Getting Boys Right

“Engaging, passionate, and strong-minded” described my son before he started kindergarten. He was more comfortable speaking with adults than kids. Because he needed constant stimuli in his environment, I had to be on my toes to make sure he was happy. I kept asking, “What is going to happen when formal school begins? Would teachers think my son is as bright as I do? Will he be given the same attention he received at home to satisfy his thirst for learning? Will my son like school and enjoy going?” Little did I know that I was in for a “great awakening.”

Almost every twice-exceptional boy and family I have worked with in my gifted education career, and there have been many, describes their early years as happy ones. Parents see their sons as bright, happy, and ready to learn. Most importantly, the parent and child assume that when school begins everything will go as smoothly as a well-planned road trip. There will be abundant in-depth and interesting lessons to explore, exciting peer interactions, and daily opportunities to build upon the child’s strengths. The family always has optimism that their child’s teacher will be open minded to all the children in the classroom.

The Problem with Boys

However, when 2e boys begin to exhibit gifted characteristics and/or learning difficulties in school that the adults in charge don’t understand, rarely do the stories remain happy for very long. As reported in The 2019 Digest of Education Statistics by the National Center for Education, 2e boys are:

more likely to receive an out of school suspension.
expelled 2½ times more than girls.
more likely to use illicit drugs.
twice as likely to be in a fight at school.

These inequalities also cross racial boundarie...


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