Your 2E kid, who is an adult, isn’t launching. What are you supposed to do?

Your 2E, or twice exceptional, son, who is an adult, is not launching. What are you supposed
to do? Let's talk about it today on Tips on Teens. My name, as always, is Kent Toussaint. I'm a
licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families
live happier lives. I lead two organizations, the group Private Practice Teen Therapy Center,
and the non -profit 501c3 organization Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills,
California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump into your Facebook feed and I answer your parenting
questions live. Today is no exception. Let's jump into this question and talk a little more
about what 2e is. My 2e son is 20 years old and is not launching. He is going to community college
part -time, but other than that, he just plays video games and watches YouTube all the time.
I want him to have more get -up -and -go, but he fights us on anything that we try to get him to do,
such as getting a job, volunteering, or just getting

out of the house and exercising. We want him to work toward a career, and we don't care if he finishes
college, as long as he is productive and happy, but he seems to have no interest in the future.
What are we, as parents, supposed to do? We are not going to kick him out of the house, so please
don't suggest that. That will not fix the problem, as a previous therapist recommended." I
agree! That will not fix the problem. Don't kick him out of your house. That is not a good suggestion.
First of all, let's talk about what 2E is. It's an abbreviation for twice exceptional, also
known as multi -exceptional. What does that mean? So, 2E is basically your two exceptions.
One, usually an exceptional gift, an exceptional challenge. For example, and these are just
a small handful of examples, a gift may be your child is incredibly gifted at verbal skills,
can speak well beyond their years with adults and talk about really, really deep issues, or
their writing skills, or their math skills, or their

spatial awareness skills, or their physical skills. Again, these are a small handful of many
things that this could be, and your kid is way beyond where they should be or what it would be expected
of any child or person. But on the flip side, they also have a challenge. Again, this is just as
varied as the gifts could be. Oftentimes, it's things like attention issues, like ADHD, could
be developmental issues, such as an auditory processing issue, could be somewhere on the autism
spectrum, although it used to be known as Asperger's. A lot of executive functioning is a common
occurrence with 2E kids, excuse me. Again, small handful of thousands of things this could
be. So you have a kid who is way above the norms of a neurotypical kid on some things and way below
on something else. So this could look like your kid is a math genius, but they still can't tie
their shoes and they can't brush their teeth without you hand -holding them. Again, that's
a small example of what it could be. It could

be that, you know, they just have such a hard time focusing that they can't get any of their homework
done, but they are clearly the smartest kid in the city, right? Again, these are some extreme
situations, but these things happen. So we now have a 20 -year -old who has graduated high school,
who is an adult, who is going to school part -time. It sounds like he's passing his classes, I'm
assuming, because they didn't say he's failing. So he's doing okay in his classes, but that's
all he does, which is not enough for a 20 -year -old. We would expect more for a 20 -year -old. However,
for someone who's 2E, a lot of times, focusing on the future because the executive function
issues are not really working, it's hard to really plan or think about the future. It's just
what I want now. What I want now is I want to play my video games. I want to do my Minecraft. I want
to do my Fortnite. I want to watch my YouTube videos, whatever that is. And that's that immediate
gratification. And it's hard

to move past that immediate gratification. Especially because he may feel like he doesn't
have to. You know? He's, I'm going to school part -time. That's what's expected of me. That's
all I can do. And what I want to do is I want to play and I want to have fun. And we want him to start
expanding his comfort zone. And how do we do that? Sounds like he's fighting his parents on a
lot of things. The first thing and foremost is make sure you're maintaining and nurturing a
positive relationship with your son. I know this is a challenge right now because he's probably
pushing away and he's like, nah, I'd rather do Minecraft, I'd rather do Minecraft. But find
some way for you guys to connect and bond because the next step of what I'm gonna offer and suggest
is going to really rely on having a strong relationship with you and the trust with you. And if
you need help with that, seek out help, seek out a therapist who works with kids, who are familiar
with kids who are maybe on the spectrum or attention

issues, who are understanding how that works. You know, we work with this kind of all the time
because you may need help in navigating through this. First of all, if you want to go get a job,
he's going to get a job for the same reason most of us get jobs is because we have to. If you were
independently wealthy and had more money than you can ever spend, you may still work because
you love your job. But if you lost your job, how quick would you be to go find another job? Not so
much. You know, you may think about it while you're on a beach in Cancun, sipping a drink with
a bunch of umbrellas in it, and, you know, considering, well, what do I want to do? If the right
job came along, I'll do that. But there's no sense of urgency. We want him to have a sense of urgency.
So how do we help him with that? And I think it's important to create a financial structure where
he is developing more financial responsibility. And we've talked about this many times on
Tips on Teens. You know, what is important

