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Does Your Bright or Gifted Child Have ADD/ADHD?
It's often overlooked

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#1 baddmammajamma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

This is a terrific, brief piece that has been circulating among my "twice exceptional" network friends:


ADHD, particularly the "dreamy, inattentive type," is often missed in kids because it doesn't necessarily manifest itself in disruptiveness. Giftedness can mask special needs like ADHD (as well as Aspergers), but when undiagnosed and untreated, these needs can contribute to children not meeting their full potential.

#2 mumto3princesses

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

That's really interresting.

I don't think DD#2 is gifted but she was diagnosed this year with Inattentive ADHD. She has never struggled in school and always done quite well in reading and spelling so we didn't realise there was anything going on. Sure there was other problems but we just thought it was just her.

It was only when she started constantly complaining of knowing things in her head but not being able to write it down that we realised there was a problem of some kind so we made an appointment with a developmental paed. The way she was complaining we were actually really concerned it was something serious. Then a family member was diagnosed with ADHD and we realised they now had 5 first cousins and 2 second cousins with ADHD and we thought hmmmm.

DD#2 has been on medication for a little while now and just last week DD#2's teacher told me she has improved A LOT. Not just the day to day stuff and starting and continuing to do work etc which we already knew but she has had huge improvements in her actual school work in all areas. I'm really curious to see what her school report looks like when we get it. original.gif

Edited by mumto3princesses, 26 November 2012 - 12:50 PM.

#3 L&E

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

My son has ADHD and has had cognitive testing that show some very high abilities, particularly with verbal reasoning in which he scored in the 98th percentile. As people with ADHD tend to have a lower result in working memory, his high abilities elsewhere mean this area of relative weakness still tests within the average to above average range. It's lucky for him as it means those short periods of productivity are actually very productive and he is able to achieve sound to high academic results with little "work". His behaviours still manifested in disruptive ways at school, and definitely disruptive and increasingly agreesive behaviours particularly prior to beginning medication.

#4 adnama

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

DD is quite bright (gifted I don't know), and has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. Although she doesn't perform as well as she can at school because her head gets distracted.

#5 Lagom

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

Thanks BMJ.  
We didn't realise how bright our little button was until we did cognitive testing as part of her psych evaluation.  We knew she was bright but the results surprised us all. She has been diagnosed with ADD inattentive type and SPD.  Her ADD was masking her abilities because she really just doesn't give a sh*t unless something takes her interest.  ohmy.gif  We're working on that!  happy.gif
L&E, DD maxed out her verbal reasoning. I think it's not uncommon with kids who have ADD (?).

I do have a niggling question in my head about Aspergers as we have close family members who have been dx'd.  It's a tricky business.

#6 ~ky~

Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

Oh my goodness! That list describes my eldest DD to a tee! She has gained a place for 2014 in the gifted high school program so I guess I had better have her assessed so she doesn't have to struggle as demands get higher.

I can see a lot of DS in that list also and he has been tentatively dagnosed with aspergers.

Looks like I'll be putting 2 kids through the process.

It hit home when it asked if one or more of the parents were gifted but hadn't done as well as expected at school. I have an IQ in the genius range and DH is no slouch in the brains department yet both of us left school early and went to work nstead of completing our studies. I also se e a lot of DH and myself in the list.

#7 baddmammajamma

Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:38 AM

ky, my daughter was assessed by a developmental paed who has a special interest in ADHD and ASD (as well as twice exceptional profiles). As the article says, it's important to find a doctor who understands giftedness -- and uses thorough assessment tools -- so that he/she won't rush to judgment. My daughter's process included a lengthy interview with me, the Conners rating scale (for both parents and for her main teacher), an integ neuro assessment to test specific brain functions like attention, visual memory, verbal memory, etc.  

Prior to the assessment, we had also had IQ and achievement testing.

I belong to a group of parents who have gifted kids with SNs and/or learning disabilities, and ADHD seems to be so under-detected (as with Aspergers). Many of these kids didn't have their ADHD picked up until upper primary/early high school because their giftedness allowed them to compensate for so much.

Good luck to you & your kids.

#8 barrington

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

Thank you, BMJ for this.

