Intellectual Giftedness & Twice Exceptional Students

"We got the report from Dr. Kay yesterday so I thought I'd send you an update...

The report was very thorough and included the test results, an explanation of what each test is supposed to measure and what the result means, an analysis of my child's strengths and weaknesses based on the testing, and a summary/analysis of the parental and teacher questionnaires that we filled out ahead of time...That was the first 20 pages. Then it had eight pages of recommendations.

" The thing that made me glad I chose Dr. Kay instead of Johns Hopkins is that she aligned all of the recommendations with PDE Chapter 16 regulations. She quoted from the regulation, matched Matthew's need to the regulation, and provided recommendations to meet that need. Then she went on to identify the Specially Designed Instruction and accommodations/ assistance that he will need based on all of that...

"Dr. Kay determined my child to be Gifted/LD/ADHD, which is pretty much what I suspected...The next step is to get a good GIEP based on the report. She is going to help us with that by advising us and writing letters on our behalf as needed. If we wind up in Due Process, she will provide expert testimony...

"I definitely think Dr. Kay should have a place on your list of recommended psychologists."

717-569-6223                    mjk@margaretkay.com

Typically the word "gifted" is used to refer to children who function cognitively at the very top of the intelligence continuum. In states such as Pennsylvania, gifted children are entitled to special education and receive Gifted Individualized Educational Programs for enrichment and acceleration.

The criteria for diagnosing mental giftedness varies from state to state. In fact, some experts take the position that every child is "gifted" in some ways. These experts do not mean to say that all children have equal intellectual ability, however.

Gifted children are frequently identified through a battery of psychoeducational tests, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV and/or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III. Tests of creativity may also be used to determine if a child is gifted and talented.

Many people assume that highly intelligent children fare well in school. The truth, however, is that frequently they do not. Some gifted children, who are bored and frustrated in school, develop behavior problems and may become school dropouts. Therefore, early evaluation and diagnosis of the strengths and needs of children who are suspected of being gifted is essential to providing appropriate educational enrichment and acceleration.

Twice-exceptional (or 2e) students are atypical learners who are often characterized as smart students with school problems. These students assume that learning tasks will be easy for them and are not prepared for the difficulties that arise from their disabilities.

High ability/learning disabled (LD) students often perceive themselves as deficient in academic areas, which increases their motivation to avoid school tasks.

Twice-exceptional students tend to have more creative and productive interests because they are able to conceptualize quickly and see patterns and relationships readily. They also reason abstractly, generalize easily and enjoy the challenge of solving novel problems autonomously.

Basic skills, however, such as graphomotor speed, perceptual scanning, sequencing, organization and study skills, often are difficult for 2e students who frequently meet eligibility criteria for both gifted and learning disabled in their public schools.

Therefore, psychoeducational evaluations for gifted and/or 2e students should identify and determine what the child needs build on strengths and compensate for identified weaknesses.

​​​Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
​Licensed  Psychologist in PA and DE
​Fellow American College of Forensic Examiners in Educational and School Psychology
Lancaster Office Phone: (717) 569-6223