Coincidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity

Cramond, B. (1995). The Coincidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

A review of the literature indicates that there are striking similarities between the behavioral manifestations of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and creativity. A brief history of ADHD is given tracing the difficulty researchers have experienced in defining and accurately diagnosing this condition. Of particular concern is the fact that the defining characteristics of ADHD, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, are also key descriptors in biographies of highly creative individuals. The possibility of an overlap in the conditions of high creativity and ADHD is proposed, and some individuals exemplary of both conditions are described. Educators and parents are cautioned to consider the practical implications of mistaking one condition for the other, and warned about the problems with diagnosing ADHD in bright and creative children. Finally, they are advised about appropriate actions to take if a child is suspected of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, referred for psychological screening, or diagnosed with ADHD.

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