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Medical Center, Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Matteo is the former director of Child Haven, a child abuse treatment program in Northern California, and at the Children’s Developmental Center at Southwest Human Development in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Matteo has extensive experience in psychological and developmental testing with a focus on the early detection and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in young children. Dr. Matteo also holds a certificate in Infant/Family Clinical Practice from the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute at Southwest Human Development. View Guest page

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Deborah McNelis, M.Ed.

Deborah McNelis, M.Ed. is an early brain development specialist and founder of Brain Insights, LLC. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Early Childhood Education and is former Preschool and Kindergarten teacher. She has coordinated and served on statewide literacy programs in Wisconsin. Deborah served as a Brain Development Specialist for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, creating and chairing The Milwaukee Brain Team.

Deborah McNelis is the award-winning author of the unique and beautiful Brain Development Series of 6 pocket sized brain activity packets. She is also the author of Naturally Developing Young Brains for teachers. Her pioneering work to create a clear understanding of the experiences children need - and deserve - is profiled regularly in a wide range of media platforms including radio shows, books and periodicals. Deborah McNelis' website is . She can be found on Twitter as @BrainInsights. View Guest page

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Joyce Mills

Joyce Mills is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The founder of StoryPlay®: an Ericksonian resiliency-focused model of Play Therapy and of The StoryPlay® Center, she is also a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and a Co-director of the Phoenix Institute for Ericksonian Therapy. She has been a consultant, workshop leader, and keynote speaker, to health care, psychological, educational, community, business and media organizations. Dr. Mills has been called an expert in her masterful and creative use of storytelling to communicate with the most difficult of society's populations, namely severely troubled children, youth, and families. She has used this expertise along with principles of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Play Therapy, and her experiences with Native American, Hawaiian, and other trans-cultural teachings to create the inspiration to soar. Dr. Mills is the recipient of several awards: The 1997 Play Therapy International Award for Outstanding Career Contribution to Child Psychology and Play Therapy; The 2014 Lifelong Work & Contribution to the Field of MultiCultural Hypnotherapy Award in Paris, France; and the 2014 Arizona Association for Play Therapy (AzAPT) Distinguished Service Award. She is an adjunct faculty member of Argosy University in Phoenix, Arizona and member of the Board of Directors of the Turtle Island Project. You can find Dr. Mills at View Guest page

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Jamie Oskin, N.D.

Dr. Jamie Oskin is a highly trained naturopathic physician with an expertise in homeopathy. Dr. Oskin graduated with High Honors from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Tempe, Arizona. He completed subsequent residencies in general family practice and homeopathy. While he treats a wide variety of chronic and acute conditions, Dr. Oskin specializes in child developmental disorders including Autism, Asperger’s and ADD/ADHD. Dr. Oskin is a national speaker on the homeopathic treatment of ADHD and Autism and his work has been published in Homeopathy Today, the American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, and Chiropractic Economics. Dr. Oskin is adjunct faculty member in the homeopathy department at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. View Guest page

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Anita Werner, MS, CCC-SLP

Anita Werner, M.S.,CCC-SLP is the founder of Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists. She has over 35 years of extensive clinical experience. Anita is widely recognized for her comprehensive work evaluating and treating a wide range of speech, language, social communication and learning challenges in children and adolescents. With degrees from Arizona State University and Southern Methodist University, she is frequent lecturer and consultant, supporting teachers and interfacing with pediatricians and school districts. Anita delivers a unique service called Social Thinking® groups in her practice. She is also a co-owner of Lexis Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can find Anita Werner at View Guest page

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Laura Wingers, Psy.D., NCSP

Dr. Laura Wingers is a clinical psychologist in private practice at Beljan Psychological Services in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Wingers specializes in early childhood issues and gifted intellect. This includes understanding and managing developmental asynchrony and supporting the healthy development of self-regulation and executive function skills in children and adolescents. Dr. Wingers consults with individuals, families and schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area on meeting the needs of gifted learners. She presents on these topics for groups at the local, state, and national level. Dr. Wingers has worked with children and adults in schools, hospitals, and private practice for more than 16 years. Her training and experience includes work in pediatric neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and school psychology. You can find her at View Guest page

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Danielle Wurth

Danielle Wurth is a Professional Organizer and Founder of Wurth Organizing, LLC, a Professional Organizing Company who services families and businesses with hands-on organizing sessions and speaking events throughout Arizona and California since 2006. She has a deep desire to teach others how to cleanse their home from clutter and their life from chaos. Diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood, Danielle struggled as a child to focus and finish tasks. There were few professional resources at the time for people with these traits. So she developed her own organizational systems to help her excel in school, business and personal life as a wife and mother of two. Danielle holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Family Studies. She draws from her educational and personal background to help create organizational systems in family homes using her 4-Step Organizing Process. Danielle and her team empower and educate people to become efficient with their time and encourage enriched relationships and a peaceful, calm family lifestyle. View Guest page

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Wendy Young

Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD is the mother of three, an award-winning child and family therapist, and founder of Kidlutions: Solutions for Kids. She is the co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Angry, Anxious and Over-the-Top Kids, co-written with Lynne Kenney, coming out in April 2015 on Amazon. Wendy graduated Summa Cum Laude from Michigan State University's School of Clinical Social Work. She is a Certified School Social Worker and the Clinical Director of Comprehensive Counseling & Consulting, LLC. Wendy consults to numerous early childhood programs in the Midwest and is a highly-sought trainer in childhood and adolescent mental health. Wendy believes that all parents are doing the very best they can at any given moment in time. You can find Wendy Young at View Guest page

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