In addition to learning how to navigate a variety of new experiences and dealing with new social pressures, very bright young adults who participate in advanced-level classes or who enter college can have trouble navigating this rigorous academic world.
Coaching can guide 2e young adults on how to best approach various social and academic experiences with success.
While not every twice-exceptional young adult will exhibit these behaviors, the most common areas of difficulty for twice-exceptional individuals at this age are:

Emotional Regulation Challenges

Gifted and twice-exceptional adolescents and young adults who have not developed strong emotional awareness, may exhibit difficulty understanding, expressing, and managing feelings and emotions

Can have a strong sense of fairness and may struggle understanding someone else’s perspective and become argumentative

Can show perfectionistic tendencies and have unrealistic self-expectations as well as expectations of others

May be preoccupied and overwhelmed by complex global issues and existential concerns. It is believed that the higher the intelligence, the higher the existential concerns

Can be temperamental and exhibit rebelliousness and oppositional tendencies

Can have difficulty following rules and conforming to structures at home or school

May struggle with impulse control and risky behaviors, which can sometimes lead to drug or alcohol problems

May have difficulty coping with strong emotions and have issues with anger management and frustration tolerance

Because they excel at many things, twice-exceptional adolescents may become easily frustrated and impatient with areas of deficit and have little tolerance for their own errors

Entering college for the first time can be an extremely overwhelming experience for 2e young adults. Without the emotional skills to manage new social and academic experiences, their social-emotional landscape can be impacted significantly

Social Difficulties

Difficulties interacting with peers and adults. Can come across as “know-it-alls” and have difficulty expressing strong feelings and opinions appropriately

Can become overly engrossed in a particular topic and not be aware that others may not share those interests

Because they crave intellectual stimulation, they may have great difficulty finding peers with similar interests and developing and maintaining friendships

May have difficulty finding time to schedule or plan social activities and balancing social life and academic workload

May be easily distracted by social media and technology, neglecting academic obligations or struggling with face-to-face interactions

Internalizing Behaviors 

Because they may feel under pressure to achieve and perform at high levels, the may be reluctant to ask for help and develop negative mindsets and insecurities around their abilities

Tend to struggle with low-academic self-concept, low self-esteem, or low self-confidence

May exhibit fearfulness, distress, and somatic complaints as a result of repeated academic failures

May become socially withdrawn as a result of their difficulty interacting with same-age peers

May become easily overwhelmed with school workload and struggle with test anxiety and managing stress

Because of the combination of their exceptionalities and the complexity of their needs, some twice-exceptional children may exhibit debilitating anxiety or depression

Executive Function Deficits

Difficulty planning or tackling big and large-scale projects and estimating the amount of time and effort a project or activity will require

May struggle switching gears, shifting between activities, and starting tasks or using a different method or approach from the one they are comfortable using

Difficulty with multi-step directions or instructions and organizing, adjusting, or shifting the steps needed to carry out a task

May have difficulty memorizing words, facts, formulas, or foreign languages

Difficulty organizing thoughts and writing with structure

Can make careless errors and mistakes and their work can be illegible

May struggle breaking down and finishing a task despite having the knowledge or skills to do so

May have difficulty with self-management and controlling impulses

Tend to lose homework and study materials and mix up assignments or directions

May have difficulty taking notes and studying for tests

May struggle with deadlines and completing or submitting college applications or focusing on long-term goals

May get easily overwhelmed by academic workload, procrastinate, or wait until the last minute to complete school work or projects

Many 2e young adults are at an increased risk of dropping out of college during the first year because of their challenges with time management and organization, in addition to other specific 2e challenges. The first years of college are critical for 2e/gifted and neurodivergent students


Coaching during high school and college years focuses on building strong executive function skills and promoting a solid self-awareness and social-emotional intelligence foundation. I collaborate with 2e adolescents and young adults to help them:

Develop a set of study skills and systems to manage academic workload and long-term projects

Learn, practice, and hone skills to manage assignments and study effectively, such as organizing school papers and materials, writing and breaking down assignments, taking notes, keeping track of deadlines, and prioritizing tasks and activities

Identify and reframe behaviors and attitudes that are negatively affecting learning or social-emotional progress

Establish and maintain strong organizational and time management skills and use technology tools and mindfulness-based strategies to support these skills

Understand their learning and processing styles and strengths and use methods that fit their preferences

Learn to advocate for themselves and communicate with teachers/professors and other adults about how to work together to address unique needs

Engage in a self-reflective process to identify strengths and interests and explore possible areas to focus their mental and creative energy, contribute their gifts to society, or find meaning and purpose in what they do

Develop effective communication and interpersonal skills to help them form strong social relationships

Not sure if coaching is right for your family? Let’s find out together!