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Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders
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Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  425 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Our brightest, most creative children and adults are often being misdiagnosed with behavioral and emotional disorders such as ADHD, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, Bipolar, OCD, or Asperger's. Many receive unneeded medication and inappropriate counseling as a result. Physicians, psychologists, and counselors are unaware of characteristics of gifted children and adults that ...more
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published December 2nd 2004 by Great Potential Press
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4.17  · 
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 ·  425 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Skylar Burris
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Because psychologists and teachers very often are not trained about gifted children, and because the quirky behavior traits of giftedness resemble symptoms of various disorders, gifted children are often misdiagnosed as having disorders they don't actually have. Conversely, because gifted children can compensate for learning disabilities and still perform satisfactorily, they often have their learning disabilities go undetected. This book was written to help parents, teachers, and psychologists ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was extremely helpful to me. I am a homeschooling parent of a very bright child who has had some developmental and sensory issues and is frankly just exhausting! Everyone is always commenting on how very bright my child seems and though I have mostly agreed I always wondered, "Then why does she have so many 'issues'!?!" I loved that they discussed physical symptoms sleep issues, food allergies/sensitivities, and reactive hypoglycemia, and sensory sensitivity and explain that this is a ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-august
I was disappointed in this book, because I felt like the dual diagnosis wasn't really part of it. The book focused on how gifted traits can often appear to be some other disorder, but really aren't. There was a lot of describing what the various disorders are and what their traits are like, and what traits a gifted person would display that might be mistaken. And here and there there was mention of people with a dual diagnosis, but not enough. Basically, it said that yes, gifted people can have ...more
Oct 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very eye-opening. Every parent who has quirky or intense kids should read this. And copies that are worn from use need to be on every teacher's shelf. The main idea: Being bright is not the summation of giftedness. It is pervasive; it effects almost every aspect of a gifted child or adults life - from the way they interact with people, to the way they learn, to the way they behave and experience emotions. The idea that gifted people have it easier than the rest is a myth - and a potentially dama ...more
This is a detailed study of how gifted characteristics can appear to be different disorders, such as ADD, ODD, mood disorders, etc. That's not to say that your gifted child doesn't have ADHD (it's possible!), but all too often a child is diagnosed with a disorder when in reality the symptoms are just the quirks of being gifted. The book also discusses learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, and how they can be masked by a child's giftedness.

This book is not a substitute for an evaluation if yo
May 13, 2012 added it
This book was recommended to me by the school counselor. I didn't read the entire book, only the four chapters that interested me the most (introduction, adhd, anger, relationships). It certainly gave me something to think about, but also highlighted the limitations of our public school system.
This book is a thorough treatment of the ways in which giftedness can affect the diagnoses of people. Recommended for all interested in gifted people.
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents of gifted kids
Shelves: parenting, gifted
This book was amazing for me to read. I have a gifted son who has learning issues and other issues as well. I am struggling to understand him.

I honestly think for me this book has answered SO many of my questions about him.

The book is written for doctors, teachers or parents who are working with or trying to understand gifted children.

The book goes over different diagnoses that children may get. It talks about how often gifted children have "symptoms" that may lead to diagnosis which are inco
Apr 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laney by: Lindsey Tolis
This book is extremely enlightening about the difficulty of diagnosing gifted children, since gifted behaviors can often mimic typical DSM-IV-TR criteria for various psychological conditions. Unfortunately for gifted children, field disagreements on inclusion criteria and the paucity of studies done on the subject of gifted children and dual diagnosis mean that many either go undiagnosed or end up falsely diagnosed.

I believe that all psychologists, especially those working in primary education,
May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very informative book. Helps parents know when to ignore a "pediatrician diagnosed" issue when the child *really* needs a comprehensive psychological or neuropsychological evaluation. I knew that many learning disabilities and gifted qualities can mimic ADHD but was shocked at how many different things can be mistaken for ADHD by an untrained eye (parent OR untrained professional..the ped for example).

