Our friends in the Kliemann Lab are currently recruiting participants for a research study on autism. Please consider reaching out if you are interested! Details below.
Researchers in the Kliemann Lab of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at the University of Iowa are currently inviting participants for a study investigating social behavior in individuals with and without autism. You may be eligible if you:
Are between 18 – 50 years old.
Are fluent in English.
For interested participants with autism, you may be eligible if you fill the above criteria and you:
Have been diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
This study consists of completing one or more of our ongoing experiments in this study. These range from simple behavioral tasks, to measuring where participants look at during a task using noninvasive eye-tracking, to questionnaires assessing social behavior, to a research brain scan.
The specific parts (behavioral, eye tracking, and/or MRI) you participate in will depend on the current needs of the study, your eligibility for each procedure, and your desire to participate in each procedure. You may choose to participate in one, multiple, or none of these procedures upon our further correspondence and confirmation of your eligibility. These procedures will take between 1-3hours each and can be spread over multiple days.
Participants receive a compensation amount of $10 to $15 per hour depending on which procedures you are eligible for and choose to participate in.
If you are interested in participating, please email our lab at PBSfirstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 319-467-3161.
Our thanks to Wendy Behrens for sending this information to us. Wendy is the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education
Throughout the world, people are experiencing anxiety about the Covid-19 outbreak. Children are not immune to worry and many young students are concerned about missing school and friends and confused by changing schedules and responsibilities. Older students may also be concerned about testing, college applications, completion of courses, credits, missing final school events and more.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) reminds us that during these uncertain times, children look to adults for guidance on how to react. As our anxiety rises, so does the anxiety of our children. NASP recommends, “Parents reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.”
Resources for Consideration
Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm. Blog from Nicole A. Tetreault, Ph.D., on how to calm our mind, body, and nervous system in the presence of a global health crisis. (March 18, 2020)
Helping Your Child Manage Stress Through Mindfulness by Michele Kane, Ed.D. Parenting for High Potential, Dec 2017. This article, written directly to teens and tweens, helps gifted adolescents understand mindfulness and the formal/informal pathways to mindfulness. Includes apps, books, and online resources for kids.
Management of Anxiety Begins at Homeby Sal Mendaglio, Ph.D., Parenting for High Potential, Summer 2016. General article that focuses on the sources of anxiety in gifted children and what parents can do to help reduce anxiety at home.
Thanks to Gerald Aungst, Curiosity Engineer (@GeraldAungst, www.geraldaungst.com) for writing this guest post.
Parents have many questions while raising a gifted child. Some seek advice about perfectionism.
Many sources, including some psychologists and the National Association for Gifted Children, refer to two types of perfectionism: “healthy” and “unhealthy.” The healthy type, sometimes called adaptive perfectionism, describes people who consistently pursue excellence and persist in reaching those goals. Greenspon (2000) argues, though, that this isn’t actually perfectionism because those people aren’t seeking perfection. Instead, their behavior may be better described as perseverance, high achievement, and having high standards.
Although it is often listed as a common characteristic of giftedness, research has failed to find a link; in general, perfectionism is as likely to appear in both gifted and non-gifted populations (Pyryt, 2004). It is still worth understanding perfectionism and asking how to support and help gifted children who are perfectionists.
Characteristics of perfectionism
Though perfectionism can manifest differently in different children, there are a few common characteristics:
Perceived conditional acceptance
Perfectionists believe their worth as a person hinges on their ability to perform perfectly. They cannot see their own worth and accept themselves only if they are perfect. This leads to a dichotomy: the child and their work is either perfect, or it is worthless.
Perfectionists can feel intimidated by the need to complete the task perfectly, so they delay or avoid it.
No satisfaction from achievement
Since perfection is not actually achievable, perfectionists gain no satisfaction from real achievements. It doesn’t matter how well they perform or what they accomplish; the child believes their work is never good enough.
Transforming desires (wants) into demands (musts)
When perfectionists want to do something well, they interpret that as a requirement to perform perfectly. This can lead to a compulsive drive to succeed. Perfectionists may also feel guilty if they are not constantly working. There is no downtime.
Research suggests several things that can help. Perfectionism is not a disease or disorder. It is a mindset and belief system. Changing this mindset takes time and persistence. Steady, consistent, patient guidance from parents and others over the long term is the most effective course.
Don’t tell them how to be
“Telling a perfectionist not to be so hard on him- or herself may make logical sense; what he or she is likely to hear, however, is the criticism that he or she has not been a good enough perfectionist” (Greenspon, 2000, p. 206). Remember that they already believe their worth in your eyes is tied to their perfection, so directly telling them what to do or not do will be perceived through that filter.
Recognize that perfectionism isn’t a positive trait
Perfectionism doesn’t necessarily result in high performance. Perfectionism can impede productivity through procrastination and learned helplessness (Ullrich, 2013).
To turn around a perfectionist child’s self-perception requires the adults around that child to build an affirming environment:
Point out your own imperfections and failures, modeling how to persist and feel valued even when you do not succeed.
Emphasize effort and process, not end results.
Give affection, support, and encouragement liberally regardless of whether goals are met; withholding these can promote perfectionism.
Help children set realistic expectations
Perfectionists have unrealistic expectations for themselves. They set goals beyond their capabilities.
Avoid setting high standards that are non-negotiable. Show children how expectations can change when circumstances change.
Know when good enough is good enough. Teach children how to recognize that it is time to be done and move on.
Teach children to allocate their time based on the importance of an assignment; perfectionists will spend large amounts of time on a low-value or small task just to keep fine tuning it.
Change the goal. Instead of an end-product, focus on improvement and enjoyment.
Study lives of successful people
Though successful people may seem to be models of perfection, help children to learn that most successful people have flaws and failures in their lives.
Perfectionism is a challenge, but with perseverance and support from adults, a perfectionist child can learn to see their inherent worth and that they do not need to be perfect to make a valuable and meaningful contribution to their world.
Greenspon, T. S. (2000). “Healthy perfectionism” is an oxymoron! Reflections on the psychology of perfectionism and the sociology of science. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 11(4), p. 197-208.