An empirical investigation of twice-exceptional research in Australia: Prevalence estimates for gifted children with disability

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Ronksley-Pavia, Michelle
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2014
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Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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Abstract

This paper is concerned with the social justice issues surrounding children identified as gifted and also having a disability, twice-exceptional children. The participation, equity and equality of gifted children with disability, within the social structures where their lives are lived, cannot be extricated from their educational experiences of disability from the milieu of disabling societies. Is it that we are surprised by giftedness, creativity and intelligence when we find it where societies least expect it? This presentation outlines a review and analysis of the Australian empirical research literature on children identified as gifted whilst also having disability. The aim of this paper is to provide a review and a comprehensive summary of the accessible empirical research to date, in the Australian context of twice-exceptionality and examine the feasibility of estimating prevalence rates of children who are twice-exceptional in Australia. The purpose for estimating prevalence rates it to inform advocacy and interventions for these children within schools and communities. At present there are no mandated interventions in schools for children who are gifted, whereas there are mandated intervention for some children with disability. From 2015 all Australian schools will be required to participate annually in the new Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability. How will this impact on estimating the prevalence rates of Australian children who are twice-exceptional? There is a dearth of Australian empirical research studies on twice-exceptionality, of those that have been published, there is limited examination of the prevalence of twice-exceptional children within our schools. The majority of this literature tends to focus on classroom provisions and possible teacher understanding of this population of students without knowing how many children we are planning for. Identification of twice-exceptional persons has been largely ignored, possibly due to the inherent difficulties with separately defining the terms gifted and disability, furthermore, confounded when the two apparent paradoxical terms are combined in an individual person. Given the prevailing notions of giftedness and disability is it possible to estimate the number of children who are twice-exceptional? Why do we need to know?

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AARE-NZARE Conference Speaking Back Through Research
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© The Author(s) 2014. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the author.
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Special Education and Disability
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