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Twice Exceptional: Gifted and Learning Disabled

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Presentation on theme: "Twice Exceptional: Gifted and Learning Disabled"— Presentation transcript:

1 Twice Exceptional: Gifted and Learning Disabled
Presented by: Rebecca L. Mann

2 Definition of Giftedness:
United States Office of Education definition of Gifted and Talented Students "those who have outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance and who require differentiated educational programs (beyond those normally provided by regular school programs) in order to realize their contribution to self and society."

3 Characteristics of Giftedness
Reasons well Learns rapidly Extensive vocabulary Excellent memory Long attention span Sensitive Compassionate Perfectionistic Intense Morally sensitive Strongly curious Perseveres in interests High degree of energy Prefers older people Wide range of interests Great sense of humor Avid reader Concerned with justice Mature judgment Keen observer Vivid imagination Highly creative Tends to question authority

4 Definition of Learning Disabilities
Public Law "a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas: (I) oral expression (ii) listening comprehension (iii) written expression (iv) basic reading skill (v) reading comprehension (vi) mathematics reasoning "disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations."

5 At least average intelligence…
A Learning Disability is a neurological/physiological difference in the way the brain is organized. A neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information… At least average intelligence… Difficulty in acquiring basic academic skills… (National Center for Learning Disabilities)



8 Causes Differences in the structure and functioning of the brain
(National Dissemination Center) Neurological dysfunction may be presumed or suspected, but learning disabilities have a variety of possible causes. (Curry School of Education) A leading theory among scientists is that learning disabilities stem from subtle disturbances in the brain structures and functions. A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects the brains ability to receive, process, stores and respond to information. (National Center for Learning Disabilities) Since the term learning disability does not describe a single disorder, there is no since cause that has been pinpointed.

9 Characteristics of Twice Exceptional Learners
Signs of Giftedness Signs of Learning Disabilities ~excellent long-term memory ~poor short-term memory ~extensive vocabulary ~oral vocabulary more sophisticated than written ~ excels in reading comprehension ~struggles with decoding words ~excels in mathematical reasoning ~does poorly at computation ~advanced verbal skills in discussions ~refuses to do written work ~facile with computers ~handwriting is illegible ~grasps abstract concepts ~has difficulty with spelling and phonics ~performs better with challenging work ~struggles with easy, sequential material ~thrives on complexity ~difficulty with rote memorization

10 Signs of Giftedness Signs of Learning Disabilities
~highly creative, imaginative ~often inattentive in class ~reasons well ~emotions can overpower reasoning ~is a keen observer ~poor auditory memory ~may have acute hearing ~poor listening skills ~has very interesting ideas, extremely curious ~weak in language mechanics ~had high degree of energy ~may be unable to learn unless interested ~perceptive ~performs poorly on timed tests ~insightful (seems "wise") ~hopelessly disorganized ~excellent sense of humor ~finds clever ways to avoid weak areas ~may excel at art, science, geometry, mechanics, technology, or music ~may fail at foreign languages and subjects emphasizing audition, sequencing, memory (Silverman)

11 Strengths vs. Deficiencies
Strengths Deficiencies Thinking Abilities Self Expression High Creativity Organizational Abilities Long-term Memory Short-term Memory Abstractions Sense Perceptions (distractibility, static on the auditory channel, sensori-motor) Problem Solving Social Interactions Insight Self-esteem (Coleman, 1996) Organizational Difficulties can be: Thoughts going in Thoughts coming out Stuff Time

12 …he realized at a really inopportune time.
I’m a man of few words …he realized at a really inopportune time. How’s the essay coming, Jeremy?

Speling… no… Spellin… Sepling… I got it! It’s SPELLING TEST TIME!

14 A a Н н N n Б б B b П п P p Д д D d Р р R r Э э E e С с S s Ф ф F f
Spelling Test Time!!! For your spelling test today, use the symbols in the shaded box to write your words. In other words, the word “tar” would be spelled “Tap” and the word “vary” would be spelled “Bapbl”. A a Н н N n Б б B b П п P p Д д D d Р р R r Э э E e С с S s Ф ф F f Ш ш Sh sh Г г G g Т т T t Х х H h У у U u И и I i В в V v Л л L l Ы ы Y y

15 Indicators of Ability - Achievement Discrepancy
Look beyond test scores. Look for kids whose performance varies significantly in different areas. WISC Studies have shown no consistent pattern in GTLD students There may be a discrepancy between VCI and PRI (Verbal Comprehension Index and Perceptual Reasoning Index) It is important to look at the subtest discrepancies also. There is a tendency for twice exceptional children to have: Trouble with: Arithmetic, Digit Span, Coding sometimes: Picture Completion High scores in: Comprehension, Vocabulary often: Information, Similarities, Picture Arrangement, and Block Design Divergent answers bring down the score. Twice exceptional children tend to elaborate during testing as that is their way of demonstrating their knowledge or creativity.

