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vgoss

5 year old focus problems, I don't know what to do next

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Hi everyone.....

 

This is my first time turning to any sort of community on a forum for anything, so please forgive any indiscretion of the rules.... I'm learning. :)

 

My 5 year old has just started Kindergarten this year and I had this fantastic dream about how it would be.... he was going to be great and smart and show the teacher how awesome he is and he was going to love school.  My dream was glorious.  Well, guess what, it did not happen like that. 

 

He was born in May so he's a young Kindergartener and maybe that has something to do with it.... or maybe not.  I'm at the end of my rope on what I need to do to help him.

 

He is in trouble almost every day for "not listening/following directions" and he's in trouble in music class for "not paying attention".  We are so very frustrated.  He was referred by his teacher to a Speech Pathologist because she thought maybe he had an Auditory Processing Disorder or simply could not hear her..... it came back perfectly fine, and his vocabulary score was in the 80th percentile nationally....so he understands what is said. We took him to see an Audiologist and discovered some water behind his ear drums so we are doing a repeat test in about a week to see if it's cleared up....I think this is an incidental finding and not relevant but maybe next week I'll be told otherwise.

 

He takes iStation national exams each month and he is consistently in the 70-90th percentile nationally in every subject.  He's in the 89th % in math and I have had to ban him from all mathematics apps at home because he will singularly do ONLY that for hours if I don't stop him.  He will sit on a book app that he has (Farfaria) for HOURS quietly to himself if allowed..... right now we only let him do that in the evenings and it has to be moderated because he'll stay awake half the night if I'm not careful about making sure it's turned off.  The app reads books to him, we love it.... it highlights the words as he goes along and reads the books to him. If it's a book he can read himself he reads it without the audio.  He obviously has a high enough listening comprehension to listen to these books.  The ones he listens to are usually Lexile ~ 400 which is 2nd grade reading.  I recognize that he's listening to content and not reading so I'm not jumping up and down saying "My special snowflake reads at a 2nd grade level." because he just LISTENS to books in this category and isn't reading them for himself.... although he can read at an 'above average' level for Kindergarten, overall reading is about 70th percentile and reads at about a 1st grade level.

 

His teacher says he talks non-stop..... but he's giving full and complete summaries of the books he reads or the things that he feels like are important or applicable to a given situation and sometimes it's hard to realize he's actually telling an applicable story because he has to tell the ENTIRE story before he feels like you (as the listener) will understand.  I can understand the teacher - she doesn't have time for that.

 

We took him to his primary care doctor to have focus issues evaluated and he said he would not test a 5 year old boy for ADD/ADHD.... he is young for Kindergarten and to wait until after 1st grade to worry about it.  He told us to be happy with his test scores and move on with life, basically. That's great except I think the teacher is as frustrated as I am. She doesn't think he's bored....she thinks he has ADHD, I am certain.  He has zero hyperactivity though (both me and the teacher agree here)....I know there is an inattentive type though as well.

 

He recently started answering for other kids in class.... his answers aren't wrong, but we had to explain to him that when it isn't his turn he is stealing the opportunity to learn from other students.  He seemed horrified and I doubt that will happen again.... he's just so dang proud that he knows the answers.

 

To summarize, I don't think that he's overly exceptional.... he's above average academically, but his behavior in class....leaves something to be desired.

 

 

 

 

I will also list a few of his milestone highlights, maybe that will give someone some insight because I just have none right now.

 

He was able to hold his head up when he was born and began rolling over shortly after.  He began walking when he was 7 months old (Yes, I have pictures, I'm not overly arrogant or crazy)....his gross motor skills were/are off the charts. He competes in Taekwondo with kids that are 7-9 and he holds his own perfectly fine.

 

He did not talk in anything but sign language until he was 3 years old..... we scheduled a speech pathologist appointment at that time, and talked to his preschool teachers about it. I felt like if he was using sign language he was still communicating, but I knew he should be talking.  Right before his appointment he suddenly began to talk in full and complete sentences with a decent understanding of grammar (past tense, future, possession).  It was like the twilight zone.  Suddenly we had a little man instead of a mute child. We did not take him to the speech path since it clearly had resolved itself (Though we have taken him now, and he's fine).

 

His fine motor skills are hideous.  He avoids any activity that might use them.... his handwriting is atrocious and he much prefers any sort of learning game on a tablet/computer to anything he has to write....he HATES writing.  We've been working on the fine motor skills, but it's a challenge to get him to do much of anything if he has to write/use tweezers or whatever.

 

Also of note: He's the oldest child of two.... his younger brother is 2 years old and I can tell already that the younger child develops differently.  The younger child seems to simply get slowly better at all skills each day rather than have super strong points and super weak ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you asking on a homeschooling board because you want to learn about homeschooling your child? 

I'd definitely pull him out of school but hey - I'm a hard core homeschooler and even if I wasn't, Kindy is optional where I live & I think it's downright damaging to expect kids to sit in a classroom at that age....

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Welcome!

 

I wouldn't worry about it.  Yes, I agree with hornblower that I would homeschool him.  He sounds accelerated to me and this forum has an accelerated board. 

 

I know someone who is like your son, and this child is gifted. 

 

I'm not quite sure what to make of his handwriting though.  I do know that boys tend to write at a later age than girls.  But I have nothing else to go on. 

 

You may want to copy and paste your question onto the accelerated board and see what answers you get there as well. 

 

Hope this helps.

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Does your son drive you crazy at home, or is this mainly an issue at school?

