Bright & Quirky Child Summit

Help bright kids thrive, even with learning, social and/or emotional challenges


Growing up bright and quirky can be challenging and at times disheartening. By the end of today's talks, you may be seeing your child through a whole new lens, with new possibilities. Get heaps of inspiration from the journeys of Jack Horner and LeDerick Horne, both of whom were failing students, turned major success stories.  Also learn revolutionary insights and tips from Stephen Porges, originator of the Polyvagal theory and Linda Silverman, clinical psychologist specializing in bright kids with learning challenges.

Session 1: Dig This! From Failing 2e Student to World Famous Paleontologist

Jack Horner

Growing up experiencing failure after failure due to undiagnosed Dyslexia, Jack Horner persisted in following his joy - digging holes and learning whatever he could about dinosaurs. Fast forward to today: he is a leading world expert on dinosaurs, and the professor on which the Jurassic Park movie character was based. Listen to Jack Horner's journey and come away inspired and determined to hold out space and time for your child to grow through the challenges. Learn his maxims for life and the Dyslexic's special gift. You'll also be awed by seeing the firsts he brought to the world. This talk is great to watch with teens!

Session 2: A Revolutionary Science-Based Lens for Understanding Bright & Quirky Kids

Stephen Porges, PhD

With a fascinating blend of personal experience grounded in the science of polyvagal theory, Dr. Stephen Porges explains how our kids want to do the right thing, but their bodies are often in states that do not support that. This results in behavior that gets labeled "bad" or "uncooperative." In this powerful talk you will learn how physiological and behavioral states are linked, why timeouts and isolation have the opposite effect on self-regulation, and how to be a calming presence in your child's life. Dr. Porges discusses his Safe and Sound Protocol that helps retune accoustical pathways in the brain to be able to process and appreciate cues of safety, providing the necessary platform for learning and social engagement. Dr. Porges drills down simply and beautifully to what matters most in supporting our children, and you especially won't want to miss this talk if your child has anxiety, gut issues, auditory sensitivities, a history of chronic ear infections, or food selectivity issues.

Session 3: Our Bright Kids with Learning Challenges Have a Special Mission

Linda Kreger Silverman, PhD

Every 2e child has a different constellation of strengths and challenges, and Dr. Linda Silverman is a champion of neuropsychological assessments that highlight strengths and optimal development plans. Dr. Silverman takes us on a deep dive of learning modalities - including visual and auditory processing - that helps us understand functioning and what effective paths of remediation might be. Learn the differences between an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and a 504 Plan, how to make sure strengths are included in your child's plan, and what to do before signing off on your child's plan.

Session 4: Dare to Dream, Better Days Are Coming!

LeDerick Horne

This talk is a love letter to families who are feeling alone, hurt and excluded by systems and a society that focuses on their deficits. You are not alone! LeDerick describes how to work through the process of becoming a thriving human by embracing vulnerability in dark times, front-loading gifts over deficits, and building a supportive community. Learn how to talk to your child about their challenges in a way that leads them towards powerful self-determination and envisioning a positive future. Parents are encouraged to share LeDerick's inspiring personal story and with their children or invite them to watch along!

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Would you like downloadable audio, video and transcripts for this talk? Upgrade to the summit access pass to get 24/7 permanent access to all 22 talks, over 10 hours of streaming content, downloadable audio and video to watch on the go, and printable transcripts. Also get 4 amazing bonus talks and a very special invitation to join the renowned IdeaLab parent learning and support community.



(If you are a Summit 2020 Access Pass holder or Idealab member, sign in here for access to downloads, transcripts, and bonus talks)



  1. Joseane Pizzatto on March 18, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Dear Linda Kreger Silverman,
    I was very happy to hear that you are aware of the spiritual mission of these children. As parents we have an important role working hard to help them reach their goals and helping the society to understand and welcome them. Thanks for your work.

  2. Meredith on March 13, 2020 at 12:17 am

    LeDerick …. You moved me, and inspired me! I’m your newest fan.

  3. Olesya Konovalova on March 12, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you so much for bringing amazing speakers to this Summit. Big surprise to see Jack Horner! The previous Summit I listened with my ASD child in mind. This one opened my mind on my 2e kid, who is brilliant artist and scientist, but seems school and me sadly was focusing on his inability to memorize multiplication tables. I will shift my lens towards his abilities. Thank you so much!

