Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Is Twice-Exceptionality

One of the myths that we need to debunk is that a student with a disability cannot also be gifted. I understand the paradox as it seems odd to say that a child is gifted but also has a cognitive processing issue. While on the surface this might seem conflicting, there are a significant number of students in our population that are both gifted and have a disability. Watch this video and then describe two children that you might suspect are twice-exceptional. 

68 comments:

  1. There is a little boy that I am associated with that has severe mood swings, is constantly day dreaming or off task, and is very disorganized in all that he does. This child displays high intelligence and talks about things in a very knowledgeable fashion.I have always suspected that he might have a mental disability of some sort.

    I have a friend who has a little boy that is very easily aggitated by changes in routine and will only stay with certain people which leads me to think he has some form of disability. He is very creative in his thoughts and actions which leads me to believe that he is gifted. Katrina Kimbrell

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  2. One student that immediately comes to mind is J, who has Tourette's syndrome and also ADHD. In class, J is constantly fidgeting, moving about the room, talking and is extremely unorganized. He doesn't always complete his assignments and has a difficult time focusing for an extended period of time. But, he also is the wittiest student I have ever met, and could do spontaneous comedy shows in the classroom at any moment! J has high levels of creative potential in theater and other performing arts. I found that allowing him to complete projects and performance based assessments was a much better indicator of his true ability. For example, when the students were learning about 19th century inventions, he had learned about the lawnmower and wrote a wonderful rap to describe the elements of the inventive process. He very willingly performed it for the class and it was a huge hit. J is very academically and creatively talented, but because of his disability, he has a difficult time sitting down and learning like many other gifted students.

    Another student is a female student I taught my very first year of teaching. I think she had some deep emotional issues going on, and also some type of undiagnosed processing disorder because learning content was very difficult for her; however, she was brilliantly creative in her art and creative expression. When asked to complete assignments, she would always come up with more elaborate details to add to her work, despite its lack of neatness or organization. I would always chuckle when she turned in her work because it looked like such a mess when you first glanced at it, but when you really looked at it, she had some very unique ideas and put a lot of thought into them. I had to learn to get over her messiness and really look at the true value of her work.

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    1. I also have a student who is very talented and creative , however his neatness and organization tend to keep him from sharing his ideas. It brightens my day when he shares these ideas with me in conversation. I often wonder how the use of a computer to complete some of his assignments might enhance the products he turns into his teacher as well as boost his confidence.

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  3. Being the music teacher, and seeing the whole school each week, sometimes it's hard to keep track of everyone! Oy! I have not had much experience with 2e students. At this time, I have not been alerted or it hasn't been brought to my attention that my school has 2e's right now. With the 50% turnover at my school, many times students aren't here long enough for us to get to know them or see their full potential; this is one downside to teaching on a military installation.

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  4. I have many gifted students in my classes that I suspect are ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or have EFD (Executive Functioning Disorder). Ironically, none of my students have an IEP for any such disorders. The question in my mind is whether these are characteristics of adolescent boys or of the unique years of middle school period.

    One such boy I suspect is ADHD is an 8th grader who absolutely cannot focus on any work for more than a few minutes. He is extremely creative, for most of his required class work turns into vivid doodles and cartoon drawings rather than the production of the required assignment. In addition, this boy is an attention-seeker who consistently makes random comments or jokes in the middle of class. He tends to sit on his knees and hover over the desk top, and he also tends to escape from his assigned seat to another part of the room regularly. Unfortunately, this behavior reflects huge underachievement. He is failing language arts, and regardless of parental involvement, continues to forget his assignments that he ends up doing at home. I wish I could recommend his parents to screen him for ADHD in order to get him some help.

    Another student of mine is also a boy. He is in 6th grade. However, he does not portray signs of ADHD because he stays quiet and in his seat. He does demonstrate EFD behaviors in that he struggles with planning, organizing, paying attention to immediate instructions and remembering details. He does not manage his time nor his space; the area around his desk looks like his own little hurricane. I have helped him with organization only to have the organization turn in a mish-mash of other random work that isn’t put in place. I know this boy is bright and creative due mostly to his verbal responses and idea sharing during discussions. Like my other student, this boy is also failing due to the inability to stay organized, complete work, and turn in assignments.

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  5. Elizabeth ElledgeMarch 8, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    One student in my classroom was just tested for a learning disability and was diagnosed for a mild disability in both reading and writing. He has been a very interesting case for multiple reasons. First, he is EXTREMELY high in math and actually tested at almost an 11th grade level in math (he is in fifth grade). Second, his high vocabulary and good fluency has made him overlooked by many teachers. Third, he actually started out way ahead of other students in reading comprehension in early elementary and slowly started to fall. In third third grade, he was on level, in fourth he was slightly below level, and he has continued to slowly fall behind. His parents and teachers have noticed a problem, but no one could put a finger on it. This year was the first year we decided to have him tested and were finally given some strategies to help.

    I don't have any students who I feel like have not been diagnosed with something who should be. I do have a student on the autism spectrum in my classroom and another with ADHD. I love that these students are truly who I feel are my brightest students. The challenge is in making their achievement match their aptitude; I really have to make a lot of accommodations for them to help them achieve where they should.

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  6. I have one student in my classroom now that I believe is twice exceptional and I think his mother believes that he is as well, but nothing has been done about his exceptionality because he is gifted. This boy in particular struggles with organization, he gets embarrassed very easily and rarely speaks out in class. He also has a speech problem and never wants to read aloud. He has other tendencies as well that make me think that he is on the autism spectrum and his mother has brought this up before, but because he is gifted nothing has ever been done past discussion. The other student is a boy that I had last year in the regular classroom. He had severe ADD and could not keep up with his work or stay on task, but if you asked him to draw anything or put anything together he could get it finished in no time. He did amazingly well when we did AMSTI in Science, most of the time better than the gifted students, because it involved using his hands and building things. He has an IEP, but looking back I would like to see how he would score if tested for gifted.

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  7. I have one student who I have long expected of having ODD. She is constantly in opposition, uncooperative, disrespectful and stubborn. She is extremely challenging and seems to enjoy working against me in any way she can possibly conceive. She is undiagnosed and her parents are not cooperative at all with the school in working through her issues. This student is 100 times more challenging than my diagnosed 2E student with Asperger's/ ADHD. When I see her matrix I can see the evidence of her giftedness but I rarely see it in class. If you are not doing what she wants she is almost uncontrollable, unless you can get on her level, allow her room to do things her own way and not get flustered with her behavior. I believe her exceptionality masks her giftedness to the extreme.
    I also have 2 boys with undiagnosed Executive Functioning Deficits. They are incredibly disorganized, cannot remember small or big tasks (unless it's associated with MineCraft and then they know and remember positively everything) and are often daydreaming and disconnected in class. They both struggle with writing and pacing but are avid readers and very artistic. Upon first glance they both look "lazy" and I have had many discussions with their teachers where the word has come up but I do believe they both have EFD issues that make it almost impossible for them to break down tasks and working memory issues that legitimately keep them from remembering things. Both of these issues can be addressed with support but I can see the impact on their academics and how these issues seem to counteract their "giftedness".
    Lindsey Irvin

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  8. The first student that comes to mind is a male who comes from a middle-eastern family background. He is very smart, memorizes a lot of facts, performs well on tests and individual assignments, but he struggles when it comes to group activities. He is funny and has "friends" but he is also very socially awkward. He will say things that are inappropriate to students and teachers. He is overly persistent when it comes to questioning. He struggles when he is put on the spot by other students. This student was never identified as gifted, but he has had an IEP previously. I was never told what his IEP was for, but I suspect it was for Asperger's. He was dropped from services, but his parents wanted him to be put back on special ed services again this past fall because he has a hard time making real friends outside of school. As his teacher, I feel bad looking back now because I put on the IEP questionnaire that I wouldn't recommend him for an IEP, but it possibly could have helped him get over some of his social disabilities. I believe that his social/mental disability masked his giftedness when he was in elementary school and caused him to be overlooked. His "giftedness" now may be causing him to be overlooked in his disability.

