ADHD and mildly Gifted: Hello, I was... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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ADHD and mildly Gifted


Hello, I was hoping to connect with parents of children who are both ADHD and gifted / academically motivated to learn more about how to support his ever increasing workloads at school. He is 12.5 years old and in 7th grade. We have different organization systems in place, like a wall planner, and are trying out the Pomodoro technique. But I'm especially curious about how to find that balance between challenging him but helping to keep him from burning out or losing self-esteem. I can just see high school on the horizon and am worried that the amount of expectations that schools put on kids is going to take a toll. He's in an online school that pretty progressive and rigorous. I work FT and you all know that doing everything from home presents even more of a challenge. Thank you!

17 Replies

Thanks for the message.

Just curious when you say gifted do you mean that he has been tested and the school district recommends more advanced classes?

We have a 14 year old who is very talented in a few areas but struggles in other. Our son has just started high school and wow! There are such high expectations and so much work that if I would have known it was like this I would have changed middle school. Of course no one can predict we would be %100 online.

But he is in a block school ( some schools have 4 classes a block and other have 6-7 classes. I am so thankful we only have to deal with 4 teachers.

He is taking math, writing/english, spanish ( he needs 2 years) and intro to Engerineering. In Spanish he has at least 6-8 quizzes a week. In addition to all the zoom lectures he has about 6-7 assignments per week. Then there is studying, every night..

I am thankful our son is maintaining.. there is so much for them to handle...

In my opinion we will always have time to challange our son with other things, but high school is not the time.

I will say we have a 504 plan and all students can schedule time when they need it with the teachers.

To me school should be about learning, I find that very challenging on Zoom.

Hope this helps you predict what is coming so you can start teaching your son skills needed for high school.

Thanks for your reply! He presents as mildly gifted both from an IQ test and other criteria. Everything definitely moves slower at home, when you can't just raise your hand to get a question answered, but instead wait for the teacher to respond to your email. I also think spacing out is an issue, getting bored, feeling isolated (he's an only child), being tempted by other websites, etc. all hinder his work pace. He finishes work really slowly, and that's my main concern. I will talk to the school about a 504 plan. Is there anything else from a remote learning standpoint that could be accommodated?

There are 2 tools that can help a child who needs a 504 ( or IEP ). One is accommodations and one is modifications. Both are important! An example of an accommodation is seating arrangement ( while in person). An example of modification is the reduce the number of problems he has to do.

As far as distance learning is concerned- limit screen time, turning off camera, are just 2 examples of distance learning accommodations. There are many more that could assist him. Speak to the school about what options there are for him.

Reducing the number of problems will make it faster for him.

Good luck!

Hi. 7th grade was tough. Seemed like most days he was doing homework until 9pm or after. His biggest obstacle was the needless repetition. For example, in math, he would grasp the concept in a question or 2, but the teacher would always assign 10 or more questions which took, literally, hours to complete. His 504 plan called for the elimination of redundancy (something like allow to demonstrate mastery of topic with less repetition). Of course the teachers were supposed to limit the number of questions but NEVER did. Their argument was always that they did not assign anything redundant and that there was no unnecessary repetition; everything they assigned was equally important. However, they would say he wouldn't be penalized for not finishing all of them. My son is such a perfectionist and a "pleaser" that he always wanted to complete anthing they assigned. As we all deal with with the twice exceptional kids, the school saw the excellent grades and didn't appreciate how much work they were putting on him. The ONLY thing that finally worked is that I put a strict time limit on homework per topic. When he spent that amount of time, I wrote "Timed out" in red and signed it. I emailed the teachers and asked any with an issue about that to call my cell. No one ever called. So, in short, asking the teachers to limit the questions or homework never worked. Limiting it myself usually did. I tried not to fight with my son about it. If he insisted upon finishing despite it taking hours to do so, I usually allowed it.

For us, the remote learning in the spring was great. It was like a different world. It eliminated all fo the wasted time in class and he could just focus on his studies and work at home which resulted in him being finished most days by3 or 4pm, a HUGE improvement over when school was live.

He started in a new school today live. We'll see how that goes. Good luck.

Marin_Mom in reply to ADHD_DAD

Thank you! It definitely helps to know I'm not alone. Yes, he has gotten a workload reduction in the past, but this new school is very project based, so I'm unclear how to do that without it affecting the final project. I'll have to keep an eye on redundancy where there is mastery.

