ADHD and "Giftedness"??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
ADHD and "Giftedness"??
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Sun, 07-20-2003 - 12:00pm
I was curious as to whether or not a child that's dx with ADHD is *normally* gifted in other areas, or if it happens occasionally, or rarely, or is indeed not at all associated with typical ADHD.

My 8 year old son was dx with ADHD this past school year. The ADHD he displays, is most prevelent in his inattentiveness, excessive chatter, and hyperactivity. He hasn't displayed any agression, and is one of the most "pleasant" and sociable people I know. The "giftedness" that I wonder about, started becoming apparant around the age of 3, when he began to study things like "Ancient Egypt" and became obsessed with them. He loves Chinese History/Mythology, Ancient Greece, etc. When he was 4, we read Moby Dick and Charlotte's Web, both taking just a few nights. He loves sharing his knowledge of inventions, Issac Newton, etc, and lately he's been into discussions regarding communism, democracy, and other political issues. Upon an IQ evaluation from his school, they found him to be at an 8 year old level in most of his testing, but at a 12 year old + level with verbal acquity. He seems bored with the subjects they teach in school, and it's difficult to help him understand that he "must" know how to do these things. Because he finds "printing" to be so trivial, he can't be bothered to try. Therefore, he's printing is usually quite atrocious. If you ask him to make a certain letter, or write a word, he'll do it, as he knows how, but just couldn't care less. He thinks that coloring pictures is a joke, unless it's something that he's interested in. The last decent thing I saw him color, was a Canada Flag, because he's very patriotic. I also think his lack of interest in these things is partially due to his ADHD. But where does a child like this fit into, not only the schooling system, but society in general? He loves chatting to other people, but when he attempts to engage children his age, into looking at how the space shuttle actually takes off now, as compared to how it was years ago, the kids look at him like he's crazy, and run off to play ball. My son also loves sports, which is great, because it's one of the things he seems to have in common with kids his own age. I think my son often wonders if there's something wrong with him, for having the interests that he does......for the first time in his life, he's starting to have difficulty maintaining friendships, and my heart breaks for him...he's such a loving and fun little boy! Has anyone else experienced this? I would love to hear about it!!

Sincerely,

lil

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Sun, 07-20-2003 - 3:01pm
There is a name for this - twice exceptional. It is quite possible to be both gifted and ADHD - our own DS is living proof! We had him tested by a psychologist - we're not done yet - but I think his IQ score will be somewhere in the 150 range - he just turned 7. And YES INDEED - where the heck does he fit in?

I think part of his inability to pay attention is just plain old being bored out of his mind - he wants to talk about how black holes work, but the rest of the class is drawing lines to things that match. He got into some of the adult tests on the IQ testing because he blew past the kid tests. And, he likes soccer and camping and animals.

There is a name for them too - asynchonous development - that means their intellect is at a way different level than their emotions and other types of development. Than in itself causes problems for them.

There are several articles about asynchonous development and giftedness + ADHD at this website:

www.ditd.org

I also found a researcher who is coming out with a book next year on ADHD & giftedness.

I am so grateful that our DS has this talent - but I also know that does not ensure success in life. If he is so hyper that he annoys all the people around him and he can't easily control impulsive behavior (especially when he's mad), it doesn't matter how smart he is.

That's why we ultimately started medicine - 18 mg of Concerta each day - it allows him that 1/2 second to think before he goes and allows him to better concentrate.

Hope this helps.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-20-2003 - 3:45pm
Thank you very much!

Wow, our sons sound very similar....I imagine that sparks would fly if they ever met!!

I'm definately going to do some more research on this.....and check out your recommended website as well..

It's so darned difficult trying to discover this information on "your own", it seems like both ADHD and Giftedness are still so "vague" in the areas of research and diagnosis...

I appreciate your reply! Lil
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Sun, 07-20-2003 - 5:35pm
Yes - I bet they would get along. For a few weeks this summer, we sent our son to science camp at the local museum - he LOVED it and there were lots of kids like him. Also, one of the directors told me they have a lot of kids who are ADHD. Interesting?!

Anyway - that website is the best one I've found for this very topic - I've done as much reading as I can and there isn't a lot about ADHD & Giftedness - usually there is a chapter in a book here and there. I even went to a professional seminar about ADHD (I'm a social worker) and the teacher confessed that she didn't know anything about ADHD & Giftedness. She knew alot about kids and ADHD, though - just not that combination.

I wrote to one of the arthurs of the papers on the Davidson website and she said she's got kids who are ADHD and have IQ scores of 200! Wow - I bet they are a handful.

Anyway - each kid is unique - it just takes finding what they are interested in and what works with them.

One theme that I see over and over in all the things I've read is that kids need to feel valued and loved and feel like they have people on their side. Sounds like you do that - you're obviously very proud and interested in your son.


Anyway...let us know how its going.

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 6:17am
I have varying theories on this, but in my experience, most of the ADHD kids I know (and I do know several) are 'gifted' in one way or another. In most cases, they have high IQs, as does my DS. I believe, also, that all kids are gifted in some way (all people are, for that matter) ... it's just a matter of finding that giftedness. I know of a child with ADHD who is very verbal, always engaging adults into detailed conversations about whatever subject he finds facinating at the moment, and is definitely NOT your stereo-typical 9 y.o. boy. He's also seriously into photography and has developed quite a talent for picture taking, seeing things in nature that most people would overlook.

