View Full Version : Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children


silivrentoliel
03-15-13, 10:01 PM
I was bored and was looking up what the diagnosis of "gifted" actually meant, and found this... wanted some other opinions.

article found here: www[dot]sengifted.org/archives/articles/misdiagnosis-and-dual-diagnosis-of-gifted-children

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children

Authors: James T. Webb, Edward R. Amend, Nadia E. Webb, Jean Goerss, Paul Beljan, F. Richard Olenchak


Citation: Abstracted from Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, depression, and other disorders. (2004) Scottsdale: Great Potential Press. Available from the publisher.

Many gifted and talented children (and adults) are being mis-diagnosed by psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other health care professionals. The most common mis-diagnoses are: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Mood Disorders such as Cyclothymic Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Depression, and Bi-Polar Disorder. These common mis-diagnoses stem from an ignorance among professionals about specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted children which are then mistakenly assumed by these professionals to be signs of pathology.


In some situations where gifted children have received a correct diagnosis, giftedness is still a factor that must be considered in treatment, and should really generate a dual diagnosis. For example, existential depression or learning disability, when present in gifted children or adults, requires a different approach because new dimensions are added by the giftedness component. Yet the giftedness component typically is overlooked due to the lack of training and understanding by health care professionals (Webb & Kleine, 1993).


Despite prevalent myths to the contrary, gifted children and adults are at particular psychological risk due to both internal characteristics and situational factors. These internal and situational factors can lead to interpersonal and psychological difficulties for gifted children, and subsequently to mis-diagnoses and inadequate treatment.


Internal Factors

First, let me mention the internal aspects (Webb, 1993). Historically, nearly all of the research on gifted individuals has focused on the intellectual aspects, particularly in an academic sense. Until recently, little attention has been given to personality factors which accompany high intellect and creativity. Even less attention has been given to the observation that these personality factors intensify and have greater life effects when intelligence level increases beyond IQ 130 (Silverman, 1993; Webb, 1993; Winner, 2000).


Perhaps the most universal, yet most often overlooked, characteristic of gifted children and adults is their intensity (Silverman, 1993; Webb, 1993). One mother described it succinctly when she said, “My child’s life motto is that anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.” Gifted children — and gifted adults– often are extremely intense, whether in their emotional response, intellectual pursuits, sibling rivalry, or power struggles with an authority figure. Impatience is also frequently present, both with oneself and with others. The intensity also often manifests itself in heightened motor activity and physical restlessness.


Along with intensity, one typically finds in gifted individuals an extreme sensitivity–to emotions, sounds, touch, taste, etc. These children may burst into tears while watching a sad event on the evening news, keenly hear fluorescent lights, react strongly to smells, insist on having the tags removed from their shirts, must touch everything, or are overly reactive to touch in a tactile-defensive manner.


The gifted individual’s drive to understand, to question, and to search for consistency is likewise inherent and intense, as is the ability to see possibilities and alternatives. All of these characteristics together result in an intense idealism and concern with social and moral issues, which can create anxiety, depression, and a sharp challenging of others who do not share their concerns.


Situational Factors

Situational factors are highly relevant to the problem of mis-diagnosis (Webb, 1993). Intensity, sensitivity, idealism, impatience, questioning the status quo–none of these alone necessarily constitutes a problem. In fact, we generally value these characteristics and behaviors–unless they happen to occur in a tightly structured classroom, or in a highly organized business setting, or if they happen to challenge some cherished tradition, and gifted children are the very ones who challenge traditions or the status quo.


There is a substantial amount of research to indicate that gifted children spend at least one-fourth to one-half of the regular classroom time waiting for others to catch up. Boredom is rampant because of the age tracking in our public schools. Peer relations for gifted children are often difficult (Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982; Winner, 2000), all the more so because of the internal dyssynchrony (asynchronous development) shown by so many gifted children where their development is uneven across various academic, social, and developmental areas, and where their judgment often lags behind their intellect.


Clearly, there are possible (or even likely) problems that are associated with the characteristic strengths of gifted children. Some of these typical strengths and related problems are shown in Table 1.


