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“Twice-exceptional (2E) children live a daily struggle trying to understand themselves and the educational world they face. We often hear their frustration, anger, stress, anxiety, and denial. We often see their depressive symptoms, fear of failure, dependency, and social distress. They struggle to maintain a precarious balance between dealing with the expectations of being gifted and desperately trying to cope with learning, emotional, and social difficulties.”


Schuler, P (2008)


Note: 2E students may show some of these characteristics, but not necessarily all.


  • Superior vocabulary
  • Advanced ideas and opinions
  • High levels of creativity and problem-solving ability
  • Extremely curious, imaginative, and questioning
  • Wide range of interests not related to school
  • Penetrating insight into complex issues
  • Specific talent or consuming interest area
  • Excellent visual memory
  • Sophisticated sense of humour


  • May have difficulties with simple tasks, such as basic writing activities, spelling or simple arithmetic (but can often complete more sophisticated activities, such as understanding complex mathematical concepts, conversing with sophisticated and creative vocabulary or demonstrating exceptional computer skills)
  • Difficulty with written expression, including poor handwriting, transpositions of letters or numerals
  • Discrepancy between verbal and performance skills
  • Poor performance in one or more academic areas
  • May not respond well or consistently to auditory instructions / information
  • Lack of organisation and study skills
  • Poor social skills
  • Stubborn, opinionated demeanour
  • High sensitivity to criticism
  • High impulsivity
  • Frustrates easily
  • Disruptive in class

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