Twice the Challenge, Twice the Gifts

Mar 17, 2021

Twice-exceptional children, often referred to as 2e kids, are gifted in one or more areas, while simultaneously challenged with a learning disability or behavior disorder such as ADHD or SPD.


When we think of a gifted child we often envision the stereotypical child with glasses, hunched over a book or chess board, while simultaneously rattling off the facts of the universe.

Never do we imagine the rambunctious child engaged in a game of spit balls, nor do we envision the child heading to the resource room for additional help with math or reading. That's why 2e, or Twice-Exceptional children, are such an anomaly!

2e children are gifted in one or more areas, while simultaneously challenged with a learning disability or behavior-related disorder such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In other words, 2e children have twice the gifts and twice the challenges of a neurotypical child.


Twice the Gifts

The term "gifted" is often correlated with a high IQ. However, many psychologists, researchers and educators have placed a more broad context on the term to include a child's ability to excel—in comparison to their peer group— in a variety of areas including visual and performing arts, leadership, general intellectual abilities, specific academic abilities, athletic / psychomotor abilities and creative thinking.

Some experts believe the defining characteristic of giftedness actually lies within asynchronous development, which is when the cognitive, emotional, physical and social domains are out-of-sync with one another.

For instance, academic intellect may far greater exceed a child's social or physical skills.

And for a child with learning disability or behavior disorder, the asynchronous development gap between "normal" social, physical and intellectual abilities is even greater. 


Twice the Challenge

Because of the challenges associated with a learning disability or ADHD, many if not all of a child's gifts may be overlooked or "canceled out." 

Common challenges of ADHD include poor time management, impulsivity, high distractibility, lack of organization, emotional sensitivity and poor social skills. 

Out of boredom, frustration, anxiety, self-doubt or immaturity, 2e kids often present as the class clown, unmotivated, unable to reach his/her potential, disruptive and below average intelligence.

And yet, they are highly gifted children!


The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching, and counseling in order for them to develop optimally. - National Association for Gifted Children


How to Spot a 2e Child

The best way to determine if your child is gifted and/or 2e is through a thorough neuropsychological evaluation. 

But there are a few tell-tale signs that can help to determine if this might be necessary. A few signs include:

  • Asynchronous development
  • Extremely creative with a vivid imagination
  • Insatiable need to explore subjects in depth
  • Emotionally sensitive and intuitive
  • High level of moral judgement
  • Extremely curious and experimental
  • High activity level with an introverted need to re-enegize
  • Highly self-critical and perfectionist tendencies
  • Endless talking and asking questions
  • Hyperfocused and resistant to change if passionate about an idea or project

 A full evaluation can be conducted by a child psychologist specializing in 2e kids. This will allow for a broad evaluation of learning, behavior, sensory and anxiety related disorders in addition to intellect and physical abilities.


Ivy Wild Kids is passionate about helping families embrace and organize the wild of ADHD, so children can realize their full potential and families can live happier and healthier lives!

We are so excited you found us and look forward to seeing you in our community!

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