The Arrogant Know-It-All Conundrum

Your Rainforest Mind

Flickr Creative Commons Gaurika Wijeratne Flickr Creative Commons Gaurika Wijeratne

My counseling clients talk fast. They use words I don’t recognize. They notice when I’m a teensy weensy bit distracted. I don’t know how it happened that I became a therapist for smart people. OK, for g-g-gifted people. Seriously, on the continuum of giftedness, I’m BG. (barely gifted)

I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me. I love my job. I’m just saying. I’m not sure how I got here.

In spite of my BGness, I know some things about these people. I mean, I know some things about you.

I know that you’re intense. If you don’t “dial it down,” you may even be accused of being arrogant, a know-it-all. People don’t understand your exuberance or your natural warp speed or your love of language. They don’t understand your glee over dark matter. They don’t know that you don’t realize when you’ve lost them. Or you do realize when you’ve lost them and…

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Have you found your community?

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Image of Mackinac Island, MI. Copyrighted 2011 by Nicole Diatto

{This post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Anything you purchase through the provided links helps support patchwork poppies. Thank you for your support.}

This month’s GHF blog hop is on the topic of, Community.

Community is a broad term. It basically means a group of individuals that share “something” in common. According to Merriam-Webster, Community (in relation to this blog post) means: A group of people who share the same interests, religion, race, etc. A unified body of individuals; a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a community of “gifted/neuro-atypical”(<my insertion) persons>… Thank you, Merriam-Webster!

While writing on behalf of neurodiversity, I believe its important to touch on the topic of community.  As human beings, we thrive in community. Often times, as neuro-atypical/neurodivergent individuals, we feel isolated in our local communities regarding our unique characteristics, traits and quite frankly, just because of who we are. Because of this, I believe its vitally important for us to find our own unique community to support our many needs and situations, locally as well as through social media and the internet. Its so easy to feel alone and lost when your local community can’t relate to you or your situation. Even though you might have great supportive friends and family, if they don’t quite know what you are going through, then your family and friend community suddenly isn’t enough. Its easy to feel isolated and alone.

I was there 2-3 yrs ago. I was overwhelmed and lost. No one around me could relate to my situation of my “high-needs” infant daughter. I felt alone. I thought I was doing something wrong.  That’s when I decided to do something about it. As many of you may already know, I started researching and found that she actually fit the gifted label. I read some amazing books** and scoured the internet to find some sort of understanding, connection and support. I didn’t realize it then, but I was craving and longing for community. I needed to connect with like minded individuals and individuals who were living a similar experiential reality as me. I couldn’t find anything local. Most local communities comprise of school-aged children. And when I did find local “tot” meet ups, I still felt quite isolated because no one could relate to me. Even though my daughter gained friends and could build bonds and relationships with some of the children, I still felt isolated. I then realized I needed to  find a community of moms with high-needs/gifted toddlers. I probably could of started a local community group, but in my case, I’ve been home bound with infant twins. So to the internet I went. . . In my internet search, I came across many great organizations that helped bring a sense of community, online. GHF, Hoagies Gifted, and some small social groups on social media (you can find more websites on my resource page).

I highly suggest finding and connecting with gifted groups through social media, such as Facebook. I have been doing so for the past 1.5-2 years and its been a life saver for me! Use the search tab and look for gifted mom’s groups, gifted children, gifted teens … or even feel free to make your own group! I’ve noticed more people making local/regional gifted groups through FB and Yahoo groups. You can even use GHF to find local and regional groups and Hoagies Gifted list of online community groups. I have found connecting with others through these social media groups has brought a true, more meaningful sense of community.

If you feel you would like to start a local community group, I highly recommend it. You can start it on FB or the website,, Yahoo groups…. I’m sure there are other websites out there as well that can help organize group get togethers… or even look to see if someone might have already set one up. Don’t be afraid to start a niche group as well! It’s all about building and bringing community together and to you.

When I finally found my online community, my “tribe”, I felt liberated. It was like hitting the lottery. My heart fluttered with joy! Here were these people who walked a very similar path as me. Their children were much like mine and it was as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. It hit me that there are others out there, and I truly am not alone. I’m not doing anything wrong, this is just how my daughter is, and there are others who really can relate!

