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Twice-Exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on 2e Identification

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Abstract

Twice-exceptional students have high abilities and coexisting learning difficulties. Abilities and difficulties tend to mask each other, and these underidentified students often struggle in school and express their frustrations at home. However, few studies have examined how parents experience the identification of their children’s multiple exceptionalities. In this study, we used purposeful maximum variation sampling and interviewed parents of twice-exceptional children who were identified with attention issues, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and emotional/behavioral disorder. We illustrate parents’ experiences through member-checked vignettes. The results show unique experiences as well as commonalities among parents of twice-exceptional students. We conclude that parents play a critical advocacy role for their twice-exceptional children, yet they need support to fulfill this role.
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Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Lynn Dare and Elizabeth Nowicki
Western University
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Roeper
Review on 21/10/2015, available online at www.tandfoinline.com
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02783193.2015.1077911?journalCode=uror
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doi: 10.1080/02783193.2015.1077911 Abstract
Twice-exceptional students have high abilities and coexisting learning
difficulties. Abilities and difficulties tend to mask each other, and these under-identified
students often struggle in school and express their frustrations at home. However, few
studies have examined how parents experience the identification of their children’s
multiple exceptionalities. In this study, we used purposeful maximum variation sampling
and interviewed parents of twice-exceptional children who were identified with attention
issues, learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and emotional/behavioral
disorder. We illustrate parents’ experiences through member-checked vignettes. The
results show unique experiences as well as commonalities among parents of twice-
exceptional students. We conclude that parents play a critical advocacy role for their
twice-exceptional children, yet they need support to fulfil this role.
Keywords: twice-exceptional, gifted learning disabled, parents perspectives, dual
exceptionality, learning difficulties, identification.
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 2
In the past, educators believed
high intelligence to be a global construct,
so the notion that students with high
intelligence could also experience
learning difficulties appeared
incongruous (Brody & Mills, 1997).
More recently, professionals in the field
of gifted education have become
increasingly aware that students can have
both exceptional abilities and learning
difficulties (Assouline & Whiteman,
2011), in other words they are twice-
exceptional. However, among regular
classroom teachers, awareness about
coexisting exceptionalities remains
limited (Foley-Nicpon, Assouline, &
Colangelo, 2013) and little is known
about how parents with twice-exceptional
children become aware of their children’s
multiple exceptionalities. In this
qualitative study, parents shared their
stories about how their children were
identified as twice-exceptional. We
interviewed parents of twice-exceptional
children, and framed parents’
experiences in the context of the extant
literature.
Terminology. We begin with a
note on the various terms we will use
throughout. In special education, students
who are identified as exceptional tend to
receive a label denoting their
exceptionality. By definition, twice-
exceptional students have at least two
exceptionalities, so it follows that they
often have a multiplicity of labels. For
example, a child who is gifted and
talented (G/T) and also has a specific
learning disability (SLD) and attention
deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
would be G/T/SLD/ADHD. The phrase
“alphabet children” is apt for these
students (Baum & Olenchak, 2002, p.
77). In this article, we only use labels to
denote specific combinations of high-
ability and learning difficulty. When
referring to the larger group of students
who have high-ability and any kind of
learning difficulty, we use the term twice-
exceptional as well as the colloquial term
2e (Reis, Baum, & Burke, 2014). When
referring to research articles, we have
retained the authors’ original terms where
appropriate for clarity.
Prevalence of Twice-
Exceptionality. Up to seven percent of
school-age children may be twice-
exceptional, although the exact
prevalence of twice-exceptionality is
uncertain (Assouline & Whiteman,
2011). Estimating prevalence is
hampered by low awareness about twice-
exceptionality (Foley-Nicpon et al.,
2013) and difficulties with formal
identification (Brody & Mills, 1997,
Bees, 2009).
Characteristics and Identification
Twice-exceptional students
exhibit many combinations of abilities
and difficulties. High-ability can be in
one or more areas; in this study, we use
the term high-ability to refer to students
who are intellectually gifted, creative,
and/or talented (Steenbergen-Hu &
Moon, 2011). Learning difficulties may
stem from attention deficits, specific
learning disabilities (dyslexia,
dyscalculia, dysgraphia, etc.),
communication disorders, emotional
and/or behavior disorders, physical
problems, and/or sensory issues (Foley-
Nicpon et al., 2013; Neihart, 2008;
Weinfeld, Barnes-Robinson, Jeweler, &
Roffman-Shevitz, 2006). This mix of
combinations gives twice-exceptionality
a multifaceted nature (Assouline &
Whiteman, 2011).
Within educational settings, high-
ability is often formally identified as
intellectual giftedness. To identify
students as gifted, school boards typically
look for an overall intelligence score in
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 3
the top 2% (e.g., 130 or above on the
Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children
[WISC]) together with assessments such
as parent and teacher observations and
school grades (Antshel, 2008). However,
many twice-exceptional students score
lower on composite intelligence scores
due to their areas of weakness (e.g.,
Baum & Owen, 1988; Ferri, Gregg, &
Heggoy, 1997; Foley-Nicpon, Rickels,
Assouline, & Richards, 2012) and so fail
to meet the criteria for identification as
gifted. Learning difficulties are
identified according to the type of
difficulty. Specific learning disabilities
may be identified by appropriately-
qualified educators and diagnosticians;
disorders such as Attention Deficit
Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Autism
Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or
Emotional/Behavioral Disorder (EBD)
are identified by qualified health
professionals (including clinical
psychologists and family physicians).
This need for external professional
involvement in the identification process
can add a layer of complexity to
identifying twice-exceptional children.
Ongoing communication among home,
school, and the health professional is
essential for accurate diagnoses. We
provide further detail on how SLD,
ADHD, and ASD are identified in the
relevant sections below.
Further compounding the
challenges to identifying twice-
exceptional students, disabilities and
abilities often conceal each other; the
masking of exceptionalities is one of the
major barriers to identification (Brody &
Mills, 1997; Foley-Nicpon et al., 2013).
Unidentified twice-exceptional students
fall into three broad subgroups: (a)
students identified as highly-able who
have unidentified learning difficulties,
(b) students identified with learning
difficulties whose abilities/talents are
unrecognized, and (c) students who are
twice-exceptional but remain
unidentified, primarily due to masking
effects (Brody & Mills, 1997). In all three
scenarios, unidentified twice-exceptional
students are at risk for negative academic,
social, and emotional outcomes. Twice-
exceptional students functioning at
academic grade-level may be performing
well below their potential (Bees, 2009),
they may be socially isolated and
intensely aware of being different
(Assouline & Whiteman, 2011), and they
may experience depression, anxiety,
withdrawal, aggression, and lowered self-
esteem (Bees, 2009).
Educators and parents play
important roles in identifying and
supporting twice-exceptional students.
Although educators may be the first to
notice that a child is struggling,
awareness about twice-exceptionality is
just beginning to grow among regular
classroom teachers (Reis et al., 2014).
What’s more, parents are likely to see
students’ frustrations at home, but we
know relatively little about parents’
knowledge and awareness of twice-
exceptionality or their experiences
supporting their twice-exceptional
children.
Our Approach to this Study
Understanding parents’
perspectives is critical to supporting
successful school experiences for
students with exceptionalities
(Villeneuve et al., 2013). We chose a
pragmatic qualitative approach to this
exploratory study because it is ideally
suited to describing everyday experiences
(Patton, 2002). The main research
question was “How do parents become
aware that their children are twice
exceptional?”
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 4
Positionality. Qualitative inquiry
depends upon interpretations, so in this
section I, the first author, reflect upon
what drives my interest in this topic. This
reflection brackets, or sets aside, my
experiences (Creswell, 2013). I grew up
in the 1960s and 1970s when little was
known about twice-exceptionality and
high-ability was believed to be global.