Table 1: Possible Problems That May be Associated with Characteristic Strengths of Gifted Children

Strengths Possible Problems Acquires and retains information quickly. Impatient with slowness of others; dislikes routine and drill; may resist mastering foundational skills; may make concepts unduly complex. Inquisitive attitude, intellectual curiosity; intrinsic motivation; searching for significance. Asks embarrassing questions; strong-willed; resists direction; seems excessive in interests; expects same of others. Ability to conceptualize, abstract, synthesize; enjoys problem-solving and intellectual activity. Rejects or omits details; resists practice or drill; questions teaching procedures. Can see cause–effect relations. Difficulty accepting the illogical-such as feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith. Love of truth, equity, and fair play. Difficulty in being practical; worry about humanitarian concerns. Enjoys organizing things and people into structure and order; seeks to systematize. Constructs complicated rules or systems; may be seen as bossy, rude, or domineering. Large vocabulary and facile verbal proficiency; broad information in advanced areas. May use words to escape or avoid situations; becomes bored with school and age-peers; seen by others as a “know it all.” Thinks critically; has high expectancies; is self-critical and evaluates others. Critical or intolerant toward others; may become discouraged or depressed; perfectionistic. Keen observer; willing to consider the unusual; open to new experiences. Overly intense focus; occasional gullibility. Creative and inventive; likes new ways of doing things. May disrupt plans or reject what is already known; seen by others as different and out of step. Intense concentration; long attention span in areas of interest; goal-directed behavior; persistence. Resists interruption; neglects duties or people during period of focused interests; stubbornness. Sensitivity, empathy for others; desire to be accepted by others. Sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection; expects others to have similar values; need for success and recognition; may feel different and alienated. High energy, alertness, eagerness; periods of intense efforts. Frustration with inactivity; eagerness may disrupt others’ schedules; needs continual stimulation; may be seen as hyperactive. Independent; prefers individualized work; reliant on self. May reject parent or peer input; non-conformity; may be unconventional. Diverse interests and abilities; versatility. May appear scattered and disorganized; frustrations over lack of time; others may expect continual competence. Strong sense of humor. Sees absurdities of situations; humor may not be understood by peers; may become “class clown” to gain attention. Adapted from Clark (1992) and Seagoe (1974)


Lack of understanding by parents, educators, and health professionals, combined with the problem situations (e.g., lack of appropriately differentiated education) leads to interpersonal problems which are then mis-labeled, and thus prompt the mis-diagnoses. The most common mis-diagnoses are as follows.


Common Mis-Diagnoses

ADHD and Gifted. Many gifted children are being mis-diagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The gifted child’s characteristics of intensity, sensitivity, impatience, and high motor activity can easily be mistaken for ADHD. Some gifted children surely do suffer from ADHD, and thus have a dual diagnosis of gifted and ADHD; but in my opinion, most are not. Few health care professionals give sufficient attention to the words about ADHD in DSM-IV(1994) that say “…inconsistent with developmental level….” The gifted child’s developmental level is different (asynchronous) when compared to other children, and health care professionals need to ask whether the child’s inattentiveness or impulsivity behaviors occur only in some situations but not in others (e.g., at school but not at home; at church, but not at scouts, etc.). If the problem behaviors are situational only, the child is likely not suffering from ADHD.


To further complicate matters, my own clinical observation suggests that about three percent of highly gifted children suffer from a functional borderline hypoglycemic condition. Silverman (1993) has suggested that perhaps the same percentage also suffer from allergies of various kinds. Physical reactions in these conditions, when combined with the intensity and sensitivity, result in behaviors that can mimic ADHD. However, the ADHD-like symptoms in such cases will vary with the time of day, length of time since last meal, type of foods eaten, or exposure to other environmental agents.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Gifted. The intensity, sensitivity, and idealism of gifted children often lead others to view them as “strong-willed.” Power struggles with parents and teachers are common, particularly when these children receive criticism, as they often do, for some of the very characteristics that make them gifted (e.g., “Why are you so sensitive, always questioning me, trying to do things a different way,” etc.).


Bi-Polar and other Mood Disorders and Gifted. Recently, I encountered a parent whose highly gifted child had been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder. This intense child, whose parents were going through a bitter divorce, did indeed show extreme mood swings, but, in my view, the diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder was off the mark. In adolescence, or sometimes earlier, gifted children often do go through periods of depression related to their disappointed idealism, and their feelings of aloneness and alienation culminate in an existential depression. However, it is not at all clear that this kind of depression warrants such a major diagnosis.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Gifted. Even as preschoolers, gifted children love to organize people and things into complex frameworks, and get quite upset when others don’t follow their rules or don’t understand their schema. Many gifted first graders are seen as perfectionistic and “bossy” because they try to organize the other children, and sometimes even try to organize their family or the teacher. As they grow up, they continue to search intensely for the “rules of life” and for consistency. Their intellectualizing, sense of urgency, perfectionism, idealism, and intolerance for mistakes may be misunderstood to be signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. In some sense, however, giftedness is a dual diagnosis with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder since intellectualization may be assumed to underlie many of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for this disorder.


