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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does that look like? We have been wondering about this with DD. She is clearly gifted, but has some issues we struggle with daily: socioemotional immaturity, struggles with authority, a lot of wild and silly behavior, and poor impulse control. OTOH, she has NO problems learning and can focus extremely well. I wouldn't even call it hyperfocus; she just can sit for a long time and draw, work in workbooks, play elaborate games, etc. Actually, she has always had a very LONG attention span, though while she sits some part of her is usually in motion.

We also think she is SPD, but I don't think that explains everything. I don't see why it would cause poor impulse control, for instance (this behavior happens all the time, not just in situations where it could be related to sensory stuff).
 

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DS looks like he could have ADHD, and also possibly be on the spectrum. He does have SPD, is egocentric (I think on the outside edge of developmentally typical for his age), is emotionally a bit immature. He is finally developing impulse control, but was very challenging at 3-4. We only started walking on sidewalks without a firm grasp of his hand last year.

RE: problems with authority. DS wants authority and has to respect someone to cooperate. He got to a point with his kindie teacher where he clearly did not respect her and it was kind of awful. DS believes very, very strongly in his own POV, and in times of stress (ie school, groups) can become really rigid about his POV being THE POV.

Have you read Webb's Misdiagnosis book? If you google gifted ADHD you'll likely find some good info.

DS has been assessed by two pediatricians and a psychologist. They all conclude, as I have, that he looks like he could have ADHD or have asperger's, but that he likely doesn't. Either label would be a handy box to fit him in, and one comes with funding and support, but he's just his own unique mix of things. He's complicated and often frustrating (mostly to others, I find him generally a lot of fun).

Where is it personality and inner drive, and when is it "pathologizable"?
 

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It could be.
ADHD can be hyperactivity, impulsivity, or a combination.
I was a gifted child with ADHD, back when it was "hyperactive" - so I went undiagnosed. However, my mom always called me "a repressed hyperactive" and (bless her heart) did Feingold with me, which helped. I fit your description, pretty much. I was (and am) a voracious reader. It is hyperfocus; that just means the ability to focus when we want to, really. It can include tuning out the entire world, but it doesn't have to look like that. The only thing I had no patience for was TV - at the first commercial I was off doing something else. Even watching a video can be hard, unless I'm into it.

I did find Ritalin helpful - in fact, I was surprised, with my first dose, to be able to follow one train of thought through to the end. Normally (and I thought it was normal) my brain sounds like 5 different radio stations all playing at once, different thoughts all at once. Other things that help are fish oil, exercise, and spending time outdoors.

They have found that people who have the inattentive subtype are less likely to grow out of it as adults than those who have the hyperactivity aspect primary. Which, IMO, is why they thought it was only in children, since that was all they used to identify.

You might want to do some research. Additude mag is a great place to start, as is Sari Solden's book on ADHD in girls.

HTH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DD also can look a bit spectrum-y as well. For instance, she still talks to herself a lot and repeats bits of conversations and whole passages of books under her breath when playing solo. Her tone of voice and laughter can sound kind of off and odd. However, she is very, very social and outgoing and has many friends, and a lot of other things don't fit at all; I honestly don't think it's that, but it's just interesting, joensally, that you mention it.

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DS believes very, very strongly in his own POV, and in times of stress (ie school, groups) can become really rigid about his POV being THE POV.
Hmm. Yes. This is certainly DD. Honestly, we've thrown around Oppositional Defiant Disorder too, but she also really doesn't fit quite a number of the symptoms of that (not vindictive, sulky, or spiteful, never blames things on others).

I've just reread the ADHD chapter of the Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis book, and it is helpful to some extent. It leads me in the " probably not ADHD but...??" direction, but not entirely.

I guess some part of me still wants a "box" to put her in so we can help her more easily and also advocate for her better. She is so, so stubborn, independent, and intense, and when you put that together with daily fits and spurts of out-of-control wild can't-listen craziness, you have a challenging little package. Interestingly, she is finally doing quite well at preschool, after a long adjustment period. Her teacher is very good with her.

It's probably relevant that DH believes he has undiagnosed ADHD, but of the inattentive type, which would not be DD's type (she's more on the hyper side).
 

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I used to think DD had ODD, but now I know a child with it and nope, DD's just bloody minded
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Preschool was extremely challenging for DS. In fact, we didn't know there was anything going on until he started PS, but then we'd been parenting DD who at the time made DS look like a light weight.

My problem with labels in school settings is that IME it's easy for the teacher to go "Billy is a child with ADHD child, and ADHD children need/like..." - I think it can lead to a loss of seeing the individual. We've had success explaining DS as "complicated," and my spiel might go like this: "DS has some sensory issues, is a very divergent thinker and very creative. He is very funny, very sensitive and empathetic, except when he's overwhelmed by his environment and becomes more egocentric. I think it's a coping strategy as he's trying to regain control of himself and the world as he perceives it. He has big ideas, loves to share them, and often struggles not to take over because he's so excited. Sometimes he's not great at sharing space, and may demonstrate some stimmy behaviours, including pacing in a circle talking - he's trying to self-regulate." I make it clear that we're open to discussing any/all issues and will work cooperatively with the setting to maximize DS' success. As things progress if he's not coping well, I'll share some of his triggers (he has some odd things that he becomes hyper-sensitive to if he's not coping well).

If you think it might be ADHD, I'd have her assessed. I think, though, that you're probably always going to have to explain her quirks as a blanket label won't help those working with her.

I only mentioned spectrum as it's a common label, and I think there's some overlap between Dabrowski's OEs and neurodivergence. In fact, depending on who I'm talking to, that's a label that works - DS is neurodivergent in some way and it leads to his having his own unique way of being in the world.

BTW, given the apparent similarities between your DD and my DS - we started HSing this year.
 
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