Ask the Experts

What Does “Twice Exceptional” Mean?

“Many parents talk about their children with ADHD as being twice-exceptional, or 2e. Can you tell me what it means?”

The term “twice exceptional,” or 2e, refers to a child who is gifted and is also learning challenged. Exceptional, in this case, doesn’t mean only gifted.

IQ tests that are used to determine gifted eligibility are comprised of 12 or so subtests: half measure verbal skills and the other half measure visual spatial skills. Rarely, if ever, will a child be gifted in every subtest. A student may be gifted in writing or music, but have a disability in math or, in the case of a child with ADHD, organizational challenges.

Children who are labeled 2e should have a dually differentiated program at school: one that nurtures their gifts and talents while accommodating for learning weaknesses.