    Another student I have is an African American male who was previously in the gifted and talented program. He is the student I did my student interview paper on. He is very outgoing, creative, and smart but he can also get in trouble because he loves to socialize to a point where it becomes a distraction to others. I believe he may be ADHD. He has a hard time focusing on his assignments in class. He is the class clown. His gifted abilities are masked often because he would rather socialize than focus on his school work. He also has a hard home life that could also be causing distractions. I think it would help if he had some sort of services to help him stay on task.

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  9. I have a 5 year old-African American student in my class who I believe suffers from ADHD but is more than likely gifted as well. He is so intelligent but he can not sit still or stay quiet for a single minute. He constantly gets in trouble for playing with his peers or "playing the drums" during class. He is extremely intelligent; he has far advanced linguistic skills and knows a lot of information about a lot of different things.

    Another former student of mine that I had in chorus, could have possibly been diagnosed twice-exceptional because of her ability to read and write far above her reading level, but she was dyslexic. She is now in public school and is in the gifted program there, but I still keep in touch with her mother due to the fact that we go to camp together each year and have for as long as I can remember. She is extremely creative and intelligent and her dyslexic affects her math more so than her reading.

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  10. I have one student that is identified as twice-exceptional. He is gifted and autistic. His primary exceptionality is autism. Antonio was diagnosed with autism in preschool. Our system has provided him with an aide since kindergarten. He is in the eighth grade now. Antonio’s communication and social skills are delayed. He also lacks fine motor skills. However, as a result of Second Grade Child Find and the NNAT nonverbal scores, Antonio qualified for the gifted program. His strengths are visual perception, technology, and games. His regular education teachers did not realize he was gifted. Antonio is an example of someone that would have been overlooked for the gifted program if Second Grade Child Find was not mandated.

    Another student that I believe might be twice-exceptional is the student that I interviewed for my paper. Curtis’ exceptionality is gifted. However, he displays characteristics of an ADHD student. He is very unorganized and easily distracted. Curtis is constantly in trouble with his teachers. He was not placed in the gifted program until the fifth grade. I believe this was due to his ADHD tendencies. His teachers in the early grades did not see his gifted abilities because they were being masked by his misbehavior. I can relate to this because I taught him in the regular classroom last year. I too questioned his giftedness. Now in the seventh grade he is failing three academic subjects. Again his teachers are constantly wondering how he could be gifted. However, it is in the gifted classroom that I can recognize his true abilities.

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  11. I am currently testing a nine year old male who is diagnosed with ADHD and could possibly be tested for autism pending parent permission. Mason is a very bright young man with severe behavioral disturbances. He currently receives sensory breaks hourly to maintain a sense of balance within the classroom setting. He is top in his class in both reading and math, but is constantly in trouble with teachers. His wonderful classroom teacher realize that he has little to no control over his outbursts and tantrums, but she still has a class of 20 pupils that she is responsible for as well. Testing has proven to be quite a challenge because he is out of his environment completely shuts down.

    The other student that comes to mind is a child who comes to mind has autism. He is extremely creative and draws more accurately and has better prospective than most high school students. His outbursts and misbehavior keep teachers from wanting to "deal" with him. He requires assistance throughout the day to maintain focus. I am very interested to see his NNAT score. I am hoping that he kept his focus on the assessment long enough to to show his true capibilities.

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  12. When I think of twice-exceptional students, one student immediately pops to mind. This child has been diagnosed with Autism and is extremely gifted mathematically. Not only does he obtain new skills quickly, but usually offers a creative explanation for a different way to solve the problem. His social interactions make him stand out from other students; however, several students seek his help when they are struggling with a new math concept.

    Another student that comes to mind is a student I worked with at a summer camp. She was diagnosed with ADHD, but because it was a summer camp was not taking her medication. She struggled to complete simple multi-step projects because she would jump ahead or skip steps in the process. However, her creativity was extremely evident when she was given time to complete a project at her own pace. She was extremely bright, but struggled to keep up because she could not focus on a task. I'm not sure how she performs in a classroom setting when she has her medication, but I saw how her ADHD masked her giftedness when she was constrained by time.

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  13. When I think of twice-exceptional students, I immediately think of a girl that has been referred for gifted screening. This particular student is autistic and is very creative and has exceptional writing pieces. I look forward to seeing all of the products she produces during this process.
    A large percentage of my gifted students are ADHD but do not have an IEP or 504 to provide accommodations at this point. It is always interesting when I see the ADHD characteristics in my gifted students as I feel like they go hand in hand a lot of the time.

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  14. After watching this video, I immediately thought of a 5th grader boy that I teach in my gifted class. He also receives speech twice a week and has an IEP. He is very hard to understand. I have to listen very closely when he reads out loud. At the same time, he is very, very smart. I have another student in the 3rd grade who I think is ADHD. He hasn't been diagnosed with it but after talking to his regular teacher he does a lot of the signs of ADHD children. He can not be still and is constantly making a noise on the table or desk and bouncing up and down.

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  15. One child that I suspect to be twice exceptional is S. He is a gifted child that also has ADHD. His mother is a teacher so she works with him on coping skills to deal with some of his ADHD symptoms. He is quite smart but very unmotivated, unorganized, and distracted during class. He has specific intrests and loves to shre his random fatcs with me each day. My constant struggle with him is to keep him on track and interested in what is happening in class.

    My second child that I suspect to be twice exceptional is C. He is also identified as gifted and seems to struggle with ODD. I have a diagnosed ODD child in my class and C and my ODD child share the same traits. Unfortunately his mother does not want him to be tested. He is by far one of the most difficult students I have ever taught. It is a constant struggle to get C focused and calm enough to do any school work. He is all over the place with his conversations and interests. He struggles in almost all areas of school. C is in desperate need of some therapy or medicine to calm some of his outbursts. He will go days without entering my classroom because of his refusal to do any work. I will spend most of my day in the hall coaxing him back into the room in order to just get him to sit down and do any work at all. I know that he is very bright, but his outbursts and behavior masks so many of his strengths and I fear that it will get progressively worse as he continues through school.

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  16. I have two students who seem to fit the potential for twice-exceptionality. The first is on the autism spectrum, while the second struggles with a more physical set of limitations and a potential processing disorder. The first, Student A, appears to struggle with possible oppositional defiance disorder on top of the autism, which has been more specifically diagnosed as Asperger’s. The second student, Student B, has been diagnosed with Moebius syndrome, which does not cause mental or intellectual difficulties; however, B also appears to possess a processing disorder, and this impacts an ability to produce and manage a higher or more intense workload.

