Parenting a child who falls into the category of twice exceptionality, denoting exceptional intellectual abilities alongside managing conditions like ADHD, comes with a distinct and complex array of challenges that emerge even early on in a child’s development. And so, early educational experiences can become testing grounds for both the child and the parent.
However, there are therapeutic interventions, including social skills groups and academic support, that may be pursued even at an early age. To enlighten you more about this topic, our discussion with Karen is centered around understanding and navigating the challenges of having a twice exceptional child.
Challenges of raising twice-exceptional children.
Karen recalls the beginning of their positive encounter with neuropsychological testing and trusting a therapist's recommendation to explore neurofeedback. They initially encountered a mismatched approach, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right form of neurofeedback, particularly favoring EEG neurofeedback for its controllability and effectiveness.
The baseline testing revealed clear insights into her child's challenges with impulse control. Despite the charming demeanor of her son, she expressed that parenting through the teenage years can be a delightful yet sometimes challenging journey.
Parenting children with unique brain profiles involves understanding and adapting to their ways of connecting rather than imposing our terms. This applies to both neurotypical and neurodivergent kids. I can still recall my journey for specialized care, much like Karen’s, making frequent trips for neurofeedback sessions and managing a child's abundant energy.
The emotional normalcy of twice exceptional kids amplifies the apparent gap between their exceptional cognitive abilities and emotional development. In fact, the memories that I share with Karen highlight the challenges of explaining complex topics to a twice exceptional child, emphasizing the cognitive and emotional complexities they navigate, absorbing information beyond typical expectations.
Neurofeedback and its impact on a child's brain and behavior.
A twice exceptional child is typically inquisitive and curious. The child's unique brain functioning, combined with impulsivity and inattentiveness, lead to many questions and challenges in connecting with peers. Thus, seeking appropriate therapy is essential to manage impulsivity and enhance focus.
It is a challenge to deal with the complexities of managing neurodivergent traits. That is why neurofeedback is essential as it has enduring effects that aid in managing behaviors and fostering self-awareness as the child matures.
Neurofeedback, specifically beta brainwave regulation, has been proven to be effective in calming impulsivity and improving concentration. Karen highlighted the positive change in her child's brainwave patterns and emphasized the importance of factual evidence and personal experience in shaping their belief in neurofeedback's efficacy. In fact, neurofeedback also has a significant improvement in managing anxiety and stress.
Although, it must be noted that neurofeedback isn't a cure but rather a tool to regulate brain activity. The importance of a well-rounded upbringing, encompassing academics, social engagement, and emotional growth, must also be taken into consideration.
Gifted education and challenges faced by parents.
Giftedness and neurodivergent traits intertwine, affecting a child's inquisitiveness, sensitivity, and need for intellectual connections beyond their age. That is why it is important that we acknowledge the evolving nature of neurodiversity as it manifests uniquely in each individual.
Of course, it’s normal to hope that we see our kids flourish. However, the journey ahead is going to take some time and such a path is surrounded by challenges. Parents of twice exceptional children understand the struggle of wanting their children to excel academically while also fitting in socially, especially when giftedness influences their need for intellectual connections beyond their age.
Parents have long struggled to navigate educational systems to secure essential support for exceptionalities such as high IQ. Federal laws do offer a level of entitlement to assistance, although enforcement may differ, adding to the challenges faced by parents seeking appropriate educational provisions for their children. This ongoing struggle underscores the need for a more comprehensive and uniformly applied support system to meet the distinctive needs of these exceptional learners.
Natural solutions for children with special needs.
Raising gifted kids is indeed a challenge and so, it becomes vital to be organized to enhance productivity and for parents to teach their gifted children effective processes for success.
Our best advice to parents is to find a suitable educational environment that aligns with their child's learning style and personality. Additionally, researching and understanding natural solutions like neurofeedback, dietary changes, and a different educational approach are equally important. Trusting the process and focusing on what works best for the child are key considerations when considering these solutions.
For more information about gifted and twice-exceptional kids, check out our blog post: Gifted vs. ADHD
Links and Resources:
➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.
➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here.
➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz.