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Gifted/Talented and Attention Deficit Disorder
(updated April 2000)

I think my child is gifted. My child's teacher says he might have an attention deficit disorder. Is this possible? Where can I get information on children who are gifted and might have an attention deficit disorder?

During the past five years, an increasing number of gifted children have been identified or diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity. This dramatic increase is somewhat disturbing, and has been explained in many different ways including greater awareness on the part of educational professionals and improved diagnostic techniques. However, ADD in gifted students is difficult to assess because so many of the behavioral characteristics are similar to those associated with giftedness or creativity. A child who is gifted may have ADD. Without a thorough professional evaluation, including a physical examination by a physician, it is hard to tell.

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, Internet resources, and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

attention deficit disorders


gifted OR gifted disabled

ED439555 EC307734
Lovecky, Deirdre V.
Gifted Children with AD/HD
Publication Type: 120
Publication Date: April 2000
Audience: Practitioners
Availability: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/fact/lovecky.html
This brief paper on gifted children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) focuses on the special educational needs of this population. Emphasis is on four major conclusions: (1) gifted children with AD/HD differ from average children with AD/HD in cognitive, social, and emotional variables (e.g., the gifted child is likely to show high level functioning in at least one academic area and are more likely to show developmental asynchrony); (2) gifted children with AD/HD differ from other gifted children (e.g., they have more difficulty completing work assignments and behavioral self-control; and (3) assessment of gifted children needs to be done by those knowledgeable about both giftedness and AD/HD (e.g., misdiagnosis is likely and such children need to be evaluated in comparison with gifted peers in a stimulating environment); and (4) recommendations about Individualized Education Program or Section 504 planning need to consider both AD/HD problems and the effects of being gifted (e.g., these children may need acceleration at the same time they need to learn metacognitive skills to support more advanced achievement).
Descriptors: *Gifted Disabled; *Attention Deficit Disorders; *Hyperactivity; Elementary Secondary Education; Student Needs; Intervention; Special Education; Student Evaluation; Student Characteristics

EJ570219 EC619636
Gifted Students with Attention Deficits: Fact and/or Fiction? Or, Can We See the Forest for the Trees?
Baum, Susan M.; Olenchak, F. Richard; Owen, Steven V.
Gifted Child Quarterly; v42 n2 p96-104 Spr 1998
Publication Type: 070; 080
Language: English
Eric Issue: CIJAPR1999
Explores the incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among gifted students, the effects of drug therapy, and environmental conditions that may cause or influence ADHD-like behaviors in high ability students. Diagnostic and intervention strategies are suggested to counteract environmental contributors to the problem.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; Classroom Environment; Clinical Diagnosis; Drug Therapy; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted; Hyperactivity; Incidence; Intervention

Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child.
Freed, Jeffrey; Parsons, Laurie
1997; 241p.
Availability: Simon and Schuster, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020).
Document Type: BOOKS (010); GUIDES-GENERAL (050)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
This book argues that nearly all children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), like most gifted students, share a highly visual, nonsequential "right-brained" learning style that can be as much a strength as a weakness when acknowledged and addressed through appropriate teaching methods. Basic principles for working with children with ADD are presented, focusing on visualization and a right-brained approach to "the big picture." Separate chapters are devoted to specific strategies for improving students' spelling, reading, writing, and math skills, followed by a chapter focusing on study techniques. Guidelines for helping such children achieve anappropriate measure of discipline and organization outside school are provided. The strengths and weaknesses of drug treatments for ADD are discussed, and alternative treaments are reviewed.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; *Brain Hemisphere Functions; *Cognitive Style;*Gifted; *Visual Learning; *Learning Modalities; *Teaching Methods; Elementary Secondary Education; Self Concept; Visualization ; Student Needs; Study Skills; Metacognition