My brother was the highest achieving
math student at the local high school; he
could multiply four-digit by four-digit
numbers in his head and he was happiest
in a world of charts, graphs, and numbers.
However, my brother struggled to learn to
read and write. I recall that every night
after school he would read to Mom from
primary reading books and eventually he
did learn to read, although never fluently.
Many years later, I discovered my
daughter is twice-exceptional, so I set out
to become more educated about twice-
exceptionality and I mentioned my
discoveries to my mom. She speculated
that twice-exceptionality might have
explained the riddle of my brother’s
perplexing mix of abilities and
difficulties. Sadly, my brother is not with
us anymore, but I am motivated to
explore this area in support of all twice-
exceptional children, and in my brother’s
memory.
Method: Parents Co-create Their
Stories Participants. Participants were
five parents of twice-exceptional
children, four moms and one dad, from
southern Ontario. All participants were
Caucasian, and four out of five had post-
secondary degrees. All participants were
working professionals or business
owners, owned their own homes, and had
the financial resources to seek
independent (i.e., private) psycho-
educational assessments for their
children.
Participants’ children ranged in
age from 11 years to early 20s and
included two girls and three boys. Each of
the children had attended different public
schools. Due to privacy regulations, we
were unable to access independent
confirmation that the children were
identified as twice-exceptional by school
boards; however, all parents indicated
their children had Individual Education
Plans (IEPs) to meet their special
education needs and four of the parents
shared details taken directly from
independent assessment reports.
Procedures. Prior to
commencing the study, we obtained
ethics approval from the researchers’
university ethics review board. To recruit
a range of participants with various
twice-exceptionality experiences, we
used Patton’s (2015) number 13
purposeful maximum variation
(heterogeneity) sampling (p. 267). Patton
recommends this strategy “(1) to
document diversity and (2) to identify
important common patterns that are
common across the diversity (cut through
the noise of variation) on dimensions of
interest” (p. 267). Parents who had self-
identified as having twice-exceptional
children with different identifications
were invited to take part in the study. All
participants received a letter of
information about the study and gave
informed consent to participate. The
interviewer met with the parents at a
convenient time and place. Interviews
followed a phenomenological approach,
involving an informal, interactive process
to elicit personal accounts of parents’
experiences as they came to learn their
children were twice-exceptional (Patton,
2015). Initial interviews were guided by
two key questions: (a) how did you find
out your child is twice-exceptional? and
(b) what are some of your experiences
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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parenting your twice-exceptional child?
Within this guide, the interviewer took a
conversational approach which “offers
the interviewer flexibility in probing and
in determining when it is appropriate to
explore certain subjects in greater depth”
(Patton, 2015, pp. 441-441). Using this
flexible approach, initial interviews
ranged in length between 45 minutes up
to two hours. We explained to
participants that our goal was to co-create
a descriptive vignette with them as
partners in the process, and all agreed to
share their stories and assist in editing the
final vignettes. The interviewer jotted
some handwritten notes during the
interview, without interrupting the
natural flow of the conversation, as the
aim was to hear the essence of each
parent’s story and elicit memories of how
identification occurred (Creswell, 2013).
Immediately after the interviews were
completed, the interviewer wrote detailed
notes on key discussion points. In each
case, the interviewer followed up on these
details with the parent via email. Based
on the notes and follow up emails, we
drafted a vignette to illustrate each
parent’s experiences with their twice-
exceptional child. In each vignette we
included some individual characteristics
of the child, background on the child’s
strengths and weaknesses, and an
illustration of how each child’s
exceptionalities manifested in a learning
environment. Once drafted, the vignettes
were emailed to the respective parents so
they could be member-checked for
accuracy (Patton, 2002). Parents were
invited to revise, edit, or add to each
vignette. By engaging participants in
checking and adding to the vignettes, we
aimed to ensure credibility in our findings
(Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In all cases,
parents added details to the vignettes in
their own words.
Data Analysis. We used NVivo
10 qualitative data analysis software to
organize, code, and query the data so that
we could identify commonalities across
the diverse range of stories (e.g., Bazeley,
2007). We entered the final vignettes,
interview notes, and email
correspondence into the software, and
used open-coding thematic analysis to
identify similarities across cases (e.g.,
Patton, 2015).
Findings: Some of the Many Faces of
Twice-Exceptionality
Each section of our findings
includes a brief description of an aspect
of twice-exceptionality, followed by a
vignette based on parents’ experiences.
The vignettes illustrate the following
aspects of twice-exceptionality: (a)
awareness of student’s struggles, (b) how
identification of exceptionalities occurs,
and (c) parents’ experiences with
gifted/talented children identified with
specific learning disorder, attention
deficit, autism spectrum disorder, and
emotional/behavioral disorder. We have
used italics to distinguish the vignettes.
Names have been changed to protect
participants’ identities.
2e Awareness and Identification
Early studies suggested that high-
ability and learning difficulties were
mutually exclusive, a belief known as the
Terman myth (Brody & Mills, 1997).
The Terman myth was based on the
notion of intelligence as a single, global
construct that has been attributed to
Lewis Terman’s work in the field of
gifted education in the early 1900s.
Terman reported that students with
intelligence quotients (IQs) over 140
were not only intellectually superior to
children with lower IQs, but also had
superior physique, health, social
adjustment, and moral attitudes (Bianco
& Leech, 2010). However, since the
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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1980s, awareness about diversity among
highly able students and recognition of
twice-exceptionality has increased as
theories about intelligence have
developed. For example, Gardner’s
(1983) theory of multiple intelligences
added new dimensions to our
understanding of intelligence by defining
a range of abilities (as cited in Brody &
Mills, 1997) and Sternberg’s triarchic
model described analytical, creative, and
practical attributes of intelligence
(Sternberg, 1985, 2000). Along with
these multi-dimensional theories,
research into twice-exceptionality has
revealed that some students can and do
have high-ability coupled with difficulty
learning (Trail, 2011).
Despite increasing recognition of
twice-exceptionality within the field of
gifted education, identification of twice-
exceptional students remains a challenge.
Because twice-exceptional students may
have depressed overall scores on
standardized tests, some researchers
operationalize high intellectual ability
among twice-exceptional children using
an intelligence score of 120 on the WISC
(e.g., Antshel, 2008). However, most
school boards rigidly adhere to a higher
score to identify intellectual
exceptionality, and some twice-
exceptional students fail to meet the
criterion (Bianco & Leech, 2010). Nate’s
story (below) illustrates the situation
where a student with high-ability in one
area does not receive programming for
his strengths due to rigid identification
measures.
Nate’s story: I can read, but I
can’t write. Nate is an only child who
loves computer games, complex board
games, and drama, and he has been
actively involved in theatre since age 5.
When Nate was in grade 1, his Mom
perceived a disconnect between his
delight in reading at home and his
relatively poor grades at school. She was
also concerned about Nate’s profound
difficulties with the mechanics of writing.
Nate’s mom spoke with his teacher about
her concerns and wondered if Nate could
be referred for an assessment. The
teacher responded, “Nate doesn’t have
any difficulties, he is just lazy”. Faced
with that response, Nate’s parents sought
a private psycho-educational assessment
with a clinical psychologist. Through the
assessment, Nate was identified with a
developmental coordination disorder and
a specific learning disability affecting
written expression, with possible ADHD
which the psychologist referred to as
“mild”. Mom shared the assessment with
the school, and they developed an IEP for
Nate and provided a personal laptop for
assignments. With the aid of a laptop,
Nate’s written output has improved
considerably.
However, the assessments also
showed that Nate had high-ability in
verbal comprehension (97th percentile),
but his low perceptual reasoning score
(10th percentile) “pulls down” his overall
score to the extent that the school
considers he is not eligible for
enrichment programming. What’s more,
even though his reading ability is very
high, he has struggled with daily reading
assignments, sometimes reading so
quickly that he skips words orally. Mum
expressed frustration that over the years
Nate has been denied both enrichment
programming and positive feedback
about one of his greatest strengths.
