Definition of Twice Exceptional

Twice exceptional, or 2e (or 2E), individuals are those who are gifted in terms of their intellectual capabilities, and who also have learning differences or other forms of neurodivergence, such as ADHD or autism, which sometimes make it difficult for them to achieve up to their full potential. This unique combination of gifts and differences/challenges often results in these children (and adults) not being identified in either category, or only being identified in one or the other. In fact, some experts believe that many 2e individuals will never be identified as such. For a great description of this unfortunate pattern, please read this article from the Twice-Exceptional Newsletter –

How are 2e students identified?

There is no single test instrument for determining whether a child is twice exceptional. Quite often, we don’t start an assessment for the purposes of identifying twice-exceptionality. More likely, someone comes in who has already been identified as gifted, but is struggling in school or other areas of life. It is also quite common for parents to contact us because someone (a teacher or family doctor) has suggested that their child may be struggling with symptoms of ADHD, a learning disability, or some type of emotional disorder. Or, parents contact us because they notice unusual, often contradictory, characteristics in their children; such as, “I know my child is pretty smart, but she’s really not understanding what she’s reading.”

Personalized Test Batteries

Every situation is different and we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to assessment and testing. We always develop a test battery that is designed to focus on clarifying your child’s specific strengths and challenges. Cognitive testing (Intelligence, or IQ, testing) is a standard test included in most assessments. IQ testing is important for us to determine your child’s cognitive ability level in order to determine if their level of functioning in academic performance is where we would *expect* it to be, given their aptitude, or if there is a significant difference that exists between their performance and their underlying ability. We will administer tests to document your child’s specific learning challenge, which usually involves formal achievement tests and sometimes some neuropsychological tests and behavioral and emotional assessments.

Your provider will discuss the recommended tests with you after conducting an initial interview with you (and sometimes your child). On occasion, a test that is administered for another purpose, such as IQ testing for school admission, will reveal strengths or weaknesses that may need to be clarified with additional testing. In those situations we will explain the results and offer our recommendations for additional testing. We will always check with you first before administering tests that were not originally requested.

What’s Next?

Twice exceptional students do a great job of flying under the radar with teachers and parents. Unfortunately, this can lead to longstanding struggles and frustrations. It is essential to obtain an appropriate identification of a 2e student’s gifts and challenges. This helps get a comprehensive plan put in place to effectively support and nurture their gifts, while also attending to their challenges. A comprehensive assessment with a qualified provider who truly understands giftedness and twice-exceptionality is critical.

Please check out our pages describing our Comprehensive Evaluations. After that, if you’re ready to get started or if you have more questions, please check out our Scheduling page to understand the next steps to take. We would be happy to walk you through the assessment options and determine a plan that makes the most sense for your child and your family.

Call or Email Today to Get Started

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