The “Gifted” Child
The gifted child or adolescent with ADD may not fit classical definitions of educationally handicapped or gifted. On one hand, he or she may be able to use their skills to cover up the ADD and never receive help or guidance. Giftedness has been defined in a variety of ways. In the past, giftedness was defined by a global score on an IQ test. More recently, professionals have been interested in looking at different types of talents instead of a global number. The term gifted is often used to refer to students with academic excels in language or mathematics. Individuals with specific gifts in the areas of art, music or athletic performance are sometimes more plainly called talented. In this paper, I will be focusing on ADD students with great strengths in verbal or mathematical skills. Gifted children and children with ADD can share many characteristics. Both groups may tend to question authority. A gifted child without ADD may become restless or even disruptive if the curriculum is not challenging. Some teachers may not appreciate a gifted child’s creative solutions to problems. Some studies have suggested that gifted children may be more active and sleep less than normal children. In the past, many educators felt that the gifted showed “across the board achievement.” More recent studies show that unevenness in abilities is greater in the gifted than in people with average intellectual ability. Unlike ADD children, gifted children usually pay attention quite well when placed in accelerated classes. An exception is the small group of profoundly gifted children whose abilities are so divergent that regular programs for the gifted cannot serve them. In this small group, there may be an increased incidence of educational and emotional problems whether or not ADD is present. A gifted student with ADD may have particular challenges. A bright individual, often more self-aware, is more likely to perceive himself as inadequate. If the task...
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