ADVERTISEMENT

Gifted children with special needs

Programming options for gifted kids who have other special needs

Find a list of schools

Gifted children qualify as special needs students in most parts of Canada. But it’s common for them to have other special needs as well. These children are often referred to as “twice exceptional” students, since they have two special needs.


These children are a unique challenge for parents and educators. If your child is twice exceptional, you’ll need to find a school or program where both their giftedness and their other special need can be supported. You’ll also need to monitor the situation closely, since both the strengths and weaknesses of dually exceptional children can evolve over time.

Learning disabilities

A common dual exceptionality is when a child is both gifted and has a learning disability (LD). Examples of learning disabilities are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dysgraphiadyscalculia, dysphasia, and dyslexia (which is now sometimes called a “reading disorder”).

Some gifted students with LDs can do well in a dedicated gifted program, as long as the teacher has the relevant expertise. Teachers can sometimes differentiate instruction to accommodate the learning strengths and weaknesses of gifted students with LDs. It also helps if the school or program has certain kinds of resources, such as special education classes, alternative instruction modes, tutors, and counselling services.

An important factor here is how severe the LD is and whether it’s likely to interfere with the ability to stay focused in class. Gifted students with a very severe case of ADHD or dyslexia, for instance, may not be good fits for full-time gifted programs, especially those with large classes (where there are more distractions). They may be better suited to a regular classroom, ideally a small one, that makes adjustments to address both their learning strengths and weaknesses. They may also do well in an alternative setting, such as a Montessori school with a low teacher-to-student ratio.

Developmental disabilities

Some gifted children also have a developmental disability, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s syndrome. Depending on the particular disorder and child, these students can have difficulty reading body language and social cues, communicating and understanding certain kinds of messages, and being able to cope with certain environmental stimuli.

These students generally don’t do well in large classes, where it can be hard for them to focus. So regardless of the type of gifted program—whether self-contained, dedicated gifted programs or one with in-class adaptations—these students need their learning environment to be quiet and structured. Other important factors for these students include having a skilled teacher and access to out-of-class resources such as counselling and tutoring. Clearly, though, the right option for these students will largely depend on the severity of the social issue and the unique traits of the student.

Behavioural problems

Gifted kids can also have pronounced behaviour problems, such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) or troubled teen behaviour. These problems might include a lack of flexibility, trouble controlling emotions, and difficulty following rules. These kids also can disrupt their class, something that can harm relations with teachers and peers. Many gifted kids develop these problems at least in part because of not feeling challenged in school. Some of these children also have LDs such as ADHD, or developmental disorders such as Asperger’s.

If the child’s behaviour problems are severe, they often might not do well in a full-time, dedicated gifted school or program, especially if it has a large class. Because these kids can be disruptive and often have trouble maintaining their focus, they need a more intensive, one-on-one approach. Usually, then, they’re better suited to classrooms that make in-class adaptations.

If a child’s behavior problems are severe, they might not do well in a full-time, dedicated gifted school or program, especially if it has a large class.

If the child’s behaviour problems aren’t too severe, however, and they have access to out-of-class resources such as counselling and tutoring, they have a better chance of succeeding in a self-contained program. Remember that often a student’s behaviour problems will recede or disappear once they are appropriately challenged and stimulated in school.

In the end, though, the prospects for success in any of these learning environments will largely depend on the expertise and abilities of the teacher.

Physical disabilities

Finally, gifted students can also have a physical disability such as dyspraxia, sight impairment, hearing impairment, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Cystic Fibrosis (CF). There are not many schools in Canada, private or public, that are well-equipped to deal with these dual-exceptionality students. The main problem is one of accessibility: few schools are fully accessible to a student population with a wide range of physical disabilities.

If you’re looking at private schools, the main task is to find one that is both physically accessible and has a gifted program. For instance, you can look at gifted schools and programs in TorontoOttawaRichmond HillOakvilleMississaugaMarkhamBrampton, and Burlington-HamiltonOntario, to see if they fit this criterion. You can also find gifted schools in MontrealQuebecVancouverBCCalgary and EdmontonAlberta, and across Canada.