ED416593 EC306141
Zipper, The Kid with ADHD.
Janove, Caroline
1997; 164p.
Availability: Woodbine House, Inc., 6510 Bells Mill Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817; toll-free telephone: 800-843-7323.
Geographic Source: U.S.; Maryland
This children's novel tells the story of Zachary (nicknamed Zipper), a fifth-grader who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The boy has trouble concentrating and controlling himself until a retired jazz musician recognizes his talent, believes in him, and gives him the motivation to start trying to do better. An appendix provides students with basic information on ADHD and suggestions for how to manage school and social relationships.
Descriptors: *Attention-Deficit Disorders; *Hyperactivity; *Gifted Disabled; *Student Motivation; *Self Management; Elementary Education; Talent; Case Studies; Individual Development; Self Concept; Grade*; Interpersonal Competence

EJ562637 EC618582
Through the Lens of Giftedness.
Silverman Linda Kreger
Roeper Review; v20 n3, p204-10, Feb 1998.
NOTE Special Issue: Perspectives on the Self of the Gifted.
This article considers the nature of giftedness, including definitions of giftedness as they affect the self, different worlds at the extremes of intelligence, the psychology of exceptionality, identification of exceptionality, and the frequent misidentification of gifted children as having attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The need to identify hidden gifted children, yet recognize disability when present, is stressed.
Descriptors: *Gifted ; *Definitions; *Ability Identification; *Self Concept; *DisabilityIdentification; *Individual Development; Elementary Secondary Education; Mental Retardation;Attention Deficit Disorders; Hyperactivity; Psychological Characteristics; Gifted Disabled

ED413690 EC305959
Mistaken Identity: Gifted and ADHD.
Ramirez-Smith, Christina
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Virginia
1997; 9p.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
This paper discusses the characteristics of children who are gifted and have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Seven principles to reach and teach gifted learners with ADHD are recommended: (1) remembering that these learners have needs just like other children in their age groups; (2) having realistic expectations in helping these learners develop and utilize their strengths; (3) providing assignments that are stimulating and at their level of achievement and utilizing interactive teaching strategies, such as cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching; (4)providing structure so that these children can recognize and respect limits; (5) recognizing perfectionism and using this attribute to build self-esteem; (6) teaching problem-solving techniques; and (7) using the "Five M's Approach": mediation, management, modification, modeling, and mothering (fathering).
Descriptors: Attention Deficit Disorders; Clinical Diagnosis; Cooperative Learning Disability Identification; Educational Strategies; Elementary Secondary Education Gifted Disabled; Problem Solving; Reciprocal Teaching; Self Esteem; Student Characteristics Talent Identification; Teaching Methods

Pay Now or Pay Later: The Importance of Strong Parent-Educator Partnerships.
Halperin, Linda
Attention; v3 n3 p15-19 Win 1997
Note: Theme Issue: ADD and the Juvenile Justice System.
A middle school psychologist offers case studies of three students with Attention Deficit Disorders, focusing on the importance and complexity of effective parent-educator partnerships. Cases include "A Hyperactive Child Who Learned To Persevere," "A Gifted Child with ADD Who Was Almost Lost," and "A Child Who Learned To Be Helpless."
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; *Parent Involvement; *Parent Teacher Cooperation; *Student Needs; Secondary Education; Middle Schools; School Psychologists; Case Studies; Case Studies; Hyperactivity

EJ501389 EC611021
ADD Gifted: How Many Labels Can One Child Take?
Delisle, James
Gifted Child Today Magazine, v18 n2 p42-43 Mar-Apr 1995
ISSN: 1076-2175
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJAUG95
Target Audience: Practitioners
This paper argues that the Attention Deficit Disorder/Gifted (ADD/Gifted) label is both unfair and overused, discounts the possibility of natural developmental lags, and focuses on the child's weaknesses. A call is made for seeking a full understanding of contextual, curricular, and environmental factors outside the child before labeling students.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; *Educational Diagnosis; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted Disabled; *Labeling (of Persons); Self Fulfilling Prophecies

EJ494764 EC608841
Gifted/Learning Disabled Adolescent to Adult.
Hayes, Marnell L.
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, v5 n3 p75-82 Spr 1994
ISSN: 1047-1885
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR95
Target Audience: Parents
This article offers guidelines on the development of the gifted adolescent with learning disabilities into an adult. Topics considered include the struggle for autonomy, provision of all diagnostic information to the young adult, the special problems of the adult with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, rights and responsibilities, living arrangements, and independent living.
Descriptors: Adolescent Development; Attention Deficit Disorders; *Gifted Disabled; Hyperactivity; Independent Living; *Learning Disabilities; *Personal Autonomy

