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Characteristics of Gifted/Learning Disabled Students

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Shannon Ferry

on 10 July 2014

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Transcript of Characteristics of Gifted/Learning Disabled Students

Gifted students with learning disabilities are a unique subgroup of students who demonstrate both superior intellectual ability and specific learning problems.
Students also known as “twice exceptional” and "dually exceptional.”
Gifted students with LD have cognitive and academic needs that appear different from those of either gifted populations or those with LD. (Crawford & Snart, 1994)
Defining GT/LD
Challenges in Identification
GT/LD students are often not identified for either gifted or special education services.
The combination of advanced capabilities and disabilities make it challenging to identify these students.
Another challenge for these students is a high intellectual functioning often compensates for the learning difficulty which masks both the gifted potential and the learning disability.

Challenges in Identification
These students may be inattentive in class, struggle with basic spelling, or have poor peer relationships yet possess excellent vocabularies, show extraordinary interest in a particular area, or use advanced problem-solving skills. (Robinson, 1999)
Many students who are GT/LD are not identified until high school and college when academic work increases in difficulty.

Characteristics of GT/LD
May be remarkably high in some areas and disabling weaknesses in others. (Baum, 1990)

By: Jennifer Doonan
and Sheleen Ferry

Characteristics of Gifted/Learning Disabled Students
High verbal expressive ability
Frustration or lack of motivation
Excellent vocabulary
Inattentive in class
Struggle with basic spelling
Bright and sensitive
Frequently off-task
Exceptional analytical and comprehension skills
Sophisticated problem-solving skills
Show extraordinary interests or talents
Often students’ problems manifest themselves only in the school setting, being highly active and motivated to pursue hobbies and other interests while at home.

“I am an academically gifted student who has struggled with learning disabilities all my life.”
Started talking – intelligent remarks
Could not distinguish b’s, d’s, p’s, and q’s
Vocabulary & science exceptionally high
Preformed poorly in spelling, writing and math
Teachers said, “academically gifted, but lazy, irresponsible, sloppy and slow.”
Bored and frustrated and made stupid mistakes.
Writing took long, misspelled many words
Saw psychologist – wanted testing but refused (thought LD meant stupid and would be removed from gifted classes)
Finally tested and felt stupid, defective, and doomed for failure.
Got educated on LD and felt more confident
Entered college two years early
Struggled and school could not help
Co-founded E=LD2 to promote awareness

Case Study- Twice Exceptional Me Lenora Somervell
Jessica is an insightful 3rd grade girl with a superior vocabulary. She has a wide range of interests that are not related to school learning and is extremely creative. However, Jessica is easily frustrated with writing assignments and is oversensitive to criticism. She shows a lack of academic initiative and frequently does not complete school assignments. (Is she an GT/LD student?)

Understand the way a student learns in order to foster success
Focus on concepts first and details second
Connect past learning to new content
Learning organizational techniques through modeling and practice
Alternate methods of self-expression (art, drama, music, or dance)
Decrease volume of assignments and tests
Utilize visual, tactile-kinesthetic, and movement activities to stimulate senses for learning
Teaching Strategies and
Provide students with rationale for tasks and lessons
Provide students with rubrics, checklists, or performance lists to reduce frustration
Conduct short and long term goal setting sessions
Enhance motivation by planning for a less desirable task to precede a preferred one
Limit choices when necessary
Provide a private space for independent work
Pair students whose strengths are complementary
Teaching Strategies and
Interventions Continued
Parent Guide
to GT/LD

How many of these characteristics fit your child?
Strong thinking skills, large vocabulary, and extensive background knowledge, but struggles with basic writing skills.
Creative and sensitive, but struggles with following basic directions.
Strong memory for details of historical events, but struggles with remembering new spelling rules or multiplication facts.
Loves to be read to and has a depth of verbal understanding, but struggles with reading.

Video Clips
Resources and Further Reading
Twice Exceptional Students: Supporting the Achievement of Gifted Students with Special Needs (MCPS publication)www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/enriched/mcpsprograms/gtld/index.shtm
Watson, Sue. Learning Disabilities: Definition and Support http://giftedkids.about.com/od/giftedandld/a/gt_and_ld_2.htm
Weinbrenner, S. (2003). Teaching strategies for twice-exceptional students. Intervention in School and Clinic, 38(3), 131-137.

Baum, S. (1990). Gifted but learning disabled: A puzzling paradox. Reston, VA: Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children. (ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED321484)
Crawford, S., & Snart, F. (1994). Process-based remediation of decoding in gifted LD students: Three Case Studies. Roeper Review 16(4), 247-253.
Robinson, S. (1999). Meeting the needs of students who are gifted and have learning disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 3494), 195-210.
Summervell, Lenora. http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/adhd-related-issues/giftedness/twice-exceptional-me

Resources and
Further Reading
Twice Exceptional by Reading Rockets
Published on March 12, 2014, Dr. Dennis Higgins teaches seven boys in New Mexico who need some unique instruction. They are "twice exceptional," which means they are both intellectually gifted and struggling to remediate an identified learning disability.

Twice Exceptional Summary - Walking the
line twice.
Full transcript