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3 year old circle time problems / not listening at preschool
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3 year old circle time problems / not listening at preschool

My daughter will be three in two weeks.  She had gone to preschool two days a week for two hours since this past Sept.  She refuses to sit for circle time and is disruptive.  The teacher's aide has resorted to holding my (struggling to break free) child during circle time.  She only follows directions when she chooses to listen.  I don't know what to do.  

The teacher have asked if an early interventionist could come see my child at school.  So I sat in class out of site and observed.  My child behaved until circle time came.  The teacher's aide held her to keep her in the circle and prevent her from disrupting others.  After circle time she played well with other, but after hand washing for snack she sprung from the bathroom and pushed three kids.  Then at some point before leaving she began running around the classroom, not listening to the teachers when they told her to stop.  Finally, there was a second circle which was cut short.  My child wouldn't sit, but neither would other children at this point.  My child spotted me watching her and ran to me, I quickly told her to sit in circle because I didn't like her behavior and she sat in circle in her spot and listened until class was over!!!!  I don't know what to do.  

I don't want the interventionist to work with my daughter in class because I'm aware of tracking and labels put on children.  I made an appointment with a clinical social worker to help us with her behavior.  My husband and I are trying to improve discipline at home, but part of me just says she's 3.  Three year old do this as they are learning to deal with the world.  But if her behavior is so different from most kids in class, is there a problem.

I can homeschool if necessary,  but I want her to be part of a school environment.  Would love any advice.    
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It may be that your dtr. is having difficulites with transitions, transitions from one activity to another.  This is not at all uncommon with young children.  Please, keep in mind your dtr. is very young and has alot of growing and developing to do.

All children need to experience consequences for behavior.  Negative consequences for negative and inappropriate behavior and positive consequences and rewards for socially appropriate behavior.  Time outs are a good choice when a child displays negative, inappropriate behavior.   Verbal praise, compliments and hugs are among the best rewards for postive pro-social behavior.  You have acted wisely by chosing to meet with a clinical social worker to gain perspective and guidance.

If you dtr. is developing in a normal fashion otherwise.  Please do not be overly concerned.  The behavior you have described is not uncommon for a three year old.  A simple common sense behavior plan will eliminate the issues that you have identified as problems.  
Best wishes...  I am a clinical social worker as well.
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Avatar_m_tn
3 years old?  Do you work?

Daycares are horrible for the early development of children.  If you can just find a one on one responsible babysitter or older healthy relative that would be a better environment for the child until kindergarten starts.
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It sounds like something about circle time makes your daughter feel uncomfortable. What do you think about the daycare program? If you want her to stay, maybe you should ask for an early interventionist to observe your child for a period of several days (prior to making any decision about whether or not to have someone there regularly). Labeling is less likely to be a problem in preschool ages. That may be more of an issues in elementary school. Although not every child is a good match for daycare, socialization in a congregate care setting can't be matched in homeschooling.
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Thank you for your replies.  I  have since taken my daughter to see the clinical social worker and we are working on some strategies to help my daughter cooperate and transition well.  We do have to rule out ADHD or ADD.  The social worker feels she probably doesn't have these.  I do have some concerns about the preschool she attends, because of their rush to state my daughter has a problem.  Instead of implementing different stategies to help change her behavior.  I really question her teachers training.  We will stay with this preschool a few more months until I can get her into another program.  

