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

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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.

 

I'm going to read Bright Not Broken for certain!  That looks like something that I definitely need to pay some attention to. This weekend we've decided to lift the math ban and just let him read about whatever he wants.  I gave him a 1st grade workbook today for the first time after school and let him work a couple pages and he did fine, not one error...my fear prior to this has been making him confused with different work but after all this we are just done trying to worry about it.  I'm going to do some digging on homeschooling and it will replace homework time.  We are still going to have him tested though, when he turns 6....we already talked to a couple of options and the one we like (so far) is from the site you recommended above...Hoagies Gifted.  By the time we get him in, he will probably be about finished with Kindergarten so we will have a new teacher, and he should be able to start 1st in a better place.  I downloaded the Hands-On Equations app just now also, and we will let him try his hand at it tomorrow....I found several good ones that were related, so I figure what the heck lets see what he can do.

 

These past couple days have been exhausting. I cannot thank you all enough for listening and giving advice without judgement.

 

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How could we judge you?  :lol:   If you knew what some of our kids were like, oh my lands. My kid has given me a concussion and beaten me up with bruises. When I went to the IEP team, they told me I was a bad parent. I went to a private neuropsych and got told that not only was I a bad parent but that I was UNQUALIFIED TO TEACH MY CHILD and should pay someone else to do it. Actually I'm the MOST qualified person to teach to the particular disability that psych was worried about.

 

People are always willing to give you straight talk or pixie dust of empowerment so you can begin to fly, sure. But we all know we go through a process of figuring this stuff out, figuring out what combination of supports fits our kis.

 

I think that's another pipe dream to say 1st grade will be better just because he has a new teacher or because it's 1st. First grade is a continuation of K5, developmentally, with a longer day. 2nd grade is a bump up, but 1st grade will still be pretty tame. He will still be bored and school will still be prison. Yes, you are right to FREE him and give him access to ANYTHING HE WANTS. 

 

That's fabulous that you're finding some good psych options!!!!!!  Take your time and make sure you like talking to them. The right psych is someone who both gets your kid clinically AND who can connect with your brain to help you. If you like talking to them and find them good at explaining things, patient for your way of communicating, not intimidating, it will be a good fit. And that's just really personal. 

 

For math workbooks, maybe get him Singapore. Way more fun than a grocery store thing. There are brain teaser books (ebooks) you can buy from Evan Moor, Teacher Created Resources, Carson Dellosa, etc. I use lots of stuff like this with my ds. Also, you want a really DIFFERENT kind of fun? The people at AOPS used to recommend Family Math before they started writing their own curriculum. Or was it Kitchen Table Math? No matter. They probably still do. Your ds is ready for their Beast Academy math curriculum btw and will do well with it. Workbooks are busywork for him probably. Just saying. Show him Beast Academy and see if he bites. 

 

A mix of things is good. Play games with him. Like I really wasn't joking when I said personally I would pull him out and play games. You don't need curriculum, and he would probably BLOW YOUR MIND playing games. Buy Catan, Carcassone, Agricola (there's a 2 person version), Ticket to Ride, Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island, Catan Jr (he's 5, it's cute!), etc. and just play games with the child. Guaranteed he will blow your mind. You don't need an IQ test to see it. You're not seeing it because you don't get to be with him enough and do these things. He'd have way more fun, learn a ton, and you'd feel more confident. Pairing, by playing games like that, would prepare you to develop routines and find how you work well together so you could begin gently adding school work in a collaborative, mutually stimulating way. You'd enjoy it, he'd enjoy it. School is unnecessary. He sounds socially typical (score, awesome), so he could participate in ANY kind of after school activities or co-ops or whatever and be fine getting his social. He could pursue interest-driven things in the community, like park science programs, history re-enacting programs, scouting, whatever. You don't need school.

 

And if you don't want to pull him out, still play the games, kwim? It's just good advice. But if you want to pull him out, that's your pixie dust. It could totally work like that. Think about what GOOD the school is doing him. Don't just hope things will get better. They can BE better, and it's really not evidence-based to say 1st grade will get better. So it gets better only if you change something or the school changes something RADICALLY.

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Catan: Junior Super cute.

 

Fantasy Flight Games Ticket to Ride: Europe: First Journey Board Games  This is the jr version but he could probably play the full version with support.

 

Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game

 

Enchanted Forest - Children's Game  This isn't a euro game or strategy game, but it's fun. :)

 

Catan Studios Rivals for Catan: Deluxe Board Games, Various, 7.5 x 10.75 x 2.75  Two person version. I'm always looking for 2 person versions because it's just me and my ds playing. 

 

Amazon.com: Forbidden Island: Edward Buell Hungerford: Toys & Games

 

I can't find 2 person Agricola right now on amazon. On my box it says "All Creatures Big and Small". Games go oop, sigh. If not, try the app. Very fun. 

 

See, here's the thing. We're on WTM/SWB's board, so we don't say this, but I really part waters on something. Education should be about FACILITATING, not just you telling them what to do. Yes, there's some top-down and some directing, but what intimidates people is thinking they need to top-down direct EVERYTHING and that it will be hard! It's just the opposite. With a kid who is super bright, you need to direct LESS and facilitate more. Facilitating means you give opportunities, give access, make it happen, ask what they want to have happen or what they want access to or what they want to learn. Facilitating means I don't spoon feed it to you but you begin to do it to yourself as you're able. 

 

So playing the games helps build your relationship, and relationship is what makes homeschooling work, not perfect paradigm, not having tons of money for this or that. Relationship is what makes homeschooling effective and mutually satisfying. It's how you transmit your character and passion. And you don't HAVE to homeschool to do that, but sometimes school is really getting in the way. Sometimes school is not facilitating learning AND it's not having any good top-down instruction going on. Then you really have to step back and be honest and go what good is the school doing my child right now? Write it out! I can think of a bunch of good things a school could do for my ds. It's not like we are anti-school around here. I'm just saying you can be honest and make the list. Then you can make a list of what you would do better at home and see how it all balances out and what has priority.

 

For some kids, having freedom to learn and freedom from the restrictions of the system RADICALLY ALTERS THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES. It's a really exciting point to be at. Think about what would happen if you unleashed him, if he had access to what he really wanted, if he wasn't being held back by the busy work, rigidity, and inflexibility of the system. Might be really fun.

 

PS. Timberdoodle has great stuff, especially the games. If you want a $10 option, All Queens is fun. Does he play chess yet?

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I downloaded the Hands on Equations app and let him play with it today and I'm just shocked.  I explained the goal (we don't want the scales to tip).... and he can do it. They are easy equations, no doubt.... 2x = 10 for example, but he got the concept and could puzzle it out. He uses what I call "the brick wall method" some though where he just changes the X to be 1, 2, 3, etc until he finds the one that matches ... I think he needs to formally learn multiplication and division first which I have no idea how to teach, but I'm going to find out and just let him learn it.

