Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children

Much of this also applies to gifted used-to-be-children, especially this list:

Table 1: Possible Problems That May be Associated with Characteristic Strengths of Gifted Children

Strengths Possible Problems
Acquires and retains information quickly. Impatient with slowness of others; dislikes routine and drill; may resist mastering foundational skills; may make concepts unduly complex.
Inquisitive attitude, intellectual curiosity; intrinsic motivation; searching for significance. Asks embarrassing questions; strong-willed; resists direction; seems excessive in interests; expects same of others.
Ability to conceptualize, abstract, synthesize; enjoys problem-solving and intellectual activity. Rejects or omits details; resists practice or drill; questions teaching procedures.
Can see cause–effect relations. Difficulty accepting the illogical-such as feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith.
Love of truth, equity, and fair play. Difficulty in being practical; worry about humanitarian concerns.
Enjoys organizing things and people into structure and order; seeks to systematize. Constructs complicated rules or systems; may be seen as bossy, rude, or domineering.
Large vocabulary and facile verbal proficiency; broad information in advanced areas. May use words to escape or avoid situations; becomes bored with school and age-peers; seen by others as a “know it all.”
Thinks critically; has high expectancies; is self-critical and evaluates others. Critical or intolerant toward others; may become discouraged or depressed; perfectionistic.
Keen observer; willing to consider the unusual; open to new experiences. Overly intense focus; occasional gullibility.
Creative and inventive; likes new ways of doing things. May disrupt plans or reject what is already known; seen by others as different and out of step.
Intense concentration; long attention span in areas of interest; goal-directed behavior; persistence. Resists interruption; neglects duties or people during period of focused interests; stubbornness.
Sensitivity, empathy for others; desire to be accepted by others. Sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection; expects others to have similar values; need for success and recognition; may feel different and alienated.
High energy, alertness, eagerness; periods of intense efforts. Frustration with inactivity; eagerness may disrupt others’ schedules; needs continual stimulation; may be seen as hyperactive.
Independent; prefers individualized work; reliant on self. May reject parent or peer input; non-conformity; may be unconventional.
Diverse interests and abilities; versatility. May appear scattered and disorganized; frustrations over lack of time; others may expect continual competence.
Strong sense of humor. Sees absurdities of situations; humor may not be understood by peers; may become “class clown” to gain attention.

Adapted from Clark (1992) and Seagoe (1974)


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