Interesting article by Robin Finn in today's Washington Post — about being the parent of a child who has both exceptional cognitive abilities and significant learning or emotional/social deficits. Twice-Eceptional or "2e."
That’s actually a real thing, according to a 30-page report issued by the National Education Association in 2006.
And it tracks with something I’ve found kind of ironic — both my kids are in our county’s “Exceptional Education” system. The TeenGirl under the heading of “Talented & Gifted” and The Boy under “Mobility and Other Impairment.” Although I wouldn’t be surprised if The Boy is somewhere on the gifted scale as well, or would be, if he could be tested accurately.
The article is worth reading. You can find it at:
(Although for your own peace of mind, skip the comments. They are typically brutal.)
What really touched my heart about the article was its focus on how difficult it can be for kids like The Boy to be so different. Finn writes:
"The toll on the self-esteem of any child who is different can be enormous. Twice-exceptional kids are easily misunderstood. Social/emotional issues, such as feelings of failure, worthlessness, anger, depression, and isolation are not uncommon among these kids. At parent-teacher conferences at my son’s school, I repeatedly heard, “In my [blank] years of teaching, I’ve never had a kid like this.” This translated into, I have no idea how to work with your child. When I’d ask the teacher what services were available, the answer was always the same: none they were aware of."
We’ve certainly had our share of frustrating run-ins with educators. Especially with the ones who only see The Boy’s deficits, and not his incredible strengths. And that can be hard to do, because the deficits present such obvious challenges. But to quote Finn again:
"Not everything is a problem that needs to be fixed. The Boy isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed."
Through the Roof
A Blog Supported by the Mosaic ministry of Third Church, ECO
"Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on." (Mark 2:3-4)
About: This is a blog about accessibility, intimacy, and community. About being welcome. It’s also about bringing up The Boy. He's 11 years old and has cerebral palsy. Also popping up are The TeenGirl, who just turned 13, and The Mom, who is awesome. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.