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.
Links from the chat:
“What is 2E?” from Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
“Twice-Exceptional Me” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities
Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page
The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube)
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)
Special Populations: Giftedness and ADHD from Duke TIP
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
This week’s #gtchat was a follow-up to our recent interview with Dr. James Webb about the Misdiagnosis Initiative from SENG. A link to that interview appears in the links below.
Since the interview, a major announcement by the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. had a major impact on this chat. The NIMH will no longer be supporting the DSM (Data and Statistical Manual for Diagnosing Mental Disorders). With the newest DSM-5 set to be released on May 24th by the American Psychiatric Association, this decision sent shock waves through the Psychiatric community. Justification for the decision was that in the future, diagnosis needs to be based on physiological results rather than on strictly observable behaviors.
Unfortunately, this new approach is at least a decade off; leaving the DSM still a key diagnostic tool for most U.S. health care professionals. Ultimately, it may prove highly beneficial for gifted children and decrease the probability of misdiagnosis. Time will tell.
An interview w/Dr. James Webb of @giftedbooks & @SENG_Gifted on the “Misdiagnosis Initiative”
The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube) from @SENG_Gifted
A brochure titled “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children,” available from SENG
Grand Rounds lecture on misdiagnosis/dual diagnoses by Dr. James T. Webb, Univ of Wisconsin Medical School
Article by Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis for Huffington Post, ‘The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness’
‘ADHD and Children Who Are Gifted’ by Webb & Latimer
‘Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children’ by Webb & others from @SENG_Gifted
‘Psychologists Familiar with Testing the Gifted & Exceptionally Gifted’ from @HoagiesGifted
‘Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children & Adults’ (book) from @giftedbooks
“Psychiatry Divided as Mental Health ‘bible’ Denounced” New Scientist
‘Texas Private IQ Testing Professionals’ recommended by Texas Parents of the Profoundly Gifted
On Giftedness and 2E or Being ‘Twice Exceptional’ from Leslie Graves