Twice exceptional


Twice exceptionality, refers to the coexistence of exceptional abilities (high potential) and specific difficulties or disorders in an individual.



These are unique combinations where a person has both exceptional talents, creativity or abilities in some areas, and special challenges or needs in others.

For example, a person with dual exceptionality could be gifted with superior intelligence in areas such as mathematics, science, art or music, while simultaneously having difficulties related to disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, and so on.

Twice exceptionality can make identifying and addressing the needs of these individuals more complex. Exceptional talents can mask  or compensate for difficulties, while difficulties can hinder the full expression of the person’s potential.

Recognizing twice exceptionality is essential to providing appropriate support. People with dual exceptionality can benefit from adapted educational programs and services that take into account both their strengths and their challenges. An individualized approach, taking into account the specific needs of each child, is often recommended to optimize their development and fulfillment.


‘I often feel like I am peculiar in class.
I have a high intellectual capacity and I quickly understand the concepts taught. However, I get bored easily if the level of complexity is not adapted to my needs. I need extra challenges to stay motivated.

On the other hand, I also have difficulties in certain areas. For example, I may find it difficult to organize and manage my time effectively. This can lead to delays in handing in homework.

Sometimes I’m so absorbed by my specific interests that I may have difficulty adapting to changes or interacting socially with my classmates.

I’m a bright yet complex student, and I need the right support to thrive at school.’


The challenges vary depending on the associated disorders, and each twice exceptional child is different.

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