 

This morning we taught him how to tell time using a digital and analog clock.... and started teaching him to count money. All this year I've been afraid to show him those things when he asked, because I thought he'd be confused and not understand how to add or subtract when asked. For now we subscribed to education.com and we're letting him play whatever games he wants....until we figure out what sort of content we need to focus on. I have a feeling we will still be having the "behavior" problems at school though. Pulling him out is just an impossibility for us currently (although it may be possible in a year or two)...so we think we will get the eval and push for an IEP?....The thing where they let him do 2nd grade math or whatever, but 1st grade reading and stuff. There is so much information to digest! Thank you so much for all of the links and great ideas....We are definitely using them!

 

He does play chess, but mostly he has just learned to move the pieces correctly....I don't think he has the full concept yet.

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To build pre-multiplication and -division skills for that age, you can teach skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Then 3s, 4s, etc. You can use manipulatives to let him see what he is doing. He may be able to memorize the skip counting easily, but you want to be sure he understands what he is doing and is not just chanting the numbers.

 

It's likely he will be able to see that two groups of 3 equals 6, etc., and you can practice this around the house. Food is particularly fun to divide into equal groups. You can give him nine cheese crackers in three piles of three crackers each, for example. Or give him a pile of crackers and tell him to divide it into equal groups before eating them.

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All Queens is really fun and there's Fritz & Chesster, which I *think* you may be able to play online or as an app now, google and see. Both will be fun for him. F&C puts the chess into a story and teaches them strategies and more advanced moves. He'll love it.

 

Don't try so hard on the teaching thing. Multiplication is just repeated addition, so he'll discover it himself. As he does, you can answer his questions. It all happens naturally with these kids. My dd discovered multiplication around that age. My ds, he's in another land, haha between his autism and SLDs (and gifted IQ). He doesn't discover it on his own. But my dd, sure, at that age that's what she was doing. And her brain figured out division too, because division is just repeated subtraction. Their brains ask questions and get there.

 

Yes, stop holding back. 

 

I think the other thing the school can do, besides advancing, is provide a plan that says when he's bored or he's done or he's this or that, these are his options. He should have access to more advanced sections of the library, He can have the option to have books with him. There are actual legal protections once you get him labeled as gifted. 

 

I'm not sure your whole situation, but people homeschool through unlikely challenges. We have people here homeschooling who are professors full-time with disabled spouses. Seriously, like there are ways to work through things. It's not that you have to, but I'm suggesting you not be unrealistic and make an overwhelmed decision based on assumptions. Homeschooling a child like this is 1-2 hours a day of you facilitating and another couple hours a day of him having access. And your part steps up a bit, sure, but a LOT he can do for himself as long as he has access to good things and an adult in the house so he's safe. Your actual, on-call, actually teaching time would NOT be 8 am to 3 pm, haha. It would be more like 10-12. So people *do* find ways to make homeschooling work when both parents are working full-time. It's challenging, but people find ways. It's something maybe to keep in the back of your mind.

 

Check out the Dragonbox apps. They have several, including some for geometry that are fun. They're all good.

Edited by PeterPan
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Your son sounds a bit like my oldest, 5.5. We are nearly positive he has ADHD, Aspergers, and giftedness...we are in the process of trying to get him evaluated but he waiting for our phone call interview just to formally get on the wait list. Not to comment on screen time but if an aspergers kid is allowed to spend tons of time on the computer you won't run into as many problems at home. Maybe do an experiment and go screen free for two weeks and make observations of his behavior to share with whoever is doing the evals. Not speaking until three is a huge sign there is something going on. My son is really exhausting me...especially being cooped up during winter...i hope we get some support and community after diagnosis but maybe that is wishful thinking.

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm just sort of doing an update for all of you wonderful people who helped me not melt down over all of this.  DS is still struggling to "pay attention" in class, but is still consistently in the top 3-5% in math (nationally).  All of his other academics are in the top 20% at worst....academically he seems to be above average, but the "not paying attention" thing is just a way of life for him at school and no amount of rewards or being in trouble seems to change it.  (He can come home and recite the grammar rules he's learned though....so .... *SHRUG*)....sometimes he will sit there and not do a page of work that is far beneath his ability and I have no idea why.  He can manipulate 2 digit numbers just fine and he will sit for 30 minutes in class and

 

We intend to have him evaluated fully for ADHD and giftedness after he turns 6, when they can do a test that tells us more.

 

At worst we will go into first grade with a 6 year old that has been fully evaluated....that's a good thing, right?

 

We've implemented many of the suggestions we've gotten from all of you, like the common core math rods and a few of the math apps and we got him a subscription to education.com.

 

My gut is that maybe he's both gifted and ADHD.  He loses focus if someone talks in length about something he considers to be boring and he does not like to repeat anything for mastery, though it usually doesn't take him long to get the concept.

 

We taught him to tell time using an analog clock and a digital one, that seemed to be a practical skill so he wanted to know.  If I can't find a logical reason for him to learn something, it's pretty hard to get his buy in.

 

 

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Can you put him in chess and music ( choir or piano or guitar?)  Both teach personal discipline and focus and kids at a young age do well in both if they are bright. 

 

It might be ADHD but it also might just be giftedness. my daughter settled right down and was fine when she was in a gifted class, In the meantime teach him to read. Don't wait for the school that way when he gets done with the math sheet he can read a book. Also the Testing is so much more accurate if they are a good reader when they are evaluated. Raz kids would be a good choice to work with and All about reading would be great. Don't worry if you are moving past what the teacher is teaching its better to have him reading and have options rather than to sit their and cause trouble. Also work like crazy on the fine motor because being a good writer will help him be independent. Teachers will overlook a lot if a kid is a good writer and reader. Both of my kids finish their work and read so they don't get in trouble by poking their neighbor. 

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm just sort of doing an update for all of you wonderful people who helped me not melt down over all of this.  DS is still struggling to "pay attention" in class, but is still consistently in the top 3-5% in math (nationally).  All of his other academics are in the top 20% at worst....academically he seems to be above average, but the "not paying attention" thing is just a way of life for him at school and no amount of rewards or being in trouble seems to change it.  (He can come home and recite the grammar rules he's learned though....so .... *SHRUG*)....sometimes he will sit there and not do a page of work that is far beneath his ability and I have no idea why.  He can manipulate 2 digit numbers just fine and he will sit for 30 minutes in class and

 

We intend to have him evaluated fully for ADHD and giftedness after he turns 6, when they can do a test that tells us more.

 

At worst we will go into first grade with a 6 year old that has been fully evaluated....that's a good thing, right?

 

We've implemented many of the suggestions we've gotten from all of you, like the common core math rods and a few of the math apps and we got him a subscription to education.com.

 

My gut is that maybe he's both gifted and ADHD.  He loses focus if someone talks in length about something he considers to be boring and he does not like to repeat anything for mastery, though it usually doesn't take him long to get the concept.

 

We taught him to tell time using an analog clock and a digital one, that seemed to be a practical skill so he wanted to know.  If I can't find a logical reason for him to learn something, it's pretty hard to get his buy in.

Thanks for the update!