 

Unless this is a global issue, I would continue to let him develop at his own pace for now.  He sounds like a little boy.  In my experience, some teachers are biased against younger boys in school (or younger girls for that matter) and find "problems" where there are none.

 

Continue to advise your son on behaviors to help him finish KG without undue drama.  I assume he will be promoted to 1st grade because he has the test scores and is not terrorizing his class (talking is not dangerous).

 

As a general comment, I wonder how teachers think they know whether or not a young child is paying attention.  If your son knows the KG material then he must have heard something from somewhere.

 

One of my kids (who is intellectually advanced) tends to have a delay between hearing an instruction and following it.  It can look like she is ignoring, but it's not that.  Could that be happening with your son?  I don't think it's a big problem, but it might be helpful to talk it over with the teacher so she might be more patient about it.

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Does he do what you ask him to do at home? Are there consequences when he doesn't or do you just remind him or verbally correct him. He sounds like a normal five year old boy. But it sounds like maybe he needs motivation to *listen* and the first thing to explore is whether he thinks he needs to listen or not. In my house I found the things I just handled verbally without loss of priveledge were deemed optional by my boys.

 

Also explore his screen time. It seems like a lot for a five year old.

 

All kids are in progress and behavior in K isn't really indicative of maturity or school performance in third or fourth grade. So much of primary school (I taught first and second grade for a decade) is learning social behaviors. Kids learn those at different ages and paces.

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He could just be a 5 year old boy who needs more time to mature, but I do see some of the things you mention do make me think there might be more going on.  His behavior certainly does seem to be impacting his life at school, so that alone would make me want to do something.  I have chosen to homeschool my kiddos with similar behaviors; I can provide a much more appropriate environment for them then the school could.  We also seek evaluations because medication allows my ADHD kids to thrive and really enjoy life rather than struggle and feel perpetually frustrated and discouraged.

 

While I think most agree that 5 is a bit young to test for ADHD, in my experience testing at 6 is common, and with a May birthday, your son will be there before you know it.

 

My older boys who are 6 and 8 both have ADHD.  I will be having my 4.5 year old (July birthday), who has MANY of the same behaviors as your son, tested in about year.  Knowing that in my area it takes 6-9 months to get in for an evaluation, I will be calling shortly after his 5th birthday.  I want to make sure that the testing is done during the school year so that his teachers can fill out the evaluation forms.  (He will be homeschooled, but have outsourced art and Spanish teachers who will have had about 5 months of experience with him by that point.)  I think the evaluations are much more accurate if the tester can hear from multiple adults about how the child behaves in different settings.

 

I am about 90% sure DS will get an ADHD diagnosis and then we will start him on the same medication as his brothers.  It has been life changing for them (and us), and I can't wait to see how he does on it.

 

Wendy

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It sounds like he has a hard time making a short summary?  He has a hard time picking up on social cues, to talk less? 

 

Is he able to give a short summary without going into "too much" detail?  Can he pick out more important and less important details?  I mean, is it an excessively long summary with many unimportant details, if that makes sense.

 

Just to try to pinpoint things more, those are two things that jump out at me. 

 

It does also jump out at me that you are surprised that this is how Kindergarten is going.  Was he in pre-school or anything like that?  Is this his first time in a group situation?  How has he done in the past? 

 

 

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It sounds like he is an incredibly bright and enthusiastic learner being required to sit for long periods of time doing things that he already knows how to do.  He is not allowed to show off that knowledge or work at his actual academic level.  He sounds bored, regardless of what the teacher thinks.  5 year olds frequently need a LOT of physical activity, as well.  If the class is mainly sitting for hours on end then he may really be struggling to focus because his body needs to move.  This is developmentally normal.  Kids function on a range.   At this point your child's needs are not being met in this classroom.  Now you need to figure out what to do about it.  Do you allow the school to continue to label him as an issue, do you try to essentially beat him into compliance emotionally so that he properly conforms to the expectations of the classroom or do you take some leaps of faith and advocate for your child (not in a special snowflake way but in a realistic and developmentally normal expectations sort of way)?

 

My suggestions for you, before your son starts to internalize that he is "bad" when all he really seems to be suffering from is being a very bright and active child, is to either have a meeting with the teacher/school officially to discuss options, get an evaluation through a neuropsychologist to determine if he is perhaps gifted, and/or find a different school or homeschool him.

 

I know this is hard for you.  BTDT.  You are not alone.  Hugs.  Big hugs.  Hang in there.  Keep posting.  Hopefully responses on this thread will help you to help your son.

 

ETA:   And yes he may well get an ADD diagnosis further down the road but RIGHT NOW he is needing things the classroom is not providing him and he is being punished for that mismatch.  It can do a lot of emotional damage.  He sounds very bright and like a normal, active 5 year old.  He also sounds, though, like he may have some fine and gross motor skills challenges.  An evaluation through an Occupational Therapist might net you some helpful answers regarding his other issues regarding writing/etc..

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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What tests did the SLP run? And it was private or school? He's too young to have been cleared on the APD, and you should go through the language scores yourself, just to be sure. My ds had a 99th percentile vocabulary, was listening to college lectures at that age, and he *did* have subtle language issues going on. Sometimes things will be subtle, so you want to watch carefully.

 

At some point you're going to have to decide what you want to DO about it. So what if you had a ped diagnose it? What do you want to DO about it? You want to medicate him so he can be still in a class setting where he's functioning multiple grades above all the other kids and bored? Have you actually gone in and observed? He sounds horribly, horribly bored, frankly. Medicating for boredom doesn't make sense.

