ADHD Literature Review: Gifted ADHD Achievers Debra S. Mills Argosy University
This Literature Review was designed to prove, as well as, promote a customized work environment to support and increase successes in learning and achievement among the gifted ADHD student population.
This Literature Review was specifically written to answer the research question; is a customized work environment needed for gifted ADHD (twice-exceptional) students for support in the furthering of their education in order to help facilitate the intelligent learners to that which they are capable of developing into during their pre-college years. This supports the author’s hypothesis that there is a positive correlation between placement in a customized work environment and increased success among the gifted ADHD students. Better discipline ideals in a traditional classroom will always be an issue, but it is not the main reason a gifted ADHD student curriculum is claimed as important (Turk & Campbell, 2002).
Many studies of gifted ADHD children have shown them to have a heavy concentration on experiencing shortcomings of frequently viewed and accepted childhood activities and abnormal strengths in leadership skills, ingenuity, inventiveness, and/or melodious talents instead. These shortfalls need to be handled in a customized fashion for the gifted ADHD learner. The diagnosis for a gifted ADHD student is difficult. Many children are misdiagnosed and only a gifted or learning disabled child is pulled into a special customized program (Ruban & Reis, n.d.). Belasco (2005) states that twice-exceptional children react, interact, and learn differently than their counterparts and are shown to be gifted with creativity, exuberance, interpersonal intuition, and/or ecological consciousness and qualities that are beyond the educational standards (Belasco, 2005).
A concerning study by James & Dahl (2004) was made comparing suicides in adults of treated and untreated ADHD students. Researchers found a noticeable number of suicides in ADHD males 5-24 years old. Furthermore, the study claimed to prove that if the ADHD was recognized and treated, this included special customized learning programs, that it reduced suicide attempts that were noticed among the same group (James & Dahl, 2004). This is a strong reason to bring gifted ADHD students to their fullest potential; a life worth living may be our best argument. Teaching a student that otherwise would not reach his/her potential without a customized learning plan with the aim of giving them better life skills that include how to use their education to lead a more fulfilling life is what schooling is all about (James & Dahl, 2004).
Turk & Campbell (2003) rendered a case study of a fulfilling life as understood by Doug, a gifted ADHD student who made his way through the traditional school system to obtaining his dream of attending college, and then nearly failing at the college level due to lack of learned college preparation. The main reason Doug remained in college, after nearly failing his first semester, was because the college had access to a gifted ADHD customized training program source. He was formally pronounced ADHD during his elementary years, so he was qualified to use it. His case study was used with input from the teacher (friend and mentor) that helped him from his hometown years, showing a child and teenage view of working through the current educational system, with recognized needs but not gifted ADHD customized education made available. This case supports customized learning for the gifted ADHD student is what will bring success for the student (Turk & Campbell, 2002, 2003). In a study by McCoach and Reis (2002), it was found that without the knowledge given to students or their parents about the gifted ADHD education needs, children may spend more time in disciplinary action and being trained only in solving their behavior problems rather than raising their educational levels and opportunities in specialized programs. Schools have begun to recognize that their time is better spent on a specialized program helping children that learn differently succeed. Twice-exceptional children, due to the complexity of their differences, need to be taught to their highest potential in customized programs that serve that purpose (McCoach & Reis, 2002).
This concept was recognized by the Federal Government as educational needs for gifted, ADHD, gifted ADHD, Learning disabled, gifted Learning Disabled, and others in 1976. Assouline, Nicpon, & Huber (2006) explains that shortly after the Renzulli (1976) release of the Marland Report (1972) gave directions on how to follow successful program guidelines that had been created to show how to administer specialized classroom environments for teaching special children, the idea was a hit. Districts expanded their learning disabled, got excited about the gifted student challenges, but forgot the rest. Throughout the nation's schools, many of the gifted programs were developed according to the Enrichment Triad Model or the core of Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), but school systems centered the new ideas for gifted children overlooking the gifted ADHD and gifted Learning Disabled group. By 2004, the schools were still avoiding the more complex and time consuming customization of a program for the gifted ADHD student.