 

I think getting an evaluation will absolutely be helpful.  It may show strengths you didn't know he had that you can tap into.  It may give you a clearer picture of any challenge areas he is dealing with.  You will theoretically have a clearer picture of your child.  He is still your wonderful little boy.  You will just hopefully understand him better.

 

 

As for him not wanting to do things that are way below his ability, FWIW, if I were asked to sit and do low level clerical work well below my intellectual ability, and required to do it daily, I'd get pretty darn fidgety too.  And really NOT want to do even more when I got home.  Seriously.  

 

For instance, I actually like paying bills but the task can get REALLY tedious.  If I were paying bills all day long sitting at a desk at work then came home and someone plopped bills in front of me, that would be the last thing I would want to do.  I'd want to do things that were stimulating my brain and engaging my body.  I'd want to THINK, not just regurgitate.  I'd want to move and feel and experience, not just mark time doing things I already know how to do for the upteenbillionth time.  

 

So yes, your child may have ADHD and very well (probably is) gifted. These are not automatically weaknesses.  These can be strengths.  He just isn't in an academic environment that is actually tapping into the strengths side.  Give that boy some serious mental and physical challenges.  Get his mind and body engaged.  Feed his brain.  Feed his body.  LOL.

 

And no, that may not be an easy task at all.  You are a caring parent, though, so he's in good hands.  Keep seeking answers and working on things to implement to tap into his strengths as you help him with his struggle areas.  Hugs and best wishes...

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Can you put him in chess and music ( choir or piano or guitar?)  Both teach personal discipline and focus and kids at a young age do well in both if they are bright. 

 

It might be ADHD but it also might just be giftedness. my daughter settled right down and was fine when she was in a gifted class, In the meantime teach him to read. Don't wait for the school that way when he gets done with the math sheet he can read a book. Also the Testing is so much more accurate if they are a good reader when they are evaluated. Raz kids would be a good choice to work with and All about reading would be great. Don't worry if you are moving past what the teacher is teaching its better to have him reading and have options rather than to sit their and cause trouble. Also work like crazy on the fine motor because being a good writer will help him be independent. Teachers will overlook a lot if a kid is a good writer and reader. Both of my kids finish their work and read so they don't get in trouble by poking their neighbor. 

 

How was your DD before she was in a gifted class...did not pay attention?  They don't start here until 2nd grade, so I have another 2 years to wait for that eval.  :/

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He sounds bored to me, too.

 

It only takes an hour or two a day to homeschool at the younger ages. If no one is home during the day, you could look into paying someone to watch him during the day and then homeschool when you get home.

 

If you work through the first 6 of my syllable lessons, that will give him the tools to read more challenging things with the aid of my charts. Then, he could read at school when he is bored instead of disrupting in the class. I read a lot of books in elementary school!!

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

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 My kids just became strong readers so they never got in trouble since they would finish their projects and then read.  There was a boy in my daughters  class that was identical to what you describe of your son. Even in Gate he got in trouble but his parents were unwilling to test him and were sure he was just a little genius and no one understood him. That did not make for a good experience for him. Also when he got into the junior high gifted program where self discipline was needed he flailed not because of the level of the work but because of the lack of executive function. Doing something even if you don't find it interesting is a huge handicap for ADHD kids and some of those kids tend to take things more personally and are more emotional to criticism. If you pair that with getting in trouble for not sitting still it makes for a kid who is unmotivated and has low self esteem. 

 

The fact that your son isn't thrilled about doing things he is not interested in tells you he is not a pleaser but could be adhd. kindergarten is hard to know for sure. I have seen kids who are just so excited to be there and learn and are so smart they can't help themselves. I am sure if you fill out the DSM4 with the teacher he would get diagnosed with ADHD but would you really go that route if you aren't going to explore medication? There is a new medicine called intuniv that isn't addictive and doesn't affect their appetite or sleep. I would probably look into that before I looked into a stimulant but I am not well versed on this. I would talk to the pediatrician and see if that route is worth pursuing. 

 

If he is  absolutely disrupting the kindergarten class and he is getting labelled as the bad kid then I personally would pull him out. Especially if kindergarten is optional in your state. Put him in a montessori preschool  or intensively homeschool for a year  and then reevaluate when you get to first grade. By then he will be a strong reader. Just don't let him be a bad writer. I have found that it is very common in boys and if ADHD is present I have seen dysgraphia . This ends up really damaging their self esteem when they get into 4th and 5th grade. For ,my son it has been a long path and if I could have bent his will at a younger age and improved his fine motor ( I tried believe me) then he would have much more confidence about his writing and it would have helped his self esteem. I notice he is so happy that he is a good reader and good at music so the more you can build up those important academic skills the better it will serve them in a brick and motor school especially with standardized testing. Writing is huge and holds my son back and give him low self esteem. so keep an eye on that.  

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Thanks for the update!

 

I think getting an evaluation will absolutely be helpful.  It may show strengths you didn't know he had that you can tap into.  It may give you a clearer picture of any challenge areas he is dealing with.  You will theoretically have a clearer picture of your child.  He is still your wonderful little boy.  You will just hopefully understand him better.

 

 

As for him not wanting to do things that are way below his ability, FWIW, if I were asked to sit and do low level clerical work well below my intellectual ability, and required to do it daily, I'd get pretty darn fidgety too.  And really NOT want to do even more when I got home.  Seriously.  

 

For instance, I actually like paying bills but the task can get REALLY tedious.  If I were paying bills all day long sitting at a desk at work then came home and someone plopped bills in front of me, that would be the last thing I would want to do.  I'd want to do things that were stimulating my brain and engaging my body.  I'd want to THINK, not just regurgitate.  I'd want to move and feel and experience, not just mark time doing things I already know how to do for the upteenbillionth time.  

 

So yes, your child may have ADHD and very well (probably is) gifted. These are not automatically weaknesses.  These can be strengths.  He just isn't in an academic environment that is actually tapping into the strengths side.  Give that boy some serious mental and physical challenges.  Get his mind and body engaged.  Feed his brain.  Feed his body.  LOL.

 

And no, that may not be an easy task at all.  You are a caring parent, though, so he's in good hands.  Keep seeking answers and working on things to implement to tap into his strengths as you help him with his struggle areas.  Hugs and best wishes...

 

My biggest frustration with DS is that although I know that he's capable of doing his work and more, his teacher does not (either because she doesn't look or because it doesn't matter, IDK).  He will come home and whip out all of the work he "didn't do all day" in a couple of minutes and go play.... it drives me insane.  We've had talk after talk with him about just doing the work at school and getting it over with and .... seriously I do not get it.  I cannot fathom why he won't just do it when it's handed to him.  Instead he'll sit at his desk with his head in his hands and do literally nothing at all..... then the teacher will tell them all to pack up their stuff and he will still just be sitting there.

 

After we have a talk he will get better for a day or two and get his work done.... we will get a note that says "He's listening, he's working!"..... then he'll quit doing it again.  It's beyond frustrating.

