Twice exceptional students are those who meet the federal definition for ‘gifted and talented’ and who also have a cognitive, physical, behavioral, or emotional disability as defined by the individuals with disabilities education act This presentation will focus mainly on the additional identification procedures and accommodations necessary for giftedness, since the identification and accommodation of disabilities has already been well defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and could be an entirely separate presentation in itself. Unfortunately the Federal Government does not require special services for Gifted and Talented students, so the process for identifying and providing services for these students is much less well defined.
To gain a better understanding of what we mean when we say ‘disabilities’ and ‘gifted and talented’, let’s first take a look at the federal definitions of those terms. For the purpose of this presentation, when I say ‘disabilities’ I am referring to those cognitive, physical, behavioral, or emotional impairments that require an individualized educational program, or IEP, and special education services as mandated by the individuals with disabilities Education Act of 2004 or IDEA ’04 This includes: .......dyslexia AD/HD and chronic health conditions that require monitoring such asthma or diabetes
Now that we understand what we mean by disability, let’s look at the federal definition for gifted and talented the current federal definition can be found in the elementary... or the nclb act as it was renamed when it was reauthorized in 2001 in other words - a gifted and talented student is any student who is not adequately challenged by the general education classroom setting and needs additional services or instruction in order to remain interested and engaged in school and reach their full potential It is important to remember that States are not required to use the Federal definition or to provide special services for G&T unless state law requires it. The federal government does not mandate special services for gifted and talented students.
unfortunately many gifted students do not reach their full potential because their educational programs did not meet their needs researchers asked elementary, middle and high school gifted students who were attending general ed classes, how they felt about their educational experience, and found that they had the following 5 complaints... As a result an estimated 15 to 25 % of gifted students do not finish school. This is a shocking statistic! these numbers clearly indicate the need for differentiated instruction to keep gifted students motivated, so that they can learn at a pace that is comfortable for them and reach their full potential. The alternative is a great waste of talent that could be funneled into constructive purposes...
While students with physical disabilities are usually easier to identify, students with learning disabilities are often not so visible. Their disabilities often don’t show on the outside, making Identification more difficult. Additionally, giftedness is not always simple to recognize either especially when it is hidden behind a disability. So, twice exceptional students are often mislabeled or unrecognized Dawn Beckley of the University of Connecticut distinguishes between 3 types of twice exceptional students who have not been identified...
These students are still struggling in school and their academic acheivement does not meet the expectation for a gifted student. The performance difficulties resulting from their disability are improperly attributed to poor self-concept, lack of motivation, or laziness
There are also a number of myths about Gifted students that present additional obstacles to identification and to providing proper services for these students May excel at art, or math but struggle with reading or writing a gifted student does not need to be gifted in all subject areas in order to require special services to fully develop their talents
twice exceptional students may exhibit the same characteristics as their learning disabled peers without giftedness. they may be frustrated with their disability and act out or be disruptive in class
Gifted children still need guidance and help in order to flourish in school even without disabilities, but this is especially true of twice exceptional students who may have a very low self-concept as a result of their disability and mistakenly label themselves as stupid.
Because there is such a wide range of different types of disabilities and an equally wide range of types of giftedness, assembling a list of common characteristics of the twice exceptional child is extremely difficult. However, there are some traits that are more common among twice exceptional students that can help in the identification process....
First and probably the most frequent trait is an unevenness in academic performance between different subjects.
As noted before, this presentation will not focus on the process of identifying disabilities since this is well defined by IDEA ’04 but will focus on how to identify giftedness when it is present in students with disabilities. The process for identifying giftedness should follow many of the same procedures as the IEP process for identifying disabilities....
Formal assessments tend to favor children from the dominant american culture and disfavor children of ethnic & linguistic minorities and children with disabilities. So in order to ensure that these gifted students are not missed, we should not rely solely on these formal assessment but should also preform informal...
Once a student is identified as twice exceptional there are a number of ways that teachers can address both of the students exceptionalities to provide an appropriate education. Differentiated Instruction is CRITICAL! The challenge for educators is to differentiate instruction to address both their gifts and their disabilities Twice Exceptional Students need all “the special instruction, adaptations, and accommodations provided to students with special needs as mandated in their IEP’s but also require additional more challenging instruction in the areas of their gifts Some of the ways in which we can do this are>>>>>>>
Award winning actor TC is Dyslexic and struggled with school.
actor, henry winkler, who played the Fonz in the 70’s tv show Happy Days didn’t know he was dyslexic until he was an adult and worked on a documentary about dyslexia
Comedian and late night talk show host Jay Leno is Mildly Dyslexic
Award winning actress and comedian WG is Dyslexic
Award winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, is Dyslexic and often called the “poster child for ADD”
SH a brilliant scientist is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity , and his popular science book, A Brief History of Time , which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestsellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. he also has neuro-muscular dystrophy
Finally, TE was hearing impaired - lost almost all his hearing at age 12 - possibly due to scarlet fever and recurring middle ear infections during childhood, he also is suspected of having had other learning disabilities, although these are impossible to confirm posthumously. But as a child, Edison’s speech was significantly delayed, possibly until he was 4 years old. He only went to school a few months before he was taken out of school by his mother and home-schooled because the teachers thought he was “slow” Over the course of his career Edison patented 1,093 inventions including the phonograph , the motion picture camera , and the incandescent light bulb .
