Effective Accommodations for Twice-Exceptional Learners

All teachers have experience with students who have accommodations as part of their education plan. However, there is often confusion about the need for accommodations for gifted students and inconsistent results when appropriate accommodations are in place.

This article will focus on accommodations through the lens of the needs of twice-exceptional learners. The purpose is to build recognition of the needs of accommodations for 2e students; raise awareness of why accommodations as they are typically implemented can be problematic for this population; and to present strategies for more effective use of accommodations that will benefit not only 2e students, but all students in a classroom.

Many students — and some adults — tend to view accommodations through a negative lens. Parents worry about accommodations getting in the way of learning important skills, and teachers can feel overwhelmed keeping track of the unique accommodations documented for individual students in a classroom. Students — including those who rely on accommodations to be successful — often view accommodations as providing an unfair advantage over others. In reality, accommodations are simply tools to remove roadblocks and enable access, in the same way that wearing prescription glasses allows those who need them to see what those with 20/20 vision see, or using a step stool allows a person of short stature to reach a high shelf. Accommodations allow students equal access to content and equal opportunities for demonstration of learning.
Twice-Exceptional Students and the Need for Accommodations
There is a common misconception that gifted students shouldn’t need extra help. In fact, gifted children are a very diverse group with diverse strengths...


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About Ashleigh D'Aunoy

Ashleigh D’Aunoy is director of enrichment, innovation, and talent development at Episcopal School of Acadiana in Lafayette, LA. She has worn many hats in this role, including: directing the enrichment cluster program, leading design thinking projects with PK-5th grade students in the Idea Lab, collaborating with teachers on interdisciplinary project-based learning, teaching math for 2e students in a pullout program, and finding new and better ways to meet the needs of the school’s diverse learners. Ashleigh is currently pursuing an EdD through Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity.