Twice-Exceptional Students: To Be Brilliant and Different
The world of education is changing. With the help of technology, teachers can reach more students than ever before. But what about those who don't fit into the mould?
Twice-exceptional children often get left behind in traditional classrooms because they require specialised attention and resources that few schools can provide. The result is a frustrated student with unmet potential. In this blog post, we'll discuss how twice-exceptional students can learn to be brilliant and different through personalised teaching methods like one-on-one tutoring, flipped learning, individualised lesson plans, and blended or online courses.
What are Twice-Exceptional Students?
Twice-Exceptional Students are students that have both disabilities and gifts. This means they are different from their peers in an area of exceptional ability while also struggling with a learning disability or disorder. These students may be identified as having a specific learning disability or having intellectual giftedness.
Many of these students have been observing their peers and the teaching styles that work for them without success, which can cause frustration in children. It is essential to understand how different they are from other learners to help them achieve their highest potential. These students may need differentiated lessons and specialised accommodations to help them meet their goals in the classroom.
It is also vital that we do not ignore the needs of twice-exceptional children or try to push them into a specific type of education because they are gifted. Many local authority schools and recognised special schools only provide services for those with disabilities. Still, there should be an equal opportunity for gifted children too.
The most important thing to remember about twice-exceptional students is that they are not different from their peers in all areas. They struggle with some things while also being successful at others, which means we must meet them where they are and help them along the way. Twice-Exceptional Students can succeed in all types of classrooms and be highly successful when given the right educational opportunities.
How to Approach Twice-Exceptional Students
There is no one way to approach twice-exceptional students. The best plan of action will vary from student-to-student and family-to-family. Still, a few general principles can be helpful. First, teachers and parents need to identify the students who genuinely are 'twice exceptional' – those with learning disabilities or ADHD as well as above-average intelligence.
While students with learning difficulties may need the same accommodations and support as other special needs students, those whose IQ is high enough to qualify them for gifted programs should be offered enrichment opportunities at school. These may include advanced coursework, special projects and further education preparation activities. They should also be included in after school programs that match their interests.
Parents of these students need to work closely with teachers to create IEPs that acknowledge both needs.
How to recognise Twice-Exceptional students?
What makes them different from other students? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these children compared to their peers? To answer all these questions, we need to know what a twice-exceptional student is.
Twice exceptionality occurs when a child has an intelligence quotient (IQ) in at least two areas that fall well above average: about 130 or above in intellectual and specific academic areas, also demonstrate a high potential to learn.
At the same time, once children are identified as gifted, they may have difficulties related to negative stereotypes surrounding intelligence (e.g. only geniuses or brilliant people can learn to speak foreign languages without studying the vocabulary).
The biggest challenge for twice-exceptional children is often related to their social skills. They face many issues in understanding other people's emotions and feelings, making it difficult for them to manage everyday life situations (e.g. getting along with friends at school). As a result, their behaviour and social-emotional development can be impacted.
However, we should not forget that all students are different, and twice-exceptionality is very specific to each child's needs.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Compared to their peers, twice-exceptional children have a high potential to learn, but also face serious challenges that can impact their learning capabilities throughout life. The biggest challenge is often related to social skills and understanding other people's emotions & feelings, which makes it difficult for them to manage everyday life situations. As a result, their behaviour and social-emotional development can be impacted.
All students are different. Twice-exceptionality is very specific to each child's needs.