ADHD and the Gifted Child Research Paper by Nicky

ADHD and the Gifted Child
A discussion on how a gifted child can be identified as such and not misdiagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
# 148787 | 2,047 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2011 in Education (Special) , Psychology (Child and Adolescent)

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The paper explores the literature to show how many children who are diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are actually gifted, however, many of these children are not identified as such. The paper notes that the reason for this lack of proper diagnosis is, in part, due to a lack of knowledge on the part of teachers as to how to identify the gifted student. The paper further discusses how there is little in the way of resources for identifying and subsequently coping with appropriately educating these children in today's schools. The paper asserts that more research and planning for ADHD and gifted children are critically needed.

Statement of Thesis
Identification of Gifted Children Lacking
Misdiagnosis of Children with ADHD
Characteristics of Gifted Children are Similar to ADHD
Lack of Resources for ADHD and Gifted Children
Studies Linking ADHD and Giftedness
Conclusion and Recommendations

From the Paper:

"The most common behavioral disorder of childhood is that of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which is "marked by a constellation of symptoms including immature levels of impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity." (Niehart, 2003) Three subtypes of ADHD exist which are those of: (1) predominantly inattentive; (2) predominantly hyperactive/impulsive; and (3) combined. (Niehart, 2003) According to the DSM-IV in order to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Combined Type ADHD there are at least six to nine criteria from both lists that must be met as well as exhibiting "significant impairment in functioning." (Niehart, 2003) Furthermore, symptoms must occur " more than one setting, have been present for at least six months, and have been present before the age of seven." (Niehart, 2003) There are developmental delays noted in children with ADHD and specifically that they are behind their peers approximately three years in terms of their social and emotional maturation. This is the same for children who are gifted and who also have ADHD. Great difficulty arises in the attempt to "..differentiate true attention deficits from the range of temperament and behavior common to gifted children." (Niehart, 2003) In fact, it is related that "common characteristics of gifted children can be misconstrued as indicators of pathology when the observer is unfamiliar with the differences in the development of gifted children." This problem only worsens when the "gifted child in question spends considerable time in a classroom where appropriate educational services are not provided.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baum, Susan M., Olenchak, F. Richard, and Owen, Steven V. (2004) Gifted Students with Attention Deficits: Fact and/or Fiction? Or, Can We See the Forest for the Trees. Counseling, Multiple Exceptionality and Psychological Issues. From Gifted Child Quarterly. SENG online available at:
  • Beeston, Donna (2009) The Early Years of Albert Einstein; When Viewed through the Lens of Current Theory and Research Were There Signs of Giftedness? APEX, 15(4), 56-77.
  • Cramond, Bonnie (1994) The Coincidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity. BTE. March 1995. Online available at:
  • Edwards, Kylee (2009) Misdiagnosis, the Recent Trend in Thinking About Gifted Children with ADHD. APEX, 15(4), 29-44
  • Niehart, Maureen (2003) Gifted Children with ADHD. ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. October 2003.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

ADHD and the Gifted Child (2011, November 06) Retrieved May 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"ADHD and the Gifted Child" 06 November 2011. Web. 27 May. 2020. <>