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

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1 hour ago, nwahomeschoolmom said:

I'll let you know tomorrow what we hear.  

You're getting your report tomorrow? Yes, let us know. It's pretty hard, even if you know what might be coming. He definitely sounds like he has a lot of repetitive behaviors. Hugs...

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Well, we got an answer.  My son was diagnosed with severe ADHD, combined type.  She said that he does have spectrum traits and alluded to the fact that they considered the diagnosis, but that he didn't qualify in all areas.  So ADHD would explain most of it.  She did notice that he constantly argues, negotiates, and challenges whats asked of him, but thats just something difficult we have to deal with and manage, but not ASD. She said that some kids have to work really hard to do well in school, but they don't have anything wrong with them in particular, and that my son is that way in certain social areas.  He has to work really hard in certain areas socially, like in being agreeable and being obedient, but that he doesn't necessarily have ASD.  She did say something like, "now, I'm not withholding a label of ASD because of such and such, but there are negative things that come along with having a label."   So it sounds like ASD could come up again at a later evaluation, or he will grow out of certain things.  He did have a slightly below average score for theory of mind.  He was given the NEPPSY-II.  I'm going to post another question about the ADHD so I'll stop typing now. : )

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NWAmom, what social thinking test did they do?? The Sally-Ann? I'm struggling to think of one for that age. There's the SLDT for pragmatics and theory of mind that starts at 6. My ds passes the 2nd part of the Sally-Ann test and fails the 1st part, which is EXTREMELY unusual. It's NOT meant to be a test for autism. If they didn't do the ADOS and you have perseverations, repetitive behaviors, etc., you really want to consider a 2nd opinion. In another thread you disclose this was a student, and frankly the track record on those is spotty. What forms did you fill out for the autism question? Who did you have fill them out? It's really a question that needs to be gotten right. :(

Here's a sample report for the NEPSY so you can see what's included.

nepsy-ii-clinicial-sr.pdf

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To me, it sounds like he's bored.  He obviously loves learning and is excited about showing his knowledge, but the school is going too slowly for him.  This is very common with accelerated learners.  The other issue may be his immaturity.  It's my belief that in many public schools, young kids are forced to sit too long.  At 5, kids should learning through playing (physical play, games,crafts, puzzles, make-believe, etc.) and exploring.  Seat work should be restricted to 15 minutes or shorter.  Kids that young just don't have the attention span to sit still and be quiet for long periods, especially an accelerated one.

The beauty of homeschooling is that you can adjust your education to fit your child.  Take him outside to learn about nature; go to museums to explore; play games like Sequence for kids and Math Dice.  Kindergarten should be about learning, yes, but it should also be active and fun.

My advice would be to pull him now, finish out the year doing some of the above, and then have him evaluated next fall, close to when school starts, to see which class/grade would be most appropriate for him according to his academic level.

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We appear to have made some headway today.  He's been referred to the GATE program, so that's good I think....I talked to our state GATE director and the Istation scores are, at least worth looking at, so that makes me feel like I'm not crazy.  On the home front he can solve for X in small algebra problems like 4-x=2.  I don't even know if I should expect that right now to be honest lol.  Is that even ok to show him?  I am literally terrified I'll show him how to do something that will make him confused at school.  We talked about very small numbers ..... I showed him a number line and tried (my best anyway) to show him what a negative number is and why that matters.....IDK if I'm going to make things worse or better.  He got a green today.... he kept his tiny little blabber-mouth quiet all day for two days in a row! :D

We've enrolled him in a summer reading program through UCA since (at 70th percentile) that's his weak point.  They tell me that if he gets through the first grade stuff easily he can move forward to 2nd.       http://uca.readingprograms.org/1st/

I'd rather him have a math program, but are there any that will help him??  I'd love to enroll him in a math thing, he loves numbers and manipulation of them....I just don't know of any!  Anything that will have him doing whatever comes next is good....any ideas?!

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Teaching him maths is less likely to confuse him for school than accentuate the boredom. And possibly irritate his teachers if you teach him a method they don't know. But if he's annoying them anyway, there's nothing much to lose.

