Coaching services provided by The Gifted Learning Lab are not therapy and do not involve professional licensure
Do you want to feel more confident raising your intense gifted or twice-exceptional kid?
Perhaps this resonates with you...
You know your kid or teen is awesome. They’re smart, funny, creative, and caring. But they also have big, intense feelings that overwhelm them.
Your kid seems more passionate than their peers - they’re the one who throws a tantrum at soccer, storms out of the room when corrected, or bursts into tears at school when something doesn’t go their way.
Your kid loves to learn, but they hate the feeling of not knowing something. If learning feels too hard or they make a mistake, they may cry, rip up their work, or refuse to participate.
Your kid is hard on themselves - really hard. Even though they’re bright and talented, they call themselves stupid, say they’re the worst in the world, say they hate themselves, or wonder why they’re so different from their peers.
Once your kid is having a big feeling, it’s hard to get them out of it. You’ve tried reassuring them, reasoning with them, talking them through it, being understanding - nothing seems to help.
You’re worried your child’s perfectionism will erode their love of learning and that their big feelings will drive away friends.
You’ve read a lot of parenting books and tried to implement the strategies, but your kid seems to run on a different operating system - nothing you’ve tried has been quite right.
Sometimes you worry you’re too lenient with your child and they’ll never learn to function in the “real world.” But other times you worry you’re too strict or that your child is developing some shame about their big feelings.
You're ready for a new approach...
You want to feel more confident and connected even when your kid is melting down or acting out.
You’re craving clear principles and practical strategies to guide you during tough moments.
You've maxed out general parenting advice and want ideas from someone who understands gifted and twice-exceptional kids like yours.
This program will help you...
Understand giftedness so you know what your child needs to thrive
Stay more calm and collected in the face of your child’s big feelings
Channel your child’s intensity into one of their greatest strengths
Nurture your child’s talents while also supporting their challenges
Encourage your child’s resilience in tough moments
Build a strategy list & support system tailored to your family's needs
Tap into your strengths as a parent, even when things are tense
I created this program to help you feel
more ease & more confidence
raising your intense gifted/2e kid.
Support Your Intense Gifted/2e Kid
is an 8-week group coaching program designed to build your confidence.
The program includes:
- 8 weekly live (and recorded) Learning Lab meetings with Danika (90 minutes)
- 8 weekly live (and recorded) Office Hours meetings for Q&A with Danika (60 minutes)
- Online asynchronous coaching from Danika between meetings
- 1 one-hour private coaching call with Danika (60 minutes)
- Guided reflection prompts and curated resources to help you apply strategies to your specific kid
- A private online community with your small group of Learning Lab cohort-mates
- A copy of all slides and reflection prompts to keep forever
Read below to learn more about how the program works.
Weekly live Learning Lab meetings
Overview: Once a week, I share in-depth information about the week's topic, then help you apply the ideas and strategies to your specific situation. You also feel less alone as you hear from other parents and share ideas.
90 minutes each
Learn principles and strategies to understand and support intense gifted/2e kids, then make a plan to apply them at home
Detailed description of the live weekly Learning Lab meetings:
Each live, interactive Learning Lab meeting is 90 minutes long. I’ll introduce new information about intense gifted/2e kids plus guiding principles and strategies to support your child and your parenting.
You'll "do the work" during our lab meetings, so you know you're getting the most out of the program.
You’ll collect helpful ideas and respond to carefully crafted prompts that will help you adapt ideas to your unique child and family. You'll make a plan to try out new strategies. During each lab meeting we'll have time for Q&A, small-group coaching, and conversations with other participants.
Learn about giftedness and twice-exceptionality so you understand what your kid needs to thrive.
Learn new strategies that are grounded in research and effective for gifted/2e kids.
Personalize and adapt ideas to your unique family situation through guided activities, live Q&A, and interactive small-group coaching.
Get support directly from me - I'll answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you adapt strategies as needed.
Connect with other parents who are also passionate about supporting their own smart, sensitive kids.
Weekly live Office Hours meetings
Overview: You get more feedback & help applying new ideas & strategies at home. You connect with other families & share ideas.
60 minutes each
Get answers to your questions & connect with other families who get it
Detailed description of the live Office Hours meetings:
Each live, interactive Office Hours meeting is 60 minutes long. During Office Hours, I answer questions and we discuss your questions as a group.
During the office hours, you get help applying the ideas from our Learning Lab meetings to your specific child and unique situation in all their complexity.