I observed breifly her next day at school and she transitioned well to circle time and sat on her own for a little while, then rolled on the floor, played with toys, but wasn't disrupted and stayed pretty much in the circle.  So cudos for her.   I'll keep working with her at home and hopefully transitions and sitting in circle won't be such a nightmare.
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Avatar_m_tn
ADHD is very rare in girls. Be very careful before allowing her to be put on medication.
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I think the process of making children as young as 2 or 3 have enforced mat or circle time is in fact detrimental to their development and wellbeing. Children that age often can't sit still, it is nothing to worry about yet! I have seen mat time last for up to 45 minutes in some preschools and this is not in line with any current brain research. Talk to your daughter about sitting still, practise this at home, but also know that she may need to move to learn (as many kids do). Definately reconsdier the preschool. I think 3 is far too young for 2 days a week. Best of luck!
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If you don't want your child tagged and labeled, I wish you hadn't gone to a social worker. They're trained labelers. I agree with Louise: "I think the process of making children as young as 2 or 3 have enforced mat or circle time is in fact detrimental to their development and wellbeing." It sounds like you need need to find a new preschool, as Louise also said. My daughter is three and a half and acting up in preschool, but she's never been "observed"; we've just been told that it's happening and that we can help in a few ways (positive reinforcement for good behaviors, for example). Also, a teacher should never physically restrain a child. Yeah, you definitely need a new preschool. These people sound undertrained at best. But it's been a year since you posted, so maybe I'm just responding for other people searching out this problem and everything's worked out so far. I hope it has!
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Thanks so much for these blogs.  I was just told today that because my 3.5 year will not sit at circle time and is hyper and runs from activity to activity - that he needs to be assessed and observed.  I questioned what they are trying to seek or gather from their observations and what they even do to slow my kid down.  I do not want a file started, and after hearing that this is not abnormal then why the intervention?  I know that my child is busy!  I need them to put up with this.  Change their strategies etc..... but for someone to track his behaviour.... I have asked them not to.  Instead I will attend his preschool and offer strategies to them.  I know my son well, and I am a professional teacher.  Of course my son is needing to develop more and get used to  the circle time,  but some interventions are a preamble to an inevitable LABEL.  In the 2 months that he has been observed he has slowly progressed with the sitting at the circle.  I figure that give him a couple more months and lets see.    What do you all think?
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Hi, your story rings very familiar in my ears.  I have a son who had all of these issues in preschool where he attended one half day a week at 3 and two half days a week at 4.  They also suggested that a counselor observe my son which I agreed to.  I am so thankful that I did.  At 4 he was evaluated by an occupational therapist and was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder.  Thank goodness is all I can say.  Here is why I say that. . .

Let me start by saying that a developmental delay has NOTHING to do with intelligence as my son is super smart and always does better than his peers academically.  But with the issues you mention your child having, my son struggled too.  By 4, kids weren't playing with my child as much and not being comfortable in school was taking a toll on his self esteem.  I could have taken him out but that would have solved nothing.  His nervous system delay would never have been addressed.  

As far as labels----  I've never gotten that.  By naming why my child has trouble in certain areas I have allowed teachers to understand my child better.  If I hadn't labeled my child with sensory integration then he would have been labeled anyway----  trouble maker, misfit, hard to teach kid, etc.  Make no mistake about it-----  your child will be judged harsher by not addressing it than trying to help them.  And these labels don't "follow" you everywhere.  Your kid wouldn't have a banner over their head for the rest of their life.  What goes on in a child's file throughout their school experience is confidential by law.  My son's preschool teachers weren't standing around talking about my son's diagnosis.  If by chance there is an issue----  a "label" as you call it gives your child the right by law to have certain things in place that help them feel more comfortable in school.  My son needs to move around some to focas-----  for example.  An IEP would allow for that.  This law goes all the way through college to help students who need it to be successful both in big obvious ways and small subtle ways.  If there is an aide in a classroom in public school ----  they do not identify who they are there to help and help all in the class.  They are there for a specific student but it is confidential who it is.  You only know if it is a physical problem or blatently obvious.

Anyway, with the couselor's help in preschool, they came up with strategies to help my son feel good in school.  He did much better after that.  We've done occupational therapy for about a year now and lots of things at home to address his nervous system.  He is now 5 and in kindergarten.  He has NO issues there and is doing great.  No IEP has been discussed or needed.  I met with his kinder teacher over the summer and discussed his sensory issues.  She talked to his OT and preschool teacher from last year to get the low down.  I held nothing back.  And while other kids are adjusting to kindergarten negatively----  my son is thriving.  This would not be the case had I not acted to address the issues early on.  Early intervention can change the course of a kids life.  My son is SO much happier now-----  this was for him not anyone else---- not me, not teachers JUST FOR HIM.