to him? You know His phone I'm guessing is important to him. So the monthly payment buying the
phone Things like that, you know skins for his game. That's basically add -ons for his games.
He probably wants to pay for those I don't know what else inspires this kid, but fine What are
the things maybe he collects figurines wherever that he things that he wants? He is now financial
responsible for not just all of a sudden but plan ahead You sit down with him and you talk about
hey at a certain date a certain time we are relinquishing our financial responsibility on these
things and it's gonna be up to you. And he'll say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. And he won't
do anything about it. And let's say you pick January 1st, arbitrarily picking a date. And most
likely he will not have the job, he will not have the money, and then you say, okay, well, all right,
then the phone gets shut off. And then he will panic. This is when having a strong relation with
you and trust with you is gonna come

in, because at first he's gonna wanna blame you and say, how dare you? How dare you kick me out
of my comfort zone and if you have that strong relationship It's gonna be easier to kind of get
back on track and help guide him towards getting that job that he thinks is stupid You know, I
don't want to work at a grocery store. That's stupid. Well, you know, he's got to start somewhere
and You know, it may not be you know when we find careers we want a sense of autonomy we want a sense
of mastery and a sense of purpose and The grocery store from his mind doesn't offer any of those
things until he gets there and he realizes it does start offering some autonomy and mastery
and purpose. He does start having more financial freedom and experience. He does have more
sense of purpose that he's giving to something that's bigger than him, the grocery store, whatever
it is. It may not be solving world hunger, but it is something. And that sense of purpose of get
up and go. I've gotta be there at 7 a

.m. I have a purpose to do things. And we want him to start developing that and something that's
not just in the digital realm. And so if we can help guide him towards that with the help of your
relationship, help with the therapist relationship, help him guide him towards that, even
if it's a part -time job, that hopefully helps start that ball rolling. Once the ball starts
rolling, it's easier to build momentum. We gotta start somewhere. And getting him out and exercising.
Going to the gym, for a lot of people, is dull and boring and tedious. Maybe he'll do it with a trainer.
Maybe he finds something that's more interesting, like surfing. Surfing's on my mind because
my kids just started surfing. I know it's expensive and it's a drive to the beach sometimes but
is that that investment where for three months he's working with a instructor but after that
he kind of just goes on his own because he's capable of doing on his own. That's great exercise.
You know that's fantastic exercise and

maybe he finds that love of being out in the ocean. You know finding something that drives him.
Maybe it's tennis. I don't know what it is but we need to find something to help him find connection
to, you know, getting out of the house. Setting a time at home when screens are just off, Wi -Fi
is just off, is a challenge. Especially if he's much more technically savvy than you are and
you turn off and he taps back into it and changes all the passwords so you can't get into the Wi
-Fi. Make sure you know someone or you have a computer person who can help you combat that and
it's not because your son is evil, just he may have a hard time with the empathy of recognizing
your boundaries and his boundaries. And usually once he calms down and he's not so angry, usually
they can have that warm empathy of realizing, oh, well, after a while I can see why that would
affect you. But it takes some kids sometimes to recognize that. This is a really nuanced, complicated
question and go in a thousand different

directions. So I know I'm just scratching the surface on this, but it's really important to
work with him, possibly work with a therapist just to find a solution to get him out. You just
badgering him is not gonna do it. He needs to find an internal motivation to do these things and
helping him with the financial aspect of it and helping connect to a financial aspect of it may
help. I love this question. I deal with this with many clients often. So it's something that
we talk about it. And again, I can talk to five different families or 500 families and each family
is gonna approach it differently. So it's really important to really be in tune with what your
son's needs are and your family's needs. Again, my name is Kent Toussaint from Teen Therapy
Center and Challenge Teen Counseling. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you want your question
answered, please email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com or direct message us right
here on Facebook or Instagram. Hope you all have a

wonderful and healthy and safe Thanksgiving, and I will see you guys next Wednesday at noon.
See you later, bye -bye.

How do you get your 2E (twice exceptional) son or daughter, who is an adult, get motivated to start thinking about a career, or get out there and do more? How do you handle the backlash you might get from them once you give them the nudge? What are the great benefits to them from getting a job. These are all questions we look at in this segment of Tips On Teens.

“My 2E son is 20 years old and is not launching!  He is going to community college part time but other than that, he just plays video games and watches YouTube all the time. I want him to have more get-up-and-go, but he fights us on anything that we try to get him to do such as getting a job, volunteering or just getting out of the house and exercising. We want him to work toward a career and we don’t care if he finishes college as long as he is productive and happy but he seems to have no interest in the future. What are we as parents supposed to do?  We are not going to kick him out of the house, so please don’t suggest that.  That will not fix the problem as a previous therapist recommended.”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.