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
What if no one saw you for who you really are? PROBLEM STATEMENT 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.
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pAI5FhNnyo&feature=related
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)
ADHD or Bored? ADHD BORED Poorly sustained attention Diminished persistence on tasks without immediate gratification 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
ADHD or Bored? ADHD 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: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e574.html BORED Begin many projects, see few to completion Question rules, traditions Do not exhibit problem behaviors in all situations (Willard-Holt, 1999)
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)
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 Frustration
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.
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ygzz0V6CmM&feature=related
References Bibliography Bracamonte, M. (2010, March/April). 2e Students: Who they are and what they need. 2e Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org Coleman, M. R. (2006). Surviving or thriving? 21 gifted boys with learning disabilities share their school stories. Teaching Gifted Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.prufrock.com/client/client_pages/GCT_Readers/Disabilities.cfm ● Smith, L. & Puttcamp, C. (2005, March). Discovering treasures: One district’s effort to identify under- represented gifted students. Parenting for High Potential. Retrieved from http://www.davidsongifted.org Willard-Holt, C. (1999, May). Dual exceptionalities. Hoagies' Gifted Education Page. Retrieved from http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/