The Davidson Institute was featured in the U.S. News & Word Report article, How to Support Your Twice-Exceptional Child. Laurel Griffiths and Megan Cannella from the Davidson Institute provide great insight on how to identify and support twice-exceptional students in this comprehensive article.
Twice-exceptional children commonly experience either a missed diagnosis, where their gifted abilities mask underlying academic challenges, or a misdiagnosis, where behavior or learning differences mask their academic talents, says Laurel Griffiths, director of family services at the Davidson Institute, a nonprofit that supports gifted youth. Others may present as neurotypical, she says, “because the masking is working so well” that both the giftedness and the disability remain unnoticed.
Experts say many students are identified in one area (as gifted or learning disabled) first. Griffiths says that sometimes the evaluation that initially identifies giftedness can be a starting point in finding a learning disability. For instance, if a student shows large differences in abilities, testing high in one subject and average or below in others, it could be a sign for parents to ask more questions. Parents who hear from teachers that their child is off task or not meeting standards might also follow up about what the underlying causes might be. She notes that it’s common for families of 2e students to consult with multiple experts in order to be fully identified as 2e.
Megan Cannella, manager of family services at Davidson, recommends using specific examples of what works for your child outside of school – drawing from moments when they are most “themselves” – to come up with strategies for the classroom, and bringing specific ideas about what you’d like to see in school.