2e Glossary

The world of 2e education includes a sometimes bewildering array of special terms. This glossary is intended as a resource for everyone involved in education for twice-exceptional students.
2e/Twice Exceptional
“twice-exceptional,” or 2e, which means that they have exceptional ability and disability. They are gifted but they also face learning or developmental challenges. Children who are both gifted and challenged can be tough to understand.

A - D

ADD is the term commonly used to describe symptoms of inattention, distractibility, and poor working memory. ADHD is the term used to describe additional symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Both are included in the medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a medical condition. A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. ADHD can affect a child at school, at home, and in friendships.

An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating. It's normal to have some anxiety.

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior.

Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental disorder. Young people with Asperger's Syndrome have a difficult time relating to others socially and their behavior and thinking patterns can be rigid and repetitive.

Asynchronous Learner
Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time. It uses resources that facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people.

Atypical Development
Definition: not representative of a type, group, or class.
Atypical development occurs when the child appears to lag behind or is way ahead of same-age peers in any of the different skills. You can learn how to recognize the differences between typical and atypical development.

Behavioral Challenges
Behavioral issues are very common among children and adults with autism.
Some behavior problems can include:
  • being hyperactive, anxious and worried.
  • hurting themselves by banging or hitting their heads.
  • biting their hands and fingers.

Differently wired
It's a common attitude in modern society that persons with extraordinary talent are simply wired differently than everyone else. The notion is reinforced by findings of differences in brain structure between persons with different talents, abilities, and even neurological disorders

Dysgraphia is characterized by the person having difficulty converting the sounds of language into written form (phonemes into graphemes), or knowing which alternate spelling to use for each sound.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

E - M

Executive Function Disorder (EF)
Executive dysfunction is a term used to describe the range of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional difficulties which often occur as a result of another disorder or a traumatic brain injury. Individuals with executive dysfunction struggle with planning, problem-solving, organization, and time management.

Emotional Dysregulation Disorder
Emotional dysregulation involves having emotions that are overly intense in comparison to the situation that triggered them. This can mean not being able to calm down, avoiding difficult emotions, or focusing your attention on the negative.

Gifted (GT)
By definition, people who are gifted have above-average intelligence and/or superior talent for something, such as music, art, or math. Most public-school programs for the gifted select children who have superior intellectual skills and academic aptitude.
Characteristics Of Gifted Children
  • High level of intensity
  • Enjoys learning; rapid learner
  • Depth of perception
  • Keen sense of observation and extraordinary memory
  • Sophisticated language and thought process
  • Ability to recognize more options
  • Dislikes repeating or practicing something they already know
  • Perfectionist

Children who are gifted are defined as those who demonstrate an advanced ability or potential in one or more specific areas when compared to others of the same age, experience or environment. These gifted individuals excel in their ability to think, reason and judge, making it necessary for them to receive special educational services and support to be able to fully develop their potential and talents.


High IQ
If you have a high IQ score, it means your reasoning and problem-solving abilities are better than average and may signal intellectual potential. An IQ of 70 or below may indicate limited intellectual functioning.

Hyper focused
What Does Hyperfocus Look Like? When someone is in hyperfocus mode they become so immersed in the task that they are oblivious to everything else going on around them. You may notice this when a child with ADHD is playing a video game and you try to get their attention. You call them, but you get no answer.

Independent learner
An independent learner is one who can take responsibility for their own learning. These are students who can take initiative and make good decisions without needing help from teachers. Developing independent learners is important to help students advance in their academic performance and stay motivated.

Inclusion refers to creating a work environment where all people are truly welcomed, valued and respected — for all of who they are — regardless of differences. Inclusion isn't the same as tolerance. It's not about putting up with people who are different, but rather is about full acceptance.
Mood disorder
Unlike a normal bad mood a child feels occasionally, a mood disorder involves thoughts and feelings that are intense, difficult to manage, and persistent. A mood disorder is a real medical condition, not something a child will likely just "get over” on his own.

N - P

Neurodivergent refers the an individual who has a less typical cognitive variation such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia etc. Neurotypical refers to individuals of typical development, and intellectual/cognitive functioning.

Typical development will give generic progress of the child compared to peers of the same age. 

“Neurotypical” is a term that's used to describe individuals with typical neurological development or functioning. It is not specific to any particular group, including autism spectrum disorder. In other words, it's not used to describe individuals who have autism or other developmental differences. 

Neurodiversity is an elaborate word for all the different atypical ways in which individual brains can function. It covers both learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, and developmental conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

NonVerbal Learning Disorder
Nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) is a learning disability that causes difficulty with motor, visual-spatial, and social skills. Children with NVLD are often well-spoken and can write well, but struggle with subtle social cues and comprehension of abstract concepts. 

Nonverbal Learning Disability describes a well-defined profile that includes strengths in verbal abilities contrasted with deficits in visual-spatial abilities. Individuals with NVLD often have trouble with some of the following: organization, attention, executive functioning, nonverbal communication, and motor skills.

Oppositional Defiant and Disobedient Disorder (ODD)
A disorder in a child marked by defiant and disobedient behavior to authority figures.

The cause of oppositional defiant disorder is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms generally begin before a child is eight years old. They include irritable mood, argumentative and defiant behavior, aggression, and vindictiveness that last more than six months and cause significant problems at home or school.

Pattern Recognition
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit a heightened ability to pick out patterns and excel at other visual-spatial tests. But a new study puts this presumption to the test in a more real-world scenario and finds that ASD kids are actually found wanting when it comes to search skills.

Q - Z

Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory information (stimuli). Sensory information includes things you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. SPD can affect all of your senses, or just one. SPD usually means you're overly sensitive to stimuli that other people are not.

Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS)
This is not a disorder, but rather an innate trait. It is not associated with dysregulation, but with awareness, depth of processing, and needing time to process information and stimuli. 

Definition. An emotional and behavioral disorder is an emotional disability characterized by the following: (i) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and/or teachers.

Social Thinking
“Social thinking” or thinking socially refers to a process we all go through in our mind as we try to make sense of our own and others' thoughts, feelings, and intentions in context, whether we are co-existing, actively interacting, or figuring out what is happening from a distance (e.g., media, literature, etc.).

Synchronous Learner
Synchronous learning refers to a learning event in which a group of students are engaging in learning at the same time. Before learning technology allowed for synchronous learning environments, most online education took place through asynchronous learning methods.

A nervous system disorder involving repetitive movements or unwanted sounds.Tourette syndrome starts in childhood. It involves uncontrollable repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics), such as repeatedly blinking the eyes, shrugging shoulders, or blurting out offensive words.

Underdeveloped Social Skills 
A social skill is any competence facilitating interaction and communication with others where social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is called socialization. Lack of such skills can cause social awkwardness.

Written Expression Disorder
Written expression disorder is a learning disability in writing. People who have it struggle to put their ideas into writing. They also make frequent mistakes in grammar and punctuation.