When I founded this blog, I titled it, “advocating on behalf of a misunderstood community“… because it’s true. We are so misunderstood that many of us flock to social media and the internet in search of community and support. As I started to put time and energy into this blog, I came to realize just how important community is for myself as well, being a gifted adult and individual. Not only as a mother of an intense high-needs child, but also as a grown individual. During this realization, I came to find a new community. In all honestly, GHF and Hoagies Gifted, took me from supporting my needs for my children, to supporting my personal individual needs and helped bring a new self understanding and awareness. This past month or so has been a whirlwind of eye opening information; an epiphany. Not only have I felt liberated that others understand my situation with my children, but that people can also relate with me as an adult.  This has been a huge deal and transformation! I now see myself, my husband and family in a new light. I also see things with a new understanding and in a more compassionate way. From our intensities and sensitivities, our perfectionist tendencies to our fun and unique quirks… It all makes perfect sense now! For me, this is huge!  I really have to thank GHF for helping me find a community based on my personal needs as a gifted individual.

Alas, I hope that Patchwork Poppies will become part of your online community. On my last blogpost, What’s Your Story, I wrote about how I had a vision of bringing community together by sharing other’s stories of gifted with the world. I don’t want to just share stories from my point of view but have it be an interactive community. If you would like to contribute your story of gifted/neurodiversity, please head on over to the Contribute Your Story page, use the contact form and let me know that you’re interested in sharing your story! I’d love to share it on my blog! If you are a blogger, feel free to contact me in regards to writing a guest post and I’ll gladly share it.

I believe community is a reciprocal relationship. While on the topic of community, and with thanksgiving around the corner,  I wanted to take the time to acknowledge and thank these awesome bloggers who I’d like to think are part of my blogging community, and extend their presence to you. As I know others could greatly benefit from them as well… and you might want to add them to your online/social media community! The ones that have personally resonated to me as a gifted adult are, Paula Prober’s- Rainforestmind, Gail Post, Ph.D’s – Gifted ChallengesJade Ann Rivera, Bob Yamtich and, I personally recommend Sara Yamtich coaching, if you’d like to “start your own {r}evolution“, as well. She is an amazing coach!  Together with GHF  Hoagies Gifted, and all of the participating blog hop bloggers, they have helped me on my way to my own transformation and revolution. 

In honor of GHF’s 10th anniversary, on a previous blog post, I touched on what an amazing community they are. They are an all volunteer organization that is geared towards the gifted/2e community. Their whole organization is dedicated to bettering the gifted/2e community. If you’d like to read more about it, you can read about it hereGHF, along with the above listed bloggers and other gifted organizations I listed, have provided my family with amazing resources. In order to for me to “help pay it forward”, I’ve taken the time to support them through my blogging because I believe in their honest to goodness organization & cause. I truly appreciate all the good that they are doing for the gifted/2e community and am honored to also be apart of this great cause. 


So I hope you are able to start your search and find your community, if you have yet to do so.
If you know of someone who needs to find their community, feel free to share this blog post or blog hop with them!

A quick recap:

• Use social media to your advantage, bring community to you!

• Use it to find online communities

• Use it to build local communities

• Facebook, use the search bar in facebook to find gifted groups. Think of your needs and type it      
   in. You’d be surprised what you’ll find.

• If you cant find a group that meets your needs, Make one!

• Use, yahoo groups, FB and other social media to create local “Real Life” get
  togethers and meet ups that meet your specific needs. You’d be surprised there are more out
  there looking for the same but don’t always take the initiative to start their own group.

• Use GHF to find local and regional groups: GHF local & regional support

• Follow blogs that you relate with to bring a sense of connection and encouragement

Good luck on your journey and I hope we are able to grow our community together!

Did you go through something similar? Did you find your community?
I’d love to hear about how you found your community below in the comments!

This post is a part of the November 2014 GHF blog hop on, Community.
Click on the image below to join in on the hop!

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Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together. Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word!

I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!
Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media!
Use hashtags,   #giftedHF #gtcommunity

With much love,

Nicole Diatto

* Start your {r}evolution: Sara Yamtich coaching.

 ** if you purchase a book through my amazon store, I do receive a small commission that helps sustain this blog.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of, “Community”:

What’s your story?

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Image Copyrighted 2011 by Nicole Diatto

I’ve been stuck for a while on writing my next post. I’ve been stuck because I have swayed from my Vision. When I started Patchwork Poppies, I had a vision and it was not to advocate my story of gifted, my vision is to provide the world with YOUR story of Gifted. There’s power in numbers. I believe if we collectively contribute our story, change can and will happen.

