Can intelligence and creativity be combined with a low academic achievement? Could your child be gifted and at the same time have difficulty learning? How can they meet together? How do we deal with it?
There is a different and opposite understanding of the concept of two popular terms, “intellectual talent” and “learning difficulties,” and most people do not realize that in many circumstances the two can go side by side and meet together in one child referred to as “Twice Exceptional.” Twice extraordinary. “
The wrong equation
“Talent” means the ability to perform at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience and environment in one or more areas.
Gifted children develop asynchronously, according to the “Science Daily”, as their minds are often ahead of their physical development, and cognitive and emotional functions are often at different stages of development.
While “learning difficulty” is a problem that affects how a person receives information, processes it and uses it effectively, there is never a relationship between learning difficulties and a person’s intelligence.
According to WebMD, there are different types of learning difficulties, including dyslexia, dyslexia, speech difficulties, spelling problems, dyslexia, math disorder, and auditory disorders.
Is your child a new “Einstein”?
There are many people who have exceptional ability in some academic or intellectual fields, and have great learning difficulties in others.
In other words, your child may be in the fourth grade of primary school, and he has the ability to read in books intended for high school students, and at the same time he cannot pass spelling tests, and writing for him represents a great challenge that he cannot pass.
Or that your teenage child has extensive knowledge of history and has a wonderful writing and expression style, and at the same time he is unable to do the simplest math problems.
The matter seems complicated, as the queen that these children enjoy distinguishes them positively from others, and at the same time puts them in the ranks of the educational laggards.
The matter is not new, as there are a number of great names that have left their mark in several fields despite their suffering from multiple forms of learning difficulties, such as Charles Darwin, Agatha Christie, George Washington, Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci, according to “Masters in Special Education” ( Masters in Special Education).
Discover the talent of a struggling child
It is difficult to list typical characteristics of gifted persons with a learning disability due to the fact that there are so many types of giftedness and so many potential learning disabilities.
The biggest problem with identification is that “learning difficulty” often conceals or prevents expression of “talent,” meaning that a person’s creative abilities are not prominent enough to indicate a talent.
On the other hand, talent can often mask a learning disability, because a person’s abilities can help them overcome or compensate for the disability.
LD online notes that there are some weaknesses that are frequently noticed among these children and they are poor writing, poor spelling, lack of organizational ability, and difficulty in using systematic problem-solving strategies.
Whereas, the strengths that are noted frequently are speaking, understanding and identifying relationships, knowledge of information on a wide range of topics, and observation skills.
In general, the processes of reasoning and reasoning are often not affected, but the mechanisms of writing, reading, calculating mathematics, and completing academic tasks often face great difficulties.
The crisis is in the system
These children suffer from not being discovered, trained and given their right to excel, even in developed countries.
In the United States of America, 14% of children who are identified as intellectually gifted may also have a learning disability, yet teachers have not been trained to identify these children, or how to teach them so that they can achieve their full potential, according to Katharina Wormald. Professor specializing in gifted education and special education for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Wollongong in Australia.
These children are referred to as “gifted with a learning disability” and are also called “twice exceptional”.
Difficulties arise in identifying these children, according to “Katharina” in an article published on “The Conversation” because they generally fall into 3 categories:
1- Children whose intellectual talents are recognized, because their disabilities do not appear except with increasing difficulty in their homework.
2- Children who have not been identified as gifted or have learning difficulties, because they show average achievement.
3- Children who have been identified as suffering from learning difficulties. They may be in a learning support program but their intellectual talents are not recognized.
Katharina explains that what makes matters more complicated is that the gifted promotion programs in schools and the services for learning difficulties are mutually exclusive, as there is usually in schools a coordinator for gifted counseling who meets the needs of that category of students, and another team for training people with special needs whose role is to provide support services For students with learning disabilities, there is rarely any overlap or consultation between the two groups.
Home and school .. cooperation is necessary
These children tend to teach themselves new skills, are always curious to learn more about the world around them, and they may have a very good memory of facts and highly developed thinking skills that often lead them to be critical thinkers.
According to “Read and spell”, the gifted child focuses on learning itself, not finishing the school project or the task required of it. Rather, he may criticize the task’s requirements and choose to ignore what he deems unnecessary.
These children need to understand their special condition and rare talents, and to assist them in areas where their performance is poor. They also need motivation and encouragement.
And when they are nurtured in parallel at home as well as in school, gifted students can make rapid and distinct progress compared to their peers of the same age, and they can become exceptional personalities in influence in the world.