Assoc. Prof. Dr. Usanee Anuruthwong is one the pioneers in the field of gifted education in Thailand. She has dedicated her life in the field of gifted and special education since 1980 as a senior instructor, researcher, counselor, author, national committee (s), and a volunteer for various works on child development, children with special needs, as well as the disadvantage groups.
She has help to established many national organizations and local organizations to support children with special needs and the early childhood such as:
◆ Special school for the gifted
◆Association for developing Human Potentials and Giftedness Institute for Developing Thinking Skills
◆ Parents Club for the deaf
◆Excellent Center(s) for Identifying and Naturing Children with Special needs and disadvantage group
◆ Centers for the homeless and disadvantaged children at the Thai Red Cross.
She is one of the key persons to develop National Act, National Plan and National Policy for the gifted and the Chairperson to develop National Plan for the Early childhood in Thailand.
Dr. Usanee Anuruthwong has published more than 400 articles for teachers and parents, 15 books, and 33 research studies. Over four decades she promotes knowledge on giftedness and child development to the public through radio and television programs, magazines and newspapers including seminars, workshops, and trainings across the country. She was invited as a keynote and a speaker for international conferences. She is the President of the Asia-Pacific Federation on Giftedness and presently is a Chairperson of the Association for Developing Human Potentials and Giftedness.
The term ‘twice exceptional’ refers to intellectually gifted children who also have one or more disabilities. In recent years, there has been an increase in research into twice-exceptionality. This has occurred as a result of growing awareness of the real challenges that these children face. In the past, most children with a single disability will have been defined by their particular disability-specific special needs or difficulties. The situation is much more complex with children who have a combination of disabilities coupled with high intelligence. In some cases, their high ability may not be recognized, due for example to problems with speech and communication, or with movement and coordination. In my experience supporting gifted children, I discovered that many cases had been misdiagnosed as having mental illness, intellectual disability, or autism. This misdiagnosis had led to inappropriate placement, nurturing, and teaching. Often these potentially gifted learners were insufficiently stimulated throughout their life. I believe that today we are still at the beginning of fully understanding human potential, and providing successful programs for these twice-exceptional children. Understanding their uniqueness and seeking to turn on their potential to ignite their giftedness—and at the same time, overcome their weaknesses—must become a new trend in all schools.