16 Categories of Twice Exceptional Learners
Identified Gifted and Unidentified Learning Disabled Unidentified Gifted and Identified Learning Disabled (Baum)

17 Identified Gifted and Unidentified Learning Disabled good verbal skills poor spelling and/or handwriting disorganized in their classwork discrepancies between strengths & weaknesses widen as they grow older often viewed as "underachieving" if identified LD - tremendous weight lifted off their shoulders often passed over for LD support as they are achieving at grade level

18 and Unidentified Learning Disabled
Unidentified Gifted and Unidentified Learning Disabled bright enough to compensate for their learning disability usually appear as average students usually recognize their giftedness and disability as adults need occasions where they can show their superior thinking in creative ways LD masks gifts and gifts mask LD often gifts emerge in specific content areas or in learning environments where non-traditional methods are used

19 Identified Learning Disabled
Unidentified Gifted – Identified Learning Disabled ~usually excel in an area of interest ~first noticed for what they cannot do ~disability depresses their intellectual performance ~good reasoning and thinking skills detected by teachers and/or parents ~most "at risk" because the LD label tends to have a focus on deficits ~often have incredible projects in the works at home ~focus is so much on their disability it is difficult for them to give themselves credit for their abilities

20 It’s time for your weekly math time test!

21 What every learning disabled child would love to ask…

22 Library Gifted Learning Disabled or Underachievement?
Just because a gifted student is not producing does not mean he or she is learning disabled. Other reasons for underachievement: Unrealistic expectations by others May seek rewards in different environments Social or emotional problems Student's self-expectations can be too high (a task may never be able to be completed to perfection) Student may have a conflict with school value system i.e. grades are trivial May not have learned study skills due to ease of curriculum in earlier grades Motivation, interest, and specific aptitude influence the amount of effort (Baum, 1991) Library I’m looking for something to tell me how to be totally unique without anyone being able to tell.

23 ADHD vs. Gifted ADHD (DSM-IV, 1994) G/T (Silverman, 1993) ~difficulty with sustained attention, ~poor attention, often due to, daydreams boredom, daydreams ~failure to concentrate unless ~lack of persistence on tasks in one-to-one that seem irrelevant ~failure to complete independent ~task completion often reliant on activities personal interests ~ability to listen attentively seems ~often appears bored during diminishes discussions ~messy, disorganized environment ~possible disinterest in organization ~impulsivity, poor judgment ~judgment lags behind intellect ~problems adhering to rules for ~intensity possibly leading to regulating behavior struggles with authority ~activity level often heightened ~frequently high activity ~trouble following directions ~questions rules, directions

24 ADHD HIGHLY CREATIVE ~often fails to finish tasks, especially those demanded externally ~broad range of interest often prohibits task completion ~distractible but not in all situations ~great attention in self-selected work ~frequent shifts in activities ~adaptable and sometimes erratic ~does not appear to listen ~hypomanic to the point of not listening ~daydreams ~imaginative ~misplaces items needed for work completion ~so preoccupied as often to overlook the concrete ~difficulty organizing work ~finds order amidst chaos ~needs a lot of supervision in order to meet deadlines ~freedom of spirit that rejects externally imposed limits ~excessive activity ~high energy level ~often engages in challenges without considering consequences ~willing to take risks in order to satisfy plans for creative pursuits ~frequently acts without thinking ~often impulsive in actions ~solitary activities often preferred ~independent often preferring to be alone ~social interactions may be negative ~little interest in relationships ~talks while tackling tasks ~self-talk during creative work ~prone to rapid changes in mood ~often experiences emotional variability Crammond, 1991

