Gifted 2E Kids: What Makes Them Twice-Exceptional? Blog hop

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I have been visiting the posts on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?
Sprite did not come with me as she was conducting guided tours to some of the places on Sprite’s Site but she was thrilled with the goodie bag I brought back for her.
Some kind person had also given her a blue teddy bear and balloon in recognition of April Autism Awareness Month 

These are the posts I visited on the blog hop and the comments I left or tried to leave
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?
Being gifted can be its own challenge, but many gifted kids face additional hurdles which can mask or hamper their potential. Join these twice-exceptional kids and their families as they learn that the challenges that they face are what will help them soar.

Blessed by our Twice Exceptional Homeschooled Kid ~ BJ’s Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

Our daughter has been a blessing to us, ever since we flew to China to adopt her, as an infant.  We decided to homeschool when she was 4, as she was ready for kindergarten, but her public school wasn’t.  She was considered too young.
My comment: Thank you for a wonderful post, Betsy! It really illustrates the advantages homeschooling can give our 2E kids!.

Gifted 2e: A Brilliant Mess ~ Hifalutin’ Homeschooler (Jennifer Smith Cabrera)

I don’t believe in ADHD, but I am pretty sure two of my kids have it, and we could add a few sensory hashtags. Recently, I learned the term twice exceptional or 2e. I like the all-encompassing value of the term, but still I hesitate. My son is a whole mess of personality quirks, brilliant and unique. Brilliance that could be missed, if it were prefaced with a cloud of labels buzzing around him like flies. I believe that the unique behavior of gifted children is just the exhaust of beautiful minds at work.
My comment: A very enjoyable post! Thank you.

Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)

It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way.
My comment: I love this: I have, perforce discovered that there is no right way to anything, particularly in regards to children’s development – there is only the statistical average. There is no set developmental timeline, and these quirky kids will do things in their own time and their own way.

Gifted 2E Kids: The Most Underrepresented ~A 2e Fox Revived (Carolyn Fox)

Gifted 2e Kids are the most underrepresented and that’s why so many of us seek homeschooling as an alternative option for our kids. It’s based on my chance to blow off steam after reading NPR’s article on Gifted, But Still Learning English – not that I don’t think non-native English speakers aren’t underrepresented (because I think they are) but because the article says nothing about 2e kids and who probably represent a much larger piece of the portion of students underrepresented in gifted programs.
My comment: A great post, Carolyn. I love your descriptions of the simultaneous contradictions that can be found in 2E students.

How Distance Running Prepared Me for Parenting a Twice Exceptional Child ~ The Fissure (Nikki C.}

When you are raising a twice-exceptional child, hearing the word “can’t” comes with the territory.  You might be trying to help your child through another public meltdown, or trying to persuade the school into testing your child for the gifted program even though he has a disability…Removing the word “can’t” encourages perseverance, enhances endurance, and boosts confidence.  These things help when you need to take the road less traveled.
My comment: I love this analogy to long distance running, Nikki! I especially like “each runner needs to find his or her own best shoe” Very often for 2E, as my Sprite attests, this means a different best shoe for each foot!

If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle (Colleen Kessler)

“Boy is he an EXTREME thinker! If he actually took the time to sit and focus on his work, he could accomplish anything…” As helpful and positive as his preschool teacher thought she was being, words like this can set some of our most intelligent kiddos up for a lifetime of failure. So, why do some gifted children struggle so much? If they’re really as smart as we say they are, why can’t some of them just do their work?
My comment:  “if he’s so smart, why can’t he..?” This was always one of my least favourite comments too!

Misconceptions About Gifted & Twice-Exceptional Children ~Gifted Homeschooling (Amy Harrington)

Gifted is a fairly loaded term in mainstream society. The word doesn’t conjure up different neural wiring like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder does. All of these brain based differences elicit various reactions from those who are unfamiliar with neurodiversity. If people understood what giftedness means and what twice-exceptional is, they would have a better appreciation and, perhaps, compassion for the whole spectrum of this type of divergent thinking and its impact on daily life.
My comment: I agree strongly with your comment ” If people understood what giftedness means and what twice-exceptional is, they would have a better appreciation and, perhaps, compassion for the whole spectrum of this type of divergent thinking and its impact on daily life.”