You and your lab mates share what it was like to try the ideas from the Learning Lab meeting. You get my help with questions or problems that arose. You can also ask any other questions on your mind about how to support your intense gifted/2e kid.
Continue to personalize and adapt ideas to your unique family situation with my support.
Get support directly from me - I'll answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you adapt strategies as needed. You can ask any questions on your mind about your intense gifted/2e kid(s).
Connect with other parents to share strategies, frustrations, challenges, and successes.
Apply & observe between meetings
Try your new strategies to see what works best for your specific kid(s)
Overview: Between meetings, you’ll apply what you’ve learned and see what works best for you and your family. You'll get help problem-solving from me and your lab mates in the private network and private coaching calls (see below).
Private online network
Overview: You've got access to your small group within Mighty Networks, a private online community. You can share ideas, ask questions, and get my help between meetings. In the network you can access recordings of our meetings plus copies of my slides and other resources.
Detailed description of application & observation between meetings:
Parenting is complex and each kid and family are different. The Learning Lab process is all about learning new ideas, adapting ideas to your unique situation, trying new approaches at home, observing results, & adjusting as needed until you find what works for you and your child.
Put your plan into action - use the plan you made during the Learning Lab meeting to try out new principles and strategies at home.
Observe & reflect to see what works for your kid, your parenting style, and your current situation.
Share your questions in the private network or private coaching calls (see below) to get help applying strategies and adjusting as needed.
Repeat this process to find what works for you and your family.
Ask questions between meetings, access recordings & resources, and connect with other parents in your cohort
Detailed description of the private online network:
In this private online group network, you can post questions for me and I'll post videos answering questions at least twice per week. You'll have the option to ask your questions anonymously - I'll reply with a video to the whole group. In this private online space, you can also share challenges, successes, and questions with your fellow labmates.
Participants find the online network helpful because you can post a question or an observation at any time during the program. If you try a new strategy and it doesn't work the way you hoped, you can post a question to get support and hear my suggestions or perspective. If you have an "ah ha!" moment when you connect something from our program to your experience parenting your child, you can share your observations in the network right away, to solidify your new insight and share your realization with others who get it.
The online network also houses all the resources associated with Support Your Intense Gifted/2e Kid - recordings of our live meetings, copies of my slides, and a curated list of resources to learn more about the topics that are most relevant for you and your kid.
Continue to personalize and adapt ideas to your unique family situation with my support.
Get support directly from me - I'll answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you adapt strategies as needed. You can ask any questions on your mind about your intense gifted/2e kid(s).
Connect with other parents to share strategies, observations, challenges, and successes.
Access recordings of our meetings, worksheets, slides, and additional resources.
Detailed description of private coaching calls:
During the last 4 weeks of the program, you can schedule a private coaching call to go more in-depth on a specific question or topic, or you can use this time to discuss questions you're more comfortable discussing in private.
Apply the program's ideas to your specific kid and family by discussing your situation in more detail during these private coaching calls.
Get more support directly from me, your parenting coach - I'll answer your questions and help you adapt strategies or problem-solve as needed.
Private coaching calls
Overview: One 60-minute call per family so you can go more in-depth about your most pressing questions or talk privately about certain topics.
Get 1:1 support from Danika, focused on your most pressing questions
By the end of 8 weeks, you’ll have:
A new framework to understand & support your intense gifted/2e kid
A list of guiding principles & strategies to help you problem-solve any tricky parenting situation - plus lots of experience actually applying and adjusting these ideas in real life
A developing sense of which strategies work best for your family, in what situations, and with what adaptations
A plan to support your child and yourself in the year ahead
Here's a summary of what we'll do each week
Week 1: Understand Gifted & Twice-Exceptional Intensity
You’ll learn a clear, simple framework to understand the sources of your child's intensity, and how their intensity relates to their giftedness or twice-exceptionality. You can see a small sample of the information from Week 1 here. We’ll also talk about commonly-missed indicators of twice-exceptionality and how to know when additional assessment might help you understand the source of your child’s intensity.
If you’re still not sure why your gifted or twice-exceptional kid can be so intense , this is the week when you finally get a clearer picture.
Week 2: Respond to Big Emotions & Intense Moments
You’ll learn the VIEW framework, a 3-step process you can use when your bright kid has big feelings or an intense moment. This process can reduce power struggles and help you stay calmer during intense moments.
The strategies you learn this week are some of the biggest keys to a calmer family life, so you can start putting them to work right away. You’ll get help applying this strategy to your child’s big feelings and intense behaviors.
