The National Institute for Twice-Exceptionality (NITE)
The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa College of Education is in the process of designing and implementing the National Institute for Twice-Exceptionality (NITE). This institute will be a national resource for gifted students who have one or more disabilities (twice-exceptional) as well as a training center for parents, educators, counselors, and psychologists.
Twice-exceptional students are gifted students with learning, behavioral, emotional, and/or social impairments. They are at significant risk in America’s schools because their disabilities frequently mask their academic potential and, conversely, their academic performance may mask their problems. Training for educators, psychologists and related professionals (e.g. counselors, social workers, etc.) rarely includes twice-exceptionality; therefore, twice-exceptional students may not receive appropriate services in school, which puts them at an academic and social disadvantage. Estimates suggest that more than 360,000 twice-exceptional students attend America’s schools, and current indicators reveal that this number is steadily increasing.
The goal of NITE is to provide services for students who are twice-exceptional and training to increase the capacity of psychologists, counselors, and educators nationwide to better serve K-12 twice-exceptional students and their families. The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development is particularly well suited to initiate a national institute for twice-exceptionality. This Center is recognized internationally as a leader in gifted education and also has an extensive research and service record in working with gifted students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and specific learning disabilities (SLD), as well as other types of disabilities, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).