Currently in grade 6, Nate is particularly
fond of his teacher this year and his
report cards have improved. He engages
well with older and same age peers in the
local theatre group and he enjoys
primary roles in local productions. Nate
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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hopes to be an actor when he grows up,
or to be a drama teacher as his ‘plan b’.
Nate is a grade 6 student, the
youngest twice-exceptional student in our
study, and his story is a reminder of the
need to promote knowledge and
awareness about twice-exceptionality
(Foley-Nicpon et al., 2013), and the
importance of understanding how
learning difficulties can impact overall
scores on standardized tests (Nielsen,
2002). His story also underlines the need
for sensitivity to the difference between
learning difficulties and laziness (Bees,
2009). Nate’s mom and dad continue to
advocate for his needs at the local school.
The school has scheduled a re-assessment
of Nate’s needs prior to his transition to
high school, and it remains to be seen
how his story will unfold over time.
2e with Specific Learning Disabilities
Specific Learning Disabilities
(SLD) are lifelong and they affect people
with average and above average abilities
for thinking and reasoning (Learning
Disabilities Association of Canada,
2002). They are neurologically based and
they adversely affect the brain’s ability to
store, process, retrieve, or communicate
information. Examples of SLD include
dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and
NVLD. To be identified with SLD, a
student must display persistent
difficulties in general academic skills
such as reading, writing, arithmetic, or
mathematical reasoning skills. Academic
skills must be “well below the average
range of scores in culturally and
linguistically appropriate tests of reading,
writing or mathematics taking into
account intelligence and age (American
Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 1).
Identifying SLD can be difficult.
Salvia, Ysseldyke, and Bolt (2010)
describe two approaches: discrepancy
and response to intervention (RtI). In the
discrepancy approach, a diagnostician
uses standardized achievement and
intelligence tests to determine whether a
student displays a significant discrepancy
between achievement and ability (Salvia
et al., 2010). In an RtI approach, teachers
measure students’ progress over time in
response to intensive instruction targeted
to areas of weakness. Teachers then
identify SLD when a student does not
show significant improvement in the
targeted areas (Salvia et al., 2010).
Neither approach is ideal. The
discrepancy approach involves waiting
for a student to fail, as it may take a long
time for a significant discrepancy to be
apparent. (Crepeau-Hobson & Bianco,
2011). The RtI approach may not identify
twice-exceptional students who are
performing below their potential because
they may be at grade-level (McCallum et
al., 2013).
Linked to challenges with
identification, gifted students with
learning disabilities (GLD) often use their
intellectual abilities to “compensate for
problematic weaknesses (Baum &
Owen, 2004, p. 160). Consequently
significant discrepancies may not appear
until higher grades. For example, Ferri et
al. (1997) found that only 35% of GLD
students were identified in elementary
school, compared to 54% of non-gifted
learning disabled students. In addition,
many GLD students develop coping
strategies and work extremely hard to
hide areas of weakness (Bees, 2009; Reis
et al., 2014; Trail, 2011). In Jessica’s case
(below), Jessica was identified as GLD in
Grade 6 as she worked unusually hard to
keep up with elementary arithmetic and
symptoms of math anxiety began to
appear.
Jessica’s story: I’m working
hard being GLD. Jessica is second eldest
in a family of two girls and two boys. She
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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is a bright-eyed young lady with an
outgoing personality and lots of
questions about the world. In
kindergarten, she loved to build towers
out of blocks and line up cars by color.
She was (and is!) a bundle of energy, yet
always needed more sleep than her
siblings.
When Jessica was in grade 6 her
parents began to suspect something was
amiss. Jessica’s teacher recommended
that Jessica focus on learning
multiplication facts, as that was an area
of weakness for her. In response, her
parents enrolled Jessica in a private
tutoring program that was based on math
drills. But no matter how hard she tried,
Jessica simply could not memorize math
facts. Over a three month period Jessica
remained at ‘level 1’ in the program. The
program wasn’t working; in fact, it
reached the point where Jessica
experienced anxiety and tears over her
nightly math homework. Yet her parents
knew Jessica to be a thoughtful and
curious child who enjoyed creative
problem-solving.
Seeking to find some answers to
what seemed like a perplexing riddle,
Jessica’s parents engaged a private
psychologist. The psycho-educational
evaluation revealed that Jessica’s overall
IQ was in the ‘very superior’ range on the
WISC, but with a 15 point discrepancy
between her general verbal abilities and
her general non-verbal abilities.
Achievement testing showed that Jessica
had patterns of weaknesses in arithmetic
and spelling that suggested specific
learning disabilities. The psychologist
reported, “Jessica is clearly a bright
child who is experiencing some
processing difficulties.” According to the
psychologist, as Jessica completed the
math testing, she failed to recognize the
difference among math symbols
(mistaking + for -, etc.). The
psychologist’s report included the
following comment: “Jessica experiences
anxiety, frustration and lowered self-
esteem when it comes to mathematics and
writing. Clearly, her relative weakness in
these areas is having significant impact
on her psychological well-being.”
After reading the evaluation
report, the school principal
recommended that Jessica remain in the
regular classroom with accommodations.
The school developed an IEP, and Jessica
was allowed to use a calculator in math
class and a spell-checker on written
assignments. These technical aids helped
academically, but they also prompted
new social difficulties. Other students,
perceiving Jessica to be a bright student,
questioned why she was allowed to use a
calculatorsuggesting that she received
‘unfair’ treatment.
Both Jessica and her mom
appreciated the demystification of
Jessica’s twice-exceptionality as it
provided an explanation of her strengths
and struggles (Elfrink, 2008). Jessica
continued to work hard and earned two
academic awards when she graduated
from high school. However, her story
illustrates how educational strategies for
twice-exceptional students all too often
focus on academic weaknesses (Baum &
Owen, 2004; Yewchuk & Bibby, 1989)
and ignore social issues.
2e with ADHD
Another group of twice-
exceptional students are gifted with
attention deficits. Students with ADHD
may have difficulty sustaining situation
appropriate attention and exhibit
behaviors such as difficulty with
organization, excessive talking or
fidgeting, and difficulty paying attention
to detail (Baum, Olenchak, & Owen,
1998). Criteria for identification of
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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ADHD in the most recent Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM-5) are divided into two categories:
1) inattention and 2) hyperactivity
(American Psychiatric Association,
2013). Formal identification of ADHD is
made by a psychiatrist, medical doctor, or
mental health professional, although
parents and teachers are usually the first
to discover signs of ADHD (Weinfeld et
al., 2006). Care must be taken in
diagnosing gifted students with ADHD
due to an overlap in characteristics of
giftedness and ADHD (Weinfeld et al.,
2006). For example, hyperactivity in
ADHD appears similar to
“overexcitabilities” in giftedness
(Antshel, 2008, p. 293). In addition, both
gifted and ADHD populations may
exhibit impulsive and oppositional
behaviors (Antshel, 2008). Compounding
this complex identification, students with
ADHD have weak working memory
skills and inability to sustain attention, so
they may be less likely to measure in the
top 2% when using the WISC as a
measure of intellectual ability (Fugate,
Zentall, & Gentry, 2013).
Twice-exceptional students with
ADHD may have “significant work
production/output difficulties” (Antshel,
2008, p. 297) and “difficulty regulating
their emotions, problems with peer
relationships, and stressed families”
(Moon, Zentall, Grskovic, Hall, &
Stormont, 2001, p. 207). Furthermore,
some research shows that gifted students
with ADHD have lower scores of self-
esteem, self-concept, and overall
happiness than their gifted peers without
ADHD (Foley-Nicpon et al., 2012). Like
their twice-exceptional peers with other
learning difficulties, twice-exceptional
students with ADHD have self-awareness
about their differentness (Foley-Nicpon
et al., 2012). In Lucy’s story below, her
mom describes how Lucy’s awareness of
her own difficulties initiated the
identification process.
