Joey is a bright, happy, healthy, and somewhat excitable 10 year old boy. He has been identified as gifted and has an IQ of about 165. He has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). He is receiving Special Education services at his school for what has been labeled an Emotional Disability. He has a hard time maintaining friendship with children his own age and sometimes keeps to himself and refuses to interact with the children in his class. He has a difficult time expressing his emotion in appropriate ways and finds it difficult to maintain appropriate boundaries when it comes to relationships with other people.
In this paper we will discuss whether emotional disabilities, like Joey’s, could be because of ADHD, if it has more to do with the gifted label and high IQ, or if it could be a combination of both, and how common this really is. Are children with high IQ’s more likely to have a difficult time maintaining friendships and finding appropriate ways to express emotions? Too often parents, teachers, and others put too much focus on a gifted child’s academic achievement and not enough on their emotional wellbeing (Bailey, 2011). Maybe we just spend too much time focusing on how they perform academically and we do not really understand the emotions that these children deal with. Or, perhaps there is a relationship between ADHD and having a high IQ that has not been fully examined yet.
ADHD is a cognitive developmental disorder that affects approximately 3-7% of school aged children in the United States (Gupta & Kar, 2010). It is usually described as high activity, increased impulsivity, and attention problems that affect the child in more than one setting, such as at school and at home (APA, 2000). ADHD can also cause children to have difficulty with peer relationships, academic performance and social-emotional development (Gupta & Kar, 2010). These features of ADHD can significantly decrease a child’s ability to succeed academically, socially and emotionally (Bell, 2011).
Diagnosing ADHD can be a difficult task because there is not a test or specific physiological features that identify the disorder (Gupta & Kar, 2010). This disorder is diagnosed based on behavioral observations by parents, teachers, and clinicians(Gupta & Kar, 2010). Parents and teachers report these observations subjectively, so there may be some discrepancy in the actual behaviors observed (Gupta & Kar, 2010). For a diagnosis of ADHD a child must show at least six of nine symptoms described in the DSM-IV (Gupta & Kar, 2010).
There are two subtypes included in the DSM-IV, inattentive and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Depending on the subtype in which the child shows symptoms, they would be diagnosed with one subtypes, or the combined type if they show at least six symptoms in both categories (Gupta & Kar, 2010). The symptoms must have been present before the age of 7 and the...