 

He's young, very bright, has EF issues (Executive Function), and maybe someday over the next few years, will get some kind of diagnosis, yes. What you should do now is:

 

-read Bright, Not Broken

-get psych testing when he is newly 6 to get an IQ and get anything diagnosed that they're ready to diagnose

-do some reading on Social Thinking. He would benefit from this.

-work with the school to get him identified as gifted or pull him out and solve the academic problems yourself

 

He would be an excellent candidate and AMAZING to homeschool, but if you don't think that's an option than look for an alternative placement, something that has structure but more flexibility to meet kids where they are.

 

PS. For the psych testing, use a psych from Hoagie's Gifted. 

Edited by PeterPan
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Are you asking on a homeschooling board because you want to learn about homeschooling your child? 

 

I'd definitely pull him out of school but hey - I'm a hard core homeschooler and even if I wasn't, Kindy is optional where I live & I think it's downright damaging to expect kids to sit in a classroom at that age....

FWIW, this is not a homeschoolers only board.  All are welcome.

 

To expand on this, there are many parents on WTM that are not homeschooling or are not strictly homeschooling or no longer homeschool, especially here on the Learning Challenges board.  Implying that this is a homeschooler's only board can inadvertently chase away parents seeking help and is not an accurate depiction.  This is a great resource for ALL parents seeking to help their child.  I would not want anyone to feel they did not belong here simply because they are not homeschooling.  Some of the LC members have never homeschooled.  Some stopped homeschooling or once had their kids in brick and mortar and only started homeschooling later in their child's lives.  And so forth.  They still come here and share and ask questions. 

 

It is a gift to have many voices from many different academics circumstances help each other out.  

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The problem for very bright kids in the system is that sometimes their STRENGTHS mask their WEAKNESSES. So he's kicking out so much language (memorized), that people are just assuming he has a motor mouth and has tons of language comprehension and skills. 

 

I'm just saying I wouldn't assume people are right and I wouldn't assume one thing means another. For my ds, it has been a process of teasing apart these amazing strengths that were covering subtle but definite weaknesses.

Edited by PeterPan
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Oh I think Hornblower was just trying to be polite. :)  If you don't ask, then people claim you're all homeschooling gestapo and ramming it down everyone's throat. Get burnt enough and it sorta seems no win.

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Thank you all so much for your answers.....honestly it feels great just to talk about it.

 

So let me try to elaborate on some of the replies so far...

 

I agree he gets quite a bit of screen time - he gets some even at school working iStation/computer lab then we allow Farfaria (the book app I mentioned) at home before bed.  TV and Video games are a rare occurrence however....a couple times a month.

 

At home I don't feel like he has this sort of problem....he does have a running litany all day, but if I ask him to repeat what I've said he can still do that most of the time, so I haven't made it into an issue.  He sits at our dining room table to do homework and the entire time he talks out loud while he writes.

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It sounds like he is an incredibly bright and enthusiastic learner being required to sit for long periods of time doing things that he already knows how to do.  He is not allowed to show off that knowledge or work at his actual academic level.  He sounds bored, regardless of what the teacher thinks.  5 year olds frequently need a LOT of physical activity, as well.  If the class is mainly sitting for hours on end then he may really be struggling to focus because his body needs to move.  This is developmentally normal.  Kids function on a range.   At this point your child's needs are not being met in this classroom.  Now you need to figure out what to do about it.  Do you allow the school to continue to label him as an issue, do you try to essentially beat him into compliance emotionally so that he properly conforms to the expectations of the classroom or do you take some leaps of faith and advocate for your child (not in a special snowflake way but in a realistic and developmentally normal expectations sort of way)?

 

My suggestions for you, before your son starts to internalize that he is "bad" when all he really seems to be suffering from is being a very bright and active child, is to either have a meeting with the teacher/school officially to discuss options, get an evaluation through a neuropsychologist to determine if he is perhaps gifted, and/or find a different school or homeschool him.

 

I know this is hard for you.  BTDT.  You are not alone.  Hugs.  Big hugs.  Hang in there.  Keep posting.  Hopefully responses on this thread will help you to help your son.

 

ETA:   And yes he may well get an ADD diagnosis further down the road but RIGHT NOW he is needing things the classroom is not providing him and he is being punished for that mismatch.  It can do a lot of emotional damage.  He sounds very bright and like a normal, active 5 year old.  He also sounds, though, like he may have some fine and gross motor skills challenges.  An evaluation through an Occupational Therapist might net you some helpful answers regarding his other issues regarding writing/etc..

 

 

ALL OF THIS.....Until K he was happy and confident and last night he told me he was "bad" which is a word we never EVER use....he told me "Something is wrong with my brain"..... Now I'm crying lol

Edited by vgoss

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I get sad when I read about a perfectly delightful and enthusiastic boy being “punished†for being developmentally appropriate. It’s the setting that is not developmentally appropriate. If you are not interested in homeschooling then my suggestion would be to find something like a Montessori school for him.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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If you want answers, eval. If you want good answers, do it privately, not through the ps. Some ps really nail it, but it's a hard system with a different set of questions you're asking. If you can make private evals happen, that's what you want. You are asking important questions, and a good psych who specializes in gifted, is the person to answer them. 