The Problem With Being Twice-Exceptional and British ~ Laugh, Love, Learn (Lucinda Leo)

Giftedness is misunderstood in many countries, but in Britain the very word is taboo. This is one mother’s story of how she had to get past cultural prejudice to find support for her twice-exceptional son.
My comment: Thank you for a very interesting post, Lucinda and also for the links to the valuable resources.

What Makes 2e? ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
Honestly, one of the best parts of having a twice-exceptional child is that everything is shiny and new – every day is different from the last, and while we do have our challenges, it actually makes life so much more interesting.
My comment: Yes I love “Double the cool” as well!
And you are right – problems usually arise from unrealistic expectations.

What Twice-Exceptional Looks Like in Our World (and 5 Things that Help) ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

They say if you’ve met one 2E kid, you’ve met one 2E kid. Today, I’m sharing with twice-exceptional looks like in our world.
My comment: I remember those night time worries so well! Thank you for a great post and so many useful links to resources!

This has been a review post for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?

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What makes them 2E?

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In conjunction with the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop theme ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?’ Sprite is conducting guided tours to some of the places in Sprite’s Site.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The first stop on the tour is the Analogy for 2E exhibit where visitors are treated to a demonstration of Roman Riding a cheetah and a tortoise.

Sprite explains that in a horse riding class where the aim of the lessons is to be able to ride independently seated on the back of a horse

  • some students will not have the ability or confidence to sit on the horse without being led by someone else
  • average students will be able to sit on the horse and ride independently
  • bright students may perform Roman riding of two horses – standing with a foot on each horse’s back
  • gifted students will perform Roman riding on two cheetahs
  • and 2E twice exceptional students will be forced to perform their Roman riding with one foot on the back of a cheetah and the other on the back of a tortoise.

At the Myths exhibit Columbus Cheetah explains that one of the myths surrounding giftedness is that it is not possible to be gifted and have a disability
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-8/

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Visitors are then taken to the theatrette to view presentations about 2E students

The first is titled ‘2E is’ and is found at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/2e-is/

The second presentation is a discussion of the Characteristics of 2 E students using a chart provided by the Cherry Creek Schools which can be found at
http://www.cherrycreekschools.org/StudentAchievement/Documents/2EDistinguishingCharacteristics.pdf

Those who have time to take the extended tour can listen to webinars about 2E students at

Jo Freitag: Characteristics of 2e students part 1
https://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/11/28/edublogs-webinar-overview-characteristics-of-2e-students-part-1/

Jo Freitag: Characteristics of 2e students part 2
https://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/12/17/edublogs-webinar-overview-characteristics-of-2e-students-part-2/

Personas, profiles and portraits of giftedness Part 2
https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/australia-e-series-tech-talk-tuesdays-webinar-part-2/

For those who do not have time to listen to the webinars Sprite has prepared a short slide show which illustrates just a few of the characteristics of 2E students observed by Dr Linda Silverman.

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For more information about twice exceptional students see
2E newsletter
http://www.2enewsletter.com/

Hoagies Gifted Twice Exceptional resources page
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/2e_exceptional.htm

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Twice Exceptional resources page
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/twice-exceptional/

To read all the posts about this topic in the blog hop please visit the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-2e-kids-what-makes-them-twice-exceptional/

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Utopian Restoration

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“This is a task for Delta Dog!” declared the idealist Imaginational Dabrowski.
“Here comes Delta Dog swooping in with utopian ideals, creative ideas and humorous ideation to save the safety, sanity and sense of Sprite and her friends at Sprite’s Site!”

Imaginational was concerned about the less than ideal atmosphere at Sprite’s Site recently and was determined to do something to lighten the mood.

