Copyright (c) 2001 St. Mary's University of San Antonio
St. Mary's Law Journal
COMMENT: DOES THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT EXCLUDE GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL DISABILITIES? AN ANALYSIS OF J.D. V. PAWLET
32 St. Mary's L. J. 913
Disabled children benefit from federal legislation that guarantees a free, appropriate education. 1 Although no federal mandate requires providing special education for gifted and talented children, the government encourages schools, through grant money, to offer gifted and talented programs. 2 Unfortunately, gifted and talented children with emotional disabilities often fall in between these two groups and, therefore, do not qualify for special education under any legislation.
When a child enjoys an intellectual gift, identifying a disability becomes more difficult. 3 Some critics refuse to believe such children can have learning disabilities. 4 Indeed, the complexity of this issue causes problems in understanding how both giftedness and learning disabilities co-exist in a child. 5 Even educators and special education professionals do not always understand the concept. 6 Accordingly, many educators consider only below average performance as indicative of a learning disability. 7 Unfortunately, in many gifted and talented children with disabilities, the gift hides the disability or the disability hides the gift. 8 The dichotomy lies in the fact that both behaviors can manifest in a child. 9
Gifted children, like all children, have the possibility of suffering physical, emotional, mental, or learning disabilities. 10 Physical and mental disabilities allow for easy identification, and once identified, federal legislation assures the availability of a free, appropriate education. 11 Learning and emotional disabilities, however, are not as obvious, especially in gifted children. 12 The usual methods of identifying these children, such as standardized tests ...
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