245: Educating Gifted Students and Their Families with Barry Gelston

Today’s show focuses on gifted students and the twice-exceptional experience. As with so many people in this line of work, my guest looks to provide for students and families the help and support that he needed–and didn’t have as he grew up. Join us to learn more!

Barry Gelston is the president of GHF, Gifted Home Education Forum. They do amazing work with gifted and twice-exceptional families. Barry is an educator through “Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse,” an online homeschool program focused on providing individualized educational services for gifted and 2E learners. In this episode, we enjoyed discussing how being 2E ourselves led us to the work of helping and supporting 2E families. 


In this episode:

  • Why Barry is intensely passionate about making a difference by being a positive activist who loves his family and tries hard to be a good person in the world
  • How Barry’s personal brand of intensity shows up with constant focus and rumination about one topic at a time and being aware of sensory overload
  • How Barry grew up totally dysregulated as an underachiever with social and emotional issues from being in a divorced family
  • How Barry approached his problems with his attempt at executive functioning skills to become a good student and make more of his life
  • What Barry would say to the adults in his life “back then”
  • Why Barry’s work today revolves around what he needed as a 2E child
  • How Barry learned to overcome his reading struggles and dyslexia to become a voracious reader
  • Why wonderful things are happening in strengths-based approaches with twice exceptional and gifted students
  • How Barry’s cultural identity formed largely around growing up in a Jewish family in Queens
  • Why Barry always felt like he had to tone himself down or tune himself out as he grew up and learned the art of conversation
  • How Barry’s intensity felt out of control in early adulthood because of social pressures
  • How Barry uses his fire for good through teaching and his work, trying to fix for others what he wishes would have been fixed for him
  • How mindfulness, meditation, self-centering, and 2E awareness have helped Barry harness the power of his intensity
  • How creating systems and structures has helped with executive functioning for Barry–and how he uses it to help students
  • How Barry helps others use their own fire through connecting and learning from each other

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