Children's Information Services 
October 2013 Newsletter
NAMI Basics News


Fall Basics class are up and running in Mercer County and planned for early 2014 in Bergen County and Sussex County. Martha Silva is teaching a Bases y Fundamentos class at the North Hudson Community Corporation in Passaic this fall.


NAMINJ will hold a Basics teacher-training weekend on January 11-12 (snow date - 1/22-1/23) at St. Francis Residential Community in Denville. If you are interested in training to teach Basics, contact Carol McGough., which archives 8,000+ videos on the subject of parenting, has four videos dealing with children and mental health. Three feature Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI's Medical Director, one of which is entitled Benefits of NAMI Basic Course. Jay Gaylen, dad of a child with bipolar disorder, narrates the fourth, NAMI Basics Program.

Children's Mental Health News

A recent article published in Psychiatric Times (3/13/13) discusses the risk of tagging particularly gifted children with a diagnosis of mental illness. Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis, a pediatrician and director of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) explains the findings of the 2010 Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Mental Health in regard to gifted children. She states,


Highly gifted children are a particular diagnostic challenge, with errors that can occur both ways. When pediatric diagnoses are carelessly applied, gifted children are frequently mislabeled with ADHD, autistic, depressive or bipolar disorders. Yet sometimes being gifted effectively hides these same conditions.


Kuzujanakis goes on to discuss the minimal instruction that parents and physicians receive on the identification and management of gifted children. Often gifted children exhibit behaviors similar to children with mental disorders. Parents are advised to keep in mind that variability does not always indicate a disorder. Furthermore, parents must insist that diagnosticians look at all aspects of the child's behavior - strengths as well as weaknesses.



For more information about gifted children and twice exceptional children (children who are both gifted and identified with attention, behavior and/or learning disorders)


SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) -


National Association for Gifted Children -


Davidson Institute -




Uniquely Gifted -


World Council for Gifted and Talented Children -


Hoagies' Gifted -


NJ Department of Education FAQ -     


Twice exceptional children -






This quarterly Children's eNewsletter facilitated by Carol McGough, Coordinator of NAMINJ Children's Information Services, include news of NAMI Basics Education Program in New Jersey, as well as information about research and services for children and their families affected by mental illness. Send comments and suggestions to Carol at  





For more information about
NAMI Basics in NJ, contact
Carol McGough
Program Coordinator
at (973) 680-1603 or
NAMI NEW JERSEY / 1562 Route 130 / North Brunswick, New Jersey 08902 / 732-940-0991