Now your child is only 3 and this is probably the first preschool experience.  He/she may be just adjusting and you can watch and see for sure and they may grow out of it.  But what the school is telling you is that out of all the kids that same age and maturity level that they see----  your child is standing out.  I wouldn't run away from that because they may have the answer to help  your child now and always.  Teachers and school social workers/counselors have the advantage of seeing lots of kids and can compare them without bias (as we parents have).  My son was evaluated at 3 and it was inconclusive because kids are so different at that age.  So if you watch and wait and the problem persists-----  see an occupational therapist.  

These are just my thoughts and opinions only.  NO  more important than anyone elses.  But I do wish for you the same experience of success my son now feels in school and elsewhere.  Good luck.
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Just a quick note for something to watch out for the rest of the year.  I don't like the line  "The teacher's aide held her to keep her in the circle."  Now I have only worked with K and above as a school principal, but we would never hold a child unless someone was in danger (or they needed a hug).  Maybe things are done differently in preschool.  But when an early intervention is "holding" the child, that worries me about some of their other methods.
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Thanks for the thoughts!  You a re right in many ways, I guess I am sad, very sad that my son is standing out.  I spent all evening observing him and trying different things.  I is who he is.  I guess I am try8ing to be tough and change him at home.  I question what their assessment is and want to see the assessment and do my own analysis.  I don't want them labelling, I don't think they are qualified to tell me what my son has.  I guess I am being much more negative compared to you.  My son has not been around kids and has my parents look after him which is in a dif language and not a lot of interaction.  I have thought of many factors as to why my son may be this way.  He does not sit still and is very active..... is this really the time to jump to conclusions?  I am scared, so scared!
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I understand how  you feel and felt the exact same way.  It was first born child that they wanted to observe and to me, he was perfect.  I went along with them because I knew in my heart they were trying to help him.  But I too had lots of excuses.  I have two kids 15 months apart and we were by ourselves a lot.  I loved being a mom so much that I did so many things for him that he didn't have a chance to do it himself.  I hadn't worked on social skills with him before school, etc. etc. etc.  And at 3 when he was observed and they suspected a developmental delay of sensory-----  I was speechless.  I said all of the same things you are saying.  I really did and I was devestated.  The formal evaluation at that time was somewhat inconclusive so I chose to believe they had made a mistake.  By the next school year-----  there was no denying that something was going on.  I fought it in my head.  I cried to myself that it couldn't be true and what would this mean for my beautiful, smart boy.  Then I went to school one day and watched him struggle.  He's smart---- smart enough to know he wasn't fitting in.  The look of pain on HIS face is all it took for me to change his attitude.  That was when I realized it isn't about me and how I feel----  I had to help HIM feel better.  He was re-evaluated and this time the results were firm sensory integration disorder.  We've been on the road to work on this ever since.  He might have that label-----  but his teachers believe he is working harder than most of the other kids in his class now to be a part of it.  It's resulted in his teachers being empathetic and helpful and WANTING him to suceed.  We still have his preschool teachers calling to check on him now that he is in public kindergarten.  And I wrote a thank you know to the teacher that first identified sensory in my son when he was 3 and she only had him on half day a week.  She is the greatest teacher in the world to have spotted that and try to help him.  And here is the bottom line-----  your kid is still your kid no matter what.  I love my son AS HE IS.  His extra energy and out of the box behavior and thinking make him a ball to be around at times.  He is very interesting and he has my complete respect for the way he copes and tries to make himself feel better.  My job was to give him the tools to do so.  And now in kindergarten-----  he has friends, he does ALL his work, he sits for circle, he follows the rules and his teacher is enjoying him in her class.  Early intervention I believe in my heart is what made this possible.