 

When I say to his teacher "He can do this task." she'll tell me "Yes, but he has to do it without help."  I am driven insane because yes, I DO mean he can do it without help.  He does do it without help at home.....

 

OHHHH I'm going to video tape it!!!!! Meh...school is almost over for the year..... *Rolls eyes*

 

I can't wait for the eval.... ugh.

 

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It sounds like you are on top of this. What you describe is actually an iconic part of some ADHD kiddos. They  don't do things to please their teachers. Motivating and executing are the challenge and they tend to not get a lot of support from teachers because as time goes by the teacher ( and often the parent) start to feel like "If you don't care about this why should I?". They often need a body double to sit with them and keep them motivated and a lot of chearleading and coaching from parents to stay on target and finish tasks. Executve function is huge for these kids so that is a good place to read up on.  Get him reading over the summer so you can test for Gate sooner it will also help because once he is a good reader you can test him privately and it will be far more accurate. Sometimes its ok to just research ADHD before you decide to diagnose. Talking with the pediatrician is just a conversation and worth having.  Being better informed helps a lot and knowing what the options are and how to help a child makes a big difference. At this young of age you may not know what is totally going on and maturity in boys matters. I can't remember your sons Birthday but if he is the young one in the class that matters too. 

 

I think I should tell you that my daughter is in a crazy advanced program doing college level work at a very young age but I noticed at registration there were many parents talking about their sons and whether they should disclose the ADHD meds. I know many parents in the school and well when kids are that smart it isn't without some side issues. They do better when they are among like minded peers. So even if he is gifted with ADHD if you intervene early and work on those executive skills he will be highly successful in school just don't let the school system kill his self esteem and grind him down for not being a square peg in a round hole. 

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 My kids just became strong readers so they never got in trouble since they would finish their projects and then read.  There was a boy in my daughters  class that was identical to what you describe of your son. Even in Gate he got in trouble but his parents were unwilling to test him and were sure he was just a little genius and no one understood him. That did not make for a good experience for him. Also when he got into the junior high gifted program where self discipline was needed he flailed not because of the level of the work but because of the lack of executive function. Doing something even if you don't find it interesting is a huge handicap for ADHD kids and some of those kids tend to take things more personally and are more emotional to criticism. If you pair that with getting in trouble for not sitting still it makes for a kid who is unmotivated and has low self esteem. 

 

The fact that your son isn't thrilled about doing things he is not interested in tells you he is not a pleaser but could be adhd. kindergarten is hard to know for sure. I have seen kids who are just so excited to be there and learn and are so smart they can't help themselves. I am sure if you fill out the DSM4 with the teacher he would get diagnosed with ADHD but would you really go that route if you aren't going to explore medication? There is a new medicine called intuniv that isn't addictive and doesn't affect their appetite or sleep. I would probably look into that before I looked into a stimulant but I am not well versed on this. I would talk to the pediatrician and see if that route is worth pursuing. 

 

If he is  absolutely disrupting the kindergarten class and he is getting labelled as the bad kid then I personally would pull him out. Especially if kindergarten is optional in your state. Put him in a montessori preschool  or intensively homeschool for a year  and then reevaluate when you get to first grade. By then he will be a strong reader. Just don't let him be a bad writer. I have found that it is very common in boys and if ADHD is present I have seen dysgraphia . This ends up really damaging their self esteem when they get into 4th and 5th grade. For ,my son it has been a long path and if I could have bent his will at a younger age and improved his fine motor ( I tried believe me) then he would have much more confidence about his writing and it would have helped his self esteem. I notice he is so happy that he is a good reader and good at music so the more you can build up those important academic skills the better it will serve them in a brick and motor school especially with standardized testing. Writing is huge and holds my son back and give him low self esteem. so keep an eye on that.  

 

DS is not emotional....that's another oddity of him.  I assumed he came by it honestly though, I'm not very emotional either.  He's very logic based.  For example, when he was a baby and I would "kiss a hurt"....well I did it just once and he furrowed his brow and said "That didn't do anything."  That is classic him...he's a step up from Spok. lol  After that one time if I said "Do you want me to kiss it?" he'd just say "Nope."

 

This is not to say he's not happy, he's just not emotional.  He is happy when his friends come over and they play and such, but if he's accidentally kicked or hurt or whatever he has to assess himself and will decide if he's hurt and move on from there.....there are no tears unless it actually hurt.  I used to think that was just an odd quirk he had, but now I'm not so sure.  Even if there is blood, he is just as likely to say "Oh, it doesn't hurt." ....I've had to chase him down to wipe blood off his face.

 

Our younger son however, he loves to have a hurt kissed and pretty well cries if he falls rather it hurts or not.

 

I'm going to go back through all of my comments when I take him to be evaluated, these are good examples that I wouldn't think of otherwise!

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His teacher says he just sits and daydreams...does not always participate, does not pay attention.  He reads at a first grade level though....he loves to play with his friends and he has a ton of friends....I think he's a bit of a class clown sometimes.  He is one of the youngest.  He will be 6 in May....most of his peers are 6 and some turned 7 this year.

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He's been playing chess lately too, he has some older friends who come over often..... 9 and 10.... he's won on occasion.  Just another thought I need to add to the list.

 

The person who will evaluate him said I should make a list of the things I consider different or unique.

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It sounds like you are on top of this. What you describe is actually an iconic part of some ADHD kiddos. They  don't do things to please their teachers.

 

He almost NEVER does anything just to please any other person.  He's an ....independent thinker???  If he doesn't see a reason to do something, he won't do it for anyone in the world unless there is a consequence he doesn't like or a reward he wants.  He's doing it for the reward or to avoid a consequence though.... never ever just to make someone happy.

 

*EDIT*

That's not entirely true....he will often bend over backwards to make his younger brother happy.  He will kiss a hurt or give him a hug just to please him.  It's the same with our dog.... he goes out of his way to make the dog happy. lol

Edited by vgoss
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You could look for a social skills group for his age. In our area they work through social thinking materials. Might help him pick up the clue phone. We Thinkers would be appropriate, maybe even Superflex.

 

He sounds dreadfully bored btw.

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You could say Spock is on the spectrum. You're describing an under responsiveness, maybe flat affect. And while he has friends, it sounds like they're older, meaning they're covering for his social problems.

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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

 

oh no! 

 

I wouldn't send that kid to school even one more day if I could help it. I'd celebrate how SMART and CURIOUS and FUN he was! And homeschooling him would be so much fun!!!!

 

And I'd wait on handwriting for another year. 

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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

 

Agree 100 percent. 

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He sounds like he's a great person and will be a fantastic adult, you just have to get him there :)

 

Could you look into another school for him?

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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

 

You just literally jumped in my brain and wrote my thoughts right down to Montessori.

 

Although, Montessori tends to be a pretty quiet environment and talkative kids find themselves in similar places.

 

He sounds like an absolute delightful young 5 year old boy who is acting alot like a young 5 year old boy. Remember he will have kids in his class who are 6 and he will be compared to them even if unintentional. I feel so sad that he was a happy little learner and now thinks there is something wrong with that (what sounds like) incredible brain of his.