Dual Diagnoses

Learning Disabilities and Giftedness. Giftedness is a coexisting factor, to be sure, in some diagnoses. One notable example is in diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. Few psychologists are aware that inter-subscale scatter on the Wechsler intelligence tests increases as a child’s overall IQ score exceeds 130. In children with a Full Scale IQ score of 140 or greater, it is not uncommon to find a difference of 20 or more points between Verbal IQ and Performance IQ (Silverman, 1993; Webb & Kleine, 1993; Winner, 2000). Most clinical psychologists are taught that such a discrepancy is serious cause for concern regarding possible serious brain dysfunction, including learning disabilities. For highly gifted children, such discrepancy is far less likely to be an indication of pathological brain dysfunction, though it certainly would suggest an unusual learning style and perhaps a relative learning disability.


Similarly, the difference between the highest and lowest scores on individual subscales within intelligence and achievement tests is often quite notable in gifted children. On the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – III, it is not uncommon to find subscale differences greater than seven scale score points for gifted children, particularly those who are highly gifted. These score discrepancies are taken by most psychologists to indicate learning disabilities, and in a functional sense they do represent that. That is, the levels of ability do vary dramatically, though the range may be “only” from Very Superior to Average level of functioning. In this sense, gifted children may not “qualify” for a diagnosis of learning disability, and indeed some schools seem to have a policy of “only one label allowed per student,” and since this student is gifted, he/she can not also be considered learning disabled. However, it is important for psychologists to understand the concept of “asynchronous development” (Silverman, 1993), and to appreciate that most gifted children show such an appreciable, and often significant, scatter of abilities.


Poor handwriting is often used as one indicator of learning disabilities. However, many and perhaps most gifted children will show poor handwriting. Usually this simply represents that their thoughts go so much faster than their hands can move, and that they see little sense in making writing an art form when its primary purpose is to communicate (Webb & Kleine, 1993; Winner, 2000).


Psychologists must understand that, without intervention, self-esteem issues are almost a guarantee in gifted children with learning disabilities as well as those who simply have notable asynchronous development since they tend to evaluate themselves based more on what they cannot do rather than on what they are able to do. Sharing formal ability and achievement test results with gifted children about their particular abilities, combined with reassurance, can often help them develop a more appropriate sense of self-evaluation.


Sleep Disorders and Giftedness. Nightmare Disorder, Sleep Terror Disorder, and Sleepwalking Disorder appear to be more prevalent among gifted children, particularly boys. It is unclear whether this should be considered a mis-diagnosis or a dual diagnosis. Certainly, parents commonly report that their gifted children have dreams that are more vivid, intense, and more often in color, and that a substantial proportion of gifted boys are more prone to sleepwalking and bed wetting, apparently related to their dreams and to being more soundly (i.e., intensely) asleep. Such concordance would suggest that giftedness may need to be considered as a dual diagnosis in these cases, or at least a factor worthy of consideration since the child’s intellect and sense of understanding often can be used to help the child cope with nightmares.


A little known observation concerning sleep in gifted individuals is that about twenty percent of gifted children seem to need significantly less sleep than other children, while another twenty percent appear to need significantly more sleep than other children. Parents report that these sleep patterns show themselves very early in the child’s life, and long-term follow up suggests that the pattern continues into adulthood (Webb & Kleine, 1993; Winner, 2000). Some highly gifted adults appear to average comfortably as few as two or three hours sleep each night, and they have indicated to me that even in childhood they needed only four or five hours sleep.


Multiple Personality Disorders and Giftedness. Though there is little formal study of giftedness factors within MPD, there is anecdotal evidence that the two are related. The conclusion of professionals at the Menninger Foundation was that most MPD patients showed a history of childhood abuse, but also high intellectual abilities which allowed them to create and maintain their elaborate separate personalities (W. H. Smith personal communication, April 18, 1996).


