A review of how to address the needs of a gifted child that has special needs

Gifted children often exhibit a higher rate of learning, can display advanced planning and task execution compared to their peers of the same age. Their abilities can span various domains such as academics, arts, sports, or other skills. However, it is important to consider that giftedness can manifest in different ways and is not solely defined by speed of learning or task execution.

Giftedness can be observed in intellectual, academic, creative, artistic, and leadership abilities. Individuals may excel in one or more of these areas, showcasing their unique talents and potential. Often gifted children also have special needs. “Twice-exceptional” or 2e children possess both exceptional abilities and specific challenges like in the areas of learning and development which can make their needs and experiences complex. Balancing their strengths and difficulties requires a nuanced understanding and tailored support. They are tough to understand as well.

Children with special needs that result from both their high abilities and their learning problems are rarely identified and are often poorly served. Addressing the needs of a gifted child with special needs involves a tailored approach. Consider individualized education plans, enrichment activities, accommodations, and social-emotional support to balance their cognitive abilities and specific requirements. Collaborating with educators, therapists, and specialists can help create a comprehensive strategy.

A psychologist can employ various assessment tools for the purpose of diagnosis which further helps to plan treatment procedure in future and techniques to identify a gifted child with special needs. They may observe behavioural patterns, and gather information from parents and teachers. Also the psychologist might assess the child’s social and emotional well-being to identify any challenges. They may use Cognitive Abilities Testing like Wechsler Intelligence Scales , Achievement Test that can highlight discrepancies between a child’s potential and their academic performance , Specific Ability Tests for a deeper understanding of a child’s strengths and areas of talent, Non-verbal tests like the Raven’s Progressive Matrices assess abstract reasoning without relying heavily on verbal skills, behavioural checklists, creative tests and portfolio assessments . Feedback from parents and teachers are beneficial as well.

Awareness programs can certainly help address the needs of gifted children with special needs. These programs can educate educators, parents, and the community about the unique challenges these children face and provide strategies to support their development and well-being.

Awareness helps educators to tailor their teaching methods to accommodate the diverse learning styles and needs of gifted children. It can help in early identification of gifted children with special needs. This allows for timely interventions and support, preventing potential academic and emotional struggles.

Schools, parents, and specialists can work together more effectively to create Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or other personalized support plans that cater to both the gifted and special needs aspects of the child. Awareness programmes help to reduce the stigma sometimes associated with having special needs. Parents can also advocate for their children’s needs when they are aware about giftedness and special needs.Educators can promote a positive learning experience for students to teach effectively and support gifted children with special needs. Even if peers start to understand the gifted children with special needs they can help in developing an inclusive and supportive environment.

Author Sradhanjali Dasgupta

Consultant Psychologist, Speaker , Learning Developmental Coach, Teacher and trainer Miss. Sradhanjali Dasgupta has been extensively working in the field of Counselling and education for the past few years in several Clinics, Hospitals, NGOs and educational sectors. She also contributes her writings and blogs in various newspapers, magazines and e- magazines Her training and workshops are both for the corporate as well as for the educational sector and are geared up for learning and development,upgradation and capacity building. She have actively taken part in many debates


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Author Ramya

I am named Ramya, would love to be called mom from my 13 year old son. Certified in various streams and last year remedial too.
@simplyathome YouTube channel was created to have my sanity and to support other caregivers of kids in spectrum who are aware of what needs to be done, but stagnant like I have been on the “how to’s” break down the process.
This is my small way to give back to community by sharing all that I attempt at home. Home is where values embed and home is the first school for each of us.