Dual or Multiple Exceptional Learners

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Dual or Multiple Exceptional Learners

Some children seem to struggle with an area of their learning and yet leave you in no doubt that they understand exactly what was covered in the lesson. Others, you feel, may have a special need but just do not quite fit the classic profile and leave you wondering exactly how to support them in the classroom and beyond. You may identify still others as having a learning need but are just too bright for the support programmes you can offer. Have you ever considered that these children might be what are called Dual or Multiple Exceptional (DME)? This advice sheet explains what DME is, how it can affect a child and their learning, what you can do to spot the signs of DME in the classroom and how to develop a strategy for supporting children with DME within your school.

S501 High Learning Potential and Special Education Needs

This information is aimed at SENCOs and More Able Lead Teachers in all school phases. The term ‘dual or multiple exceptionality’ is used in the UK to describe children who have high learning potential but who also have one or more special educational needs (SEN). Potential Plus UK has compiled a list of characteristics of DME children through our work in supporting parents, professionals and DME children. Not all of these characteristics will relate to all DME children. The check list is meant as a starting point for schools.

S05a Checklist of Characteristics of Dual or Multiple Exceptional Learners

In the UK, the term Dual or Multiple Exceptionality (DME) is used to describe those who have one or more Special Educational Needs and also have high ability (which Potential Plus UK calls High Learning Potential or HLP).  Potential Plus UK has produced this fact sheet to inform, support and advise teachers, professionals and parents/carers of DME children.  Issues related to educating, parenting and supporting a child with DME are covered in this fact sheet. Treatments for specific special educational needs are covered in other Potential Plus UK Fact Sheets relating to particular diagnoses.

F01 Dual or Multiple Exceptionality

Some children are not able to easily demonstrate their ability or potential in a traditional way within the classroom and this can lead to them being missed, making it highly likely that they will not have the opportunities they need to thrive and gain personal and educational fulfilment. Here we will look at various approaches that can be taken to ensure that these children do not fall through the net.

S05b Identifying Dual or Multiple Exceptional Learners

Resource Sheet – Starry Night Observation Protocol

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