The Belin-Blank Center uses the definition of twice-exceptionality (2e) drafted by Dr. Sally Reis and her colleagues: 2e learners both “demonstrate the potential for high achievement or creative productivity in one or more domains…AND…manifest one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria.” Despite the high potential these students possess, they are often not identified and/or admitted into programs for talented students. Their unique profile results in misunderstanding and frustration for schools, parents/guardians, and the students themselves. This reality serves as the catalyst for our research and programming efforts to ensure these students are challenged and engaged in school:
- Research articles, chapters, and presentations on twice-exceptionality. Drs. Megan Foley-Nicpon and Susan Assouline from the Belin-Blank Center are considered research leaders in this area.
- The Belin-Blank Center’s Assessment & Counseling Clinic offers comprehensive clinical services for twice-exceptional students, including evaluations, therapy, and consultations. In 2022, we served over 125 students and families.
- An online social skills group for twice-exceptional middle school students in Iowa.
- A partnership with Carver College of Medicine’s Iowa Neuroscience Institute on research and intervention projects.
- A Summit on the Neuroscience of Twice-Exceptionality co-hosted with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute in 2021. The summit featured speakers sharing research from several different domains, including neuroscience, genetics, gifted education, special education, psychology, and psychiatry.
- A neuroscience-focused summer program for twice-exceptional students sponsored by the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, returning for its second year on June 12, 2023. More details to come!
- Specific guidance and support in the Integrated Acceleration System, a tool used in grade-skipping decisions, for twice-exceptional students being considered for acceleration.
- The Academy for Twice-Exceptionality, a support system for twice-exceptional University of Iowa students. Supports include partnering with UI services, individual weekly meetings, topical workshops, planned social events, and communication with parents/guardians.
- The new Twice-Exceptional Summer Academy will run June 13 & 14, 2023. This summer offering for students who finished grades 9 or 10 will be held on the University of Iowa campus. More details are coming soon!