Advertisement
Find Private Schools:

In the spotlight:



List of gifted schools and programs

 
FILTERS:
Type
Grades
 
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Avenue Road/Bloor Street
  • 4 to 12 Coed
  • $22,000 to $27,000

Dragon Academy is the right fit for gifted students, grades 6 to 12. Dragon's small, discussion-based classes go beyond the classroom into our world-class city . An inclusive, exciting, can't wait to get there school.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
The Dragon Academy 22000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $18,000 to $28,430

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Yonge Street/King Road
  • 1 to 12 Coed
  • $14,500

Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. is a private school for intellectually gifted students in Richmond Hill, Ontario, from grades 1 through 12. Tuition is $14,500.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. 14500 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Road/Eglinton Avenue
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $12,000 to $16,000

Kendellhurst offers students an enriched curriculum with a mix of project based, traditional and arts infused curriculum, with digital displays, Macs and PC's in every room and Edwin personal devices for grades 5 to 8.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Kendellhurst Academy 12000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Dufferin Street/Lawrence Avenue
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $18,280 to $25,500

Fieldstone prepares students to be future global leaders. As Canada's first Cambridge School, we offer a stimulating curriculum in the context of a small and nurturing environment.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Fieldstone School 18280 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Vaughan, Ontario
    407/Dufferin
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $18,500 to $19,500

Balanced Academics, Arts, Athletics & Character Development. We value best practices & evidenced based approaches. University preparatory & 21st Century Tech Rich & Future Proof school. Enriched and rigorous curriculum.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Delano Academy 18500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $26,500 to $69,000

Bishop's College School is an English boarding and day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Small in size and culturally diverse, BCS is an IB World School offering the IB DP and course certificates.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Bishop's College School 26500 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge St./Sheppard Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $11,500

Prestige School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is 10 to 18 students.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Prestige School - Toronto Campus 11500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Highway 417/Greenbank
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $16,345 to $19,855

Acadecap International School ( Académie de la Capitale), an IB school, offers bilingual and/or English programmes from Pre-K to Grade 12. Students thrive in a culture of academic excellence and real-life learning.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Académie de la Capitale 16345 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Rindge, New Hampshire(USA)
    Deer Run Ln/Hampshire Rd
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • US $61,500

A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers.

  • Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Hampshire Country School 61500 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Major MacKenzie Dr. W/Bathurst St.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $11,250 to $15,000

The Prestige School offers indiviualized programs from pre-school to grade eight in Richmond Hill with an average class size of ten students. It will soon be expanding its facilities to include full-time high school.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus 11250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Boys/Girls
  • $21,200

A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 21200 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Boys Girls
  • Markham, Ontario
    Woodbine/HWY 7
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $13,600 to $14,500

Wishing Well Schools has an academically advanced program from 18 months to Grade 8. Montessori program from 18 months to 6 years old, accelerated academic program from Grade 1 to 8 with 21st c. teaching and learning.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Wishing Well Schools 13600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Day Coed
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
    W 8th Ave/Laurel Street
  • 10 to 12 Coed
  • $16,000 to $21,000

Canada Royal Arts High School is a certified dual-stream, co-ed, private school offering Grades 10 to 12 and adult learning programs. We provide an Arts-oriented curriculum to students interested in applied arts.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Canada Royal Arts High School 16000 Day Coed
  • North York, Ontario
    Avenue Road/Lawrence Avenue
  • 9 to 12 Coed
  • $15,175 to $19,175

AVRO Academy is an alternative high school in Toronto for grades 9 to 12. Students earn credits while developing skills that best prepares them for post secondary education. We focus on student strength!

  • Day
  • Progressive
AVRO Academy 15175 HighSchools Day Coed
  • Unionville, Ontario
    Kennedy Road/16th Avenue
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $7,750 to $14,750

Unionville Montessori School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight. Its average class size is 18 to 22 students.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Unionville Montessori Private Schools 7750 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Calgary, Alberta
    Crowchild Trail/Flanders Ave
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $8,000 to $10,000

The purpose of Banbury is to meet individual needs, and to help students to become self-sufficient. Banbury feels like a family. Where you have the freedom to be yourself. Where you are seen, heard, and understood.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Banbury Crossroads School 8000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge St/Sheppard Ave
  • 8 to 12 Coed
  • $399 to $499 /course

Ontario Virtual School is an Ontario Government approved credit-granting institution offering high school level courses for Grades 9-12 in an interactive online format. Students can start anytime with 24/7 access.

  • eSchool/Day
  • Traditional
Ontario Virtual School 399 HighSchools eSchool Day Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
    Lakeshore Road East/Bel Air Drive
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $8,800 to $21,250

Offering Montessori programs from Toddler to Grade 8, Dearcroft is accredited by CCMA and staffed by dedicated teachers.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Dearcroft Montessori School 8800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • JK to 6 Coed
  • $3,600 to $18,900

Oak Learners offers a creative learning atmosphere, working with your child’s unique learning style to inspire their strengths and interests.

