The following online resources offer background information on misdiagnosis and dual diagnoses of gifted children.

Videos | Websites | SENG-AAP Correspondence | Articles


SENG Video: The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children

University of Wisconsin Grand Rounds presentation by James T. Webb Ph.D.: “Accurate Assessment? Asperger’s Disorder, and Other Common Misdiagnoses and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children”

Websites and Other Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics

AAP Pediatrics article of new ADHD guidelines: “ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents”

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-IV

DSM-V Development Page

International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)

SENG-AAP Correspondence

Nov. 30, 2011, SENG to AAP

Dec. 20, 2011, AAP to SENG

Jan. 4, 2012, SENG to AAP

Online Articles

“Gifted Students with Attention Deficits: Fact and/or fiction? Or, Can We See the Forest From the Trees?” by Baum, S., Olenchak, F., & Owens, S. (1998). Gifted Child Quarterly, 42, 96-104. Available online.

Excerpt: “According to Gordon (1990), far too many high ability students are referred for problems with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and sustaining attention. Several important issues, rarely discussed in the literature on attention deficits, offer alternative hypotheses for the increasing incidence of hyperactivity and attention problems of gifted youngsters.” Read More

“Misdiagnosis, the Recent Trend in Thinking about Gifted Children with ADHD,” by Edwards, K. (2009).  APEX, 15(4), 29-44. Available online.

Excerpt: “This article addresses the most significant reasons why misdiagnosis of the gifted as having ADHD could be occurring, such as how the ADHD characteristics within the DSM-IV (APA, 2000) relate very closely to both gifted and creatively gifted characteristics.” Read More

Health Care Providers Know Little about Gifted Children,” by Goerss, J., Clouse, R., & Webb, J. T. (2008). National Psychologist. 16(2),12. Available online.

Excerpt: “Because giftedness is rare, professionals who help children are often unfamiliar with it. Parents must advocate for their child with each adult who interacts regularly with their child, especially their physician, teacher and psychologist.” Read More

“Where does a pediatric doctor fit in the care of gifted children?” by Kuzujanakis, M. (2011). SENGVine, October 2011. Available online.

Excerpt: “I wear two hats: One – as a pediatrician. The other – as a parent of a gifted child. To be honest, there are days when neither hat fits comfortably, if at all. There are days when my medical knowledge just isn’t enough to understand my child, and other days when being a parent hasn’t always provided all the answers.” Read More

“Discovering Gifted Children in Pediatric Practice,” by Liu, Y.H, & Lien, J. (2005). Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 26, 366-369. Abstract available online.

Excerpt: “The pediatrician can promote healthy family relations. She should explain that discordant rates of social, emotional, and intellectual development are common and require special attention.”

“Gifted and Talented Children: Issues for Pediatricians,” by Robinson, N. M., & Olszewski-Kubilius, P. M. (1996). Pediatrics in Review, 17(12), 427-434. Available online.

Excerpt: “There is much greater diversity among the highly capable. Indeed, advanced ability is neither restrictive nor defining; gifted children (and their families) are probably more diverse than any other group in our society.” Read More

“The Social World of Gifted Children and Youth,” by Robinson, N. M. (2008a). In S. I. Pfeiffer (Ed.), Handbook of Giftedness in Children: Psycho-educational Theory, Research, and Best Practices (pp. 33-52). New York, NY: Springer. Full text preview available.

Excerpt: “The younger the children are, the more circumscribed is their social radius and the less likely they are to encounter truly compatible friends; the older they are, the more paramount the social agenda becomes. Even within the family, gifted children are sometimes a poor fit if parents and siblings do not share their abilities, interests and aspirations, and if parents are inexperienced in navigating the educational system.”

“Intellectual Ability and Cortical Development in Children and Adolescents,” by Shaw, P., Greenstein, D., Lerch, J., Clasen, L., Lenroot, R., Gogtay, N., Evans, A., Rapoport, J., & Giedd, J. (2006). Nature. 440, (30 March) 676-679. Abstract available online.

Excerpt: “‘Brainy’ children are not cleverer solely by virtue of having more or less grey matter at any one age. Rather, intelligence is related to dynamic properties of cortical maturation.”

“Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and Other Disorders,” by Webb, J. T., Amend, E. R., Webb, N. E., Goerss, J., Beljan, P., & Olenchak, F. R. (2005). Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press. Excerpt available online.

Excerpt: “Many gifted and talented children (and adults) are being mis-diagnosed by psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other health care professionals. The most common mis-diagnoses are: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Mood Disorders such as Cyclothymic Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Depression, and Bi-Polar Disorder. These common mis-diagnoses stem from an ignorance among professionals about specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted children which are then mistakenly assumed by these professionals to be signs of pathology.” Read More

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