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  17. Two students in my life may fall into the category of twice exceptional. The first student, RK, is exceptionally bright, has a knack for all things creative, and can have adult conversations on topics far beyond what her peers understand. However, she is extremely unorganized, is socially maladjusted, and does not quite understand the social implications of tact, timing, and appropriate interaction. The “howevers” in this case may just seem like the awkward preteen at first glance, but upon further examination, continual application of conventional methods to correct or help with the unusually deficient skills and behaviors do not seem to help or make a difference. The second student, AE, is seemingly average in the classroom. However, in getting to know this student, she has a memory for following procedures that is nearly photographic. She can recall details of conversations, pictures, movies and the like after just seeing them once. Her mechanical ability is so advanced for her age that teaching her concepts to master can be done very quickly if she is allowed to manipulate them with her hands as she creates and recreates the problem or idea. She is also emotionally gifted as she has a knack for “feeling” others joy and pain and seeks to comfort them without her even knowing that is what she is doing. I think AE is definitely gifted with some sort of Learning Disability in the traditional academic arena.

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  18. lost again - will post in the morning - any suggestions?

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    1. Rachel, I always type my posts in a word document first. I then just copy and paste it into the blog. That seems to keep things from "disappearing" into the cybersphere. :)

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    2. this is my last post to the blog as I will take the advice of Shanna!
      So two twice exceptional kids - I have an autistic child in my class - the movement and lack of absolute concrete schedule does concern him.... however I have had him for two years, and I think he trusts me to warn him when there are drills etc. However - he has done really well in the room - and has adapted well. The other child is a 3rd grader - new to our system he doesn't seem to understand what is going on at all. After talking with his teachers, I discovered that he was also pulled out for tier three intervention. I don[t know that he needs to be in our program at this time.
      however - one student stands out who is twice exceptional... autistic - un medicated - for him, our classes gave him confidence that he never received in the regular classroom, he is odd soul -but one who is often mis understood.. Regular ed teachers do not have the time for these kids. In theory - we do.... and quite frankly - it may change their lives.

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  19. As I watched this video, I immediately had one student in my classroom come to mind. He is gifted and reads well above grade level. This student can make connections across subject areas. He also is a problem solver and wants to do well in school. Even though he is a creative problem solver, he is struggling in math. I believe that he is twice-exceptional and may have dyslexia because he continues to reverse his numbers and letters. He has a hard time remembering how to spell words as well.
    Another student is a male in my classroom this year who has ADHD. He gets distracted and upset very easily. He also has trouble socially communicating with the peers in his grade. This student is very bright and loves to read about topics that he is interested in, but he is very unmotivated if he does not feel like the topic pertains to him. I suspect that he may be twice-exceptional because he has ADHD and can make connections/solve math problems in ways that I wouldn’t even think about. This student is also reading well above grade level.

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  20. Katherine Kiser

    This video reminds me of first learning about the existence of 2e and trying to understand how the students must feel. This module has also caused me to think about some of my students more deeply. I have some students who struggle to focus on their projects, despite their immense interests. It seems as though they have a million different thoughts, ideas, and questions floating through their brian at any given moment. They come to my classroom for services for gifted and talented and seem as though they might pop if they cannot express everything that is on their mind. They start talking about one idea and they cannot stop talking about it or they jump to many thoughts within seconds. This has caused me to think about whether or not they are ADD or even ADHD. I am clearly not a doctor, but sometimes similar characteristics of the disorder are displayed in your students, whether they are diagnosed or not. You start to feel that you recognize the symptoms as being more than a growing and curious child. I think that it is important to try to work with these students on coping strategies, whether they end up being diagnosed or not. Often the children are aware of their differences, but not sure how to handle it. Hopefully, a conversation with parents and implementing strategies will work.

    I also have a gifted student who displays behaviors typically associated with ODD, but it has been brought up by parents as possibly being related to medicine he takes for anxiety and depression. I feel for the child that is being medicated for feelings he has a very hard time controlling and it causes another issue all together. If he takes medicine for the anxiety he feels and the sadness he experiences, then he has side effects of being OD. So, does he take medicine for that as well? What if that medicine cause yet another set of side effects? In other words, where does it end? It starts with being more informed of the disorders and how to help the students and parents cope. I am glad I took part in this module. I now know that I need to do more research to help my students and be more aware of other students who could be having similar issues.

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  21. I have a gifted male 4th grade student who displays numerous characteristics associated with ASD. J is exceptionally bright and does extremely well academically, but truly struggles socially. He struggles with appropriate behavior in one-on-one settings with his peers but also in group settings. He becomes very frustrated with his classmates when working in cooperative groups. His speech is awkward and he doesn't read social cues well at all. His parents are in their 60s. I am not privy to the details of the situation but based on conversations I have had with them, J spends almost no time with other children outside of school which I think further exacerbates his social issues. J insists on routine and becomes almost inconsolable when he has a substitute or has to miss his time in my pullout program for some reason.
    I have a gifted female student 5th grade student who I believe has an auditory processing issue. L has learned to compensate with the struggle in a number of ways such as asking for written directions for assignments or rubrics. She often asks me to look up additional resources for topics we are covering. She seems to prefer reading information for obvious reasons and will go to extra lengths to find what she needs to support classroom instruction. L has had some struggles in Math in the past seemingly to me because she doesn't always understand whole group instruction on the topic.

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  22. This blog is more difficult for me to answer as I work at a private school. Our students are not identified as gifted and most are not identified with special needs. However, I can think of a few students’ whose profiles may fit with this topic. Glenn* possesses many different gifted traits. Again, he is not identified as gifted but if tested, I suspect that he would qualify for services. Glenn also possesses some of the characteristics associated with Autism. He has trouble in social situations and he often makes inappropriate comments to his peers and to adults.
    Maggie* is another student who comes to mind when discussing twice-exceptionality. She has remarkable speech problems. She works with a specialist, but communicating with her is a challenge for those who are not in constant contact with her. However, Maggie reads far above he level and is able to think and use processing skills that are far advanced for a student her age. It is amazing to see what these students overcome to still achieve at such a high level.

    *Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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  23. I have a male student that displays symptoms of ADHD. During our class discussion or student research, he constantly fidgets, can't stay on task and loses papers/assignments. After talking with his regular classroom teachers, they observe the same behaviors. He doesn't like working with a group, so he works by himself most of the time. He gets frustrated while waiting to .. play his turn in a game or present his research information. Another student I think might be twice exceptional is WW. When the students work on their projects/assignments, he tends to get lost. He has difficulty putting his thoughts onto paper/computer. I have to sit down with him one-on-one to help him get his thoughts and ideas started. One the other hand, he is an outstanding artist. It is beyond any student several grades ahead of him. When he is drawing, he is in the zone.

