Login | Register
Characteristics | The Gifted Label | Giftedness Myths | Assessment | What is NEPS? | Dual Exceptionality | Supporting Your Gifted Child | Dealing with Schools | Accessing Educational Resources | CTYI | Parenting Gifted Girls | Parenting Gifted Teens | Underachievement | Social & Emotional | Gifted and Vague | Homeschooling | Mentoring Gifted Children | Local Parents Support Groups | Recommended Reading | Latest News Articles | Books for Kids & Teens | Gift Ideas for EA Kids | Children's Camps | Fidget Jones Diary | Parents Links
Ancient History | Animal Sciences | Anime | Archeology & Anthropology | Architecture | Art | Astronomy & Space | Chemistry | Chess | Childrens Books Reviews | Creative Writing | Geography | History | Information Technology | Language & Literature | Maths | Music | Natural History | Natural Sciences | Paleontology & Dinosaurs | Physics | Puzzles | Science | Sci Fi & Future Science | Strategy Games | Video Games
Online Resources | Books for Gifted Teens | Creative Links | Gifted Teen Programmes, Scholarships & Events | How to Be Happy
Role of School | Dual Exceptionality in the Classroom | Classroom Strategies | Identifying the Exceptonally Able | Gifted and Vague | Differentiation | Enrichment | Acceleration | Recommended Reading | Innovative ICT - Daynuv | Online Gifted Resources for Teachers | Fidget Jones Diary | Teachers Links
Aspergers | ADHD | Dyspraxia & DCD | Emotional Sensitivities | Learning Disabilities | Links
How to Be Your Child's Best Advocate | Advocacy Abroad & Best Practices | Fidget Jones Diary
Upcoming Talks | Training Opportunities | Webinars
Parents Links | Kids Links | Teachers Links | Dual Exceptionality Links

Dual Exceptionality

Dual Exceptionality or twice exceptional is the term used to describe a child who is not only exceptionally able but has additional learning difficulties or a disability which can make it difficult to identify their high lintellectual ability. Children with often crippling learning difficulties or physical or emotional disabilities or those who are on the autistic spectrum can be gifted and in some cases profoundly so. As a consequence, it is this group within the gifted community who are most at risk of slipping through the net and not getting the support they so desperately need in order to fully realise their potential. The problems that they and their families encounter whilst trying to negotiate the special needs quagmire in order to obtain any support is unbelievable. Worldwide the number of children presenting with dual exceptionality is rising. The potential of these children is often overlooked by a society that can only see the disability and none of the possibilities.

One of the best examples of possiblities finally recognised is Dr. Temple Grandin, Phd, as she is probably one of the most accomplished adults with high functioning autism today. Her 1986 book "Emergence, Labeled Autistic" was groundbreaking in that it finally gave a voice to those who are often considered the ultimate outsiders. Today she is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University and is a world renowned designer of humane livestock facilities.

If your child has a diagnosis of dual exceptionality remember that it's possible to apply for a Domicilary Care Allowance "a monthly means tested payment made in Ireland to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home." The means test applies only to the means of the child and not the means of the carer or carers. "There are no rigid medical guidelines regarding the type of disability a qualifying child must have. (In other words, no particular conditions/disabilities are specified). Instead, it is a matter for the Senior Area Medical Officer in the Health Service Executive (HSE) to determine whether a child with a particular condition qualifies for the Allowance." The current monthly allowance is €299.60. A Carer may also apply for a Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit and there is also a Respite Care Grant available. Like everything there are terms and conditions attached to each of these allowances and grants; however don't be put off by the bureaucracy. Remember that you also have the right of appeal if your application is denied. Check out Enable Ireland's site for information on accessing additional services and for information on allowances for special needs children download Spectrum's Guide to Special Allowances.

Dual exceptionality is a very specialised area and is very challenging for both children and their parents. All we can say is don't drown in the red tape, try to stay focused and keep asking the difficult questions until you get some anwsers. Both you and your child deserve it. In the meantime 2e, Twice Exceptional Newsletter is a fantastic resource for "parents, educators, advocates, and other professionals who help 2e kids reach their potential."

If you think that your child may exhibit some characteristics of dual exceptionality the information below sourced from the Special Education Support Services may help as a starting point.  However it is important to remember than misdiagnosis can occur as giftedness shares a number of characteristics with other syndromes. For more information see Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders by James T. Webb.

In the meantime, this is a very interesting excerpt from a recorded webinar given by Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide on Attention, Sensory Processing, and Social Challenges in Gifted Children where they discuss overlaps in the checklists of ADD/ ADHD, Sensory Processing, and Giftedness.

Personal Stories

“Trying to get a definitive diagnosis was probably the most difficult thing, after that things seemed to fit into place. Although we were worried about the possibility of misdiagnosis, as the more we read about giftedness the more it was hard to know what behaviours were to do his high ability and what was due to other factors. Before the diagnosis I just remember the worry and the fear, the “what if” scenarios that kept running through my head. At least we now know what's what and he has support structures in place at school which is definitely helping."

Resources for Visual Spatial Learners :

www.wrightgroup.com www.criticalthinking.com www.etacuisenaire.com www.delta-education.com www.graphic.org/goindex.html www.borenson.com www.inspiration.com www.mathusee.com www.mindwareonline.com www.multiplication.com www.prufrock.com www.smgproducts.com www.teachwithmovies.org www.teachco.com www.zephyrpress.com www.zometool.com

Most Common forms of Learning Difficulites linked to Dual Exceptionality Source: Special Education Support Services: Information on Dual Exceptionality / Twice Exceptional. Some or all of the above may be present.

What are the Gifted Characteristics of Dual Exceptionality?

  • Excellent long-term memory
  • Extensive vocabulary and excels in reading comprehension
  • Excels in mathematical reasoning
  • Advanced verbal skills in discussions
  • Facile with computers
  • Grasps abstract concepts
  • Performs better with more challenging work
  • Excessive interest or knowledge on one particular topic
  • Superior general knowledge
  • Keen sense of humour

Source: Special Education Support Services: Information on Dual Exceptionality / Twice Exceptional. Some or all of the above may be present.

Characteristics of the Gifted Child with Learning Difficulties:

  • Noticeable differences between the scores on verbal and non-verbal sections of a test
  • Auditory or visual problems which cause responses or thought processes to appear slow
  • Poor short-term memory Illegible handwriting and a reluctance to do written work
  • Weak organisational and study skills resulting in poor work
  • Speaking vocabulary often superior to written work
  • Inability to learn unless subject is interesting to them, which may lead to inattentiveness
  • Frustration with and often dislike of school

Source: Special Education Support Services: Information on Dual Exceptionality / Twice Exceptional. Some or all of the above may be present.


News Headlines

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children invite you to take part in the 20th anniversary conference- celebrating giftedness and creativity- which will be taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, USA this year from Aug. 10th to 14th. The call for papers/submissions will end on May 25th, so don't miss out!
More . .
Check out the parents and teachers blog launched by Giftedkids.ie - Fidget Jones Diary - a sometimes tongue in cheek look at the realities of parenting or teaching a gifted child in Ireland.

Disclaimer: This is not an expert site, it is run on a voluntary basis and as such is based on opinion and experience but we hope that it acts as a signpost for educational resources and other support services for Irish families with exceptionally able children. By using this website you accept that any dependence by you on such information, opinion or advice is at your own risk.

      About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

©2008 - 2013 Giftedkids.ie