ADHD and the Top One Percent
(Safety Harbor, Floridia)
My son has ADHD and he is in the top 1 percent in the country in math. His IQ is 130, about the same as mine. I have ADD.
We are both gifted and capable of hyper-focus, but it comes with a price. We are high strung, quick to upset and incredibly sensitive. We are however usually happy. His sensitivity is in his five senses, sounds, smells and tastes are often too much for him to deal with and he has to remove himself from the offending stimulation.
I on the other hand love bold tastes, loud music, and my olfactory nerves hardly work at all. My sensitivity is in reading between the lines, and seeing connections that others fail to see as easily.
He has a hard time reading social cues and is ostracized as a result. I would say that just like autism has idiot savants, ADHD has its share of gifted high performing individuals. The unfortunate facts are that most kids are not diagnosed with ADHD until after they get in trouble with the law.
Boys with untreated ADHD are 7 times more likely to have substance abuse issues and 4 times as likely to spend time in jail as the general population. And they are 2 to 3 times as likely as boys who are treated.
I had my issues with both, but because of my socio-economic class, I was able to survive my teens and became a productive member of society. I'm now being treated for ADD. My biggest fear is that my son will not be as lucky no matter how hard my wife and I try.
I don't think he'll have the same troubles I had, because he is being treated. But biology is a strong influence, and while he and I are above average in intelligence, our brains are not wired the same as others. That makes us special, and leaves us vulnerable.