Thanks Dr Dan Peters for his excellent reminder at Huffpo, Sorry But Your Child is Too Bright to Help, excerpt: “..he has trouble reading fluently and has trouble with writing and
has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia, but he is meeting minimum grade expected levels…”
As Dan points out, RTI was designed to provide additional intervention for students who weren’t performing up to grade level expectations, but didn’t qualify for special education. It reduced the demands for comprehensive testing, which were impossible for public school school psychologists to meet. However, it also caused any twice exceptional students to fall through the cracks.
The issue is a common one for dyslexic students – perhaps because of the higher order critical thinking and creative skills of dyslexic wiring, but also a mismatch in many public school curricula that emphasize rote and procedural skills. For a great read, check out Critical-Issues Facing Gifted Twice Exceptional Students and join our Stealth Dyslexia group.
Just last week, we received an email from a parent concerned that her daughter’s school was trying to exit her from an IEP / 504 as she was to begin high school. The problem with making this decision between 8th to 9th grade is that the expectations ramp up dramatically in high school, and 9th grade is often the pivotal year when students need their Dyslexia and Dysgraphia designations to apply for accommodations for College Entrance Exams like the SAT, ACT, and AP exams.
Waiting for a child to fail in 9th grade without appropriate supports can result in consequences that are hard if not impossible to reverse.
Last month, Direct of the Office of Special Education Programs (US Dept of Education) sent a letter to all the state heads of special education, reinforcing the importance of testing students of high cognition who may be twice-exceptional, that is gifted with a specific learning disability (designation schools typically define dyslexic students) so that schools can provide “an appropriate education for a child.”
For the student who is both gifted and dyslexic, an appropriate education is differentiation for giftedness and differentiation for dyslexia. Demonstration of an ability-achievement discrepancy through comprehensive testing is an essential requirement for the designation of 2E or twice-exceptionality.
What an appropriate education looks for gifted dyslexic students looks like on a daily basis may vary dramatically for a particular student, but in our clinic we have often been able to see “best fits” with these students placed in gifted classes with appropriate accommodations.
Do you have a 2E student? What are your experiences? What have you learned?