Parent Support Group | Services | Institute for Educational Advancement


Supporting a gifted child
is often challenging.

As parents and educators, it can be difficult to understand how best to meet the complex needs of gifted children. During the school year, IEA offers complimentary monthly Gifted Support Group meetings featuring  professionals who are experts on various aspects of gifted youth. These meetings provide support and community, a venue for shared discovery, and a space to exchange resources and ideas. Sharing experiences with other parents and educators who interact with gifted children has proven to be enormously helpful.

In order to assist the widest range of families, we will be livestreaming the meetings on our Facebook page, unless otherwise noted.


Upcoming Meetings

Helping Your Gifted Child Transition Back to the Classroom

Speaker: Sharon Duncan

Thursday, October 14, 2021 • 6:00 p.m. PDT
In Person at IEA’s Learning Center in Pasadena
540 S. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Also available via livestream

Gifted children often experience the world in an intense manner, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Even positive, much-anticipated changes can be challenging. The adjustments to education made necessary by COVID have been difficult for students, parents, teachers, and schools alike. Yet those changes have happened, and after a fair amount of time, many students have adjusted to a “new normal.” Others continue to struggle, and still others have never even experienced a regular school year. While most are excited about a return to the classroom, no matter how well it is executed, it will still be a transition. Add to this rich pot of soup, the complications from gifted asynchronous development and these complex, intense children are likely to benefit from some unique “tools” to make the transition smoother. This talk will focus on why change can be hard for some gifted students, and what you can do to help them succeed.

About the Speaker

Sharon Duncan is an independent consultant. She works with parents, educators, schools, districts, psychologists, and pediatricians to help them understand and meet the social, emotional and educational needs of gifted children. Sharon consults with parents on behavioral concerns, educational decisions, and options, provides training on the innate characteristics and behaviors of giftedness to educators so that they can practice their craft more effectively, and teams with parents and educators to find solutions to the wide variety of challenges that often accompany these complex children. Prior to her work with Gifted Identity, she spent 26 years working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sharon has served on the governing boards of both public and private schools. A regular presenter at State and National conferences, she and a partner are completing a research study of identify formation in the parents of gifted children. Sharon is co-founder of both gifted Identity, and Gifted Research and Outreach, a non-profit entity with the mission to promote a comprehensive and accurate understanding of giftedness through research and outreach.

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How to Communicate Effectively with My Child’s Teacher

Speaker: Jere Chang

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 • 5:00 p.m. PDT
via Zoom (RSVP for link)

With students returning to the classroom, many families are eager to talk to their child’s teacher, and families of gifted children are no exception. Jere Chang will help families navigate effective ways to communicate with your child’s teacher. While educators are trained in serving students with varying learning styles and abilities, open communication with teachers is invaluable. Like any profession, educators communicate in a variety of ways. In this presentation, Jere Chang will discuss effective methods for productive conversations with your child’s teacher(s). As a parent of a gifted identified child, Jere understands the value of wanting to ensure that our children are both challenged and nurtured in the classroom.

About the Speaker

Jere Chang is a gifted education teacher for grades 1st-5th at a public STEAM charter school in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of educational experience spanning from kindergarten – college. She received two M.Ed.s from the University of Georgia:  College Administration and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and earned a 3rd M. Ed. from Georgia State University: English as a Second Language. 

Ms. Chang has both reading and gifted education endorsements, and previously taught applied linguistics for teachers earning their ESOL endorsement. Prior to working in the classroom, Ms. Chang worked as an academic counselor at the University of Georgia helping incoming students with test-taking, reading, and time-management strategies. 

Ms. Chang has spoken at conferences across the U.S. with topics ranging from Using Humor in the Classroom to Incorporating PBL and STEAM in the Gifted Classroom. In 2017, Ms. Chang was recognized by the University of Georgia as the Distinguished Alumni for the Department of Education. 

Ms. Chang strives to connect with students by building meaningful relationships and creating an inclusive classroom atmosphere.

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Past Meetings

Click here to visit our Youtube page to view recordings of past Gifted Support Groups. 

IEA Gifted Support Group Meetings



• Learn the theory and application of a holistic approach for gifted children
• Meet, share with, and learn from educators and other parents of gifted children
• Get in-depth information on a variety of topics related to gifted youth and education


Past topics have included:

  • Giftedness Identification & IQ Testing
  • Homeschooling Parent Panel
  • Accelerated Gifted Education
  • Enhancing the Emotional Functioning of Gifted Children
  • Exploring Non-Traditional Education Options in a Standardized World
  • Gifted Resource Swap and Play Date
  • Twice-Exceptional Parent Panel
  • Emotional Freedom Therapy


To see upcoming gifted support group meeting topics and details, please visit the Upcoming Events page of our website. Questions or would like to suggest a speaker or topic? Email Amber McClarin at

Consulting for Youth & Families
Consulting with Educators
Gifted Support Group
Speaking Engagements
Join the group! For information about our next gifted support group meeting, visit our upcoming events page.

“IEA provides a wealth of information and is the best resource we’ve found for support and guidance in the gifted community.”

– IEA Parent