Our children are gifted AND have special needs. Do you know anyone else who does?
We have 2 children who are gifted and have special needs. Our older son, 12, is highly gifted (147+)and has ADHD and we think some underlying learning disabilities. Our younger son, 11, is gifted and is being evaluated for something under the umbrella of Juvenile Arthritis, and is struggling with academics. We are looking for any documentation that shows how to recognize LD's in gifted children. Our older son had IEP assessment testing and showed a range of 4 standard deviations, but the school said he didn't qualify for services because his "averages" were in the average range. We will be requesting IEP assessment testing for our younger son after the winter break to evaluate his health issues and learning differences. Because of lack of support in this area we have started an email support group for twice exceptional children and their families, called "2E Network". Any referrals or resources to help show LD's in gifted children would be appreciated. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank-you. Marcie Booth
I am responding on the JustAsk website to answer your question and perhaps help others, as well. I have heard of many children who are GT/LD (Gifted/Talented with learning discrepancies which can be classified as technically Learning Disabled)
For parents, this is very frustrating because they can see that there children are exceptional with cognitive tasks, however, sometimes cannot master school based instruction. Home life can be disruptive, as well for parents are struggling with "doing enough" or the "right thing" to help their child.
I would suggest several places to start. One is CHAD, a parent group for children with ADHD. they may have referrals in your area. Another is your pediatrician for referrals for both boys to a developmental center for children and young teens--often staffed by psychologists, pediatricians and psychiatrists who will be familiar with LD and ADHD and other issues presenting at the threshold of puberty.
Finally, check with the gifted child society in your area for help. Concerning the IEP, a parent advocate is often helpful when you have not been given the support you expect from your school. Just know the law before you start.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
Many children that have ADHD also might have a combination of a learning disability such as dyslexia, visual processing or auditory processing. Most of these children are also gifted in areas such as mathematics, logic, music, art, design, mechanics and athletics. It is so common in learning differences that if one area of the brain is gifted that another area is weaker. In the testing they do through the school system, often a child will score above average in say mathematics but the low average range in say reading. The school will average these two numbers. The problem with this is that the low average (the reading) needs to be addressed through remediation. And the high average (the math) needs to be addressed as well through GATE or a more accelerated program that will keep the child engaged. A child with ADHD will quickly get bored if his/her gifted side isn't stimulated. I would contact some neurologists and neuropsychologists regarding the testing. They are professionals who specialize in the brain and how it functions.