Although it is nearly impossible to make a diagnosis of a learning disability posthumously, the following pwople are believed by some to have had learning disabilities as well.
LDV was an internationally renowned inventor, scientists, engineer, architect, painter, sculptor, musician, mathematician, anatomist, astronomer, geologists, biologist, and philosopher in his time. He is also believed by some to have had a number of learning disabilities including dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. Some suggest that because he started many more projects than he ever completed, that he may have had attention deficit disorder. While the evidence for this is somewhat slim, there is stronger evidence that Da Vinci may have been dyslexic. His notes are often written backwards, from right to left, in a mirror image, which is a trait shared by many left-handed dyslexic people. In addition some say the spelling errors in his manuscripts and journals demonstrated dyslexia-like language difficulties.
Pablo Picasso is said to have been Dyslexic. What is known for sure is that he left school at an early age, refused to learn math and wanted to do nothing but paint.
Name synonymous with geniusHe hated school and disliked authority. He did poorly with rote learning, memorization, and simple mathematical calculations. His teachers said he was a slow learner who would never amount to anything and recommended that he attend a trade school. Some speculate that he may have been dyslexic, or that he may have had autism, or asperger’s syndrome due to his extreme preference for solitude as well as his delayed speech and what some have called difficulty communicating. As a professor he was a notoriously confusing lecturer. In Einstein’s own words, “My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude...”
If you would like to know more about Twice Exceptional Children the following resources can help you get started in your research.
Twice Exceptional Gifted Students with Disabilities
Individuals with DisabilitiesEducation Act of 2004 - IDEA ’04 • Specific Learning Disabilities • Speech or Language Impairments • Emotional Disturbance • Deafness; Hearing Impairments • Orthopedic Impairments or Physical Disabilities • Other Health Impairments • Visual Impairments
Elementary and Secondary Education ActNo Child Left Behind Act of 2001 • Gifted and Talented • Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. - (Title IX, Part A, Section 9101(22), p. 544)
Gifted Students• Common Complaints The curriculum is not challenging The instructional pace is too slow Too much information is repeated Few opportunities to study personal interests or study in more depth Emphasis on mastery of facts, rather than thinking skills
Three Types of Unrecognized Twice Exceptional Students
Identified as Gifted Only• Identified as gifted but still struggling in school• Academic achievement does not meet the expectation for a gifted student• Performance difficulties improperly attributed to poor self-concept, lack of motivation, or laziness
Identified as Learning Disabled Only• Have an IEP for a learning disability• Exceptional gifts are not recognized or properly addressed• Defined by what they cannot do instead of what they can do
Not Identified as Gifted or Learning Disabled• In general ed classrooms• Considered to be of average ability and not qualified for gifted or special education services• Giftedness helps them compensate for their learning disabilities• Two exceptionalities mask each other or cancel each other out
Obstacles to Identification • Myth #1 • Gifted students are good at everything.
Obstacles to Identification • Myth #2 • Gifted children are always mature, self-directed, and well behaved.
Obstacle to Services• Myth #3• Gifted children don’t need any extra help. They are smart enough to figure it out themselves
So how do we recognizetwice exceptional students?
Common AttributesExtremely uneven academic abilities Noticeable discrepancies between verbal and non-verbal aptitude test scoresSophistication, perception, and insightthat seems beyond their years Exceptional creativity and imagination Wide-ranging knowledge and interests Excels at art, music, science, mathematics, mechanics, or technology
Common AttributesSuperior mathematical reasoning skills High abstract reasoning abilityAuditory and visual processing problems Handwriting that is illegible - refusal to do written work Difficulty with rote memorization, spelling, phonics, and decoding words Extensive and advanced speaking vocabulary, which is much more sophisticated than written vocabulary
Common AttributesExtreme frustration with school Supersensitivity - emotions can overpower reasoning Perfectionism and unreasonable self- expectationsLack of organizational and study skills Often inattentive in class highly distractible Struggles with easy, sequential tasks Frequently does not complete assignments
Evaluation Process • Identify Giftedness • Identify Disabilities
Evaluation Process• Formal assessments individually administered intelligence tests diagnostic achievement tests tests of aptitude tests of creativity
Evaluation Process• Informal assessments evaluation by experts or teachers classroom observation peer evaluations parent interviews auditions (performing)
Strategies for Educators Early identification!!! Focus on their special gifts Allow alternative methods of presentation/communication Provide technological supports Teach them about their disability Acceleration - Skip grades, AP and Honors Courses
Strategies for Educators Provide a stimulating, intellectually challenging learning environment Use different methods of delivery of instruction Focus on experiential rather than instructional learning Teach meta-skills, time management and self management Tutoring and Mentoring
Famous and Successful People Who Are or Were Twice Exceptional
ContributionsIt is of vital importance not only to identify, but to support andnurture the gifts of all students including those who are twiceexceptional so that we may all reach our greatest potential.Can you imagine the world today without the contributions of thesegreat thinkers?
ResourcesNCLB - http://ed.gov/nclbIDEA ’04 - http://idea.ed.govGifted Children - http://www.nagc.orgStudents with Disabilities - http://www.cec.sped.orgTwice Exceptional http://tinyurl.com/nagc-twiceexceptional http://tinyurl.com/cec-twiceexceptional http://www.uniquelygifted.org http://2enewsletter.com/