ED375604 EC303444
Attention Deficit Disorders.
Silverman, Linda Kreger, Ed.
Understanding Our Gifted, v6 n5 May-Jun 1994
20p.; In: Silverman, Linda Kreger, Ed.; Knopper, Dorothy, Ed. Understanding Our Gifted. Volume 6, Issues 1-6, September 1993-August 1994; see EC 303 439. Available From: Open Space Communications, Inc., 1900 Flosom, Suite 108, Boulder, CO 80302 1-800-494-6178 (annual subscription for six issues: individual, $30; institutions, $35; international individual,$40; international institutions, $45).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: SERIAL (022)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Colorado
Journal Announcement: RIEMAR95
This journal theme issue focuses on attention deficit disorders (ADD) in gifted children. "Gifted Children with Attention Deficit Disorder" by Deirdre V. Lovecky outlines symptoms of ADD, types of ADD, issues of giftedness, strengths of gifted children with ADD, and methods for helping gifted children with ADD. "The Perplexed Perfectionist" by George W. Dorry accepts the positive and negative sides of perfectionism, notes the high personal and interpersonal expectations of gifted children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and describes treatment of these children by encouraging them to accept approximations of the perfect solution to a problem and by building steps of new learning that help the child to step away from dependence gradually. A special feature titled "ADHD or Gifted?" presents a dialogue with Sharon Lind and Linda Silverman which reviews 13 questions parents and teachers should ask to determine the child's need for special services. Regular columns discuss revisiting childhood, the dangers of ignoring the gifted, literature resources, creative ventures, and turnabout children.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted; *Gifted Disabled; *Intervention; *Student Characteristics; Symptoms (Individual Disorders)
Identifiers: Perfectionism

EJ462569 EC605896
John Adam Hartley: An ADD Story.
Hartley, Donna T.
Gifted Child Today (GCT), v16 n2 p34-37 Mar-Apr 1993
ISSN: 0892-9580
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP93
This case study of a gifted young man diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) at the age of three, and later identified as learning disabled, describes the boy's development and his positive and negative educational experiences in preschool, public elementary school, special school, mainstreaming back into public school, and postsecondary education.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; Case Studies; *Educational Methods; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted Disabled; Intervention; *Learning Disabilities; Mainstreaming; Postsecondary Education; Preschool Education; Private Schools; Public Schools; *Student Characteristics; Student Development; Student Needs

ED374630 EC303355
Surviving Gifted Attention Deficit Disorder Children in the Classroom.
Wolfle, Jane A.; French, Michael P.
Oct 1990; 26p.; Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Gifted Children (Little Rock, AR, October 1990).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Ohio
Journal Announcement: RIEFEB95
Target Audience: Practitioners
This paper examines characteristics of a typical 6-year-old and characteristics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including distractibility, impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity. The occurrence of ADHD in gifted students is discussed. Possible causes of ADHD are noted. The 5 "M" program of treatment is presented, which involves: (1) medication with stimulants to help the student pay attention; (2) management using behavior modification techniques, which included acknowledging adherence to classroom rules, teaching self-monitoring of behavior, allowing children to help design classroom rules, and using rewards and punishments to reinforce rules; (3) modification of the classroom environment to meet student needs; (4) modeling appropriate behavior; and (5) mothering (and fathering, too), which calls for unconditional love and acceptance of the child, as ADHD children must perceive that they are loved if they are to accept themselves. The paper concludes that through steady support and management, the gifted ADHD child is not only teachable, but can provide a great deal of positive stimulation to the classroom environment.
Descriptors: *Attention Deficit Disorders; Behavior Modification; *Classroom Techniques; Drug Therapy; Elementary Secondary Education; Etiology; *Gifted Disabled; *Hyperactivity; Intervention; Self Management; *Student Characteristics
Identifiers: Behavior Management

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