Apr. 23rd, 2012

I was chatting not long ago about the early days of active consideration that one could both be gifted and have a disability - before the term 2e came into being. It was prompted by my having discovered the Australian book from last year, Dual Exceptionality.

In the conversation, I was reminded of books on the topic: Intellectual Giftedness in Disabled Persons (IGDP), by Joanne Rand Whitmore and C. June Maker. As some of you know, they are, separately, authors of two of my other favorite books - Whitmore on underachievement and Maker on curriculum modification.

IGDP was published in 1985, and it starts with a bit of self-awareness. The first chapter is entitled The Emerging Field: Education of Gifted Handicapped Students. Other chapter titles are also informative:

2) Hearing-Impaired Gifted Persons
3) Gifted Persons with Visual Impairment
4) Gifted Persons with Severe Physical Impairment
5) Gifted Adults Incurring Severe Disabilities
6) Intellectually Gifted Persons with Specific Learning Disabilities
7) The Affective Needs of Intellectually Gifted Persons with Disabilities
8) The Intellectual Needs of Gifted Persons with Disabilities

Unfortunately, as a work, IGDP is basically alone. While the field of 2e has paraded along, looking at the confluence of learning disabilities and giftedness where they live together in children (and, to a limited extent, adults), the attention paid to physical forms of exceptionality is comparatively rare. And, as has been noted elsewhere, there is scarce enough attention to the population of gifted adults, let alone to gifted disabled adults! (The exception to this seems to be the ADHD adult.)

Yes, the specific terminology may be dated. The content and concepts are not.

Whitmore & Maker created an amazing book.

Unfortunately, it is perhaps even more amazing today than it was when it came out.

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