WE TRIED NORMAL: 2E Family Stories

We Tried Normal is a free download at Amazon.

What is 2E? Just a number and a letter, but for those who are 2E, it defines a unique and challenging way of life.

Being 2E, or twice exceptional, means you are an outlier on both ends of the curve. You don’t fit comfortably into any preconceived notion of being gifted or disabled because you are both. Your life is spent trying to find a way to navigate society’s expectations, while holding on to what you know to be true about yourself.

This book tells the stories of families with 2E children, and will introduce you to the challenges they face every day, as they try to fit into our world.


We Tried Normal is recommended for parents, educators, family members, and anyone who seeks to understand how giftedness coupled with a disabling condition disrupts the lives and education of children.

We Tried Normal is a free download at Amazon.


Dr. Melanie Hayes has made it her life’s work to help twice exceptional children find their niche and work to their strengths. To that end, she created Big Minds Unschool, a microschool for 2E children that lets them learn without limits through mentoring and supporting their intellectual, social, and emotional well-being.

She is a past winner of Comcast’s Innovations for Entrepreneurs contest for her work using technology to overcome educational roadblocks with 2E students. Big Minds will also be featured in the upcoming documentary, The G-Word.

Melanie is passionate about creating a world where all children are encouraged to wonder, explore, and create. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on twice exceptionality. Melanie has 2E twins, so she experiences life with 2E children on a personal level as well. She is intimately familiar with the joys and hardships of raising and educating exceptional children.

Read Melanie's blog