ADHD – approach with science

Tracey Sweetapple at TEDxRockyViewSchoolsED



Särbegåvad eller ADHD?

Mona Liljedahl

Mona Liljedahl

svarar på pedagogers frågor om särbegåvade/särskilt begåvade elever

Fråga: Jag har en elev som föräldrarna säger är särbegåvad, men som uppvisar tydliga tecken på ADHD? Borde inte eleven utredas? 

Svar: Till att börja med skulle jag rekommendera att alltid utgå ifrån att det föräldrarna säger är sant. Vi i skolan har sällan någonting att förlora på detta. Tvärtom. Om vi får föräldrar med oss i arbetet med våra elever har vi allt att vinna. Föräldrar ser ju våra elever när de inte är i skolan och uppfattar därmed sådant som skolmiljön kan dölja.

Särbegåvade elever är olika

Man ska också komma ihåg att särbegåvade elever är olika. Lika olika som andra barn, faktiskt. Dessutom har de olika grad av begåvning samt olika begåvningsområden. Medan en särbegåvad elev kan älska matematiska resonemang och kanske avsky språk, kan en annan elev vara tvärtom. Det som är lika är att de är före i…

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If I’m So Smart, Why Am I So Dumb? Part Two

Only partly on point 7, but the rest are spot on!

Your Rainforest Mind

Photo by Cindi, Flickr, CC Photo by Cindi, Flickr, CC

The following are my top ten reasons why you may feel “dumb,” not so smart and certainly not gifted :

#10. You’re highly sensitive, emotional, idealistic and lonely. Gifted people are cynical, logical and objective and prefer being alone to think.

#9. You have multiple interests and can’t decide on one career path. Gifted people pick one thing, stick with it and achieve greatness.

#8. You start many projects that you don’t finish. Gifted people finish things.

#7. You didn’t excel in school. Gifted people always get straight ‘As’ and never have learning disabilities.

#6. You grew up in a seriously dysfunctional family. Gifted people come from happy homes.

#5. You daydream a lot, can’t decide what color to paint your bedroom, and forget to tie your shoes. Gifted people make decisions easily, don’t daydream and never forget anything.

#4. You’re terrified of failure and have…

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Those brain images…

Featured image apparently put together by

Featured image apparently put together by “deliciousmgc”

Yet again, there was a post in one of the facebook groups I follow that drew a lot of dismissive comments about ADHD and other disorders.

First of all: I get that this image conveys very little information. There is no source telling us who produced the images, how they did it, or why. I also know about that dead salmon fMRI scan that pretty much told everyone never to trust an image of a brain.

But I have spent a considerable amount of time reading up on ADHD, and despite not holding any high and mighty degrees in neurology, I had a pretty good idea that this image showed the response of some kind of positive stimuli on a collated “normal” and a collated “ADHD” brain.

Other group members kept dismissing the notion that an image such as this can be important as a way to make people take notice and start thinking, perhaps even doing a bit of research instead of just claiming ADHD does not exist (or something similarly ludicrous). I knew it was not very difficult to find valid research on the topic, and provided several links to research papers that I cannot even read due to paywalls, but the sheer number of published and peer reviewed studies should be sufficient to prove that this disorder really IS real, and also very well studied.

I was asked ” why not provide a link that describes the basics of brain scans, or even just fMRI, describing how they are obtained, calculated, interpreted?”, so I provided this link:…/Brain%20Imag/readings/uludag.pdf

That elicited two responses that I still find it difficult to process (yes, emotional overexcitability):

Everyones becoming ‘fake’ experts because they find something on the web that sounds clever.
In their mind, this effectively reduces real experts to nothing more than ‘colleagues’ they believe on a ‘similar’ level. It artificially reduces the gap between ‘expert’ and ‘novice’. Combine this with mass access and this will cause a lot of real problems for all sciences in the future. . .


Basic Principles of fMRI – yes, although that’s probably more detail than a novice would want to deal with. I was thinking more along these lines:…

There it was: the dead salmon…

So I took the bait, and dug up the real stuff. Below are two links. The first is to the study that the image originates from, published by the New England Journal of Medicine on November 15th, 1990, and the other to a review of functional neuroimaging of ADHD published in Biological Psychiatry in 2005.

