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Twice-Exceptional Students Seminar


Date: September 23, 2020

Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm CT

Location: Knicely Conference Center

2355 Nashville Rd, Bowling Green, KY 42101

Free to attend

This workshop will help participants understand that twice-exceptional students have differently wired brains and how the dual diagnosis of giftedness and challenges further complicates the issue. Participants will learn how to arrange curriculum and instruction to optimize learning and how to create 2e friendly environments where educational experiences are strength-based and talent-focused.
Topics will include understanding the ADHD/gifted, dyslexic/gifted, and autism spectrum/gifted brain wiring, how to create 2e friendly environments, and how to use strength-based and talent-focused instruction which is dually differentiated to accommodate both strengths and challenges.

About the Presenter

Dr. Matthew Fugate, Ph.D. Dr. Fugate received his doctorate in Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. Prior to this, he worked as an elementary teacher in the Houston Independent School District where he also served as a Gifted Coordinator and Magnet Coordinator. Dr. Fugate's past research has examined the relationship between working memory and levels of creativity in gifted students who have ADHD characteristics. He also examined the coping mechanisms of twice-exceptional girls in secondary school as they navigate both their academic studies and interpersonal relationships. He has presented to parents, teachers, and schools across the United States and internationally on topics such as creativity, curriculum compacting, identification, twice exceptionality, underserved populations, and Total School Cluster Grouping.


Online Resources on Twice-Exceptional Students

The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at Bridges: The 2e Center is a first-of-its-kind multi-disciplinary hub where professionals, scholars, and practitioners combine expertise to enhance understanding of the growing population of 2e students. The primary goals of the Center are to create awareness, offer professional development, provide outreach, and generate projects that will improve services for the special population of children known as twice exceptional (2e). 

The site includes a page of Further Reading.

2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter: for parents, educators, and other professionals.

The Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS)an organization of professionals, parents and others concerned for the success of individuals whose school performance is not commensurate with their exceptional intellectual and creative abilities. 

Serving Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners, a special issue of Gifted Education Communicator, published by the Calfornia Association of the Gifted.

Twice-Exceptional articles on SENG: SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Twice-Exceptional page on Hoagies' Gifted Education Page: the all-things-gifted page.

Twice-Exceptional articles on SENG: SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Twice-Exceptional pageon Wrightslaw: Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. 

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma, a publication of the National Education Association

Twice Exceptional Learners, a special issue ofGifted Child Today

Twice Exceptionality: a special issue of Gifted Child Quarterly, published by the National Association of Gifted Children (Volume 57 Issue 4, October 2013). Some articles available online; full access by joining the NAGC. 

Ideas and Information from Past Twice-Exceptional Students Seminars



Speaker: Dr. Susan Baum, co-director of the International Center for Talent Development and Director of the National Institute for 2E Research and Development at Bridges Academy.

Title: Strengh-Based, Talent-Focused Strategies for 2e Students with Differently Wired Brains


November 2018

Speakers:Lois Baldwin, Independent Educational Consultant and president of The Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) and Daphne Pereles, educational consultant

Title: Finding, Understanding, and Nurturing Twice-Exceptional Students (Parts One and Two)

Highlights: "The development of a comprehensive plan is crucial to the success of the 2e student by allowing for opportunities to push their areas of strength and interest as well as to address and provide support for areas of challenge. If this work is done with a collaborative group of educators and parents, 2e students have a much better chance to thrive!"

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgs_pubs/48/


January 2018

Speaker:Lois Baldwin, Independent Educational Consultant and president of The Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS)

Highlights: Strategies that can work for 2e students include

  • acceleration, content extension, and higher-level thinking activities as interventions in the student’s learning plan
  • specific programs, tutoring, compensatory strategies, and small group direct instruction as interventions to address challenge areas
  • counseling sessions, social groups, or anger management training

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents/the_challenge/challenge-44.pdf



Speaker:Daphne PerelesExecutive Director for the Support and Intervention Unit at the Colorado Department of Education

Highlights: It is important to bring all the people who work with the child together as a problem-solving team in the school. This team includes

  • general education teachers
  • special educators
  • gifted/talented teachers
  • guidance counselors
  • special area teachers
  • administrators
  • parents

These teams should create a individualized and flexible plan that addresses the needs of the whole child by taking the following steps:

  1. Focus on the child’s strengths and talents while supporting and addressing his/her disability.
  2. Address the child’s learning needs to determine what accommodations and modifications need to be made with instructional approaches and learning materials in the plan.
  3. Address the child’s social and emotional needs

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents/the_challenge/challenge-41.pdf  



Speaker:Dr. Mary Ruth Coleman, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina

Read her book: Educating Exceptional Children

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents/the_challenge/challenge-38.pdf 



Speaker:Dr. Susan Baum, co-director of the International Center for Talent Development and Director of the National Institute for 2E Research and Development at Bridges Academy

Highlights: “The first thing a parent or educator should ask is, ‘What is the child like at his or her best?' From that point, you must focus on the strengths to prepare these students for the careers before them."

Read her book:Twice-Exceptional and Special Populations of Gifted Students

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents/the_challenge/challenge-36.pdf 



Speaker:Dr. Beverly A. Trail, Regis University

Highlights: "Gifted education specialists are often the first to recognize the struggles of these gifted children. It is their role to advocate for these twice-exceptional students and to help others understand the issues. In addition, they must nurture the development of the students’ gifted potential and help them to understand they can be successful despite their disabilities in the same way many famous people have overcome their disabilities. Gifted education specialists must work collaboratively with the classroom teacher, special education teacher, other education specialists, parents, and the student to plan and implement the interventions to provide the support these students need to be successful in school."

Read her book: Twice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted Students

Link to article on this seminar in The Challenge:  https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents/the_challenge/challenge30.pdf 



Speakers:Dr. Elizabeth Nielson and Dr. Dennis Higgins, University of New Mexico 

Read their article: "Guiding Principles: Curriculum For
Twice-Exceptional Learners"

Watch a video interview with Elizabeth and Dennis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLWJD2_JjMY


History of the Seminar

Our first seminar on the topic of twice-exceptional (2e) learners was held in September 2011, initially supported by the Twice-Exceptional Foundation, which was funded by the Arts Education Task Force established by Flora Templeton Stuart. Almost every year since then, we have offered a Twice-Exceptional Student Seminar to provide information and strategies on supporting these learners, who are defined as having at least one exceptional ability and disability. All presenters are world-renowned experts on the topic. Although educators have often made up the bulk of the audience, parents and students themselves are invited and welcomed too, and participation is free to all.


National Twice-Exceptional Community of Practice Definition

Twice-exceptional individuals evidence exceptional ability and disability, which results in a unique set of circumstances. Their exceptional ability may dominate, hiding their disability; their disability may dominate, hiding their exceptional ability; each may mask the other so that neither is recognized or addressed. 2e students, who may perform below, at, or above grade level, require the following:

  • specialized methods of identification that consider the possible interaction of the exceptionalities,
  • enriched/advanced educational opportunities that develop the child’s interests, gifts, and talents while also meeting the child’s learning needs,
  • and simultaneous supports that ensure the child’s academic success and social-emotional well-being, such as accommodations, therapeutic interventions, and specialized instruction.

Working successfully with this unique population requires specialized academic training and ongoing professional development.

REFERENCE: Baldwin, L., Baum, S., Pereles, D., & Hughes, C. (2015). Twice-exceptional learners: The journey toward a shared vision. Gifted Child Today, 38 (4), pp. 206-214.

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 Last Modified 6/18/20