 

I had my ds eval'd at newly 6. By the time you find a psych and get on their wait list, your ds will be 6. So you won't eval like a month earlier, because flipping to 6 lets the run a few more tools. At that time, the private psych won't be hesitant the way your ped is. ;)  

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ALL OF THIS.....Until K he was happy and confident and last night he told me he was "bad" which is a word we never EVER use....he told me "Something is wrong with my brain"..... Now I'm crying lol

 

If K5 is not mandated in your state, pull him out, my lands. 

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I think this worrying over screen time is overrated. Like it's a concern, but you have plenty of other things to be concerned about here. The question is whether he can TRANSITION from the screens. You're saying he gets stuck on them. So if you go up and give him a warning, like hey in 5 minutes we're going to take a break and go (play ping pong, walk to the park, play a board game, do something highly preferred), can he transition and do it? If you give him the warnings at 5, 3, and 1 minutes, can he make that transition?

 

If you get him engaged and are trying to play, how is his turn taking? Is he impulsive? Does he require prompts? What happens if he loses the game?

 

How varied are his interests? Are they similar to other kids or more quirky or restricted?

 

Do kids at school like him? Does he get invited over for playdates?

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I get sad when I read about a perfectly delightful and enthusiastic boy being “punished†for being developmentally appropriate. It’s the setting that is not developmentally appropriate. If you are not interested in homeschooling then my suggestion would be to find something like a Montessori school for him.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Ok, I'm just going to play devil's advocate here. If this is a half day k5 in a very progressive school, it may not be so inappropriate developmentally. They may be providing plenty of supports. He may be struggling more than his peers and have it not be the school's fault, and blaming the school setting then becomes a copout for not identifying the real issues and need for support.

 

I agree, like me, I'm all onboard with an answer of pull him out, play games every day for 2 hours, build together, read, screw the system. The system is MESSED UP and it's clearly not serving this child. But that *doesn't* mean the system was developmentally inappropriate. It could mean that he was not matching up well with what works for most kids at that age/stage developmentally. 

 

Montessori is low structure. Works for some, not others. Some kids do better with higher structure, routine, predictability. But the idea of increasing interaction, getting him into something flexible that can go up/down levels to meet him where he actually is, this is all good.

 

Like I said, what is school actually doing for him? I listened to a child at a new therapy place we're going to get told he was LAZY AND NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH AT SCHOOL by an SLP and the father. NO WAY would I ever, ever, ever use that SLP. That idiot woman literally told the 6 yo (ish) child, in front of his father, that he wasn't trying hard enough in sessions and the father gangs up like yeah and at school and you've GOT to try hard, blah blah.

 

People like that should have their heads examined. These are KIDS. Kids, by definition, are immature and have limited ability to self-advocate. WE are the ADULTS. Adults are given to children to problem solve and nurture and water till they blossom into mature, full human beings. And it's abusive to guilt-trip people and tell them they're bad when they are incapable of problem-solving the situation.

 

The adults created the problem of the school, and the child simply is. It's the adults' job to modify the school and the level of supports to meet the needs of the child, not the reverse.

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 "Something is wrong with my brain"..... Now I'm crying lol

 

Change this to "Something is DIFFERENT about your brain and we're going to find out."

 

Amazon.com: Kathy Hoopmann: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle  Try reading him the picture books by this lady and see what he identifies with. Like don't say oh this book but not that one. She has one on ADHD, another on anxiety, two on spectrum. They're WONDERFUL books, and my ds identified with things in them I didn't anticipate. It will be under $50 total, cheaper than therapy. :D

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Remember, it's not a big deal to have a label. The key is to get help in picking the labels. When we DON'T eval and label with the RIGHT words, then they get left with their own conclusions or what others tell them, like DUMB, LAZY, BAD. That's what we don't want. I'd rather have ASD2 + ADHD + Anxiety + SLDs. Then I can say hey, you're like Einstein and the guy who started Jet Blue. 

 

Way better than BAD.

 

You don't know where it will pan out. Your move is to find a psych to do the evals, do some reading. You can make a written request to the school, but at this point you might be better off waiting for another school eval until you've done private evals.

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I think this worrying over screen time is overrated. Like it's a concern, but you have plenty of other things to be concerned about here. The question is whether he can TRANSITION from the screens. You're saying he gets stuck on them. So if you go up and give him a warning, like hey in 5 minutes we're going to take a break and go (play ping pong, walk to the park, play a board game, do something highly preferred), can he transition and do it? If you give him the warnings at 5, 3, and 1 minutes, can he make that transition?

 

If you get him engaged and are trying to play, how is his turn taking? Is he impulsive? Does he require prompts? What happens if he loses the game?

 

How varied are his interests? Are they similar to other kids or more quirky or restricted?

 

Do kids at school like him? Does he get invited over for playdates?

 

He transitions fine and he'll drop it like nobody's business if I say we're going to the Bounce Palace or park....anything preferred.  If I say "One more book then bed.".... he does exactly that.

 

He takes turns pretty well, and when he loses he is only upset if he's not allowed to redeem himself with a repeat game....he loves board games.

 

He seems to be friends with everyone and I've talked to his teacher about this also.....the other kids adore him, but the adults....not so much. He loves to talk to friends and he loves to talk to teachers but, well, they don't like it half as much as his friends do. lol

 

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We live in a rural area but we will travel....how do I find someone who can do an eval??

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He is in trouble almost every day for "not listening/following directions" and he's in trouble in music class for "not paying attention".  We are so very frustrated.  He was referred by his teacher to a Speech Pathologist because she thought maybe he had an Auditory Processing Disorder or simply could not hear her..... it came back perfectly fine, and his vocabulary score was in the 80th percentile nationally....so he understands what is said. We took him to see an Audiologist and discovered some water behind his ear drums so we are doing a repeat test in about a week to see if it's cleared up....I think this is an incidental finding and not relevant but maybe next week I'll be told otherwise.