Relational Problems and Giftedness. As one mother told me, “Having a gifted child in the family did not change our family’s lifestyle; it simply destroyed it!” These children can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But because parents often lack information about characteristics of gifted children, the relationship between parent and child can suffer. The child’s behaviors are seen as mischievous, impertinent, weird, or strong-willed, and the child often is criticized or punished for behaviors that really represent curiosity, intensity, sensitivity, or the lag of judgment behind intellect. Thus, intense power struggles, arguments, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, withdrawal, underachievement, and open flaunting of family and societal traditions may occur within the family.


“Impaired communication” and “inadequate discipline” are specifically listed in the DSM-IV (1994) as areas of concern to be considered in a diagnosis of Parent-Child Relational Problems, and a diagnosis of Sibling Relational Problem is associated with significant impairment of functioning within the family or in one or more siblings. Not surprisingly, these are frequent concerns for parents of gifted children due to the intensity, impatience, asynchronous development, and lag of judgment behind intellect of gifted children.


Health care professionals could benefit from increased knowledge concerning the effects of a gifted child’s behaviors within a family, and thus often avoid mistaken notions about the causes of the problems. The characteristics inherent within gifted children have implications for diagnosis and treatment which could include therapy for the whole family, not in the sense of “treatment,” but to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with the intensity, sensitivity, and the situations which otherwise may cause them problems later (Jacobsen, 1999).


Conclusion

Many of our brightest and most creative minds are not only going unrecognized, but they also are often given diagnoses that indicate pathology. For decades, psychologists and other health care professionals have given great emphasis to the functioning of persons in the lower range of the intellectual spectrum. It is time that we trained health care professionals to give similar attention to our most gifted, talented, and creative children and adults. At the very least, it is imperative that these professionals gain sufficient understanding so that they no longer conclude that certain inherent characteristics of giftedness represent pathology.


References
Clark, B. (1992). Growing up gifted: Developing the potential of children at home and at school, (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fourth Edition. (1994). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Jacobsen, M.E. (1999). Liberating everyday genius: A revolutionary guide for identifying and mastering your exceptional gifts. New York: Ballantine.
Seagoe, M. (1974). Some learning characteristics of gifted children. In R. Martinson, (Ed.), The identification of the gifted and talented. Ventura, CA: Office of the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools.
Silverman, L. K. (1993). Counseling the gifted and talented. Denver: Love Publishing.
Webb, J. T., & Latimer, D. (1993). ADHD and children who are gifted. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. ERIC Digests #E522, EDO-EC-93-5.
Webb, J. T. (1993). Nurturing Social-Emotional Development of Gifted Children. In K. A. Heller, F. J. Monks, & A. H. Passow (Eds.), International handbook of research and development of giftedness and talent (pp. 525-538). Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Webb, J. T. & Kleine, P. A. (1993). Assessing gifted and talented children. In J. L. Culbertson, & D. J. Willis (Eds.), Testing young children (pp. 383-407). Austin, TX: Pro-ed.
Webb, J. T., Meckstroth, E. A., & Tolan, S. S. (1982). Guiding the gifted child: A practical source for parents and teachers. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press (formerly Ohio Psychology Press).
Winner, E. (2000). The origins and ends of giftedness. American Psychologist (55, No. 1), 159-169.

pooka
03-16-13, 12:28 AM
Interesting...as someone who is ADHD and considered gifted myself, I'm not quite sure what to make of this.

I guess what I don't really understand is why diagnosing a gifted kid with ADHD is considered a misdiagnosis, and why the symptoms of giftedness are considered separate from ADHD. Gifted kids can be impulsive and impatient and it can be impairing so I don't understand why, just because this is associated with giftedness, that makes it somehow not ADHD. The only distinction they're making between characteristics of giftedness and characteristics of ADHD is that the former is "situational" - but I was under the impression that ADHD can be situational as well. I know there are ADDers who can focus for hours on a video game or something similar but for whom sitting through say, an hour-long lecture would be close to torture.

I kind of feel that this is undermining the experiences and struggles of gifted kids with ADHD. It's hard to constantly be told that you're not living up to your potential, that you're "smart but lazy." ADHD has no correlation with intelligence and to be told that you can't have ADHD because you're gifted depreciates the ADHD symptoms of a gifted kid because they're not being considered legitimate.

