2e: Twice Exceptional
My child seems so smart but can't get his/her thoughts onto the paper...
The terms “twice-exceptional” or “2e” are used to describe gifted children who have the potential for high achievement but also evidence of one or more specific learning disabilities such as dysgraphia.
With dysgraphia, the example above is a classic one. 2e kids may understand the content and know all the answers and can communicate them to you verbally -- but then they can't express those answers on homework or class assignments. This can be frustrating for both them and you.
Unfortunately, it can be a struggle to properly diagnose 2e kids. Often they are able to just keep up with the class and many parents report that school didn't or won't test them because they are not far enough behind the class.
Psychologist tip: 2e kids who struggle with writing and/or reading should still be listening to books at or above their grade level to increase listening comprehension and vocabulary similarly to their gifted peers.
Consider an audiobook service like Audible.
However, comprehensive testing is particularly important because it will reveal their areas of strength as well as the areas of learning differences. Many 2e kids with dysgraphia thrive when properly accomodated. Teachers can verbally assess understanding of key concepts. Students can use technology and voice-to-text options to help translate what is in their head onto the assignment. Students with IEPs may be able to be placed in advanced classes for most subjects but with specialized instruction in writing and spelling.
Importantly, 2e kids need encouragement to understand their strengths and their abilities. Often they can find creative methods to excel in their own way.