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  • 1. When Giftedness Hides Behind Disabilitiesby Kim Drain
    “Hide not your talents. They for use were made.
    What’s a sundial in the shade?”
    ~Benjamin Franklin
  • 2. What if no one saw you for who you really are?
    Because learning disabilities often mask
    giftedness in students, these twice-
    exceptional children (2Es) are not identified
    for Gifted and Talented programs, denying
    them the educational opportunities to realize
    their full potential.
  • 3. What does a 2E student look like?
    A 10-year-old who writes like a 2nd grader
    but solves 9th grade math problems
    A student who uses high-level vocabulary when speaking but is unable to express
    himself in writing
    A perfectionist who makes careless mistakes
    A bundle of inconsistencies
    Albert Einstein, Whoopi Goldberg, and these
    familiar faces:
  • 4. Why do 2E students go unidentified?
  • 5. Why do 2E students go unidentified?
    They may seem “average”
    “…the disability may appear less severe because the child is using the intellect to cope, while the efforts expended … may hinder other expressions of giftedness.”
    (Willard-Holt, 1999)
  • 6. ADHD or Bored?
    Poorly sustained attention
    Diminished persistence on tasks without immediate
    More active, restless
    Often talk excessively
    (Willard-Holt, 1999)
    Poor attention, daydreaming
    Reduced persistence on tasks that seem irrelevant
    High activity level; need less sleep
    Difficulty restraining desire to talk
  • 7. ADHD or Bored?
    Shift from one uncompleted
    task to another
    Difficulty following rules
    Problem behaviors exist
    in all settings
    For additional characteristics of gifted students with learning disabilities, go to:
    Begin many projects, see
    few to completion
    Question rules, traditions
    Do not exhibit problem
    behaviors in all situations
    (Willard-Holt, 1999)
  • 8. The Gap is Widening
  • 9. The Gap is Widening
    70,000 K-12 students identified by reporting
    districts in 2006
    2-5% of gifted students have learning disabilities
    2-5% of students with learning disabilities
    are also gifted
    Experts estimate these numbers will grow as
    more school districts become aware of
    2Es. (Bracamonte, 2010)
  • 10. Challenges 2E Students Face
    More stress than the typical adolescent
    Feeling isolated
    Organizational/time management difficulties
    Pressure of higher expectations
    Programs tend to focus on the disability and
    accommodations rather than on
    the talents
  • 11. Research Purpose
    The goal of this research is to promote equity in Gifted and Talented programs by discovering new ways to identify and serve under-represented populations, particularly
    twice-exceptional students.
  • 12. Significance of the Study
    In this global community, we need to “broaden our view of giftedness to include students from diverse backgrounds who have the potential to contribute significantly …” (Smith, 2005)
    An example of what these kids can do once we identify and encourage them:
  • 13. Conclusion: Unmasking Solutions
  • 14. Conclusion: Identification Methods
  • 15. Conclusion: Enhanced Programs
  • 16. References
    Bracamonte, M. (2010, March/April). 2e Students: Who they are and what they need. 2e Newsletter. Retrieved from
    Coleman, M. R. (2006). Surviving or thriving? 21 gifted boys with learning disabilities share their school stories.
    Teaching Gifted Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from
    ● Smith, L. & Puttcamp, C. (2005, March). Discovering treasures: One district’s effort to identify under-
    represented gifted students. Parenting for High Potential. Retrieved from
    Willard-Holt, C. (1999, May). Dual exceptionalities. Hoagies' Gifted Education Page. Retrieved from