Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom

The following is an excerpt from Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom by Emily Kircher-Morris. It was published in August 2021 by Free Spirit Publishing. The book aims to equip educators with information that will make it easier for them to advocate for their 2e students.

Designing Strength-Based Instruction for Twice-Exceptional Learners
When gifted students are identified as twice exceptional, the need to address their weaknesses does not negate the need for curricular accommodations and modifications in their areas of strength. Typical opportunities provided for gifted learners should also be made accessible to 2e students. Viewing learners from a holistic perspective is vital to meeting their overall needs. Work with children on a case-by-case basis to define their needs.
Meeting the Gifted Needs of the 2e Learner
Many interventions can help educators meet the cognitive needs of gifted learners. These interventions should not be withheld from gifted students just because they also have special needs. For an overview of enrichment, acceleration, and placement options for 2e students, see figure 2-1. For guidance on implementing these tools, check out Susan Winebrenner and Dina Brulles’s book Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom.

Figure 2-1 Enrichment, Acceleration, and Placement Options for 2e Learners

Cluster Grouping
Group several high-ability students together in a general education classroom instead of distributing them among all the classes so the gifted students have academic peers in the classroom and so one teacher can differentiate for them.

Benefits for 2e Learners
• Cluster grouping allows for strength-based instruction with a group of gifted students in one c...


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About Emily Kircher-Morris

Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, inspired by her own experiences as a twice-exceptional (2e) learner, is dedicated to supporting 2e children—including her own—in a way she wasn’t during her academic years. She has taught in gifted classrooms, has been a school counselor, and is now in private practice as a licensed professional counselor, where she specializes in helping gifted and twice-exceptional kids. Emily is the president and founder of the Gifted Support Network and speaks at statewide and national conferences. She also hosts Neurodiversity Podcast, which explores parenting, counseling techniques, and best practices for enriching the lives of high-ability people. Emily lives near St. Louis, Missouri.