Twice Exceptional Gifted
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter, 6.5 years has just completed speech therapy for
a condition known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
She was discharged due to her results on the TAPs-3 being
above average in all areas except one where she was within
average. On subtests such as Relational Vocabulary, Picture
Vocabulary, and Grammatic Understanding she scored from 8.4
years up to > 9.9 years.
On the one subtest, Auditory Comprehension she only scored
5.7 years. Her speech therapist deemed her as "above average
in almost all areas of the TAPs-3 test."
My question is this - should I get her tested for more both
giftedness and a possible learning disability or am I
fooling myself? I believe she is very intelligent as she
reads at a 2nd to 3rd grade level, does double and triple
digit addition problems, does some double digit subtraction
problems, and does simple multiplication. Perhaps she is
just precocious but I want to make sure she will be
challenged and maybe a gifted program can help. Any
suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
A: It is really good that you
are aware that your child may have advanced abilities
despite having some challenges. These children are at
greatest risk of being identified for their weaknesses
rather than their strengths. This is termed as twice
exceptional - which means the child has very advanced
cognitive abilities and yet one or more learning disability
which usually masks their strengths and in turn depress
their IQ scores so that they appear less gifted than they
really are. Giftedness can be combined with visual and
hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, other physical
disabilities, and psychological dysfunctions. Being gifted
provides no immunity against physical diseases and accidents
that impair functioning.
You are certainly not fooling yourself - in fact, you
deserve a pat on the back for being able to see the
strengths in your child and trying to do something about it.
Misidentified gifted children often slip through the cracks
of the mainstream education system which in turn causing
them to fail to qualify for gifted programs. To reach out to
these unique children, they need to be taught to their
strengths, assistive technology, and accommodations in the
classroom, such as untimed tests and shorter written
assignments, based on their needs. Lat but not least, they
flourish with the help and support from and supportive
teachers and parents. So, yes, if she has above average
skills, a gifted program that caters for her needs may be
better for her to fully develop her potentials.
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