This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.


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Annotated Bibliography

Articles are listed in descending order by year (most recent first), and then by first author's last name.

Twice-Exceptional Students

Baum, S. M., Schader, R. M., Hebert, T. P. (2014). Through a different lens: Reflecting on a strengths-based, talent-focused approach for twice-exceptional learners. Gifted Child Quarterly, 58(4), 311-327.

This study sought to understand the experiences of a cohort of students who entered a strengths-based private school for twice-exceptional students during middle school and successfully completed graduation requirements. Using a case study design, the researchers analyzed data collected from student and teacher interviews, parent focus groups, educational records, and psychological reports. Findings indicate areas of change and development across cognitive, emotional/behavioral, and social domains and identified five factors underlying student growth: psychological safety, tolerance for asynchrony, time, positive relationships, and the consistent use of a strengths-based, talent-focused philosophy. Data also revealed four benefits from the talent development opportunities offered by the school. Participating in talent development activities enabled students to become part of a social group; to overcome some social, emotional, and cognitive challenges in context; to develop ongoing mentor and professional relationships with people in talent areas; and to develop expertise in an area of talent. This research supports the incorporation of a strengths-based, talent-focused approach for twice-exceptional learners.

Assouline, S. G., Foley Nicpon, M., & Dockery, L. (2012). Predicting the academic achievement of gifted students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(9), 1781-1789.

We are not well informed regarding the ability-achievement relationship for twice-exceptional individuals (very high cognitive ability and a diagnosed disability, e.g., autism spectrum disorder [ASD]). The research question for this investigation (N = 59) focused on the predictability of achievement among variables related to ability and education in a twice-exceptional sample of students (cognitive ability of 120 [91st percentile], or above, and diagnosed with ASD). We determined that WISC-IV Working Memory and Processing Speed Indices were both significantly positively correlated with achievement in math, reading, and written language. WISC Perceptual Reasoning Index was uniquely predictive of Oral Language test scores. Unexpected findings were that ASD diagnosis, Verbal Comprehension Index, and forms of academic acceleration were not related to the dependent variables.

Foley Nicpon, M., Allmon, A., Sieck, B., & Stinson, R. D. (2011). Empirical investigation of twice-exceptionality: Where have we been and where are we going? Gifted Child Quarterly, 55(1), 3-17.

Gifted students with coexisting disabilities, also known as twice-exceptional, are increasingly recognized in America’s schools. This increasing awareness needs to be met with equal enthusiasm for empirical investigation into the identification and treatment needs of this group of students. In this article, a 20-year review of the empirical literature examining twice-exceptionality, specifically gifted students with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or autism spectrum disorder, was conducted. Research strongly suggests that gifted students can have a coexisting disability and that comprehensive, individualized approaches toward diagnosis are necessary. Less is known about effective treatments and interventions that simultaneously highlight strengths and accommodate for areas of growth. Future research directions are offered that ideally will encourage scholars to discover more about effective diagnostic and intervention techniques for this very important group of gifted learners.

Reis, S. M., & Ruban, L. (2005). Services and programs for academically talented students with learning disabilities. Theory Into Practice, 44(2), 148-159.

This article provides a discussion of the intervention services for gifted students with learning disabilities, emphasizing the importance of developing a wide range of compensation strategies, attending to their social and emotional needs, identifying elements of supportive environments, and providing talent development opportunities for students with learning disabilities who also have diverse gifts.

Weinfeld, R., Barnes-Robinson, L., Jeweler, S., & Roffman Shevitz, B. (2005). Enabling or empowering? Adaptations and accommodations for twice-exceptional students. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 2(1), Article 6.

This article addresses the different perceptions that parents, students, and teachers have regarding appropriate accommodations for twice-exceptional students.

Moon, S. M., & Reis, S. M. (2004). Acceleration and twice-exceptional students. In N. Colangelo, S. G. Assouline, & M. U. M. Gross (Eds.), A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students (pp. 109-120). Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa.

