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University of Iowa News Release

June 19, 2003

UI Conference To Focus On Gifted Children With Disabilities

Helping a child who is academically gifted achieve her full potential is a considerable challenge for parents and educators. That's doubly true when the gifted student also has a disability that impacts her ability to learn.

That's why the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, part of the University of Iowa College of Education, is offering the "Twice-Exceptional Institute: Gifted Children with Disabilities" at the Iowa Memorial Union Thursday and Friday, June 26 and 27.

"This institute is important because some of our most academically advanced learners may also experience severe learning difficulties," said Belin-Blank Center Director Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D. "These students are often overlooked, and their potential remains untapped, because their academic strengths can mask serious difficulties in learning. Alternately, significant learning deficiencies imposed by a disability can hide these students' academic ability."

The Twice-Exceptional Institute will help educators, parents and others understand the complex social-emotional and educational issues related to gifted students with disabilities, their families and their educational programs.

Presentations and special sessions during the conference will cover legal issues; assistive technology; Asperger Syndrome, a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD); ADHD, characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness and poor school performance; and other disabilities that affect one or more basic processes involved in thinking or using language.

Dr. Nancy Robinson, professor emerita of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington and former director of what is now known as the Halbert and Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars, will present a keynote address titled "Gifted Students with More than Once Exceptionality: Do Exceptionalities Add, Subtract, or Multiply?"

Registration for the institute is $225. UI academic credit is also available, as are continuing education credits (CEUs).

To register or learn more about the institute, visit Or call the Belin-Blank Center at 319-335-6149 or 1-800-336-6463.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,