Is My Child Twice-Exceptional?

You may be wondering if your child is twice-exceptional, also known as 2e. According to Wrights Law, twice exceptional is the following: “Twice-exceptional children are gifted children of above average abilities who have special educational needs – AD/HD, learning disabilities, Asperger Syndrome, etc. Because their giftedness can mask their special needs and their special needs can hide their giftedness, they are often labeled as “lazy” and “unmotivated”.”

Additionally,  regular education settings often are not challenging enough for gifted students. More often than not, 2e students’ high intellect masks their challenges associated with executive functioning, processing, or other learning weakness. Therefore, gifted students with disabilities may appear “not impaired enough” for disability-related services if they perform at grade level and “not gifted enough” to receive gifted education services.

A comprehensive assessment can provide information about a child’s intellectual and achievement abilities and uncover any potential areas of need. A psychologist as well as a 2e specialist should complete these assessments. This will ensure that the professionals clarify all all areas of your child’s development.

The following are steps in answer your question, “Is my child twice-exceptional?”

  1. Complete a comprehensive assessment. This includes using norm-based, psychometrically sound, comprehensive individual intelligence and achievement tests. Include measures in all areas of suspected strength and disability. This is true of any child with a disability who shows signs of advanced reasoning, creativity, or problem solving. This also includes gifted children suspected of having a disability.
  2. Consider testing students who exhibit advanced abilities in some situations but fail to perform as expected, or who appear “lazy” or “unmotivated.”
  3. Include students with suspected learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and mental health concerns. Utilize comprehensive assessment  to determine diagnosis, eligibility determinations, and to guide interventions and accommodations.

These recommendations are adopted from “Ensuring Gifted Children with Disabilities Receive Appropriate Services: Call for Comprehensive Assessment,” October 2013, Position Statement by National Association for Gifted Children.

Contact us for a free phone consultation to learn more about twice-exceptional evaluations for your child. We serve families of San Diego County, including Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido and surrounding cities.

About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychoeducational testing and therapy services to help build a plan for success. Paradox provides services for families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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