Twice-exceptional learners are students who give evidence of the potential for high achievement capability in areas such as specific academics; general intellectual ability; creativity; leadership; AND/OR visual, spatial, or performing arts AND also give evidence of one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria such as specific learning disabilities; speech and language disorders; emotional/behavioural disorders; physical disabilitie4s;autism spectrum disorder; or other health impairments, such as AD/HD.
(Conceived by a Joint Commission of Participants representing The National Research Centre on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT), the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS), and the Bridges Academy). 2e Newsletter J/A2009.
These students are also often called Gifted Learning Disabled (GLD) students or Gifted with a disability, although 2e covers more than just gifted children with learning disabilities and is becoming more widely used in the literature. All the terms are referring to the same group of children.
One of the reasons that students who are gifted and also have a second exceptionality don’t get identified by teachers is that the exceptionalities can mask each other and the students often look to be average learners, or even underachievers. This masking effect means that neither of the student’s special needs are addressed, this feeds the underachievement and can result in these students having very poor school experiences and success. Such experiences can lead to long term underachievement and poor life opportunities.
This useful hand book from the Colorado School District has a wealth of practical information and templates.