On Giftedness and Twice Exceptionality…. or Compositions of Complexity ..
After some soul searching, and following my post on the Home page on this site, dealing with Giftedness and being learning challenged, I have decided that the best way to share my views on this subject is to offer the remainder of my article, in installments, as it seems to put it best… look out for useful livelinks throughout!!
Gifted/Special Needs= Asynchrony squared
It is precisely a discrepancy (a definition of asynchrony) that defines an identifiable learning disability/need (LD) for governmental mandated services. Guidelines for learning disabilities generally require accommodations in all areas that will help the child have a successful school experience.
Maureen Neihart (Neihart, in Eric EC, 2003) states that effective interventions are always those that are tailored to the unique strengths and needs of the individual. There is wide agreement in the literature on gifted children with learning problems that as a general strategy, intervention should focus on developing the talent while attending to the disability. Keeping the focus on talent development, rather than on remediation of deficits, appears to yield more positive outcomes and to minimise problems of social and emotional adjustment (Baum, Owen &Dixon, 1991; Olenchak, 1994; Olenchak & Reir, 2002; Reis, McGuire, & Neu, 2000).
As one example she notes: …’there is limited evidence that some of the commonly recommended interventions for ADHD children may make problems worse for ADHD children who are also gifted (Moon, 2002). For instance since gifted children tend to prefer complexity, shortening work time and simplifying tasks may increase frustration for some gifted ADHD students who would handle better more difficult and intriguing tasks. Similarly, decreasing stimulation may be counterproductive with some gifted ADHD children who, as a group, tend to be intense and work better with a high level of stimulation (Neihart, 20033).
The complexities that arise from some of the combinations explored below are real and should not be taken lightly. children who may test at a general academic knowledge and ability that range from two or three years behind grade level in writing to that of a University student in their final year in the area of Science – a discrepancy of 4.5 standard deviations, do have a discrepancy. Parents and Educators of these children ask for no special privileges, just for what these children need to function in an appropriate environment. So, what does it mean to be Gifted and LD or Learning Challenged??
(to be continued…. )