My son turned 6 in March and is in Kindergarten, half day, 2.5 hours per day. His teacher has expressed concerns with his focus, listening, and attention since late Fall. She said my son falls off task very easily, is easily distracted by others around him and she has to repeat directions several times to him. Despite these issues he is on target to make his end of year goals. He does struggle a bit with writing and phoenics, but is reading short books and is doing well with Math.
We have had issues with his listening at home too, and I always thought it was a behavior issue and we have been working on listening at home, but some days are better than others. He is quite impulsive as well, but I always thought it was because he was a boy and still immature, etc. I have noticed at T Ball and soccer practices my son doesn't listen, goofs around, etc but I thought maybe that was because he wasn't truly interested in playing sports. But now I am wondering if there's a correlation between all of these issues.
At spring parent teacher conferences the teacher said my son is still having issues with listening, directions, etc and it has not improved over the course of the school year as she had hoped. She suggested I bring up the issue to our Pediatrician at my son's 6 year check-up , which I did. The Ped suggested I have the teacher fill out the ADHD screening sheet and this way we can see where we stand and decided how to move forward, if needed. I filled out the sheet as well.
The doctor called me last week and said the screening sheet from the teacher definitely is positive for ADHD and the sheet I have filled out is borderline. We scheduled an appt to speak with her further , but she did mention even though it's the end of the school year it might not be a bad idea to consider meds so we can see how my son reacts, if it helps in the classroom and then we have the summer to iron out med issues, etc.
Part of me thinks we should wait and see if he matures over the summer and if we have the same issues in 1st grade. I think going full day to school will be an adjustment for him and I am worried if we're having issues in 1/2 day school, what will full day bring? My husband says why put him on meds if he's not failing in school, he's making goals. He thinks the teacher just wants a perfect classroom.
Here is a recent email from the teacher -- what should I do ?
I have not seen much change. Writing is the most difficult by far. He really is not writing at all. He wants an adult to sit with him and write it so he can copy it. I just haven’t seen the maturity I had hoped would come this year. Interestingly enough, I did ask him why he comes to school. He said he did not know. I was hoping it would be to learn something – or something along that line. He just wants to see his friends and play. That is really what I see him trying to do throughout the day. Of course, that conflicts with trying to have him learn things. I have to repeat most directions for him. We can talk further, but attention and focus seem to be a big concern. What I am not sure is whether or not he is able to make changes in those areas. The changes seem to be beyond his grasp at times. Maybe you will have some insights for me when we speak tomorrow.
I feel so sorry for today's children. Education experts have decided that starting our children earlier to read, write and do arithmetic will somehow make them more successful students. And so they are shoved into studying things for which they are not emotionally ready. And children who cannot adhere to this regime are deemed faulty in some manner.
I am very old and was educated in the public school system until entering college. I went to kindergarten when I was five. It was a half day only and the purpose of this pre-school class was to get the child used to being away from home and to prepare him for first grade. We painted pictures, sang, danced, and listened to stories told by our teacher. To become a kindergarten teacher you had to be able to play the piano. I loved my class. I still remember the songs we sang.
Now you are probably thinking I, and others of my generation, were deprived educationally. We must have been because we had lots of play time and no homework until we were in perhaps the third or fourth grade. But I ask you this: are today's children reading Shakespeare in the sixth grade? No? Poor kiddies. I was.
My daughters are trying to recreate my education for their children. They do not learn to read until first grade. And they show no educational deficit. Will they be reading Shakespeare in the sixth grade. Who is there to teach it?
My kids preschool was very much like that-- mostly for the social experience, they'd sing, dance, do art, play at a water table, sit in circle time for a story. That's it. There is one "pre K" class in which kids work on writing their name. I do think that is age appropriate for right before kindergarten.
But sadly, my older son has a developmental issue called sensory integration disorder and that two days a week for 2.5 hours was very difficult for him. Thank goodness we began working on his sensory issues when he was 4 so that when he did have to enter half day kindergarten (which is what our public school offers)-- he was much more ready. Not because of his performance but for his own comfort level as he learned coping skills to adjust to the classroom setting. We were very fortunate that he was diagnosed young and hence, had a good start to his elementary years.
Now, this child is 6 and in kindergarten. Past preschool years. I often read things like that and think again, fortunate my son was to have had the coping strategies in place prior to starting 'real' school.
I answered in the other forum as well. I do wish you all the best. It is hard when we worry about our kiddos but you sound like a smart woman to address what you can to make him more comfortable. peace
When I say 'this' child, I'm talking about the poster's son. My son is now in 3rd grade and doing pretty well. Social skills/friendships are our biggest concern as well as processing speed of school work. But behavior, completion of work, and his attitude about school are fantastic! Thankfully. I attribute this to his being able to use what he's been taught during the day to make school less of a sensory overload experience.
He's much different than my younger son who is just a joyful chatterbox. Big difference between the kid who just likes to be gregarious in class verses the ones that routinely struggle. My experience is that teachers can tell the difference. good luck
My 4 year old daughter was just diagnosed with ADHD. We have 4 kids (she is one of our twins who were the last born) and we always knew she was different, now we have a name for it. My husband is strictly against meds but I don't see our daughter having the ability to make the changes she needs to make to integrate into the school system without them. I fear that she will be labeled as the naughty child and that this will impact her for a lifetime. I worry about the teacher treating her poorly because her behaviors are frustrating to deal with. It sounds as though your sons teacher is frustrated, you can just feel it from her email. My heart breaks for your son as the teacher likely does not treat him as well as he deserves.
madorfour, I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties with your own child. It's so hard. I parent an 'out of the box' child as well. Love my kid to death. I had a hard time with thinking anyone was judging him. I hated the thought. I hated even more that HE felt different from kids. I knew that he wanted to feel like he was one of the guys (he verbalized this to me very early). My goal became to give him coping skills and ways to fit in as best he could.
I will say that I also volunteer a lot in the classroom and am a very hands on mom. Yep, you notice the kids that are problems over and over. The kids that I always have empathy for are the ones that I know have some kind of diagnosis and their parents are working on it. The kids that have parents that choose to ignore the problem and say it is the rest of the world usually do indeed get on my nerves. I guess technically I should feel extra empathetic for them as it isn't their fault that their parents want to ignore things but none the less---- it bugs me. Maybe because I work so desperately hard with my own son.
I would suggest that you learn all you can about add/adhd. Read everything possible. Look into sensory integration too while you are at it as the two are very similar and often sensory is confused for add/adhd or the add/adhd kids have comorbid sensory. A diagnosis of add/adhd does NOT mean a child has to be medicated. Sometimes they do (and you'll often hear how much better these kids FEEL once their brain chemistry is corrected) but there are other things you can do. Physical activity, deep pressure are both things known to slow, calm and organize the nervous system. My son has sensory integration disorder and has never taken medication---- but we do LOTS to help him. Add/adhd kids can be helped that way too. Helping your child be organized, helping your child work on impulse control, social skills, etc. all help. You have to do it with all kids but in a different way with an add/adhd kid.
Anyway, contact me any time if you would like to chat. My son is now 9 and I have LOTS of tips for making the school experience successful. peace and luck
I agree with specialmom. And besides looking into Sensory problems (at this age it can get confused with ADHD easily), I suggest you get the book - "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. On Amazon its only about $10. Besides giving you lots of helpful info on ADHD, it also has several great sections on helping the schools help your child.
And if you have any specific questions, please feel free to start your own questions. Best wishes.
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