I take part in the #gtchat conversations on Twitter as often as I can. Deborah Mersino at Ingeniosus is doing a wonderful job bringing up and orchestrating topics that affect gifted children and their parents worldwide. It was here that I realized that gifted educators and parents of gifted children fight the same social, cultural and economic battles as we do here in Houston when it comes to advocating for quality gifted programs.
This week on #gtchat, we discussed 2E students (students who are identified as gifted learners & have other challenges such as ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, OCD & a myriad of others). One topic we discussed was administrators & teachers need information about 2E children and they need to hear about the personal experiences that parents have raising Twice-Exceptional (2E) children. Letters like this one shared by Denvelori can go a long way in building an understanding of the 2E child. As a teacher, I needed a letter like this the first year I had Dylan in my 4th grade gifted class.
Dylan, I and his mother worked through his issues as best we could (about 8 years ago) using the tools we had at hand (which were virtually non-existent). His mother was frustrated with the public education system’s ability to meet her child’s needs at the time. Now I understand why: teachers & administrators had little knowledge with educating a 2E child. If I was armed with the recent 2E research and a personal letter about how Dylan operates it would have boosted my ability to relate to his outbursts and his intense focus on a topic we discussed 30 minutes ago. I would have more patience with him each time he forgot his lunchbox in the cafeteria and included activities to encourage him to use his strengths to remember it next time. (Thank you Katie!) One thing we did have success with was a discreet sign between him and I for when he was talking too loudly. Dylan taught me much more than he will ever know.
I hope this entry & letter above encourages you to be upbeat and positive when you meet or communicate with your child’s teacher and administrators. Provide them with as much appropriate information as they will take in and be understanding about the demands on their time. Be insistent but friendly. Work towards building understanding that 2E children are intelligent and sensitive individuals struggling to meet your expectations.
Here are some suggested sources for more information on 2E children provided by @cybraryman1 on 2E children (scroll down towards the bottom right) and @Leslinks from Ireland in her recent entry.