Gifted & Twice-Exceptional (2E) Boys

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Gifted & twice-exceptional boys often struggle in school, despite their intelligence & talents.

In fact, boys who are gifted or twice-exceptional (which means they are gifted & have a learning disability) are considered “problem kids.” Teachers (and other adults) may make boredom as lack of focus, or assume that poor grades indicate lack of intelligence. For many 2E boys, their learning disabilities overshadow their giftedness; for others, their giftedness hides their learning disabilities, says Deborah (Deb) Gennarelli, a gifted education specialist who is also the author of Twice-Exceptional Boys: A Roadmap to Getting it Right. 

Intensity is part of giftedness — a part that frequently presents challenges for gifted & 2E boys. “Intensity is treated different in boys than in girls in this culture,” Deb says. Teachers & parents may punish or try to “fix” boys’ intensity, which typically only creates more problems.

Gifted & 2E boys need support to thrive. “We can’t ignore the fact that students that have high intelligence look at things in different ways, behave in different ways, learn in different ways,” Deb says. “With the right support, these boys can go from surviving to thriving.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Deb discuss:
  • Myths & misconceptions about gifted & 2E boys
  • Special challenges for gifted & 2E boys
  • Why many smart boys struggle in school
  • Advocating for gifted & 2E boys
  • Parenting gifted & 2E boys
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Twice-Exceptional Boys: A Roadmap to Getting it Right, by Deborah Gennarelli, M.Ed. — Deb’s website

Twice-Exceptional Boys (w Ramsey Hootman) — ON BOYS episode

When Your Kid is the Classroom Problem Child —  heartbreaking The Cut article about a 2E boy

Twice Exceptional Students — info from the National Association for Gifted Children

Twice Exceptional — classic Building Boys post

Talk with Boys Like a PRO (about anything & everything!) — Jen & Janet’s upcoming course (starts May 7, 2024)

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