Ask the Experts

Accommodations For 2e Students

My nine-year-old son has ADHD. His IQ was recently tested, as part of his IEP, and we were told that it is 132. My question is, if a child is classified as a 2e — twice-exceptional — student, what services can he get at school? He is great at math, but not so good at writing.

The fact that your son even has an IEP is a victory. Twice-exceptional students, who are academically gifted (usually demonstrated by a high IQ score) and who also have a disability, are sometimes denied an IEP because the school district uses narrow guidelines to determine whether a student is eligible for special education services. The school fails to consider how a disability affects a student with significant academic strengths.

IDEA requires that several assessment tools and strategies be used to determine a student’s eligibility for services. Some districts won’t allow a student who receives special education services to participate in a gifted and talented program or to take accelerated or advanced placement classes. This is a violation of both IDEA and Section 504.

Your son’s IEP should be individualized to meet his specific needs, to provide him with support in his areas of difficulty, and with appropriate academic challenges in those areas where he excels. So his IEP may provide for placement in an accelerated math class, but can also stipulate that he receive services in a writing lab several times a week.

If his ADHD is interfering with his behavior in the classroom, he may require a behavior assessment, and his IEP could include a behavior modification plan designed to help him get more from his academic program. There is no standard menu of IEP services, and you should work with his teacher to consider which support — and enrichment — will best meet his needs.

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