So, I often wonder if part of the attention-problems at school stem from the fact that they truly have attention-issues, or if it's because they are just bored with the subjects around them? How do you keep a child interested in a coloring project when they are more interested in exploring the differences in space shuttles from prior years to current? Not an easy task.

Are you familiar with Mel Levine's book All Kinds of Minds? If not, check out this site: http://www.allkindsofminds.org/ Basic premise is that all kids learn differently, all kids are wired differently, and it's important to determine HOW a child learns in order to best teach him.

As far as socially, I don't know that a child with such a high IQ and such a range of interests will fit in with a traditional classroom ... luckily, he is interested in sports and will fit in there. Intellectually, however, I would suggest you look for some alternatives. Is there a giftd program in your school? My kids are in pull out gifted classes where they go for 2 full days per week (out of regular class and into gifted.) If not, perhaps explore magnet programs in your area. If none of these are options for you, perhaps there is some sort of club (extra cirricular) that you can get him into where he'll be with other kids with similar interests ... maybe at a local university or museum or something. Kids with ADHD (or any other 'label') often feel different already ... when they have other areas (even giftedness) that make them stand out, they really can feel isolated. So, it's important to find places where they do feel comfortable and fit in. You don't always want them feeling like the square peg in the round hole. But, you also need to encourage their interests. Not an easy task this parenting-thing, huh?

(((HUGS)))

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 8:25pm
Actually, what I do for a living is put men in jail who beat on their wives. Sound familiar?

Chew on and...and let me know how it comes out on the other side...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 4:37pm
My son is wired differently, that's for sure! He is very bright, and finds mundane work "boring". He tested very high in almost every area on the standardized tests his school administered to second graders last year - I was impressed that a kid w/ ADHD could do that well on a standardized test. I knew he was bright - I just wasn't sure he could sit through a standardized test.

His latest passion is "dueling" with Yu-gi-oh cards - I honestly think he just memorizes them and that is why he wins most of the time. He's had a couple of funnies this summer - he told me he was going to "swallow the DNA of a bird and learn how to fly." I asked him if it was that simple, didn't he think someone else would have figured that out? He's still thinking on that one. Another funny was when he explained to his 7th grade brother what causes thunder.

I know we are supposed to ignore posters who try to pick arguments, and I love the reply that someone gave him - it is truly priceless. However, I feel compelled to point out that ADHD is real, and not a disciplinary issue. I believe the rest of us on this board realize that or we would not be here. I would like to challenge anyone who believes that medication does no good to take care of my son for a week, drug-free, then get back to me on that one. Actually, that is another area where my son seems gifted - he truly understands the effects of all of his medications, and knows when he needs a change. I tried to take him off his Zoloft for the summer - ouch. Did that ever backfire. He told the doctor "the old "L" is back - I keep getting angry like before and it doesn't feel good." Don't ever tell me I am doping up my kid without knowing how my child is with and without medication. (Just a little pet peeve of mine . . .)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 5:15pm
I agree with you - maybe the ADHD also opens up their brains to think "outside the box." In fact, one teacher I spoke with describes kids with ADHD as just that - outside the box thinkers.

As far as the heckler - we can't convince him. He's just angry and probably has his own "issues" (to put it nicely). I deal with guys like that everyday in my work - some of them can change - most are too far gone in my opinion...and they really do end up in jail.

Who I feel sorry for is the children of people like that - how damaging it must be to grow up with such anger.





iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 12:17pm
Hi, just to follow up from your comments about your child having been diagnosed with adhd. I find your comments about giftedness very interesting. my daughter has already lived the life your child is currently leading, the only major difference is that my daughter has not been diagnosed adhd as i have not sought any diagnosis, i beleive the label to be incorrect, my daughter attends a class for gifted children once a week to keep her mind stimulated, at other times she is difficult to cope with as she questions everything,On reflection i too was the same. too much pressure in regards to the written skills will result in a rebellion, simply focus on the points of strength and the child will excell in their chosen field, The reason for my shunning of the adhd label is that as a nurse who has researched this subject,amongst others, for quite some time.I become more and more appalled at how quick physicians are to hand out pharmaceuticals instead of trying to come to a true diagnosis, in the late 1980's i read some early research into how hyperactive children ( as they were then called) appeared to suffer from mineral deficiencies which effected the neurotransmittors in the brain. As far as i can find out research is still being done to try and pinpoint exactly which one it is, in the meantime i have been using a particular childrens vitamin\mineral supplement and have been reccomending it to people some of whom have had astounding results. One lady had a full time special ed tutor in order to keep her boy in normal school, within 5 months of taking the suplements the child was integrated into normal classes with no tutor and off all meds thus (too me ) proving my theory big time

if you want more info you can email me at reacon@dodo.com.au regards jayne
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 1:44pm
Most ADHD children are gifted in some areas that they really enjoy. My DS, born Feb 1999, is borderline ADHD and my pediatrician thinks he may be gifted. We still need to see what is going on though. I think all ADD/ADHD are gifted so to speak. They certainly aren't dumb, far from it.

Roxie

Roxie

CL-mommys_crew

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 2:25pm
Our son's doctor said from an early age - maybe 1 year old - that our DS was extremely "smart." And, he often told us that the only other child he had who was similar, ended up on meds for ADHD. He is a wise old peditrician and I think he saw something in our DS - this combination of giftedness and high energy/impulsive behavior.

I think our ped from his years of experience saw what was to come with our son - he never told us to put him on meds, but gently hinted that it was a possibility.

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