Cerebral Glucose Metabolism in Adults with Hyperactivity of Childhood Onset


Functional Neuroimaging of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: A Review and Suggested Future Directions



Now you can access the sources and make up your own mind. Because you deserve it!

Counting spoons

This is not strictly along the usual lines of my posts here, but there are more than one reason for including it, anyway:
You already know that I am cognitively demanding, otherwise known as “gifted”
You also already know that I have ADHD

You may not know that my life is greatly affected by Fibromyalgia (and what looks like some ME to boost) and arthrosis. When I share Christine’s explanation, it mostly relates to the chronic pain and the even more chronic level of utter exhaustion.

But some days, I also suddenly run out of “Gifted”-spoons! When yet another person misunderstands my intentions, or it becomes apparent that nobody else are even close to grasping the scope of my ideas. When I forget to “dumb down” my speech, meet blank stares, and just get so TIRED of having to translate that I cannot find the energy to try again.

And some days, it is my ADHD that forces me to realize that the number of available spoons is dangerously low. Like stressing to get to the gynaecologist on time, and then, as I catch my breath, be told that I was supposed to be there yesterday, not today… That’s when I get so despaired over what my future will look like that I struggle getting back home and putting my life together again enough to dare try living. (OK, so perhaps that foresight is typically gifted, but KNOWING and thoroughly UNDERSTANDING what ADHD is, and how it affects me, is also a factor that uses lots and lots of spoons).

So there you go, those are my motives for sharing this with you:The Spoon Theory

Dear Gifted Child

As I am debating with myself whether or not to share this on facebook, I am furious with myself for even hesitating!

Did I not promise to stay true to my nature, and stand proud with all my differences, having paid the high price over and over and over again?

Did I not vow to fight for my child, and for other children like her, who have the right to be who they are, despite falling outside the norm enforced by society?

Have I not educated myself on neurology, psychology, sociology and more in order to weed out the myths that get in the way of the real research?

Do I not KNOW for a fact that a great majority of my friends think that the whole term “gifted” is nauseatingly pretentious, just like the majority of people who are not my friends?

Have I not passed a harrowing week struggling to adjust my vocabulary and vast thinking scapes to a group that did not share any of the gifted characteristics, knowing not one of them had any idea how hard that was for me, since none of them ever had to adjust to being surrounded by shallower people?

How can I shirk my responsibility to fight the good fight now?

Perhaps because I was that child. I am still that child. In most settings, I am just as misunderstood and judged as the child you address here. But only one of my many teachers has ever expressed any remorse for not recognizing this quirk. I do appreciate hearing that, but it does not make a lot of difference 35 years later…

Dear Gifted Child,

I know this comes as too little too late, but I still feel the need to apologize to you. I hope you can forgive me. I now realize how much I let you down. It’s no excuse, but I can now admit that I did what I did because I wanted to fit in. I thought I’d found my place at the time. All I can offer is….

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that by asking you to redo work over and over due to careless mistakes that I was doing you a disservice. I thought I was helping you to think more (even though as a child myself- I was frustrated the same way).

I didn’t know that by asking you to work in a group without easing you into expectations and supporting you with social skills, I was increasing the pressure you already felt (even…

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How To Avoid Accusations of Inequality: Share the Heart of Giftedness

Wenda Sheard, J.D. Ph.D.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 10.37.53 AM I recently met an interesting couple at a social gathering. At one point, the father mentioned that his 16 year old high school junior, who is taking two college courses, finds those courses to be easy. Fine, I get that. Then the father quickly added, “we didn’t push him or show him flash cards when he was young.”

I found the father’s “disclaimer” to be disturbing. I wasn’t sure whether to reveal myself as a gifted advocate or not. The only thing I said in response was, “I understand, I understand.”

In this blog article, I give parents of highly intelligent children advice about how to talk about their children’s successes, challenges, and needs without risking accusations of inequality. I admit that’s a tricky business: avoiding accusations of inequality where inequality obviously exists. But it’s possible. Here’s how.

1. George Orwell’s Horrible Pigs

In the last chapter of 1984

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