I’m really excited at what endless possibilities can come of this! What we can accomplish together and help bring awareness. No two stories are ever going to be the same, but the more we speak of our differences, the more we’ll see we are similar in some ways. Not only that, but the more others will see what being gifted/neuro-atypical is really like.

When I participated in the GHF blog hop on gifted grownups, with, The Other gifted Adult, no one realized just how it was going to pan out. To all of our surprise, even though our stories vastly differed, we had so many commonalities, it blew us away. It was as if we had sat together beforehand and discussed how we would write it out. It was an eye opening moment for me to realize we are all going through our own walk, but as vast and different as it seems, we can all relate on some level.

Everyone has a story, but not everyone will write a book. The same goes with blogging. Not everyone has the time to contribute to blogging and not everyone wants to blog. Some people would like to tell their story and don’t know how. Some would like to stay anonymous and don’t know how to go about telling their story, putting themselves out there, while keeping their anonymity. Blogging is a lot of work, and almost a full time job, but granted, I enjoy it. So with this in mind,  I would like to use my website as a platform for you to share your story of Gifted, whether you stay anonymous or want your name to be known.

I want this to be a place where you can safely and effectively advocate to the world about Gifted. I want to use your story to ignite change and help advocate gifted!

Patchwork poppies name came to be when I envisioned people contributing their story to this site. It would become a quilt of sorts with everyone contributing their patch to this quilt. The word Poppies, came from the wikipedia definition of  “Tall Poppy Syndrome“.  I believe the more we tell our stories, the more people will understand. I also believe healing can come about through this process. I believe the more we share, the more we’ll realize we really are not alone in this walk of life.

So, I can’t do this alone. My one sided story is only one grain of sand in this vast sea. I believe, if we work together, we can move mountains.

Do you have a story? I’m sure you do! Everyone has a story! I’d like to hear yours and I’m sure my readers would as well! I’m excited to hear your story!!!

What can you write about? I’d like to hear your story of gifted/neuro-atypical. The good, the bad and the ugly… but not too ugly. Things you have struggled with in your community or family. What people don’t understand. Common misconceptions you’ve noticed., how do you feel about gifted or see it? The complexity of gifted. Positive outlooks? Possible advice for others? Books you swear by. Websites you love or the real life struggles you’ve been through… Etc… The possibilities and topics are endless… as long as one goal is in mind, advocacy of gifted/neuro-atypical community.

Here is an example of a couple posts on my blog on my experience of gifted, What is gifted? What does it look like? and why it matters… a mothers perspective.   … this post I wrote about growing up not knowing I was gifted/neuro-atypical… An Ugly Duckling

If you’d like to contribute your story as a blog post, please contact me below using the contact form. Tell me a little bit about yourself and the story you’d like to contribute. I’ll send you my guidelines and a template to help you write your story, then I hope to feature your story on Patchwork Poppies! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together. Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word! I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!

Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media! Use hashtags, #gifteded #gtchat #giftedadvocacy #2ekids #ghfblogger

With much love,

Nicole Diatto

It’s Someone’s Anniversary!

 photo 9e554d8f-e8ce-49c4-aac3-ea22f9f230e3.jpg Its been pretty busy around here. I guess it comes with the territory of having 3 tiny ones. The holidays are upon us, and here, so are many birthdays as well. So posts have slowed down a little. I’ll be reblogging and try to fit in some posts along the way.

Today, I’m going to take a moment and write about a great organization.

This month is Gifted Homeschoolers Forum’s, 10th anniversary. I have been following GHF for the past 2 yrs. Over this time, I have fallen in love with their (all volunteer) organization. They have brought a sense of community and support to me and my family. From the phenomenal resources found on their website to their thought provoking guest bloggers and their FB posts.

According to them, they started their organization in 2004 with a group of parents around a kitchen table.  This once small organization has now transformed into a community with global outreach. #GTchat recently interviewed GHF of their journey from the beginning to where they are now, and what they hope to accomplish for the future. If you’d like to read the transcript of their chat, click here.

When I started my blog, I thought about joining their blogging community and when I joined, I found their staff to be just as phenomenal. They really are a great professional network of support and they radiate a positive uplifting environment. I couldn’t be more honored to be able to participate and contribute blog posts for this great organization.

