Twice-exceptional students or 2E students are sometimes referred to as gifted with a learning disability or gifted with a processing speed and/or working memory issue.
Our experience is that twice exceptional students are often gifted with a learning difference, or what we call visual-experiential learners. Dr. Linda Silverman, from the Gifted Development Center, refers to these students as visual-spatial learners.
The 8 most common challenges we see with these students include:
- Working memory challenges – they just do not recall certain things, which makes spelling or remembering facts challenging
- Processing speed – much like the old 56k modem, they process visual information slowly and make take a long time to complete their work – which makes taking timed test
- Attention – they can focus forever on that which is interesting, but have difficulty paying attention to that which is boring
- Visual perception – as they try to read, they often skip words and lines when reading
- Anxiety or frustration – imagine how you would feel if you were gifted and struggling g with rather mundane tasks
- Sight word vocabulary – your child may have an impressive verbal vocabulary, but the small words often trip them up
- Pattern recognition – they may not remember words they have previously learned
Most twice exceptional or 2E students we see have 4, 5 or even 6 of these challenges. Several have had 7 and a couple all 8. All these skills can be improved and often mastered.
Self-esteem and self-advocacy skills turn out to be the key.
As one mom said, “3D Learner significantly improved my sons’ self-esteem and that was 90% of the battle”, Kim Fields, mother of twins from Parkland, FL.
We have seen parents try tutoring, which tends not to address the root cause of the challenges. The moms and dads who have had the most success, took the following three steps:
- Decided that success was the only option. They realized their child had incredible potential
- Assessed for whether their child learned differently and what were the blocking issues
- Partnered with the right professional(s) to make the difference.
- Learning more about the twice exceptional student and establish if this profile fits your child, and then determining which of the challenges fits your child
- If the twice-exceptional profile fits your child, deciding that success is the only option for your twice-exceptional child
- Finding the right professional to help your child reach his/her potential, and to help you to be the coach and advocate your child needs
Mira Halpert M.Ed. developed the 3D Learner Program ® for her twice exceptional daughter. Mira, who herself is a twice exceptional adult, is committed to helping twice-exceptional students to reach their potential. For more insights go to www.3dlearner.com/twice-exceptional and then call Mira at 561-361-7495