Lucy’s story: I know I’m
different. Lucy is the youngest child in an
active family of sport-lovers. She has two
brothers, and all family members engage
in different sports including soccer, golf,
and swimming. Lucy was a bright,
creative student throughout grade
school; she enjoyed academic successes
and lots of friendships. She was curious,
bubbly, and talked continually, in and out
of the classroom, which was always a
topic of conversation during
parent/teacher conferences. Lucy would
often tell her mom that she suspected she
had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder. Her mom, a teacher who had
taught young boys diagnosed with
ADHD, told her she did not, and
disregarded Lucy’s self-diagnosis.
However, beginning in grade 11, Lucy
seemed to hit a wall; academics, which
had previously come easily, became a
struggle for her. Lucy had no lack of
creative ideas for school assignments and
projects, but her difficulties with time
management and organization made it
challenging for her to transform her
ideas into final products. Near the end of
Grade 11, facing falling grades and self-
esteem, Lucy asked for help. She was
feeling increasingly anxious about
schoolwork, had difficulty focusing in
class, and was spending increasing
amounts of time working on homework
and assignments, yet making little
progress.
After being assessed by her family
doctor and a pediatrician, Lucy was
indeed identified as having ADHD. Her
mother was quite surprised, as Lucy’s
ADHD did not present like any of the
boys she had taught who had the same
condition. Lucy’s mother also felt guilty,
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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as though she should have listened to
Lucy’s previous suggestions and started
this process years earlier. Lucy started
regular counselling sessions and taking
Vivanse to address some of her
symptoms. Subsequently, with a letter
from the pediatrician, an IEP was
developed to help meet Lucy’s needs; she
was allowed extra time on tests, a quiet
place to work in school, and extended
deadlines on school work. Her mom said
that once the IEP was in place, Lucy’s
anxiety around school work was reduced
because she knew supports were there if
needed. A number of months were spent
varying the medication, in the attempt to
find the correct dose. When the dose was
too high, she'd sometimes spend hours
late into the night hyper-focused on a
single paragraph. Due to the medication,
Lucy lost her healthy appetite and some
weight. Over time, Lucy stopped taking
medication. She prided herself on being a
social person who loved spending time
with friends and when she took her
ADHD medication she felt socially
awkward, which would just not do.
As is often the case, Lucy’s
learning difficulty was not identified until
she faced significant struggles in
secondary school. With her IEP, Lucy
was able to access the supports she
needed to successfully complete high
school and graduate to university where
she studies media arts. The same supports
that were in Lucy's secondary school IEP
were carried through into her university
IEP. She rarely takes advantage of them,
but continues to get comfort from the fact
that they are available to her.
2e with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Another type of twice-
exceptionality involves Autism Spectrum
Disorder (ASD). ASD is a
communication disorder affecting social
communication and behavior that is
identified by a trained mental health
professional or doctor using diagnostic
criteria outlined in DSM-5. ASD
diagnostic criteria recognize two domains
of impairment: social communication and
interaction, and restricted/repetitive
behaviors and interests (Lai, Lombardo,
Chakrabarti, & Baron-Cohen, 2013).
ASD has dimensional qualities that “exist
across a range of severity and expression”
(King, Veenstra-VanderWeele, & Lord,
2013, p. 456). Three former categories of
disorders, Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s
and Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS),
are now all classified under ASD in
DSM-5.
Twice exceptional students with
ASD tend to have difficulties in
communication, social skills, sensory
integration, and behavior (Weinfeld et al.,
2006). They may have trouble focusing
on what’s important, find it difficult to
generalize, have a preference for
sameness, and have difficulty with
concepts of time. Yet they also may
demonstrate a variety of strengths
including verbal fluency or precocity,
advanced reading skills, ability to remain
highly focused, and capacity to memorize
facts (Neihart, 2000; Weinfeld et al.,
2006). Due to similarities among
behaviors associated with both high-
ability and ASD, accurate identification
of ASD in gifted children requires both a
detailed developmental history and an
understanding of what underpins their
behaviors (Neihart, 2000). For example,
students with extremely high intellectual
ability sometimes have difficulty finding
intellectual peers, and this can sometimes
appear to be social impairment
(Assouline & Whiteman, 2011). To get
the necessary detailed information to
make an accurate diagnosis,
psychologists must collaborate with
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 11
educators and parents before diagnosing
2e ASD (Neihart, 2000). It is also
recommended that psychologists tasked
with identifying a gifted student with
ASD should have expertise in both areas
(Assouline & Whiteman, 2011; Neihart,
2000). Accurate identification of ASD is
very challenging. For twice-exceptional
students with ASD, a sequential
identification often occursthe most
obvious characteristics are often the first
to be identified (Baum & Owen, 2004). In
Burtons’ case (below), identification of
giftedness and Asperger’s occurred
separately over a period of years.
Burton’s story: I want to be a
regular student. Burton is a tall, quiet
young man who loves history, is a keen
computer-gamer, and has displayed
advanced academic skills from a very
early age. He is the second eldest in a
family of four. Burton arrived in Canada
with his family, and was placed a grade
ahead of his age-mates into grade 3 due
to his demonstrated academic ability.
During grade 3, the school administered
the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, a
gifted screening tool. As Burton’s overall
score was in the 99th percentile for his
age (7 years and 7 months), the school
identified him as intellectually gifted, and
recommended programming in an
ability-grouped, congregated gifted
class. He attended the class for a while,
but Burton struggled to navigate the
social demands of school and was
unhappy in the program. He was anxious
and upset and didn’t want to go to school.
His dad recalled moving Burton into a
congregated gifted class, which was
located in a different school, then back
into the regular class in his home school,
searching to find the right “fit” for
Burton and a school environment that
met Burton’s complex needs.
Eventually, when Burton was 12
years old and in grade 7, his parents took
Burton for private testing to find an
explanation for some of his behaviors.
They were concerned about the amount of
time Burton spent alone. The
psychologist completed various tests
(including parent and teacher rating
scales, Behavior Assessment System for
Children (2nd ed.), and Autism Diagnostic
Observation Scale) and noted that Burton
“struggled with open ended questions
and became quite distressed when he was
unable to answer.” The report indicated
a profile “consistent with a diagnosis of
Asperger’s Disorder.” This
identification was added to his student
record, and although Dad thought the
IEP was “helpful” he said there were no
notable changes in accommodations or
modifications in response to Burton’s
ASD diagnosis. Currently in Grade 11,
Burton’s goal is to be “a regular
student.” He is considering studying
history after he graduates from high
school.
Burton’s story emphasizes the
important role that parents play in
advocating for their twice-exceptional
children and the need for ongoing
communication between home and
school. As in the other vignettes, it was
the parents who unearthed the root causes
of their child’s frustrations with school.
They resorted to private testing to reveal
the full extent of Burton’s needs. And
Burton recognizes he has unique needs;
his goal to be a regular student reflects his
self-awareness of his differentness.
2e with Emotional/Behavioral
Disability
Students who are gifted with EBD
are among those least often identified as
twice-exceptional and they have received
little attention in educational research
(Morrison, 2001). EBD is a learning
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 12
disorder that adversely affects
educational performance due to persistent
and specific emotional or behavioral
problems (Ontario Ministry of Education,
2001). Students with EBD may have
difficulty building or maintaining
interpersonal relationships, they may
have excessive fears or anxieties, and
they may be inclined towards compulsive
reactions (Salvia at al., 2010). Educators
tend to view the EBD label negatively,
and professionals working with these
students tend to focus on deficits (Rizza
& Morrison, 2003). Yet some of the
challenging behaviors exhibited by
twice-exceptional students with EBD
could be attributed to either
exceptionality. These behaviors include
poor impulse control, anger, intense
emotions, isolation from peers, and
depression. Due to the interplay of
influences, it is recommended that
assessment for EBD include contextual
and environmental factors to reveal the
underlying causes of behaviors
(giftedness or EBD) and increase the
accuracy of diagnoses (Morrison, 2001).
