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  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Its Similarity to Giftedness

    Our SPED expert, Frances Mijares-Magtoto gives parents some similarities to watch out for.
    by Frances Mijares-Magtoto . Published Feb 17, 2010
  • Having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can be a boon and a bane at the same time. It’s a boon because the kind of energy level and stamina that these individuals have can help them achieve so much more than the average person. Michael Phelps, Olympics gold medalist and swimmer, attributes his stellar performance at the most recent Olympic Games to his coping with ADHD.
    ADHD traits are similar to those of gifted individuals

    Research suggests that some common traits of those with ADHD are similar to those of gifted individuals:  high motor activity, sensitivity, intensity, and impatience. In the same manner, some gifted children can have ADHD hence the parent’s role is to determine the weight they put on the doctor’s diagnosis, teachers’ anecdotes and their own experiences. If unresolved, some behavioral problems can arise. Gifted students with ADHD suffered the following:
    - Poor sustained attentionShift from one uncompleted activity to another

    - Diminished persistence on tasks not having immediate consequences

    - Impulsive behaviorPoor delay of gratificationMore active and more restless than other children

    - Often talk excessivelyPoor adherence to requests to regulate behavior in social settings

    - Inattentive to detailsOften interrupt or intrude on others

    - Highly sensitive to criticismOften lose things required for tasks at school or home

    - Problem behaviors exist in all settings, but are more severe in some

    - High variability in task performance and in time used to accomplish tasks 

    ADHD is difficult for students in traditional schools

    Having ADHD is a bane because our current traditional school system requires that students sit down for prolonged periods of time, and to one with ADHD, “misbehaving” becomes his only escape. In order to manage behavior, some doctors will prescribe medication. Certain medicines assist people with ADHD in their focus and task commitment. Methylphenidate drugs (like Concerta, Ritalin LA, Focalin XR, or Metadate CD) affect chemical signals in the central nervous system, helping those with ADHD to perform better in school or work.
    - Parents need to be well-informed about ADHD medication


    - While medication can help, there are certain concerns about its use.

    Wayne MacDonald, a health enthusiast and natural remedy researcher, wrote that he was scared to death when he learned that possible effects of ADHD medications include a long-term effect on the developing brain, heart-related problems, psychiatric problems and potential for drug abuse. For a detailed list of possible side-effects, visit the following links:

    - Mental-Health-Matters.com

    - ADHDNews.com

    Any medication has certain side-effects so parents must choose one that has consequences that are acceptable to them and their child. It’s advisable for parents to make informed choices, thus research is well advised.
    If you think your child has ADD or ADHD, seek professional advice and proper diagnosis as soon as possible. In the context of special needs, catching them early is essential.
    ADHDNews.comSousa, D.A. (2003). How the Gifted Brain Learns. Corwin Press, Inc.McDonald, W. (2009). Dangerous Side Effects of ADHD Medications. Retrieved 16 February 2010,TeensHealth from Nemours. (2009). Managing ADHD with Medication.Willard-Holt, C. (1999). Dual Exceptionalities. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. 

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