Your son's peers don't care that he's "2e" - ADHD Dude - Ryan Wexelblatt


Over the course of my career I've watched the term "twice exceptional (2e) go from being a description of a learning profile to What sometimes feels like a status symbol.
I can already hear the backlash: "2e kids need differentiated instruction, that's wrong to call it a status symbol!" I agree, they do need differentiated instruction. "Educators don't understand our kids because of their complex learning profiles". There's validity to that, we have a propensity to use intellect as a predictor of other areas that have nothing to do with intellect (such as executive functioning and social skills).
I understand that parents want to connect with other parents who have kids with similar learning profiles, that's fine.
If you have a child who is 2e you need to keep in mind that their non 2e peers are the kids who they spend years in school with. One day they will be their co-workers. Most importantly, their peers don't care about the fact your son/daughter is "2e", it means nothing to them.
I have visited a school for intellectual gifted students and here's what I saw there:
Students being intellectually engaged by dynamic teachers, a great curriculum and some of the most socially incompetent kids I have ever come across in my career, because the focus had always been on their intellect.
About 6 years ago I worked with a student who was in his last year of a doctoral program at a very prestigious university in the Philadelphia area. He reached out to me because his doctoral dissertation chairperson told him that his dissertation committee were read to kick him out of the program because of his inflexibility and unwillingness to take direction. He was told to get help, and this was his last chance to complete his dissertation. (He had been in the program for 4 years at this point). He had one friend in his life, when he was about 12-13. Aside from that he never had any social relationships.
He was a pleasure to work with because he was very motivated to learn, yet his social learning challenges were significant. I was really happy to hear from him when he completed his dissertation and graduated.
I created this post because I want parents of 2e kids to keep in mind that being intellectually gifted doesn't mean much if you are so inflexible or have significant social learning challenges that prevent you from working successfully with others. Being intellectually gifted doesn't mean much if you are chronically unhappy because you can't socially connect with others and lack meaningful social relationships.
Raising Great Dudes, my upcoming Parent Behavior Management program will teach parents how to cultivate flexibility, and no longer accommodate their child's inflexibility. After Raising Great Dudes is done, I will immediately start working on my social skills program for parents. Both will be available at the upcoming ADHD Dude membership site. (No release date yet).
Sign up to be notified about the launch of the membership sit here: