Friday, January 27, 2012

ADHD and Giftedness

I just thought I'd put this out here, like a public service announcement. In case your young child seems to have ADHD, don't forget to consider the possibility of giftedness too (or maybe instead). The excerpt below is from a news release by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a new guideline discussed in “ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity in Children and Adolescents”(Pediatrics, 2011, Vol 128 [5], November, pp. 1-17.). The new AAP-directed guideline extends the range of ADHD diagnosis from ages 6-12 to ages 4-18, and fails to include the critical possibility that a child’s intellectual giftedness may contribute to symptoms similar to ADHD. Thus, precocious preschoolers may be at even greater risk for misdiagnosis.

James T. Webb, who also co-authored the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults and is highly published in the gifted field, believes that while ADHD can and does occur in gifted children, many traits and behaviors characteristic of giftedness are frequently misinterpreted as ADHD, particularly in the very young.

“Some of these traits include being strong-willed, impulsive, impatient with the relative slowness of others, and having the tendency towards heightened sensitivity, perfectionism, and intense focus on personal interests and experiences,” Webb says."

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