The Untapped Potential Project defines unique abilities broadly – including a wide array of students requiring specialized learning environments, ranging from gifted children, kids with psychiatric diagnoses, those with “twice exceptional” abilities, to children with autism.
The goal of the unique abilities strategy is to establish a unified group not stigmatized into divisive polarization between too high or low levels of expectations. For example, gifted education policies are often tainted as elite – believed to give undue advantage to privileged pupils expected to do “just fine” without policies specific to them. Conversely, policies that support students living with autism sometimes get branded with the “special education label” and, consequently, expectations for these children are inappropriately limited.
By grouping a wide array of unique ability kids and advocates together, we can counteract these stigmas and ensure all populations get the attention and improved outcomes they deserve.