6 Year Old May Be Artistically Gifted So....

Updated on January 11, 2012
E.M. asks from Boulder, CO
12 answers

Do we do anything about it? From what I've read online, that being artistically gifted doesn't mean much in school, other than
the child will do some of the best artwork in the class. She has ADHD and hyper-focuses on her art and does some amazing stuff for her age. As far as school work, she gets bored quickly, writes her numbers backwards almost all the time and is pretty wiggly. Two questions: if we choose to medicate as she gets older for the more "boring schoolwork" will it affect her art? And two, do I bother talking to the teacher about her art? She is the best artist in her class for sure but she does her best work at home when she can really hyper-focus without the distractions of the classroom (and not be rushed on to something else).
I am attaching a picture she did tonight that I posted on Facebook. Check out the chain link in her chandelier. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2844509479191&amp...

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answers from Los Angeles on

Found a site that may be of interest to you:

In opening it says:
Art and arts therapy, can be an effective therapy for persons suffering with symptoms of ADHD. In fact, for ADHD, it might be one of the most single most effective therapies to help children and adults to concentrate, slow down and stabilize.

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answers from San Francisco on

You should remove your link as it will probably get pulled (the autobots at mamapedia will assume you are trying to sell something.)
Art is not like math and science, it is very subjective. I'm sure your daughter is a wonderful artist (my adhd girl is as well) but "boring schoolwork" is VERY important. My daughter is in the 7th grade and getting lots of instructional support. She is not yet medicated (though I will consider it depending how much she continues to struggle going into 8th grade and high school.)
I know some very talented artists, writers and musicians. Unfortunately that is not how they make their living, best case scenario they are making money to supplement their family's income.
I guess what I'm saying is that very, very few people can support themselves on their artistic ability. You need to make sure your daughter gets a quality fundamental education as well. Hopefully you can find the balance that supports both giving her real world skills while keeping her artistic talent and passion alive :)

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answers from Williamsport on

It's not really school thing. I'm a painter, have always been super gifted in art, all the kids are showing skill and interest, and I have no intention of getting the schools involved going forward, unless the kids want to attend art colleges one day. Our homeschool network (I may not always homeschool in future) has art classes weekly and I don't even participate because the kids do so much art at home already. My daughter did great art in her K4 class during craft time etc. She's now in kindergarten at home. The walls are covered in her drawings and paintings. I have a full art studio and easels and art supplies all around.

The best thing you can do imo is focus on the academics and behavior for her school hours, and let her do art at home. Granted, part of the reason we chose homeschool is to leave plenty of time for music and art lessons since the required academics only take a couple of hours, not all day in kindergarten level, but still, I wouldn't expect more than the standard time allotted for school art class if she was in school.

In high school my art teacher let me branch off and do my own advanced drawing etc instead of crafts in our art class, so there are ways they can "address" her art interest, but focusing on it in school should be left for older ages. At this age she needs to sponge up information in all subjects and practice behavior to set good habits going forward. If you think she needs more formal instruction in just art you could get her into private art classes, but sounds like she's doing well on her own! You don't want to burn her out on it. You can mention to her teacher where her gift lies in case they are the type of teacher to take an interest or think of something extra for her during art time. As she gets older, you can look into lessons and art based schools depending where you live. I didn't do any extra art in regular school though (until one year of art school in college) but through life since school I have done workshops and art leagues and self study and paint much more now than I used to. She doesn't have to focus on it at this age more than she does already if it would take away from other more challenging subjects during school ours. The boring stuff has to be learned too.

As for medicating. Good work questioning how it my negatively affect her. I don't know the answer, but anything that dulls her passion would directly impact her art imo. Many of the best artists throughout history would have been medicated if they were born now. Maybe they would have achieved as much amazing expression. Maybe not. Maybe they wouldn't have died young and drank themselves to death either..who knows. Good question. It freaks me out when people say their kids are "more level" on meds. Not judging them if their life was an unmanageable nightmare despite all efforts at natural treatment and discipline for behavior, they need to do what they need to do, but I would have to be looking down the barrel of a pretty big gun before putting my kids on anything.