  4. Sara on March 12, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Loved listening to Stephen Porges, his theory and words really spoke to me. My son has SPD and is highly sensitive. He also has food selectivity and recent ADHD diognosis. I nodded through so much of his point of view on education – and looking back our son definitely went through a year of triggering his teacher and being in a cycle of them triggering each other and him feeling very unsafe in the classroom (crying, hiding under his desk, disengaging, having meltdowns). Thankfully he is having a great year (he is 9) and the information I now have from Stephens incredible talk has me feeling positive and focused to help him and my other neurotypical son keep out of a defensive state and thrive emotionally.

  5. Cecilia on March 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    This was eye-opening! The speakers gave amazing and relevant insight that is very encouraging. I also have located a local office for vision therapy as well. Thank you.

  6. Jeremy on March 12, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    I have only listened to Dr. Porges so far but… ????????. The insights into stress reactions and behavior are just phenomenal. It made me realize that our B+Q kiddo, alternately diagnosed ASD, ADHD, an/or Behavioral Dysregulation Disorder + phenomenal intelligence and slow processing has likely displayed separation anxiety all of his 9 years and it came out in less obvious ways.

  7. Brigitte on March 12, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Jack Horner spoke of his experience living with dyslexia. What I took from this interview was that perseverance is key. This is a given. He has a resilience built into his nature, one that I do not see with my B&Q kiddo and likely one of the key reasons he struggles. Building a capacity for resillience and perseverance is truly our challenge (pared with overcoming perfectionism)

  8. Tara on March 12, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Does anyone know if there is an equivalent to the 504 plan in Canada?

    • Katherine on March 12, 2020 at 11:29 am

      We just have IEPs there are no 504s

    • Brigitte on March 12, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Tara, the Canadian equivalent is going through the IPRC process. This is a committee that convenes at a parent’s request or with expressed concerns from the child’s teacher. The committee comprises of school administrators, often officials from the school board, including the school psychologist, your childs teacher, possibly the learning support teacher and you the parent.
      It is determined in the meeting if the child has an ‘exceptionality.’ If this is the case then an Individualized Education Plan is drafted. This document is intended to support your child, is dynamic in that it can be altered and modified as it follows your child through their school years.
      If you ask your school principal, in writing (in Ontario anyway) they are legally oblidged to organize the committee and have the meeting within 10 days of the issued request.
      Hope this is helpful!

    • Celine on March 12, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      No 504 plan does not exist in Canada. We only have IEP.

  9. Carrie on March 12, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Checking into vision therapy for my kid (maybe 2e?) now.

  10. Carl Martin on March 12, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I am really grateful to learn about Dr. Porges and safe and sound protocol.

  11. Lori Ennis on March 12, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Dr. Silverman spoke to my HEART and I’m SO THANKFUL I had the opportunity to listen to her amazing wisdom!

    • Signe on March 12, 2020 at 11:30 am

      I hear you! It feels like she’s met my son. Just amazing.

      • Lori on March 12, 2020 at 4:52 pm

        That is EXACTLY what I told my husband, my son’s teacher, my son’s OT, my son’s Vision Therapist…like she was talking about him SO MUCH!!!

  12. Kim on March 12, 2020 at 9:19 am

    I appreciate seeing experts of color who are BIPOC, especially Lederick Horne. This is important. Representation matters SO MUCH. Please include more, more, more folks of color. Thanks!

  13. Karina on March 12, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Oh this is quite the lineup! There is always so much to learn, so many ideas on how to help our kids come to mind when listening to these.
    Trust me you need to listen to them more than once to fully grasp all the content. I am so happy I have full access! I can watch them whenever I can, download just the audio to listen to when I am out, download the transcripts to bring to school and discuss. I can’t get enough! Thanks Debbie!

  14. Martha Waiters on March 12, 2020 at 8:51 am

    The Stephen Porges session was so good. Really helps me understand how to better support my kiddos in everyday situations.

  15. Lauren on March 12, 2020 at 8:18 am

    It was so helpful to hear from Stephen Porges the reasons why time outs and isolation/seclusion have the opposite effect on kids in helping them with emotional regulation. They need calm, caring adults to help them through these moments by co-regulating. Social interaction, not isolation, is the goal!

  16. Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on March 12, 2020 at 8:00 am

    It’s hard to choose a Day 1 favorite. I adore all of these speakers and their important messages!

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