 

I'm confused by something (and I missed it if it was mentioned above)...who did the APD testing? An SLP? If so, I wouldn't rely on those tests at all. The ONLY person qualified for that type of testing is an audiologist and only an audiologist who specializes in APD. He's also quite young for the testing. The majority in the states will only test at 7years or older, sometimes 6 if there are continuing issues. 

 

Able Kids Foundation has developed their own picture-based testing for children under 7 (down to age 3), so testing CAN be done earlier if you find the right audiologist. Able Kids is in Colorado, so you have to be willing to travel. (We're actually leaving Saturday for Able Kids. Our appointment is Monday.)

Edited by Southern Ivy
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There was a little boy like this in my daughters school he was pulled out in 1st and 2nd grade and sent to the principals office. It turns out he had an IQ of 145. They moved him to the highly gifted school and he was fine after that. You can have him tested as long as he can read. My advice would be to put him in a spanish afterschool program or a bilingual school then he has to think in two languages. Put him in Piano because music is always good. Consider moving him to private kindergarten or home school for K and then test him into the gifted program because most do not take Kindergarten level some start at 1st grade some at 3rd.

 

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I will also list a few of his milestone highlights, maybe that will give someone some insight because I just have none right now.

 

He was able to hold his head up when he was born and began rolling over shortly after.  He began walking when he was 7 months old (Yes, I have pictures, I'm not overly arrogant or crazy)....his gross motor skills were/are off the charts. He competes in Taekwondo with kids that are 7-9 and he holds his own perfectly fine.

 

He did not talk in anything but sign language until he was 3 years old..... we scheduled a speech pathologist appointment at that time, and talked to his preschool teachers about it. I felt like if he was using sign language he was still communicating, but I knew he should be talking.  Right before his appointment he suddenly began to talk in full and complete sentences with a decent understanding of grammar (past tense, future, possession).  It was like the twilight zone.  Suddenly we had a little man instead of a mute child. We did not take him to the speech path since it clearly had resolved itself (Though we have taken him now, and he's fine).

 

His fine motor skills are hideous.  He avoids any activity that might use them.... his handwriting is atrocious and he much prefers any sort of learning game on a tablet/computer to anything he has to write....he HATES writing.  We've been working on the fine motor skills, but it's a challenge to get him to do much of anything if he has to write/use tweezers or whatever.

 

Also of note: He's the oldest child of two.... his younger brother is 2 years old and I can tell already that the younger child develops differently.  The younger child seems to simply get slowly better at all skills each day rather than have super strong points and super weak ones.

He sounds just like my nephew. :) My nephew was doing planks at 3 mos old. It was crazy!

 

My nephew is crazy smart and has a lot of the same things as your son. Inattentive, but not ADHD - "I learned this yesterday, can't we move on?" He ALWAYS knows the answers before the other kids, but they keep going over it, so my nephew zones out. 

 

His teacher says he talks non-stop..... but he's giving full and complete summaries of the books he reads or the things that he feels like are important or applicable to a given situation and sometimes it's hard to realize he's actually telling an applicable story because he has to tell the ENTIRE story before he feels like you (as the listener) will understand.  I can understand the teacher - she doesn't have time for that.

 

Yup. Again, my nephew. lol His brain works differently and it's fascinating to see all he can apply to his thought process. 

I don't know, I'm new to all of this too, but I would probably look for a neuropsych to test my child and see what we're dealing with. I don't think you're dealing with ADHD, honestly, but time will tell. 

 

 

Also, I used to teach. I fully support teachers and all they try to do. BUT...sometimes, ADHD is the go-to for any kind of inattention - boredom, giftedness, simply being a kid, Auditory Processing Disorder, dyslexia...

My friend just fought for 2 years to have the school district test her son. The teacher was adamant that he was ADD and needed to be put on medication. Even after a neuropsych said "there's no way", she kept having meetings to "put him on meds". It was ridiculous. 

Two years later, he is diagnosed with dyslexia. She was frustrated with him and just saw what she wanted to see. 

So, while I support teachers (within reason), I can't help but doubt her diagnosis that it's ADHD. 

 

 

 

Edited by Southern Ivy
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I'm confused by something (and I missed it if it was mentioned above)...who did the APD testing? An SLP? If so, I wouldn't rely on those tests at all. The ONLY person qualified for that type of testing is an audiologist and only an audiologist who specializes in APD. He's also quite young for the testing. The majority in the states will only test at 7years or older, sometimes 6 if there are continuing issues.

 

Able Kids Foundation has developed their own picture-based testing for children under 7 (down to age 3), so testing CAN be done earlier if you find the right audiologist. Able Kids is in Colorado, so you have to be willing to travel. (We're actually leaving Saturday for Able Kids. Our appointment is Monday.)

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The APD test was done by the school provided SLP....which I now know wasn’t really much help. 😳

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The APD test was done by the school provided SLP....which I now know wasn’t really much help. 😳

What test did she do?  (Was it 3 hours long?)

Edited by Southern Ivy

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My nephew is crazy smart and has a lot of the same things as your son. Inattentive, but not ADHD - "I learned this yesterday, can't we move on?" He ALWAYS knows the answers before the other kids, but they keep going over it, so my nephew zones out.