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There was an article you can Google but boys who are the youngest in the class are far ore likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The article points to a teachers perspective of immaturity compared to their peers. I will see if I can find it.

 

Regardless of what's going on this is not working and is going to get worse not better at his current school. It stinks but you could consider homeschooling utility you can get him in a gifted and talented program at school. You don't want to crush his spirit.

Edited by exercise_guru
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Hi Vgoss - Your little guy sounds like he'd be so fun to be around!  

 

Here's a news article based on good research - youngest kids in class also do worse than peers - grades, graduation rates, SATs, college, etc. Youngest kids more likely to go to jail. Small difference, but there. Research even found differences between siblings within even high-income families. Why do we stick with this ridiculous age-grade system???

 

Whatever path you take with your DS' schooling - I hope you'll keep in mind - if the kid is having trouble, the problem is likely the environment/system/tasks he's being asked to handle. Start with the assumption the problem is his school, not him.  Tough to do with teachers sending notes home about "misbehavior" and "problems"!  But worth keeping in mind as you work with your DS and advocate for him with his teacher/school.

 

[Of course there are kids - I have one! - that have real challenges - gifted, ADHD, etc. - but even with them starting with the environment (while working with the child) is still a good idea.]

 

I just listened to podcast of talk SWB gave recently (on her book, Rethinking School)...in case you might like it. 

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As the parent of kids who perpetually have "needs to pay more attention" and "stop chatting" on their progress reports, not to mention as someone who faced that myself, I can identify with a lot of this.

 

My youngest also had fine motor issues (sort of... She was fine with a computer, Lego, bit the motor issues showed up in speech, also didn't talk much until around 3 when BOOM).

 

"He takes iStation national exams each month and he is consistently in the 70-90th percentile nationally in every subject."

 

Monthly testing makes me sad.

 

Are they also teaching to the test?

 

Here is what I did:

 

1. Private Pre-K through k according to the German/Swiss model. Luckily we had that opportunity for hands on/creative/outdoor learning through Pre-K.

 

2. Challenging school environment with project based learning. The little one who was nicknamed after an escape artist in pre-school is now in an environment with other bright kids, allowed to do advanced math. In our district you have to be top 2% nationally in two subjects and top 5% in the other to be in gifted, but if the cutoffs are lower in your area, push for it.

 

3. If at all possible, avoid test schools. These seem to be coming up more and more on this board. They attract involved parents because they have high average scores but the education is IMO the antithesis of a quality, classical education. Seek out alternatives that put the child first.

 

4. For motor skills, learn to ride a bike. Play with Lego and tinker toys. Go outside minimum 3 hours a day. Pull weeds. Build with rocks. Hammer rocks. Get that strength and positive association up. Get off the computer and do math in the real world.

 

And to a certain degree we accept not having good attention skills though I demand improvement. If you are an engineer in a corporate environment asked to build to ever changing requirements, a talent for communication, learning new things, and love of play will serve you better than the ability to sit still.

 

Likewise if my kid had twos in music, okay, that is too bad, but being not musical is not to me a big problem provided they are trying. Some people aren't drones. They are busy, expressive, and quick. Report cards reflect that.

 

For the day to day, more outside play and giving him specific strategies to be more creative in his head are where I'd focus.

 

Sorry if you can't switch schools--i didn't see all the replies yet.

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He almost NEVER does anything just to please any other person. He's an ....independent thinker??? If he doesn't see a reason to do something, he won't do it for anyone in the world unless there is a consequence he doesn't like or a reward he wants. He's doing it for the reward or to avoid a consequence though.... never ever just to make someone happy.

 

*EDIT*

That's not entirely true....he will often bend over backwards to make his younger brother happy. He will kiss a hurt or give him a hug just to please him. It's the same with our dog.... he goes out of his way to make the dog happy. lol

I am going to add that, without judging diagnosis as a tool that works for.others, I choose not to pursue diagnoses with disorder in the name unless my child is not functioning in an objective way.

 

Monthly standardized testing is not a worthy goal as an measurement of objective functioning, IMO.

 

I have known many 5 year old boys by this point and your son sounds perfectly awesome to me. I would encourage him to understand that his brain is great and school is one part of life and he doesn't have to fit that one part. Lots of people don't fit but that's not because something is wrong with them.

 

Could you possibly find some place for him to be through 3rd grade at least?

 

Full disclosure, we are a public school family. But we live in an area with excellent schools, 3 recesses per day, and choices. If we could not, homeschool co-ops would be my mandate.

Edited by Tsuga

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My heart goes out to you because I feel your pain. I went through the same thing with my oldest son. Of course, I can't say that our situations are the same - they sound similar, but I will share my situation with you and my thoughts based on my situation. For my son, the difference is that his K teacher did not tell me that he needed an eval. She was already trained to work with ADHD kids, so she felt/knew that he was not ADHD/ADD. She called him a kinesthetic learner and utilized strategies with him that allowed him to move and be active while learning. She did her own test with him - when she thought he wasn't paying attention, she'd call on him and he could answer the question or repeat what she said. This is what brought her to her conclusion - that he was paying attention; in his own way. She said he was global and able to multitask. Her words made me research these terms and I wholeheartedly agreed based on the things I saw in other areas of his life. Much like the things you see. My son was able to raise his head and do a push up before he ever left the hospital. The nurses in the hospital commented on how strong he was and they were concerned that he didn't cry when they gave him his shot. He walked without every crawling -- I think around 9 months or so. Had great motor skills - a great athlete and lagging fine motor skills --- his younger brother still has better handwriting than he.

 

He is now 10 and homeschooled. He was fortunate bc his K teacher was trained and knew how to work with him - though he still averaged 3 behavior marks per day - she told me not to be overly concerned - she has to correct him - but his being high energy and kinesthetic was simply going to result in more marks than other kids. So we started to celebrate having less than 4 instead of expecting none. In 1st & 2nd he lucked out again with male teachers. Male teachers typically run very active classes, so he fit in fine there - they never complained. Then in 3rd - it all hit the fan. He got a teacher that expected him to sit still and listen All Day Long. Not going to happen. She didn't even like for him to play with his fidget toys in his hands ---they are silent but allows him to move without being a distraction. He started to feel like he was bad and actually told me that he hated his life. Mama was alarmed - ph.d. in math - lead mathematician at work - always career-minded woman - came home to homeschool my sons. I will not allow the school system to destroy my child. 

 

It is estimated that over 1 million children are misdiagnosed as having ADD/ADHD. You must ask yourself if their expectations are appropriate for the age of my child. You also have to wonder if it is reasonable to expect every child to be educated the exact same way. Some kids are simply high energy, kinesthetic and a sit and listen class will not work for them until they are passed x-years old and have a lot more self-control. I encourage you to read The War Against Boys or do some research on the subject of how classrooms are more suited for female learners than high-energy male learners. High energy boys are the 'problem' children in schools no matter how smart their test scores say they are. Your son is scoring high on those tests - research shows that if the school is successful in breaking his spirit and love of learning, his scores will begin to decline in 4th grade and by 7th, he'll be a below average student going through the motions. Please know that I am not trying to speak badly about schools. Schools have a TOUGH job of educating a LOT of different students. What I am saying is that the typical school environment may not work for YOUR child. A great school on paper is not necessarily a great school for your child. When I researched things, Montessori was a good choice for high energy kids that need to be active/involved while learning.

