Category Archives: research

Recent Research on Twice-Exceptionality

The Belin-Blank Center has an extensive body of work on twice-exceptionality — from our Assessment and Counseling Clinic to professional learning to leading research. Our director, Dr. Megan Foley Nicpon, is a leader in that field. Here are some of the recent publications that come from her work.

Policy Considerations for Twice-Exceptional Students

Abstract: Policies for talented students with disabilities, or twice-exceptional students, exist in very few states across the country. Historically, families of twice-exceptional students have found most of their support through implementation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Accommodation plans. Yet, there is no federal mandate for gifted education service provision; consequently, these students’ coexisting high abilities often are overlooked. We recommend states modify their gifted and talented policies to address specifically twice-exceptional best practices in identification, such as using universal screening methods tied to curriculum interventions, and intervention, such as creating Gifted Individual Education Plans in conjunction with IEPs. These methods outline not only service provision for one’s disability but also specify methods for developing talent among twice-exceptional youth. (Foley-Nicpon, M., & Teriba, A. (2022). Policy considerations for twice-exceptional students. Gifted Child Today, 45(1), 212-219. https://doi.org/10.1177/10762175221110943)

Developmental Milestones as Early Indicators of Twice-Exceptionality”

Abstract: Twice-exceptional individuals are those who have high cognitive ability in one or more areas, but also have a diagnosed disability. The needs of these individuals likely differ from those with high cognitive ability without a disability and those who solely have a disability. Intervening early can offer exceptional benefits for twice-exceptional individuals, but this has proved challenging due to the high cognitive abilities masking disabilities. This study explores if parent-reported developmental milestones can predict the number of disabilities diagnosed for an individual, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Specific Learning Disorder (SLD). Using a clinical sample of about 1,300 individuals, we used a Bayesian cumulative logistic model to explore if developmental milestones can predict the number of diagnoses after controlling for IQ and age. Study results showed that when an individual began to count and read informed predictions for the number of future diagnoses in the clinical sample. Implications for future study and practitioners are discussed in further detail. (LeBeau, B., Schabilion, K., Assouline, S. G., Foley-Nicpon, M., Doobay, A. F., & Mahatmya, D. (2022). Developmental milestones as early indicators of twice-exceptionality. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2022.107671)

Excellence Expected, Needs Overlooked: Implications for Working With Asian American Twice-Exceptional Students”

Abstract: Twice-exceptional students often face challenges stemming from misconception, misidentification, or misplacement in educational systems (Foley-Nicpon & Candler, 2018). Because the disability may mask the gift/talent domain or the gift/ talent domain may mask the disability, it can be challenging to recognize these students and appropriately respond to their learning needs (Baldwin et al., 2015). For Asian Americans in particular, the Asian American community has vocalized the problematic nature of ignoring the heterogeneity and diversity within the community and the impact this has on their education (Park, 2019; Wong, 2015). Without considering their racialized experiences, the learning and social and emotional needs of Asian American twice- exceptional (AA2E) students might not be captured fully. Asian American students are well represented in the U.S. gifted and talented education (GATE) system; they are 5% of school populations but 10% of GATE populations (Civil Rights Data Collection, n.d.; Ford, 2013). These data seem to support the model minority stereotype, a stereotype that can negatively affect talented and gifted Asian American students who may feel pressured to maintain high standards and internalize this high expectation (Henfield et al., 2014; Mun & Hertzog, 2019; Wong, 2015). When “what giftedness or disability should look like” meets “what Asian American should be like,” the multilayered stereotypes make it even harder to recognize, understand, and respond to the needs of AA2E students. In this article, we discuss the development and needs of AA2E students. We provide strategies to support practitioners in addressing (a) the diversity within the Asian American community, (b) family culture and dynamics regarding immigration and education, and (c) mental health needs of AA2E students. We hope to leave teachers and educational practitioners feeling better able to support the needs of diverse AA2E students in their classrooms. (Park, S., & Foley-Nicpon, M. (2022). Excellence expected, needs overlooked: Implications for working with Asian American twice-exceptional students. Teaching Exceptional Children. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F00400599221097020)

To hear more about the Belin-Blank Center’s research, be sure to attend our presentations or stop by Booth 506 at the National Association for Gifted Children 69th Annual Convention in Indianapolis next month!

High achiever? Join neuroscience research.

If you or your child have talent in a particular domain, please consider this request from our partners in the Michaelson Lab.


We are seeking research volunteers who can partner with us to better understand the strengths and concerns of exceptionally talented individuals. 

If you (or your child) meet any of the below criteria, regardless of any other diagnosis you may have, we want you to participate:

  • have participated in accelerated coursework in school
  • have skipped a grade
  • have competed for admission into talent development program for art, music, dance, or writing
  • have competed for admission into talent development program for math, science, or engineering
  • earned or recruited for an athletic scholarship at the collegiate level
  • a clinically assessed IQ > 90th percentile (120 or above) 
  • scored 29 or higher on the ACT
  • scored 1300 or higher on the SAT

We are also eager to have your family members participate in this research if they are available. Participation will involve answering surveys about your mental health and creative strengths and talents, and potentially: 1) donating saliva for genetic research 2) participating in an MRI session (brain scan). 

Participants who complete online enrollment and return a saliva kit will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Additional compensation for follow-up studies (e.g., the MRI scan) is also available.

Please visit http://2e.devgenes.org today to learn more and to enroll!  If you have questions, please reach out to us at michaelson-lab@uiowa.edu or by phone at 319-335-8882.

A Summer Research Program That Boosts Your College Applications

Do you want an in-depth insight into university-level research? Check out the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) for students in grades 10-11. Applications are open now!

