Some families have gifted children. Other families have kids with disabilities, and some have those who are both. This last group is defined as “twice-exceptional” children. A twice-exceptional youngster is gifted in one area or another and has some kind of disability. Make sure you’re nurturing both aspects of his or her nature with these tips.
Nurture Their Strengths
Disabled children often hear plenty about what they can’t do or won’t be able to do. Twice-exceptional children aren’t off the hook; teachers and family members may respond to their disability more harshly, as in, “You’re so smart! Why can’t you do this?” Find out what your kids’ strengths are, and help them grow. If your child loves hip-hop, for example, he or she should take dance classes. If he or she is fascinated with science, give him or her the opportunity to experiment.
Teach Them to Compensate
Twice-exceptional children are often good at modifying activities to deal with disabilities. Nurture that as much as possible. Perhaps your child is incredible at English but a visual disability makes geometry difficult. Work with him or her and teachers to find ways he or she can use verbal strengths in class. For example, maybe he or she can use definitions instead of drawings to communicate what certain figures are.
Help Them Say “Yes, I Can”
Many disabled children hear “He/she can’t,” so they learn to say “I can’t.” If this describes your kiddo, foster a can-do attitude. Equate success with effort—not perfect performance. Praise effort, and stress how everyone has things they do well and things they need help with.