This month, Jade Ann Rivera, ambassador of GHF and a gifted family coach, has a great upcoming Community Call on Holiday Stress and the Gifted Family. (Nov 21st @ 4pm PST, 6pm CST, you can get your tickets here) Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 1.47.16 PM(Image source, GHF)

They also have a plethora of resources from Twice exceptional to homeschooling and community support available on their website. Aside from this, they also offer online classes  that meet the needs of gifted students and is also, 2e friendly. Their 2015 registration is open! Click here to check it out!

If you enjoy their organization, you might want to check out becoming a member. When you become a member of GHF, you gain access to many of their great members only resources. By becoming a member, you are also supporting this great organization by assisting them to continue their mission and outreach for gifted and 2e families/individuals. According to their website, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that works to educate and advocate for gifted and 2e families, regardless of educational choice. Membership includes discounts on some of their resources, events and affiliate services, depending on the membership selected.

If you don’t want to join as a member, but you’d still like to support GHF, visit their support page to see the many ways you can.

We know we will be personally relying on them for many more years to come. I’m hoping that they will continue to carry us through adolescence and beyond.

Happy Anniversary Gifted Homeschoolers Forum!
Hoping for many more years to come!

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Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together. Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word! I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!

Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media! Use hashtags, #gifteded #gtchat #giftedadvocacy #2ekids #ghfblogger

With much love,

Nicole Diatto

Patchwork Poppies

Turning to Pen and Paper

Institute for Educational Advancement's Blog

By Zadra Rose Ibañez

Journaling for stress reliefOne of the questions we routinely ask applicants during an interview for a position with IEA is: “How do you deal with stress?”

If one were to ask me that, I would have several answers—take deep breaths, go for a walk, or listen to music, for example—but the answer that would describe the tactic that is first and most effective for me would be, “Journal about the situation.”

My good friend’s father is a very wise, very prominent businessman. One piece of advice I will always remember from him is, “If you are mad, write a letter. Don’t mail it. Put it in your desk drawer and sleep on it. If you are still mad the next day, then you can mail it, but usually by then, you won’t want to.”

Writing things down is a way to get situations and feelings out and to express…

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Self Care, Where Art Thou?

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This month’s Hoagies’ Gifted October blog hop is on Self Care… something I haven’t done in a LONG-LONG while.

I need to implement more self care.  Ha! Who am I kidding?… I just need to implement it, period! As a parent of a gifted toddler, I can attest it is at times beyond exhausting and draining. Couple this with 1 yr old twins that can be intense like their sister…  this momma has had one ROUGH year.

Yoga without the Yoga…

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to pass over this topic. Its been a blessed year but its also been a really tough year. We don’t live near family that can help much and its really just been up to my husband and I to carry the load of 2 new infants plus an intense, high-needs emotional toddler. Self care hasn’t been a part of my life this past year.  I’ve been living in yoga pants slathered in food, drool and spit up and the word yoga hasn’t even been in my vocabulary for a year and a half. Some days I’ve had at most 4 hours of broken sleep in a 24 hr period…  Twins are twice the blessing but they really are Half the sleep! Between taking care of two sensitive and emotional infant poop machines and a high-needs emotional toddler, I’ve lost myself in drool, diapers, in-stereo crying and intense toddler tantrums up to my ears. To top it off, my husband and I seem to breed children that don’t understand the concept of sleep, AT ALL. I’ve been consuming lots of coffee a day just to keep up with my kids and life (not a good habit). There really has been NO me time.

My sad version of self care…

My sad version of self care has been hiding in the bathroom (while babies plead and beg at the door driving me and my husband crazy), sitting in the grocery store parking lot or my driveway in the car and eating some take out in peace while reading the news, a book or just Facebooking. Its been a challenging rough year, to say the least. Quite frankly, I feel quite pathetic. Pre-twins, my self care was decent. I was able to take my daughter out on walks. I was able to work part time with my photography business and to me that was part of my self care. I Loved it and strangely, I felt refreshed when I came home from work. I use to have regular date nights out and time to our selves because we were able to make the time. I use to meet up with friends and chat about things. Since I’m a SAHM and my husband works around the clock, things have been vastly different post twins. The last few times we have gone out on date nights, we’ve come back to the horror of my in-laws on the brink of insanity thanks to our kids.  Now my husband and I have limited our times out to solo trips trading our time between each other as we watch our kids ourselves until this time of separation, anxiety and intensity passes in our twins. The one thing I have done is took up the good ole art of taking baths. I’ll admit this isn’t so sad. I really do enjoy that hour of headphone induced peace while dreaming of being somewhere tropical far far away. This has become my normal form of stress relief and relaxation.

No one will do it for you but you… Self care, where art thou?…

I use to wait on my husband to notice I needed a break.. Oh what a mistake and immature thinking. I can’t wait for self care to come to me. I need to be the one to push aside time for myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that if others can do it, so can I. Its about shifting priorities and getting my life in better order. Its understandable that there are going to be times in our lives when self care goes to the back burner, but it can’t stay like that. Once that stretch is over, its good to remind ourselves that we need balance in our lives; and what a good reminder this blog hop is!  We each need to find what will work for our own unique lives and families and then implement it. It could be exercise, fitting in a nap, starting a new diet,  finding a hobby, taking up a craft, going to meet ups, taking an enrichment class, going to a coffee shop, reading a book, meditation/prayer time… etc.

Time to implement self care…

Even though I wanted to skip this blog hop, this topic of self care couldn’t have come at a better time. Things naturally ebb and flow in our life. I feel like my ebb is phasing out and my flow is phasing in. Now that my daughter is older and a little easier to manage, along with my twins, its time for this momma to truly start implementing REAL self care… You know, not the hiding in the bathroom from kids self care. 😉   Real meaning you actually push aside meaningful time for yourself.  Because we all know if we don’t take care of our selves and keep our selves healthy, sane and level headed, who is going to be able to take care of our young ones if we are out of commission? As I’ve learned, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My daughter has tendencies of being quite emotional and intense. Her mother (speaking of myself) is not far off. I feel when I’ve been stretched with my kids, I can become quite emotional and intense as well and I NEED a break to round out my emotions and come back to my kids with a fresh new perspective. Much like when we work for a paid job we need set lunch times and set break times along with vacations away from home/the work place, to keep our perspectives fresh. We also need periodic breaks and vacations from our high-need emotional children as well. I’ve heard from a lot of seasoned moms of gifted children as well as moms of twins that it doesn’t necessarily get easier… You just learn to adjust and then things change and new challenges form and new adjustments are made.

I’m sure there are going to be some great blog posts in this blog hop that will be more specific in different things we can do with gifted families in mind. I’m looking forward to reading them to get more ideas on what I can do better to enrich my life and my family’s life so I can be more happy and whole for my family. Maybe find and implement good self care for my kids as well. I hope you are able to make more time for yourself and implement self care for you and your family.

I’m curious, do you need to implement more self care?
If so, in what area of your life?

This blog post is part of the Hoagies’ Gifted blog hop on, Gifted Self Care.

To view the next blog in the line up, click on the “next blog” button below:

To see the full lineup of blogs click on the button below:

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Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together.
Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word!
I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!

Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media!
Use hashtags, #giftedadvocacy #giftedselfcare

With much love,

Nicole Diatto

Mommy Needs a Time Out

I’m sure many parents can relate. Thank you Tabitha for your honest story! I have been in “mommy time out” many times.


Last year before Christmas we decided to go to the outlet mall on a Thursday night. Naively I thought it wouldn’t be too bad, busy but not unbearable.

I was totally and completely wrong!

We were inside for about 20 minutes. The kids were ready to leave but they were still functioning. I was not. I couldn’t stand the people, the noises, all the christmas smells… It was hard to breathe. I couldn’t even hold my children’s hands as we walked out to the car. My husband shepherded them in the right direction as I moved on ahead, silently and visibly shaking. I had to take off my jacket…it was freezing but I needed to be free from the constraints. My visible breath was staggered and hyperventilating.

The children questioned, “Mommy, whats wrong?”

“I just need to go home”, I responded curtly.

Daddy reassured them, “Mommy just needs some quiet time…

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Lost in Translation: An Immigrant Story

Very touching story.



The following is a tale as old as America. It is a true story.

The people in this story would like to keep some sense of Internet anonymity and so I will use pronouns and titles instead of names as I weave my tale.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit before a fire and imagine that you too are on this journey.

The Tale of 3 Brothers

Over 40 years ago in a small Mountain town in the Caribbean country of La Republica Dominicana; during the reconstruction of the great country after the assassination of the Dictator, Rafael Trujillo, there lived two very different families.


The first family was led by a small farmer who was full of integrity, hard working and quiet in nature. His wife was the pillar of the family, God fearing and the epitome of love. Together they raised 8 children. Their oldest son was…

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