Twice Exceptional


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Twice Exceptional

  1. 1. LD Twice Exceptional: Meeting the needs of students who are Gifted/LD Gifted Prepared by Sharon Drummond for UWO Special Education Specialist Module 3
  2. 2. Gifted and a Learning Disability? That can’t be right! Giftedness is “ unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability...” A learning disability is “...a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability...” (Ministry of Education, 2001, p. A18)
  3. 3. Therefore... • A student who possesses an outstanding gift, but who also has areas of great relative weakness can be both gifted and have a learning disability (Weinfeld, et al, 2006, p. 15).
  4. 4. “Twice Exceptional” Students • Students who are gifted and have another exceptionality are often referred to as “twice exceptional”. • Estimates state that 2-5% of gifted students may also have a learning disability (Delisle, J. & Galbraith, J., 2002, p. 75). • These students are at high risk for under- achievement (Goldstein, 2001).
  5. 5. How do these students do in school? Above average achievement: Struggling: Average achievement: Identified as gifted, with Tested because of a Performs at the same level subtle difficulties in specific suspected disability, as his or her peers. The areas. Often told to just “try and giftedness is also giftedness masks the harder” in those areas. discovered. The disability, and the disability giftedness masks the disability masks the masks the giftedness. disability. giftedness. (Baum, 1990)
  6. 6. What might I see in my classroom? • A bright child who is “difficult” – they might act out or be the class clown or trouble maker. • A verbally gifted student with a highly advanced oral vocabulary, but simplistic written language. • A student who has mastered math concepts before they are taught, but struggles with computation • Asynchronous development (large splits between strengths and weaknesses). • A student who loves to learn, but hates school.
  7. 7. Programming Suggestions • Encourage students to use strategies that compensate for their areas of need while experiencing challenging tasks in their areas of strength. • Teach specific learning strategies to overcome weaknesses. Twice-exceptional students cannot improve simply by “trying harder”. • Teach the way they learn. Try different methods until you find one that “fits”. • Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. • Pace tasks appropriately – compact curriculum in strength areas and provide additional time in areas of need.
  8. 8. In areas of Strength • Never take time away from an area of strength to create time to work on areas of weakness. • Twice exceptional students need the same types of activities in their areas of strength as other gifted students:  Compacting  Differentiation  Choice Menus  Learning Contracts  “Most Difficult First”  Encourage high level abstract thought, creativity, and problem solving  Using technology or other non-traditional means to show learning (e.g. Movie Maker, Podcasts, Websites or Wikis)
  9. 9. In areas of need • Teach whatever compensatory strategies are needed to achieve success. • Learning tasks should never be so easy that the student will succeed without effort. • Teach students to set short-term goals, and celebrate reaching those goals. • Make sure they see the “big picture”- teach concepts first and details second. • Help to make connections between previously learned content and new content.
  10. 10. In areas of need • Provide specific instruction in organization. • Allow students to choose where in the room they will work, as long as they are not disruptive in doing so. • Use learning style inventories, such as Multiple Intelligences, and allow the student to complete learning activities that match their strengths.
  11. 11. Technology • Assistive Technology can help students achieve a deep understanding of the big concepts rather than worrying about the less important details (e.g. spelling, handwriting). • Even with remediation, a student with a learning disability that affects how well they spell will always struggle with spelling. Technology helps to compensate for the area of need. • Help students find and learn to use any available technology that may assist them:  Word Prediction software (e.g. Premier Suites)  Speech to Text software (e.g. Dragon Naturally Speaking)  Graphic Organizer programs (e.g. Smart Ideas)
  12. 12. Food for thought... "...[Albert] never was much good at the 'easy' part of mathematics. To shine, he had to move on to the 'hard' part.' In adult life his mathematical intuition was recognised as extraordinary and he could handle deftly the most difficult of tensor calculus, but it appears that arithmetic calculation continued to be an area of comparative weakness." ~ Maja Einstein (Albert Einstein’s sister)
  13. 13. Resources Baum, S. (1990). Gifted but Learning Disabled: A Puzzling Paradox. Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from Council for Exceptional Children: Cosmos, C. (2007). Imagine Teaching Robin Williams - Twice-Exceptional Children in your School. Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from Council for Exceptional Children: Delisle, J., & Galbraith, J. (2002). When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc. Goldstein, L. F. (2001). Diamond in the Rough. Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from LD Online: Martin, A. D. (2006). The 2e Dilemma: Understanding and Educating the Twice Exceptional Child. Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from 2-e Twice Exceptional Newsletter: Neumann, L. C. (2004). What Can We Learn from a Tale of Two Cities? Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from 2e-Twice Exceptional Newsletter: Ontario Ministry of Education. (2001). Special Education: A Guide for Educators. Weinfeld, R., Barnes-Robinson, L., Jeweler, S., & Roffman Shevitz, B. (2006). Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Willard-Holt, C. (1999). Dual Exceptionalities. Retrieved 07 14, 2009, from LD online: Winebrenner, S. (2003). Teaching Strategies for Twice-Exceptional Students. Intervention in School and Clinic , 38 (3), 131-137. Photo Credits: Slide 1 : jbird , digitally altered in by Sharon Drummond Slide 4 (l-r): Thomas Hawk, zeynep’arkok, and ::PhotoMassacre:: (Photos licensed under Creative Commons under Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic) Slide 10 : Turner, O. J. Albert Einstein. (Digital ID cph 3b46036). Library of Congress, Washington D.C.