Some students with learning and thinking differences have outstanding skills in certain academic areas. These kids are often called “twice-exceptional” (or 2E) learners. They’re exceptional in two ways. They’re gifted, and they have learning differences.
They also face unique challenges, not the least of which are myths and misconceptions about being 2E. If you have a 2E child, you may hear all kinds of things that give you pause. Here’s the reality behind seven common misconceptions.
Twice-exceptional students can be confusing to teachers (and to parents). It can be hard to recognize or understand the signs. Sometimes giftedness may mask learning and thinking differences. Other times the extreme strengths and weaknesses “cancel each other out.” In either case, 2E students can look as if they have average abilities.
It can be hard to realize that a child who understands some things on such a profound level can have trouble with basic skills. But 2E students often have uneven skills. They may do really well in one area, like math, but have trouble with processing speed, social skills or following directions. Without explicit instruction in those areas, it doesn’t matter how hard 2E kids try—they’re still going to have trouble.