Therapy for Gifted students

What is a twice-exceptional student?

A twice-exceptional student is a child or teen with gifted IQ’s with diagnosis. This may be a learning disability, a medical condition or it might be ADHD, Asperger’s, SPD, anxiety, etc.

What if they are all 3?

That means they are a thrice-exceptional! They are gifted, with diagnosis, and a medical condition!

Characteristics of a twice-exceptional student

  • They may be highly intelligent but appear average in school, initially excel in school and later struggle, or have exceptional strengths in some subject areas

  • Frequently have a wide vocabulary with several interests
  • They are frequently creative and think ‘outside the box’
  • Easily frustrated, especially by their peers
  • May argue, as if they have a need to be right
  • Sensitive to being criticized
  • Frequently poor study habits (do not study for tests or do homework)
  • Stubborn
  • Likely to be misdiagnosed with several diagnoses
  • Intellectually advanced for their age
  • Behaviorally immature for their age
  • May have a learning disability

Is this your child or teen?


Why do they struggle at school?

twice-exceptional student frustrated teenTwice-exceptional means they are more likely to blend in and compensate for weaknesses, less likely to receive support at school, and more likely to be overlooked by pediatricians, counselors, and others that may not be educated in the importance of recognizing and supporting our twice-exceptional children.

These students struggle because intellectually they are advanced and may become bored quickly. But, they also tend to have an academic weakness where they perform ‘average’ or ‘below-average.’ This discrepancy can cause anxiety, anger, school refusal and more.

Why won’t the school help my child?

These children can be the masters of blending in! A twice-exceptional child might use their IQ to compensate in other areas they might struggle. A gifted child with ADHD may be organized and appear very focused, while hiding their difficulties.

These children tend to fall through the cracks of academia with many schools refusing to offer a 504/IEP due to academic achievement.

How to diagnose a twice-exceptional student

I specialize in working with and diagnosing twice-exceptional students. I complete a thorough assessment with you and your child before recommending the diagnosis.

Now what?

twice-exceptional student sad child

Twice exceptional children typically require a different approach to counseling- traditional

settings may not work for them. These children frequently prefer to talk and strategize. They may go on tangents. They may come in with a mission. But one thing is always true- they need support just like anyone else.

I find these children tend to have higher anxiety because they are constantly battling to fit in. Self-esteem wise, they tend to be really low. They may have difficulty with transitions, and demand structure. All of the things that can be hard to make happen.

They can be difficult to parent because most parenting solutions will not work for them. Traditional parenting recommendations won’t work because they do not keep in mind the needs of twice exceptional children. This is where I come in- let’s problem solve and find solutions that truly work.

I tried counseling before, it didn’t help

That is a common frustration for parents of twice-exceptional students. These children and teens require a different approach. I can provide that for you.