Definition of Dual or Multiple Exceptionality
The term dual or multiple exceptionality (DME) is used in the UK to describe children who have both high learning potential and would be classed as having a special educational need because of a learning difficulty or a disability. It means the same thing as the term ‘twice exceptional’, or ‘2e’, that is used in the USA and various other parts of the world.
The term dual or multiple exceptionality reflects the fact that an individual may have more than one issue alongside their high learning potential, for example have both an autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit alongside exceptional cognitive abilities.
- It is estimated that 5-10% of children with high learning potential also have a special educational need.
- It is estimated that 2-5% of children with an identified special educational need also have high learning potential.
Therefore, dual or multiple exceptional children could be described as a minority within a minority.
The term dual or multiple exceptionality is used to cover high learning potential alongside:
- Neurological disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia
- Learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia
- Sensory and speech impairments