A lot of parents wonder how they can validate and support their child’s intense feelings when their kid breaks a rule or acts aggressively - we’ll talk about that!
Week 3: Incorporate Autonomy & Interests
Intense gifted/2e kids often crave autonomy more than most kids. We'll talk about how you can promote autonomy during daily routines and in the language you use. Surprisingly, giving intense kids more control can help them feel safe and thereby lead to a calmer home life.
Gifted/2e kids also truly love their interests and passions. They thrive when they’re engaged in one of their interests, but big feelings and disruptive behaviors often distract from kids’ passions. You’ll explore some creative, new ways to expand and leverage your child’s interests - because incorporating their interests can reduce meltdowns and improve mood, relationships, and behavior.
Week 4: Support Challenges by Embracing Neurodiversity
Many intense gifted and twice-exceptional kids need additional supports and accommodations to set them up for success and reduce their emotional overwhelm. But, many parents don’t know where to start or which supports are reasonable.
We’ll discuss concrete strategies to support your child’s challenges with an approach that affirms neurodiversity and helps your child develop a realistic, positive identity. These strategies will help you meet your kid where they're at to avoid many difficulties, meltdowns, and power struggles in the first place.
Week 5: Craft Better-Fit Learning
Typical school practices often aren’t a great fit for bright, strong-willed kids. That’s one reason parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids often have to communicate and advocate more often with school than the average parent.
This week, you’ll learn common educational “fit” problems for gifted students and some potential solutions, such as acceleration, assistive technology, 504 and IEP plans, and collaboration with school. I’ll tailor the specific content to each group’s questions, with extra time for Q&A.
I’ll adapt the strategies for this week based on whether participants’ kids are in public, charter, private, homeschooling, or other educational settings.
Week 6: Build a Social Support System
Many intense gifted kids struggle to find "their people" or seem out of place in typical social situations. At the same time, many parents of gifted kids feel alone in their parenting journey, without a social support system that understands them and their child. This week, you’ll explore new ways to support your child's positive social relationships and build a social support system for the whole family.
Week 7: Encourage Resilience
If your child gets overwhelmed by setbacks and disappointments, you’re not alone! This week you’ll learn tips and strategies to support your child’s engagement and resilience. These strategies are based on motivation research and give you specific things to say during moments of frustration and low resilience. We’ll review common de-motivating messages to avoid and more motivating messages to use instead. These approaches can help reduce perfectionism over time.
Kids and teens are also more resilient when they understand themselves and what they need to thrive. If you’re not sure how to talk with your kid about being gifted or 2e, you’ll get help crafting affirmative, clear descriptions that resonate with your child.
Week 8: Make a Plan
You’ll reflect on your learning lab experience and identify your key take-aways. You’ll identify your biggest wins and favorite new strategies. Then I’ll lead you through a process to set goals for the coming year for your child and yourself. I'll help you craft a clear, actionable plan to reach your goals while caring for yourself and your child along the way.
Meet your coach
Hi, I’m Danika! I help families understand and nurture their gifted and twice-exceptional kids.
Since I began teaching at age 25, I’ve been the go-to person for questions about how to support gifted and 2e kids. I’ve sought out intense and sensitive gifted/2e kids in every iteration of my career - as a teacher, therapist, assessment provider, psychologist, school consultant, and now a parent coach.
I’ve partnered with families and schools to support gifted kids, conducted award-winning research on twice-exceptionality, and created new services to help parents feel less alone raising their exceptionally bright kids.
As a former gifted kid raising an intense gifted preschooler, I understand the issues from the inside out and have an intuitive grasp of families’ experiences.
I love working with intense gifted and 2e kids - I admire their fierce integrity, emotional honesty, and willingness to say what’s on their mind. I love working with these kids’ parents too, who often delight in their children and work double-time to support them despite the lack of tailored resources and relevant supports.
I created The Gifted Learning Lab and my signature coaching program, Support Your Intense Gifted/2e Kid, because I hate seeing so many committed, creative parents working hard to support their kids without a clear and accessible road map. I’ve talked to hundreds of parents who want to support their gifted/2e kid in new ways but can't find relevant guidance from someone who understands complex gifted or 2e kids like theirs.
I've always been a fierce advocate for kids, particularly those who are misunderstood because they’re different from the norm. I believe all kids can thrive when there's a good fit between their characteristics and their environment. I started the Gifted Learning Lab because all parents of gifted/2e kids deserve information and support designed just for them, so they can feel confident and thrive alongside their child.
