Twice Exceptional Students

How can gifts be interpreted as pathology?

Meet ttocS nonnoS to explore the impacts of violence on learning, and how dyslexia has impacted this gifted individual.


Twice-exceptional students may exhibit the characteristics we associate with giftedness in divergent ways. Download a .pdf of this chart.Characteristics of Twice exceptional students

Download a .pdf copy of this chart.




What is Twice Exceptional??

A twice-exceptional (or 2e) student is formally identified as having a learning disability, emotional disorder, communication disorder, physical disability AND is formally identified as gifted in one or more areas including: intellectual ability, specific academic ability, or is recognized for extraordinary talent in creative and/or artistic, psychomotor areas or leadership. Many of these students' gifts are masked by complicating factors.

How Do We Recognize This?

Disability May Be Identified First - This student may be failing in school. First noticed for what they cannot do. Most "at risk" because the special education label tends to focus on deficits. Acquisition of basic skills emphasized over creative & productive behaviors. It may be difficult for them to recognize and value their own strengths and abilities.(Baum, 1991)

Gifted Traits May Be Identified First - Achievement or gifted characteristics are noticed early on. In this case, strengths or "gifts" are often fostered through GT programs. The student's disability may not be recognized since compensatory strategies allow them to achieve or exceed grade level, at least in the younger grades. Often passed over for special education support. Disabilities begin to surface in upper grades. (Baum, 1991)

Neither Gifted Traits nor Disability is Identified - Disability masks gifted traits. Intellectual ability masks the disability. This student may look very average until gifted characteristics emerge in specific content areas or particular learning environments where nontraditional methods are used (Baum, 1991).

How Can We Best Support These Students?
Einstein fish quote The best plan will depend on the nature of the specific disability and the student's area(s) of strength. It is best practice to maintain a focus on student's strengths, while assisting in the development of skills and compensatory strategies to enable success in school, as well as in life. Many students learn to leverage their intellectual gifts to overcome the disability, and they will need our continued support to meet their best potential. Link to a list of specific strategies!

Meet Jacob

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Delta County Special Services • 1002 Hastings St. • Delta, CO • 81416

Phone: (970) 874-7607 • FAX: (970) 874- 9505

Sandie Jungers - Special Services Director • Jodeen Stephenson - GT Coordinator

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