 

 

His teacher used those exact words...said that he “zoned out then daydreamsâ€....he says “But you’ve already told me this.†All. The. Time.

Edited by vgoss
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What test did she do? (Was it 3 hours long?)

 

I don’t know, I wasn’t present for testing and I don’t have the info on the test type with me at the moment. I doubt it was 3 hours.

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I don’t know, I wasn’t present for testing and I don’t have the info on the test type with me at the moment. I doubt it was 3 hours.

I'm going to guess they gave him the CELF-5 or something equivalent. Those are more for receptive/expressive language. A good score on that does not mean "no APD." (Plus, there are 6 types of APD, so...) He could still have it, but you'd want a qualified audiologist to determine that. 

 

However, based on what you've said, it sounds more like he's a typical 5 year old (very intelligent and bored) little boy. 

Edited by Southern Ivy
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My nephew is crazy smart and has a lot of the same things as your son. Inattentive, but not ADHD - "I learned this yesterday, can't we move on?" He ALWAYS knows the answers before the other kids, but they keep going over it, so my nephew zones out.

 

 

His teacher used those exact words...said that he “zoned out then daydreamsâ€....he says “But you’ve already told me this.†All. The. Time.

That's the same teacher who says he's not bored, right? 😂

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Is it possible for you to volunteer in the classroom so you can get more of an idea of what is going on?

 

It sounds like most, if not all, of your issues involve his classroom behavior. And these don't sound like particularly unusual behaviors to me. Some kids just don't remember to raise their hands. Some talk on and on and mistake a story for a question. Many have trouble focusing without special reminders. I was talking to a teacher last night who complained to me that in her entire class, there were only three kids without behavioral issues. At that point, the problem is not the kids, you know?

 

So I'd just try to see what's really going on here. It could be the environment and not your kid.

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Welcome to the boards.

 

Since he walked early, I suggest you take him to be evaluated by an OT. The evaluation should take an hour and will cover core and pincer strength, handedness, motor planning, visual perception, and primitive reflexes (developmental motor). Crawling is an extremely important developmental milestone. The OT should specifically look at the Palmar, ATNR, STNR, and spinal galant reflexes. BTW, 50% of children with motor issues will have attention issues. If motor issues are present, they will need to be resolved.

 

If he has fluid on his ears, he may not be hearing instructions when spoken to.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Heathermomster
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Is it possible for you to volunteer in the classroom so you can get more of an idea of what is going on?

 

It sounds like most, if not all, of your issues involve his classroom behavior. And these don't sound like particularly unusual behaviors to me. Some kids just don't remember to raise their hands. Some talk on and on and mistake a story for a question. Many have trouble focusing without special reminders. I was talking to a teacher last night who complained to me that in her entire class, there were only three kids without behavioral issues. At that point, the problem is not the kids, you know?

 

So I'd just try to see what's really going on here. It could be the environment and not your kid.

 

My husband and I are both official volunteers, but when we ask to volunteer or even observe the classroom (so we can witness these behaviors) we both feel we would be an imposition and a distraction for the other kids.  All of the problems are behavioral.... mostly regarding talking constantly or not following directions.  The first month or so he did not have these problems (so I believe he can control it) but once he became comfortable with the environment he started talking and talking and talking..... I doubt he's quit since. :D

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Welcome to the boards.

 

Since he walked early, I suggest you take him to be evaluated by an OT. The evaluation should take an hour and will cover core and pincer strength, handedness, motor planning, visual perception, and primitive reflexes (developmental motor). Crawling is an extremely important developmental milestone. The OT should specifically look at the Moro, ATRN, STNR, and spinal galant reflexes. BTW, 50% of children with motor issues will have attention issues. If motor issues are present, they will need to be resolved.

 

If he has fluid on his ears, he may not be hearing instructions when spoken to.

 

Good luck!

 

He did skip the whole crawling thing...he somewhat crawled for a day or two then realized he could pull up on things.... then he was on to running.  The school requested I work with him on his fine motor, which we do....although he hates it. We use play doh and kinetic sand or sometimes silly putty..... but he smashes and shapes mostly with the palm of his hand rather than his fingers.  He's very adept at avoiding fine motor work!

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He did skip the whole crawling thing...he somewhat crawled for a day or two then realized he could pull up on things.... then he was on to running.  The school requested I work with him on his fine motor, which we do....although he hates it. We use play doh and kinetic sand or sometimes silly putty..... but he smashes and shapes mostly with the palm of his hand rather than his fingers.  He's very adept at avoiding fine motor work!

A good OT will help you sort that.  

Edited by Heathermomster
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Skipping crawling is a big deal. Definitely get an OT eval with someone who is really good for retained reflexes. You'd be SHOCKED how many OT's don't do it. We've been through tons of them and finally ended up with a PT who was good. Or google online and do the tests yourself.

 

They should be giving you OT for the fine motor, not telling you to do it. So go privately, get it done.

 

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He took another national math test today and he scored in the 96th percentile in math....higher than ever and that's after we told him he couldn't use his school math app a few weeks ago. He got into multiplication and I was worried it would confuse him since they're manipulating 1-20 addition and subtraction in class.

 

We talked to the principal today and we took his test scores with us. Maybe he's not paying attention and we know that's not ok but I refuse to continue to make him feel badly about himself.....the principal was very helpful and I believe she'll help us get to some answers or help us find someone who can test him for ADHD/Giftedness/Combo of those? IQ maybe.... I guess we just want answers at this point.

