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Dual or Multiple Exceptionality
You may or may not have come across the term 'dual or multiple exceptionality' before; this is the term used in the U.K. to describe children who have High Learning Potential but who also have one or more special educational needs (SEN).

These children have very different abilities and learning issues which must be formally assessed to ensure that they receive support for their special educational need (SEN) but also are given challenging, enriching, enjoyable work at school which suits their intellectual abilities. Early assessment by an Educational Psychologist is recommended for children suspected of having dual or multiple exceptionality (DME).

As dual or multiple exceptionality is an issue which not many people are aware of, this makes it particularly difficult for the parent of a DME child to advocate on their behalf if their child's needs are not being met.

It can be difficult for schools to identify a child with DME as sometimes the SEN masks their High Learning Potential, or the HLP can mask the SEN, depending on the severity.

To observers, this type of child can appear to be poorly behaved or lazy, whereas in reality, the DME child is struggling to make sense of having both HLP and one or more SENs. The DME child has to cope with the combination of a mind that works fast, with an excellent memory and some brilliant ideas alongside distinct barriers to learning which can make them doubt their own abilities.

Unrecognised and unsupported, DME can be confusing, frustrating and upsetting for not only the child, but for the parent and school too.

Potential Plus UK is the only national organisation in the U.K. that supports and advocates on behalf of the DME child and his or her parents. If you believe that your child has DME, then we hope our services will help you to find the right support, information and advice that you require to help you to ensure that your child's needs are being met both at home and at school:

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Parent View Helplines Partnership is the membership body for organisations that provide helpline services in the UK and internationally. First Tutors