Resources for Parents
A child experiences dual or multiple exceptionality (DME) when they have both high learning potential (otherwise referred to as being “gifted”, “gifted and talented”, “exceptional”, “more able” and “most able”) alongside a special educational need because of a learning difficulty or disability. This section provides resources to help parents and carers to support their children with DME.
Introduction to Dual or Multiple Exceptionality
Potential Plus UK Webinar
Is your child clearly ‘unusual’ in both their high potential and the number of personal obstacles that they face? Might they have academic strengths running alongside challenges, such as mental health issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, dyslexia or physical disabilities? This video discusses Dual or Multiple Exceptionality, DME. It covers the key areas of high learning potential, what DME means, how to recognise DME and how to begin supporting children with DME.
F01 Dual or Multiple Exceptionality (DME)
In the UK, the term Dual or Multiple Exceptionality (DME) is used to describe those who have one or more special educational need or disability, combined with a high ability (which Potential Plus UK calls high learning potential or HLP). This free fact sheet from Potential Plus UK informs, supports and advises teachers, professionals and parents/carers of DME children. Issues relating to educating, parenting and supporting a child with DME are covered in this fact sheet.
F02 Autism and High Learning Potential (including Autistic Spectrum Condition, Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism)
Children on the autism spectrum who also have high ability are considered “dual or multiple exceptional” (DME). This free fact sheet, from Potential Plus UK, offers clear information on how autism may affect children with high learning potential (HLP). It provides information on the characteristic traits that children who are autistic with high learning potential share, problems which may arise at home or at school and useful strategies and ideas to help deal with those issues.
F07 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and High Learning Potential
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-related disorder. This is characterised by disturbing thoughts that can lead to compulsive or ritualistic behaviour. Such behaviour is carried out to prevent or disarm these thoughts.
This free fact sheet, from Potential Plus UK, considers what OCD is, how it relates to high learning potential (HLP), how to treat OCD, parenting a child with both high learning potential and OCD, and supporting OCD children in the classroom.
F05 Sensory Processing Difficulties and High Learning Potential
Sensory processing difficulties is an umbrella term for a variety of neurological, sensory-based disorders, including dyspraxia. They affect how a child interprets, organises and responds to the information that they receive through their eight senses. Heightened sensory perceptiveness is a common characteristic of HLP children. In more severe cases, difficulties can significantly affect daily life. There is no single set of symptoms. This free fact sheet, from Potential Plus UK, discusses the symptoms of sensory processing difficulties, outlining pathways to diagnosis and to support for parents and carers of children with sensory processing difficulties and high learning potential.
PA517 Supporting Dual or Multiple Exceptional Profile High Learning Potential Children
In 1988, following extensive research into gifted education, Maureen Neihart and George Betts proposed six profiles of children with high learning potential. The profiles have been widely used in supporting children with high learning potential. In 2010 they were revised by Neihart and Betts, based on their experiences since the profiles were originally developed. This advice sheet, from Potential Plus UK, is aimed at parents and carers wanting to find out how to support a child with a Dual or Multiple Exceptional (DME) profile.
PA314 Handwriting Difficulties and Alternative Ways to Demonstrate Learning
Children who have difficulty with handwriting can be misunderstood in school. Because their ideas, opinions and knowledge are not demonstrated on paper, it can be assumed that they have no knowledge or have not learned from the lesson. This advice sheet from Potential Plus UK, aimed at parents and carers, explores the issue and suggests alternative ways for children to present their knowledge in order to become free of the bind of writing.
Clearly Able, Yet Complicated? Might Your Child have ‘DME’? by Gillie Ithell
Is your child (or student) clearly able to score really high marks but something gets in the way of this happening? Do they struggle socially and find it difficult to make friends or join in with learning activities? Perhaps a professional diagnosis confirms these challenges – yet there is still a ‘bright spark’ who shines through? This article is a brilliantly simple, yet informative, introductory guide to DME.