Step 4: Fuel Strengths, Interests & Passions

Welcome to Step 4 of the Action Plan!  Today you're going to learn the most important ingredient in the success of twice exceptional kids: Fueling strengths, interests and talents.  In this step, you'll learn why this ingredient is so important, you'll identify your child's top interests, and learn how to blow on the embers of your child's passions. Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below. We love hearing from you! Enjoy!


  1. Diane on February 24, 2020 at 5:19 am

    School has been so numbing for us as a family, my son is on the space of finding stimulation and choice in video games. I am honestly worried we have past the point of return but I’m holding out hope for a soon to come changeup after recent eval. He is so undone from his efforts at school the idea of applying himself to another day of endeavor is anathema to him. This is a hard place to be.

    • Lauren on June 19, 2020 at 1:24 am

      Diane, this sounds like a challenging place for you and your son to be. I hope the recent evaluation gave you ideas for new directions or interventions to try. Sometimes our kids benefit from a change in learning environment when the current one is unable to meet their needs. Often video games are an escape when life is painful otherwise. I hope you can dig with him to find some other strength and interest areas. For my own video game-loving son, my challenge to him was to be both a creator and consumer of games, instead of solely a consumer. It started with “modding” Minecraft and blossomed into other programming challenges. Sometimes we just have to start where they’re at and build 1% goals as we can. It adds up!
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

  2. Suzanne on December 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I’m slowly asking these questions – he didn’t want to answer them last night but wanted more online time & I got 3 answers from him. I have a feeling it will be a slow processing many things at home.

    • Suzanne on December 10, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      My son is ASD & 13 yrs old & it’s really hard to get him to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

  3. Lynn Bishara on December 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Has anyone had the experience that the child chooses interests/passions (like video games) that you have no idea how to practically and realistically turn into an action plan? My son wanted to choose so many of the same/related topics (most of which are not practical to add in any more than he already does) as his interests/passions, and it was really difficult to get him to think about anything else. He enjoyed learning about what some of the items on the interest list were, but most of those are not feasible for us, as we live in a small, rural town (and once he knew what they were, he wasn’t that interested to learn more). I homeschool, so I was really hoping that doing this step would help me to determine plans for curriculum, etc., but I don’t feel I was able to get anything I could apply to that purpose from my child. Although his attitude about school/being schooled has changed a lot since we started homeschooling (this is our second year), he still has a really negative attitude about school that it’s hard for me to figure out how to gain the “light in his eyes” or figure out what his passions might be that aren’t sports or video games. We really encourage the sports, but due to our family values, we have a hard time encouraging any more video games or screens than are already used in our household. I am not on Facebook, so if you have another forum for these kinds of discussions, I’d appreciate knowing. Since I homeschool, it’s difficult for me to join the calls, etc., that fall in the middle of our day. Thanks.

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on December 8, 2019 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Lynn,
      If it’s been difficult generating ideas, I would start with opportunity making. You can tell your son that you’re going to start going on field trips. They can be ‘learn something’ days or ‘get good at something’ days or ‘research’ days. The key is to connect to the larger world and keep exploring until something sparks an interest. It’s very common for kids to give an automatic ‘no’ to new ideas. Maybe you have a ‘flexibility’ day where you simply try new things. Keep us posted! Also, did you know you can join the Facebook group under an alias or be in read only mode? If you want to join with an alias, please let Lisa know at support! and she’ll help you join.

      • Lynn Bishara on December 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm

        Thanks so much, Debbie, for the helpful suggestions. I will start thinking about ways we can try some of your ideas after the holidays. I didn’t know that about Facebook. I’ll look into and let Lisa know if it’s something I want to try. Thanks so much again!

  4. Karina on November 27, 2019 at 10:34 am

    My step this week was to add a goal to the IPPs of each of my kids, that focuses on the teachers working on their strengths at school.

    Outside of school my kids are both taking swimming lessons, and now my oldest has been going to drama class for a couple of months and is loving it (one of her many strengths is an incredibly vivid imagination and pretend play, and the drama class is mainly ad lib so she’s a fish in the water there). My youngest decided to switch from rock climbing -which he is great at- and try his hand at jiujitsu 🙂 One thing we do, as funds are tight and we can’t enroll them in a whole lot of classes at the moment, is to watch videos of kids doing the activities they want to try and then they can decide which one seemed the coolest. 🙂

    • Lauren on December 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Kudos to you for making a request to add a strength goal! That should already be mandatory (but sadly isn’t in most education environments). Your kids are lucky to have you as their advocate.
      Lauren with the B&Q Team

  5. Karina on November 27, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I stopped asking ” How was your day?” or “How was school?” because I was getting the usual “good” so now I’m asking “So what was fun about today?” and I get soooo much more info. They usually just spill all the beans, from what was fun and what wasn’t.

    • Lauren on December 5, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      That’s a great open-ended question to ask! I saw Julie Lythcott Haims speak and she said to connect with your kids for at least 15 minutes after school before asking about school. I thought that was brilliant advice that I also try to follow. Keep up the great way to connect!
      Lauren with the B&Q Team

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