1. Effective teachers will feed the gift whilst accommodating the learning disability. This is arguably THE most important point for consideration with twice-exceptional children. Once equipped with an understanding of the student’s unique profile, having developed an understanding of the specific learning challenges and collaborated with willing parents and student, it is time to take action in lessons. Adjustments specific to the spectrum of learning disability and student response can make a resounding difference to engaging, or losing, a twice-exceptional student.
2. Engage an active IP/IL/IEP that all staff are across- and is essentially overseen by a case manager/school counsellor or perhaps the schools’ gifted education coordinator, if there is one. Continue to document the needs and responses of the staff and student, ensuring that the IEP is reviewed regularly (every 6 months). “Selecting and monitoring the effectiveness of accommodations should be an ongoing process, and changes (with the involvement of students, parents and educators) should be made as often as needed. The key is to be sure that chosen accommodations address students’ specific areas of need and facilitate the demonstration of skill and knowledge.” (NCLD, 2014)
3. Activate and support professionally-recommended disability provisions, ensuring that procedures and documentation are in place to support the student.
4. Continue to advocate for the needs of the student to executive, other staff and the community.
In 2004, Reis and Renzulli wrote that “gifted students with learning disabilities often were misunderstood because their giftedness could mask their disabilities and their disabilities could camouflage their talents”. 13 years later- has this changed? What do we, as a national community, understand about these diverse learners? Do we have the policies, training, procedures and extensive knowledge that are essential for nurturing and engaging our twice- exceptional learners?