Advocating for Your Gifted or Twice-Exceptional Child
Advocating for Your Gifted or Twice-Exceptional Child
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by Andilynn Feddeler

With a new school year often come new peers, teachers, and even administrators; this transition can be especially hard for students who are gifted, disabled, or twice-exceptional. There are many ways to advocate and speak up for your children to make sure they are receiving a quality education that suits their needs. Consider the following tips when deciding what’s best for your child.

  • Identify. Consider your child’s unique profile—identify the areas he or she excels in, as well as the ones he or she may be falling behind in. Get copies of the test scores, classwork, and any other documents you may need to thoroughly advocate for your child before meeting with educators.

  • Research. See if your school has differentiated curricula for gifted or twice-exceptional students, and get to know the teachers and administrators who will be responsible for your child’s education. Understand that if your child is twice-exceptional, you do not have to choose between advanced and special education services.

  • Listen. See what your child thinks of his or her school’s curriculum and whether it meets expectations. Listen to his or her concerns and ideas about the education he or she is receiving, and adapt accordingly. If kids feel like they have a say in their own education, they may be more successful and eager to learn.

  • Communicate. Some educators may not be inclined to do “extra” work for your child, and you may face resistance when asking that his or her needs be met. However, many teachers are understanding and willing to accommodate every one of their students once the conversation is started. Outline the goals you and your child have set for the year, and with your student’s teacher, devise ways to achieve those.

  • Check In. Once you’ve worked to establish goals for your child, check in with him or her, as well as with his or her teachers. See what’s working and what isn’t. Throughout the year, many things can change, and it’s critical that your child always feels adequately challenged, without getting uncomfortable.

For more information on advocating for your gifted or twice-exceptional child, check out the following resources: