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ADHD

My 7 year old son has been labled exceptionally gifted. He does not have any behavior problem and gets along well with his peers, he is not implusive nor disruptive. He is currently in the second grade and his teacher has complained that he has a hard time staying on task, following directions and completing assignments without several prompting. He performs well in the class room, but his teacher says it is because she is constantly redirecting him. She states that he is extremely smart and capable of doing the work when kept on task. The scores on his 2nd grade achievement test places his intellectual ability at mid year 3rd grade. DO my son have symptoms of ADD-ADHD. Should I retain my son in the second grade to improve on the weakness stated by his teacher.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Unfortunately when a child is particularly bright he is expected to be emotionally precocious as well. That is erroneous thinking. Academic achievement is not related to emotional maturity. Your boy can be inattentive for two reasons, (1) he hasn't settled down yet (boys settle later than girls), or (2) he is bored out of his skull.

The worst thing you can do to him is to keep him back. That is like a punishment for being clever and can break a child's spirit. What you might do is to find out if there are any schools in your area designed to meet the needs of (what may be) a gifted child. By the way, your son's behavior does not sound in any way abnormal.
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Avatar_m_tn
      I pretty much agree with allmymarbles.  Keeping him back would be a mistake.  If he actually did have something like ADD, holding him back is not addressing the problem.  Typically, the only good reason is if a child is very young for the grade level (like being 6 in second grade).  If he has a birthday after September, he well could be one of the younger kids in the class and is acting accordingly.  That will shortly change as he matures.
     He may well be bored because the work is so easy for him and thus he looks for other things to do.  Of course, he could have ADD.  How does he do at home - or when something is more challenging?
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Avatar_f_tn
He is a typical 7 year old boy at home.  After he has learned more challenging work he does it with ease. He makes simple mistakes on information he has learned and when ask to review it again he picks the correct answer. He enjoys reading and currently is reading books such as Diary of Wimpy Kid, and Charlottes Web. I am having his Peditrician review the comments his teacher has made as well.
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Avatar_f_tn
He was moved up a grade which did cause him to be younger then everyone else but academically he is just as successful as the students that are on grade level. I stated to his teacher that by the time he get to the third grade a lot of his weakness will start leveling out but it is as if she doesn't hear me. When I had a parent conference with her and the principal one of the key questions I ask was if I held him back what are you going to do different with him, of course no one had a solid answer. I told them he was sure to become a behavior problem by the fact that he has mastered the content well enough to pass to the 3rd grade.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Sounds to me like your problem is not with your son, but with the school. Schools seem increasingly intolerant of those who do not meet their narrow conception of "normal." It is in fact the minor variations in our behavior and thinking that make us unique. Cherish your son.
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Avatar_m_tn
       I see no valid reason to hold him back.  However, the teacher who is talking about him is seeing him do something different than the rest of the class is doing - or she would not be making the comments.  The question is why is he having these behavioral problems.  It well could be as allmymarbles says its the teachers narrow view.  It could be he just gets bored and hasn't yet learned how to deal with that boredom in a way that pleases the teacher. I have seen that happen.   It could be he does have a problem like ADD.  Frankly, I think it will take until the next year and a new teacher to find out.   And that may not even be enough time.  A really intelligent kid can easily get through 4th grade and probably almost to 7th grade until the curriculum gets too much.  
      I don't want to unnecessarily worry you.  But, if I were you, I would do a bit of research into ADD, just in case.  Keeping him back won't help him.  Being properly informed about the situation so that action can be taken if warranted, will help him.  Please post if you have any more questions or need any additional information.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with you, I have enlisted the help of his pedatrician to evaluate him. His doctor has been seeing him since he was a newborn. I have sent the teacher evaluation form to the school but they have failed to complete them or return them. I have stated to the principal that  lack of attention and not staying on task is a behavior issue and not an academic issue. I stated to her holding him back does not sove the problems the teacher has stated but she is hell bent on retaining him although he is not failing nor is he close to failing. I have requested a meeting with the principal, teacher and superintendent to discuss this matter. THey have not followed any intervention policy that the school has that could have helped his classroom situation. Thank you so much! Your feedback has helped.