 

What I am trying to say is that you are looking for ways to fix your kid ---- he likely isn't broken --- instead change his learning environment to one that suits him. He will NOT conform to his environment (as you have seen 'no rewards or punishment work'). He can't conform. Asking him to conform is like asking a bird not to fly. 

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There was an article you can Google but boys who are the youngest in the class are far ore likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The article points to a teachers perspective of immaturity compared to their peers. I will see if I can find it.

 

Regardless of what's going on this is not working and is going to get worse not better at his current school. It stinks but you could consider homeschooling utility you can get him in a gifted and talented program at school. You don't want to crush his spirit.

 

I should note as well: not all G&T programs are equal. In our schools, the G&T programs are competitive and hyper-focused on scores... they aren't for talented and creative active types. They are just regular school on crack, extra focus, extra worksheets, one year ahead.

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I couldn't remember the other book yesterday. It is Dreamers Discoverer and Dynamos. Also talks about how high energy, independent thinkers are labeled as problem kids with ADD. To be sure, an ADD diagnosis should be for a kid who is not functioning. There are 3 chapters in the book that talk about ADD. I encourage you to read those or study the overdiagnosis of ADD. It is truly an overdiagnosed conditioned that is used to get kids to sit down and be quiet so teachers can present their lesson.

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That's right, my high ACT scoring dd is not functioning.

Edited by PeterPan

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I should note as well: not all G&T programs are equal. In our schools, the G&T programs are competitive and hyper-focused on scores... they aren't for talented and creative active types. They are just regular school on crack, extra focus, extra worksheets, one year ahead.

 

 

that is very true thank you for posting that. In my daughters program for advanced mathematics and science ( college level at a very very young age) many of those kids in fact most of them did not even qualify for our GATE program. Also depending on where you live the GATE program is  a mixed bag. For kiddos who want to guide their own learning and are independent and not people pleasers home schooling can be a dream because you can have a self driving child. My oldest was like that and would spend weeks and months working on her own independent projects. My child that is in the Math and science program was a traditional GATE student she loved to please teachers but not her mom so we went the structures public school route. 

 

For my son its not likely he will be in the GATE program because it is intense writing and he hates to use a pencil even though he is quite bright. Its more likely I will home school some ( maybe a lot) and then hope he qualifies for the math and science program. I am also considering a charter school near us. If not it will be a lot of homeschooling and I will have to put my career on hold again. 

 

The mom in this original post will know a lot more as he gets closer to 2nd and 3rd grade. My advice is just to work on the "laying down the rails" and "executive function" skills along with fine motor. Then as he grows she will have a better idea what is going to take and what modifications to take. 

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So I'm adding another update to this year of *sigh*.....

DSs fine motor skills are still awful despite efforts to make that otherwise....he avoids any sort of fine motor activity with his full effort. When a little girl in class a few weeks ago asked if my DS wanted her to write his 4 for him (after he'd erased it like 10 times and rewritten it).... he says "Sure"..... he promptly is busted for "cheating" and it's a huge ordeal.

His math scores are in the 98th percentile these past two tests..... he really likes math, but I don't get how his scores are so high TBH.  He still counts with fingers often and he seems painfully slow to me (in my adult eyes at least).  He's capable of adding 3 digit numbers and he's not bad at subtracting at a similar rate though it's not as good as the addition.  He's clearly farther along compared to class mates though, if only in content and maybe not speed? IDK.  I timed him, it takes him about 2.5 minutes to add a couple of 3 digit numbers for whatever that's worth.  His class just did their first double digit problem a day or two ago....that leads me to his weirdness.

So he's been manipulating these numbers at home for a while now, so when I see that they had their first double digit addition problem today and according to the teacher "Only 3 kids in the whole class could do it!" I was very sure my DS was one of them.  He comes home and I ask how his day was etc....he tells me:

"We had a math problem, it was 23+24=47"  I say OH great, and was your teacher happy you could do that?  He says "No, I didn't answer it." .....so I'm like .... "Uhh, ok.... why not?"

He explains that during the time they were given for the math problem he had to go to the bathroom which is down the hall.  After he's done he comes back to his work and he sees that the girl next to him has not shown her work (Drawing ten sticks and such).... also, she's not correct.  He says he wants to be correct, but he doesn't want his teacher to think he's cheating (girl next to him is the one who wrote his 4 last time and he was in huge trouble) and he realizes that he could have seen other children's papers on the way back to his seat or also in the hall on the way to the bathroom and she would think he asked them for the answer or copied their answer.  He basically explains this long drawn out thought process as of to why instead of just answering what is, for him, a very simple question he sat there the entire time and drew ten sticks/did nothing.  His logic was that if he were the last child finished he could not have been cheating because she would see his paper was still unanswered.  That bit him in the butt though because he ended up getting a "red" for not finishing his work and he was made to walk the fence line during recess.

 

Another incident:

DS has previously gotten "reds" for not going to the bathroom at appropriate times - they have scheduled bathroom breaks and he would ask to go to the bathroom during "lesson time" which is not allowed.  He made a habit of it and started to get "reds" and we told him he had to start going each and every single time he is allowed to go during the approved time so that he did not get the behavioral "red" mark.

DS comes home and he reeks of urine although he's totally dry.  I'm like .... "Hey what the heck? Did you pee in your pants?"  He tells me he did early in the day.  So of course I'm like .... Yea, explain that.  He explains that he had to pee but it was not the right time and he did not want a red, so he tried to wait and, obviously, failed.  After he'd peed his pants he did not want his teacher to discover it so he (again) sat at his desk and got a red anyway for "taking too long on his work"..... he was waiting for his jeans to dry enough that she wouldn't notice they were wet.

 

He reads in about the 70th percentile, his academic work is above average in content as long as it's not to do with the dreaded fine motor skills.  He has these crazy long thought out "what if" situations to explain various situations as the above.  The boy can find a hole in logic like nobody's business.....pretty sure Santa and the like won't make it past this year......but good grief is he ever full of reasons he's not doing the thing he's supposed to be doing.

He's sometimes very concerned with "real vs not real".... I may have mentioned that already.  "Mommy are People Pox real?"  "No, that's a rash from a story about zombies.".................. "Are Small Pox real?" "Yes, that's the one that killed the Native Americans."................."Are 'bad guys' real?" "Yes, sometimes, that's why you have to stay close in the store." ......."Vampires?" "No"........."Dinosaurs?" "Extinct, Yes were real." ..... .."Llamas?" "Yes."....on and on.  I think maybe that's just typical behavior of a 5 year old though?

 

*edit*

I'll also add that I've talked now to the principal who agrees the math scores are significant and I talked to the GATE teacher, but none of that does much good until 2nd grade.

