A learner who is twice-exceptional are those students who have two areas of exceptionality.  An area which is increasing growing are gifted learners which have ADHD.  When we consider the alarming rate that twice-exceptional learners are being identified, we have to also take into consideration that our schools are not properly prepared to deal with these students.  Many teachers are ill-equipped and lack the basic skills necessary to identify and teach these specific learners as they are not addressed within teacher development programs.  The question remains what are the options that a parent has in the event that they have to advocate for their child?  I will be exploring this subject further in future posts.


  1. Active Parent says:

    TAKE PROPER PROCEDURE :If a parent thinks that their child is a gifted learner, or a learner with another disability, it would help for them to become knowledgeable of the correct procedure to take to get their child tested and identified. There are procedural mandates by law for this. This is the first step.

    After a child is identified under IDEA as gifted and/or dual-diagnosed, knowledge of the rights of a special ed student and the parent of a special ed student would also be helpful.

    General Ed teachers are required to collaborate with Special Ed and Gifted Ed teachers to develop lesson plans that modifications for the child with a learning disability, a child with a diagnosis that causes behavioral disturbance such as ADHD or a child who is gifted.

    The issue here is accountability. If parents knew their rights and became active participants in the process, teachers would have no choice but to get on board since they do work of “us”. ( We are tax payers and we pay their salaries). Many parents are unaware of the power that they have to make things happen, they just wait on the schools to figure it all out. Its a collaborative effort I think.

    Lets become knowledgable and lets take meaningful, constructive action to become active collaborators in the cause of our children’s education.

    • Thank you for your comments, and I agree wholeheartedly. There is also a concern right now for those students who are never identified. These students often fall into two categories 1) those who have teachers who are aware of their exceptionality, and 2) those students who have average grades and are never identified. It is believed that many more students have an exceptionality which are never identified because they do not display behavior problems in their classrooms. These learners sail through their academic career receiving “average” grades and are not challenged. These students although they are capable, fall short of reaching their potential.

      • Active Parent says:

        Sounds like the tough questions here are how do you identify a child as gifted who does not show the academic indicators for such. As well, how do you identify a child with a behavioral disturbance, when there are no behavior indicators.

        Also the law does protect children when teachers/schools are aware of their exceptionality and the teacher/school treats his child like a regular child with this knowledge.

        • This is indicative of a “fail first” ideology that believes that unless there is a visible problem of a child adjusting to the “traditional” classroom environment, there is no reason to look for any differences. Although many learning disabilities are based on physical deficiences, exceptionalities such as giftedness and ADHD are both cognitive disorders, and in the case of ADHD many children have executive function deficits. You are correct in stating that it is hard to access “when there are no behaviors indicators”. In the event of these disorders there are behaviorial indicators, and behavioral problems are usually indicative of a problem that has not been previously addressed. Unfortunately educators who are the ones who spend a great deal of time with the learner are the ones who are expected to “refer” learners for additional services, are not properly trained to recognize those indicators.

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