If you want to teach maths, you could try using something different like http://stern.buffalostate.edu/CSMPProgram/ and tell him they'll teach him a different method at school and that's great because it'll make him a more flexible thinker. It's free, you can load it up and start right now. (Well, I don't know what time is is in Arkansas right now. :p )

Basically, with a kid like that, you have no choice but to teach them whether you homeschool or not.

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My ds was doing +/- with negative numbers at 6, so sure, go for it, not crazy at all.

Sounds like you're connecting with some good resources! It's normal to be both gifted AND benefiting from some intervention (for social, for EF=executive function). Doesn't have to be one or the other.

For the math, the Family Math book has games. Ronit Bird has a free book of math card games. Her game Positive/Negative Turnovers is the one I used with ds. It's explained in that free ebook, and I played it with ante poker cards that I picked up on the cheap on ebay. Any cards will work, but the ante ones are cute because they're narrow. Means you can lay out like 10 of them without taking up a ton of space.

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:45 PM, nwahomeschoolmom said:

Well, we got an answer.  My son was diagnosed with severe ADHD, combined type.  She said that he does have spectrum traits and alluded to the fact that they considered the diagnosis, but that he didn't qualify in all areas.  So ADHD would explain most of it.  She did notice that he constantly argues, negotiates, and challenges whats asked of him, but thats just something difficult we have to deal with and manage, but not ASD. She said that some kids have to work really hard to do well in school, but they don't have anything wrong with them in particular, and that my son is that way in certain social areas.  He has to work really hard in certain areas socially, like in being agreeable and being obedient, but that he doesn't necessarily have ASD.  She did say something like, "now, I'm not withholding a label of ASD because of such and such, but there are negative things that come along with having a label."   So it sounds like ASD could come up again at a later evaluation, or he will grow out of certain things.  He did have a slightly below average score for theory of mind.  He was given the NEPPSY-II.  I'm going to post another question about the ADHD so I'll stop typing now. : )

Big hugs!  I think it would be a relief too, in many ways?  Now you have some answers and can prepare for what you know?  I'll come read your other thread.

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11 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Teaching him maths is less likely to confuse him for school than accentuate the boredom. And possibly irritate his teachers if you teach him a method they don't know. But if he's annoying them anyway, there's nothing much to lose.

If you want to teach maths, you could try using something different like http://stern.buffalostate.edu/CSMPProgram/ and tell him they'll teach him a different method at school and that's great because it'll make him a more flexible thinker. It's free, you can load it up and start right now. (Well, I don't know what time is is in Arkansas right now. :p )

Basically, with a kid like that, you have no choice but to teach them whether you homeschool or not.

That website is awesome, thank you so much for sharing!!!!

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I think he sounds like a delightful and very gifted little boy and it breaks my heart that he is not being accepted as he is. PLEASE don't let them stifle or scare the passion and spark out of him. He may be finally "conforming" at school, but that could have severely negative consequences to his self esteem (ie "if I stop being myself, they will like me or say i'm 'good'"). Watch closely for signs of depression. If he wants to learn more math, for heaven's sake, teach him more math. Let him explore, let him flourish, let him excel. And seriously, I don't know what your situation is that you can't homeschool, but I would look at things again and try to make it happen. He just does not fit the "school mold". {{{hugs mama}}}

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In your shoes, I would go pounding down to the school and demand that they stop treating your gifted son like he is defective because they have developmentally inappropriate expectations for attention and quiet from small boys.

I would also get out of his way and facilitate to let him learn all the math he wants.

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On 4/17/2018 at 7:44 PM, vgoss said:

We appear to have made some headway today.  He's been referred to the GATE program, so that's good I think....I talked to our state GATE director and the Istation scores are, at least worth looking at, so that makes me feel like I'm not crazy.  On the home front he can solve for X in small algebra problems like 4-x=2.  I don't even know if I should expect that right now to be honest lol.  Is that even ok to show him?  I am literally terrified I'll show him how to do something that will make him confused at school.  We talked about very small numbers ..... I showed him a number line and tried (my best anyway) to show him what a negative number is and why that matters.....IDK if I'm going to make things worse or better.  He got a green today.... he kept his tiny little blabber-mouth quiet all day for two days in a row! :D

We've enrolled him in a summer reading program through UCA since (at 70th percentile) that's his weak point.  They tell me that if he gets through the first grade stuff easily he can move forward to 2nd.       http://uca.readingprograms.org/1st/

I'd rather him have a math program, but are there any that will help him??  I'd love to enroll him in a math thing, he loves numbers and manipulation of them....I just don't know of any!  Anything that will have him doing whatever comes next is good....any ideas?!

