I chuckle with sarcastic humor when I say that twice-exceptional means exceptionally gifted and an exceptional pain in the butt. It is not fun for anyone, least of all the person who has to work around it every day. Tom wrote about that the other day, and I printed off his incredible post to share with my own 2e son. It was something I felt he needed to see, that maybe he could then start to believe in himself a little more.
It is far too easy to only concentrate on the challenges the second E presents; they’re a lot louder and tend to show up more clearly in everyday life. While a lot of issues have been resolved since bringing A home to homeschool (including overwhelming anxiety to the point of illness), there are many still there. Executive function skills need to be goosed. Short-term memory needs an upgrade. ADHD behavior could improve. All need to be addressed, if not for his educational advancement, then for self-preservation; I’m going to wring his neck if I have to keep repeating instructions. I kid! Mostly…
In the midst of all this, I have doubts. Big, ugly, sneering doubts that maybe he isn’t gifted after all. Maybe he just has a whole bunch of learning disabilities and a stubborn streak with a heavy dose of laziness. I don’t see the sparks of intelligence and curiosity and thirst for learning I did a few years ago, before school prodded most of that out of him. I just don’t know anymore.
And then he rattles off 14 digits of Pi to a stranger. He memorizes two digits a day, but slogs through division with remainders with grimaces and groans and whines. Oh, I know all about “sometimes the hard is easy and the easy is hard with these kids.” Doesn’t make it any easier to teach and parent him.
While I know that gifted = wiring, it’s hard to remember that when you’re living with The Most Complex Kid on the Planet©. I’m trying to see past the challenges to the gifted and am failing miserably. Gifted or not, he’s still my son and I’ll do anything for him.
I just wish my doubts would shut up so I could figure out how to best help him.
Jen writes at Laughing at Chaos, where sometimes she does actually remember to laugh at it all.