Twice exceptional. Maybe you’ve never heard of this before, I know it was unfamiliar to me and for years I worked in child development, special-education, social work. This is the term used for children identified as gifted who also have a learning disability such as anxiety, ADD or ADHD, sensory disorders….there are a variety of combinations in these kids who are twice exceptional.
I always knew that he was different. There was always a struggle. It was one of the reasons we originally chose home education for our family. There was an obvious disconnect but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was or how we could support him. Then one day his teacher showed me. He was gifted. Wise beyond his years. She said he was a little boy with an old mans mind. Gifted yet still also challenged.
I began to read about these twice exceptional kids. And I saw my son again and again as I read. Kids who struggle in the school environment. Their disabilities make their intellectual gifts harder to recognize because they are disruptive and argumentative. Maybe they are lazy or always goofing off. But it is really hard for a normal setting to work for them.
My son has always been a challenge. She likes to be in charge and in control. He has lots of ideas and he’s so very creative but he really has a hard time settling down to have a typical lesson. He talks over discussions, he often tries to teach or correct others. He tends to challenge others authority. We found that academically he was well above where he ought to be for his age. And then suddenly he wasn’t. He stop questioning things and he really began to struggle. Especially socially. His impulsivity and his lack of focus. It really set him apart from other kids his age. And he stood out. A lot.
We receive the confirmation we needed that he was quite gifted. It was also confirmed that he struggles with impulsivity, sensory processing, and ADHD. This really helps us to understand so much about the behaviors we saw. And it confirmed for us that we needed to be a lot more flexible.
It amazes me how I spent years assessing other peoples children and confirming or denying various issues in their development and learning. Yet when I had that feeling in my gut with my own child I chose to ignore it. I assumed I just wasn’t doing something right or I wasn’t doing enough. Them the truth is there in front of me and how much worse I felt for all the time but we had wasted perhaps? All the challenges and frustrations but we could’ve done without. If only….
I am currently reading and researching. As much as I can. Learning how to truly manage and support a 2E child. Finding ways to encourage inspire him in our homeschool.
I am also learning how to relax. How to except that things change. They will always be changing and what we do right now is probably not going to be what we do next week or next month. I’m learning to except that I have to be willing to change regularly.
There is no curriculum that we can take out of the box that will meet my son’s needs. There is no one book that will tell me exactly how it’s done. But there are rabbit trails that he often wants to travel and we need to embrace those. We are learning much about the light directed learning (I will share that with you in another post) and as he gets older we are encouraging as much project and interest based learning as we can.
He is a challenge. He reminds me of a puzzle. So many pieces and they may all look very similar but they aren’t. And we have to take our time and patiently a Jost until we find what fits. I count my blessings that we can homeschool. But he can be home in a place where he is able to have the flexibility that he needs.
This is a journey that we have. It is a reminder to get the most important thing is to love and encourage them. And as all of those pieces fall into place there’s nothing more awesome than being right there to see every piece find its place in the puzzle.