Many states have interpreted current special education law to mean that twice exceptional children performing at grade level do not qualify for services in public schools. Because 2e students may compensate well enough to perform at average levels initially, resourceful advocacy is essential to ensure that subtle, but significant weaknesses are not overlooked. Otherwise, without support, the 2e student may begin to fail as the demands of education increase. Parents are usually the first to observe gifted strengths, suspect co-existing weaknesses, and recognize the need for support of both. Informed parents, educators, and clinicians can build upon this insight to advocate effectively for the 2e child. Please join Bobbie to explore essential steps: 1) ensure that the child’s dual exceptionalities are fully and properly assessed, 2) seek gifted identification and support of strengths at school, 3) request IEP or 504 Plan evaluations to put services and accommodations for weaknesses into place, 4) pursue appropriate private interventions when possible, 5) recognize when schools are not adhering to the law, and 6) guarantee that sufficient support is maintained for the 2e child to develop his or her strengths and be successful in typical schools.
ABOUT BOBBIE GILMAN, M.S.
Barbara (Bobbie) Jackson Gilman, M.S. is Associate Director of the non-profit Gifted Development Center in Westminster, CO, which specializes in the assessment of gifted children at all levels of giftedness, with and without disabilities, for educational planning and advocacy. She consults with parents about gifted needs, educational programming, assessment, and gifted children with apparent weaknesses, helping to guide parents’ next steps. She participates in research on the gifted and gifted assessment. Bobbie wrote the award-winning Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent’s Complete Guide, and Challenging Highly Gifted Learners (for teachers). The new second edition of Academic Advocacy expands parent information about twice exceptionality and acquisition of services for 2e children in schools, including legal clarifications relevant to civil rights issues that arise.
Bobbie co-chairs, with Dan Peters, the National Association for Gifted Children’s assessment special interest group. The group has worked extensively to improve identification of often overlooked 2e children since IDEA 2004. Seventeen members collaborated on the 2013 “Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional,” and created the NAGC position statement, “Ensuring Gifted Children with Disabilities Receive Appropriate Services: Call for Comprehensive Assessment.” The group researched and created position statements to optimize use of the WISC-IV and V to better identify asynchronous gifted and 2e learners. Bobbie is the 2015 recipient of SENG’s Healthcare Professional of the Year award.
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