Listening and responding to twice exceptional students: Voices from within

Authors

Michelle Ronksley-Pavia and Geraldine Townend

 

This paper presents findings from two separate research projects conducted between 2012 and 2015, which together examined the experiences of 19 twice exceptional children. The first study used a mixed methods approach with eleven students to investigate their educational experiences through quantitative instruments and in-depth interviews. The second study used narrative case study inquiry methods to elicit eight children’s in-school and out-of-school experiences of being twice exceptional, using the unique method of interviewing the children in their own home settings.

Relatively little is known about the educational experiences of twice exceptional children, particularly in Australia, and how their experiences may contribute to our understanding of individual needs. Findings across both studies point to twice exceptional children’s insights about their giftedness and their disability. These insights reflect feelings of being different to their peers, issues with interpersonal relationships; such as bullying and limited understanding from others. Many of these experiences increased stress and anxiety levels, which were further exacerbated by some educators’ frequent focus on disability rather than ability. These negative experiences were often ameliorated by out-of-school support, personal interests, and both parental and self-advocacy. Together, the findings.

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Keywords: Twice exceptional, gifted, educational experiences, narrative inquiry