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  24. I have a student who is in the 5th grade. He was identified during 2nd CF and has attended gifted classes for the past 3 years. Last year he was placed in RTI for failing math. This year he has been failing several classes. I think he still has the ability to compensate for his disability but it is becoming a real struggle. Each nine weeks, I have to "defend" him when report cards come out. Teachers just do not understand how he can be in gifted and fail his classes. I have talked to his parents about having him tested and they think he is "just being lazy and a boy." I worry about what will happen when he starts middle school next year.
    I also had a male student who was placed into my class for students with Dyslexia when he was in 2nd grade. He suffers severely from ADHD. He struggles to read and focus on even the simplest tasks. However, he is brilliant when it comes to designing and building anything. It is the only time he can somewhat focus. I had him tested in 2nd grade for gifted. His IQ was not high enough to make it on the Matrix and his teachers did not see his potential only his behavior. I still to the day know he is gifted and will hopefully some day prove me right. He is in the 8th grade now and struggling to get by with C's. I started my robotics program for him so that I could provide him with some outlet to shine. I just wish everyone else saw what I see and that he realized the potential he has. I am afraid he is beginning to believe what he has heard for all these years.

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  25. I have one that I know is twice exceptional because of the parapro he uses in my class. He needs help with reading quickly – he can comprehend, but at a much slower pace if he is reading by himself.

    I have another student who is unidentified that I would not be surprised if he was on the autism spectrum somewhere. He has lots of outbursts if things are exactly how he needs them, he is slowly motivated and infatuated with “staple tape” – an “ultimate fastener” of his own invention.

    -Anna Miller

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  26. Two students immediately come to mind in the schools where I have pull-out classes. There is one who has a learning disability in comprehension. He was identified and began receiving services through the special education department early in his first year of school. However, when I talk with him, he always has a phenomenal imagination and uses a very progressed vocabulary for a five year old. His words sometimes stun me and leave me speechless, while smiling at him because I cannot believe that those words just came from his little mouth.
    The other student I have in mind is someone who is very creative but his behavior, which could be ADD or ADHD, overshadows his gifts. His behavior, outspokenness, and refusal to be a passive learner, may hide the fact that he indeed has special talents.

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  27. Two of my students come to mind when I think about twice-exceptional. One is a fourth grade boy who is so far advanced socially, it is amazing to process some of the conversations that he contributes to. He is also reading on a 6th-7th grade reading level. However, he is a Tier III student in math. He was failing his math class before his parents requested that he receive services for assistance in that academic area. This student is extremely aware of worldly issues and can carry on an adult conversation just as if he is the adult.
    The other student that comes to my mind is a 5th grade girl who has a physical disability. This child is extremely shy and does not associate with her peers very often; however, she does choose to sit with a classmate who is in her homeroom class. I am guessing that this is a comfort issue. This child is extremely intelligent, but tends to be socially awkward. She does participate in class discussions, but only associates with people whom she feels comfortable with.

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  28. I can’t believe that I had never heard of twice exceptional students before this semester. When we first began talking about twice exceptional students, my mind immediately went to one 3rd grade student I have. Last year, in 2nd grade, he came to my writing classroom as a complete terror. He constantly interrupted me, couldn’t sit still, asked off topic questions, and never completed an assignment. This year, at the 3rd grade school, he was identified as gifted, but he also has ADHD. I was blown away when the gifted teacher told me he was receiving services; all I could think about with his disruptive tendencies. Now, armed with my new 2e knowledge, I’m beginning to see his gifted abilities. While medication for his ADHD is eliminating some of his disruptiveness, the knowledge of what this child is having to cope with makes me handle him differently. This, I believe, is a great example of how communication can make a world of difference.

    Another student, J, is a 5th grader who is obviously gifted. She, however, tends to become a thorn in the side, so to speak, of all teachers she has. She has difficulty working with other students, reading social cues, and being able to judge the appropriateness of comments or actions of herself and others. In a group setting, she is taxing to the others because of her need for perfection and unwillingness to compromise. This sometimes, I believe, masks her giftedness. In her writing, I see the breadth and depth of her knowledge and interest. However, her quirks can sometimes mask her talents.

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  29. I am currently testing a 6th grade female student who is diagnosed with dyslexia. As you can imagine, her grades are not stellar, although they are also not poor. She is immensely creative with transformations and such. I am interested to see how she scores. Her regular classroom teachers have mentioned that they do not "see" any gifted characteristics in her; however, her NNAT-2 was high, as well as her work samples. Again, I just do not think regular classroom teachers have the opportunity to be trained for such exceptionalities.

    I have another student in my gifted class now that is another 6th grade female. She was placed in the gifted program as a result of 2nd Grade Child Find. She also suffers from cerebral palsy. It is my pleasure to teach her in that I have learned a great deal from her motivation and effort. Although she has some severe weakening on her right side, she refuses any help unless absolutely necessary, and she has set extremely high goals for herself. She is an amazing student!

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  30. One student I think of when I think of twice exceptional students is a girl I taught in second grade. She was incredibly smart and creative. However, when it came to math, she did not perform as well. Her math grades were not failing, but she performed significantly better in the other subjects. This lead me to believe that she had a learning disability in math. Another student I think of when I think of twice exceptional students is a boy who struggled with reading. Anything that had to do with reading comprehension, he performed poorly. However, he did very good in all other areas. He was incredible when it came to mathematics.

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  31. One student I think of when I think of twice exceptional students is a girl I taught in second grade. She was incredibly smart and creative. However, when it came to math, she did not perform as well. Her math grades were not failing, but she performed significantly better in the other subjects. This lead me to believe that she had a learning disability in math. Another student I think of when I think of twice exceptional students is a boy who struggled with reading. Anything that had to do with reading comprehension, he performed poorly. However, he did very good in all other areas. He was incredible when it came to mathematics.

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  32. A student I had a couple of years ago - Jax was so very very ADHD. I know that this is probably the most common 2E factor. However, he was a very poor student. He never did work, he whined about boredom and he was a huge behavior problem. HOWEVER... in those rare moments that I would speak on a subject that interested him, it was like a light bulb would go off beside his head. And he would sit there and recite the Pythagorean Theorem for me. Or he would tell me about the economical consequences of WWII. I am not exaggerating! Then, less than a minute later, he would be back to punching people in the face and using the "F" word. Although fleeting, these moments of lucidity struck a curiosity with me and I immediately got him involved in testing. He was, of course, gifted and had a very very high IQ. However, he spent most of the rest of that year (grade 2) failing and struggling to complete work. Luckily he did qualify for gifted and moved into those classes within the next year. Also, his parents did finally put him on medication. Another common 2E problem is Asperger's syndrome and gifted. There is a child, Molly, that is in that position currently. She has definite issues with regular school. The only way she is comfortable is to learn and do things at her own pace. She is however, terribly insightful. She has extensive knowledge of things of interest to her - for example, birds. She will educate you on all matters bird at any time of day. however, she may not be able to perform the current math tasks her peers can.

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  33. Kiyomi Moore SPE 584 Spring 2016February 29, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    When I think of twice-exceptional students, I immediately think of a boy that has been referred for gifted screening. This student is autistic and is has a very large vocabulary. His written piece would make you think that your reading the work of a high schooler although, this child is only in the 4th grade.
    Another student has been identified as having oppositional defiance disorder. He is also identified as gifted and seems to struggle. This young man is only in the 3rd grade but has a testing score of at least 6th grade on all assessments. He writes in cursive and will destroy a classroom if he isn’t given additional time if he does finish his assignments.

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  34. One student is an introvert. Doesn't make friends and won't speak up and ask for help. She was identified in 2nd grade as gifted scoring high on the NNAT2. She can work math in her head, problem solve quickly, but struggles to understand words. Her teachers are frustrated with her because she doesn't/can't communicate.

