Reducing the Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis

Gifted children’s developmental growth is complex, placing them at a potential high risk for medical misdiagnosis. In some gifted children, gifted asynchrony may be erroneously labeled with a mental health diagnosis. In other gifted children, giftedness may be missed in a child with significant learning and/or mental health issues. Some other gifted children may be able to over-compensate in the short-term for a learning disability or mental health disorder, thus possibly hiding both the disability and the giftedness. 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, while their giftedness may be at risk of being entirely overlooked.

The SENG Research Committee launched the SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative to help educate parents and health care professionals of the risks of misdiagnosis and how to avoid them. The committee has developed two helpful educational items: a two-sided gifted resource bookmark and a brochure aimed at lowering medical misdiagnosis in gifted children. Many have found these materials useful both personally and in furthering communication with medical professionals. Both of these print materials are available in bulk from SENG at no cost. If only a few copies of the brochure are needed, the brochure may be downloaded in a printer-friendly PDF. (Samples and details)

Please take advantage of these free materials to educate health care professionals and parents. Watch for new materials as they are added. SENG now has published a Spanish version of the “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children” brochure which can be downloaded [scroll to the bottom of the page for the link].

  • Download Brochures
    • “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children” brochure–English version
    • “Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children” brochure–Spanish version


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