Since both gifted and with disabilities individuals need special needs, corresponding modifications, strategies and adjustments should be done accordingly to be able to suit to their needs thus learning process can occur. Both classroom set up should be designed in accordance to provide optimum conduciveness in learning. Both have its own sets of teaching strategies that would be best effective in each set of exceptionalities. Initially, both gifted and developmentally delayed individuals should be properly assessed based on either a preliminary checklist or assessment obtained from the professionals such as developmental pediatrician or psychiatrist.
Obtaining the assessment would help us discriminate or distinguish individuals that are mild moderate and severe. It also goes the same with gifted children, we need to know which are mildly gifted, moderately and highly gifted in order to be able to address their needs more appropriately. Another psychological truth that we need to learn is that most learning occurs when an optimal match between the learners current understanding and the challenge of new learning material has been carefully engineered.
Choosing an appropriate program for both gifted and developmentally delayed individuals has always been indeed a challenge to anyone. Sets of programs are always done individualistic may it be for gifted individual or individual with developmental delay because both have unique characteristics that make them so personal and different from one another. Moreover, most often than not, the progress programs given to these two exceptionalities are based on their pace.
Generally, for the developmentally delayed students the initial step for learning process to occur is behavior modification. Once the behavior is properly addressed, meaning the teacher is able to get the attention and behavior of the student, will the learning take effect. In gifted children, however, the initial step is to discover the childs area of giftedness and create a program that will attend and enhance farther his special needs. Behavioral modification is not the basic concern at this point except for some social aspect such as coping up with peers older of his/her age.
If that case happens, that is the only time that behavior intervention is needed. If teaching methods use for developmentally delayed students are direct instructions and task analysis, thus making tasks as simple and as directly instructed as possible for easier mastery, for gifted students, it is making it more complex and abstract to maintain the students interest and be challenged with it. If the gifted students master a particular unit, they need to be provided with more advanced learning activities, not more of the same activity as before.
With developmentally delayed students, repetitions of activities and tasks are advisable to be able to incur mastery. Moreover, gifted students learning characteristics are best served with thematic, broad based and integrative content rather than just single-subject areas in which are being used in developmentally delayed students. Compacting are used with gifted student to streamline curriculum in order to allow them to move at a quicker pace and have time to pursue in alternate topic while in developmentally delayed students, the (general) task or activity is broken down into pieces of smaller tasks to be able to effectively master the (general) task.