Supporting Special Populations in Gifted Education

Special populations in gifted education are students who are historically underrepresented in programs for GT students, overlooked due to twice exceptionalities, or whose needs are ignored and undervalued due to myths and misinformation. These students come from diverse backgrounds – culturally, linguistically, and ethnically. Designated special populations in gifted education include ethnic minorities (African American, Native American, Asia American, Hispanic/Latino), 2Es, ELLS, LGBTQ, PG/Hg, Low SES, and rural GT students.

Educators can design and write differentiated learning plans; develop scope and sequence for individual GT students; select cultural and linguistic specific curriculum; and incorporate advanced challenging and complex content. Administrators can choose culturally sensitive identification products, provide continuing PD for teachers, and ensure students access to high quality curriculum early and continuously throughout their school years. Schools can support GT students by making psychological and counseling services available as well as establishing effective home-school connections.

What specific needs of our gifted 2E kids could be met by schools that aren’t done now? Schools need to recognize twice-exceptionality, accord these students the same protections given LD students under IDEA, and seek to support their intellectual abilities appropriately. They should use identification methods that take into account the potential interaction of a 2E student’s exceptionalities and then offer advanced educational opportunities while accommodating weakness to ensure to success. Further steps toward educational equity for twice exceptional students  should recognize the need for supplemental services such as counseling, specialized instruction, and therapeutic interventions when needed. (THP Fall 2014)

How can teachers support gifted kids who identify as LGBTQ? For students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community, teachers should first extend compassion while seeking to understand an individual student’s level of comfort with being out and proud. Identifying as both LGBTQ and gifted can exacerbate feelings experienced by both communities such as feeling different, misunderstood, and socially isolated from age-peers. Teachers can create a safe space for these students  based on understanding, empathy, and provision of interventions  if necessary. It’s important to recognize the signs of social withdrawal or hostile classroom indications.

What strategies work best in the classroom for gifted ELLs? As school gifted programs begin to reverse decades of underrepresentation of culturally & linguistically diverse students, it’s imperative these programs revise strategies and curriculum to meet the needs these students. Strategies that promote advanced, high quality curriculum which addresses the student’s linguistic ability to respond and demonstrate their intellectual abilities while being culturally sensitive is essential. Schools can provide cohort grouping, culture specific mentoring, and small group in-school counseling; all of which can support gifted ELLs. (NAGC)

What would be most beneficial for low-SES and rural gifted students? Low income and rural gifted students may have fewer opportunities to gain academic background knowledge and may manifest their abilities differently due to poverty and cultural differences. (NAGC) Low income and rural gifted students benefit from school cultures that value & reward intellectualism; challenging preparatory programs; highly trained teachers and staff; a curriculum which connects to their everyday lives; and strong parent programs.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa 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:


Even when They include them, Gifted Programs aren’t serving Black or Low-Income Kids

Special Populations in Gifted Education: Understanding Our Most Able Students from Diverse Backgrounds (book)

NAGC Networks – Special Populations

Gifted and LGBTQ+ in Education: When Worlds Collide

Twice Exceptional or Just Exceptional? Let’s Find Out

Parenting a Gifted Child Questioning Sexual and Gender Identity | Grayson School  

Gifted LGBTQ Toolbox for Teachers (pdf) | NAGC

Gifted Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Annotated Bibliography: A Resource for Educators of Gifted Secondary GLBT Students (pdf) | The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Special Populations of Gifted Students (pdf)

Giftedness as it Relates to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Educating Special Populations of Gifted Students (Course Description – pdf) | Miami Dade College

Black and Gifted in Rural America:  Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Gifted  and Talented Education Programs (pdf)

Unlocking Emergent Talent: Supporting High Achievement of Low-Income, High-Ability Students | The JKCF

Identifying Gifted Students: Addressing the Lack of Diversity in Gifted Education | American University

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) | NAGC

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (book)

Bright, Talented, & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners (book)

Overlooked Gems: A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Learners (pdf) | NAGC

Expanding the View of Giftedness

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education: Building Cultural Competence and Serving Diverse Student Populations

Cybraryman’s LGBTQ Students Page

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s ELL/Bilingual Ed Page

Cybraryman’s Learning Page

Identifying and Supporting Gifted ELLs | Edutopia

Creativity in Gifted Identification: Increasing Accuracy and Diversity (Abstract)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Posted on July 9, 2021, in Culturally Responsive Curriculum, Diversity, Education, gifted education, Multicultural and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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