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Spotlight on Giftedness – January 2012

February 3, 2012

A collection of news articles regarding gifted children and education for January 2012.

This month I wanted to highlight a brief article about a subset of gifted children – twice-exceptional (2E) kids.  These children are as much a part of the part of the gifted community as any other gifted child but often get overlooked because of their learning disabilities.   Rifka Schonfeld’s article Twice Exceptional: One Child, Two Special Needs gives a short glimpse about who these children are and what can be done to help.

The term “twice exceptional” is still new in educational jargon, but it is becoming more prevalent in my practice today. Twice exceptional children have a combination of exceptional intellectual power and uncommonly formidable mental roadblocks. That is, twice exceptional children are gifted intellectually and also can have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Aspergers Syndrome, Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), or dyslexia.

Research suggests that these children are the most underserved populations in the school system. Most of the time, children who are twice exceptional go through school without recognition of their considerable talents. Instead, they enter adult life without the necessary skills to compensate for their learning disabilities. Many of these children develop low self-esteem and believe that they are simply stupid and “not good at school.” Shockingly, the US Department of Education estimates that 2–5 percent of all students are both gifted intellectually and suffer from some form of learning disability.

I know some of my readers have twice-exceptional children.  I would be interested to hear what your experience has been with schools and the gifted community.

Many more great articles are provided in the links below!

Creative Concepts : Head of Academy Hill School Plans to Change the Way Students Learn
New principal uses inquiry-based learning to engage gifted students

Susan and Goliath
One family’s ordeal fighting the school system to skip their student a grade

Helena School Board gets a lesson on gifted and talented program
Presentation on gifted students provides great information to school board

New pilot program will better address needs of gifted students at G-D
School uses cluster grouping to meet gifted pupils’ needs

Lots of Einsteins or too low a bar?
Houston ISD bursting at the seams with ‘gifted’ students, shelves plan to tighten standards

Speaker: Gifted students control their own educational destiny
Jim Delisle gives advice to parents of gifted kids in Helena, MT

Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?
Definitions of giftedness vary widely among states

How to Prepare Your Preschooler for Gifted and Talented Tests
Parents place kids in test prep courses to get into elite programs

8 Gripes of Gifted Kids
Eight topics to discuss with your children

Paradise Valley’s after-school program aims to help gifted students
Program reaches out to children without gifted education at their schools

Sycamore Valley Academy in Visalia nears opening
Parent of gifted child starts charter school to meet needs of advanced learners

Newark campus program focuses on gifted students
Couple help dispel gifted education myths

Programs for ‘gifted’ students not a luxury
Advanced students need gifted programs to truly learn

Parents choose to home-school kids due to gifted program cuts, No Child Left Behind
Families try home-schooling when regular schools can’t meet gifted students’ needs

Audit: Too Many District 68 Students in Enrichment Programs
School district assesses gifted programs to make them better

Lighting up their brains
Science class helps gifted JRE students devise experiments, prepare for science fair

Several Ways To Differentiate Instruction
The comments are as insightful as the article

More Ways To Differentiate Instruction — Part Two
More experts weigh in on differentiation

Weekend program for gifted youth now taking applications
Vanderbilt’s program for gifted students in grades 7-10

Did I miss any great articles?  Please post them in the comments below!

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE!  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2012 9:08 AM

    Excellent compilation of links!

  2. February 4, 2012 1:37 PM

    We found that the schools in our areas where we have lived were not willing or able to deal with 2E issues. They were either prepared to provide services for giftedness or for disabilities, but not for the two together, despite evidence from their own psychologists that showed that both needs were present. We homeschool so that we can provide an appropriately advanced curriculum that is paired with appropriate accommodations, therapies, and supports.

    • February 4, 2012 1:44 PM

      ACK! This should have read:

      We found that the schools in the areas where we have lived were not willing or able to deal with 2E issues. They were either prepared to provide services for giftedness or for disabilities, but not for the two together, despite evidence from their own psychologists that showed that both needs were present. We homeschool so that we can provide an appropriately advanced curriculum that is paired with appropriate accommodations, therapies, and supports.

      • February 9, 2012 9:57 AM

        Unfortunately, I’ve known a lot of families that have had to homeschool because the public schools couldn’t properly educate a 2E child. Public schools are supposed to meet the needs of every child. They either need to admit that they can’t and provide funded alternatives for kids whose needs aren’t being met or take the steps needed to meet the needs of those children. The current situation of not providing services or alternatives holds kids hostage and is unacceptable.

  3. christine permalink
    February 9, 2012 9:32 AM

    Thank you for helping to raise awareness about 2E kids. I have also found that the schools where I live (Rochester, MI) are unable (refuse to) deal with 2E issues. Where I live, I wonder if school staff is even allowed to say the word “gifted.” It simply is not spoken here. My 5 year old child has a diagnosis of ADHD from a pediatric neurologist, and according to the school system he also has mild Aspbergers. (The neurologist says he doesn’t qualify as Aspbergers because he doesn’t have enough traits, though he has “autistic tendencies,” but the school system psychologists, etc. say their testing has revealed mild Aspbergers syndrome.) He is also gifted. In his IEP meetings I have brought up time and again that some of his behavioral problems might stem form boredom, because he is so far ahead of the other kids in his class, but they have literally said that they teach to mean, and no matter what, IEP or no IEP, they only teach to the mean and he would never get more than that. It’s terribly frustrating, because the private school for gifted children also will not accept young children with Aspbergers or non-medicated children with ADHD-impulsivity issues. What am I supposed to do with a kid like this? He, and those like him, are certainly the most under-served population of children in public schools!

    • February 9, 2012 9:51 AM

      Christine, definitely come to the next Coffee with the Superintendent, March 14 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Rochester College, 800 W. Avon Road, Rochester Hills. We talked briefly with Mr. Clarke yesterday about 2E, but it would be good to drive a discussion on this. If we are successful in getting a gifted program in our district, it is important that we don’t leave out our 2E kids!

      Livonia actually has their gifted and special needs programs at the same school, Webster Elementary. In talking with the gifted program coordinator from Grosse Pointe Schools, she indicated that is a great way to do it as the social and emotional needs of gifted and LD kids are similar.

      BTW, I think you will like the blog post coming out in a few days…

  4. Kate permalink
    February 24, 2012 3:09 PM

    I would be interested in knowing more on how Rochester will meet the needs of 2E students, do you know when that discussion will be revisited?

    One of my daughters has physical special needs and we suspect (she has not been tested) she is also gifted.

    Do you have more information on Rochester Schools ability to serve Elementary kids that are working above grade level and/or have unique ways of thinking?

    We are new to the area and also have had trouble getting exact results from the school (such as more information than ‘she is reading above grade level’ or is a ‘creative and prolific writer’).


  5. InnerDialect permalink
    March 6, 2012 11:17 PM

    Am stammering with delight here! Back tracking to you from my Blog, hope you approve..

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