Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. It is different from a skill, in that skills are learned or acquired behaviors. Like a talent, intellectual giftedness is usually believed to be an innate, personal aptitude for intellectual activities that cannot be acquired through personal effort.
Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and emotional functions are often developed differently (or to differing extents) at different stages of development.
Giftedness is frequently not evenly distributed throughout all intellectual spheres; an individual may excel in solving logic problems and yet be a poor speller; another gifted individual may be able to read and write at a far above average level and yet have trouble with mathematics. It is possible there are different types of giftedness with their own unique features, just as there are different types of developmental delay.
The term twice exceptional was coined by James J. Gallagher to denote students who are both gifted and have disabilities. People have known about twice exceptional students for thirty years; however, identification and program strategies remain ambiguous. These students need remediation for their learning deficits and enhancement for their strengths to achieve. Twice exceptional students are considered at risk because they are hidden within the general population of their educational environment, and usually viewed as either under-achievers or average learners.