    The 2nd student is autistic. Because of his autism, teachers hadn't referred him for gifted. I decided over the summer when I worked with him during daycare, he was gifted with artistic abilities. He scored 99% on the Torrance. However, his processing issues from autism interferes with classroom performance. He also struggles to overcome his fixations.

    Both of these students struggle with auditory processing. I have been unable to impact classroom instruction so that more visual and tactile strategies are used. So frustrating for all of us...

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  35. One of my previous students struggled in my math class.... his progress report grade was a 4. His struggle in math stemmed from a learning disability in math, but his shutdown came with multiplication. He was a fifth grader in the gifted program, but could absolutely not focus during math because of his lack of understanding of multiplication. Working with fractions was a huge struggle, since we were multiplying many times in each problem. He would completely shut down. We had to work really hard to give him support in math with the multiplication issues he was having, but he still was served in the gifted program for his creative thinking. He was constantly drawing and creating comics. He was interested in the strategy of video games and art.

    Another student I taught was labeled as autistic. He was functional in class, but he was very obsessive about his belongings, schedule, seating arrangement, and space. He couldn't stay organized, write clearly, tie his shoes, or button his shirt. However, if you ever started teaching something that he was interested in, he understood it, could analyze, argue, and rationalize his points and perspectives. I always thought there was more to his label than just being autistic, simply because he could process so much information and make sense of most of it, on a 5th grade level, at least. He was an interesting little guy, but he was definitely a gifted thinker.

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  36. A student that immediately comes to mind when describing twice exceptional students is D. I encountered D when I was a student teacher. Many of his teachers dreaded having him in their class. He was diagnosed with Autism at a young age, yet he still had the capacity to learn and interact and was placed in the regular classroom. I watched daily as teachers would become frustrated with him and his outbursts. However, he took to me. He was polite to me and engaged in conversation with me frequently during the day. However, his disruptions usually came when he had completed the assigned work. Some of his answers on paper were incorrect, but he was always able to talk about the topic accurately and in very detailed terms. He would also become fixated on one aspect of the topic and divulge deeper into it after school and share with the class the things that he learned about the topic in his own research.
    Another student that comes to mind is a girl that I have in my GT class is J who is very bright and creative, but she has ADHD. She does not take medication for her ADHD. While classroom disruptions are frequent and usually distracting, J has a very creative and observant mindset. She asks thoughtful questions that even have me thinking deeper about the content. She loves to watch the news and is very insightful about world events. To encourage her behavior and channel her energy, I allow her to conduct the current events portion of class. When her class occurs during lunch time, I often take the class the long way coming from lunch to allow her to exert some energy as well. I, however, refrain from taking the class outside for lecture because she is very distracted if we do.

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  37. Twice exceptional or 2e students are a puzzle that is only just beginning to be understood. The twice exceptional student is gifted but also has some sort of learning challenge. These students are difficult to identify, because, many times, one exceptionality masks the other. Sometimes neither exceptionality is discovered. As the music teacher in my school, I see every student. This gives me a different perspective than that of the other teachers in my school. I am able to compare the different learning styles of my students and also to see each student using skills that their classroom teacher would not ordinarily experience.

    Several students come to mind when I think of twice exceptional students. One is a 4th grader who is in a class full of students with learning challenges. He is on the ASD scale and probably tends towards asperger's syndrome. Like many people on this spectrum, he has some trouble relating to the other students and has social challenges. However, he is also extremely well-versed in anything having to do with computers. He knows tons of facts about computers and loves to tell us information and ask questions. He thinks outside the box and makes connections in unique ways. Although he has not been identified as gifted, I strongly believe that he is.

    The second student that comes to mind is a 3rd grader who has been identified as gifted. He is a unique, special person with great interest in anything he can find out on the Discover Channel. He is always excited to talk about what he knows and loves to talk to his classmates about his interests. However, he has a lot of trouble following directions. He is able to sit still and focus when he wants to. In fact, he will sometimes ask me if he can have the last five minutes of class to tell his classmates about something he has learned. I always tell him that if he is able to sit still and stay on task, I will allow him to have five minutes. He will always stay on task on these days. When I first met him, I thought that he had ADHD, but now I think that he may have Oppositional Defiance Disorder. He has good days and bad days. Sometimes he can listen but other times he cannot or will not. He sometimes purposefully disobeys my directions and often starts arguments with one particular student.

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  38. Watching this video and reading the previous posts has been helpful to me. As made evident by my response on the previous blog post, I had assumed that being twice-exceptional was rare and that I had never met a student in this population. However, after some reflection I think I have met a few!
    The first student that comes to mind is "James" from my internship in special education. James was diagnosed with autism and displayed the corresponding social and communication difficulties. However, his reading comprehension was through the roof! He made 100's on all of the A.R. tests he took, which was several each day (on books above his grade level). We gave him a comprehension assessment and he aced it. The most interesting part was that he really struggled to read aloud. Fluency was NOT his strength, but at the end he clearly understood everything that had happened!
    I think my cousin might fit into this category also. He is diagnosed with Tourette's and has all of the struggles associated with that syndrome. However, he is still in advanced classes and maintains high grades. He is talented at sports and is generally viewed as an intelligent, high-functioning student.
    I'm not sure if these students would qualify as gifted, but they are certainly more than their disabilities. Their abilities seem to be in stark contrast to their "labels" as having autism and Tourette's.
    I can see my definition of twice-exceptional evolving, but I can also see that I still have much learning to do about this population of students.

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  39. This video only solidified what I already knew about the two students that I know who are twice-exceptional. Both students that I am thinking of have a disability but are also in the gifted program. They are both very intense and sensitive, but they are also very intelligent and creative in their academic behaviors. One of the students is an incredible artist and the other is great at building and making things. I really loved the pot analogy that was in this video. It reminded me of how I believe these students feel almost every day. I, too, have had apologies said to me by these students, but I never feel that they are necessary.

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  40. The first student that comes to my mind is one that struggles with anxiety and depression. Many people outside of the field of education don't realize that these afflictions cause our children to suffer. As a result, I think many of our students have struggles that are constantly overlooked and even exacerbated by factory model teaching and standardized testing. I have a student whose motivation from one class to the next can be as different as night and day. One day he will come to class bubbly and excited and will give me a hug and other days he just slumps in his chair and stares into space. I have a great deal of sympathy for him as I have also struggled with anxiety a great deal, and to a lesser extent, depression as well. So, perhaps, I have an inkling of what he might be going through and i try to accommodate him as well as I can.

    On the other hand, I have another student that wouldn't sit still if I duct taped him to a chair. When I was his age, I would've been perfectly happy with a pencil and paper assignment that allowed me to quietly work. This kid wants none of that. Fortunately, I have some robotics kits that allow him to move around and do a lot of mechanical work that I have very little interest in. He is, by far, the most creative student I have with these types of assignments.

    I highlight these two students because one is a little like me and one is a bit less like me, and I believe that in order to adequately analyze the strengths and weaknesses of one's students, one must be an adequate judge of one's own strengths and weaknesses, and even though I may not have struggled with some things, I definitely have my own setbacks that need to be assessed when I'm working with twice exceptional students, who are, arguably, the most diverse group among the entire student population.

