Gifted children have always attracted the attention of society and individuals today. There are children who are properly guided by their parents or who can reveal these abilities with their own efforts. In addition to this, there are also gifted children who go unnoticed and face many problems. But what if your child has both giftedness and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? What kind of children are these children and what are their characteristics? As parents, it is very important to know the characteristics of these children and how they should be educated, in order to understand the child well and not have any difficulties. The aim of the article is to inform parents and the society they live in about the characteristics and education of gifted children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD).
To date, a number of definitions have been made for gifted children. Terman defined children with an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 140 and above as gifted. Another definition is; “Gifted and Special Talent; the individual’s existing with genetic characteristics and developing with environmental stimuli; physical growth and development, movement development, perception-attention control, cognitive development such as analysis, synthesis, problem solving, ability to understand and express language, social, emotional and aesthetic development with various observation and measurement tools in one and/or more or all areas It is the state of being more advanced than one’s peers, which can be observed and/or measured by experts.” (Prof. Dr. Necate Baykoç Dönmez, 2009).
First of all, gifted children are better able to use metacognitive strategies such as classification, using memory, remembering, and organizing (Kargı & Akman, 2003). Gifted children contain a number of features that have been identified so far. These; problem solver and different thinking ability, fast learning, inquisitiveness, making friends with older people, willingness to work independently, asking a lot of questions, being curious about different subjects, abstract thinking and comprehension skills. Although these features are seen in normal children, according to Silverman et al. (1986), 75% of these features should be displayed in gifted children. It should not be forgotten that evaluations should be made by specialists for the most accurate diagnosis. It is important for the development of the child that parents who observe most of these characteristics get professional help in the early period AND have the necessary individual intelligence tests.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) encompasses inattention, hyperactivity, and reactivity. Children with ADHD show signs of attention deficit and hyperactivity. Their typical characteristics are careless, hyperactive, aggressive, unruly, and resistant to discipline. Children with ADHD show high performance in knowing, using and remembering numbers, especially in mathematics (Lovecky & Silverman, 1998). In schools, they have difficulty taking notes and organizing ideas. But they learn faster than their peers. They are very sensitive. It has been observed that they have superior ideas in games and rule-making. They can get ideas wrong at times. Understanding these children is perhaps not as difficult as it seems. They definitely make themselves known in the environment. They can perform the same task given in a more complex way.
When these children are compared with other gifted children; They tend to have cognitive deficits, less systematic thinking ability, not using working memory adequately, solving problems with part-whole relationship, completing their work less, hurrying, changing project topics frequently, spending too long even doing simple exercises. The other thing to keep in mind is that these kids should be compared to their gifted peers, not the normal kids in their class. Today, one of the issues that parents and teachers wonder about is how the education of gifted children with ADHD should be. First of all, these children need progress in the area where they are strong and they need reinforcement in the area where they are weak. Studies in this direction should be carried out through a good expert guide. Because children with ADHD have difficulty maintaining their attention. In this respect, it is the trick to focus on the weak points first. It should also be taken into account that emotional and behavioral problems may occur in this process. The opening of special classes for these children is important in terms of organizing them. Many studies continue to be carried out for this in Turkey. Early education programs are a good opportunity to explore these children. Identifying talents in the early period contributes to their development. In addition, Science High Schools, Anatolian Fine Arts High Schools, Science and Art Centers, TUBITAK centers were established for gifted children. In summary, these programs give the opportunity to reveal the weak and strong aspects of the child. The most suitable environments are created for them. The important thing is that parents realize their children and provide suitable conditions for them. It is to be aware of ADHD disorder and being gifted and to help children become aware of themselves by getting the necessary help from experts.
REFERENCES Dönmez, NB, (2004). Gifted and Special Talented Children and Their Education. Children with Special Needs and Special Education, 284-306 Kargı, E. and Akman, B. (2003). Gifted Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Hacettepe University Faculty of Education Journal, 24 : 212-214.