According to the Colorado Department of Education, twice-exceptional, or 2E students are those who are both:
Identified as gifted according to state criteria in one or more of the categories of giftedness (general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative and productive thinking, leadership ability, or arts ability)
Identified with a disability according to federal/state criteria – and the disability qualifies them for either an IEP or a Section 504 plan.
Twice-exceptional students (often termed 2e) represent a puzzle to their teachers and their parents, and often to themselves. How can they be so advanced in one area and struggle so much in another area? By understanding their areas of strength as well as their areas of challenge, adults can help 2e students develop.
Twice-exceptional students are difficult to identify because they possess the characteristics of gifted students and the characteristics of students with disabilities. Gifted characteristics may mask disabilities, or disabilities may mask gifted potential. Either the strengths, the disabilities, or both may not be identified.
A collaborative effort between classroom teachers, special educators, gifted educators, and parents is needed to identify twice-exceptional students and implement strategies to meet their diverse needs. Educators can implement strategies to develop their potential, to identify learning gaps and provide explicit instruction, to support the development of compensatory strategies, to foster their social-emotional development, and to enhance their capacity to cope with mixed abilities. Parents can learn about twice-exceptionality, communicate with the child’s teachers to help them understand him or her, and provide the support and encouragement their child needs.
Websites: Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented www.coloradogifted.org National Association for Gifted Children www.nagc.org The Center for Bright Kids www.centerforbrightkids.orgUnderstood.org www.understood.org
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