I'm concerned about my son. He is 5 and started Kindergarten this year. He has always had some trouble in structured environments in terms of "wanting to do his own thing" instead of the activity at hand. Last week we got progress reports where he showed that he academically is doing well, but needs serious improvement in listening and interacting with other classmates. His teacher actually asked if there was something going on at home that might be upsetting him because his behavior is "off the wall". I explained that there was nothing new at all, this is just how he is once he is comfortable in an environment. At first he will be quiet and withdrawn, but once comfortable, is quite hyper and it is hard to get him to settle down and focus.
The biggest issue is constant chatter.....even at home. If he is doing anything, such as building a puzzle, he is constantly talking to himself, narrating, singing, telling himself a story, etc. I love that he has a creative mind, but he has no internal thoughts, EVERYTHING must be verbalized. If the chatter stops, than the body must move and he cannot sit still......it is always one, or the other. I did mention this to his PCP over the summer at his checkup and I was concerned, but she made light of it stating that much of this behavior is normal for a five year old. Again, the Dr's office is a "new" environment and he will not display the behaviors. They actually had him tagged as "possibly speech delayed" because he did not speak at the Dr's until this year. Lack of speech is certainly not the issue! He also has an issue with perfectionism and feels defeated before starting something because it will not be "perfect".
Also, there are a few tactile issues, for instant he cannot touch anything sticky (stickers, paints), cannot have a hair stuck to him or he freaks out. He also will not eat foods of a mushy consistency and is visually sensitive to bright lights/sunlight. He has an uncanny ability to find patterns, logic and reason in any situation and desires to understand how everything "works." He excels in understanding scientific and mathmatic principles beyond his age.
He does have good social interaction with others, is empathetic and uses appropriate eye contact, etc. He does get frustrated if he cannot control a situation...he seems to have a need to lead his peers and gets very upset if they will not do what he wants to do. (I often chalked this up to being a single child) He also can be overly sensitive at times and thinks that any laughing is due to people laughing at him, when the situation has nothing to do with him. He is not prone to outbursts and rage.
He is small for his age-turning 6 in 3 months and he is 38" and 38 lbs. His fine motor skills are below age level, but large motor have caught up since enrolling him in karate for 6 months. We did have to quit due to behavior issues though.
Sorry this is so long.....I would appreciate any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions you might have. I just am having a hard time with just punishment as a form of behavior modification because I know there is more going on than an issue with just not wanting to listen. He is a good kid who WANTS to please. Most often, when asked why he did or didnt do something.....he is just sad and says "I dont know".
He sounds like a bright and lively child and probably a little excitable. That doesn't mean anything is wrong with him. Is his home too stimulating for him? Patience and quiet on your part may be helpful. Hold back on scolding and don't shout at him. Also use soft colors in his room. You would be surprised how much that helps to soothe. He is only five. It may take him a while to settle down. Frankly I would take your son over the obedient robot that teachers prefer.
Our home environment is actual very calm and we tend to keep to routines, which works for him. His room is decorated in the typical boy colors, mostly blue and he doesnt spend time in his room, except for sleep.. He has no issues going to bed at night. Up until school, he was always considered a lively child, but his daycare providers seemed to understand him. They always said he was a wonderful child, but he had "boy moments" or "bad listening days".
I hope you are right and he is just going to take some time to settle down at school, since he is only 5. I dont want him to become a kid-robot. I love his creative, active and lively mind! I guess I am mostly worried about continuing bad reports from school.......and what to do about it. His teacher has been teaching for over 30 years, so it is hard to dismiss her concerns.
Thank you for your feedback and encouragement :)
One added note......his Dad was labeled a "problem child." He is over 40 and when he was in the school system, they did not have diagnosis for ADHD then. But his Mom does feel that today he would definitely have been considered ADHD. He struggled his whole life with relating depression and self-esteem issues and has never been diagnosed. (Same problem--brialliant child, but focus issues and defiance). I believe even today his father would still be diagnosed with adult ADD. I guess I just fear the same "bad kid" labeling for my son. But at the same time, if diagnosis means helping some of the long-term issues, than I want to do what I can to help him.