All evaluations of the student's performances are still on a nationally normed grade-level achievement test. So, gifted ADHD are left out of being tested positively and the gifted ADHD children that are taught in traditional classrooms may be overlooked as possible achievers, left to boredom, and considered troublemakers (Assouline, Nicpon, & Huber, 2006). Hughes (2009) gathered the school staff’s recommended that administration, staff, teachers, and parents are all needed to press beyond the obvious obstacles of the lack of funding and recognition for participating in the life fulfilling training for all children with all their learning challenges in the current school systems. It was supported that all children learn differently and currently the learning methods are geared towards the children that are most easily taught (Hughes, 2009). This need for specialized classes does not come without a price and many administrators recognize that the biggest need for the special class adjustment is substantial grant money to help pay for training and committed resources. Twice-exceptional children cannot be taught to their potential without it and a plan (Lemagie, 2008). Claiming the need for ideas, strategies for curriculum, and funding since the 1970’s to establish a great program in each school system is still not realized, but it is required to teach all levels of special students. The desire for setting up an entire plan for school districts is not enough. Action must be taken to further carry out customized learning program goals must be taken. It is time for government supported research money to be used for equipping the public school system to handle the extraordinary learners. A customized learning ‘kit’ is needed that includes straight forward training for each independent group, individual customization, and a consistent assessment method to further its success (Reis & Ruban, n.d.).
There is no proof that gifted ADHD learners have a brain pathology problem, are badly diseased, or are mentally deranged. They just require a special learning method for achievement (Belasco, 2005). Overlooked gifted ADHD-type students that need help are lost in the testing process used to identify students that need specialized programs. Currently, many of the assessments continue to look for weaknesses not strengths. A standard group of assessments or teacher training is needed to customize proper testing. Standardization is known to be needed (Ruban & Reis, n.d.).
The review of these studies show a positive correlation between student placement in a customized work environment and increased successes among the gifted ADHD learner taught in that specialized environment. In past studies, the prevailing arguments against customized curriculums for gifted ADHD students were that details of how the special curriculums were written and used were not passed on to the actual teachers who needed to use them in the classroom. In addition, current teachers and school administrators were not willing to use their scarce and precious funding that they had available for the traditional classrooms on a group of children that did not seem to exist (Turk & Campbell, 2002). While there is still some skepticism remaining, this was by far a lower level concern than what showed up in the articles presented that showed the need for special customized plans for learners (Turk & Campbell, 2002; Assouline, Nicpon, & Huber, 2006; Ruban & Reis, n.d.). These articles supported the idea that school systems should take the needs of a customized curriculum for gifted ADHD students seriously and add them to their district’s learning arrangement and funding (Turk & Campbell, 2002; Reis & Ruban, n.d.; McCoach & Reis, 2002; Hughes, 2009; Assouline, Nicpon, & Huber, 2006).
