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ABOUT

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DIFFERENT IS GREAT!


Unless you live under a stone you have probably heard that your neurodivergent brain is an asset. The labels many of us hid are now being seen as a business competitive advantage.  Every place that needs creative thinkers has declared neurodiversity to be a top priority, yet our educational institutions, government systems and health care systems continue to ignore our different needs.

This is why we founded a non-profit named in honor of whom it serves, Gifted ND.  We, too, are Gifted Neurodivergents. 

 

We are also their parents, teachers, coaches, employers, and friends. We know what works for average does not work for us.  We know that for too long Gifted Neurodivergents have worked on schedules, in environments and under structures that, at best, do not serve us and, at worst, actively break us down. 

In order to reach our full potential, we also need to recognize that our gifts come with different needs.  If we want to succeed in career, family and life, we must first get our needs met.  In order to get our needs met, we must first find the self-knowledge, and self-confidence to understand what those unique and individual needs are. Only when we accept the truth about our differences can we embrace the potential and success we were born to have.

Different is more than good, different is great. Let's make your differences work for you!

 

The Gifted ND Team

Lillian

Lillian Skinner

Mother, Spouse, Futurist, Researcher, Writer, Consultant, Coach, Silversmith, Musician, Bunny Whisperer, and Weekend Roller Blader

Prior to starting Gifted ND, Lillian was an IT professional who founded risk advisory groups, secured systems for global financial institutions and developed cutting edge emerging technology. She is a serial entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing and Information Systems. She has started companies in retail, consulting, emerging technology, application development and consulting. However, nothing in her career can compare to the reward and challenge of raising three profoundly gifted and neurodivergent children.

 

Growing up, Lillian was never identified as Gifted or Learning Different. When her children were diagnosed with their differences, she was, too.  Suddenly, she had a context for understanding all the frustrations and feelings of being misunderstood as a child.  She also had a context for understanding the poverty of her childhood and her family of origin. Though she took a different path than her parents-- one that led to the American Dream-- after she achieved the American Dream, she found it deeply lacking in balance and fulfillment.

 

To get that balance and fulfillment she pivoted to self-employment in her early 30s and has never looked back.  As an outsider, she understands that the systems in place will never meet her needs.  She sees this as a gift because accepting this allowed her to create her own system, one that uses her creative and intellectual strengths to meet her needs and the needs of others like her.

Lillian believes the current science on neurodivergence is finally catching up to the way she has viewed her differences her whole life.  Being neurodivergent has both advantages and disadvantages. The most significant advantage is the neurodivergent fueled ingenuity to create whatever we need our lives to be.  The most significant disadvantage is how much we struggle in the “one size fits all” approach of societal systems. With Gifted ND, Lillian seeks to address the difficulties of being exceptional.  By recognizing the systems’ limitations and benefits, understanding each individual’s specific needs and then meeting them by supplementing their current path or creating new path, Gifted ND helps everyone find their strength-focused path to thriving.

Michael Strauss

Michael Strauss

Father, Spouse, Entrepreneur, Inventor, Maker, Strategic Partner, Consultant, Mr. Fix-Everything, Almost Competitive Tennis Player, Dog Rescuer

Michael is a profoundly gifted neurodivergent who enjoys and excels at consulting and mentoring those seeking to build their own path through entrepreneurship. Michael is a master business startup creator and maker.


Michael began his career at 19 years old. He knew even then he didn’t want to toil away in the corporate grind. After his first 2 years in college, he co-founded a software development company that created several commercial entertainment products. After three and a half years, he exited the company successfully and finished up college in 1999 with a degree in Computer Science (with a focus in Artificial Intelligence) and minors in mathematics, physics, and chemistry.


