Accommodating gifted students

She was sure that with his teachers present to testify to the constant oversight he needed to stay on task, he would either be placed in a mainstream class with a special education co-teacher or in a self-contained classroom for students with greater disabilities.She was shocked, she said, when the disabilities evaluator at her son’s public elementary school noted that he was performing at grade level and determined that he didn’t qualify for any special education accommodations or services.“We hold trainings for school staff and parents on personalized learning strategies that can be used in the classroom or at home, and will continue to work with communities on innovative ways to serve all students.” But parents say there’s a long way to go.

In the 2e NYC survey, more than a quarter of parents said they’d been told, “Your child is too smart for [special education services].” That’s essentially what happened to Choi.“He just didn’t know what to do with himself.” The boy’s experience is typical for a category of students known as “twice exceptional,” or 2e.These kids — believed to make up at least 6 percent of students who have a disability — have high academic aptitude but struggle with ADHD, mild autism, dyslexia or other learning and behavioral challenges.* They are notoriously difficult for schools to serve effectively for two reasons, say advocates, parents and some educators.After that, Choi enrolled her son in private school and successfully sued the Department of Education to have his tuition reimbursed.On the flip side, the academic pace of small, self-contained classes designed for children with severe disabilities is often too slow for kids with pronounced academic strengths, say parents and advocates. He worked far faster than the other students in his self-contained classes, she said, and there was little of the in-depth learning that he thrived on.

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