Assouline, G. A., Nicpon, M. F., & Huber, D. H. (2006). The impact of vulnerabilities and strengths on the academic experiences of twice exceptional students: A message to school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 10(1), 14.Retrieved fromhttp://wf2dnvr14.webfeat.org/SaEQO12731/url=http://ehis.ebscohost.com /ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=5&sid=4402fa33-a13e-4291-b525- 56a2c95c52ec%40sessionmgr4&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=psyh&AN=2006-13222-003Belasco, J. (2005). Seeing the bright side of ADHD. San Antonio Express News, 2 November (2005). Retrieved from http://wf2dnvr15.webfeat.org/Hughes, C. E., & Rollins, K. (2009). RTI for nurturing giftedness: Implications for the RTI school-based team. Gifted Child Today, 32(3), 31-39. Retrieved fromhttp://wf2dnvr14.webfeat.org/SaEQO12659/url=http://ehis.ebscohost.com /ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=16&sid=8d3dd0dc-048d-4a62-a370- 90bb79565d25%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ %3d%3d#db=f5h&AN=43381495James, A., Lai, F.H. & Dahl, C. (2004). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and suicide: a review of possible associations. ActaPsychiatrica Scandinavica,110(4):408-415.doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2004.00384.xLemagie, S. (2008) Gifted and challenged: When enlightening has to strike twice: Educators are trying new ways to teach "twice-exceptional," or "2x" students, many of whom qualify for both gifted and special education services. Tribune Business News Washington, 23 November(2008). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.wf2dnvr15.webfeat. org/docview/456723020/fulltext?source=fedsrch&accountid=34899McCoach, D. B., & Reis, S. M. (2002). Underachievement in gifted and talented students with special needs. Exceptionality, 10(2), 113–125. Retrieved fromhttp://wf2dnvr14.webfeat.org/SaEQO12655/url=http://ehis.ebscohost.com /ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=2&sid=9474f18f-42de-4d39-a18e- 9419937afe94%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ %3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=6615011Reis, S. M., & Ruban, L. (n.d.). Services and programs for academically talented students with learning disabilities. Theory into Practice (44)2, 148-159. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com.wf2dnvr15.webfeat.org/pdf9/pdf/2005/ TIP/01Mar05/16805897.pdf?T=P&P=AN&K=16805897&S=R&D=afh&EbscoContent=dGJyMNXb4kSep7Q4y9fwOLCmr0meqLBSsam4TLKWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGrsU2vp65KuePfgeyx44Hy7fEARuban, L. & Reis, S. M. (n.d.). Identification and assessments of gifted students with learning disabilities. Theory into Practice (44)2, 115-124. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com.wf2dnvr15.webfeat.org/pdf9/pdf/2005/ TIP/01Mar05/16805888.pdf?T=P&P=AN&K=16805888&S=R&D=afh&EbscoContent=dGJyMNXb4kSep7Q4y9fwOLCmr0meqLBSsa% 2B4TbSWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGrsU2vp65KuePfgeyx44Hy7fEATurk, T. N., & Campbell, D. A. (2003). What’s right with Doug: The academic triumph of a gifted student with ADHD. Gifted Child Today, 26(2), 40-45. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.wf2dnvr15.webfeat.org/docview/203255645/fulltextwithgraphics?source=fedsrch&accountid=34899Turk, T. N., & Campbell, D. A. (2002). What’s wrong with Doug: the academic struggles of a gifted student with ADHD from preschool to college. Gifted Child Today, 25(4), 48-60. Retrieved from http://wf2dnvr14.webfeat.org/SaEQO12744/url=http://ehis. ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=16&sid=3b6c9279-31c4-4a98- a4835881292b4a5c%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9Z Whvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=f5h&AN=8731007
These articles are not without their strengths and weaknesses. The overall strengths found in the articles used to gather research were the actual facts gathered in a good research form, attempts were made to keep variables to a minimum in the studies, and the ability of the research to be generalized by the use of more than one example used in most cases led a helpful route in understanding that each student will need a plan for success. This helps with the understanding that a gifted, gifted ADHD, and gifted learning disabled student are all in need of a customized program that will then be customized one step further to the individual student (Assouline et al., 2006; Belasco, 2005; Hughes, 2009; Lemagie, 2008; McCoach & Reis, 2002, Reis & Ruban, n.d.).There were three main weaknesses in my research articles. The study by James & Dahl (2004) is a valuable tool to use for the importance of educating gifted ADHD children, but the accuracy of suicide reasons in the study is hard to determine from the article. The Turk & Campbell ( 2002, 2003) and Hughes (2009) was where caring districts frustrated with students underachieving that could be taught, but they had no way to integrate the needed teaching into their system. More than a few schools’ testimonies are needed to increase the sample sizes of teachers willing to take on the extra work and new material needed for these students would be valuable and persuasive (Turk & Campbell, 2002, 2003; Hughes, 2009). The contrasts of the articles were in the aspect of true needs to help with the set up