ADHD and Gifted Connections - Affirmative

by Carol Ross
(St. Louis, MO)

As a teacher and a mom of an ADHD child, I'd definitely agree that there's often a connection between ADHD and many types of giftedness.


I taught programs for gifted students for over 10 years. Often some quite 'difficult' students were placed in these 'gifted and talented' programs, which back then drove me mad. For the most part, these students were highly irresponsible with a high tendency to 'forget' and 'lose' things, rarely completed projects and were VERY disorganized. Many were also quite hyperactive. WHY were such kids placed in a program for gifted students???

Years later I gave birth to a kid just like that! Too bad it took me so long to begin to understand this condition in a real way.

I started noticing some signs when my son was very young, but he wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until 5th grade. We moved that year and he qualified for the gifted program right away, later was also enrolled for remedial help and an IEP. His IQ is very high at 145, verbal IQ is even higher at 158. However there was (is) a huge discrepancy between his potential (IQ) and performance (grades). He is exceptionally brilliant yet also extremely disorganized and messy, forgetful, a day-dreamer... He's not hyper but very impulsive, and it tends to be very difficult for him to stay focused in school.

One teacher friend of mine told me that her AND her daughter were both ADHD, both brilliant and successful folks. She also sent me an article about the high numbers of CEOs of huge corporations who have ADHD. Some seasoned teachers will tell you that this combination of gifted/ADHD is really not that uncommon, but often goes unrecognized.

About spiritual giftedness...I've also noticed that this boy just 'knows' things sometimes in a way that is quite remarkable. He's very intuitive, has vivid dreams, can just 'sense' things about people and situations in an unusual way.

A man named Mel Levine has written some excellent books about this and related topics. He's created some effective school programs, and provides training for teachers. His website is allkindsofminds.org - an excellent resource!






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Jun 12, 2014
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Me too
by: Anonymous

This is exactly what I was like as a child. Very gifted, extremely high IQ. My ability to take in information was so far above any other child. But my ability to retrieve it was inconsistent and my grades did not reflect it. In juniors it was put down to not being challenged enough, in secondary school it became more apparent something else was there. I went to a selected school and got an very high score on the entrance exams, so therefore expected to come out with all A's, but didn't. My school also did effort grades and my effort was always really low even though I actually tried hard. I simply could not maintain concentration, and changing rooms/teachers with each subject made it worse. My grades were dependant on the amount of course work/projects involved. Always had A in math coz this was 100% on exam paper (and also no thought or opinions involved, 1+1 will always be 2). But subjects like D&T which had high amounts of course work and choice I scored low in even though my ability to design and build things was far better than most in my class. My psych says that ADHD with giftedness crosses into Autistic spectrum with a lot of Aspergers elements. I now receive CBT

Apr 24, 2011
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Very Informative
by: Mike Mateo

I'm glad to see that in time, you became aware of your sons gifts! Enough said from a peson who has ADHD himself

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