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  41. One student that comes to mind has difficulties with his speech and language development. This student is also very immature and becomes emotional over the smallest of problems. This student receives special education services for language development and has a behavior plan. This student was a behavior problem from Kindergarten-2nd grade. When he got into 3rd grade, his behavior has greatly improved. This has allowed me to see that he is very talented in the areas of math and science. I think that because this student was identified for special education services and had so many behavior problems in the past, which overshadowed his gifts in these areas.

    A second student that comes to mind is identified as gifted and has ADHD. The student used to be medicated for his ADHD but his parents said that he was experiencing so many side effects from the medication that they made the decision for him to be un-medicated. This student is very excitable and can get off-task fairly often. I have several cues that I use to help him get back on task without making a big deal about it in the classroom. He has learned the cues and is able to get back on track. This student is very sensitive and softhearted, but wants to please.

    While both of these students have different exceptionalities, they both share eagerness and passion for learning, especially in the areas in which they excel. 2e students may not look like the typical gifted student; however, they are capable of just as much. It is important that you get to know these students and make the appropriate accommodations to help them be successful.

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  42. I have a gifted student who struggles in math tremendously. He is frustrated, his parents are frustrated, and his math teacher does not think he should be in gifted classes since he struggles and often fails various skills. He asked me to help him during gifted classes. I don't know if the student has a learning disability in math or not because I'm not trained in that area of expertise. It is very apparent that the student does not understand some of the basic skills of mathematics.

    Another student who comes to my mind does not seem to be able to literally function if he cannot stand up. I let him stand up when completing group or individual work as long as he isn't distracting others. He stays on task pretty well when standing. He also hates to write, and his handwriting is extremely messy and almost illegible. I let him use the computer to write, and we have no further issues. I do not know what, if any, disability he may have because, again, that is not my area of expertise; but if these accommodations are not made for him in the regular classroom, I don't know how he could function.

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  43. I have a gifted student who struggles in math tremendously. He is frustrated, his parents are frustrated, and his math teacher does not think he should be in gifted classes since he struggles and often fails various skills. He asked me to help him during gifted classes. I don't know if the student has a learning disability in math or not because I'm not trained in that area of expertise. It is very apparent that the student does not understand some of the basic skills of mathematics.

    Another student who comes to my mind does not seem to be able to literally function if he cannot stand up. I let him stand up when completing group or individual work as long as he isn't distracting others. He stays on task pretty well when standing. He also hates to write, and his handwriting is extremely messy and almost illegible. I let him use the computer to write, and we have no further issues. I do not know what, if any, disability he may have because, again, that is not my area of expertise; but if these accommodations are not made for him in the regular classroom, I don't know how he could function.

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  44. I have a student named "Bob" that comes to mind immediately as I think of twice exceptional. Bob was identified gifted in 4th grade, and now has just qualified for an IEP. He is mild Aspergers and also requires occupational therapy. He has issues getting along with others in my class and the regular classroom. He prefers to work alone and if someone does not agree with him, he shuts down and wants to go back to class. He says it is too hard and will also shut down. I am VERY patient with him and if you redirect him or talk him through it one on one he responds a lot better. Bob has to be interested and see the total picture. We built bridges and tested their strength. They were made from popsicle sticks and tape. He was totally into it until we had to test for durability and strength. He said it was a pointless assignment and that he was going to fail. Bob just kept saying why did we do this, it will never work. He needed me to break down the assignment into small steps that he was successful, but he needed to see the whole picture and discuss why we were doing the activity. We usually do this in the wrap up so we can make connections, but we had to improvise and discuss during the activity. He still cried because he could not take it home because it would break. Bob is VERY creative and has wonderful ideas, but the sad fact is that no one likes working with him because of his meltdowns.

    Honestly, I have several students that have ADD or ADHD and are medicated. As with any student, you have to see what makes them tick or will relate to the most. So many students have learned how to compensate for their diagnosis, that you may not even be aware on the outside. It really brings to mind my husband. I have always been interested in Torrance and creativity, so after a training years ago, I tested my husband. His drawings were phenomenal. He was diagnosed with a form of dyslexia at a young age and really treated as he was dumb and would struggle his whole life. I truly believe that he is 2e but never given that chance to be identified because of his dyslexia. He was always told he was not good enough and was not as smart as his siblings. This really saddens me, and that is why I see myself reaching out to those learners more because I do not want to see them beat down mentally when they are so full of potential!

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  45. One student in my classroom has been diagnosed with ADHD. He is a brilliant young man. He is one of my brightest students, and he is challenging because I must make special accommodations to meet his needs. Teaching this student is very rewarding and he keeps our class interesting!
    Another student in my class, I suspect may have ODD. He is uncooperative, disrespectful, and stubborn and is always in opposition. This student is challenging and does not enjoy working with his peers. He is gifted and I see evidence of his abilities in class. He is undiagnosed and I believe his exceptionality may mask his giftedness in his regular classroom.

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  46. After learning about 2E students a whole new world of possibilities was opened to me. I can remember thinking several times about different students: "I see moments of brilliance shining above this kids disabilities." I could never figure out why this happened or what it meant. Now I know that several of those students were 2E.
    I currently teach a student whom I suppect of being 2E. He is diagnosed ADHD but I also believe he is gifted. Often times he will become highly focused be able to sit still and work until a task is complete. This happens when he is working on something he is interested in learning more about. If he is not highly interested in learning he can barely sit still. The hard part of this situation come into play when I introduce something new. "John" does not know if he is interested and because the new topic does not already interest him he has trouble focusing long enough to know about the topic. This means he might be very interested in the topic but can't focus long enough to learn about it.
    The second students I have in mind is dyslexic. "Helen" was highly creative but even at the end of first grade she could not read. She gobbled up any information that was read to her. If she was given a set of colored pencils no one would doubt she is talented.
    I wish that more educators were trained in the area of 2E students. I felt helpless and uneducated when dealing with these students until I began graduate classes last fall. More people need to know what 2E is and how to help!
    Lydia Hinshaw

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  47. I have two students that come to mind when thinking about the traits of 2E students.
    Student 1: We will call him C. C was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 2. He receives special education services to help with his deficits such as social interactions, writing deficits, and other skills. C hates to write. But C is brilliant. He often gets skills in math before others do. He shouts out the answer before others. However, when it comes time to journal write about the answer, he refuses to write down the steps he took in his head to come about the answer. He is very socially awkward, stays to himself, and sometimes shouts out in class noises when frustrated. However, when C gets focused in on a topic, for example, the periodic table, he memorizes and sometimes obsesses over topics. He has a phenomenal memory, and could really benefit from gifted services. He is currently not being serviced. I believe that his deficits are masking his exceptionalities.

    Student 2: We will call him D. D is a 5th grader in my class. D has been diagnosed with ADHD and high anxiety. He has a 504 plan for behavior to help him and allow extra time on testing and turning in assignments. He struggles with organization and has meltdowns on a frequent basis. I believe that D is gifted. He just "gets it" when others do not. He gets the big picture of things and can pull deeper meaning out of topics when others do not. He is highly interested in electronics/technology and is very talented when it comes to that area. I submitted him for testing, but according to the testing that our gifted teacher gave, he did not qualify. Again, I believe that his deficits are masking his exceptionalities and it is unfortunate because he would really benefit from gifted services.

