Social and Emotional Development


The Lost Art of Diagnosing Twice-Exceptionality

Friday, November 10
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Location: 210 A

Since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, identification of gifted children with disabilities (the Twice Exceptional or 2e) has declined dramatically. The law’s emphasis on teachers finding below-grade-level performers through Response to Intervention led many schools to over-rely on RTI and low performance to identify specific learning disabilities, and sometimes ALL disabilities. Recent federal clarifications direct schools to evaluate ALL children suspected of having a disability, without regard to giftedness or higher performance. Only comprehensive assessment, using current instruments, can interpret the complex patterns of strengths and weaknesses that mask significant disabilities in 2e students.

Barbara Gilman

Associate Director
Gifted Development Center

Barbara (Bobbie) Jackson Gilman, M.S. is Associate Director of the non-profit Gifted Development Center in Westminster, CO, which specializes in the assessment of gifted children at all levels of giftedness, with and without disabilities, for educational planning and advocacy. She consults with parents worldwide and maintains ongoing involvement in research on the gifted and gifted assessment. Bobbie wrote the award-winning Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent's Complete Guide and Challenging Highly Gifted Learners (for teachers). She co-chairs with Dr. Dan Peters the National Association for Gifted Children's Assessments of Giftedness Special Interest Group (SIG), formerly the Assessment Task Force. Involved with the Task Force’s research on the WISC-IV, Bobbie helped determine best practices for its use with gifted children, resulting in the NAGC position statement, “Use of the WISC-IV for Gifted Identification.” (This data was shared with the test publisher to create WISC-IV extended norms to better identify highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted children.)

Bobbie spearheaded the SIG’s more recent work on twice-exceptional issues, including the 2013 “Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional,” co-written by 17 SIG members, which provided a basis for NAGC’s Position Statement, “Ensuring Gifted Children with Disabilities Receive Appropriate Services: Call for Comprehensive Assessment” (2013). Bobbie frequently writes and presents on the current challenges of Twice-Exceptional identification and service eligibility with Dr. Dan Peters, Dr. Mike Postma and Kathi Kearney. She is newly involved in a SIG study on the WISC-V to research that test's efficacy with gifted children and to provide data to Pearson on high scoring children to create extended norms. This year, she is updating her advocacy book. Bobbie is the 2015 recipient of SENG's Healthcare Professional of the Year award.


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Kathi Kearney

Gifted Education Specialist
Maine School Administrative District 51

Kathi Kearney is a Gifted Education Specialist in Maine School Administrative District #51, Cumberland, ME. She also teaches online courses in gifted education for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and is a professional associate with the Gifted Development Center in Westminster, CO. Kathi is a former chair of the NAGC Conceptual Foundations Network.


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The Lost Art of Diagnosing Twice-Exceptionality

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