Unfortunately, twice-exceptional
students with EBD are less likely to have
access to gifted programming than their
non-EBD gifted peers (Morrison, 2001).
Research shows that teachers are
influenced by EBD labels and much less
willing to refer students labelled with
EBD to gifted programs (Bianco, 2005).
In fact, teachers value compliant behavior
more highly than academic performance
when making gifted referrals (Bianco &
Leech, 2010). David’s story (below)
illustrates the limitations placed on access
to gifted programming for twice-
exceptional students with challenging
behavior.
David’s story: I can’t ride the
bus. David is an intense, creative young
man with a talent for music and a love of
philosophy. David’s mom reflected that
from an early age, David found it difficult
to relate to same-age peers, typically
preferring the company of older children
and adults. When he was in Grade 3, the
school board completed an educational
assessment that revealed David’s IQ
score to be within the top 2%. As a result,
the school identified David with high
intellectual ability and developed an IEP
for him. Although David should have
been eligible for the board’s congregated
gifted program, David behaved in ways
that didn’t fit the idealized profile for the
program. For example, he had a tendency
to get into arguments and sometimes
displayed aggressive behavior such as
throwing pencils and punching walls
actions that earned him frequent
suspensions. School officials demanded
that David “learn to behave” before they
would allow him to ride the school bus to
the gifted class. As a result of this
proviso, David remained in the regular
classroom with peers he didn’t relate to.
It wasn’t until David was 16 that
the underlying reasons for his behavior
were identified. Because of his
challenging behaviors, David had seen
social workers and psychologists over the
years, but they routinely dismissed his
need for their services. In therapy, David
gave the right answers about how to
behave in challenging situations, so his
therapists reported that he simply had to
apply this knowledge. In much the same
way as his teachers placed the onus on
David to ‘behave’, his therapists placed a
similar responsibility on David’s
shoulders. It wasn’t until David reached
crisis point and was hospitalized for his
symptoms that he was finally diagnosed
with bi-polar disorder and generalized
anxiety disorder. In fact, David had
experienced symptoms of depression and
suicidal thinking since the age of 8 years.
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
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Despite exhibiting challenging behavior,
David’s internal struggles with EBD had
remained unidentified for many years.
Therapists and educators alike had
suggested that David needed to change
his behavior, without recognizing his
mental health issues. He recently
expressed that throughout his life he has
often looked at himself through a deficit
lens, feeling that there must be something
'wrong', rather than accepting himself for
who he is, and appreciating that his
quirks are an embraceable part of his
personalitynot something to accept or
conquer. As a young adult, David
continues to struggle with the twice-
exceptional extremes of high intellect and
mental health issues.
Throughout his school years,
David’s mom provided support and
advocacy for David, and now he
advocates for people with mental health
issues. He has spoken about his
experiences to various audiences
including school board staff, the Ontario
Ministry of Education, high-school
students, parent support networks, and
mental health professionals. David’s
story is a powerful reminder that twice-
exceptional children grow into twice-
exceptional adults.
Discussion
Although twice-exceptionality is
complex, unique, and multi-faceted,
parents of twice-exceptional children told
stories of their experiences that
highlighted some commonalities. In our
discussion, we describe these
commonalities in light of existing
research.
Although we acknowledge that all
children have strengths and weaknesses,
we heard from parents that twice-
exceptional children have such extreme
strengths and weaknesses that schooling
can be an exercise in frustration.
Research suggests that these frustrations
can contribute to negative outcomes such
as feelings of academic ineptitude,
anxiety or fear of failure in academic
tasks, and academic under achievement
(Baum & Owen, 2004; Bees, 2009;
Neihart, 2008). Reis et al., (2000) found
that almost half of the participants in their
study of twice-exceptional students in
post-secondary education had sought
counselling to “reconcile some of the
problems and mixed messages they
encountered in their educational
experiences” (p. 132). Similarly, Yssel et
al. (2010) found 61% of twice-
exceptional students experienced social-
emotional problems. In our study, parents
told how frustrations manifested at home
in tears, anxiety, and self-doubt. Every
one of their children had experienced
some level of frustration due to their
twice-exceptionality.
Parents were passionate in their
support for their children and drew upon
their resources to advocate for the best
possible outcomes. Participants in our
study were working professionals and
business owners of Caucasian ancestry
and in all cases were the initiators in the
identification process. Research shows
that race and socioeconomic factors are
associated with the identification of
exceptionalities (Ambrose, 2002, 2013).
In particular, students of color (Carman &
Taylor, 2010) and economically
disadvantaged students (Borland &
Wright, 1994) tend to be
underrepresented among students
identified as gifted. Conversely, children
from families with a level of economic
privilege have opportunities and
resources such as private assessments,
counselling, and tutoring services. In
every case in our study, parents sought
assistance beyond the educational
system; they felt driven to seek out (and
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 14
pay for!) independent, private
assessments to better understand their
children’s needs. Although our findings
suggest that schools do respond to private
assessments by developing IEPs for
identified exceptionalities, in our study,
parents initiated the assessment process
in response to the frustrations their
children experienced in school. This
finding raises concerns about how less
privileged families with twice-
exceptional children can be supported.
Our findings echoed research by
Baum and Owen (2004) who found that
once identified, educators focus their
responses on academic support in areas of
weakness and management of
inappropriate classroom behavior rather
than support in areas of strength.
Identified twice-exceptional students
tend to receive accommodations such as
extra time on tests (see Lucy and Burton)
or technological aids (see Jessica) rather
than referral for gifted programming
options (see David).
We also heard that twice-
exceptional students can experience
intense differentness, yet yearn to be
accepted. Some twice-exceptional
students, like David, find acceptance
among older students. Others, like
Burton, feel misunderstood and just want
to be like everyone else. Both Jessica and
Lucy felt distanced from peers under the
pressure of working hard to keep up.
When twice-exceptional students
experience isolation in school, they can
experience high levels of stress (Reis et
al., 2000) and may be at risk for anxiety
and depression (Baum & Owen, 2004).
Parents and educators can look for
emotional signs of twice-exceptionality
including unrealistically high self-
expectations, feelings of academic
ineptitude, confusion about abilities,
anxiety or fear of failure in academic
tasks, and sensitivity to criticism of work,
even constructive criticism (Bees, 2009).
Taken together, we were
somewhat surprised to see how similar
parents’ experiences were, given that
their children had distinctly different
identified needs. From the parents’
perspective, having a child who is highly-
able yet experiences learning difficulties
can be challenging, confusing, and
frustrating. The parents in our study were
strong advocates for their children, going
outside the school system to find answers
to the paradoxical experience of
parenting a child who is both able and
struggling. Indeed, parents in this study
were keen to share their experiences in
the hopes that their insights might help
others. Although our sample size was
small, our findings suggest that parents
are often the first to recognize and act
upon their children’s frustrations, yet we
cannot assume that parents have the skills
and expertise to identify twice-
exceptionality. No doubt, parents who do
not have the resources to seek additional
help are at an even greater disadvantage.
Implications
First, schools and families need to
work together to strengthen efforts to
recognize and support the unique needs
of twice-exceptional students. To meet
this goal, we must use a broad range of
identification strategies (Bees, 2009;
Brody & Mills, 1997; Morrison & Rizza,
2007; Trail, 2011). For example,
educators should keep in mind thatas in
Nate’s story—learning difficulties can
depress students’ overall test scores
(Nielsen, 2002). In addition, educators
and parents need to be aware that students
who find school particularly tiring may
be twice-exceptional students (Bees,
2009). Like Jessica and Lucy, these
students are working hard to cope with
their learning difficulties. Furthermore,
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 15
teachers who are open to including
students with disabilities in gifted
screening have an increased chance of
finding these hidden students (Whitmore,
1981). Educators should also be aware of
how race and socioeconomic status can
influence identification of
exceptionalities (Ambrose, 2013).
In terms of academic supports,
twice-exceptional students have diverse
gifts and talents, and educators are ideally
situated to support the development of
these strengths (Bees, 2009; Nielsen &
Higgins, 2005; Weinfeld et al., 2006). In
contrast, focusing academic interventions
on areas of weakness can inadvertently
intensify students’ already low sense of
academic self-efficacy and negative
perceptions of self-worth (Baum &
Owen, 1998).
Regarding social-emotional
supports, many twice-exceptional
students feel isolated and frustrated rather
than accepted in school (Bees, 2009;
Jackson, 1998; Yssel et al., 2010).
Students need to feel a sense of
acceptance and belonging to build self-
esteem, confidence, achievement, and
respect for others and self (Baum, 1994).
Twice-exceptional students often do not
feel a sense of belonging because they are
aware of being different (Bees, 2009). In
their research on social exclusion in
schools, Nowicki, Brown, and Stepien
(2014) found that differentness is a key
element in “driving the act of socially
excluding children” (p. 9). Twice-
exceptional students may feel such
differentness twice-over; they do not
necessarily fit into either the gifted
population or among students who have
single-exceptionality learning
difficulties. Difficulty establishing
connections can add to twice-exceptional
students’ feelings of loneliness and
isolation (Yssel et al., 2010). Therefore,
educators must be aware of these social
challenges and work to foster a sense of
belonging to lessen the potential for
negative social and emotional outcomes
among twice-exceptional students
(Baum, 1994; Bees, 2009).
Another way to support positive
social-emotional outcomes for twice-
exceptional students is by helping them
find true peers (Bees, 2009; Jackson,
1998; Yssel et a., 2010). Gifted
adolescents crave a safe haven where
they can relate to others and feel free to
express themselves (Jackson, 1998). But
twice-exceptional students may be
rejected by typically-developing peers
because they have few shared interests
(Yssel et al., 2010). To find peers with
shared interests, some high-ability
students choose acceleration (Dare &
Nowicki, in press), a flexible pacing
option that responds to “individual
differences in students’ rates of learning
and development” (Kanevsky &
Clelland, 2013, p. 232). Acceleration is
one way to nurture gifts and talents
among twice-exceptional students
(Weinfeld, Barnes-Robinson, Jeweler, &
Shevitz, 2002) as well as connect twice-
exceptional students with peers who have
similar interests.
Future Research
Our study showed remarkable
similarities among the experiences of
parents of twice-exceptional children.
However, our sample size was small, and
limited to southern Ontario. Future
research could examine the experiences
of other families in other educational
settings. As we found that parents were
initiators in identifying their twice-
exceptional children, future studies could
examine knowledge and awareness about
twice-exceptionality among parents.
Although our study examining how
parents became aware of their children’s
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 16
twice-exceptionality is important as a
first step in exploring parents’
perceptions, further research could look
more deeply at how parents respond to
that identification.
Concluding Thoughts
Although no two twice-
exceptional students are the same, there
are common threads among these stories.
Identification of twice-exceptionality is
important but difficult. Students
struggling with twice-exceptionality
often remain unrecognized until higher
grades and identification of
exceptionalities may not occur until
parents seek professional help. Because
identification is so challenging, twice-
exceptional learners are hidden in our
classrooms, often moving from grade to
grade with their educational, social, and
emotional needs unmet (Baum & Owen,
2004). Parents see their children’s
frustrations and must take a strong
advocacy role, yet they need the
resources to fulfil this role. Once
identified, schools may hesitate to offer
twice-exceptional students programming
to develop their talents, focusing instead
on academic weaknesses. As a
consequence, twice-exceptional students
are at risk of failing to reach their full
potential, and of seeing themselves
through a deficit lens.
Despite the potential for negative
outcomes, there is room for optimism.
Parents in our study spoke about positive
outcomes that can be achieved as their
twice-exceptional children grow into
adulthood. Like David, twice-exceptional
children can become strong advocates for
self and others. Although Lucy still
struggles with time management, her
achievements in university have been
positive, and she is confident in seeking
out help when needed. Jessica
acknowledges her spelling and arithmetic
weaknesses, and now works in a field
which draws on her strengths in spatial
planning and design. Of course, our
sample included only parents who had
sought their own explanations for why
their children struggled in school. These
parents provided strong support for their
children, which undoubtedly contributed
to their successes.
We’d like to conclude with a
quote from David’s mom that captures
some of the essence of parentsstruggles
with identification and diagnosis of their
twice-exceptional children. David
recently told his mom that throughout his
childhood he had experienced an over-
emphasis on diagnosis and not enough
time spent trying to understand him as an
individual. She told us he feels that
overall acceptance will help him to
move forward in life as it stands, rather
than always feeling a need to fix
something.
Dare & Nowicki (2015) Twice-exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on Identification
Roeper Review Accepted Manuscript 17
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... This method proved beyond helpful in identifying 2e students in Dare and Nowicki's (2015) study on 2e identification through parents' perspectives. The insight that parents bring from home is crucial; they "play important roles in identifying and supporting twice-exceptional students" (p. ...
... Or is it only applicable to students that find themselves borderline between the two? Dare & Nowicki (2015) Bring an awareness to the power of parents when it comes to identifying their 2e children. Identify a problem that plagues the identification process of most 2e students -masking. ...
... 104). The authors also agree "gifted students with learning disabilities (GLD) often use their intellectual abilities to compensate for problematic weaknesses" (Baum andOwen, 2004, in Dare andNowicki, 2015). As much as parents and educators applaud 2e students rising above the limitations and barriers of their disability, masking besets the work of diagnosticians and education professionals. ...
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This is a review of the literature about twice exceptional students and the difficulties in identifying gifted students with learning disabilities, most specifically reading disabilities like dyslexia, because of compensating and masking abilities, average academic records, and a lack of knowledge about the subpopulation by teachers. Though literature on the topics of dyslexia, learning disabilities, and giftedness exists, there is little to no research that brings all three together. The issues in identifying students that have both a specific learning disability, like dyslexia, and are identified as gifted shows the discrepancy in addressing their needs. With late identification, or at worst, a lack of identification, there are too many students without the necessary interventions. There is no way to know just how many students, past and present, have been excluded from equitable education because of their twice-exceptionality. In this literature review, the authors examine nine articles reviewing models of identification, discuss the findings of qualitative/quantitative studies, and explain the issues in identifying the student who is twice exceptional. We will first define a twice exceptional student; secondly, identify the factors that keep them from being correctly identified; and ultimately, discuss the ramifications of not identifying them.
... É importante ressaltar que, independente da presença do déficit, alunos nessa condição, como qualquer outro aluno, pode atender aos critérios de superdotação, mostrando alto potencial ou desempenho em alguma área, independente de apresentar desempenho médio ou mesmo deficiente em outras áreas (Lupart & Toy, 2009). Estima-se que até 7% das crianças em idade escolar podem apresentar tal condição (Dare & Nowicki, 2015), ainda que a situação atual seja marcada pela subidentificação dos casos (Gentry & Fugate, 2008) devido à baixa conscientização acerca da duplaexcepcionalidade, dificuldades na identificação e a crença de que estudantes com déficits não podem ser superdotados. Na prática, é mais comum que esses estudantes sejam atendidos em relação à sua deficiência ou transtorno, para que se aproximem da norma, dificilmente sendo reconhecidos por suas potencialidades (Rangni & Costa, 2014). ...