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  48. I can think of several students that fit the profile of a twice-exceptional student. I can think of some that have ADHD, but are very intelligent, quick learners, and curious. However, I have two students in mind that I think are twice exceptional for a couple of other reasons. I wish I had the opportunity to learn more about twice exceptionality specific to each of the two students when I taught them, because I would have been able to help them more.

    One student was (at the time) undiagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His mother was very frustrated on how to help him and I was unsure of the best way to encourage him. I tried so many different incentives to try to get him to write or complete activities and they would work temporarily, but there was no “fix” for the situation. As my first student with ASD in the regular classroom, I was ignorant of how to keep him motivated to continue to work. He was extremely bright and in fact his SAT scores were in the 99th percentile. He was very motivated by electronics, but at that time we didn’t have individual student resources to fit that need. He loved to collect little items and draw faces on them to use as puppets so I would encourage him to work with milestone incentives of little erasers, etc. He was finally diagnosed with ASD after a frustrating year of spending a lot of time under tables, ripping up papers, getting failing grades for lack of work (but only in some subject areas), etc. We learned he was very black and white in his thinking and well above average. He could not work in an open activity like creative writing. He was very curious and a questioner, but completely unsocial. He was magnificent in math, but completely shut down with language arts. He eventually left for one-on-one tutoring because of meltdowns in the middle of his next year of school after I had him, and was so smart he could easily finish through high school by age 14. However, he got a service dog that helped him cope with his disorder and socialization. He returned years later with her in tow. He made marked improvements in his home and school environments because of the service dog. He returned to finish school with his service dog by his side and has been a great success.

    A second student I had was not quite as extreme a case, but he definitely had giftedness with SLI. He was the child of a military family where his father traveled quite a lot in the Air Force while his mother kept very close care of his schooling. She was Japanese and therefore her extremely intelligent son was affected by her great attention to his education, but also her lack of mastery of the English language. He was what identified in our system as needing extra help because of a language barrier although he was well above his grade level academically. This did hold him back in areas of language arts, but not because he could not understand the concepts. He just had some trouble conveying what he was trying to express.

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  49. I'm going to discuss the two students that I mentioned in my previous blog. One struggles with ADHD and ODD and everyone is baffled when I talk about him being one of my students. Teachers have a very hard time seeing past his irrational behavior. They only see him in the office having meltdowns, talking back to his teacher or taking a 0/F home in conduct. It's unfortunate because he is definitely one the smartest third graders I have. He thinks outside of the box and gets the answer so much quicker than the others.

    My other friend, with autism, struggles socially. All of his stories (verbal and written) are off the wall and always contain martians or something bizarre. I honestly enjoy them but many of the students don't understand him at all. He is also one that cries incredibly loud when he gets in trouble. Most boys his age may shed a tear but if they do they make sure to cover it up quickly. He is also a outside-of-the-box type of thinker. He's quick to get answers just like my other friend; however, he talks out loud to himself the entire time.

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  50. I have actually has several students in my general education third grade classroom that were tested 2E students. I will discuss two of the.

    My first 2E student tested into gifted through 2nd grade child find. While he always struggled to keep his grades decent in 3rd grade his reading grades fell way behind. His parents and I agreed and he was tested to receive special services. He actually tested to have a specific learning disability in reading and has since tested positive for dyslexia. Two years later this child gets pulled out of his general ed classroom for gifted services and daily for reading services. The result is that as he is becoming a teenager he is also becoming a behavior problem. He is now in 6th grade, is not growing sufficiently in his gifted class, reading grades are not improving, and the rest of his grades are dropping because he misses instruction during his pull outs. This child also is not motivated internally to work hard, despite have a string support system (parents) at home.

    The second 2E child I will discuss actually has 3 exceptionalities. He was determined gifted through 2nd grade child find, has a tested SLD in math, and is high functioning Aspergers. He is the child that fits the steotypical gifted definition in all areas except math. He is artistic, academically high achieving in all areas, but math, socially awkward, high interest in science topics and can discuss them well above the typical age level of his peers. This child gets pulled out for gifted service and math services. He has thrived in the classroom with the support and is highly motivated to achieve, in fact he is his own worst critic!

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  51. I know I had one student how was twice exceptional. He was very bright and could articulate very well. He could "think out side the box" and his humor went above his peers heads. He was also facing mental/emotional disorders which caused him to be very depressed and negative towards himself. He was extremely smart but would debate the opposite was true. He is currently in the gifted program after I recommended him for testing.

    I have a student that I believe maybe ADHD. He is doing okay academically but I know through conversation and observations that he could be excelling if he could focus and perform on assignments in class. He can catch on to math very easily. He recognizes patterns in numbers and equations very well. The strategies he uses are also different from many of his peers. Although he voices these great ideas verbally he does not sit on stand in an area long enough to translate it on paper.

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  52. I have one student in our GATE (Gifted and Talented Program) Program who is Twice-Exceptional. He has Autism, and he is gifted. He is a highly intelligent young boy. He is exceptional at math. He has some social struggles; however, he is really improving and becoming a little more social with his teachers and classmates.

    Another student in my class shows some signs which make me curious about whether or not he might be twice-exceptional. He is a very smart boy with above-average intellectual ability and understandings; however, he is very socially challenged. He constantly tries to get attention from everyone around him, especially his peers. Unfortunately, he gets more negative attention than positive attention. I really am not sure about him, but I would definitely like to look into this situation.

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  53. One student that comes to mind has worked with the speech coach for a couple of years. Until recently she did not speak during whole group activities. It has been exciting to watch her growth over these two years and listen to her now asserting herself and expressing her opinions to the whole class.
    The second student is a Hispanic male who was strongly encouraged by his second grade teachers. His second grade teachers frequently told me of his artistic abilities. I administered a non-verbal Torrance test to him and was pleased with the results. His drawings told stories, incorporated two drawing starts, and even his titles were well developed. Had his second grade teachers not promoted him during child find he probably would have been missed because he was an underachieving academic student.
    When he started third grade I heard from his teachers that they did not understand why he was identified as gifted. After several conversations with him, his parents, and an interpreter and after a lot of encouragement and tough love by his third grade teachers his underachievement began to turn around. Sadly, just when he was getting on track his family moved to a neighboring county. I recently spoke with the gifted specialist at his new school and believe that he will be well served there and that his achievement will continue to improve. I can still hear him saying, “Ah its Tuesday, gifted sweet gifted Tuesday.” Because of course he only felt gifted on Tuesday. I pray that someday soon he will feel gifted everyday!

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    1. I forgot to mention that my ELL student is also ADHD. ADD or AHDH seems to be the most common 2e of my gifted students.

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  54. Two students come quickly to my mind as we discuss twice-exceptional. One is a child who I tutored for three years. I suspected dyslexia. He struggled with reading and spelling. Things that began raising flags were he would get "d" and "b" mixed up. He would say a word that had similar letters in it. Speaking with this child, you would never think he struggled in reading. He used a large vocabulary when speaking. He was able and confident in carrying on conversations with adults. Also, he has a major interest in history, particularly with war and the military and could answer most any question on the topics. He is a very patriotic child who expresses love for our country and a desire to serve for it one day.