This is just my opinion and only that. I have a 5 year old as well that I love dearly. I've never wanted to squelch any of his enthusiasm or zeal for life and love that he is spirited and active. That is not to say, however, that I do not want him to be able to function in a classroom enviroment (which in my mind does not equate to being a robot). My son has a developmental delay called sensory integration disorder which affects his nervous system like ADHD but is treated very differently. We do occupational therapy once a week and many things at home that address his nervous system. The bottom line is that HE is a much happier boy. As you describe your husband's feelings in his youth that have carried over to adulthood, this was what I often found in my clinical practice of psychology. Self esteem starts in the early years and that dynamic is hard to change once it has taken hold. I think getting in trouble so frequently and having peers shun them because of their behavior has an effect but more so that these kids never felt comfortable in their own skin. My goal with my own son was to give him the tools to feel good about himself and cope with a nervous system that doesn't work quite right.
I am by no means saying that your son has ADHD or sensory integration or any other delay. 5 year old boys are often active and kindergarten is a huge transition for many kids. It is their first real classroom experience and they have real expectations of them for the first time. But a teacher of 30 years is in the position of looking at your son and taking this into account to see where he is compared to his peers. They do not have the bias a parent has in the situation. So I would work WITH her to strategize how your son can have a better experience. This doesn't mean believing everything she says if you don't agree as you know your child best and you are his advocate. But working with her to understand your child through outside eyes can be helpful.
I think if your son does well everywhere else----- including playing with friends, at home,etc. then this is an adjustment period problem. But a wise mother will keep her eye on it and act if necessary. ADHD and drugs isn't the only answer for sure. We don't do that ourselves------ but other things allow my boy to function very well in kindergarten, feel good about himself, and have friends. And he is most definately not robotic! Good luck.
As to the bad reports from school for a five-year-old (???), put them in the disposable file. Were you to come down too hard on your son you might crush his enthusiasm and fulfill the prophesy of depression and lack of self-esteem. It is possible your husband's parents did not handle him wisely.
Speak agreeably with the teacher, but remember your loyalty is to your son. It is often the teacher who instigates ************** for children, so be careful. They overstep themselves.
Thank you for your encouragement and insights :) Your words are very encouraging and I hope that with time and patience, he continues to adjust AND stay enthusiastic. I guess time will tell! In the meantime, I'll work with his teacher and keep listening to my instincts. Thanks ladies!
I am laughing because you described my 5 year old son to the t. I have had issues with behavior and hyperactivity since he was about 1 years old. I dont understand it myself.. I took him to a behavior specialist at 3 years old because the school could not handle him. They said he was to young to diagnose. He has been injured at his daycares because he refuses to sit down. He always talks over me and is not willing to be quiet for longer than 2 minutes and just forget sitting down constantly going unless something catches his attention then it is hard to pull him away. I said now that he is 5 and going to kinder that I would take him back to he behavioral specialist to see if there is something that needs to be addressed. He is very wise beyond his years and like you said knows math at 5 years old and my son can even tell time... I thought I was alone..... I have to repeat myself over and over again and have to raise my voice for him to actually listen. This child has given me the blues and he runs me down..I also have a 3 1/2 year old so its a lot of work between the two of them..
I don't know what kind of a behavioral specialist you are going to go see, but I would look for a pediatric psychiatrist that specializes in AD/HD.
You also might want to check out material on AD/HD although it could be other things going on. I highly recommend the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. Not only will it give you ways to work with him at home, but it will cover things that a school can do to help him (like a 504 or an IEP plan).
For a web site with a ton of information, try - http://www.pediatricneurology.com/adhd.htm
And yes, with a 3 and 5 year old you certainly have your work cut out for you. Do keep in mind that with two kids of that age competing for your attention - they will compete for your attention! And the smart ones will find ways to get your attention.
You also might want to investigate a series of books written for the 4-7 year old child and meant to be read with them. "Try and Stick with It" (Learning To Get Along) is a good example of a book that might really be helpful. You can get more info here - http://www.amazon.com/Try-Stick-Learning-Get-Along/dp/1575421593/ref=pd_sim_b_6
Hope this helps. If you have any more questions please start a separate post so that I see it, just kind of stumbled on this one. Best wishes.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.