Gifted Individuals with Learning Disabilities – Twice Exceptionality

Learning inhibitions in Gifted Individuals can frequently be mistaken for the Twice – Exceptional Syndrome – Gifted Individuals with Learning Disabilities. Understanding how to tell the difference between the two is crucial to a gifted individual’s well-being.

Avoiding Misdiagnosis

Learning Disabilities are assumed to be inborn neurological deficits that restrict the cognitive functions of giftedness and make giftedness itself feel like a disability rather than a remarkable asset.

They cannot be corrected. They can only be managed with compensation techniques – special methods for working around the disability – and advocacy strategies – requesting extra time to complete assignments and special settings to take tests.

Having a learning disability can be associated with the lifelong burden of needing special treatment and the stigma of accepting cognitive limitations.

Learning Inhibitions by contrast are not neurological deficits but are psychological/emotional processes that block the full expression of many exceptional cognitive and extra-cognitive functions of giftedness.

They can be corrected with the proper psychological-based therapy.

Successful therapy can avoid a lifelong need for compensation and advocacy strategies.

Our clinical experience has made us wonder how many gifted individuals, originally diagnosed with twice-exceptionality, actually suffer with learning inhibitions.

The following case study illustrates the importance of distinguishing a learning inhibition from a learning disability.

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Jerald Grobman M.D.

646-872-6842

Madelon Sann L.C.S.W.​

646-354-0907