Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids


It is estimated that there are 300,000 twice exceptional children in the U.S. alone. (GCQ, Vol 55, #1, Winter 2011) Twice-exceptionality is the co-existence of both giftedness and a learning disability. It has been called a paradoxical syndrome. This week at #gtchat, we tackled the subject of 2ekids. It was soon realized that these kids are complex and have the ability to frustrate both their parents and teachers; but at the same time bring incredible joy into the lives of those around them.

Twice-exceptional children often face many social-emotional issues. Many struggle with self-awareness; knowing and understanding their own challenges. “They are often misunderstood and have expectations on them they can’t live up to.”(Mona Chicks) “The BIGGEST social-emotional challenge is finding true peers. Asynchrony makes it difficult to impossible. Worse in small towns. They have compassion like an adult, tantrums like a toddler, and wit like a snarky teenager. ” (Jen Merrill) “Two gifts, blessed with two gifts both of which need recognition & addressing in parallel, overlapping and together.” (Elaine Hook) “2ekids don’t ‘fit the mold’ for gifted, they challenge stereotypes and remind us that gifted doesn’t mean perfect.” (Andi McNair)

Labeling of children in an attempt to explain behaviors does little to address their need for specific accommodations. The gifted ‘label’ is too often misrepresented as meaning high-achiever; adult disappointment can emotionally harm twice-exceptional children. They can compensate for or mask their disability and do not get the help they need.

An exceptional resource was shared during the chat by Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia. Jo’s blog, Sprite’s Site, relates the experiences of Sprite, a fictional character, who happens to be twice-exceptional. Sprite’s disability is visually expressed by an ever present cast on one foot. Jo’s ability to make twice-exceptionality easy is to understand makes this a go to site for anyone wanting to know more about how these children feel and how to help them. She also writes a monthly newsletter which can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about twice-exceptional children, please check out the full transcript of our chat and then the links provided below.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Links from the chat:

“What is 2E?” from Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

“Twice-exceptional Students: Who Are They & What Do They Need?”

“Don’t Get Caught in the Lazy Trap”

“Twice-Exceptional Me” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Myths & Misconceptions About ADHD: Science over Cynicism

Giftedness & Learning Disabilities

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube)


Additional Links:

Double Inequity, Redoubled Critique: Twice-Exceptional (Gifted + Learning Disabled) Students

Gifted and Learning Disabled A Handbook (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptionality Packet of Information for Professionals (pdf)

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

Supporting the Identification and  Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student (pdf)

Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities by Linda Silverman  in N. Colangelo, & G. A. Davis (Eds.) The Handbook of Gifted Education, Third Edition (pp. 533-543). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2003 (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities Level 1: An Introductory Resource Book (pdf)

Special Populations: Giftedness and ADHD from Duke TIP

Identifying Twice-Exceptional Children and Three Gifted Styles in the Japanese Primary Science Classroom (pdf)

The Paradox of Giftedness and Autism (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptional Children: Perceptions of Disabilities, Giftedness and Underachievement 

Creating a Toolkit for Identifying Twice-Exceptional Students (pdf)

Inclusion for Students with Twice Exceptionality Paradox and Possibility (pdf)

A Unique Challenge: Sorting Out the Differences Between Giftedness and Asperger’s Disorder (pdf)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Posted on October 1, 2014, in gifted, parenting, Twice-exceptional and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Reblogged this on Jill S Keith and commented:
    #2e #2ekids #TwiceExceptional #GTwithLD

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