“Your child is gifted and needs special education?” Many parents are all too familiar with this kind of comment. You may hear it from friends. From family. Even from some teachers and doctors.
Yet there are lots of people who have exceptional ability in some academic areas and significant learning difficulties in other areas. Educators use a special name to describe students who qualify for gifted programs as well as special education services. These children are referred to as “twice-exceptional” learners.
“Some organizations estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of twice-exceptional learners in U.S. schools.”
Consider Tessa: She’s a bright, insightful and enthusiastic fourth grader who is reading at a 12th-grade level. At the same time, she can’t pass her spelling tests, and writing is a huge struggle.
Consider Jamie: At 16, he knows everything about the Civil War, writes beautifully, and can talk endlessly about politics. Yet he needs a calculator to help him with even the most basic math. And he couldn’t tie his shoes until he was in seventh grade.
Consider Steven Spielberg: He’s one of the most successful filmmakers of all time, but reading has been a lifelong struggle for him because he has dyslexia.
TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL AND EASILY OVERLOOKED
Some organizations estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of twice-exceptional learners in U.S. schools. But there are no hard numbers because so many of these students are never formally identified as being gifted, having a disability or both.
Twice-exceptional children tend to fall into one of three categories. These categories help explain why students often go through school without the services and stimulation they need….