I just want to jump in and say that that particular reading program is not affliated with UCA (or any university).  It’s not research based, and your teacher will most likely have had a very brief training - and only in this specific program, not reading or teaching.

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On 4/19/2018 at 5:39 AM, medawyn said:

I just want to jump in and say that that particular reading program is not affliated with UCA (or any university).  It’s not research based, and your teacher will most likely have had a very brief training - and only in this specific program, not reading or teaching.

I agree.  That program uses sight words, current brain research and also decades of past research does not support learning sight words as wholes.  You are a lot better off working through the first 6 to 8 lessons of my free syllables program and then continuing with more work with Blend Phonics and Webster's Speller or Phonics Pathways or OPG or another good phonics program like Word Mastery (free to print.)

Here is a link to my syllables program, easy to use, just watch the videos and use the workbook ($6 at Amazon) or print the files for free:

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

Here is why and how to teach sight words with phonics instead of as wholes by sight:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/sightwords.html

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On 2/1/2018 at 3:50 PM, vgoss said:

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.

 

I have two kids with similar scores / issues in public school (both girls). High math scores, high verbal, #1 problem and only low grade is not paying attention.

I would caution against looking for answers just for answers sake.

Take a step back and think about the concrete goals you have for your son. That will help you formulate better questions so you can get answers that do something more than put your mind at rest.

Frankly, what happens if you get a label? Unless you are in need of services or your son has a severe issue at home that is preventing him from forming social bonds, labels are limited in use. I'm not opposed to labels, but they aren't answers. They are just one tool.

Also do not exclude the fact that once teachers see a child as a problem, they may not let it go even as a child catches up and is not behaving differently.

I also would agree with everyone that if you pursue testing, and have any means at all, you should do it privately unless you go to a really, really posh school. The best psychologist at the best school will still have to divide limited resources against a flood of requests.

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Since this seems to be one set of opinions, I would not worry too much yet. Let him try in a different environment. Since he scores so well on istation and such, I am guessing he is just fine and they are the ones expecting too much perfection and calmness out of a little five year old.

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Well we are still chugging along and I think as one person said above, we've come to realize that it just doesn't matter what the label is.  This year has been long and pretty hard, and there have a been a lot of tears, but we're about through with it now.  He loves math and he's an above average reader and this past year he's become such a little man.  I think his test scores speak for themselves and the end goal here, after all, is for him to learn .... which he is doing very well.  He may not appear to be paying attention, but he retains it so why do I worry this much?  His math and letter recognition are in the 98-99th percentile and his vocab score is in the 80some%.  We are happy with that and we're trying to come to peace with the behavior concerns and maybe wait until we have at least one other teachers opinion.

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To all of you wonderful people who helped me through last year and my DSs crazy year, I thank you all so much....seriously, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I don't imagine we are out of the woods with DS, but let me tell you all what a difference a teacher can make!

DS has not been in ANY trouble this year - ZERO incidents.  He's received awards for GOOD behavior from his *music* teacher.  His scores are now mostly all the same (low-mid 90th percentile for all things non-math except spelling..... 99th for math, his favorite).  He will do anything for his new teacher, you guys.  He adores her.  He's 6 now, and we've decided we're going to continue to wait on the psych eval.  After much debating and seeing how he did in the new school with the new teacher, we are so pleased we're afraid to rock the boat.  After about a week of school at the new place he came home HAPPY, hopped in the car and says "I guess *last years teacher* just didn't know she should be nice in the mornings.  I'm actually good at this school! *New teacher* still tells us what to do, but she's nice anyway." 

He's participating in a book reading challenge and he's having a great time - it's a book club that meets during school hours once a week and they talk about the books they've read.  It removes him from some of the regular class time, but that's done nothing negative as far as I can tell, so far.

I know it might come up again after he changes teachers again, I know it might be a temporary reprieve but our family needed a good year so badly and who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth.  🙂

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P.S.  You guys above were all correct about the reading program we had him enrolled in over the summer.....it was junk. 😄

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