Participants describe how participating in
this program improved their confidence:
In the past it was hard to set consistent limits with my son because he often pushed back. I had to prepare for a 45-minute meltdown if I stuck to my limits. It felt like his intensity could change the family mood, and he sometimes lashed out and hit us or his sibling.
During the coaching program, I learned ways I could value my son’s autonomy while maintaining my own boundaries. When I gave him more autonomy, he stopped pushing back as much. In the group, it was helpful to share struggles and hear that other parents with gifted kids experience the same struggles we do. It’s hard to parent an intense gifted kid but this experience normalized the difficulty for me.
Now I feel less shame and guilt over parenting because I’ve realized we are already doing so much.
Before this program, I wanted to work more effectively with my children but I felt like I was missing key information about how to understand them. Now I feel empowered to do what works for my kids and to not do what doesn’t work! I’m embracing their neurodivergence and am able to meet my kids where they are with confidence.
I really appreciated the opportunity to get feedback from Danika between meetings. It made a huge difference for me to be able to ask clarifying questions as I was applying the ideas to my own parenting. The private coaching call was also super helpful to continue to personalize the skills and training from the group coaching sessions.
I use my skills learned in the coaching program every day! Now, with my kids, I can acknowledge all of our bravery in moving towards wholeness together.
Before this program, it was hard to deal with my son’s day-to-day intensity challenges, and I wasn’t sure how to help him with friendship challenges at school. I also wondered how we could best support him as a gifted learner.
It was so helpful to learn specific strategies that are easy to remember in the heat of the moment (like "VIEW"). It was also helpful to learn how many of our challenges are shared by other families.
It was invaluable to have a thoughtful and knowledgeable person (Danika ;-)) to get ideas for specific situations. It's one thing to read or learn a theory about what will help - it's another thing entirely to have professional guidance applying the theory to specific challenges. I found the most value in the program from these weekly discussions and collaborative problem solving. I also appreciated the sense that we were "doing the work" during the lab meetings - this helped me feel certain we are doing enough and on the right path as parents.
- Mom of a 5-year-old and 12-year-old
- Dad of a 5-year-old
- Mom of a 5-year-old
This program is for you if...
You think your kid is awesome - a truly creative, fun, and likable person - yet you’re at your wit’s end about handling their behavior or supporting their big feelings
You know you’re a great parent with a lot of strengths - even though you don’t feel as confident yet about handling your kid’s intense feelings and behaviors
You’re curious about different approaches to parenting and ready to try new parenting techniques
You want to learn and make brave changes alongside other thoughtful parents who understand the joys and challenges of a bright, passionate kid
This learning lab is NOT for you if...
You have a hard time naming your child’s strengths or your strengths as a parent - everything about parenting your kid feels really tough right now
You don’t have the bandwidth to try new parenting techniques right now
You want to reign in your child’s big feelings and behaviors without changing your perspective and approach as a parent
You’re not very confident your child is gifted - if that’s the case, the examples in this program won’t be a great fit
Interested in joining the next cohort of Support Your Intense Gifted/2e Kid? I'd love to work together!
Sign up for the waitlist to be the first to know when registration opens.
Have more questions about the group coaching program and whether it's a good fit for you?
See the Frequently Asked Questions below. If your questions aren't addressed below, you can schedule a brief chat with me to discuss your questions.
If you prefer to email your questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this coaching program relevant for me if I have an intense gifted preschooler? An intense gifted teenager?
This program is designed for parents of intense gifted kids ages 2-18. The key principles you’ll learn are relevant throughout the lifespan - so if you’re a grown-up gifted kid, you may even use some of them to support yourself. Based on my experience helping families with kids of many ages plus my background in child development, I’ll give examples about how to adapt the strategies for different ages. You can continue to use the strategies for years to come.
Does my child or teen need to be officially identified as gifted for me to participate in the coaching program?
Your child does not have to be officially identified as gifted, as long as you strongly suspect your child is cognitively gifted or advanced.
If you have any questions about whether the learning lab is a good fit, please contact me directly at email@example.com to set up a time to chat.
I’ve already read a lot of books and articles and listened to a lot of podcasts about gifted kids, intense kids, or parenting. What’s different about this program?
There is an overwhelming amount of information about giftedness, intensity, and parenting on the internet, in parenting books, and on podcasts. You could spend hours reading or listening (which perhaps you already have!) yet still not get clear answers to your most pressing questions, like how to help your child with their big feelings or what expectations are appropriate.
