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Twice Exceptional Gifted

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son is 8 years old. He has Autism but is very high functioning. He was given an IQ at age 5 of FS 121. He skipped part of 1st, 2nd, most of 3rd and now is in 4th. He is due for a re-evaluation and was found on the KTEA2 to score 148 math composite. His reading was 119 composite with written expression being his lowest at 106 composite (spelling was 122). The school won't identify him as gifted but I worry he will be burned out academically as his math skills are obviously beyond what the normal 4th grade is learning. He is currently at home doing high school math.

The questions is: Do we push the school to address his academic needs or wait for his social to "catch up" and let him sit bored in class? His social is approximately 2 years behind and although he functions in class with no help he basically works by himself and plays by himself with no friends. Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

A: Your son clearly shows very high ability based on the scores you mentioned. I feel really disheartened that he is not being recognised for his strength, in fact denied the learning he badly deserves in school. He has highly above average skills in Math and he needs a differential learning programme to cater for his needs.

I am really surprised that the school does not see his ability which is evident in his test scores. They appear to be looking at his weaknesses - and what are they doing about it? He should definitely be in a pull out programme for Math at the very least. It is such a shame that he is not recognised for his gift. He would need some help in his social skills and you may be able to get some help outside school. But academically, the school should be making a case for such a talented child.

Yes, please push the school and you are his only support for now and you need to help the school recognise his ability. One cannot wait for him to be socially adaptable and deny his strength in the process; these should go hand in hand. Please push the school as much as you can and if that doesn't work, you may need to look around for other schools that are more suitable and adaptable for his needs.

This is a good article to read " Genius May Be an Abnormality" and there are many more that you can find over the internet.

Best of luck!


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