Is my child gifted or twice-exceptional?

You may be asking:

What does it mean to be gifted?

What does it mean to be twice-exceptional?

How do I know if my child is gifted or twice-exceptional?

FlexSchool uses the Columbus definition of giftedness:

Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching, and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.

That’s a great definition but what are some examples of giftedness? A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children offers a great list of common characteristics. If you find yourself nodding your head as you read this list, your child may be gifted.

Annemarie Roper, Founder of the Roeper School and a revered advocate for gifted learners, defined giftedness as “a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and to transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences”.

Common Characteristics of Gifted Individualsknitting club

Gifted children are very diverse but if your child shares some or all of these traits, they may be gifted.

  • Unusual alertness, even in infancy
  • Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
  • Excellent memory
  • Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
  • Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
  • Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
  • Often self-taught reading and writing skills as preschooler
  • Deep, intense feelings and reactions
  • Highly sensitive
  • Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful
  • Idealism and sense of justice at early age
  • Concern with social and political issues and injustices
  • Longer attention span and intense concentration
  • Preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer
  • Learn basic skills quickly and with little practice
  • Asks probing questions
  • Wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)
  • Highly developed curiosity
  • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
  • Puts idea or things together that are not typical
  • Keen and/or unusual sense of humor
  • Desire to organize people/things through games or complex schemas
  • Vivid imaginations (and imaginary playmates when in preschool)

From A parent’s guide to gifted children. Great Potential Press Webb, J., Gore, J., Amend, E., DeVries, A. (2007).

What does it mean to be twice-exceptional?

Twice-exceptional, or 2e, is defined as people who are identified as gifted AND having a learning challenge. While there isn’t a simple way to assess if your child is twice-exceptional, there are some indicators that point to a child being 2e. Learning disabilities can often go unidentified in gifted children because their giftedness masks the disability. A child may also go unidentified as being gifted because their disability masks their giftedness. What are some indicators that your child may be twice-exceptional?

  • Has your child been identified as gifted but doesn’t perform well in school?
  • Does your child understand the material they are learning but do not do well on tests on that material?
  • Your child can read and follow directions but has a difficult time following spoken directions.

If you are nodding as you read these descriptions, FlexSchool may be a good environment for your learner.