Bright & Quirky Child Summit

Help bright kids thrive, even with learning, social and/or emotional challenges

Session 3: When School Isn’t Working for 2e Kids: Options for Education

Deborah Reber, MA

Finding and accessing an appropriate education for ‘twice exceptional (2e)’ learners can be challenging. In this interview, the two Debbies talk about the challenges for bright and quirky kids in schools today, the importance of talking openly about our kids’ neurodivergence with potential schools, and how Debbie Reber and her son transitioned from a negative school fit to a positive homeschooling experience, and more. Are you looking for schools that meet the needs of neuro-divergent, 2E kids? Debbie R. shares an important resource.

[accessally_missing_all_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']


[accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']


[accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='662974,1303794' comment='IdeaLab_Has_Access,Summit_2020_Has_Access']



Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing the talk? Let us know in the comments section below.

[accessally_missing_all_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']

Would you like downloadable audio, video and transcripts for this talk? Upgrade to the summit access pass to get 24/7 permanent access to all 22 talks, over 10 hours of streaming content, downloadable audio and video to watch on the go, and printable transcripts. Also get 4 amazing bonus talks and a very special invitation to join the renowned IdeaLab parent learning and support community.



(If you are a Summit 2020 Access Pass holder or Idealab member, sign in here for access to downloads, transcripts, and bonus talks)



  1. Gloria Gallardo-Walker on March 16, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Thanks so much Deborah for sharing your journey with your son and how beautifully you helped him through his angst to thrive and learn again. They will get there because you’ve shown us the way.

  2. Abby on March 15, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Another validating talk. I wish I would have heard this when my kids were younger. I ended up pulling my kids out of regular public school to do online school (k12 program). I found the online school to be more willing to let me try the things I felt would work for my kids as long as we made progress in school, yet I liked the idea for myself to have a set curriculum to follow because I have my own executive function challenges. It has worked so well for us. The regular school blamed me for my kids behavior and thought I was just not disciplining properly. Both my kids have trauma due to being in the regular school environment and how the adults treated them. They were getting more and more violent and I was told that I had to crack down on them or they would end up in psychiatric care, but I stood my ground and pulled them out. My older son was home for 3 years and just went back into a local alternative high school where he is a star student and thriving! My other son is in 4th grade. I just pulled him out after a psychiatric episode related to school stress and a medication trial that went wrong. I almost ended up in psych myself because the school kept insisting that I had to go along with them and we needed to push harder or he would end up needing to live in a facility. I know that that would be what happened if I didn’t pull him out. He was violent, hurting people, so angry. It’s been two months at home now and I’m doing things the way I did with his brother and he is calming down. He’s doing much more school. He’s almost never aggressive now. He’s handling his frustration. He’s starting to talk to me more.

    Parents- if the school isn’t hearing you, don’t let them convince you that you don’t know what is best for your child! Keep listening to these experts and look for alternatives. If you follow the advice in these talks, put on a lens that your child is doing the best they can with what they have and give them empathy and LISTEN to them and connect with other parents with similar kids, you can work with them and figure it out.

    Fantastic talk and information! I agree 100% with everything I’m hearing, it goes directly with my experience. We don’t have the full freedom of homeschool, but we have an IEP in the online school that makes things even more flexible. The best thing about it is being able to do school any time during the day we want when it works.

  3. Kara on March 15, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you so much Debbie R for sharing honestly and openly about your homeschool journey with your son. For those parents who are sensing that homeschool is the best option for their child right now, your words of wisdom will be much appreciated. As a homeschool mom of 18 years to two 2e boys and a neurotypical daughter, the work you do in yourself is more important than any curriculum or program you bring to your child. Simply being present. Appreciating who your child is and creating a safe space for them to get out of defense mode is a precious gift. Becoming fluent in their language and truly being a student of your child is the best educational gift we as parents can offer. Their amazing minds and endless curiosity with propel them forward when they feel safe. Thank you for sharing Debbie!

  4. Michelle on March 15, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Where can I find the ptsd and defense mode info by Daniel Rady (sp?)?

Leave a Comment