However, students with mental illness may experience symptoms that interfere with their educational goals and that create a "psychiatric disability." These symptoms may include, yet are not limited to: A student with a mental illness may have one or more of the following psychiatric diagnoses (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Bipolar affective disorder (BAD, previously called manic depressive disorder).BAD is a mood disorder with revolving periods of mania and depression.The colloquium did much to establish students who are gifted but also have learning disabilities as a population with special characteristics and needs (Fox, Brody, & Tobin, 1983). In recent years, the concept of giftedness and learning disabilities occurring concomitantly in the same individual has become commonly accepted. Consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada's direction in O'Malley, Central Alberta Dairy Pool, and Renaud, the initial burden is upon the employer to reasonably accommodate the employee's mental or physical disability.To prove that its accommodation efforts were serious and conscientious, an employer by law is required to engage in a three step process: First, determine if the employee can perform his or her existing job as it is.
If the student requires specialized services, they are provided within the general education setting.
Editor's Note: Editor's Note: Michael Lynk is a professor of law at the University of Western Ontario.
The article set out below is a summary of information presented by Professor Lynk at his presentation given to the Public Service Alliance of Canada in September, 1999.
This article explores the current policies and practices with regard to defining, identifying, and educating this population.
Recommendations are included that would help ensure that students who are gifted and have learning disabilities receive the intervention needed to help them achieve their full potential.