the dual lens view of a 2e learner


Skill development of 2e learners is typically uneven, or asynchronous. 2e students demonstrate many combinations of superior ability in one or more areas (specific academics, intellectual ability, creativity, leadership, visual or performing arts) and one or more social, emotional or academic challenge(s) caused by a neurobiological disorder or an emotional, sensory or learning disability. Specific areas of challenge may include physical disabilities; sensory sensitivity; autism spectrum disorder; emotional and/or behavioral disorders; psycho-social issues; ADHD; learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.; receptive and/or expressive language disorders; processing delays; difficulty with executive function. Because of these dual exceptionalities it is critical that 2e students are identified, recognized and accommodated for both their strengths and challenges – and one should never be compromised for the other. It is only through this conceptualization, or “dual lens view” that appropriate academic, social and emotional supports and opportunities can be provided for the 2e learner. 



                                                                            Quick Learner           High Energy

                                                                  Advanced Vocabulary           Perfectionism

                                                               High Abstract Learning           Strong Curiosity

                                              Keen Visual Memory/Spatial Skills           Intensity/Sensitivity

                                                 Comprehends Complex Systems           Wide Range of Interests

                                                   Good Mathematical Reasoning           Tends to Question Rules or Authority

                                                     Sophisticated Sense of Humor           Advanced in Geometry, Sciences & Arts

                                                   Imaginative/Creative/Insightful          Prefers Older or Younger Peers/Adults

                                      Long Attention Span (When Interested)          Difficulty with Memorization/ Computation/ Phonics/ Spelling

Not a diagnosis, twice exceptionality is a conceptual way of understanding, identifying and supporting the social, emotional and academic needs of a uniquely gifted learner. Not every gifted child is twice exceptional, but every twice exceptional child is gifted.
— Melissa Sornik