During our group coaching meetings, I’ll guide you through an organized process to understand your child better, craft a plan for your family, and reflect on what works and what doesn’t. I’ve used my background in giftedness, twice-exceptionality, education, parenting, and motivation to distill tons of information into a manageable set of guiding principles and strategies.
The step-by-step learning lab process helps you approach your parenting in an organized way that can feel calming and grounding after months or years of stressful research alone.
A second critical part of the group coaching experience is the opportunity to adapt ideas and strategies to your specific parenting situation and your unique child. One of the most frustrating parts about learning parenting ideas from the internet, books, or podcasts is that it's not always clear how to use the ideas in your life, or how to adapt them so they'll work. During group coaching and live Q&A sessions, you'll get help applying the program's content to your actual parenting situations and questions.
Is this program therapy?
No, this group coaching program is not therapy and is not a substitute for therapy or a professional relationship with a licensed mental health professional. During group coaching lab meetings, you'll reflect privately on your own experiences, strengths, and challenges - but we won't spend time exploring any participant's personal psychology in depth with the group or with me.
If you or your child are already participating in therapy services, this group coaching program can be a great complement to your personal therapy work because it will give you a gifted-specific framework to understand your child and improve your family dynamics.
If at any point during the group coaching program you realize that your own or your child's anxiety, sadness, history of trauma and stress, or other mental health challenges are affecting your ability to use the new information and strategies you're learning, I'd encourage you to seek out therapy services to get additional personalized support.
What if I have some issues with the terms “gifted” or "twice-exceptional"?
You don’t have to be completely comfortable with the labels “gifted” or “twice-exceptional” to benefit from this program, as long as you see your child as bright or as intellectually/academically advanced. During this program, you’ll get a chance to understand giftedness in a new way and learn more about what giftedness means for your child.
The term “gifted” has a complicated and problematic history. Historically, IQ testing and gifted programs have been used to support eugenics, racial stereotypes, and inequities. Yet some children from all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic situations are unusually bright and advanced.
My view of giftedness is this: giftedness isn’t about being better, it’s about being different. And I believe it’s important to acknowledge when a child is bright or gifted because we have to understand a child accurately to support them well. For gifted kids, knowing they’re gifted helps us make a better fit between their environments and their unique characteristics.
If you don’t believe that gifted or high-ability children sometimes think and process the world differently than typically developing children, this program probably won’t be a good match.
What if I have some issues with the word “intense”?
If the descriptions at the top of this page resonate with you, this program will probably be a good fit even if you don't love the word "intense" or if you prefer other words to describe your kid - like passionate, energetic, sensitive, assertive, independent, strong-willed, or curious.
I chose the word "intense" because it resonates with many parents whose gifted kids feel deeply, think deeply, and notice things that others don't.
In this program, we'll look at "intensity" in a new way that highlight your child's strengths and helps you identify successful strategies to support them.
I think "intense" can be a useful shorthand, but it doesn't capture all the nuance and individuality of a child's strong feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. In fact, I wrote a brief article about the word "intense" - how it can be validating or invalidating, depending on how it's used. I also list some other ways to describe apparent "intensity." Check it out here if you're interested.
My intense gifted child is autistic, has ADHD, or has a learning disability like dyslexia. Is this program designed for families like ours?
Absolutely! I have a special interest in twice-exceptionality and Support Your Intense Gifted/2e Kid was designed with twice-exceptional kids in mind. I strive to make all the approaches and strategies neurodiversity-affirming and appropriate for twice-exceptional kids. We also spend significant time helping participants adapt the principles and strategies to their specific child's neurotype, personality, interests, and other characteristics.
I have a lot of experience supporting families of intense gifted kids who are autistic, have ADHD, and have learning disabilities or sensory sensitivities - as well as supporting the kids themselves. I am continually learning about neurodiversity-affirming approaches to parenting and coaching as well as the lived experiences of neurodiverse folks of all kinds.
If you're interested in the program and want to learn more about supporting your twice-exceptional kid, I would love to have you!
What’s the refund policy?
This is an all-in investment. There are no refunds after lab meetings have begun. You’ll be learning a new framework to help you understand your child better, feel calmer as a parent, and bolster your support systems. The 8-week group coaching experience walks you through this framework and gives you the tools you need to make real, lasting changes in your parenting and your family. This is vulnerable, exciting work. I want you to be fully invested in the process so you can get the most out of what the learning lab has to offer. With this policy, you’ll know that your labmates are as invested in the process as you are.