Saturday, February 24, 2018

You’re Too Smart to Have ADHD

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under In the News

Does this sound familiar? Or how about this variation: “Your child is very intelligent, therefore he/she does not need (select one of the following: medication, accommodations, an IEP, or additional help/support).”

I don’t know about you folks, but I can say first hand that this is the kind of thinking we tend to run into when dealing with many in our children’s school district. The people I have come to know online who have ADD or ADHD, as children or adults, have related countless stories like this. Many explain how as teens and adults they have had medical professionals tell them that they can’t have ADD or ADHD simply because they are not fidgeting in their chairs or can look the doctor in the eye while speaking. Why bother with studying DNA when we have these geniuses? Conduct new research studies? Why would we do that when we have the “fidget scale”, which is bullet-proof! I suppose some of these medical professionals would suggest leeches or a blood-letting instead.

A recent study performed by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine shows indications that being smart is no defense against the negative effects of ADHD. They looked at individuals with IQ scores over 120. These individuals are representative of the top 9%, in intelligence, in the U.S. Comparing the behaviors of those in this group, with and without ADHD, they discovered that the ADHDr’s showed significant impairment in memory and cognitive tests, compared to their non-ADHD counterparts. Approximately 73% of the ADHDr’s studied showed significant executive function impairments in five or more of the eight measures used.

Thomas E. Brown is the assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and lead author of the study. According to Dr. Brown, “Many of these people are told they can’t be suffering the loss of executive function (the ability to plan and carry out many day-to-day tasks) from ADHD because they are too smart.”

The ADHDr’s lacked self-management skills and the ability to focus. They tended to procrastinate and be forgetful. They also demonstrated difficulty in harnessing their talents to complete many daily tasks.

The report used the following analogy: “Each of these individuals might be compared to a symphony orchestra of very talented musicians who cannot produce adequate symphonic music because the orchestra lacks an effective conductor,”

Philipp C. Reichel and Donald M. Quinlan of Yale co-authored the paper. The report will be published in the September 2009 print edition of the Journal of Attention Disorders. The following link, provides access to the report in its current state: .

I can see the comments on this one now – “I’m printing this out and giving this to my child’s teacher/principal/doctor.” More power to you.

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