Provocative title, eh?
My 7 year old ds is "gifted," with "borderline" ADHD, some sensory sensitivities, and anxiety. He does very well at school academically, but gets in trouble at school sometimes for not paying attention/following directions, clowning around, not obeying the teachers....
My friend's ds is the same age, and the above description applies to him as well-- except that he has just been evaluated and judged NOT having ADHD, or anything else. My son was also evaluated, by a different psychologist.
Honestly, I was shocked to hear that my friend's ds did not get an ADHD diagnosis and mine did. It's not "sour grapes" or anything-- you'll have to take my word for that!
I have known both boys well their whole lives, and my friend's ds seems practically the definition of hyper. At our last playdate, for example, he climbed onto my dining room table and tried to stick a toy into the ceiling fan, leaped from my coffee table to couch repeatedly, shot me in the face with a nerf gun (he admitted it was on purpose, with a smile!), jumped up and down on their car's roof, locked my ds out of his own room (repeatedly), climbed up my trellis (repeatedly), dumped salt and pepper onto the table, and more! This was a typical playdate. His mom and I told him to stop, but he doesn't listen, and she doesn't usually follow through.
I've seen her ds in many different situations, and he always acts like that. According to my friend, he acts like that at school too (hence the evaluation). On his worst day, my ds has never acted anywhere close to that!
Maaaaany people have insinuated, or said outright, that I am too soft on my ds, and that what he needs is a spanking/whupping/kick in the pants. This is ironic to me, because from what I see, even though I don't use corporal punishment, I seem to be stricter about behavior than a lot of parents I know! Of course, when my son is acting out, or has gotten in trouble in school, again, I question myself. I think, maybe "they" are right-- I am letting him be a "brat" by not coming down on him hard enough. It appears that that is my friend's ds' issue-- he's acting like that because he can get away with it!? What do you all think?
I don't know.
When i was a kid my mother ran a helpline for parents of ADD and ADHD kids. They funded parenting classes (which were focussed on communication, fair consequences, firm boundaries and lots of fun between parent and child and NOT aggression, spanking, violence of any kind - think supernanny type stuff) and about 70-80% of the ADD/ADHD kids completely stopped their "problem" behaviours and came off their medication once the parents were using the new techniques.
BUT (and it's a big but) those parents DID deal with it all with smacking, hitting, banishing to empty (all toys confiscated already) bedrooms, grounding and so on. Most of them didn't follow through with the "if you don't stop i'll have to put that toy away" and skipped, after finally getting sick of mild threats being ignored, straight to smacking, breaking the toy, whatever. Basically the parent acted out fairly ADD/ADHD behaviours too, and i think for a lot of those kids it WAS the parenting which was the problem. It was only once the screaming back and forth, hitting each other (most of the kids hit back) and trying to think of the cruellest punishment possible stopped, and actually talking to one another, having a relationship and dealing calmly with issues started that the behaviours were revealed for what they were, cries for attention (these were kids who ONLY got attention when they were bad, and whose entire relationship with their parent was based on their own bad behaviour and their parent's reactions to it).
Having said that obviously that leaves the 20-30% who were NOT enormously helped by the parenting techniques or whose parents already used that sort of style but it made no difference. So obviously for some there was a genuine problem going on with them, and though parenting calmly and firmly and kindly helped them all live with it as happily as possible, it didn't solve anything.
i think with gifted kids its v. v. common to be misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD. not saying that's what happened to you... but in many cases bored or overactive imaginative kids have been quite a handful who settled down later on. but they went through that phase.
if you can afford it, i'd try to get evaluated by his psychologist and find out what they say about your son.