Upon graduation he was recruited to work at a dot-com startup, Telenisus, focused on cyber security before getting recruited again by multiple Fortune 100 corporations, including banking (Bank of America) and defense (General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products). Highly motivated, he spent his days working in corporate America, and his nights and weekends consulting for various start-ups and still found time to complete his MBA with a concentration in finance before turning 30. Understanding he had maxed out what more he could learning in large  companies, he moved full time to being a start-up addict using all of his skills and experience to become a successful consultant, serial business founder, and serial patent creator.


To say he is well rounded is an understatement. Michael worked in emerging technologies in a multitude of areas including: cyber security, pharmaceuticals, private industry, merger and acquisitions, corporate strategy, military and defense, and more. Michael worked every area of a successful startup from business development, contract negotiations, technical development, patent creation, fundraising and technology innovation. He is the rare individual who can move fluidly from technical speak to strategy to sales. It is not an exaggeration to say he is truly a Renaissance Man.


Michael's journey to understand his neurodivergence was fairly recent. Initially, he did not want to recognize his differences, having society’s stigmas ground into his psyche. In his 40s, he finally sought out diagnosis and the changes it brought were life altering. He was shocked at how much easier navigating life could be. He sees that the knowledge of self he obtained on his journey was the most profound gift he ever received. Michael always identified as gifted but embracing his neurodivergence has shown him how to enhance all of his abilities.
 

Aedan

Aedan Tarpy

Entrepreneur, Improv Artist, College Student, Boyfriend, World's Best Big Brother, and Mediocre Gamer.

Aedan is a gifted neurodivergent and a coach for young individuals seeking someone like them to help develop their social skills and discuss navigating life while different.

Aedan is a college student currently majoring in anthropology and psychology. Outside of school, Aedan works part time at a coffee shop and knows all of his customer's dogs by name. Aedan was one of the many gifted kids who went unidentified as such by his school systems during childhood despite having an extremely high level of giftedness.  In school he was known as the class clown thanks to his rapid mental processing and over-excitabilities. He moved through many different school types (Public, Private, Magnet, Montessori and Performing Arts) as a child looking for one where he fit.  Finally, in college, he fell in love with learning again.

Aedan is the rare extroverted gifted neurodivergent, a deep thinker, and keen observer of others. He spent much of his childhood on the stage as an improv actor and he applies those skills to helping his clients learn to engage with their peers, family and more. Aedan is the funniest guy most kids have ever met. We have never had a kid who didn't love their time Gaming with Aedan.

Aedan is very adept at teaching others how to develop self-acceptance, foster strong relationships with peers and family, and even navigate romantic relationships. He is also an amazing big brother to his sisters. It was from his efforts to keep in touch with his little sisters, after he moved away to college, that the concept of Gaming with Aedan was born.

Coaching The Gifted Neurodivergent Adult and Child To Their Full Potential

Coaching in the field of persons with Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Bi-Polar, Hyperlexia, and Depression; Coaching in the field of parents of children with Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Bi-Polar, Hyperlexia, and Depression; Coaching in the field of Intellectual Property; Coaching in the field of entrepreneurship; Coaching in the field of business and professional development; Coaching in the field of family and relationships; Coaching in the field of self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-improvement; Coaching in the field of social skills; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of business and professional development; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of personal and professional development; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of business and business development; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of entrepreneurship; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Bi-Polar, Hyperlexia, and Depression; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of family and relationships; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of strategic planning; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of Intellectual Property; Educational services, namely, providing courses, classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops in the fields of self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-improvement; Entertainment information; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on personal development and improvement; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on business and professional development; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information relating to health and wellness; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information relating to Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Bi-Polar, Hyperlexia, and Depression; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on communication; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on entrepreneurship; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on family and relationships; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on strategic planning; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on Intellectual Property; On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring information on self-discovery and self-improvement; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of business and professional development via a website; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of entrepreneurship via a website; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Bi-Polar, Hyperlexia, and Depression via a website; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of family and relationships via a website; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of personal and professional development via a website; Providing on-line courses of instruction in the field of Intellectual Property via a website; Providing a website featuring entertainment information; Providing information about education via a website

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