Under the Radar: Gifted with Learning Disabilities
How Twice Exceptional Children are Overlooked as Borderline Students
Often, twice exceptional (2e) children have their intelligence overlooked and may come to be labeled as borderline students, despite their high intelligence levels. Identifying twice exceptional students can be difficult as learning disabilities can hide their talents and abilities. Furthermore, many educators do not know how to look beyond these students' educational and behavioral issues to recognize their giftedness.
It's easy to see why a teacher may overlook the positive attributes of a 2e student. Parents and teachers may not have a chance to see their gifts because they may cause constant classroom disruption. Frequently, these students may have angry outbursts, refuse to follow instructions, and engage in arguments. Over time, teachers may think of such students as problems rather than as gifted.
Differing Learning Styles
Most classrooms expect all students to follow a specific learning style. Children with learning disabilities often cannot conform to the learning environments that work best for other students. In addition, learning and attention issues can affect performance on assessments for giftedness, leading to lowered scores that do not reflect the child's true intelligence level.
Twice exceptional students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, processing disorders, or any other disability interfering with the ability to learn, may seem to be less intelligent than their peers. Dyslexia, for instance, can make it difficult for students to acquire information by reading and follow written directions. An auditory processing disorder may interfere with a student's ability to hear and understand instruction while leaving the intelligence intact.
Strengths Cover up Weaknesses
The 2e student’s strengths often cover up for their deficits. Therefore, many times parents and educators are unaware that they have a 2e child. These students may be able to compensate for their weaknesses for a while. Eventually, however, these children may come to be labeled as underachievers as they fall behind when learning or behavioral issues affect their schoolwork.
Finding a Solution
Many teachers do not have the time or resources to adequately meet the needs of struggling 2e students, and therefore, their intelligence doesn't always get adequate staging in the classroom. Parents and educators need to work together to find ways for 2e students to access the tools that they need for success. Parents might also want to choose alternative educational options for their 2e children, such as special schools, homeschooling, or virtual education, to offer an environment that supports the abilities of their child.
If you fear your child's talents are often overlooked due to behavioral or academic issues, our program may be the answer. Brain Balance Achievement Centers are dedicated to helping students with learning disorders reach their full potential. Our approach is a thorough and holistic one that takes the whole child into consideration when designing his or her customized program. Contact us today to learn more!