Twice-exceptional or 2e children are those who are both gifted and have a learning difference. Because they are gifted, they are far beyond their peers in at least some academic areas. Because they have a learning difference, they lag behind their peers in at least one area. These learning differences can be challenges such as dysgraphia, dyslexia, ADHD, sensory issues, etc.
2e Children and Asynchronous Development
The combination of being advanced in some areas and struggling in others leads to asynchronous development. This is the seven year old child who might read like a teenager, do math like a fifth grader, play like a seven year old and have the emotional intelligence of a four year old. Or it might be a ten year old who speaks like an adult, does math like a high school student, struggles with age-appropriate reading comprehension, and plays like a seven year old. The combinations are nearly endless. In each case, the child is out of sync developmentally which can lead to significant struggles educationally and emotionally.
There are some who believe 2e children “could be considered the most misunderstood of all exceptionalities”.
Parenting a Twice Exceptional or 2e Child
Being the parent of a 2e child is challenging. This is true whether your child is in public school, private school or you homeschool. When you have a child who does not fit the “normal” parameters in an educational setting, it can be overwhelming for everyone involved.
But being the parent of a 2e child is fun once you get a grip on what your child needs and how to meet those needs! As the speakers in the videos below point out, 2e children are delightful! They are clever problem solvers with sophisticated language and a wicked good sense of humor. They have an insatiable curiosity! When you can begin to channel all of those unique personal traits in positive directions, they add so much richness to life!
I’ve put together this page for parents of 2e children. It is geared toward helping parents find resources that will help them understand their child and his/her unique needs. If I could share two things that I have learned in my journey so far it would be these.
1. Find people who understand.
Don’t do this alone. Find a Facebook group. Find a local group. Find a Yahoo mailing list. Find a group of people who understand what it means to parent a 2e child. Other people simply will not fully grasp how this impacts your life. You absolutely need to know you are not alone or a parenting failure. Your child is more challenging to parent. Find people who understand and will support you.
2. Don’t look for the silver bullet that is going to solve everything.
This is a long journey, not a quick fix. Early on in parenting I kept thinking if I could just figure out what the “thing” was that we were missing we could get on with “normal” parenting.
If you have a 2e child, your life is not going to be like the lives of your friends and family members who have neurotypical children. It’s just not.
Embrace the child and life you have been given and determine to enjoy the journey ahead!
Please remember the inclusion of a book, website, or link is not an endorsement of all the content.
Books About Twice-Exceptional Children
There are a number of helpful books about twice exceptional children. They are a completely different kind of child in the most amazing way. No one can write a book that will cover every twice exceptional combination, but these books will give you some good places to start in terms of understanding your child.
Twice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted StudentsTwice-Exceptional Kids: A Guide for Assisting Students Who Are Both Academically Gifted and Learning DisabledSmart but Scattered: The RevolutionarySuccessful Strategies for Twice-Exceptional StudentsIf This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice ExceptionalHow-To Homeschool Your Learning Abled Kid: 75 Questions Answered: For Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities or Twice Exceptional Abilities
My Posts Related to 2e
I’ve written many posts related to parenting our daughter. These are my posts that deal primarily with 2e or in which her twice exceptional traits really impacted some area of our life. I have many other posts that deal with giftedness in general and those will be found here.
The Key Was Understanding Twice-Exceptional (2e) – Sallie’s StoryEmbracing the Journey of Parenting a 2e ChildShould I Have My Gifted Child Tested?No One Understands Your Child Like You – The Downside of Gifted Child TestingOccupational Therapy for Dysgraphia or Writing ProblemsAdjusting Expectations as the Parent of a Gifted Child100 Reasons to Homeschool Your Gifted DaughterGifted Children Who Don’t Fit Grade Level ParametersWhen You Begin to See Your Child as a Problem to Be SolvedThe Day I Called the Public Elementary School – When Homeschooling is HardThe Loneliness of Homeschooling a Gifted ChildGifted/2e, Stealth Dyslexia and a Mother’s Support – Nicole’s StoryClassical Conversations Negatives and Why We Didn’t JoinGifted Children in the Classroom from a Teacher’s PerspectiveThe Need for More Margin in Families with Gifted ChildrenRaising Gifted Children in the Christian FaithThinking about Gifted/2e from a Christian PerspectiveDisciplining Gifted and 2e Children in the Christian FaithGifted and 2e Children at ChurchGifted and 2e Children Asking Hard Spiritual QuestionsChildren Who Struggle with Church – An UpdateDiscipling Children in Christ Outside the BoxHomeschooling Curriculum for Gifted/2e Visual-Spatial Learners
Articles and Blog Posts About 2e
These are articles and blog posts written by other authors.
- Asynchronous Development and the Gifted Child from My Little Poppies
- Asynchronous Development in Gifted Children from Raising Lifelong Learners
- Darn Those Mythological Gifted Kids Who Are a Construct of Our Social Norms from Gluten-Free Mum
- Dual/2e from GiftedKids.ie
- Gifted Visual-Spatial Learners are Twice-Neglected from Crushing Tall Poppies
- LEGO® and the Gifted Visual-Spatial Child from Crushing Tall Poppies
- Special Education and Homeschoolers from Hand in Hand Education
- The Six Types of Gifted Child: The Twice-exceptional from Jade Ann Rivera
- 5 Tips to Conquer Homework with a 2E Kid from Up Parenting Creek
- Anxiety and Giftedness. What is the reality? from Up Parenting Creek
- In Defense of Perfectionism from Up Parenting Creek
- Twice Exceptional on Wikipedia
- What is 2e? from 2enewsletter
- An Expert’s Guide to Understanding Twice-Exceptional Children from Noodle
Websites Devoted to Giftedness and 2e
I’ve selected some excellent websites that focus on giftedness and 2e to share here.
Bloggers Who Write About 2e
There are a number of bloggers who write about parenting and/or homeschooling their twice-exceptional child. Here are a few to check out and see if they overlap with your own situation.
- Cait at My Little Poppies
- Celi at Crushing Tall Poppies
- Colleen at Raising Lifelong Learners
- Jade at Jade Ann Rivera
- Jen at Laughing at Chaos
- Jo at Sprite’s Site
- Kathleen at Gluten-Free Mum
Videos About Twice Exceptional Children
There is something about listening to real people and real experts talk about the blessings and challenges of parenting a 2e child that makes it all seem more real and more “normal” because you realize you aren’t alone.