I'm not sure if I'm saying this clearly, it's kind of difficult to explain what I mean. I guess simply put, if for a certain person, giftedness = impulsivity and inattentiveness, and ADHD = impulsivity and inattentiveness, then why can't they be the same thing? Or rather, aren't they inherently intertwined? This article mentions that what they refer to as the "giftedness component" adds "new dimensions." I disagree. I think intelligence is irrelevant to the whole thing.

Amtram
03-16-13, 12:23 PM
I think that the added dimension that many of us who are both have shared in the past is that if you're gifted and ADHD, you don't have much to show for the gifted part. . .

Gifted children may display a lot of similar outward behaviors to ADHD children, but they don't have the same issues with memory or focus. If they get distracted or take on several things at once, they can keep track of where they were and pick up where they left off.

lalapin
03-16-13, 12:41 PM
This makes me wonder, we always discuss giftedness in children, but how does it manifest in an adult? Is the gifted adult "going somewhere" in life and had a fulfulling career or is the gifted adult underperforming just like an ADHDer?

AnythingBacon
03-16-13, 12:56 PM
I only skimmed the OP, but I know that I should have been tested for both as a child, but never was. I think the ADHD thing was stigma related because of my home town and the few diagnosed were mis-medicated into zombie kids, so that didn't help.

As for the gifted, I was always ahead, especially as the internet became available to me. I can't confirm but think that I was not tested ahead for two reasons. First was my lack of accomplishing school related tasks and the fight I would put up to not have to do them. Second was my sister being only a grade ahead of me and struggling with very bad dyslexia, me moving ahead would have crushed her already shaky self esteem. If they had asked my mom to test me, I think she would have said no for that reason.

I haven't asked my mother about it at all, because looking back I think I was better off where I was, where the work was easy so when I slacked I could still make up the grades with tests and such. Still to this day I appreciate my parents for never once forcing me to do anything with my life. Knowing that pushing me into anything I don't want or need to do would hurt more than help.

Do I wish I had a path, yes. Am I appreciative that none was ever pushed on me, absolutely. I still have the chance to be my own brand of special and not ruin my life by committing to things I can't/don't want to do.

crystal8080
03-16-13, 02:04 PM
You know how people say that is my kid and it comes across as a wishful parent? Well I'm saying it 100% that describes my daughter to a T. Every bit of it.

I was labelled "gifted". Sounds like its really Russian Roullette on the diagnosis wheel. If its so easy to be misdiagnosed how can you ever believe you have the right one?

Amtram
03-16-13, 02:15 PM
Because gifted children can accomplish things with little more than enrichment and opportunity. Children with ADHD have trouble with self-direction and self-regulation, and can run around in circles - frustrated because they know they can do better but they have no idea how.

I grew up gifted and ADHD, and was given the same opportunities as my gifted peers. They were able to figure out their strengths and weaknesses and choose their interests, while I was all over the place wondering why I could get good grades, but accomplish nothing else.

A lot of learning strategies that work for kids with ADHD and kids who are gifted are applicable to both kinds of children. The gifted ADHD kids just need more.

ana futura
03-16-13, 02:33 PM
I don't think it's so easy to confuse the two, but often times it seems that teachers and parents don't take the time to tease them apart.

Gifted kids can't be bothered to do work that is beneath them, they get bored by it, and rightly so. If you give them work that stimulates them, they will do it. Gifted children often flourish with less structure and more freedom. They get frustrated because the traditional educational structure forces them to work below their level.

A gifted child with ADHD can't be bothered to do any work. The novelty of something new and challenging will keep them engaged for a short while, but soon they will be bored by the thought of work again. They are frustrated because all work is a chore.

If you give a gifted child total freedom, and expose them to concepts well beyond their grade level, they should respond well. If they don't, something else is wrong.

A gifted child with ADHD will appear "bored" far more often than a gifted child without ADHD. Unfortunately I think that some parents equate "more boredom" with "more giftedness". Mine did. They just assumed that I was such a little genius that everything was beneath me. That's an impossibility, no matter how smart a third grader is they are not omniscient, at some level they will engage the material and stay engaged. A child with ADHD just seeks out the novelty of new ideas, never truly enagaging anything.

crystal8080
03-16-13, 03:05 PM
Thank you. Sometimes when I come across new information I begin to question everything. This just reaffirms what I already knew. Bottom line is, I did not receive adequate treatment, and I want to ensure the same does not happen to my children.

silivrentoliel
03-16-13, 07:57 PM
Because gifted children can accomplish things with little more than enrichment and opportunity. Children with ADHD have trouble with self-direction and self-regulation, and can run around in circles - frustrated because they know they can do better but they have no idea how.