Giftedness is an exceptionality -- something that is by definition different from the norm. Some gifted children are twice-exceptional. They are exceptional both because they are gifted and because they have one or more disabilities. Empirical research on twice-exceptional children has accumulated slowly, in part because educators have been slow to recognize that gifted children can have co-occurring disabilities, and in part because the small number of persons in the various subpopulations of twice-exceptional students creates logistical problems for researchers. Nonetheless, there are a number of published papers on twice-exceptional students that can be utilized to make recommendations for practice. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the research on twice-exceptional students in order to make recommendations for accelerating these students.

Winebrenner, S. (2003). Teaching strategies for twice-exceptional students. Intervention in School and Clinic, 38(3) 131-137.

For many years, parents and teachers have been perplexed about youngsters who have dramatic learning strengths in some areas and equally dramatic learning weaknesses in others. These students appear to defy accurate labeling: Are they gifted or learning disabled? Finally, the debate has stopped, and educators are now recognizing these students as "twice-exceptional." Rather than trying to use evidence from their weak learning areas to prove they are not "truly gifted," savvy teachers are now learning how to allow these students to experience the same opportunities available for gifted students when they are learning in their strength areas. When students are learning in their areas of weakness, teachers are learning to provide the same compensation strategies used by other students with learning disabilities. This article offers specific instruction to empower teachers to effectively teach twice-exceptional students.

Baum, S. M., Cooper, C. R., & Neu, T. W. (2001). Dual differentiation: An approach for meeting the curricular needs of gifted students with learning disabilities. Psychology in the Schools, 38(5), 477-490.

Gifted students who experience difficulty with reading, mathematics, spelling, handwriting, and organization frequently become frustrated at an early age. Well-intentioned teachers attempt to remediate their weaknesses; yet, these youngsters still feel alone in the classroom. Moreover, their academic limitations often mask enormous talent, which seldom has an opportunity to surface. Thus, gifted learning-disabled students require curriculum that develops their special talents and provides them strategies to compensate for problematic weaknesses. This article discusses the dual characteristics of gifted learning-disabled students and suggests a unique curriculum that integrates both through talent development. Developed through Project HIGH HOPES, funded federally by the Javits Act (1993-1996), this dually differentiated curriculum offers strategies for addressing students' learning problems while fulfilling their need for sophisticated challenge through advanced-level content and a focus on solving authentic, real-world problems.

Reis, S. M., McGuire, J. M., & Neu, T. W. (2000). Compensation strategies used by high-ability students with learning disabilities who succeed in college. Gifted Child Quarterly, 44(2), 123-134.

A study of 12 high-ability young adults with learning disabilities found they used the following compensatory strategies to succeed in college: study strategies, cognitive/learning strategies, compensatory supports, environmental accommodations, opportunities for counseling, self-advocacy, and the development of an individual plan incorporating a focus on metacognition and executive functions.

Brody, L. E., & Mills, C. J. (1997). Gifted children with learning disabilities: a review of the issues. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 30(3), 282-286.

This article explores the current policies and practices with regard to defining, identifying, and educating this population. Recommendations are included that would help ensure that students who are gifted and have learning disabilities receive the intervention needed to help them achieve their full potential.

Johnsen, S. K., & Corn, A. L. (1989). The past, present, and future of education for gifted children with sensory and/or physical disabilities. Roeper Review, 12(1), 13-23.

The paper examines the historical background, the current status, and the future possibilities of educational programming for gifted children with sensory and/or physical disabilities. Discussed are definitions, prevalence, child characteristics, identification methods, exemplary programs, obstacles, and influential trends. A model is proposed for program development.

Gamble, H. W. (1985). A national survey of programs for intellectually and academically gifted hearing-impaired students. American Annals of the Deaf, 130(6), 508-518.

This study gathered information about the number and characteristics of existing programs for gifted hearing-impaired students. It also attempted to determine the number of students believed to be gifted in educational programs for hearing-impaired students that do not provide special gifted programs. Questionnaire responses were received from 16 gifted programs serving hearing-impaired school-age students in the United States. Data were analyzed to provide a quantitative assessment of the features of the reported gifted programs. Information obtained in this study suggests that only 15% of the 877 gifted hearing-impaired students reported are enrolled in special programs for the gifted. an unusually high percentage of the reported identified gifted students were residential students who came from families having two deaf parents.