25 Categories of Specific Learning Disabilities
LD Terminology Disability Area of difficulty Symptoms include trouble with Example Dyslexia Processing language Reading, writing & spelling Letters and words may be written or pronounced backwards Dyscalculia Math skills Computation, remembering math facts, concepts of time & money Difficulty learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s Dysgraphia Written expression Handwriting, spelling Illegible handwriting, difficulty Dyspraxia Fine Motor Skills Coordination, manual dexterity Trouble with scissors, buttoning, drawing Information Processing Disorders Auditory Processing Disorder Interpreting auditory information Language development, reading Difficulty anticipating how a speaker will end a sentence Visual Processing Disorder Interpreting visual information Reading, writing, and math Difficulty distinguishing letters like “h” and “n” Other Related Disorders Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Concentration and focus Over-activity, distractibility & impulsivity Can’t sit still, loses interest quickly Twenty-third Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of IDEA, US Department of Education, 2001

26 Reading Fluency Test Time!
Groups of two One person is the recorder and one is the reader. When we say “begin” the reader will have one minute to read as much as he or she can of the passage in orange print. The recorder will make a mark on the white paper each time the reader incorrectly reads a word. The recorder will write down the number of words the reader was able to read during the one minute time frame and subtract the number of errors. The resulting score is the reader’s fluency score. The reader and the recorder will reverse roles and go through the same process with a new reading passage.

27 Is it ADHD or Giftedness?
Does the child show these behaviors at home? Could a lack of interest or relevancy play a part? Is the child unable to concentrate even when interested in the subject? Have any curricular modifications been made in an attempt to change the behaviors? Has the child been interviewed? What are his or her feelings about the behaviors? Does the child feel out of control? Do the parents perceive the child to be out of control? Has the child been taught strategies to limit stimuli and deal with stress? Has the child been taught appropriate social skills? Can the "inattentive" child repeat the instructions? Do the behaviors occur at certain times of the day, during certain subjects, with certain teachers, in certain environments and not in other circumstances? Is the child getting the appropriate amount of teacher attention? Does the child demand constant attention from the teacher? Is the child just demonstrating his or her personality, type of giftedness, or intensity? (Silverman, 1994)

28 Strategies for Teaching the Twice Exceptional Student
NURTURE GIFTS, RESPECT CHILD Curricular Needs Differentiation Challenging material at advanced level Interdisciplinary Don't make everything a secret Language Arts lesson Make the curriculum relevant Provide individually paced curriculum in areas of giftedness & disability Using strengths to compensate for weaknesses Find a mentor in the child’s area of interest who likes child Find the child’s interest area and use that area to remediate Love sharks + poor reader = start with books about sharks

29 Strategies for Teaching the Twice Exceptional Student
Accommodations Books on tape AlphaSmart or other word processor Spell checker/spelling guide Inspiration software

30 Teaching Strategies More Accommodations Assisted note taking
Computers for instruction Study guides Highlight in different colors Yellow for spelling errors Pink for grammar errors Gather information through interviews, videos, experiments Options for communicating ideas Slides, models, speeches, mime, mural, video production Avoid rote memorization and timed tests Tape lectures Calculator Oral tests Abbreviate written assignments Allow extra time for assignments and tests

31 Teaching Strategies Equate success with effort Promote active inquiry involving discussion & experimentation Provide open-ended challenges that require divergent thinking Offer options that enable child to use his strengths and learning style Incorporate projects that investigate real problems & real audiences Highlight abstract thinking Design enrichment activities to circumvent weaknesses Provide options to all students so child isn’t singled out Encourage looking for relationships and patterns

32 More Teaching Strategies
Create a supportive environment Model celebrating individual differences Minimize "teacher talk" Use mnemonics for concepts requiring recall Encourage visualization Get eye contact before speaking Teach goal setting Independent Projects in area of interest Teach child how to break down project into parts Allow child opportunity to share with class and/or to showcase the talent

33 Counseling Provide emotional support Teach child to be his or her own advocate If possible, have child work with other GTLD students Help child become aware of strengths and weaknesses Teach social skills Find role models Organizational Strategies Color code book covers and notebooks Graphic organizers Create flow charts Colored stickers on desk Red = turn in homework Yellow = put homework in backpack Blue = take lunchbox home

34 Time management How long do you think it will take? Have student time himself or herself. Use egg timer Get watch with alarm Strategies for parents Take photos of things to remember - tape to the back of the door or mirror Rearrange room to make it practical Find tutor - don't be homework heavy - celebrate child's gifts Work with the school to create a supportive team Be a role model Focus on effort, not grades Do not allow child to use learning disability as an excuse Expect child to use skills; have child do practical tasks (i.e. thank you notes)


36 IEP??? 504???

37 Now, all you round pegs get back into your square holes!”
“Summer’s over kids! Now, all you round pegs get back into your square holes!”

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