Being Gifted with ADD and ADHD

ADD, ADHD, Gifted, Jonathan Carroll, ADD Coaching, ADHD Coaching

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut /

One of my most interesting are the individuals that are gifted with ADD and ADHD. Clients that are off-the-charts in ability and not achieving the types of successes he or she is capable of causes concerns on many different levels including family, friends, co-workers, teachers and most-importantly the individual.

Usually my introduction to gifted clients is always the same. It starts something like, “(Insert name here) isn’t living up to his/her potential and is struggling in (job/school/life)”. Let’s start with the word potential. It’s a word that really drives me nuts. Everyone has potential, but it is how we maximize our abilities. That is usually where I start with most clients. When I hear the word potential, I usually ask what exactly is the individual potentially trying to do. Recalibrating one’s expectations and understanding is the place to start.

Just because we’re extremely talented doesn’t mean that always translates to immediate success. Being gifted isn’t a guarantee that one will be perfect, but it certainly gives one some serious advantages. Throwing ADD/ADHD into this conversation also can add layers of complications. But there are ways that the two together can have some amazing synergy. It really starts with taking a brutally honest self-inventory and identifying where we are successful and potential areas for improvement. Understanding how both of these impact the individual in positive (and not-so-positive ways) is the key to improvement.

I do need to stress that the only way to determine one has ADD/ADHD and/or gifted is to have a full neuropsychological evaluation. As I like to say, just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck doesn’t mean it’s a duck. You should know exactly what you’re dealing with before seeking treatment. As much as I would like to say that everyone is gifted, it is a word that is often used WAY too often. There’s a difference between being talented and being gifted. Only an evaluation can shed some more light on the situation. I do also want to differentiate the difference between cognitively and physically gifted. The neurological evaluation does apply to individuals in both of these categories because you need a better picture of the individual.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit  I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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