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.

Click here to view the printable schedule. 

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

Upcoming Meetings

Cultivating Resilience and Connectedness in Gifted Children Through the Great Outdoors

Speaker: Betsy Jones, President & Co-Founder, Institute for Educational Advancement

Tuesday, March 3rd • 6:00 p.m.
540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101

Gifted Children often possess great empathy for the world around them. They also can be overly self-critical, exhibit unhealthy signs of perfectionism, stress, and anxiety. Surrounded by nature, under the guidance of experts, gifted students can learn to calm their mind, develop heightened self-awareness, and foster resiliency through mindfulness.

About the Speaker

Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher and administrator of educational programs for over 30 years. She holds a Master’s degree in special education from the University of Southern California and has completed doctoral work in the field of educational policy and learning theory. Ms. Jones served as the Associate Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Director of the Western Region for ten years prior to founding the Institute for Educational Advancement in 1998. While at CTY, Elizabeth served as Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. JoBea Way for a NASA and National Science Foundation sponsored educational initiative called KidSat. She received recognition from the National Diffusion Network for the creation and implementation of exemplary programs for underserved gifted students and specialized in the intellectual, social and emotional needs of students. She created and implemented the SDB teacher recognition program and expanded the scope of services at CTY. As President of IEA she was contracted to assist in the creation and implementation of the Davidson Young Scholars program. She went on to lead in the creation and implementation of the award-winning Yunasa summer camp for the gifted and the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship program. Ms. Jones currently serves on the Advisory Board for GRO Gifted and the Board of Directors for Math Academy.

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Aspects of the Twice-Exceptional (2e) Learner

Speakers: Ann Smith, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Gifted Support Center & Vivien Keil, Clinical Director at the Children’s Health Council (CHC) in Palo Alto.

Tuesday, April 21st • 6:30 p.m.
540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101

Students who are twice-exceptional (2e) have tremendous intellectual gifts alongside a wide range of possible learning challenges — attention differences, slow processing speed, social immaturity, and/or weak executive function skills, just to name a few of the possibilities. This asynchronous development can make it extremely challenging to meet their unique needs and contribute to significant mental health conditions such as anxiety. Learn more about the profiles of 2e students, support strategies including academic and school-based interventions, why they experience anxiety, and how parents and educators can help support these exceptional youth.

About the Speaker

Vivien is a neuropsychologist who specializes in the developmental evaluation of young children and neuropsychological evaluation of children and adolescents. In her role at CHC, she frequently works with youth with gifted or twice-exceptional profiles. Her goal is to understand the whole child, and she strives to balance the clinical perspective with a strengths-based approach. In addition, since 2013, Dr. Keil has also worked at the Gifted Support Center in San Mateo, first as an examiner conducting cognitive assessments on children and eventually as an advisor helping to guide their assessment model. Dr. Keil has over 15 years of experience working with children and families. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and her postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Following licensure, she worked at the Neurobehavioral Clinic and Counseling Center in Orange County with a focus on conducting comprehensive neuropsychological assessments of children and adolescents with both psychiatric and medical diagnoses. In addition, she was the supervising psychologist in the Department of Outpatient Psychiatry at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she focused on assessment and therapy with diverse and underserved populations. Dr. Keil earned her BS in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University, graduating magna cum laude. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego.

Ann founded Gifted Support Center in 2011 in direct response to the lack of services and support available for gifted children and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ann spearheaded the creation of Leave Your Sleep for Education, an interdisciplinary language arts curriculum that uses poetry and music as stimuli to learning across disciplines for PreK–8 grade students. LYSFE is a complimentary online curriculum platform for teachers. She serves as past-president for the California Association for the Gifted, on the advisory board for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, and on a public policy committee for the Institute for Educational Advancement. Ann is passionate about finding solutions to support diverse gifted learners. She currently works in her local community, at the state level, and at national levels of advocacy to support gifted learners and their families.

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Preparing for and Launching a Gifted Student into Young Adulthood and Independence

Speaker: Dan Greenwood, Educational Consultant, Greenwood Associates

Thursday, May 28th • 6:00 p.m.
540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101

How can you set your Gifted adolescent student up for long-term success. Start by helping them learn about themselves, leverage their strengths, and identify a career to work towards. Then plan with that end in mind, making sure their education, internships, volunteer opportunities are giving them an opportunity to learn more about their chosen career so that they can further pursue that career with confidence or make adjustments to their thinking based on actual experience and knowledge. This presentation shows you how to go through this process with a student who is 15 or more years old.

About the Speaker

Dan Greenwood, Ed.D., M.Ed., is an educator with over 30 years experience helping students realize their full potential. He earned his masters and doctoral degrees in Education from the University of Virginia. As president of Greenwood Associates, Dr. Greenwood trains and supports career and educational consultants and educational programs in the Greenwood System. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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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