The Other Side of the Coin: Perceptions of Twice-Exceptional Students by Their Close Friends

María Leonor Conejeros-Solar*, María Paz Gómez-Arizaga, Robin M. Schader, Susan M. Baum, Katia Sandoval-Rodríguez, Sandra Catalán Henríquez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Friendship can be critical at any age but considering the gifts and challenges of twice-exceptional students, friends can be an essential element in navigating school years. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions that close friends of twice-exceptional students have about their friendship, characteristics, and how they relate to classmates and teachers. The sample was comprised of 17 students. Under a qualitative design, in-depth interviews were conducted with friends of students who were gifted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or with autism spectrum disorder. Results showed a deep relationship, in which friends of twice-exceptional students were able to make a realistic depiction of them, which was based on empathy, common interests, and a connection that stems from facing adversity. The results are not only a contribution to current research but also take a positive and strengths-based angle not always found in the literature. Implications for practice and research were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: This project was supported by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT for its acronym in Spanish; Grant Number 1181857).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • experience
  • friendship
  • peers
  • school
  • twice-exceptional


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