Twice Exceptional Kristin Long * December 15, 2016 * Johns Hopkins University ED885.604.61 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted* Special Population


Students that are Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled

Students who are identified as gifted and talented who also have met criteria for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan. (Montgomery County Public Schools, 2014)

360,000 twice exceptional students in U.S. schools (NAGC)

A student with a learning disability has a discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas:

  • Oral expression
  • Listening comprehension
  • Basic reading skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Mathematical calculation
  • Mathematical reasoning (Montgomery County Public Schools, 2014)

Deficits in this area of education

  • Identification
  • Support
  • Education

Effects of low-academic self-concept

A broad topic



" Although the characteristics of students who are identified as twice exceptional vary from student to student, there are some general commonalities noted in research."


  • Superior reasoning (verbal/nonverbal)
  • Generally creative
  • Curious and driven to learn
  • Difficulties organizing thinking, materials, or time
  • Make good connections
  • Strong problem-solving/critical-thinking capabilities
  • May have processing, memory, or executive functioning difficulties

Social Emotional:

  • Display frustration, anxiety, and/or low self-esteem, due to cognitive and academic dissonance
  • Display work avoidance
  • Class clown
  • Disruptive behaviors
  • Frequent crying
  • Attempt to avoid failures through passive behaviors
  • Perfectionist or highly self-critical
  • Hypersensitive


  • Creative
  • Large oral vocabulary
  • Strong "voice" in writing
  • Can verbally elaborate and add unlimited description and detail
  • Weaknesses impact ability to get thoughts onto paper
  • Difficulties with mechanics of writing or fine motor skills
  • Difficulties with conventions, sentence/paragraph structures, and/or grammar usage
  • Difficulty with generating or organizing ideas


  • Demonstrate advanced reading-comprehension skills when expressed orally
  • Able to effectively answer higher-level thinking and metacognitive-type reading comprehension orally
  • Difficulty understanding text when read independently
  • Decoding and fluency needs


  • Strong mathematical thinkers
  • Grasps taught concepts quickly
  • Difficulties with calculations
  • Difficulties with basic facts
  • Difficulties showing work
  • Difficulties with number sense and or/visual spatial skills


  • Excellent expressive language
  • Described as highly verbal and articulate
  • Strong receptive language ability
  • Learns well by listening to teachers and others
  • Difficulties with word retrieval
  • Difficulties following directions or identifying what is important
(Montgomery County Public Schools, 2014)


(Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities)
  1. Identified gifted students who have subtle learning disabilities
  2. Students not identified as gifted or learning disabled
  3. Identified learning-disabled students who are also gifted (Baum and Owen, 2004)
  • Gifted Students with Physical Disabilities
  • Gifted Students with Sensory Disabilities
  • Gifted Students with Asperger Syndrome
  • Gifted Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders
  • Gifted Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities (Baum and Owen, 2004)


  • Educational design often focuses on remediation of weaknesses
  • Identification
  • Different forms and combinations


  • Accommodations
  • Collaboration
  • Geared towards strengths before weaknesses
  • Support
  • Often difficulty with executive functioning skills

Case Study

Read the following handout. Discuss with the group about the student's weaknesses, strengths, and the effects of the different school environments.

Best Practices

  • Find out interests
  • Recognize strengths
  • Accommodations to promote learning
  • Explicit instruction
  • Acceleration
  • Concurrent enrollment
  • Post-secondary schooling options
  • Advanced placement
  • Independent study

Biggest Take Away

Focus on students' strengths and interest areas will promote greater success

My future students...


  • Differentiated instructional strategies
  • Interventions
  • Parent tips
  • Educational planning chart
  • 2E newsletter
  • Glossary of accommodation terms
  • Websites
  • Webinars


ADHD Experts Webinar On Demand: ADHD and Gifted? Helping Twice-Exceptional Kids Succeed. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Baum, S. M., & Owen, S. V. (2004). To be gifted and learning disabled: Strategies for helping bright students with LD, ADHD, and more. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.

Cooper-Kahn, J., & Dietzel, L. C. (2008). What is executive functioning? Late, lost and unprepared: A parents' guide to helping children with executive functioning. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House

Experts Live. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Houghton Mifflin Textbook - Additional Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Montgomery County Public Schools. (2014). A guidebook for twice exceptional students supporting the achievement of gifted students with special needs. Retrieved from

National Association for Gifted Children. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Reis, S. M., Baum, S. M., & Burke, E. (2014). An operational definition of twice- exceptional learners: implications and applications. Gifted Child Quarterly, 58(3), 217-230. doi:10.1177/0016986214534976

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities [Pamphlet]. (n.d.). Denver, CO: Colorado State Board of Education.

Wang, C. W., & Neihart, M. (2015). Academic self-concept and academic self-efficacy: self-beliefs enable academic achievement of twice-exceptional students. Roeper Review, 37(2), 63-73. doi:10.1080/02783193.2015.1008660

Weinfeld, R. (2006). Smart kids with learning difficulties: Overcoming obstacles and realizing potential (pp. 35-77). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

What’s 2e? (n.d.). Retrieved from

Peters, D. (2014) Twice Exceptional Kids Are Complex (n.d.). Retrieved, from

Created By
Kristin Long


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