5 Recommended Books For Parents Of Twice Exceptional Kids

Parenting a twice exceptional child can be a challenge, so it’s important to remember that you are not facing this alone. There are many resources available for parents of 2E kids, from after school enrichment programs, to apps, to family support groups. Your child’s school administrators, guidance counselors, and teachers should also have a vested interest in helping your child succeed and thrive.

If you are hoping for more information on what it means to be twice exceptional, and how best to create an emotionally and cognitively supportive home life for your 2E child, the following five books can be a great place to start. By offering detailed insight into specific learning disabilities and differences, and sharing anecdotes from other 2E parents and families, these titles paint a realistic (and positive) picture of the 2E experience.

1. Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings by Christine Fonseca

You may have noticed that your 2E child has difficulty regulating emotional and physical responses to excitement, anxiety, and stress. This book by school psychologist Christine Fonseca helps parents approach this behavioral challenge as an opportunity for learning and development, and offers practical, research-grounded tips and tricks to “coach” your 2E child into recognizing and regulating his or her own behavior.

2. If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional by Jen Merrill

On her blog Laughing at Chaos, Jen Merrill has written extensively about her experiences parenting and homeschooling her 2E child (now 16 and starting his college search). Many of these experiences show up in her parenting memoir, which takes an honest look at the sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking trials associated with raising twice exceptional kids. The book is a gift to 2E parents who seek some autonomy and comfort as they navigate ups and downs within their own families.  

Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits by Dierdre V. Lovecky, PhD

This informative book by clinical child psychologist Dierdre V. Lovecky primarily focuses on the cognitive aspects of Asperger Syndrome and ADHD, and the ways in which these learning disabilities present in a child who is also gifted. Lovecky delves into the specific academic, social, and emotional challenges such students face, and presents a science-driven guide for parents and teachers who seek to diagnose twice exceptionalism and help 2E children succeed.

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders by James T. Webb, Ph.D., Edwards R. Amend, Psy.D., Nadia E. Webb, Psy.D., Jean Goerss, M.D., Paul Beljan, Psy.D., and F. Rich Olenchak, Ph.D.

Has your 2E child been struggling with multiple diagnosis, or suffering through numerous medications that do not seem to be serving their intended purpose? Getting the correct diagnosis for your twice exceptional child is a crucial first step in developing a learning plan that can emphasize his or her strengths. This book, written by child development experts including clinical psychologists, clinical neuropsychologists, a pediatrician, and the President of the National Association for Gifted Children, suggests that healthcare professionals frequently misunderstand behaviors that present in gifted children and adults.

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs by Judy Galbraith, M.A., and Jim Delisle, Ph.D.

Though partially geared towards gifted education teachers, this book offers parents a comprehensive outline of the many different sides of giftedness, including identification and diagnosis, common social emotional challenges, and strategies for supporting gifted children through inevitable hurdles. It focuses on what it really means to educate a gifted or 2E child, and provides many practical examples of environments that optimize children’s learning and future opportunities.

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Whether you have just identified twice exceptionalism in your child, or are attempting to create a workable strategy for your 2E student’s academic year, these books are chock-full information and ideas that will optimize your child’s considerable strengths—while acknowledging and supporting his or her differences.

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