Author Chats: Kimberlee Anne King
Kimberlee Anne King knows the challenges of twice-exceptionality from the inside out. She is a 2E herself, raising seven children, several of whom are twice-exceptional. Her work addresses the tendency of parents to neglect their own self-care with a comforting mantra: Work on yourself and your children will follow.
Tell us a little about you. Besides being an author, what else do you do?
I am the mother of 7 (4 biological children and 3 stepsons). That currently takes up most of my time especially since many of them have chronic medical conditions and special needs (aka lots of appointments). My husband and I own Inspired Attention, Inc. We both are professionally trained life coaches. Historically, my husband has specialized in ADHD adolescents and adults, and I have worked primarily with families with extraordinary children (e.g. gifted, twice exceptional, challenged). I have just earned my Mh.D (Doctor of Metaphysics and Healing) and am working on a Ph.D. in Integrative and Preventative Healing/Transpersonal Psychology. I work in the healing arts and research what cannot be explained by Newtonian physics. I also write a Blog on various topics we address in our work which may include personal growth, parenting, healing, learning disabilities, neuroscience research, relationships, giftedness, and spirituality. Also, I have worked as an educational advocate and consultant and have served on the Board of Trustees of an independent school for the gifted for many years. I love plants (the outdoor variety), yoga, and art. I have a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Iowa where I studied abroad at Cambridge. I studied art and law at Northwestern while I worked as an Information Systems Consultant before I had so many kids.
What books have you written?
My first book (I hope there will be many more) is Parenting is Hard. Suffering is Optional. A Handbook for Parents on the Brink.
Who is your ideal audience?
Honestly, anyone with parents. My book speaks directly to parents (especially parents of challenging children), however, many readers who are not parents (even teens) have loved the insight they have gained about their own relationship with their parents and other people.
How do your books address the particular reading needs of Background Noise Books audiences?
Given my children have taught me more than I could ever write, I feel that the Background Noise Books audience would really enjoy hearing my story. I and my children are twice exceptional, gifted, physically disabled, and learning disordered. I am dyslexic (an avid avoidant reader) and have some accelerated readers as children. I have lived this life and have helped my children for 20 years. I hope that some of my lessons learned can benefit others. At the very least, it is nice for people to know they are not alone in their struggle.
Which of the books you've written is your personal favorite?
So far, Parenting is Hard. Suffering is Optional. It is my only published work as of yet.
Who is your favorite author?
Tie between Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Louis Cozolino. Their books are groundbreaking in terms of how people really function. I do not read much nonfiction given my dyslexia. I have to admit I do love the Harry Potter books!
Is there a child with special needs in your family or classroom? How do you help them with reading?
Six of the children in my household have special needs. My oldest son is profoundly gifted, has a vision challenge, and a genetic disorder. Reading is not his favorite when it is not on his terms. So, to get through school, I had to read all his novels aloud to him. To keep him on task, we would stop every few pages and discuss (he would mostly critique the author! Ha!). It did take forever. Yes, it was worth it. He never forgets anything, so it was satisfying to know I was implanting literature in his brain for life. My youngest daughter is highly fluent in reading and extremely poor at comprehension due to brain damage. We have tried many tutoring interventions. She likes the idea of books, so we slowly work our way up to more advanced material. She is in a highly specialized reading program at her school that is working wonders. Progress is slow but steady. We never give up. The others have reading challenges that relate more to boredom. If they are not stimulated by the material it is difficult for them to engage. We have all kinds of tricks to overcome that including just not reading.
What are you working on next?
I am working on my blog, Inspired Attention. primarily. I am hoping that the material generated in the blog posts will lead to my next book. I have about 50 posts currently!
What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?
It may seem like I do a lot of different things (author, life coach, parent, educational consultant, healer, student, etc.). In reality, I am doing one thing. I am working on myself to become the best version of myself possible. I follow areas of study that interest me, especially the human psyche, which usually leads me to my next area of study. As I learn and grow I am delighted that I am able to share some of what I have learned with others. I believe that modeling the person we would want to be despite our challenges is the most powerful way to help others.
Listen to Kimberlee talk about PARENTING IS HARD on Dr. Dan Peters' podcast.