    The next child I think of as twice-exceptional is one of my own students. He is in the gifted class, not very mature, and is easily distracted. His teachers and I suspect from a few of his behaviors that he may have a form of autism. I first noticed that he may be autistic when we went to a pep rally. He did not like being in the crowd. If it ever got too loud, he would put his fingers in his ears and begin to rock himself.

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  55. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have several students who are twice-exceptional. I love the cracked pot analogy where the pot laments its inability to carry a full load of water and is shown the remarkable fruits of this wasted water - not wasted at all, watering all the beautiful flowers on the path.

    I have several students who have speech language impairments (SLI) and one who has SLI along with a cochlear implant. I am so grateful for our universal screening process in making sure that we don't miss students especially for a masking exceptionality. Like it was mentioned in the video, I consult with their classroom teacher and the Speech language therapist to make sure I am giving them the best support like eye contact when speaking, using a microphone to hearing aid, visually writing down new vocabulary etc. Above all though, again, it is knowing each student individually and responding to their needs that is absolutely essential to my teaching philosophy.

    For my SLD students, especially in reading and writing, it is ensuring that they have the support that they need like for writing like a graphic organizer. Because I can provide one-on-one attention, I can help with words and reading (research for our Gifted students tends not to be leveled, so individual support is necessary). If I was in a regular classroom, I would add supports like word lists, word walls, leveled reading assignments etc.

    For other students like ED or ADHD, it is provding differrentiated instruction, including a lot of student inquiry, student movement, including tprs - total physical response storytelling, and explicitly modeling cognitive and social strategies.

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  56. I can think of two students to highlight right off the top of the list. I have a current student in my gifted program that is 2E. She is a special-ed student that struggles with learning disabilities in reading and math. She is also a very creatively talented gifted student. She easily thinks outside the box when given an assignment that has any artistic element to it. She also loves coming to PACE class which is evident in her work and participation. Her disabilities, while still there, seem to disappear in PACE.
    The other student is a second grader that is currently being screened for gifted services. He has all signs of a high functioning autism student. He also struggles with working in group activities. Although his weaknesses are obvious to me as a teacher, his strengths in creativity and working out logic puzzles are unbelievable. I am so hopeful that he qualifies for our gifted class so that I am able to watch his talents and gifts flourish.

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  57. Twice exceptional students are students that are gifted in certain areas but have a disability in other areas. They are often times hard to identify because their giftedness is overlooked due to their disabilities. Many twice exceptional students suffer socially and are in need of training in social skills.

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  58. One student that specifically comes to mind is a bright little boy that is unable to maintain focus for a long period of time. He tries his best at everything he does, but just don’t get the results that he is wanting. He is beginning to shut down. He doesn’t think he can do certain things. He gets frustrated with himself and stops trying. I am in general education and teach 2nd grade so this child hasn’t been identified as gifted at this point. He is smart and has creative ideas. I feel that there is more for him to give. Due to his ADD he is unable to hold his focus and communicate the ideas that are locked in his mind. He gets frustrated and will say “I just can’t.” It breaks my heart as a teacher and a parent. I hope that he is not overlooked as he goes through the child find process.
    I also teach a little girl who has had a rough life and tends to have high anxiety. She gets nervous under pressure and shuts down. She is always telling me that she doesn’t understand or that she can’t get the words to come out right. I watch her as she tells me she doesn’t understand or can’t and as I quietly pass her desk, her work show differently. I have grown to adore this little girl and have found myself pulling her aside and giving her more one-on-one attention. I know a little about her background and know that she is truly a gifted young lady. She doesn’t have the emotional ability or support to let herself succeed.

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  59. I know two children that are identified as twice exceptional. One has ADHD and the other has dyslexia. Both of these students are brilliant, but struggle as weel. The ADHD student looses work and has a hard time staying on task. The student with dyslexia has a difficult time with writing. You can't read any of her work.
    I think the video is right a teacher must get to know the child. You must teach the child instead of only the concepts. Teachers need to have good repertoire with parents and form a healthy relationship with their students.

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  60. I currently do not have any 2e students, but I understand that twice exceptional students may be categorized as gifted but also have subtle learning disabilities. Their abilities and disabilities mask each other and are thus unidentified. These students often perform at or slightly below their grade level. Students identified as both gifted and having learning disabilities stand out in a classroom because they are obviously bright but frustrated with school activities and thus tend to act out.

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  61. I currently have 3 2E students within my homeroom class. I believe you have to get to know your children to learn how their disabilites and giftedness shine. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? I have multiple students with autism and are gifted, these students DO NOT complete their homework and get a Code of Success from other teachers pretty much daily. What does it do to their self esteem? It brings it down, one student even stated he feels he can't do anything right. Thats why it is important to look at the student as a whole, and talk to the parents, have differentriated instruction in your classroom. You must meet the needs of all students.

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  62. In my internships alone, I have encountered many 2E students, including 3 with autism, 2 or more with ADHD, 1 LD and one with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There certainly could be more that I was unaware of. In the cases mentioned, the disabilities were confirmed by the instructor, and the symptoms were relatively easy to observe, at least, over a span of a day or two, they eventually emerged. One student, in particular, who had an LD that profoundly effected her reading and writing ability, found these tasks so time-consuming that they were not effective means of learning or finishing assignments. As a result, she relied heavily on audio and video media to gather research information. These struggles are very frustrating to her and she threatens to give up sometimes, however, shows perseverance in the end. She is such a great example of the paradoxical nature of twice-exceptionality because of her extremely quick wit, intensely rapid flow of ideas, and markedly high level of creativity. One would have never thought that she would struggle with processing.

    Another example, is my second cousin, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. It runs along his grandfather's line, affecting every member in a profound way (his grandfather and grandfather's twin both will disappear for hours after losing track of the original reason for leaving and incessantly, rapidly speak in tangents, unable to sustain attention for any reasonable amount of time). This child shows these types of behaviors as well as hyperactivity and low task-commitment. Conversely, when he finds topics that interest him, and gets encouragement, he is able to sustain attention and stay focused. In these areas, he shows a tremendous amount of expertise for his age and is able to explain concepts that are beyond the reach of same age peers. I strongly suspect his giftedness due to his having virtually all of the typical traits we see in addition to these. Sadly, because he does NOT receive the type of encouragement and support for his disability at home (in fact he is often chastised for it), he has developed low-task commitment and low self-esteem. As a result, when I administered gifted assessments, he was unable to finish- losing motivation before he was half-way through. This is a good, and sad illustration of the difficulties associated with trying to identify 2E students.

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  63. While reading and watching the video, I thought of a few of my students who might be 2e. One student has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia and is finally receiving the help he needs. He is so creative and curious. Another student I though of is one that is awkward and different. He does not have many friends because of his Autism. He does so well in his classes yet he does not take notes or do homework. He likes to be challenged and he like to be creative. Often times he will spend his class time drawing comic strip or writing stories.

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  64. Although none have been diagnosed, I believe that my school has twice-exceptional students. One student that I suspect might be twice-exceptional is in the gifted program; however, he tends to respond to my question with a question. Furthermore, he has difficulty focusing and staying on task. Another student that I suspect might be twice-exceptional is also in the gifted program. She is extremely quiet, rarely makes eye contact with anyone, and lacks basic social skills.

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