Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
Nurturing Giftedness and Overexcitabilities in the Classroom

Nurturing Giftedness and Overexcitabilities in the Classroom

Join Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 57 with Summer Cowick

In episode 57, Chris and Emma talked with Summer Cowick, an educator with over 15 years of classroom experience specializing in gifted education in Kansas City. Through her coaching organization, Brilliant And Then Some, Summer strives to empower gifted and talented children and their families, guiding them through individual circumstances to unlock their full potential and achieve lasting happiness.

For educators and parents, this episode offers practical insights and strategies for supporting overexcitable and gifted students. This is the first time we explicitly address the issue of overexcitability in the classroom. We discussed the impact of Dabrowski’s theory in educational settings, and how understanding overexcitabilities can transform teaching and learning experiences.

Our discussion covered a wide range of topics, from applying Dabrowski's theory in the classroom to understanding giftedness beyond the stereotypical traits and the crucial role authenticity plays in education. Summer shared some challenges and strategies for recognizing and nurturing giftedness in students from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds. We talk about the crucial role of authenticity for both students and teachers, including how it influences educational outcomes and personal development.

We all shared personal anecdotes about giftedness and overexcitabilities at school. We hope this conversation will help illuminate the complexities of navigating education, including the challenges of sensory overloads, and maintaining personal autonomy and authenticity in overwhelming environments.

Summer’s experiences and insights remind us of the power of understanding and leveraging psychological theories like Dabrowski’s to enhance educational practices and support students’ unique needs. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or someone interested in the psychology of education, this episode provides valuable perspectives on making education a more inclusive and transformative experience.

Make sure you listen to the end so you can enjoy our hilarious outtakes!

Resources from this episode

Brilliant and Then Some (Summer’s website)

2024 Dabrowski Congress info page. Summer’s session is “The Real Deal—OEs in the Classroom.” Click here to register.

“Mellow Out,” They say. If I Only Could: Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright” by Michael M. Piechowski

Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski (Eds.)

Sneaky Stimming video by Emma

Episode 56: Autoethnography for Personal Growth

Mental Floss article: When Tipper Gore Took On 80s Rock Music

Connect with us

Positive Disintegration on Substack

Visit the Dabrowski Center website



The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel

Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook

The Tragic Gift blog by Emma

Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com

Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.