You should look into resources for 2E kids.


Bright & Quirky Idea Lab


Mike Postma

Sarah Ward Executive Function

My son is above grade level in math and ELA (4th grade) but he has skill deficits. I haven’t had a full neuropsych eval but am considering it. I’d like to know if he is 2E, so we can better address his needs but it is expensive.

If you are specifically interested in helping with Executive Function deficits, you must google Sarah Ward. She has practical strategies that you can implement immediately. I have seen improvement in my son. I saw her speak in a webinar through Bright & Quirky and TEFOS.

I’m not sure if this is the full videos or just highlights, but check it out.

Marin_Mom in reply to 123boys

Thank you!! It sounds like 2e strategies could help your child. Have you heard of Seth Perler?

123boys in reply to Marin_Mom

Yes, Seth Perler runs the TEFOS summit. He is great!

My son is exactly the same and is 12.5 too!!!! He is a avid reader (since 3) and extremely smart in science with a very good memory. The ADHD is very challenging at times. He is up there on the hyper part of the ADHD! Acting out lately. Are you finding this too? He is ata charter school, that is a bit on the lax side of structure and learning but gives him less restrictions to help creative learning. Still on the fence if he will stay there. Good luck,and it sounds like we have similar children for sure.


My son is 10 years old (5th grade). He has ADHD - hyperactive/impulsive version. Although I think that has changed to be Combo version over the last year or two. He is very advanced academically in math and reading. He is bored having to sit through the zoom mtgs when they cover math and reading. I'm working with his teacher to find things to challenge him.

My daughter is 9 years old (4th grade). She is just now being diagnosed with ADHD - Combo version. She is very smart, but additionally struggles with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and anxiety. This makes school very difficult for her.

My suggestion for a 7th grader is to find something that really interests him and have him pursue it. If it's science, then do Science Olympiad. If it's math, do Math Club. If it's nature, volunteer at your local nature center. Etc. I know it's harder due to the pandemic, but it's still possible. For any one topic you can find tons of things he can do. If you already know his interests, please list them and I will do my best to provide suggestions.

With my son, I am having trouble helping him find things he's interested in (other than playing video games). With my daughter, she has too many things she's interested in (and none of them relate to academics).

Take care,


Marin_Mom in reply to Aloysia

Thank you! We definitely support his interests, but find that as he gets older he has less time for extracurriculars because of the workload increase. He is working 10-12 hours a day just to get it all done.

Aloysia in reply to Marin_Mom

That is not ok. 7 hours of class time + 2-3 hours of HW per day is plenty. Plus 2 hours/day of HW on weekends. As ADHD_DAD mentions, you need to work with the school and individual teachers to get that number down to something more manageable. Cutting out activities that he likes will just make him more stressed and depressed.

Marin_Mom in reply to Aloysia

He only has 2 hours of zoom class 4 days a week. The rest he works independently and has time to attend office hours. But yes, somethings off!

On most school there is a time limit and when it is reached you write that at the top.

Just curious..what takes so long? Writing? Comprehension? That is really important to figure out for example if it is writing- ask for the use of an electronic device ( there are controls to stop students from using inappropriate areas of the computer).

Hope all thos helps. I hope you can get to an educational specialist to help you/him because school just gets harder and more work.

He has to have a balance..

Thanks. What takes so long is the amount of work that is being assigned and the fact that everything is project based. We are having a tutor work with him weekly both academically and on EF. What might need to happen is a reduction in workload somehow or deadline extensions.

Just curious have you spoken to the other parents of the children in his class to see if they are also taking as long to complete the work. It is always hard to compare our kids to their kids, but if they are also spending as much time on the assignments. Also, are his teachers aware that it is taking him that long?

Sorry you have to witness that with him.

Same. My son had to give up sports and all extracurricular activities except scouts (which he frequently missed) due to home work. Below are his accommodations to address that. As noted, teacher compliance was the biggest problem. I scheduled monthly progress meetings with the teachers last year (pre-covid remote learning) to assist them with compliance when the plan wasn't being followed, but as noted, the only thing that really worked was limiting the homework myself.

1.Homework/ assigned projects

a.Teacher will provide written copy of instructions given verbally or via smart board

b.Teacher will break larger assignments into individual steps with specific, written instructions and written due dates for each step and final project

c.Decrease number of homework problems to show mastery with less repetition –teacher is to designate problems/ questions which are optional

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