Twice Exceptional

Children who are advanced in their learning of some subjects, and who also have a learning delay or other disability are called twice exceptional, or 2E for short.

These are children who under everyday circumstances may not show their advanced learning, because of the way their abilities and disabilities interact. A simple example is a student with dyslexia who is still struggling to read in 3rd grade, but, through other assessments is shown to be advanced in her learning of other subjects. A more complicated example is a child who is capable of showing advanced ability in some subjects, but is still not able to work to potential due to disability, and whose disabilities are not easily recognized because the child’s advanced ability masks them.

It is the responsibility of a school district’s policy makers and education professionals to recognize and support twice-exceptional children, so that they will be included and supported to participate in programs, not only for students with disabilities, but also for students in need of advanced learning.

The Montogomery Country School District in Rockville, MD, has published this comprehensive guide on meeting the needs of 2E students:

A Guidebook for Twice Exceptional Students: Supporting the Achievement of Gifted Students with Special Needs
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD © 2003

Additional resources for parents of twice-exceptional children can be found on our Resources, Books & Articles, and Conferences pages.