Gifted & Learning Difficulties




A student who exhibits remarkable talents and strengths in some areas and disabling weaknesses in others.

Twice Exceptional is to be both gifted and learning disabled.

There are three groups of Twice Exceptional Students:

  1. Unidentified
  2. Identified as Gifted
  3. Identified as Learning Disabled

Twice Exceptional students can be:

  1. Gifted and Dyslexic
  2. Gifted and Dysgraphic
  3. Gifted and Dyscalculic
  4. Gifted and Depressed

Twice Exceptional Students can be Visual Spatial Learners.


  • High scores on the WISC in vocabulary, similarities, block design, abstract reasoning and spatial reasoning.
  • Above average vocabulary.
  • Great knowledge and passion for subjects of interest.
  • Can show exceptional skills in mathematical reasoning, geometry.
  • Divergent thinkers involving unusual, original, imaginative and creative thought processes.
  • Active imaginations.
  • Excellent visual memory.
  • Sophisticated sense of humour.


  • Cannot do simple tasks but can complete more sophisticated activities.
  • Spells poorly.
  • Has poor handwriting, reversals of letter and poor formation of letters can be common.
  • Inconsistencies in reading ability: either good comprehension but poor reading skills, or good reading skills but poor comprehension.
  • Has difficulty with computation but demonstrates higher level mathematical reasoning.
  • Transposes numerals in mathematics.
  • Does well in mathematics, but poorly in language.
  • Does well in language but poorly in mathematics.
  • Does not do well on timed tests.
  • Does not respond well or consistently to auditory instructions/information.
  • Poor organisational skills, failure to complete or hand in assignments.
  • Difficulty with rote memorisation, sequential learning.
  • Poor ball handling skills.
  • Difficulty copying from the blackboard.
  • Generalises minor academic failure to feelings of overall inadequacy.
  • Affective behaviours can include: low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations, reluctant to take risks.
  • Disruptive in class.
  • Frequently off task.
  • Frustrates easily.
  • Acts out without thinking about the consequences.
  • Has poor social skills with peers and adults.
  • A zig zag or scatter WISC pattern, showing weaknesses in the sub tests such as coding, digit span, arithmetic, and freedom from distractibility.

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Behaviour displayed by children and adults is a product of their experiences and learning. It has a meaning and function. Behaviour can be modified if we can modify their experiences and environment.