He tried standing on his head and making silly faces but nobody laughed and Intellectual said “Oh, do be sensible! Can’t you see we have serious worries?”

So Imaginational sat down with his trusty mind map to brainstorm the causes of the glum moods and anxiety.

He identified the problems as:

  • Anxiety caused by Little Bully Black Dog and the Pair O’Noids
  • Subject matter in the World History topic Sprite was studying
  • The books in Intellectual’s pile of suggested reading
  • The approaching elections
  • Issues surrounding the extent of personal responsibility for situations not within Sprite’s direct control

By drawing in the connecting lines Imaginational could see that all the causes of the gloom were inter-related.

So he started to think about which of the causes could be eliminated or changed

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Imaginational was happy to find that there were several things which could be changed. One change was already imminent. Next term the Social Studies unit which Sprite will be studying will be concerned with Geography rather than grim World History.
Imaginational could foresee that Sprite would be very interested in studying landforms and places such as Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Next Imaginational asked Paula the Physicist, Sprite’s mentor, to come with him to visit Sprite and to bring some interesting books to lend to her to provide some alternative reading.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula brought some beautifully illustrated books about astronomy and biology for Sprite to borrow and a gift of an adult colouring book on the theme of art and mathematics and patterns found in nature.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

She also organised for Sprite to spend some time with her in the laboratory looking at ripple tank experiments into the properties of light.

Watching the circles of waves which went out from the sources and the way they interacted with each other and with differing water levels was not only fascinating.
It also led to an interesting discussion about the nature of light and then to a philosophical discussion about the influence a single small spark of goodness or a random act of kindness could have spreading effects in a seemingly dark and wicked world.

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Dystopia

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I had missed out on visiting Sprite’s Site on April Fools’ Day. Apparently the pranks played this year were not as original and well thought out as some of the previous years.
In 2010 and 2014 Sprite had claimed she could come into my dimension
and in 2012 Tweetil announced that he had swallowed a wormhole

This year the tricks had been restricted to whoopee cushions on chairs and Little Bully Black Dog sticking KICK ME signs on backs and then kicking everybody in the bottom whether or not they had a sign on them and calling them an April Fool if they protested.

No wonder the Pair O’Noids were still checking each other’s back every few minutes when I arrived a week later!

It was not only the Pair O’Noids who seemed to be out of sorts.
As Australia and the US approach elections another Sprite’s Site election is also due sometime in the next few months.

Caramel Cat has already announced his intention to again run for the Fat Cat Party and has been trumpeting his election promises. They sound like benefits for all on the surface but, when analysed, are found to only be benefits for Caramel Cat and his Fat Cat cronies.

Sprite is feeling concerned about the elections and about the state of the world.
It did not help that she had been studying some grim periods in World History and that, having studied George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Intellectual Dabrowski had made Sprite read Orwell’s 1984 and then suggested that she should also read Robert Westall’s  Futuretrack 5, Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

Sprite has always been concerned about how the leaders we elect behave and her own personal responsibility
She worries about the effects of climate change, broken promises from politicians, injustice to the indigenous peoples, and lack of compassion towards refugees, the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged.
She is also made anxious by the Pair O’Noids whispered hints of conspiracies and a socially engineered return to a feudal system which benefits the rich at the expense of the poor.

“You have to stop Intellectual insisting that Sprite read all these dark dystopian future books!” Emotional Dabrowski said. “She is too young to worry about all that unpleasant stuff! It makes her feel sad and powerless.”

“It is a problem associated with Asynchronous Development” said Columbus Cheetah. “Sprite can understand those books and Intellectual insists that it is her duty to read them. And he is adamant that she must think about them critically and compare the worlds described in the stories with the conditions that she sees in the world.”

“She is not ready to deal with all the emotions these books stir up!” said Emotional.
“In fact I am not ready to go through it all with her yet either!”

“It feels like such a long time ago that she was reading Once upon a time” said Columbus “But it also feels like just yesterday!”