SSTP is an intensive summer research program that connects high-achieving high school students with world-class faculty research mentors from the research-intensive University of Iowa. SSTP offers rare access to elite opportunities that help students realize their academic and professional goals. Students participate in classes and events that will stretch them as researchers and scholars. They have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore their interests, enhance their academic skills, and make meaningful friendships with intellectual peers.

Research areas include:

On-Campus

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering 
  • Business Analytics
  • Chemistry
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Genetics
  • Health & Human Physiology
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Internal Medicine
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmacology
  • Physical Therapy and Rehab Science
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology

Online

  • Biology
  • Business Analytics
  • Chemistry
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Genetics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmacology
  • Physical Therapy and Rehab Science
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Religious Studies

Applying to college? This program can help your application stand out. Also, students in SSTP can earn 3 hours of university credit. 

Check out the SSTP website for more information on SSTP and the application process. Start your application today!

Research Opportunity for Autism Study – Recruiting Participants With and Without Autism

Check out this research opportunity from our friends in the Kliemann Lab! If you are interested in more information, please reach out to PBS-kliemann-lab@uiowa.edu or 319-467-3161. 


Researchers in the Kliemann Lab of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at the University of Iowa are currently inviting participants for a study investigating social behavior in individuals with and  without autism. You may be eligible if you:

  1. Are between 18 – 50 years old.
  2. Are fluent in English.

For interested participants with autism, you may be eligible if you fill the above criteria and you:

  1. Have been diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

This study consists of completing one or more of our ongoing experiments in this study. These range from simple behavioral tasks, to measuring where participants look at during a task using noninvasive eye-tracking, to questionnaires assessing social behavior, to a research brain scan.

 The specific parts (behavioral, eye tracking, and/or MRI) you participate in will depend on the current needs of the study, your eligibility for each procedure, and your desire to participate in each procedure. You may choose to participate in one, multiple, or none of these procedures upon our further correspondence and confirmation of your eligibility. These procedures will take between 1-3hours each and can be spread over multiple days.

Participants receive a compensation amount of $10 to $15 per hour depending on which procedures you are eligible for and choose to participate in.

If you are interested in participating, please email our lab at PBS-kliemann-lab@uiowa.edu, or call us at 319-467-3161. 

Research Study for Academically Talented Students

We understand that COVID-19 has affected everyone in many ways, and that, particularly as a family with a gifted and talented child, things may have changed dramatically for you over recent months. The Belin-Blank Center is conducting a research study to assess how COVID-19 is affecting families. We would like you and your child to participate in the study by completing this electronic survey. If you have more than one child, please make sure to select a child who is at least in 6th grade and if you still have more than one, please take the survey once for each child. 

Sharing your experiences, both negative and positive, will equip us with information that can help us be more efficient and effective in preparing and allocating future resources that can help families like yours. The survey will take about 5 to 10 minutes for you and about 15 minutes for your child to complete. It is completely voluntary. Your identity or any other identifying information will not be linked to the survey. Whether or not you participate in this survey will have no bearing on your standing with any of our programs.

SURVEY LINK: https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_02pwgvzVHGwYJ4W

We encourage you to consider sharing your experiences through this survey. We are so proud of all the ways that we have seen families respond with resilience and adaptiveness to the challenges of this pandemic. And, as always, if there are ways that we can help support you during this time, please let us know by reaching out to us.

Thank you, and stay well.

Brandon LeBeau

Belin-Blank Center

Research Study for Academically Talented Students

We understand that COVID-19 has affected everyone in many ways, and that, particularly as a family with a gifted and talented child, things may have changed dramatically for you over recent months. The Belin-Blank Center is conducting a research study to assess how COVID-19 is affecting families. We would like you and your child to participate in the study by completing this electronic survey. If you have more than one child, please make sure to select a child who is at least in 6th grade and if you still have more than one, please take the survey once for each child. 

Sharing your experiences, both negative and positive, will equip us with information that can help us be more efficient and effective in preparing and allocating future resources that can help families like yours. The survey will take about 5 to 10 minutes for you and about 15 minutes for your child to complete. It is completely voluntary. Your identity or any other identifying information will not be linked to the survey. Whether or not you participate in this survey will have no bearing on your standing with any of our programs.

SURVEY LINK: https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3qNkTWbi8XPmA5f

We encourage you to consider sharing your experiences through this survey. We are so proud of all the ways that we have seen families respond with resilience and adaptiveness to the challenges of this pandemic. And, as always, if there are ways that we can help support you during this time, please let us know by reaching out to us.

Thank you, and stay well.

Brandon LeBeau

Belin-Blank Center

National Center for Research on Gifted Education Surveys on Acceleration

Our colleagues at the National Center for Research on Gifted Education are providing an opportunity for teachers to be involved in research on academic acceleration. Parents/Caregivers are invited to participate in a separate survey about their child’s school experience.  

Please see the official announcements below: 

Teachers

Are you an elementary teacher (K-6)? If so, the National Center for Research on Gifted Education is looking for educators like you to complete a survey on teachers’ perceptions about acceleration. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and will help us better understand what factors related to acceleration are important to teachers. For more information visit ncrge.uconn.edu/teacher-survey.

Parents/Caregiver

Are you the parent/caregiver of a child in 2nd – 5th grade? If so, the National Center for Research on Gifted Education is looking for people like you to complete a survey on parent perceptions of their child’s school experience. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and will ask you questions about your perceptions of your child’s academic challenge, academic success, academic placement, and social well-being. The survey is anonymous; however, at the end of the survey you will have an opportunity to have your child complete a related survey on their attitude toward school (this is optional). If you elect to have your child complete a short survey about their attitudes towards school, you will be asked for an email where we can send the link for your child’s survey. For more information visit ncrge.uconn.edu/parent-survey.