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Gifted children with special needs

Programming options for gifted kids who have other special needs

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. Read more


List of gifted schools and programs

 
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  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Yonge Street/King Road
  • 1 to 12 Coed
  • $14,000

Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. is a private school for intellectually gifted students in Richmond Hill, Ontario, from grades 1 to 12. Tuition is $13,500.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. 14000 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Dufferin Street/Lawrence Avenue
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $17,750 to $24,755

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

  • Day
  • Traditional
Fieldstone School 17750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Vaughan, Ontario
    407/Dufferin
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $15,995 to $19,995

D.A. is a K-12 university prep, coed IB candidate 21st Century school. Enriched and rigorous curriculum. Balanced academics, arts, athletics & character development. We value best practices & evidenced based approaches.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Delano Academy 15995 Kindergarten Elementary 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
  • 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
  • Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $25,000 to $66,100

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 25000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge St./Sheppard Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $11,250 to $15,500

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 11250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Highway 417/Greenbank
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $13,340 to $19,510

Acadecap International School a.k.a. 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 13340 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Kanata, Ontario
  • 1 to 6 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 Day Coed
  • Vaughan, Ontario
    Keele St./Rutherford Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $9,900 to $29,000

Rutherford Private School creates an atmosphere of academic excellence, and develops students with a love of learning that provides sound preparation for higher education.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
  • Montessori

Rutherford Private School & Daycare 9900 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding 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
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Eglinton Ave W/Ninth Line
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $11,700 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 11700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools 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
  • 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.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Progressive
OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology 12000 HighSchools Homestay Day 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
  • 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.

  • Day/eSchool
  • Traditional
Ontario Virtual School 399 HighSchools Day eSchool Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $10,500 to $16,200

Aurora Montessori School offers a comprehensive, nurturing and enriched program for Toddler to Grade 8. Our enrolment of 375 day students has an average class size of 15 to 24.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Reggio Emilia

Aurora Montessori School 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools 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
  • Brampton, Ontario
    Hurontario/Bovaird
  • 6 to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $7,000

Xyna International School offers programs from Gr 9 - 12 in Brampton(Co-ed) and 6-12 in Woodbridge(Girls only). At Xyna students have many opportunities to develop teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Progressive

Xyna International School 7000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Homestay Girls Coed
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Brunswick Street/Sackville Drive
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $10,500 to $19,125

King's View Academy offers students the opportunity to study grades 7 through 12, including Advanced Placement courses, in a self-directed, self-paced, flexibly-scheduled and well-supported academic environment.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate

King's View Academy 10500 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Coed
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $20,000 to $35,000

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
  • Waldorf

Dewey Institute 20000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

  • Boarding/Day/Homestay
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
A.I.S. School 10000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Homestay Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $15,750

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 15750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 9 Coed
  • $20,000

Madrona School Society is a gifted school in Vancouver. It offers programs for kindergarten to grade nine with an average class size of six to 14 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive

Madrona School Society 20000 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Coconut Creek, Florida(USA)
    Lyons Road/Yellow Bird Farin
  • K to 12 Coed
  • US $24,200 to US $59,950

North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate

North Broward Preparatory School 24200 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Major MacKenzie Dr. W/Bathurst St.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $10,000 to $15,500

The Prestige School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Richmond Hill. Its average class size is ten students.

  • Day
  • Traditional

Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Rigaud, Quebec
    Rue Saint-Pierre/Rue Bourget
  • PS to 11 Coed
  • $4,700 to $35,000

Collège Bourget is a day & boarding school situated between Montreal & Ottawa, that exceeds Quebec curriculum guidelines & ensures our students grow through different spheres: arts, sports, community service & science.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional

College Bourget 4700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding 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
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Girls/Coed/Boys
  • $11,000 to $41,900

A Canadian Private Secondary Co-ed Boarding school, located in downtown London, Ontario. LIA offers academic courses from Grades 9-12 and is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate

London International Academy 11000 HighSchools Boarding Day Boarding Girls Coed Boys
  • 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

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.

Click here to view a list of gifted schools 
 

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), Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, or intellectual disability. 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.

Series: Gifted Programs

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