Thu 18.09.2014 - 10:30-12:40 - Plečnik 1

Twice exceptional - Gifted children with learning difficulties  Symposia  Presentation 


Organiser: Christian Fischer
Discussant: Lianne Hoogeveen

Dealing with the topic of giftedness is a big challenge for the educational system, especially when occurring in combination with impairments in various forms. Those twice exceptional children often show a combination of different gifts and special (a) disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g. social economical disadvantages, cultural ethnic disadvantages), (b) disabilities (e.g. mental disabilities, physical disabilities), (c) behavioral difficulties (e.g. attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorders, autism spectrum disorders) or (d) learning difficulties (e.g. dyscalculia, dyslexia). The symposium will focus on the last mentioned group of twice exceptional persons in the form of mathematically gifted children with learning difficulties. The four presenters will cover different aspects as identification and promotion of twice exceptional children in their strengths in particular in the mathematical area, as well as their weaknesses especially in the linguistic area. Thus requires an interdisciplinary talent support network using the facilities of the digital age.

Mathematically gifted, but untalented in linguistic domains? The perspective of mathematical giftedness  Symposia contribution

Presenter: Friedhelm Kaepnick

In this presentation a case study will be reported that bases upon a complex and interdisciplinary approach: It focuses on a mathematically gifted child whose linguistic skills are developed on an exceptionally low level. Especially, the manner of this specific combination’s development as early as at pre-school age will be emphasized. Moreover, it will be discussed how this specific combination influences determinants of the child’s individual mathematical giftedness. As a consequence, there emerged some particularities regarding the child’s processes of both learning and behavior in the context of mathematical tasks. A couple of these particularities will be presented and illustrated by concrete arguments taken from the case study. Finally, some general conclusions on an appropriate identification and support of mathematically gifted children whose linguistic skills are developed on a low level will be deduced.  

Mathematically gifted, but reading and spelling difficulties? The perspective of learning difficulties  Symposia contribution  Presentation

Presenter: Christian Fischer

In this presentation the same case study of a mathematically gifted child with learning difficulties is examined from a linguistic perspective. To benefit from mathematical strengths to cope with the linguistic weaknesses different approaches are used as parts of an interdisciplinary talent support network: In addition to promoting the mathematical talent in extracurricular projects, a learning strategy-oriented program for gifted dyslexic children will be realized outside school to improve the reading and spelling skills on the background of the child´s special asynchronies. This is combined to with an interest-based enrichment project of self-regulated learning in school which is accompanied by special qualified teachers and students teachers in gifted education and talent support. This case study is based on empirical results of the intervention effects based on the associated special needs in the different developmental areas.


A Comprehensive Model of School Collaboration for the Identification of Twice-Exceptional Students  Symposia contribution

Presenter: Anies Al-Hroub

In this symposium, we will introduce a multidimensional comprehensive model for the identification of the untapped potential of mathematically gifted children with learning difficulties. We will discuss the apparent contradiction between mathematical giftedness and learning difficulties and how it can be resolved through a characteristic profile of cognitive and perceptual strengths and weaknesses. We will also present evidence that the use of a multidimensional model enables teachers and parents to identifying five subgroups of twice-exceptional learners. The model was used in several schools in Jordan and England. It involves eight criteria of formal and informal assessment. The formal assessment involves a combination of three psychometric tests (i.e. WISC-III or WISC-IV, Perceptual Skills Tests, and dyslexia Screening Test) and one dynamic mathematics assessment. The informal assessment involves collecting data from four different sources: School reports, teachers, parents, classroom observation.