Twice-exceptional students are within every socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and ethnic group and in most school classrooms (Fliess, 2006). Finding ways to identify these individuals has been a challenge and even with the use of school assessments these twice-exceptional students are still overlooked.There are no adequate programs that serve the needs of twice-exceptional students.
According to the twice-exceptional website, “Children who are gifted in intelligence account for three to five percent of all children. However, as many as one-fifth may have some kind of learning difficulty” (Hermitt, 2007).Evidence states that students can both be gifted and disabled simultaneously (Hermitt, 2007). Even with evidence, there is lack of awareness and twice-exceptional students are not receiving services (Baum, 1990).
Students that have learning disabilities and enhanced cognitive abilities are in jeopardy of not reaching their potential of learning even though they display an area of strength. Twice-exceptional students are among the most under-identified group in our schools (Brody & Mills, 1997). To this day, educators, parents, and students are asked to choose services that address one exceptionality or the other, leaving twice-exceptional students both under identified and underserved in schools.
Parents and teachers often try to “cure” the disability, they overlook or ignore the talents that are hidden in this individual. When they do recognize giftedness, they expect that the kid is “lazy” and kid needs to “work harder” or “apply more effort” (Winnebrenner, 2005).
These twice-exceptional students rmust have opportunities to demonstrate their strengths. Twice-exceptional students need not only a curriculum that motivates and addresses both of their special learning needs, but they also need a teacher that understands how they learn. Twice-exceptional students need assistance and time to develop their gifts. Like all students, they especially need enriching and stimulating cognitive experiences where they can use problem-solving abilities and independent research skills (Martin, 2006).
Gifted/learning disabled students need a program and need teachers that will challenge their strengths and that will assist in accommodating their weaknesses. When a student’s talents are identified, there is an increased willingness on the part of the student to put forth more effort to complete tasks (Baum, Emerick, Herman, & Dixon, 1989).