Twice-exceptional students often have a huge gap between their performance and their potential. Unfortunately, GOLD Students often run into naysayers who like to rain on their parade.
We coach every Twice-exceptional students to realize that most teachers, guidance counselors and special education or gifted professionals will be on their side, but all too often they will hear:
- “If you were paying attention …
- “If you had read the book …
- You have so much potential, but
- If you weren’t so lazy
- I knew a real talented kid like you, but
The Twice-exceptional student needs to recognize that the word “but” is often used when the professional tries to rain on their parade.
As a parent of a Twice-exceptional child, you too may hear:
- I think medication will help your child
- If only your child was motivated
- I think you need to be realistic about your child
As the parents of two Twice-exceptional Children and professionals who have helped thousands of Twice-exceptional Students, we realize that:
- Sometimes what the professional says is absolutely right; the consistency, structure and flexibility your Twice-exceptional needs may be helped with some good advice
- You must choose how you will react. We often chose to react to negativity - when we thought the other person was wrong - with one of the following strategies:
o When we hear that a Twice-exceptional Student was unmotivated, we would reframe the point to borrow Dr. Linda Silverman’s line that they were “yet to be motivated” and let’s discuss how we can collaboratively motivate then
o Acknowledge the remark, redirect the conversation. If your Twice-exceptional Child is listening, but does not understand the teacher, suggest the teacher try to describe the answers by creating a picture of what they mean.
- If they are saying your Twice-exceptional Child is not paying attention because they are not making eye contact, please explain how your child works. Frequently, GOLD Students need to master this skill, and at first they do not make eye contact. Sometimes, they do better when they are not making eye contact.
o React like a “Mom on a mission” or a “Dad on a Mission” dedicated to proving the other person wrong
We tend to avoid fights, but realize that more often than not a Twice-exceptional student will have one teacher with whom there is a legitimate conflict. Try and work it out, but do not be afraid to ask for a change. The situation can often be frustrating for both the teacher and your GOLD Child.
Whatever a person says, we recommend:
- Pausing, to avoid an emotional response
- If you agree with their comments, tell them and seek a win-solution
- Phrase your answers in your child’s best interest
- Even if you disagree with their comments, try and create a win-win situation
- If necessary, prove them wrong
We have raised two Twice-exceptional Students and we really understand the rewards, the challenges and the need for parents to be the coaches and advocates your child needs.
Mira Halpert M.Ed. developed the 3D Learner Program ® for her daughter who was a GOLD Student. Mira, who herself was a Twice-exceptional Student, is committed to helping GOLD Students to reach their potential. For more insights go to www.3dlearner.com/twice-exceptional-students and then call us at 561-361-7495.