All in all though, this book did help confirm our son's diagnosis (by the ped AND nueropsycholo
Megan Mcallister
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good read. There is an amazing amount of things that are common to gifted children that I would never have paired with gifted traits. You go away from this book feeling like someone is making it all make sense and laying out a map for you. However to get 5 stars I would need them to tell me what I actually could do about it all.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I only read this for the ADHD parts and skipped over the parts that didn't apply. Overall very good. I think there are a lot of idiots (and not necessarily idiots but overworked doctors) out there handing out diagnosis. This is a good book to read if you think your child is gifted but has also received another label.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best books I have read that explains how gifted childrent can be misdiagnosed or have overlapping symptoms with other problems. Everyone I have loaned this to has also said it was worth reading.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is really opening my eyes and teaching me a lot about my daughter Emily. This has been a LONG journey and I think I'm finally getting some answers.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Constant reference book
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: School Psychologists, Child Psychologists
I recommend that all psychologists read the first chapter, because it provides a very comprehensive profile of gifted children. The chapter on comorbidity with ADHD was excellent, too.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at how children who are ahead can still be left behind. A must read for anyone associated with Gifted people.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After reading two chapters I ordered a copy for my bookshelf. I can see handing sections of this book to well-meaning teachers and other adult figures in the next few years.
Tiffany O'neill
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most valuable texts I own. A must have for every educator in the field of gifted education!
Marsha Altman
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The book that will make you say, "Why the fuck didn't my parents read this when *I* was a kid!??!"
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Good, with some reservations. It was helpful for me, as I've been struggling with these questions in my own life for quite a while now. But also I'm well read in the area and able to read between the lines as needed. The book was based off an old version of the DSM and is inaccurate with regards to some diagnoses (most particularly "Asperger's Disorder," with no mention of autism), and in my opinion didn't do enough to counter the potential misinterpretation of "oh my child isn't broken, they're ...more
Erika Powers
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found the similarities and differences between add and giftedness interesting. It didn't include Borderline Personality Disorder, a bit disappointing for me. I didn't read it all but what I did read was very good. I have yet to read the section on depression but my add is getting the best of me.
Patricia Mauerhofer
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview, great mix of strutured information and case studies illustrating the possible ways of misdiagnosis and overlapping phenomenon
Catherine Gillespie
It turns out that common characteristics of gifted children and adults are often misdiagnosed as mental illness or disorder. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults contains exceptionally helpful comparisons between behaviors and markers for a variety of illnesses and the ways giftedness can look like those conditions but is actually different. The book also goes into what to look for when a child or adult has a dual diagnosis–that is, the person is gifted AND has another c ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I heard about this book, and assumed it would compare various diagnoses and not focus exclusively on gifted children compared to various disorders. That being said, it was my fault for not reading the title closely enough. I am not a fan of "labels" and find IQ or standardized testing useful in only addressing ares of concern-not intelligence. Therefore, I read this book as though it were describing the qualities of any person, the way a person thinks, and how it is related to a disorder or dual ...more
Eirin Orum
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I really liked this book when I first read it, as it seemed possible to rule out ADHD in my daughter and myself based on what the book said were common characteristics of gifted people. But the book was not quite clear (actually not very clear at all) about what the difference between a gifted person without and with ADHD would be, so I had to keep researching. A year and a half later, I now know A LOT MORE about giftedness and about ADHD, and therefore see all the flaws in this book better.

Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents of children with special needs (i.e. gifted;,aspergers, ADHD, mood, behavior)
Recommended to Marie by: Dr. Adam Jarczeski
If you're reading this book review you've more than likely received concerned phone calls from your child's teacher or care providers. You're not alone. There is hope. Don't despair. I encourage you to always be hopeful and realize your child is continuing to grow and develop. YOU are your child's best advocate and support :) If your child is diagnosed with any type of disorder or neuro-challenge, read this book.

Labels can seriously damage a child's self-esteem but this book can take challenges
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Around 25% of gifted people are misdiagnosed with a disorder according to a quote in a newspaper by James T. Webb. His wording did not say "25% of those who visit a psychologist", so visiting a psychologist as a gifted person could be quite hazardous without this book. This book is like a survival guide for anyone who has or *might* have a high IQ. I believe everyone of that description needs to have a copy accessible.

Gifted people are nothing like the common myths about them. They're not all su
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must read if you know a bright child that is being evaluated for any of the above conditions or has other behaviors that concern you. It gives a good insight to the behaviors of gifted children that can be sometimes misconstrued as a mental condition when it is more related to their "giftedness". Things like a child becoming bored with a curriculum can make a gifted child act out in such a way that some may think they have ADHD or ODD. Also, the misconception that gifted children *neve ...more
Emily Evans
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
More a "what" and "how" book than a "why" book, and once again, the focus is predominantly on gifted children. It's still a good book on that topic, and perhaps more concrete than "Living With Intensity" in terms of what it suggests, but it's not as useful for understanding the phenomenology of giftedness. Also in comparison with LWI, this book would likely be better to recommend to school faculty, medical professionals, and parents that are advocating for or against a particular diagnosis than ...more
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James T. Webb, Ph.D., has been recognized as one of the 25 most influential psychologists nationally on gifted education. Dr. Webb has written 16 books, over 75 professional publications, three DVDs, and many research papers for psychology conventions or for conferences regarding gifted and talented children. Six of his books are on gifted children and adults, and four have won “Best Book” awards. ...more
“Alternatively, the person may be reacting normally to an intolerable situation, but misguided professionals incorrectly focus on changing the individual rather than modifying the person’s situation or environment.” 1 likes
“When his parents announced the newest rules to Jamal, he defiantly announced back to them that, as a matter of principle, he would not be "manipulated or forced into complying with a Fascist parenting style.” 1 likes
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