 

DS is afraid he will be "kicked out like the other student" and he's told us he's "bad, but not bad every day, so they won't kick me out."..... We informed DS today that he was not going to be "kicked out" and he's not "bad" and that he seems to process some things a little differently, but that we were going to figure it out.  (Thanks to above for that wording!) At the beginning of the year our DS had a classmate who was removed from his class so that the student could "learn to calm down"....I don't know the story there, but apparently it has bothered DS ever since and he's been worried they'll randomly decide to kick him out for being too excited.

 

He was tested for receptive/expressive language at the SLP meeting, but they did not actually rule out APD, so I was mistaken there.

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He took another national math test today and he scored in the 96th percentile in math....higher than ever and that's after we told him he couldn't use his school math app a few weeks ago. He got into multiplication and I was worried it would confuse him since they're manipulating 1-20 addition and subtraction in class.

 

We talked to the principal today and we took his test scores with us. Maybe he's not paying attention and we know that's not ok but I refuse to continue to make him feel badly about himself.....the principal was very helpful and I believe she'll help us get to some answers or help us find someone who can test him for ADHD/Giftedness/Combo of those? IQ maybe.... I guess we just want answers at this point.

 

DS is afraid he will be "kicked out like the other student" and he's told us he's "bad, but not bad every day, so they won't kick me out."..... We informed DS today that he was not going to be "kicked out" and he's not "bad" and that he seems to process some things a little differently, but that we were going to figure it out.  (Thanks to above for that wording!) At the beginning of the year our DS had a classmate who was removed from his class so that the student could "learn to calm down"....I don't know the story there, but apparently it has bothered DS ever since and he's been worried they'll randomly decide to kick him out for being too excited.

 

He was tested for receptive/expressive language at the SLP meeting, but they did not actually rule out APD, so I was mistaken there.

The school could test for the giftedness/IQ, but so can a neuropsych. The neuropsychologist would also be able to test for ADHD. 

I personally would go private. They will be able to give you more answers than a school psychologist would. 

That's the direction I would lean right now, especially since he's showing signs of boredom and is acting out as a result. 

The answers would be helpful for you, him, and the teachers. 

 

Also, poor kiddo! He's very smart if he's associating his own behaviors with the behaviors of another kid and hypothesizing outcomes. 

 

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Yeah, you'd be REALLY SMART to pursue private evals through a psych on the Hoagie's Gifted list. That's AWESOME that the school is listening and that you're finding new ways to connect and communicate with him. This is so important, when he feels free to tell you how he's feeling. 

 

Get the scores from the SLP testing yourself. They probably ran the CELF, and you could look at the scores yourself. Just because someone didn't qualify with the school doesn't mean he wouldn't benefit from private intervention. 

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Yeah, you'd be REALLY SMART to pursue private evals through a psych on the Hoagie's Gifted list. That's AWESOME that the school is listening and that you're finding new ways to connect and communicate with him. This is so important, when he feels free to tell you how he's feeling. 

 

Get the scores from the SLP testing yourself. They probably ran the CELF, and you could look at the scores yourself. Just because someone didn't qualify with the school doesn't mean he wouldn't benefit from private intervention. 

 

Is there a list somewhere on that site of psychs and their locations?  I've found the homepage but there is so much information.  We have decided we want a private testing.... in another location.  We live in a very rural town so I feel like he'd get a better eval in a more densely populated area.

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Psychologists familiar with the Gifted | Hoagies' Gifted

 

Testing - Hoagies Gifted

 

One of those will probably have it. Keep snooping or googling...

 

And yes, private evals, if you can make them happen, are going to give you much better information to help you advocate for what he needs. It's an outside, take, an outside perspective.

 

Google gifted identification in your state. There will be laws defining it and protections.

Edited by PeterPan

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He transitions fine and he'll drop it like nobody's business if I say we're going to the Bounce Palace or park....anything preferred. If I say "One more book then bed.".... he does exactly that.

 

He takes turns pretty well, and when he loses he is only upset if he's not allowed to redeem himself with a repeat game....he loves board games.

 

He seems to be friends with everyone and I've talked to his teacher about this also.....the other kids adore him, but the adults....not so much. He loves to talk to friends and he loves to talk to teachers but, well, they don't like it half as much as his friends do. lol

 

My son has always been very verbal and very talkative. It’s obvious that he processes things verbally. Even as a young adult, he still occasionally talks to himself, but now it is usually in German so we can’t understand. One thing that helped get him to learn there were times he just had to be quiet was karate. He went to a very, strict traditional Japanese karate dojo with all classes by ability, not age. So kids had to listen and be quiet unless directly asked a question. My only goal when we signed him up at age seven was that he not talk during the one hour classes unless directed to do so. He absolutely loved it, very quickly learned to follow the rules, and karate is still a big part of his life. And the discipline definitely carried over into other parts of his life.

 

While there might also be other things going on that others have made good suggestions for regarding evaluations and testing, your son sounds gifted and bored to me in his current school environment. If you can’t change that, maybe you can find an outside activity that plays to his strengths and helps with his weaknesses.

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My son has always been very verbal and very talkative. It’s obvious that he processes things verbally. Even as a young adult, he still occasionally talks to himself, but now it is usually in German so we can’t understand. One thing that helped get him to learn there were times he just had to be quiet was karate. He went to a very, strict traditional Japanese karate dojo with all classes by ability, not age. So kids had to listen and be quiet unless directly asked a question. My only goal when we signed him up at age seven was that he not talk during the one hour classes unless directed to do so. He absolutely loved it, very quickly learned to follow the rules, and karate is still a big part of his life. And the discipline definitely carried over into other parts of his life.

