The term “twice exceptional” might be new to the educational scene, but students who fit the definition have always been present in our classrooms. The term “twice exceptional” (2e) captures both the extraordinary intellectual gifts of these students and the learning differences or disabilities they also carry — and sometimes try to hide. These students are often puzzling to those who raise them or teach them.
Teachers are aware of these bright and often highly articulate students who are capable of advanced understanding but who might also be disorganized, forgetful about turning in homework, and are sometimes disruptive. However, they struggle to meet their needs.
Parents express frustration and sadness about their child’s experiences at school. They frequently receive reports that their child is lazy, defiant, or not motivated, yet rarely hear about the remarkable skills, proficient productivity, intellectual curiosity and tender heartedness demonstrated at home.
In traditional educational settings, 2e students are frustrated and anxious. They frequently feel misunderstood by teachers, bored by material they have long since mastered, and wary of classmates who seem to effortlessly navigate the social scene.
Bridges Academy, an independent school in Studio City that serves 2e students in grades 5-12, uses a talent- development model throughout the school. Bridges offers a stimulating, college preparatory curriculum taught by a faculty trained to support both exceptional strengths and learning disabilities or differences. Bridges students are identified by the things they can do, not by what they can’t do.
Bridges Academy serves as a resource center for parents and professionals who work with these kinds of learners. Bridges will co-host an international conference in Hawaii next year with participants from the U.S., Asia and Australia.
For more information about Bridges Academy, 3921 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City, please call (818) 506-1091 or visit www.bridges.edu.