The Puzzling Paradox of 2e Learners –
A Symposium on Twice-exceptionality

March, 2014

Brock EideDr. Brock Eide, a physician specializing in learning differences who spoke on the topic of stealth dyslexia. He is shown holding the 2e Center’s “Starting with Strengths” award, presented to him and Dr. Fernette Eide, his wife and co-author with him of The Dyslexic Advantage and The Mislabeled Child.

Jonathan Mooney, author and dynamic public speaker. His talk wove together his past experiences as a student with dyslexia and ADHD with his forward-thinking ideas on learning and education.


Susan Baum

Susan Baum, director of the 2e Center and educator, researcher, and international consultant with expertise in promoting achievement for high-ability, at-risk students. In her presentation, Baum focused on the five “puzzle pieces” required to build a picture of success for 2e children.

A day-long symposium took place on February 17, 2014, in Los Angeles. Hosted by The Center for 2e Research and Development, the event focused on the “Puzzling Paradox of 2e Learners.” The purpose was to introduce the concept of twice-exceptionality to those unfamiliar with it and to answer questions such as:

  • How can we address the needs of 2e students who are frequently neither recognized nor appropriately served in classrooms?
  • What resources would help?
  • What research-based and evidence-based practices are available?
  • What are the most pressing concerns?

In addition, panels made up of parents and professionals discussed a variety of topics concerning raising and educating twice-exceptional children and answered questions from attendees.


Parents' Panel

Among the highlights of the day’s events was a panel discussion with four parents of twice–exceptional children. (See above.) Panel members candidly shared their experiences in trying to both understand and find a learning environment that would accommodate their children’s strengths and challenges. Here are some comments from their discussion.

  • In response to the question “How did you find your way?” one parent replied, “It was like Dante’s inferno, starting in hell and working your way up.”
  • A parent heard from her 2e child: “Let’s face it, I’m just going to work at Target for the rest of my life.”
  • When asked to characterize her son’s journey, a parent answered that it was like Leave It to Beaver on one hand — feeling optimistic that things would get easier — and like the movie Groundhog Day on the other — finding that it was the same over and over. What she needed to find, the parent explained, was a place in the middle where she and her son “could actually learn with each other.” Once she arrived at that place — where she could “stop trying to make her son into something he was not” — that’s when, she said, “my kid had an advocate in me.”
  • “I had my gifted child who made me think that raising kids was super easy. Then I had my [2e] child who humbled me.”
  • “As his mom, I learned to outsource help with school work so that I could remain his mom and advocate.”
  • “I had my kid tested millions of times and came back with millions of different answers. I threw all that away. I just came to understand that he was really bright, and I just backed him in what he wanted to be. I don’t really know what his gift is — he doesn’t even know — but I know he’ll be OK.”