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Attention Deficit Disorders and Gifted Students: What Do We Really Know?

Felice Kaufmann
M. Layne Kalbfleisch
F. Xavier Castellanos

This monograph summarizes current scientific knowledge about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and presents issues related to ADHD in gifted students. Causes, assessment, diagnosis, educational strategies and medical interventions are discussed. A range of perspectives, including behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological, are applied to the interaction of ADHD and giftedness. Provisional recommendations for parents and teachers are provided along with directions for future research.

Reference:
Kaufmann, F., Kalbfleisch, M. L., & Castellanos, F. X. (2000).Attention Deficit Disorders and gifted students: What do we really know? (RM00146). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.


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Attention Deficit Disorders and Gifted Students: What Do We Really Know?
Felice Kaufmann
M. Layne Kalbfleisch
F. Xavier Castellanos


Recommendations

  1. Be aware that ADHD and giftedness can co-exist.
  2. Explore multiple perspectives in your pursuit of information about ADHD.
  3. Remember that the most important criterion for diagnosing ADHD is the degree of impairment experienced by the child in two or more settings.
  4. Utilize a multidisciplinary team to arrive at diagnoses and to develop comprehensive treatment plans.
  5. Become familiar with a variety of educational and behavioral strategies to determine which combinations might be effective for the individual child.
  6. Be cautious about promises of "quick-fixes"—whether behavioral, educational, or medical.
  7. Be aware that individuals with ADHD have their greatest difficulties in the "output" stage of cognitive processing.
  8. Determine whether shifting attention is a point of vulnerability for the student.
  9. Model and support the process of "knowing thyself."
  10. Advocate for and support systematic research into ADHD within the gifted population.