Being 2e (twice exceptional) myself, it makes sense that my practice seems to attract 2e people. 2e means that you are both intellectually gifted and disabled. For me, I am both AuDHD-PDA and gifted. These, of course, are all mixed together in my brain and create me. I don’t mind having “labels” because they help me understand how my brain works and help me connect with others like me.
People who are 2e naturally seem to seek me out. This most likely is due to a lot of my autistic content naturally being mixed with giftedness because it’s hard for me to separate them out. In fact, one study states that autism is a “disorder of high intelligence” due to the alleles of autism overlapping with the allele for high intelligence.
When you are 2e, you deal with a lot of different challenges. Life can be both under stimulating and overstimulating at the same time. I experience this all the time. I am also the parent of a PDA-Autistic 2e child. Being a PDA autistic parent of a PDA autistic child is not for the faint of heart, I tell you. Add in giftedness and most of the time, I feel like I am arguing with a lawyer. I am most definitely out of my league.
The majority of 2e clients that come to see me have had very “successful” (according to allistic standards, anyway) careers and royally burnt themselves out. They can understand complex ideas and may be leaders in their fields, but the world never accurately valued them. Many of my clients want to shift to work more in line with their deepest values because of how intensely they feel empathy for the world.
Whenever someone compliments me by telling me how “smart” my kids are, I smile and say being intelligent can be hard. And I mean it. We have a false view of intelligence as a high score on an IQ test which is inaccurate. Intelligence requires sensitivity, advanced pattern recognition, and keen awareness, something that can be excruciating in a world that is unjust, ableist, and violent. Who would want to take in all the gory details of a world so abrasive? The fact is gifted people don’t get to choose what they perceive and understand and what they don’t. They are absorbing and perceiving it all, all the time.