and success of the gifted ADHD program. It takes a good teacher and/or test to recognize the students that need the chance to learn to their potential. It takes money to create a specialized tests, curriculums, and teachers in training. Like any good design, the entire puzzle needs to be properly placed to make the program work for these special students to have optimal performance, but they did all show the need for the programs for student learning success. Further studies recommended include forging around three concepts. The first concept is how to acquire the funding and develop the necessary resources to create an ideal environment for these special students to excel and be made available to all districts. The second promotion of further studies would need to revolve about what constitutes a customized work environment for these special children in order to operationalize the concept of a good environment all the way to an individual level. Finally, all these aspects of the gifted ADHD children aren’t thought of as superficial and act like an unfinished puzzle being worked for the program’s true organization so it can be set up as a base curriculum offered; commitment to all special children, appropriate and sizeable funding for proper programs, proper testing to capture all children that qualify, dedicate special curriculum standards that can be customized per child, specialized training for the success of the teachers, and operationalize the entire work environment adjoining the proper resources needed to teach these extraordinary students how to reach their potential and with optimum performance. These actions to set up customized curriculums for districts are worth the price and time commitments to facilitate these gifted ADHD students into becoming intelligent learners and guide them to becoming whatever their productive and life fulfilling goal potential will allow them to be in our society. For the parents and the staff, it will be a reward felt like no other helping these students that would have failed to reach their maximum performance and acquire a happy and productive life without their special efforts.
Gifted ADHD Achievers
Educational Uniqueness Literature Review Hypothesis: There is a positive correlation between placement in a customized work environment and increased success among the gifted ADHD students.
Why a Literature Review? Better discipline ideals in a traditional classroom will always be an issue, but it is not the main reason a customized gifted ADHD student curriculum that is claimed as important. Research Question Overcoming Old Objections Is a customized work environment needed for gifted ADHD (twice-exceptional) students for support in the furthering of their education in order to help facilitate the intelligent learners to that which they are capable of developing into during their pre-college years.
Strengths and Weaknesses Low attention & focus Poor study habits Higher disciplinary rates Poorer grades Poor testing scores Higher suicides Heavy concentration of shortcomings in “normal” classroom activities: Abnormal strengths in “unusual” classroom activities Leadership skills Ingenuity skills Inventiveness skills Melodious talents Creativity Exuberance Interpersonal intuition Ecological consciousness
Suicides Un-treated Being Treated Lack of achievement Non-treatment Poor college skills Poor work skills Unable to establish their idea of a life worth living
How Will Gifted ADHD Spend Their Time? Bored and frustrated In disciplinary actions Being trained only in solving their behavior problems Raising their educational & skill training levels Finding future opportunities using specialized programs
Recognition vs. Action Federal Government recognized all forms of specialized educational needs in 1976 Immediate school actions for learning disabled, non-ADHD gifted, and some ADHD were implemented. No immediate school action and a very slow acknowledgment of the needed gifted ADHD customized programs to this day
Current Obstacles Nationally normed grade-level only achievement testing Lack of experienced recognition of a gifted ADHD student and/or abilities Misreading student fidgetiness and boredom Misunderstood troublemaker labels placed on a student Lack of knowledge for requesting classroom solutions including appropriate funding Lack of teacher recognition, training, and their voices heard Lack of plans, kits, and/or detailed curriculums with classrooms available or opened for customization
Lack of Recognition Unusual peer interactions Misunderstood learning habits Brain damaged or learning disabled stereotyping Standard testing performed for weaknesses rather than strengths Available specific classification of standardized testing ratings Teachers spend own personal time trying to promote, learn, and help these special children
What is needed for Customized Learning? Easy funding Standardized class curriculums with room for student customization Overcoming skepticism with action Gifted ADHD recognition Teachers, parents, administrators, and advocates taking action together Entire programs in place for examples
Notes for Slide Share in Boxnet Section NOTES Thanks for your time spent reading this important Literature Review. -D S Mills Notes consist of: Detailed interpretations of slide show Alignment with appropriate pages References