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Are there similarities between ADHD and exceptionally gifted students?

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2011-03-03 19:29:18
2011-03-03 19:29:18

Yes there are! Plenty of similarities exist between ADHD and gifted people. In fact, some people believe that gifted people are actually ADHD people. But in order to understand how these similarities are recognized, a brief explaination of the three sub types of ADHD are required.

ADHD people are actually divided into three different branches. I will go through each of them while at the same time, I will also be comparing certain noticeable traits between each of them and that of the gifted people.

ADHD-PI stands for Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive. Individuals of this group are also referred to as simply ADD although that term has been dropped out of use since 1994. For the most part, the PI group tend to be a lot less hyperactive than the other two subtypes and most kids within this group are very often prone to accepting negative feedbacks about themselves by their higher authorities such as from teachers and professors. Adults of this group sometimes show less confidence in most tasks that require ones full attention as well. The PI groups, however, are also the most often to be diagnosed with Specific Developmental Disorders (SDD)which causes the individual to have a narrow focus on only the stuff that fascinate them. While many tend to frown upon those with SDD, it is also (ironically) one of the few leading cause to success in a lot of ADHD individuals and this is also what drives some into thinking that gifted people are actually ADHD. For instant, if an individual is fascinated in the things they do then they are willing to put all of their time and energy into getting it done. If they are very fascinated in a particular puzzle, they'll do whatever it takes to solve it. Both ADHD and gifteds carry these traits to a much higher level then those not diagnosed with ADHD. And this is what Albert Einstein was, an ADHD who had a very narrow focus on physics and math and it was him who busted this bogus theory about this hypothetical planet name Vulcan said to be located between Mercury and the sun.

ADHD-HI stands for Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder - Hyperactive Impulsive. The HI group are basically the opposite to the PI groups in which many are known to be extremely hyperactive. While most children have a lot of energy, kids of the HI group tend to need plenty of exercises to burn off most of them. The biggest misconception about ADHD-HI people is that they have more energy than normal kids. The truth is, while most normal kids are capable of suppressing a good level of their energy during class time, HI kids are only capable of doing so to a slightly lower level and this is one of the main problems that lead to many HI kids into not being able to focus in class aside from not wanting to focus on stuff that they're not enjoying. The hyperactivity in the HI people, especially in children, is easier to spark than that of the PI and it is usually the common negative feedbacks from authoritative figures that are the catalyst to many unwanted behaviours such as temper tantrum and other destructive behaviours. In the parallel, gifteds who are thoroughly given negative feedbacks are also prone to these unwanted behaviours. Unfortunately for many HI kids, continuous negative feedbacks also trigger some of them to develop conduct disorder which a majority of it is caused by negative emotions about themselves. Other causes of these behaviours include feeling insecure or being caged into doing tasks that they are not enjoying. Another thing about the HI group is that the fact that many are also diagnosed with pervasive disorder, causing them to have an interest in multiple things which in addition makes them become fascinated in one subject but then they'd quickly become bored of it. Many gifteds also sport these qualities, hence the similarities.

The last sub type are the combined types, basically ADHD individuals of this type are in between that of a PI and HI group and may have behaviours that are found in both types.

So in general, gifteds are very similar to ADHD in which both of them are very likely to turn their attention away from things that seem boring to them and are willing to put every energy into stuff that fascinate them.

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