• Twice-Exceptional

    A twice-exceptional student is one who is formally identified as having:

    • a learning disability, emotional disorder, communication disorder and/or physical disability and
    • is also formally identified as gifted in one or more areas: intellectual ability, specific academic ability, leadership or is recognized for extraordinary talent in creative and/or artistic areas. 

    How are they recognized? 

    Gifted & Talented Identified First

    • Achievement noticed first
    • Strengths or "gifts" often fostered through GT programs
    • Often passed over for special education support because they may be achieving at grade level (Baum, 1991)

    Disability Identified First

    • Often failing in school
    • First noticed for what they cannot do
    • Most "at risk" because the special ed. label tends to have a focus on deficits
    • Often difficult for them to give themselves credit for abilities
    • Acquisition of basic skills emphasized over creative productive behavior (Baum, 1991)

    Neither GT nor Disability Identified

    • Disability masks "gifts"
    • "Gifts" mask disability
    • Intellectual ability masks disability
    • Often gifts emerge in specific content areas or particular learning environments where nontraditional methods are used (Baum, 1991)



    Baum, Susan M. and Steven B. Owen. To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled. Creative Learning Press, Inc., 2004
    Bender, William N. Differentiating Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities. Corwin Press, Inc., 2002.
    Coil, Carolyn. Motivating Underachievers: 100 Strategies for Success. 1992.
    Delisle, Jim and Judy Galbraith. When Gifted Kids Don't Have All The Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs. Free Spirit Publisher, 2002.
    Ennis' Gift - A film about learning differences. Ennis William Cosby Foundation, 2002.
    Freed, Jeffery and Laurie Parsons. Right Brain Children in a Left Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child. 1997.
    Friedrichs, Terry. Distinguishing Characteristics of Gifted Children with Disabilities. 2001.
    Greene, Ross. W. The Explosive Child, A New Approach For Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children. HarperCollins Publisher, 2001.
    Jensen, Eric. Different Brains, Different Learners. The Brain Store, Inc., 2000.
    Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy. Raising Your Spirited Child. Harper Perennial, 1998.
    Levine, Mel. A Mind At A Time. Simon and Schuster, 2002.
    Levine, Mel. Educational Care. Educators Publishing Service, 2001.
    Mandel, Harvey P. and Sander I. Marcus. "Could Be Better", Why Children Underachieve and What To Do About It. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1995.
    Mangrum, Charles T. and Stephen S. Strichart. Colleges With Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders. Thomson Learning, 2000.
    Mooney, Jonathon and David Cole. Learning Outside the Lines. Simon and Schuster, 2000.
    Neihart, Maureen, et al. The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? National Association for Gifted Children. Prufrock Press, Inc., 2000.
    Palladino, Lucy Jo. Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos. Ballantine Books, 1999.
    Pope, Loren. Colleges That Change Lives. Penguin Books, 2000.
    Ratey, John and Edward Hallowell. Driven To Distraction. 1995.
    Reif, Sandra. How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children. 1993.
    Rimm, Sylvia, Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades. 1989.
    Seligman, Martin E. The Optimistic Child. Harper Perennial, 1995.
    Silverman, Linda Kreger. Upside Down Brilliance: the Visual-Spatial Learner. 2002
    Sousa, David A. How the Gifted Brain Learns. Corwin Press, Inc., 2003.
    Sousa, David A. How the Special Needs Brain Learns. Corwin Press, Inc., 2001.
    Strip, Carol A. and Gretchen Hirsch. Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers. Great Potential Press, Inc. 2000.
    Turecki, S. and J. Tonner. The Difficult Child. 1985.
    Winebrenner, Susan. Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom. Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 2001.
    Winebrenner, Susan. Teaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom. Free Spirit Publishing. Inc., 1996.
    Winner, Ellen. Gifted Children: Myths and Realities. Harper Collins, 1996.

Contact Us

  • Nannette Almon
    Twice-Exceptional Coordinator

    Comments (-1)
Last Modified on January 18, 2019