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Avatar_m_tn
           Interesting, this is beginning to sound more like some kind of a power struggle on the teacher's part for some reason.  Probably one she will lose.  Hopefully your child won't get caught in the middle.  Not sure how the policy works in your state, but I don't think that they can retain without your permission or one heck of a better reason.  Asking for the superintendent to get involved is a good idea.  Let them know that you have no problem going to the school board if you have to.  
          By the way, do try to be diplomatic.  Best wishes!
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Avatar_m_tn
      I also should add that sometimes a teacher believes so honestly that a child needs help, that they will do what this teacher is doing.  I have seen it happen before and kind of been a part of it as a principal.  
     The other thing that you want to mention is what you have said about sending a evaluation form to the school because you are trying to get your son help.  Then ask them what they are going to do next year to help him have a successful year?  Are they going to do a 504 so that his new teacher will be aware of his "problem" and will help him?   And are they suggesting that he should be tested for ADD since the teachers comments indicate that is what he has?   In short, you are saying that the teacher has said my child has these problems.  Holding him back won't help him.  So what other suggestions do you have?  And then let them do the talking for awhile.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Has your son been tested for other things.  I  some children have a hard time because they are having absent seizures and know one knows they are having them. So they think they are add or adhd.
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Avatar_f_tn
No he has not been tested for anything else. I am currently working with his doctor to address the concerns she stated. THe sad part is the principal nor the teacher is following the handbook nor state policy. If my son was as bad as she claimed, why didn't they do the proper interventions that would have been neccessary to show growth. My son is passing his courses currently with an A,B, & C. The teacher has shown inconsistencies in her grading. She lost my sons work and assigned him "0" it wasn't until after I emailed her regarding it did she state that she found the assignments and would change the grades. I don't know now to even believe anything she is saying is completly right. I really believes she stretches things I just don['t know why. My son has not shown any of the signs nor symptoms she has claimed outside of a normal 7yr old boy. I requested a meeting with the principal, teacher and the superientendent to address the concern of the principal attempting to hold my son back without my permission nor have followed the proper procedures of interventions; she has not gotten back with on a meeting as to this day.
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Avatar_m_tn
    Oh, that's an interesting piece of news.  If he is exceptionally gifted, he really shouldn't be getting any B's or C's in academic subjects.
     What you might want to do is get a book I recommend a lot.  The book is, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.   Besides giving you a lot of good information about ADD/ADHD it also gives you a lot of ways to help your child in school and more importantly suggests ways to get (force if necessary) your school to help your child.  Given what is going on, I really do think that you will need some more information - and this book will prove to be very helpful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have ADHD and my son has ADHD.  It runs in my family from way back before ADHD became rampant and misdiagnosed.  My son also has a very high IQ - and had the same difficulties as your son.  I also work in the school as a speech pathologist.  Request an obsevation by either the School Psychologist or a Teacher Consultant, if they have one.  They can also give you a checklist that can be filled out by you, the teacher and your son.  Schools cannot label ADHD, they can only state the symptoms and make sideline suggestions.  After receiving information on how much he is on task versus off task and having the completed checklists compiled by the psych or teacher consultant, take your son to the doctor.  If medication is needed - which I was whole heartedly against but now have found out my son needed only a little bit to refocus - take him to a psychiatrist.  I was not going to go the medicine route even though I am on medicine - but the psych said it's better to know if it does work by just experimenting. Then I can choose whether to continue or not continue with meds more confidently.  My son was pleased with the change and commented that it was nice not to have three hours of homework a night.  Anyway, psychiatrists are more up to date on medications. It may take some different trials to find the right one.  They also are more aware of the proper dosing.   After you find the right medication, then the family doctor can continue with the prescription.  ADHD is real and you will find that gifted, creative children often do have it.  It's not just "being a boy" or 'he will grow out of it".    Too many children are being misdiagnosed due to environmental causes, that it give us 'true bluers' a bad rap.  

