Other learning disabled children, however, do continue to have problems throughout school and perhaps into adulthood. For these children, the hope is that through specialized teaching techniques and a positive, supportive approach, they will learn to develop some coping mechanisms and adjust to the disability. If your child is having significant academic difficulties and you have exhausted other school options to resolve the problem, consider having him or her evaluated to determine if he has a learning disability and is a candidate for special education. Almost every public school district has an evaluation team, a group of professionals with expertise in assessing students who may warrant special education.
Kenneth Shore. Ph: About Dr. Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities. By Dr. Kenneth Shore The most frequent problem for which children receive special education is a learning disability. Articles for Parents by Dr. They might present any of the three profiles identified by educator and researcher Susan Baum:. A 2e student's grades commonly alternate between high and low, sometimes within the same subject.
The child might have advanced vocabulary and ideas but be unable to organize those ideas and express them on paper.
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They might be a skilled artist or builder but turn in assignments that are messy or illegible. They might complete assignments but lose them or forget to turn them in. To the parents and teachers observing this behavior, it may seem that the child just isn't trying. In fact, many 2e children work as hard if not harder than others, but with less to show for their efforts. This struggle to accomplish tasks that appear easy for other students can leave 2e children frustrated, anxious, and depressed. It can rob them of their enthusiasm and energy for school and damage their self-esteem.
Twice exceptionality is not something that can solidly be diagnosed and therefore is not easily identified in students. Children identified as twice exceptional can exhibit a wide range of traits, many of them typical of gifted children. Like those who are gifted, 2e children often show greater asynchrony than average children that is, a larger gap between their mental age and physical age. They are often intense and highly sensitive to their emotional and physical environments.
The following chart summarizes characteristics commonly seen in this population.
In their early years, these children often seem very bright, with varied interests and advanced vocabularies particularly with reference to same-age peers ; and many times parents are unaware that they have a child with 2e. Teachers sometimes spot problems in school; sometimes parents are the first to notice their children's frustrations with school. During the early years it may be social difficulties. The 2e child may find it hard to make friends and fit in. Academic problems often appear later. As work demands increase, teachers may see a drop or inconsistencies in the student's performance, sometimes accompanied by an increase in problem behaviors.
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Some 2e students withdraw, showing reluctance to speak out or take other risks in class; while others play the class clown. Some are unable to stay focused, find it hard to sit still and work quietly, and have difficulty controlling anger or frustration. If these difficulties persist, school personnel or parents may decide that evaluation is needed. Along with a physical examination, children may undergo psycho-educational testing to determine the cause of their struggles.
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The professionals who take part in the process should be knowledgeable about giftedness. Some characteristics of giftedness can look very much like those of a learning disability or disorder and, as a result, gifted children are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed with disorders. In addition, the results should include information on what the child needs in order to build on the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses that have been identified. Teaching to students' abilities rather than disabilities increases self-concept scores. Their strengths are the key to success for twice-exceptional children.
They thrive on intellectual challenges in their areas of interest and ability. Many 2e children do best when given work that engages multiple senses and offers opportunities for hands-on learning. However, a requirement for success for these students is support, either given informally as needed or formalized in an Individualized Education Program IEP or plan. Support can come in several forms.
An essential form is encouragement; others include compensation strategies and accommodations in the child's areas of weakness. Attention Girls!
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