I am a parent advocate. Our adult son is twice-gifted and found a successful career path once we found an education program that matched his learning style. In his case, it was hands-on, project based learning. He is now an engineering technician on a NASA project to build a spacecraft carrying cargo and science experiments to the International Space Station.
Our son had a loooong and bumpy road to get there -- He had an IEP, but there was no identification for twice-exceptional children during his school years (1994 - 2004) in Arlington, Virginia. We were all too familiar with pediatric neurologists, psychologists, and even sleep specialists. Much of this would not have been necessary had his giftedness been recognized and there had been a teaching model built on his strengths and not his "learning deficits."
Currently, I am the host of "Education Innovations," a podcast on wera.fm that explores the multiple ways that students learn by doing and make the connection between education, a future career, and the world around them. I have done programs on teaching twice-exceptional students, hands-on learning, and social and emotional learning.
I am also the author of BEYOND THE BOX: How Hands-on Learning Can Transform A Child and Reform Our Schools, A Mother's Story. The book recounts the five-year journey to find the right education program for our son. Fortunately, our story had a happy ending.
Jay Mathews, education columnist at The Washington Post, wrote a review of BEYOND THE BOX. The book has been well-received by educators, parents, and parent advocates as well as the general community. It's overall purpose was two-fold: to increase awareness and understanding of 2e children and what befalls them socially, emotionally and physically (as was the case with our son) when the traditional method of teaching and lack of SEL support are not met; and to illustrate how hands-on, project based can benefit all children as it did our son.
In 2006, Mathews wrote a column about the alternative education pathway that turned out to be the right road for our son. He is now in his mid-30s. Witnessing the happy, well-adjusted young man he has become only reaffirms my commitment to have an education system that is holistic and inclusive for all of our children.