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High IQ and ADHD

Researchers at Yale have found that a high IQ does not give immunity to ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder).

The research team led by Thomas E. Brown, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, found that 73% of ADHD individuals with an IQ of more than 120, which puts them in the top nine percent of the population, showed significant impairments in memory and cognitive tests when compared to people with similar IQ’s who do not have ADHD

The report, which has not yet been published in the print edition of the Journal of Attention Disorders, is now available online

"Many of these people are told they can’t be suffering the loss of executive function from ADHD because they are too smart," said Brown. The executive function is the ability to plan and carry out many day-to-day tasks and remembering something in the short-term memory while carrying out another task.

The high-IQ, ADHD group lacked self-management skills and the ability to focus. They tended to procrastinate and be forgetful and had difficulty in applying their abilities to complete many daily tasks. In fact, 73% of them showed significant deficits in five or more of the eight measures of executive function.

“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,” Brown said.

An interesting fact from this study is that ADHD occurs more commonly in this high IQ group than in the general population.

True ADHD is not a deficiency in the ability to think and focus, but the inability to carry out mundane tasks the person feels are boring. An ADHD person has the ability to hyperfocus when doing a stimulating task. That is how many people with ADHD succeed. ADHD can be seen as a boredom intolerance. It is not a question of willpower, but a real inability.

In 1798, the Scottish physician Alexander Crichton described something that his patients called “The Fidgets.” He wrote, “Every public teacher must have observed that there are many to whom the dryness and difficulties of the Latin and Greek grammars are so disgusting that neither the terrors of the rod, nor the indulgence of any kind entreaty can cause them to give their attention to them.”

Sounds a lot like boredom intolerance.

Autism and ADHD

Clayton Tauscher, who has autism and ADHD, graduated with a history major from the University of Tennessee despite his disabilities. He now plans to pursue a doctorate.

"Seeing his hard work, his perseverance and how he stuck to everything, I'm just so proud of that," said Clayton's mother, Darla Tauscher, who has become a special educator. "God put wonderful teachers in his path and just put the right people there for him every year," she said.

Maybe the disability is in our society's self-centered attitudes. Caring for our family, friends and neighbours would solve many of our social problems. God is a God of relationships. A relationship with God gives the peace and inner strength to help each other.

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