Twice Exceptional: ADHD and Giftedness

opinion Essay
1284 words
1284 words

Joey is a bright, happy, healthy, and somewhat excitable 10 year old boy. He has been identified as gifted and has an IQ of about 165. He has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). He is receiving Special Education services at his school for what has been labeled an Emotional Disability. He has a hard time maintaining friendship with children his own age and sometimes keeps to himself and refuses to interact with the children in his class. He has a difficult time expressing his emotion in appropriate ways and finds it difficult to maintain appropriate boundaries when it comes to relationships with other people. In this paper we will discuss whether emotional disabilities, like Joey’s, could be because of ADHD, if it has more to do with the gifted label and high IQ, or if it could be a combination of both, and how common this really is. Are children with high IQ’s more likely to have a difficult time maintaining friendships and finding appropriate ways to express emotions? Too often parents, teachers, and others put too much focus on a gifted child’s academic achievement and not enough on their emotional wellbeing (Bailey, 2011). Maybe we just spend too much time focusing on how they perform academically and we do not really understand the emotions that these children deal with. Or, perhaps there is a relationship between ADHD and having a high IQ that has not been fully examined yet. ADHD is a cognitive developmental disorder that affects approximately 3-7% of school aged children in the United States (Gupta & Kar, 2010). It is usually described as high activity, increased impulsivity, and attention problems that affect the child in more than ... ... middle of paper ... .... Exceptionality, 10(2), 77-91. Bell, Allison S. (2010). A Critical Review of ADHD Diagnostic Criteria: What to Address in the DSM-V. Journal of Attention Disorders, 15(1),3-10. Gupta, Rashmi & Kar, Bhoomika (2010). Specific Cognitive Deficits in ADHD: A Diagnostic Concern in Differential Diagnosis. Journal of Child and Family Study, 19,778-786. Hartnett, D. Niall, Nelson, Jason M., & Rinn, Anne N. (2004). Gifted or ADHD? The Possibilities of Misdiagnosis. Roeper Review, 26(2), 73-76. Kuss, Kathleen D. (2007). Smart Kids With Learning Difficulties. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 30(3),396-403. Reis, Sally M. & Renzulli, Joseph S. (2009). Myth 1: The Gifted and Talented Constitute One Single Homogeneous Group and Giftedness Is a Way of Being That Stays in the Person Over Time and Experiences. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53,233-235.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes joey as a bright, happy, healthy, and somewhat excitable 10 year old boy with an iq of about 165. he is receiving special education services at his school for what has been labeled an emotional disability.
  • Argues that emotional disabilities, like joey's, could be because of adhd, if it has more to do with the gifted label and high iq, or a combination of both.
  • Describes adhd as a cognitive developmental disorder that affects approximately 3-7% of school aged children in the united states.
  • Explains that adhd is diagnosed based on behavioral observations by parents, teachers, and clinicians. parents and teachers report these observations subjectively, so there may be discrepancy in actual behaviors observed.
  • Explains that there are two subtypes in the dsm-iv, inattentive and hyperactivity-impulsivity. the child would be diagnosed with one or the combined type if they show at least six symptoms in both categories.
  • Explains that if a child meets all of these criteria, they can be diagnosed with adhd. rating scales, parent and teacher observations, direct observation, and school records are used.
  • Explains that misdiagnosis is common with adhd because of the difficulty of diagnosis. other disorders show symptoms similar to adhd, such as autism and giftedness.
  • Explains that gifted students' behaviors could resemble impulsive behavior, but it could also be due to their curiosity and desire to learn and explore. children who are gifted but not identified can often spend much of their day in school being bored waiting on classmates to finish their work.
  • Explains that little is known about the comorbidity of adhd and giftedness, reflected by the lack of available research in the field.
  • Explains that the first study to look at the presence of adhd in children with high iq's was reported in 2007 (cordeiro et al., 2011).
  • Opines that gifted students with disabilities (eg. adhd) need more feedback and support from their teachers.
  • Opines that most states do not have guidelines for children that are gifted/talented and have a disability. while most students are screened for giftedness in elementary school, the process will miss many students that have adhd.
  • Opines that gifted children need more assistance in the classroom than students who are either gifted or have adhd. there are many attributes of these exceptional children that we should promote and encourage, like optimism, courage, and a sense of control.
  • Cites american psychiatric association (apa) diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th edition).
  • Cites baum, susan m., olenchak, f. richard, allison s. bell, rashmi & kar, bhoomika.
  • Analyzes hartnett, niall, nelson, jason m., and rinn, anne n. (2004). gifted or adhd? the possibilities of misdiagnosis.

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