I grew up gifted and ADHD, and was given the same opportunities as my gifted peers. They were able to figure out their strengths and weaknesses and choose their interests, while I was all over the place wondering why I could get good grades, but accomplish nothing else.

A lot of learning strategies that work for kids with ADHD and kids who are gifted are applicable to both kinds of children. The gifted ADHD kids just need more.

I don't think it's so easy to confuse the two, but often times it seems that teachers and parents don't take the time to tease them apart.

Gifted kids can't be bothered to do work that is beneath them, they get bored by it, and rightly so. If you give them work that stimulates them, they will do it. Gifted children often flourish with less structure and more freedom. They get frustrated because the traditional educational structure forces them to work below their level.

A gifted child with ADHD can't be bothered to do any work. The novelty of something new and challenging will keep them engaged for a short while, but soon they will be bored by the thought of work again. They are frustrated because all work is a chore.

If you give a gifted child total freedom, and expose them to concepts well beyond their grade level, they should respond well. If they don't, something else is wrong.

A gifted child with ADHD will appear "bored" far more often than a gifted child without ADHD. Unfortunately I think that some parents equate "more boredom" with "more giftedness". Mine did. They just assumed that I was such a little genius that everything was beneath me. That's an impossibility, no matter how smart a third grader is they are not omniscient, at some level they will engage the material and stay engaged. A child with ADHD just seeks out the novelty of new ideas, never truly enagaging anything.


I was diagnosed "gifted" and "ADD" back in 1987... and after reading this and chewing on it for a while, I really understand where my parent's frustration (and sometimes insults) now come from.

They understood the gifted part. Me acting up or being bored was fine until they knew I was being challenged, but to get bored whilst being challenged then not being able to pick up the slack for one (ADHD) reason or another would baffle them. (Both my parents are VERY intelligent, although I swear they lost their smarts once they divorced)

This is one of those articles I'd love to share with my mother, but she'd twist it all around saying that this merely points out my intelligence and proves I don't have ADHD. :doh:

Amtram
03-16-13, 09:15 PM
My parents couldn't deal with the co-existence of a genius IQ and "minimal brain dysfunction." You young whippersnappers with your ADHD have it easy! :)

sarahsweets
03-17-13, 06:52 AM
Since adhd is knowing what to do but not knowing how to do it ( i think) then wouldnt it be easy to misdiagnose both adhd and giftedness equally?

silivrentoliel
03-17-13, 11:28 AM
Since adhd is knowing what to do but not knowing how to do it ( i think) then wouldnt it be easy to misdiagnose both adhd and giftedness equally?

See, that's what I thought this entire article was pointing at- personally.

meadd823
03-21-13, 09:53 AM
I know not only what to do I know, I usually know how to do it but it is being unable to consciously control my direction of focus and length of attention span on crap I find completely boring because some one else thinks I should that causes me to be diagnosed as ADHD!!!!!!

MellyFishButt
03-21-13, 10:36 AM
This is interesting but ultimately not helpful. To me. I was a gifted child in the gifted programs in elementary up to third grade, when we changed districts. The next school did not have a gifted program and I began to get in trouble weekly. I don't think I needed medication as a child, I think the gifted program and the environment I was in allowed for my eccentricities just fine. However, moving schools changed that, as well as peer pressure when I was not being challenged enough ultimately led me to seek risky alternatives.

As an adult, I do take medication and its probably for the same reason. I do not fit into a perfect box of the corporate setting, I would still do best in a more organic environment where I am constantly challenged and rewarded for ideas, instead of production as I am now. Does that at all make sense? Basically, in the right environment that challenged me according to how MY brain works, I don't think medication would be unnecessary.

Edit: wait. So then am I saying I'm not ADHD? Hmm. I haven't a clue.

mildadhd
03-21-13, 01:09 PM
I think all children/people are gifted.

When the right conditions for development are present.

silivrentoliel
03-21-13, 08:26 PM
I think all children/people are gifted.

When the right conditions for development are present.

I disagree...

My older (biological) sister was raised in a home with extremely intelligent parents and her adopted brother is brilliant (and cool)... She's thick and doesn't have the desire. My youngest (biological) sister was not raised in an environment that fostered intelligence... but I don't think that she has the potential or desire.

I think it's less conditional and more properly wired brain *and* the desire to use that brain.