Many school doors have been opened and the classrooms occupied; however many doors of education have also been closed. The gifted and talented program has been a household name to some families when it comes to education, especially during the 1980s. However, being gifted and talented can also have a down side. That same “bright intellectual” who is probably failing classes right now, may in fact have another serious challenge. I am speaking of the twice-exceptional student also known as the “2e” student. This, my friend is a hybrid combination of a gifted intellectual (i.e. superior range IQ or capabilities); who simultaneously happens to also have a learning disability or multiple learning disabilities.
The educational problems that we are facing and embracing in today’s generation were misunderstood in former years, and this has led to the mis-education of the 2e student. Many are afflicted with the struggle and war within their mind; a mind that assists on one side and delays on the other. It is imperative that people stand up and take a voice, for themselves and for their children. Send out a loud cry for equality, justice, and accommodations.
The Praxis Series II on Gifted Education’s Test at a Glancestates that “historically, educators concerned with providing services to the gifted have attended primarily to the dimension that most obviously distinguishes gifted students from regular students; that is their intellectual talents. The need to pay attention to gifted students’ affective development is less immediately obvious and is only beginning to be recognized by educators of the gifted.” With that being said “Welcome to the Disabled World of Education.” Houston we still have a problem! The educational system as we know it is handicapped and limited.
We the “2e student” learn differently, differently from the “normal” students and differently from the regular “special education” one label students. We must be taught right where we are. Meet me right where I am at. The Praxis II Series on Gifted Education’s “Test at a Glance”states that “gifted individuals do not face affective issues identical to those faced by non gifted students. To the contrary, the gifted need to develop certain skills and understandings, with regard to themselves and others, that are a direct consequence of their being different from others in important ways.” Yes we are gifted and yes we have talents such as: “memory, logical reasoning skills, convergent thinking, and creativity, synonymous with divergent thinking, which is the ability to generate novel, unpredictable ideas,” again according to the Praxis Series II on Gifted Education “Test at a Glance”.
Being 2e or twice exceptional is not easy, it is also not an easy task for those who have to assist the 2e student. An educator must realize and implement strategies that will be effective in the present and future of the 2e student. Learning doesn’t stop after senior year, it is an ongoing process. By the time the child is eighteen they should be aware of their learning capabilities, their strengths and weakness. The Praxis Series II on Gifted Education’s “Test at a Glance” states that gifted students need “an educational activity that meets both the cognitive and affective needs of a particular gifted student. Effective IEPs must build on students’ strengths, as well as address areas in need of remediation.”
Again, according to the Praxis Series II on Gifted Education’s “Test at a Glance”, it is a known fact that “research on the thinking and learning styles of gifted students indicates that these students tend both to need and to derive considerable satisfaction from activities that involve organizing ideas and objects in a meaningful way, preferably according to principles that they themselves have generated.” It paints a picture that we are a selfish people, but in all actuality we are mini experts and mini computers. We generate greatness!