Twice exceptional learners may remain undiagnosed, by educational professionals including Speech Pathologist, because of their unique abilities in other areas. The language assessment in a neuropsychological battery and in some speech pathology tests often require only one-word or limited responses. Both assessments attempt to look at different areas of performance in isolation. Because twice exceptional learners sometimes perform well in the structured confines of testing where demands are relatively low, they can are often undetected. Their skills, sometimes fall apart on higher level tasks.  Standardized testing does not assess areas that require multiple processes well, such as writing a research paper. In addition, if performance on standardized assessments is in the average range or above most schools consider this adequate and do not look further to assess performance across sub-tests which can sometimes be used to uncover problems.

Most assessments do not uncover the subtle performance problems that can be associated with gifted learners, but there are some tools that are useful. Many sub-test scores can be compared not just to age norms, but also to the child’s other scores. Performing this step can reveal discrepancies between areas.  Using tests that evaluate critical thinking is also important.  Narrative writing assessments can be useful as are verbal language samples to assess how skills are being integrated. Observation, by a trained professional, is also helpful.    Data analysis to find error patterns, identifying discrepancies between subtest performance,  language samples, comparison of test data between sub-test and from previous years testing, as well as, observations are key components in accurately assessing twice gifted learners.

Need help at home not sure if you have a twice exceptional learner? Let’s look at some of the traits of gifted learners next.