DS is probably gifted (untested) and after going out to lunch today where DS couldn't stop fidgeting, I showed DH your link (after I had been pondering the article since you posted).

DH immediately realised that he is probably ADHD inattentive himself and ran through a number of 'strategies' he uses in daily life to compensate without realising why.  And was stunned to read through and 'see' DS in almost all of the symptoms listed.

So DH will call our awesome GP tonight to arrange an appointment for a referral to a developmental paed asap.  And I will chat to DS's teacher tomorrow after school, as its the second last day of school for us.

#9 Overtherainbow

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:25 PM

One of my chn is exceptional and also has an ADHD, predominantly inattentive diagnosis.

I find it is difficult as he hears one word and his mind jumps 20 steps ahead which can make it difficult for him to keep up with where the class is at.  He has no organisational skills and time is irrelevant to him.

He is in extension classes and his teacher's recognise his intelligence and push him but he sometimes bombs on tests because his anxiety kicks in and he's off with the fairies, not reading the question properly.  

Everyday is a journey.

#10 Sue Heck

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:31 PM

I do have a child like this. She has tested as gifted in some areas in different IQ and screening tests. She tends to fall into the group where the ADD and giftedness cancel each other out and her school sees  her as an above average quiet student with no problems but not gifted.  I am sure they thought we were crazy to have her tested. The new paed we saw recognised the problems but is limited in what she can do without the school backing it up. It's very frustrating that we have to wait till she falls over to get help.
We have her on medication for ADD and sleep but it's not really working.

Edited by Helen Magnus, 05 December 2012 - 11:33 PM.

#11 zande

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:51 PM

Wow, that was an interesting read, and most of those points I was nodding. My DD is nearly 9 and we are in a holding pattern about an Aspergers diagnosis as the paed & the psych don't agree. DD blew everyone at her school away with her Naplan results (not to say I put too much faith in Naplan testing but it was the first tangible "clue" that she was bright), but she has really struggled to complete work and get motivated, and some of her struggles didn't fit the realm of Aspergers. I started to realise she had some symptoms of inattentive ADHD, and her teacher agreed to put in place some strategies that she would use with a child with those difficulties and it made a huge difference. It is something I will continue to research and pursue. Thanks bmj for all the helpful stuff you post on all this  bbighug.gif

#12 Sue Heck

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:36 AM

My daughter did pretty well In Some areas in the year 3 Naplan but has since done year 5 and year 7 and barely changed position. Although she finally caught up in writing.  I am not sure it's a great indicator either as my younger daughter excelled in all areas on year 3 naplan and she is bright but not gifted but she is so much more motivated to learn.

#13 baddmammajamma

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:19 AM

We haven't hit Naplan yet, but my daughter has had her IQ tested. Her abilities come out in those few subjects that really captivate her/align with her obsessions (e.g. writing, maths, computer science), but she sleepwalks through her other classes -- still makes solid grades but with not much engagement.

We had attributed her uneven academic performance and other struggles at school to her "brilliant Aspiegirl" profile, but in truth, there is also ADHD in play. Since getting that diagnosis and beginning a targeted treatment plan (continuation of our behavioral intervention, some further modifications in class + medication), we have seen a new child at school. She is still complicated as hell, but at least we have an understanding of the drivers and how to potentially address them!

#14 Sue Heck

Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

DD tests highest verbally but performs much better in maths in her reports
[/list]used to be the other way around. I don't know if it's the working memory /processing impairments or something else like a language impairment which might fit with Aspergers which is also an up in the air thing.

Those of you who still have children that do quite well academically but get distracted do they have gaps with Working memory and processing?  I think a lot of children. With  ADHD have this but not all.

Edited by Helen Magnus, 06 December 2012 - 08:34 AM.

#15 zande

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

Helen Magnus when my DD was assessed by a developmental psych, her poor working memory was one of the stand-outs of her results. I didn't quite "get" where that fit in with the Aspergers diagnosis, but now suspect it is part of the inattentive ADHD?

#16 SisterMaryElephant

Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

Good lord, that sounds like me, not my kids.  Was not expecting that.