... O problema é que estudantes com dupla-excepcionalidade podem não serem identificados, devido a três condições: (1) serem diagnosticados como superdotados mas não terem sua incapacidade identificada, (2) serem identificados pelo seu déficit mas não ter sua superdotação reconhecida ou (3) não ter nenhum dos domínios identificados (alto potencial e déficit) (Foley-Nicpon & Kim, 2018). Nos três cenários, estudantes que não identificados corretamente correm o risco de obterem resultados acadêmicos, sociais e emocionais negativos, apresentando desempenho bem abaixo de seu potencial (Dare & Nowicki, 2015). A dificuldade situa-se no fato de que, na maior parte das vezes, difíceis de identificar devido ao fato de que sua alta habilidade pode mascarar suas dificuldades (Park et al., 2018) sendo, mais comum, o atendimento do primeiro diagnóstico, seja ele AH/SD ou a deficiência (Josephson et al., 2018). ...
... Outro ponto a ser destacado como esclarecedor do tamanho amostral aqui discutido, refere-se à prevalência de indivíduos com dupla-excepcionalidade, a qual não tem sido notificada com exatidão pela literatura, por diferentes motivos, tais como, o foco maior dos profissionais nas fraquezas apresentadas pelas crianças ou ainda a falta de conhecimento da possibilidade de coexistência dos quadros (Gentry & Fugate, 2018, 2018Lee & Olenchak, 2018;Rangni & Costa, 2014). Nessa perspectiva, autores têm apresentado estimativas em torno de 7% de crianças com duplaexcepcionalidade em idade escolar ou a existência de mais de 385.000 crianças com essa condição nas escolas americanas (Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Gentry & Fugate, 2018). ...
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RESUMO: A dupla-excepcionalidade vem sendo um tema de interesse de pesquisadores no que tange a compreensão de especificidades individuais. Este estudo visou traçar um perfil cognitivo, criativo e socioemocional de crianças com dupla-excepcionalidade e relacioná-los com o de crianças com alta habilidade/superdotação (AH/S). A amostra foi composta por dois grupos. O grupo 1 contemplou cinco crianças identificadas com dupla-excepcionalidade, com idades entre 9 e 11 anos (M= 10,40; DP= 0,89), três com diagnóstico de Transtorno do Espectro Autista e duas com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade associado às altas habilidades. O grupo 2 envolveu 80 crianças com diagnóstico isolado de AH/SD, com idade entre 9 e 12 anos (M=10,69; SD=1,17) que responderam a Bateria para Avaliação das Altas Habilidades/Superdotação (BAAH/S) que avalia inteligência, criatividade verbal e figural, por meio de testes de desempenho e a Escala de Identificação de Características associadas às Altas Habilidades/Superdotação (EICAH/S), um instrumento de autorrelato de características associadas ao fenômeno. Testes de diferenças de média indicaram que o desempenho do grupo com dupla-excepcionalidade não mostrou diferença nas medidas avaliadas, considerando-se o diagnóstico associado (TDAH ou TEA). Também não foram encontradas diferenças significativas entre os grupos. Diante dos resultados, uma hipótese explicativa envolve a possibilidade de que a identificação das AH/SD e, consequentemente, o fornecimento de atendimento adequado às suas necessidades específicas, pode estar atuando como fator de proteção para essas crianças, especialmente as que apresentam outro diagnóstico associado visto que, seu desempenho nos construtos avaliados não se mostrou inferior àqueles que somente apresentam superdotação. Palavras-chave: perfil cognitivo, populações específicas, transtorno de déficit de atenção e hiperatividade, transtorno do espectro do autismo, avaliação psicológica.
... However, parents sometimes find themselves having to balance being ardent advocates versus cooperative allies with school leaders and teachers (Besnoy et al., 2015;Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Speirs Neumeister et al., 2013). ...
... Parents may also find themselves having to adjust their parenting style (e.g., from authoritarian to authoritative) in order to better advocate for their child with their child's teachers and school (Park et al., 2018). Finally, parents' final efforts as advocates may be to prepare their children to act as self-advocates as they transition to young adulthood, an act that is especially crucial for those students who are identified as being twice-exceptional (Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Douglas, 2004;Park et al., 2018;Speirs Neumeister et al., 2013). ...
... Recent studies that explored parental perspectives and experiences of 2E children (Besnoy et al., 2015;Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Park et al., 2018;Rubenstein et al., 2015;Wang & Neihart, 2015) found some common themes. In these studies, parents experienced challenges related to gifted identification and receiving appropriate services for their children's dual exceptionalities and felt the need to advocate for their children's learning needs. ...
... These findings are supported by recent literature. Previous studies with CLED and 2E families indicate that challenges with accessing information and resources, and the need to advocate for their diverse children are common themes (Besnoy et al., 2015;Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Grantham, 2005;Huff et al., 2005;Park et al., 2018;Rubenstein et al., 2015;Wang & Neihart, 2015;Young & Balli, 2014). ...
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Parents play a vital role in identifying and cultivating talent for diverse gifted children but their experiences with schools and educational leaders are rarely studied. To examine parent perspectives on identifying and serving diverse gifted students, we conducted six focus groups with 39 parents of K-12 children from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse backgrounds (CLED), and/or identified as twice exceptional (2E). Thematic analysis and its six-phase approach was used to analyze data. We found (a) that the majority of parents advocated for their gifted and talented children, (b) a lack of consistent and comprehensive strategies by educational leaders to promote parent engagement, (c) disproportionate communication from district leaders rendered engagement efforts less effective, (d) GT identification remained problematic to some parents, and (e) front line educators served a critical role in the bilateral relationship between school and family. Implications are discussed for researchers and educational leaders.
... ). Des parents d'enfants doublement exceptionnels se plaignent aussi que les milieux scolaires se centrent seulement sur les difficultés et ne tiennent pas compte de la douance de leur enfant ou encore que très peu d'acteurs scolaires s'y connaissent en douance et encore moins en double exceptionnalité(Brault-Labbé et al., soumis;Dare et Nowicki, 2015;Rubenstein et al., 2015). Il n'est pas étonnant que plusieurs parents arrivent à l'entrevue avec des sentiments négatifs (frustration, déception, découragement, inquiétude, culpabilité, colère, impression d'incompétence parentale, dépression, négation du problème, etc.). ...
Technical Report
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Ce document vise les objectifs suivants: • Connaître les principes à suivre pour l’évaluation des élèves doublement exceptionnels. • Énoncer les éléments clés de la collecte d’information et les conditions à mettre en place. • Préciser les méthodes à utiliser pour l’évaluation d’une double exceptionnalité. • Cerner les aspects particuliers dont il faut tenir compte lors de l’évaluation d’un trouble neurodéveloppemental en présence d’une douance possible. • Identifier les points à considérer afin d’établir le profil de l’élève
... Ces recherches montrent que les interventions qui nourrissent en premier la douance des élèves et qui tiennent compte de leurs intérêts tout en abordant en second lieu leurs difficultés augmentent l'engagement des élèves à la tâche et réduisent leurs problèmes d'adaptation (Baum et Schader, 2018 ;Foley-Nipcon et Candler, 2018). Mettre l'accent sur leurs difficultés peut diminuer leur sentiment d'autoefficacité et intensifier leurs perceptions négatives de leur valeur personnelle (Dare et Nowicki, 2015). Une approche centrée sur les forces des élèves plutôt que sur leurs difficultés seulement est recommandée, car trop souvent, les interventions sont uniquement axées sur les difficultés des élèves (Pfeiffer et Foley-Nipcon, 2018 ...
Technical Report
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Ce document vise les objectifs suivants: • Reconnaitre les critères diagnostiques du trouble spécifique des apprentissages (TSAp) ainsi que les principales caractéristiques des troubles spécifiques en langage écrit. • Reconnaitre les principales caractéristiques des élèves doués ayant un TSAp en langage écrit. • Connaitre les facteurs de risque et de protection associés au TSAp en langage écrit et à la double exceptionnalité. • Cibler les principaux besoins des élèves doués ayant un TSAp.
