National Center for Learning Disabilities

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A child who has a learning disability (LD) and is also gifted faces a different kind of challenge, since an exceptional talent in one area may overshadow an LD in another area. Learn how to understand and support the needs of your “twice-exceptional” student.

Giftedness - Learning Disabilities



Giftedness and Learning Disabilities

Gifted Children - Gifted Education Let’s agree that learning disabilities (LD) is an “umbrella” term that encompasses disorders in listening, speaking, reading, writing and mathematics. And let’s also agree that individuals with LD have unique learning profiles, meaning that they struggle in some areas of skill development and perform well (or excel) in others. By definition, having a learning disability means that an individual’s struggle with learning is not due to limited intellectual capacity and that there are no social, emotional, environmental or sensory (physical and medical) obstacles preventing them from achieving their learning potential.

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Twice-Exceptional Me

Giftedness - Gifted Children I am an academically gifted student who has struggled with learning disabilities (LDs) all my life even though I wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2005. Since I began to talk, people remarked on my intelligence. Yet when I learned to write my name, I wrote a mirror image. I was nearly held back in first grade because I couldn’t distinguish “b’s,” “d’s,” “p’s,” and “q’s.” In elementary school, though my vocabulary and science knowledge were exceptional, I performed poorly in spelling, writing and math. My teachers thought of me as academically gifted, but lazy, irresponsible, sloppy and slow. I was bored with the unchallenging curriculum and frustrated, that although I understood the material, I made so many “stupid” mistakes. I despised writing because it took so long, I misspelled everything, and, while I had many ideas, I couldn’t get them onto paper.

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Exceptional Children: Navigating LD and Special Education

Children with Disabilities - Student with Disabilities Creating safe, stable and nurturing opportunities for children to learn is a gargantuan task, and the list of potential—and in some cases, essential—ingredients that contribute to children’s educational well-being is virtually endless. Attending to these needs can be especially challenging for children in foster care. Medical professionals should be recruited as active partners in ensuring that learning and behavioral needs are addressed at home and in the school community.

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