In an easy to read format, it has concrete strategies to help by respecting all communication styles and putting the parent and teacher firmly in the learning seat.
By stressing the importance for adults to adapt and learn how neurodiverse kids think and communicate, I believe it will help create real and authentic learning, tailored to the needs of their children and students.
*Twice-Exceptional (2e) children are gifted children with disabilities.
**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own!
A while ago I had a conversation with a genuinely wonderful parent who was at their wits end. Their child wouldn’t listen, the teachers kept reprimanding them for ‘doodling’ on worksheets, they never followed directions, they could finish things in minutes once they started, they were always talking…
“The only thing that works is to yell at them.” They finally said, with a sigh.
I understood. You see I was that child. Bright, but scattered; gifted, with executive functioning issues (in my case, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD).
Writing can be hard. Encouraging kids to write can some days feel like pulling teeth out with tweezers. But often in these situations, it’s good to remember that kids will do well if they can – and often the reason they can’t is that something is getting in the way of creating those awesome you-have-to-listen-to-this-mum stories that kids seem to always have bubbling away in their heads.
It’s the perennial question – are they really learning? This can be particularly acute when your kids seem to spend all day playing computer games (or horror – watching other people on YouTube play games).
This is our reality at the moment. Of course, I have been knocked around with a lovely infection, so there has been a tad less guidance than usual ( and thank goodness for antibiotics!)
But despite this, there are a number of things that we have done to actually aide, encourage and help our kids learn the things we think they need to learn while immersed in their ‘everything is a game‘ world.
I still remember the moment I realised my son was Autistic. We were walking down a leafy, tree-lined street and my son asked me,
“Mummy, how can you tell what people are feeling?”
As I explained how I knew based on how people’s faces and bodies moved, I watched my son’s expression – it was shocked surprise. The idea that most people could just tell by looking at each other came as utterly mind-bending. It was like Valentine Michael Smith from ‘Stranger in a Strange Land‘ learning about the alien customs of Earthlings that he resembled, but did not grok.
“I’ve done lots of reading, I’ve looked at the standard definitions, I listened to the niggles and ‘problems’ that different people – my GP, a friend, my child’s teacher etc. have mentioned. I know my child’s quirky . . . But, is my gifted child autistic?”
It’s a question almost every parent of gifted kids I have ever talked to has brought up at one time or another (particularly the parents of highly to profoundly gifted children). And though it seems there should be an easy answer to this question – a quick test, a definitive way of putting a yes or no to this question, the answer is actually much, much more complicated.
Having travelled down this rabbit-hole for a long while now, I’d like take you on a trip into the world of giftedness and autism.
It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way. Continue reading “Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road”