... Ces recherches montrent que les interventions qui nourrissent en premier la douance des élèves et qui tiennent compte de leurs intérêts tout en abordant en second lieu leurs difficultés augmentent l'engagement des élèves à la tâche et diminuent leurs problèmes d'adaptation (Baum et Schader, 2018;Foley-Nipcon et Candler, 2018). Mettre l'accent sur leurs difficultés peut diminuer leur sentiment d'auto-efficacité et intensifier leurs perceptions négatives de leur valeur personnelle (Dare et Nowicki, 2015). Une approche centrée sur les forces des élèves plutôt que sur leurs difficultés seulement est ainsi recommandée, car, trop souvent, les interventions sont uniquement axées sur les difficultés des élèves (Pfeiffer et Foley-Nipcon, 2018). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ce document vise les objectifs suivants: • Reconnaitre les principales manifestations du TSA. • Briser certains mythes reliés au TSA. • Distinguer les manifestations comportementales similaires du TSA et de la douance. • Reconnaitre les principales caractéristiques des élèves doués ayant un TSA. • Connaitre les facteurs de risque et de protection associés au TSA et à la double exceptionnalité. • Cibler les principaux besoins des élèves doués ayant un TSA.
... Ces recherches montrent que les interventions qui nourrissent en premier la douance des élèves et qui tiennent compte de leurs intérêts tout en abordant en second lieu leurs difficultés augmentent l'engagement des élèves à la tâche et diminuent leurs problèmes d'adaptation (Baum et Schader, 2018;Foley-Nipcon et Candler, 2018). Mettre l'accent sur leurs difficultés peut diminuer leur sentiment d'auto-efficacité et intensifier leurs perceptions négatives de leur valeur personnelle (Dare et Nowicki, 2015). Zentall et al. (2001) avancent que l'approche centrée sur le développement du talent peut améliorer à long terme le rendement scolaire des élèves doués ayant un TDAH, augmenter leur attention et leur persistance et les aider à développer des habiletés organisationnelles. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ce documents vise les objectifs suivants: • Reconnaitre les principales manifestations du TDAH. • Distinguer les manifestations comportementales similaires du TDAH et de la douance. • Reconnaitre les principales caractéristiques des élèves doués ayant un TDAH. • Connaitre les facteurs de risque et de protection associés au TDAH et à la double exceptionnalité. • Cibler les principaux besoins des élèves doués ayant un TDAH.
... Parents of children with dual or multiple exceptionalities (i.e., giftedness plus at least one additional co-occurring disability) expressed more mixed feelings about the programming their children received (Besnoy et al., 2015;Dare & Nowicki, 2015;Park et al., 2018;Rubenstein et al., 2015). These parents appear to be engaged in advocacy for their children at higher rates than parents of traditional gifted children (Besnoy et al., 2015;Duquette et al., 2011;Park et al., 2018), though this question does not appear to have been investigated directly. ...
Article
Twice exceptional (2e) individuals are defined as exceptionally talented persons in one or more areas including academic skills, creativity, leadership, and visual arts accompanied by challenges in one or more areas such as reading, writing, and mathematics. This study aimed to present the views on the academic and social-emotional development of a gifted student with learning disabilities. This research was conducted as a case study by using qualitative research methods. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with the mother, elementary school teacher, special education teacher, and the 2e student himself. The study concluded that the participants emphasized the adaptations that were made in schools for 2e students and the need for support from parents, peers, and teachers for 2e students as well as the necessity for cooperation between school and family.
Article
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Policy documents related to gifted education and 18 forms of accelerated learning practices were collected from all Canadian provinces and territories. Where they were found, policies continue to be permissive and flexible. Explicit support for gifted education and acceleration was strongest in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, provinces with categorical orientations to exceptional learners. Additional opportunities to advance learners also existed in these and all jurisdictions because potentially accelerative practices were supported, such as correspondence courses and mentoring. In order to address the needs of students who know more and learn more quickly than their peers, intentional, flexible interpretation, and implementation of permissive policies are becoming increasingly important as jurisdictions' philosophies and documentation in special education become less categorical and more inclusive.
Article
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Severe socioeconomic inequality strongly suppresses and distorts the discovery of aspirations and the concomitant development of talents among the gifted. More comprehensive understanding of this suppression and distortion is available through a wide-ranging interdisciplinary search for research findings and theories that illuminate economic, ideological–political, historical, philosophical, and psychological contextual influences on bright young people. This theoretical synthesis draws from multiple disciplines to reveal some of these contextual influences and then provides some recommendations for ways in which educators and policymakers might attempt to counteract some of the most pernicious effects of growing inequality on the gifted.
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This study investigated the effect of the disability labels learning disabilities (LD) and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) on public school general education and special education teachers' willingness to refer students to gifted programs. Results indicated that teachers were significantly influenced by the LD and EBD labels when making referrals to gifted programs. Both groups of teachers were much less willing to refer students with disability labels to gifted programs than identically described students with no disability label. Additionally, when compared to general education teachers, special education teachers were less likely to refer a gifted student, with or without disabilities, to a gifted program.
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Research shows that carefully planned acceleration offers academic benefits with little social or emotional risk to high-ability learners. However, acceleration is underutilized and little is known about students’ motivations to accelerate. In this study, 21 high-ability high school students in Grades 11 and 12 took part in a structured conceptualization exercise that revealed why they chose to concurrently enroll in university courses. Participants brainstormed responses to a focus prompt, then structured the data by sorting and rating their responses. The structured data were analyzed using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis to produce a cluster map of participants’ motivations. In order of importance, key concepts included (a) university preparation, (b) demonstrating initiative, (c) getting ahead, (d) love of learning, (e) self-fulfillment, (f) seeking challenge, and (g) socializing. The key concepts were examined within a self-determination theory framework. Study findings provide a deeper understanding of high-achieving students’ views on concurrent enrollment. Educational and research implications are discussed.
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In this article, a new definition of twice-exceptional children is proposed. In addition to introducing this new definition, the authors provide a research-based rationale for the definition, offer a clear profile of twice-exceptional youth, and summarize the development of new programs and practices to enable these students to develop their gifts while simultaneously compensating for their deficits.
Article
Children who are both handicapped and gifted usually are chosen for special educational programming on the basis of their handicaps, not their giftedness. Stereotypic expectations, handicapping effects, and program limitations explain this practice. Some 12,000 to 54,000 Canadian gifted handicapped schoolchildren require special programs that recognize their weaknesses and strengths. /// Les enfants doués atteints d'un handicap se voient habituellement offrir des programmes spéciaux qui sont davantage axés sur leur handicap que sur leur douance. Les attentes stéréotypées, les effets du handicap et les limitations imposées par les programmes expliquent cet état de fait. Quelque 12 000 des 54 000 élèves doués handicapés au Canada ont besoin de programmes spéciaux qui tiennent compte de leurs points forts et de leurs faiblesses. /// Kinder, die sowohl behindert als auch begabt sind, werden gewöhnlich ausgewählt für spezielle Erziehungsprogramme auf der Basis ihrer Behinderung, nicht ihrer Begabung. Stereotype Erwartungen, die Auswirkungen der Behinderung und Programmbeschränkungen erklären diese Praxis. Etwa 12 000 bis 54 000 begabte und gleichzeitig behinderte kanadische Schulkinder benÉtigen spezielle Programme, die ihre Schwächen und Stächen erkennen. /// Los niños que son tanto minusválidos como exepcionales son generalmente elegidos para programas educacionales debido a su minusvalía no a sus exepcionales talentos. Las expectaciones stereotípicas, los efectos minusválidos y las limitaciones de programa explican esta práctica. Cerca de 12,000 a 54,000 escolares exepcionales canadienses requieren programas especiales que reconozcan sus debilidades y sus habilidades.