#17 lynneyours

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

The list below describes me quite well  cool.gif .  I've always said I work best under pressure (last minute gal  rolleyes.gif ) and am a big procrastinator and easily distracted, even mid-conversation.  unsure.gif
I also have a high IQ and didn't do well at school or go as far as expected.  I'm back at Uni now, getting straight HD's, but still procrastinating.... usually on EB. wink.gif

Does your child have a poor sense of time?

Does your child struggle with procrastination, typically beginning homework when it's nearly time for bed?

Is your child a night owl who seems to get a "second wind" later in the evening?

Is your child an "absent-minded professor"?

Does your child hyper-focus to the extent that he or she doesn't hear you when you call?

Is your child a dawdler who has great difficulty getting up on time in the morning, and getting ready for school once he or she is out of bed?

Is he or she very likely to misplace personal items - jackets, keys, wallets, etc.?

Do you find that you need to repeat multi-step directions because your child hasn't registered all of the steps?

Do you send your child upstairs for something only to find that they have completely forgotten their mission and are sidetracked by something else?

#18 ~ Summers

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

I really wish I could have shown this article to my parents when I was a kid.
It took a very frustrated lecturer to insist that I be tested through the university due to my underachievement (as a result of not completing tasks, lack of organisation and attention issues) not jiving with my apparent abilities observed through verbal analysis and test results.
Your daughter is very lucky to have such an observant advocate for a parent...I had a shocking schooling experience due to a total lack of awareness that ADHD/ADD is not just about hyperactive young boys. It was a real head spin to finish secondary school, get to uni (by the skin of my teeth) and learn that I test within the gifted range and that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. My whole life I believed what everyone else believed - that I was below average in many areas and lazy.
Good on you for raising awareness about this so parents can help their kids meet their potential earlier than first year university!

#19 lucky 2

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

Can anyone send me a recommendation for a Paed that could assess my dd for this, in Melbournes eastern suburbs? Via pm please.
She is going into grade 3, I've been wondering about it for a couple of years and I could keep wondering about it or get it checked now?
Every time I read those lists I can tick off most for dd, dp and myself.
Apparently it runs strong in dp's family (diagnosed and undiagnosed).

#20 =R2=

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

I do wonder sometimes but the clinical psychologist who saw her didn't think so when DD1 had her intelligence profile done. Although DD is on the quirky side, she doesn't have the social awkwardness exhibited by kids with ADD/ADHD and is able to function at high level in the classroom and outside of school.

Me however ...........  ph34r.gif

#21 Sue Heck

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

It's a bit of a contradiction isn't Zande. Children with aspergers are meant to have rigid routines but dd has a poor sense of time which is part of the working memory issue so it never appeared that she had any sense of routine. Now she is older she has a more noticeable routine morning and night it just takes her forever to get through it all. Actually she is pretty flexible a out dropping teeth brushing and showers when she wants.

#22 baddmammajamma

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

Summers, thanks so much for your kind words. We easily could have been one of those families who missed our child's special needs for years (she can pass for "gifted quirky" in many instances). I feel very fortunate that we were able to identify her ASD early and that we have a good 2e network. That network has been pivotal in helping me understand more about ADHD, especially ADHD-inattentive type. I'm sorry that you had to struggle for so long!

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 06/12/2012, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can anyone send me a recommendation for a Paed that could assess my dd for this, in Melbournes eastern suburbs? Via pm please.
She is going into grade 3, I've been wondering about it for a couple of years and I could keep wondering about it or get it checked now?
Every time I read those lists I can tick off most for dd, dp and myself.
Apparently it runs strong in dp's family (diagnosed and undiagnosed).

lucky 2 -- I've just sent an alert out to contacts in Melbourne. If I get any great recs, I will PM you as soon as possible!

#23 lucky 2

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

Thanks bmj.

#24 baddmammajamma

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

PMing you right now! original.gif

By the way, if anyone needs Sydney recs, just holler!

#25 lucky 2

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

I got your pm, thanks +.
Dd is not gifted but we know she is bright, does that make a difference?
One of the req's is in the same clinic as our GP! but for under 8's, dd just turned 8!
I'll being going to the Dr soon so I can ask about it.

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