Gifted & LD
Learning disabilities affect people of all ability levels. Sometimes, learning disabilities are experienced by extremely gifted people who have above average abilities in academic areas. These people are often referred to as twice exceptional, because giftedness can pose additional challenges beyond LD. In this section, we address how teachers of gifted children with LD can implement the interventions necessary for the learning disability while still providing opportunities for enrichment.
There are 17 articles in this section.
Jill Lauren's That's Like Me! is a book about 15 students with disabilities who face challenges in school but express their creativity and talents through hobbies. In the foreword, excerpted here, children's book illustrator Jerry Pinkney describes growing up with two personas: Jerry the gifted artist and Jerry the struggling reader.
Recent research on academically talented students with learning disabilities indicates that they have specific counseling needs that often are not addressed in elementary and secondary school. This article looks at what kinds of support students with this profile need, and how school counselors can provide it.
In the ongoing dialogue about ADHD in gifted children, three questions often arise. Are gifted children over-diagnosed with the disorder? In what ways are gifted ADHD children different from gifted children without the disorder and from other ADHD children? Does the emerging research suggest any differences in intervention or support?
This digest discusses the identification of students who are gifted, the difficulties in the identification process, appropriate identification practices, and procedures that can help with identification.
Jim Delisle, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at Kent State University, where he directs the undergraduate and graduate programs in gifted child education. Jim is a former classroom teacher, special education teacher, and teacher of the gifted and talented. In 1992, Jim took a sabbatical from university teaching to return to full time teaching. He taught a regular fourth grade class.
"Gifted" and "ADHD" used to be consider mutually exclusive, but researchers have realized the two can coexist. And when they do, misdiagnosis often occurs; typically a gifted student is mistakenly identified as ADHD. But the other misdiagnosis occurs as well; the ADHD of a gifted child is ignored. But once identified as LD and gifted, what happens? Learn more about the situation as well as possible actions.
Thomas West builds a case for the scientific study of gifts and talents thought to be associated with dyslexia. Such research would supplement the current research on correcting deficits, by discovering ways to maximize talents to overcome these deficits.
Gifted students with disabling conditions remain a major group of underserved and understimulated youth (Cline, 1999). In order for these children to reach their potential, it is imperative that their intellectual strengths be recognized and nurtured, at the same time as their disability is accommodated appropriately.
When I was ten, my family moved to California, where I had to attend a school with a new experimental program. All students were grouped by I.Q. for academic classes. After my I.Q. test placed me in the highest class of the grade above mine, I lived in fear that someone would finally find out what I had struggled all these years to hide.
Many people have difficulty comprehending that a child can be gifted and also have learning disabilities. As a result, children with special needs that result from both their high abilities and their learning problems are rarely identified and are often poorly served.
How can a child learn and not learn at the same time? Why do some students apply little or no effort to school tasks while they commit considerable time and effort to demanding, creative activities outside of school? These behaviors are typical of some students who are simultaneously gifted and learning disabled.