I definitely have ADHD, was never diagnosed or medicated THANK GOD. I did however take a "safe" antidepressant for a year as a teen (which was later taken off market for causing irregular heartbeats) Coincidence? I have an irregular heartbeat. Hmmm. I would do anything in my power to keep my young child off meds, art or no art. I don't trust those claims at safety for one millisecond. Every drug is called "safe" until they pull it off the shelves for not being safe.

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answers from Madison on

Have your daughter focus her best attentions on her schoolwork at school and encourage her drawing/painting/artwork at home. If she is good and has promise, I would look into private lessons so that she can blossom to her best ability. She might have two or three areas where she's really good artwise, or she might have one area she really excels at.

A child prodigy in art who was home schooled so she could really focus on her masterpieces is Akiane. Akiane is now a teenager, 15 or 16 years old. Her flaire for art started when she was about 6 years old. Check out her artwork at http://artakiane.com. She is self-taught. Her work is etheral and absolutely amazing. I go to her site every few months just to gaze at her beautiful pictures. Your daughter would enjoy looking at her work.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Dang it, cant see the link and I would love to look at it! I am an art lover!

Maybe time for a switch to 'art' school...if you have the ability?

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answers from Austin on

I could not see the link, but I will tell you, medicating her in no way will have an effect on her art.

Instead, it will allow her to concentrate on whatever she is working on.. School work, reading, conversations or art. My husband is ADHD and the few times he did use medication it really helped. He has an art backgound and was always afraid it would alter his work, but it did not.

Our daughter has also always been artistic and was published early in middle school and a few times also in High School. She seemed to gravitate towards graphic arts in the beginning.

She did a few classes but really wanted her own style to be nurtured in the early years. Once she started having a preference of different types of art, she then would seek out classes. Lots of the local museums offered classes so she took some different ones that appealed to her.

Our neighborhood schools each had amazing art instructors so she always did great with them. She then attended our neighborhood High School that is the Fine Arts Academy and was able to be part of that program and graduated with a Honors in Visual Art as well as All honors Academic diploma.

She is now a double major in College with Studio Art as well as Psychology. She has discovered her passions in Sculpting and welding! But is also studying graphic arts and her drawing has really expanded.

Keep your daughter supplied in all of the tools to explore.. even sidewalk chalk.. Paints, clay, knitting, drawing, crafts.. Puppets. Stories.. All of this will foster her talent and imagination.. Take her to all sorts of art festivals, concerts, museums and nature.. Even a camera.. She will constantly see the world differently than the rest of us.. It is an adventure for all of you.

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answers from Anchorage on

No point in talking to her teacher, it is her job to foster learning, not art. If you feel she is talented and you want to foster it than sign her up for art classes outside of school. As for if I think she has talent, I can't open the link so I can't say.

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answers from Denver on

Okay I can't see the link. But I am an adult with ADHD that suspects my daughter is like me (inattentive not hyper). I focus better WHILE drawing. We have decided to homeschool next year.
I wanted to edit to say that we are beginning art classes in march :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Sadly, its not a very valued skill. But that does not mean it won't give her satisfaction and a skill to be proud of. Not everyone who is musically gifted or inclined gets to be a concert pianist or gets a record deal, but that does not mean that they don't truly enjoy music as an end in itself, as something that enhances their enjoyment of life. Treat art the same way and keep it extra curricular. As someone who is creative and artistically talented, and has seen a number of peers pursue a line of work in creative fields, I would encourage you not to overemphasize it as her life pursuit. Most everyone I know who pursed art had to change gears, face reality, and use other more marketable skills to make a living. That said, here are many lines of work where creativity can come in handy- like teaching. My advice is yes, encourage her to make it part of her life and part of her identity, but put more emphasis on "conventional school subjects". FYI, the more focused I am the better the art I produce.


answers from Philadelphia on

you should make it your profile pic, i cant open it either=) I cant give advice about other things, i have relatives with it, but until you've lived it or your child had you probably don't comlpetely know, so I cant answer your question. I like the idea of teaching her through art though.


answers from Tucson on

Can't see your link. You might put her in an art class. I wouldnt talk to her teacher about it unless she brings it up. Dont know about the meds.
You are a proud mama and a good one!



answers from San Diego on

I'm so frustrated for you. My daughter goes to a school where art is incorporated in everything they learn and is encouraged because of the right/left brain connection. I wonder if you can find a school that appreciates your daughter's unique abilities.

Art is learning!!!

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