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On 3/13/2018 at 11:38 AM, RenaInTexas said:

To be sure, an ADD diagnosis should be for a kid who is not functioning.

What do you mean by this exactly?  I ask because we took DS to the doc to kinda rule out ADD and he wouldn't even think of doing a test for it, because of the scores....maybe I should have pushed harder for that?

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Work on his retained palmar reflex and oh, boy, are you sure you can't pull him out of school? He is far too smart for them to deal with.

 

And emotional vampires are real. :p

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This is a ps? You can make a formal written request for evals. If you begin now, he can have better supports with an IEP or 504 by fall. 

You'll need to get private OT if you want retained reflexes addressed. PS services are going to be brief and minimal. To give you perspective, my ds has severe apraxia that we've been working on since he was newly 2. His IEP offers him 15 minutes a week of therapy. For SEVERE APRAXIA. We do 2 hours a week privately and are about to add more hours per week for expressive language. Ditto for OT. My ds' IEP says something very minimal (45 minutes a month plus OT going into the classroom to tell the teacher what to do), and we do 4 hours a month. OT for handwriting actually can make a big difference, but you don't know what's going on. Both my kids needed it, but for totally different reasons. Your ds sounds like he's got more whole body issues going on (retained reflexes, visual motor, difficulty getting it out). 

6 hours ago, vgoss said:

What do you mean by this exactly?  I ask because we took DS to the doc to kinda rule out ADD and he wouldn't even think of doing a test for it, because of the scores....maybe I should have pushed harder for that?

While technically a ped can diagnose ADHD, in your case it's not going to answer much. And yes, that's absurd to say a child has to fail to be diagnosed. My dd is in college using legal accommodations for ADHD, etc., and she doesn't FAIL anything, my lands. There's a train of thought that ADHD is overdiagnosed, that the term is clinicalizing normal behavior, blah blah. I do think it's suspect when the school system pushes a boy age 5 and turns it into failure. That's the school.But my ds got his first IEP in K5. It can be done. They aren't gonna do an IEP for straight ADHD, rather a 504. Still, things can be done. And you can question whether you'll keep him in their system (which really doesn't intervene till they FAIL) or pull him out. But the issues underlying this are going to be there, even if you bring him home. 

The advantage, in your case, of getting a psych eval as he turns 6 would be that you'd get a baseline IQ, so you can see how much the giftedness is affecting this. If you find a good psych (someone on the Hoagies' Gifted list, someone who's going to spend some time and give you helpful feedback), they can screen, give you some referrals, help you sort things out. The ped will run the BRIEF or another EF survey, do a tap tap computer test, and go yes/no he attends. So the ped can diagnose ADHD in order to prescribe meds, but it doesn't give you the rest of the analysis you'd get from a psych. I've had SO many people say in clinical settings my ds has significant attention issues, while on the computer tap tap tests (done by my ped and 2 psychs) my ds passes with flying colors. In other words, that ped diagnosis isn't really helpful to you. But to get a psych eval, THAT would help you sort out stuff. And then you'd have a list of suggested things to be done and accommodations that you could use to go to the school and advocate to make things happen.

The NOLO book explains the IEP process and your legal rights. That would be a good place to start. Also read Bright, Not Broken.

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Your son sounds similar to my son and we are getting our eval results Monday...I'll let you know what we find out in case it helps you. 

I never tried public school for several reasons, including I don't think its made for boys in the younger years, but I think there is a reasonable amount of focus a 5 or 6 year old boy should be able to have.  Like 2 minutes worth? Lol..I'm not sure.  But even with my low expectations on focus, but son is still super distracted.  He is getting more able to describe how he is feeling though.  Lately, he will say things like "I think Zelda is mind controlling."  That's his way of saying that he is fixating on it so much that he cannot think of anything else and cannot switch gears to do his school work, or eat, or whatever else.  Also, that thing you mentioned about how your son just sat there and didn't do the math problem because of those worries/concerns...really sounds like something my son would say!

My son does have the hyperactive component to his behavior though...but I've noticed its more of a regulation problem than a constant hyperactivity problem.  When we have quiet, routine days at home he can be calm with some stimming, but you should have seen him at the grocery store today.  He was soooo hyper and excited.  I'm starting to learn that for his brain it is normal for him to compulsively run in the grocery store because he is so excited and having so much fun.  He probably thinks everyone else is strange for not running and not being excited.  I have a lot to learn about him and ASD, if he does have it.  

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On 4/14/2018 at 6:28 AM, PeterPan said:

This is a ps? You can make a formal written request for evals. If you begin now, he can have better supports with an IEP or 504 by fall. 

.......

 

The NOLO book explains the IEP process and your legal rights. That would be a good place to start. Also read Bright, Not Broken.

It is a ps, what is a 504?  I know what an IEP is, are they the same?  I did read Bright, Not Broken and to be honest after reading it if I had to make my own guess I would say that DS has *something* going on (ADHD: inattentive or maybe even ASD though I don't think that's it after some digging) and he is compensating for it with IQ as in the 2e group.  At the same time, when you talk about the computer tests and such.....the only time DS really 'turns off' is when he expects he will have to do something that requires fine motor skills...he can certainly play any sort of education game or audio book, whatever on a computer and stay focused most of the time.  During lecture I can't help but wonder if he's just learning that most of the time he doesn't need to pay attention....like maybe a lot of this is learned behavior?

He came home last week and told me he had to be quiet because the other kids need to hear the teacher "3-5 times or they'll forget what she said".  I wonder if all of the "inattentive" behaviors are simply him having learned that he doesn't think he actually needs to pay attention and his default now is not to even bother.

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14 hours ago, nwahomeschoolmom said:

Your son sounds similar to my son and we are getting our eval results Monday...I'll let you know what we find out in case it helps you. 

I never tried public school for several reasons, including I don't think its made for boys in the younger years, but I think there is a reasonable amount of focus a 5 or 6 year old boy should be able to have.  Like 2 minutes worth? Lol..I'm not sure.  But even with my low expectations on focus, but son is still super distracted.  He is getting more able to describe how he is feeling though.  Lately, he will say things like "I think Zelda is mind controlling."  That's his way of saying that he is fixating on it so much that he cannot think of anything else and cannot switch gears to do his school work, or eat, or whatever else.  Also, that thing you mentioned about how your son just sat there and didn't do the math problem because of those worries/concerns...really sounds like something my son would say!

My son does have the hyperactive component to his behavior though...but I've noticed its more of a regulation problem than a constant hyperactivity problem.  When we have quiet, routine days at home he can be calm with some stimming, but you should have seen him at the grocery store today.  He was soooo hyper and excited.  I'm starting to learn that for his brain it is normal for him to compulsively run in the grocery store because he is so excited and having so much fun.  He probably thinks everyone else is strange for not running and not being excited.  I have a lot to learn about him and ASD, if he does have it.  