  • Day
  • Reggio Emilia
Oak Learners 3600 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Queen St./Ossington Ave.
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $28,173

University of Toronto Schools (UTS) offers a transformative education to high-achieving students in Grades 7 to 12 from all backgrounds. UTS graduates take initiative and innovate as socially responsible global citizens.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
University of Toronto Schools 28173 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Markham, Ontario
    Warden/Steeles
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $10,000 to $25,000

AIS Montessori & Elementary School offers authentic Chinese Immersion program in GTA area.Its average class is 15 students.

  • Day/Boarding/Homestay
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
A.I.S. School 10000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Homestay Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/Eglinton
  • 9 to 12 Coed
  • $12,000 to $14,000

OAT is a high school in Toronto specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Full credit courses, Booster programs and Reach Ahead programs designed to give students the support they need to excel.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Progressive
OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology 12000 HighSchools Day Homestay Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Riverside Dr./Bank St
  • 1 to 12 Coed
  • $14,800 to $16,300

Astolot Educational Centre is a day school with grades 1 to 12 in Ottawa, Ontario. Classroom teacher-student ratios are 1 to 10. Students have the ability to reach their full potential with Astolot programming.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Astolot Educational Centre 14800 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Coed
  • St. Catharines, Ontario
    Edinburgh Dr/Scott Street
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $5,900 to $13,500

Wheatley School offers programs from nursery to grade eight in St. Catharines. Its average class size is 15 students.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Wheatley School 5900 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Church/Bloor
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $20,000 to $25,000

Founded in 1997, the Abelard School is a small independent school for grades 7 though 12, located in downtown Toronto. It offers small class sizes and an enriched, integrated curriculum to bright, motivated students.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
The Abelard School 20000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
    St. John Sideroad/Yonge St.
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $10,500 to $16,200

Aurora Montessori School offers an extensive, nurturing, enriched program for 395 day students from Toddler to Grade 8 including an Outdoor Ed Classroom and the option to earn an OSSD credit in Grade 9 Academic Math.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Reggio Emilia
Aurora Montessori School 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Eglinton Ave W/Ninth Line
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $12,740 to $15,000

Sherwood Heights School offers Enriched Academic Programmes from Kindergarten to Grade 12, in Mississauga. The Programmes are Enriched and Comprehensive, delivered with Extra Attention and Care.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Sherwood Heights School 12740 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,175

In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16175 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $18,000 to $36,950

We uphold and pursue a pragmatic, balanced education with an emphasis on art, sports and music to cultivate talents to lead the new century.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
Dewey Institute 18000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Dundas Ave. West/High Park Ave.
  • PS to 1 Coed
  • $10,000 to $15,000

Oxford Learning Academy offers a bilingual academic program complemented by a personalized school experience. We grow lifelong learners by focusing on early primary education.

  • Day
  • Progressive
High Park Oxford Learning Academy 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Edmonton, Alberta
    Groat Road/107 Avenue
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $8,950 to $10,150

Progressive Academy's programs inspire students from preschool to grade 12 in Edmonton, Alberta. Wonderful faculty, wide range of experiential opportunities and high expectations ignite a desire to learn.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Progressive Academy 8950 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Kanata, Ontario
    March Road/Sandhill Road
  • 1 to 8 Coed
  • $16,000

March Academy offers an alternative program for students in grades 1 through 6. Small classes with academic programming includes weekly lessons in the arts, the natural environment and daily physical education.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
March Academy 16000 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed

Series: Gifted Programs

Latest Articles


May 1, 2020
155 years of Trinity College School
A notable birthday for a notable Canadian institution

May 1, 2020
Daring to dream: 40 years of the Arrowsmith School
A milestone birthday for a school that has changed the way we think about learning

March 26, 2020
Private schools' response to COVID-19
Pivoting immediately in the quarantine

March 10, 2020
What’s happening in middle school?
Frankly, a lot more than you might think

January 14, 2020
What does 'more' mean to you?
Students need more from their schools, but what? We asked some of the best.


Our Kids The Trusted Source
Our Kids The Trusted Source

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by OurKids.net or its associated websites. See Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2020 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.
You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.
Name
Email
verification image, type it in the box
Our Kids From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.