Posted by: Jess | 2008/06/02


Thought he was ADD...but is gifted


I recently had my 9 year old son tested by a child psychologist as his teacher complained that he would disrupt other kids in the class once he has finished his work, and was always first, and it was suggested he could be ADD. The tests have come back and it turns out he has
'Superior Intelligence' he missed the 'Genius' mark by 2 points. I have always known he was very clever and ahead of his peers, but now I realise just how much. I have tried to find schools for gifted children, or groups or anything related but it doesnt seem very popular in South Africa. I am just concerned now that I am not doing everything to further him, are there certain places I should take him, activities he should be doing etc. I dont want him to feel different but know that he is not being stimulated in class, the pshychologist said she would advise we convince the school to let him skip a grade as the work is too easy and is getting boring. How do I know what he should be doing, and how I can help him focus his mind, as he loses concentration easily, and becomes bored easily if something is not challenging enough?
Please let me know if there is a school, or a weekend programme etc. for gifted children in JHB.

Thank you!

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Hi Jess

You raise a number of important points in your comments.

The first is that we have no absolute method of diagnosing AD/HD and we rely on comparing behaviours of a number of similarly aged children. It is particularly relevant that your son may demonstrate concentration and behavioural issues because he is bored, and we should not jump to conclusions regarding diagnoses. It is however also noted that those kids with AD/HD are often very intelligent - so the one condition does not necessarily preclude the other. In order to piece the 2 apart it is important to consult with an expert that deals with this regularly.

I am not qualified to make educational suggestions for you but I would caution you that skipping grades often creates unexpected problems in respect of emotional maturity etc.

My suggestion is that you seek the guidance of an educational psychologist that can make reasoned arguments and suggestions after meeting and assessing your son. They are best equiped to suggest extra mural activities that would challenge and stimulate your son.


Dr Peter Velloza

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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