Jan 24 2012
Help Educate Your Pediatrician: Misdiagnosis of ADHD in Gifted Children
Have you ever been around a child who exhibits puzzling behavior? This child might be your own or a child of one of your friends. While this child might appear to be very precocious in a variety of areas, some of the child’s behavior might be difficult to manage and hard to understand. It is at this point of misunderstanding, that these children are frequently labeled as ADHD instead of possibly gifted.
However, just recently, Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), an international nonprofit organization, embarked upon an international campaign to educate and enlighten parents, teachers and pediatricians about “possible misdiagnosis of ADHD in gifted children.” The importance of their efforts to educate us all about the potential misdiagnosis follows a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline that “extends the range of ADHD diagnosis from ages 6-12 to 4-18. The problem with this, according to SENG, is that it does not include the reality that “a child’s intellectual giftedness may contribute to symptoms similar to ADHD. Thus, precocious preschoolers may be at even greater risk for misdiagnosis.”
Parents of all preschoolers and older children who may exhibit both precocious and puzzling behavior will benefit from seeing a video SENG posted recently on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XN7IOteagI This video will provide parents of gifted children tools to better obtain the understanding, support and advocacy their uniquely gifted children need as they navigate the world. Please share it with all of your family, friends, schools and your pediatricians.
So much depends upon all of our children, including those who are gifted and twice-exceptional who may exhibit puzzling behavior, receive the acceptance, respect and education they deserve without the dangers of unneeded medication.