I'm looking forward to hearing what they had to say about your DS!  Stimming? Like flapping arms and such?  I'm not really sure what qualifies as stimming?  My sons biggest quirk I think is that he loves to put things in his mouth....not necessarily to eat them, but he likes to put stuff in his mouth like sometimes a weird feeling cord or whatever weirdly textured thing.....drives me crazy, although he's quit doing that quite a lot here recently for no particular reason other than we've repeatedly told him he shouldn't put non-food in his mouth.

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You have a gifted child. What he is doing with his mouth is developing his visual/spatial skills and integrating his senses. 

Have you made it over to hoagiesgifted.org ? You've been given great suggestions on stimulating him, and hoagies has more that will help you out.

Best thing the school psych recommended to us was swimming.  Kickball and tag at his speed is also really helpful. Fine motor -- lego, playdough, clay.

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36 minutes ago, vgoss said:

I'm looking forward to hearing what they had to say about your DS!  Stimming? Like flapping arms and such?  I'm not really sure what qualifies as stimming?  My sons biggest quirk I think is that he loves to put things in his mouth....not necessarily to eat them, but he likes to put stuff in his mouth like sometimes a weird feeling cord or whatever weirdly textured thing.....drives me crazy, although he's quit doing that quite a lot here recently for no particular reason other than we've repeatedly told him he shouldn't put non-food in his mouth.

What you're describing is SPD. Is he doing this at school? He probably is. You can request evals through the ps, and make sure they include OT, psych, etc. Lots of kids with ADHD have sensory issues. He might also have some retained reflexes. 

If you can make private evals happen, they'll be more helpful. He's clearly very bright. You want a private OT eval and a private psych eval. For the OT, you want someone who is really good with sensory who will test for retained primitive reflexes. Or you can google and test for them yourself. If he's having sensory issues, he probably has some.

You can do the ps evals AND the private evals. You make a written request to the school, saying you suspect ADHD and sensory issues are affecting his ability to access his education. They'll say his test scores are fine and that he has no trouble in class and blow you off. Or they might not. All you can do is try. Meanwhile make the private evals happen as well. The private evals will be more independent and explain more what's really going on, while the ps evals will get you in the process of seeing if there's anything they can do. ADHD can get a 504 yes. Google and learn about it. They won't typically do an IEP for just OT, even though it sounds like he needs OT. You just have to go through it and see what you can make happen.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

What you're describing is SPD. Is he doing this at school? He probably is. You can request evals through the ps, and make sure they include OT, psych, etc. Lots of kids with ADHD have sensory issues. He might also have some retained reflexes. 

If you can make private evals happen, they'll be more helpful. He's clearly very bright. You want a private OT eval and a private psych eval. For the OT, you want someone who is really good with sensory who will test for retained primitive reflexes. Or you can google and test for them yourself. If he's having sensory issues, he probably has some.

You can do the ps evals AND the private evals. You make a written request to the school, saying you suspect ADHD and sensory issues are affecting his ability to access his education. They'll say his test scores are fine and that he has no trouble in class and blow you off. Or they might not. All you can do is try. Meanwhile make the private evals happen as well. The private evals will be more independent and explain more what's really going on, while the ps evals will get you in the process of seeing if there's anything they can do. ADHD can get a 504 yes. Google and learn about it. They won't typically do an IEP for just OT, even though it sounds like he needs OT. You just have to go through it and see what you can make happen.

His teacher has never mentioned he puts things in his mouth and, admittedly, it's much less that I notice it now that he's started school (kids probably made fun once and he quit, is my guess).  I did do a retained reflex test that I googled with him and he could do all of the things in that test.  The ps had an OT look at him VERY briefly and we were told it was minor fine motor skill delay and to just let him play with play doh (which we do and always have pretty often). He avoids fine motor like you wouldn't believe and he's very good at covering for the deficit which makes me wonder about the very brief visit with the school OT.  If you're not watching him he can find a way around using those muscles pretty quickly.  He flips over the Operation board game (while holding in the other pieces when possible) for example or just grabs the acorns with his hands on the Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel game.  You have to stay on him to make sure he's actually doing an activity the way that helps him.  He'll use his forearm for playdoh and the heels of his hands when possible.  He can't always open a yogurt or hummus and such from his lunch because of the foil pull lid.

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2 hours ago, HeighHo said:

You have a gifted child. What he is doing with his mouth is developing his visual/spatial skills and integrating his senses. 

Have you made it over to hoagiesgifted.org ? You've been given great suggestions on stimulating him, and hoagies has more that will help you out.

Best thing the school psych recommended to us was swimming.  Kickball and tag at his speed is also really helpful. Fine motor -- lego, playdough, clay.

Yes I did visit that site, that is the site I got the psych from that will eval him when he's 6.  I am very hopeful we will have answers after that!

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You have a lot of answers...the big one being that uneven development is expected, keep going with activities that are helpful.

Is there a school psych?  That person can be helpful now, in alleviating the anxiety and the self image of being 'bad', as well as give the teacher some more effective ideas.

Do you need any other fine motor skills ideas, aside from piano and crafts?  Marbles and tubes seems to be fun, we get the cub scouts going with that. They also like nuts & bolts...they match a nut to a bolt and put them together then play tic-tac-toe (each player has a different sized set).  And of course if you rotate vehicle tires or check tire pressures, they may enjoy putting the lug nuts or valve caps on..thinking of this as fun w/parent, not a chore.  An offbeat one is coins...wrapping coins, counting coins, stacking coins, coinstruction the offical kit, or have fun by inserting pennies or dimes on their edges into large playdough shapes to make interesting patterns.

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Until it gets really bad, the ps won't treat. They literally are going to require 1.5 to 2 SD (standard deviations) of discrepancy in order to qualify him for services. They will let him fail and then treat. If you took him to a private OT and had another way to pay (self-pay, insurance, whatever) they would treat, yes. He sounds like he would benefit from intervention.

The ps around here won't give an IEP for just OT. So unless more is going on, you're still screwed, toast, not gonna get services through the school. They have so many kids needing services that they're not gonna offer what they don't have to. At least not around here. That's when you have to go private. The ps evals are about qualifying for services, not what ought to be done.

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About the Operation Game ...same with my son in the one minute he played it.  When we were in Classical Conversations (when he was 4), they had used that as a game on review day, but he couldn't handle the sound of the game and had to leave the room. 

Stimming...I actually learned about it on this board and realized my son did it all the time.  I thought stimming was just extreme hand flapping and rocking, but its so much more.  (I have seen my son rock while reading and hand flap when excited but not frequently..of course, I've only been looking for the past few months.)   My son will beat box, hum, run in circles, pace quickly while talking, spin on the ground in circles, talk nonsense to a really excessive degree (sentences that don't make sense, or silly sounds).  He went through a phase where he would insert the phrase "101 dalmations" randomly into what he was saying, or just say it randomly.  When he is talking to people outside of the family and is excited, he flaps his ear back and forth, sometimes while running in circles.  He also chews his blanket a lot, but I tune that out...its the least of my worries.  Things like that..I'll let you know tomorrow what we hear.  

 

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