 

While there might also be other things going on that others have made good suggestions for regarding evaluations and testing, your son sounds gifted and bored to me in his current school environment. If you can’t change that, maybe you can find an outside activity that plays to his strengths and helps with his weaknesses.

 

How amazingly ironic to me that karate was the outlet for your son.  Ours has been in taekwondo since he was 4 (almost a year now, his own idea) and he adores it.  He is also made to be quiet for the one hour sessions and (mostly) he does quite fine.  He just recently received his yellow belt and was moved into the 7-9 year old class and that has been a true God-send for us.  He does so much better around the older kids who aren't as likely to act out and get him wound up. We took him to a regional tournament last month and he placed 2nd in one-steps in the 7-8 year old yellow belt category (that was the youngest group they had, so he had to be placed with them). DS has always had gross motor skills that are way off the charts, so we see it as a place that his strong suit can shine and build his self-confidence.

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If you get the testing and the scores are high enough, you can connect with a Davidson mentor. 

 

When you call the psychs, talk with them a few minutes and see who seems helpful, who is seeming to really get your child. They will vary. The right fit for one person could be a poor fit for the next. 

 

The book Bright Not Broken I suggested is specifically on this overlap in behaviors between gifted, ADHD, ASD. It sounds like he really responds well to instruction, so some books, just a little bit to bump his connecting the dots on social thinking would probably go a long way. For instance, maybe not this particular book, but a book like this could be just enough to help him realize what's going on Interrupting Chicken: David Ezra Stein: 9780763689032: Amazon.com: Books Or there are full curricula like We Thinkers. 

 

Your library might have access to books like this, at least on inter-library loan. And if you click that one on amazon, there will be more in the list of books customers also looked at. You'd probably find something helpful.

 

That's really cool that he's doing so well in karate. Coaches enjoy working with my kids too. They like how capable the kids are of understanding really precise verbal instructions. Given that he's bored, even with that and school, you want to consider stepping up his access. Not in a pushing way so much as satisfying. Like my dd, bright, not necessarily a gifted IQ, and with homeschooling her at that age she was doing latin, learning history, all sorts of things. School just really holds these kids back. It actually physically HURT her not to have access to the things she wanted to learn and do. 

 

With my ds, his intellectual side, his brain, just just has this ENERGY. It's a drive to develop, and that energy has to go SOMEWHERE. So right now in your ds the energy is coming out with talking, but it could be going into learning spanish. It could be going into doing science kits or working through TOPS science books. He could be doing pre-algebra. If he is ready for multiplication, he's almost there. Get him the Hands-On Equations app and see what happens. I'm just observing that the level you have him in is NOT using up his developmental energy, the energy that is telling his brain DEVELOP, DEVELOP. It needs healthy outlets.

Edited by PeterPan
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This all falls under advice from a mom who has been there and done that. My kiddos are older and I reflect on what I would have done differently with a young 5 year old boy who is overcharged in class. 

 

The oldest child is often gifted they had a lot of one on one time with an adult. My oldest daughter was gifted but very self centered. She does not like to wait while I take care of other things. She is very interested in only doing things that are of her choosing and of her choice. I was home and when I wasn't she had a nanny so she was always well mannered because she always got her way and her younger brother was 3 years younger so he didn't want her things. 

 

She is now 13 and I wish I had instilled the values in my child of "thinking of others" "waiting patiently for mom to finish and then redirect attention to you. " I also wish wish wish I had read "Laying down the rails." by Charlotte Manson.  I am embarrassed to say that my children lack many of those qualities such as "Writing when our hand is tired" "Doing something we are not interested in because it is needed" "Doing our chore quickly when mom asks instead of driving her up the wall and making her ask more than once". My husband feels the same way

 

OK now lets talk about this fine motor thing. Get a chalkboard or whiteboard and hang it on the wall. Have him draw or color or write on it 10 minutes a day. Make sure that he is doing 3 -10 minute exercises a day in applying himself to fine motor. It will teach discipline of the hand and I have a son who did the very same thing in kindergarten. Hated art it was a chore but learning to do things that we are not good at or not interested in is a life skill. Make sure his grip is good and have him use a stylus with the proper grip every time he gets on a tablet. Visual motor is a critical part of the brain to develop between K-3 and now is the time to push it hard to build those neural pathways. 

 

Also look up following auditory directions and practice good communication that is not him centered. Have him discuss topics you choose. Have him follow directions you choose. The auditory ( paying close attention not diffused attention to teachers) and visual-motor pathway( Handwriting , art,  sports and instruments) are critical for school success and boys are not as fast to get that. It is one of the strongest elements.I have a 10 year old son that truly if I could go back I would have done these things. He is fantastic at Math and Reading but when it comes to writing down his stories and his ideas the visual motor does not move fast or neatly enough and it is seriously affecting him. He also listens with diffused attention and misses important directions. Men are not known for being great listeners and the often miss important communication ques. If I could go back I would have pushed much harder with this at an earlier age. Also if I were to invest in something for all kids I would look into the social thinking series for elementary. Our world would be a much better place if we all worked on building give and take communication in our kids and being compassionate and interested listeners. 

 

Now those are things you can do at home but at school once my daughter was in the gifted program she was so much happier and being around other bright peers truly helped her to not feel like she was different so you do need to consider whether kindergarten is going to work where you are at and look into whether the school offers any other learning programs. 

 

 

Edited by exercise_guru
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