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Twice-exceptional individuals include those who are gifted and Autistic.

The gifts and/or exceptional skills and talents of Autistic twice-exceptional students may be overlooked by teachers and therefore not taken into account when devising and delivering educational programs. This may hinder the development of this group of students during their school years and may affect their post-school employment and quality of life outcomes.

How can teachers better identify the gifts and/or exceptional skill and talents of Autistic students? How can educational programs support both the development of gifts and/or exceptional skills and talents, and the challenges faced by Autistic twice-exceptional students?

The research

Interviews with 17 Autistic adults in Australia who display giftedness and/or exceptional skill and talents in at least one domain (intellectual, creative, social, perceptual or physical) investigated facilitators and barriers to the recognition and inclusion of their gifts and/or exceptional talents across different periods of their lives.

What we learnt

Lived experience of twice-exceptional adults

Making a difference

This is the first research study to explore the life experiences of gifted Autistic adults with the aim of providing information to better support the areas of giftedness and/or talent of Autistic twice-exceptional adults including:

  • professional development for Aspect staff regarding identification of twice-exceptional Aspect participants and students, inclusion of strengths in individual programs and practices and provision of appropriate accommodations and support
  • vocational programs for twice-exceptional Autistic adults and adolescents
    raising awareness among employers of how to create flexible, inclusive workplaces for Autistic people.

Research team

Dr Trevor Clark, ARCAP

Ainslie Robinson, ARCAP

Dr Geraldine Townend, University of New South Wales

Associate Professor Jae Jung, University of New South Wales






Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)