Also, you can request a cognitive test by the school psychologist - do it in writing though.  Anyway, you can then find out your son's IQ.  Maybe he is in the extremely gifted range and thus, he is bored.   That does happen but you need to rule out ADHD first.  Sorry so long - just have had a lot of personal and work related experience with this.  I'm a mentor for the ADHD kids at our school because I've been there.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry one more thing....Also, retention does not help a child.  If he's performing at a third grade level - why hold him back?  Holding back is old school except in extreme cases and this does not appear to be a severe case if he is performing at or near grade level.  

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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much! I am gathering data currently for his peditrician whom specializes in that area as well. I am only concerned about getting my son the help he needs regardless if he has it or not. I am interested in interventions that can help him improve on all areas of weakness. I agree whole hearted that even if he is ADHD or not retaining him is not the answer. I asked them several times how does retaining him improve the areas of concern. I agree people are misdiagnosing children rapidly and it is a shame. I am a school teacher and I see students who have been misdiagnosed as an answer to lack of structure and classroom mgt. He doesn't take long to complete homework and can breeze thru school work. He does get off task and sometimes miss simple question by not reading the question correctly. One of the things that has sent a red flag up with me is his teacher stated all of these concerns and checked several boxs on the child inventory sheet but yet my 7yr old tells me his desk is in the back of the classroom. I have stressed to them that retaining him is and will not be an answer, providing him with the help he needs is my main focus. You have truely helped me with staying focused on his weakness. Thank You!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have ordered the book, thanks. I have noticed a lot of inconsistencies with my son teachers. I have become skeptical about his actual grades because she assigned him "0" for course work she has had. She removed the "0"  after I emailed her regarding it and  she admitted to misplacing it. This made me wonder what else had she lost and given him a "0" I  dont know if somethings my son does just bothers hers, I can say as a teacher myself I know of teachers that everything bothers them and is a big deal. I am still seeking the interventions for my son because if nothing else it can't hurt him.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have just went threw this but I want to hold my son back . The School in VA  the Pricalble gets to say weather your child stays back . And my son is staying back. My Son had a Teacher that sounds like your Son Teacher when we lived in MA and she pushed and we gave in and my Son Doctor got sick of it and put mu son on those drugs for ADD and ADHD. And those drugs have very bad side effects I wouldn't put any child on those drugs . Try given Omegao-3-6-9 Vitamins they are good for the brian and heart. Also Vitamin B6 and B12 are good for the brain,  We found out later that my son was having Seizure and that is why he would act out and had a hard time doing things. My Daughter also has them but you wouldn't know it by looking at her because they are so fast and you would have to know what you are looking for and I know I have tried to tell her Teachers and they just don't get it.

I would fight . We have to be our childrens best Advocate.

Put everything in writen and put a date on it.They have only so many days to get back to you. You could also call the ADA  and see what they say or the Deparement of Justice.

We had to fight for my Son Service dog to get into the School.

Also call the ED of your state and talk to some one there.

Sounds like this Teacher shouldn't be Teaching any child to me.

Good Luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
If your son has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, I would definitely question about your son being covered under Otherwise Health Impaired.    This would allow him to have an Individual Education Plan (IEP)  or 504 in accordance with the ADA. OHI would allow him extra accommodations in school if the seizure disorder is effecting academics. The IEP is a stronger document; but if your child only needs a few accommodations, the 504 would work.     Will your child be takiing medication for his seizure disorder?  

Yes, ADHD medications do have side effects, just as medications for seizures can, too. Stimulants should not be given to children with seizures.  How frustrating for you to have to find that out after the fact.  In support of ADHD, however, these medications for children with ADHD without seizure disorders are a Godsend if diet changes and behavior modifications do not help.  The right medication has to be found for each individual child just like other disorders.  ADHD is neural disorder just as seizure disorders.  Both affect the brain but in different ways.  With ADHD there in not enough neural activity in the frontal cortex; but with seizures there is too much neural activiy all over the brain.  I wish both you and Valetta the best of luck with your children.
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Avatar_f_tn
Excuse my story on the IEPs and 504....dah, I see you have a service dog so he must have an IEP.  Sorry, sometimes I skim read and overlook things.  
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