It’s seems completely contradictory for a child to be intellectually gifted and have a learning difficulty at the same time, right? Yet, experts estimate that about 2% – 5% of gifted children have learning difficulties. Gifted children with learning difficulties are referred to as being twice exceptional (abbreviated as 2e) and may suffer from any one of a variety of learning difficulties including among others: Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Aspergers syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder.
A child’s intellectual potential may obscure the signs of a learning difficulty and these children might mistakenly be labelled as lazy, unmotivated or disinterested. They might come to believe this of themselves if they continue to struggle in certain academic areas and there is the risk that these false beliefs might become self-fulfilling prophecies. Not being able to achieve despite obvious potential could be very damaging to a child’s self-esteem – for this reason it is very important to first have an under-performing child undergo a global assessment of functioning by a trained professional before simply assuming that his lack of performance is due to a lack of motivation or self application.
Anel Annandale is a prominent Educational Psychologist with a passion for early childhood development and a special interest in neuropsychology.
She is experienced in the field and has established herself as an expert, often appearing on television shows such as Exspresso. She is also available as a guest speaker at relevant events and functions.