SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative
Reducing the Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis
A twice-exceptional child whose giftedness is overlooked due to their disability – or vice versa.
A child whose entire education is changed and potentially misguided… all based on their diagnosis.
Medical misdiagnosis is devastatingly common among gifted children. Without significant improvements in medical knowledge of giftedness and twice-exceptionality, gifted children will inappropriately continue to be both over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed with mental health and learning issues. And additionally, their giftedness may be at risk of being unnoticed completely.
SENG’s Misdiagnosis Initiative helps educate parents and health care professionals of the risks of misdiagnosis, and how to avoid them. Explore the resources on this page to learn more about misdiagnosis and the Initiative.
The SENG Research Committee has developed two educational items: a two-sided gifted resource bookmark, and a brochure aimed at lowering medical misdiagnosis in gifted children. Both of these print materials are available in bulk from SENG at no cost. The brochure, in English, Spanish and German, may also be downloaded in a printer-friendly PDF.
Please take advantage of these free materials to educate health care professionals and parents. SENG now has published a Spanish version of the “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children” brochure which can be downloaded.
You will also want to read the compelling article on misdiagnosis in our library written by Ruth Carlstrom.
Suzana Zirbes-Domke is a psychologist working in her own private practice in Northern Germany since 1999. She specializes in assessment and counselling of gifted children and adults. She also offers parent and Kindergarten teacher trainings and assists schools and other institutions regarding questions about giftedness.
Inga Liebert-Cop is a psychologist in the International Center for Study of Giftedness of University of Münster Germany. She leads intelligence diagnostics and advises students, parents, and teachers in gifted education. Inga teaches in the ECHA courses (European Council for High Ability) for teachers, educators, and volunteer advisors and is a licensed psychotherapist.
Suzana Zirbes-Domke and Inga Liebert-Cop both edited and translated A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Webb, James T. / Gore, Janet / Amend, Edward / DeVries, Arlene) into German and introduced the Misdiagnosis Initiative in the German speaking countries in Europe.
Suzana Zirbes-Domke and Inga Liebert-Cop will present the Misdiagnosis Initiative in Vienna at the ECHA-Conference to be held on March 2-5, 2016.
Watch the SENG video: The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children
- Learn More About the Initiative
- View Video
- James T. Webb, PhD Medical Grand Rounds Lecture (Univ. of Wisconsin)
- What’s New
- Gifted Children Often Misdiagnosed With Developmental Disorders by Dr. Dan Peters (AAP News Today. 2016, page 17)
- Recognizing, Addressing Giftedness Can Be Challenging by Tara Haelle – with Dr. Dan Peters (AAP Pediatric News. November 2016)
- Intricacies of Giftedness: A Reflective Conversation with Marianne Kuzujanakis M.D. by Michael F. Shaughnessy (Gifted Education International. January 2017)
- Gifted Children and Adults—Neglected Areas of Practice by James T. Webb, PhD (The Register Report: Spring 2014 Issue)
- Giftedness Should Not be Confused With Mental Disorder by Allen Frances, MD – with Marianne Kuzujanakis MD (Psychology Today)
- The Misdiagnosis Initiative: An Interview with Dr. James Webb by Global #gtchat
- The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness by Marianne Kuzujanakis MD (Huffington Post)
- Interview with Marianne Kuzujanakis MD on Misdiagnosis (Davidson Institute for Talent Development)
- Interview with Professor James Webb by The Global Center for Gifted and Talented Children
- Missed Giftedness ADHD Autism by the Coffee Klatch/Bright Not Broken Blog Talk Radio Show – with Drs. Gallagher, Kuzujanakis, and Webb
- Medical Misdiagnosis in the Gifted by EdWeek / Unwrapping the Gifted (Tamara Fisher) – with Drs. Gallagher, Kuzujanakis, and Webb
- Explore Further
- “When Diagnosing ADHD, Consider Possibility of Giftedness in Some Children” by Erik von Hahn, MD, FAAP (AAP News)
- “Practice Opportunities with Gifted Children and their Families” by James T. Webb, PhD; Rosina M. Gallagher, PhD; and Marianne Kuzujanakis, MD (The National Psychologist)
- “Reaching out to the Gifted Child: Roles for the Health Care Professions” by the American Association for Gifted Children Task Force
- SENG Misdiagnosis Brochures
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