Now, your son may not have any disorder at all.  He really may just be immature and adjusting.  Time will tell.  Just don't wait too long.  I would arm yourself with information-----  read about sensory, ADD and books on difficult children.  ( I know we hate to admit our child is falling in this category-----  so let's say in our minds "spirited" kids).   Greenspan has a book . . .I am trying to remember the name of it but it is excellent.  It was one of the first books I read that comforted me about my son's challenges.  Maybe it is "the difficult child" something like that.  Look up the author Greenspan at the library and you should see it.  You don't have to believe the teacher other than she is seeing something that concerns her.  But a counselor is trained to be able to tell what is going on better.  She will observe and possibly set up an evaluation which will be FREE through government grant, most likely.  Do it.  Then if they come up with a diagnosis-----  you can get second third and fourth opinions.  It is more information to add to your data base.  I will say that ADD is thrown around freely these days----  look at the other causes too like sensory.  And again, it may be just a blip in the radar too.  It will be okay either way.

I do agree with Sandman---- I wouldn't let someone hold my child down either.  Giving a choice to join the group or not is a better tactic than force of a young child.  That would cause hysteria.  Some kids like to be squeezed when they are upset------  but this needs to be worked out ahead of time and should be soothing and not causing further distress.  

I wish you lots of luck-----  try not to be sad.  My son is proof that it will be okay.  Hang in there.
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I was reading all of your posts and wondered if anyone had any suggestions to help a little one with sensory issues to sit and focus during circle time!  My little one has an ot and we are working on different method just thought maybe someone could offer some advise any advise please!!!! My son is going to be 4 soon.
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Tracking the behavior doesn't necessarily mean diagnosing, classifying or labeling your dtr.  It can be a great tool used to determine what might be setting her off during circle or transitions.  There is nothing wrong with a child having a diagnosis.  My son is on the spectrum and as a result has received a lot of great support that has helped put him a class ahead cognitively from his peers.  I say all the help you can get until your child is 5 the better.  This is the time the brain develops the most!
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Hello Sahsamom,

You original post sounds exactly like what I am currently experiencing with my daughter (i.e., will not sit for circle time, is disruptive in class, etc.). She is 3.5 years old and her teachers have also recommended that she get evaluated. At the moment, this is so heartbreaking for us...  Can you share the result of your analysis / evaluation? It would be very insightful to know how things are panning out for you.
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I posted above to someone else but wanted to contact you as well.  My son was just like the child in the post.  His preschool suggested an evaluation and I felt exactly as you do.  Heartbroken.  I adore my boy like no other (except maybe his brother) and this felt so terrible at the time.  He was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder by an occupational therapist.  But you know what guru, it is okay.  He is the same kid to me he always was.  I love him to pieces and this is just part of who he is.  We started occupational therapy when he was 4 and can I tell you that he is doing beautifully?  He really is.  He is 6 and in kindergarden now.  He has only had one bad day all year and is blending in with the rest of the class.  So hold onto the fact that if there is something wrong, they can do so much with our kids these days.  Feel free to contact me here any time if you need support.  good luck
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My daughter has a very similar problem. The first Preschool I put her in didn't work out. Now I have her in a school that separates the children by age and doesn't force them to sit. Children are adventurous and don't want to be pinned down. I let them bring in a developmental counselor because they told me it would help them learn how to deal with her. And it already has. They talked to the counselor and she mostly told them not to worry about her. Be persistent and patient. The school is listening to me too. They are very careful not to throw out labels. And believe me, if they did i would get angry. I'm pretty sure they know that.
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Diva, a label allowed my child to eventually thrive and be much more happy.  Labels are not bad as they are a designation towards what things will help my child be better able to handle his enviroment.  Reluctance to accept an issue is common among parents but I am so happy that I helped my child.  Not so he could be perfect in school but so that he could be happy.  A preschool asking to evaluate my child was the best thing that could have happened.  And all children are not the same----------  but should be able to attend to a circle time enviroment for a short spell by 3.  That is developmentally appropriate.  Some children are simply immature and grow out of it.  Many don't.  A wise parent is on top of it.  Just my opinion.  
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They should be able to sit still by the time they are 3 if they have been taught that they should. Children develop at very different paces and I never said my daughter doesn't sit still at all, because she does. If a child never went to daycare the transition to Preschool is just going to be more difficult, but not impossible.

As the parent you know what is best for your child, you know if there is a problem or they just being a little slow. I let my daughter develop at her own pace. We let her learn how to use the potty in her own time and I let her wean out of breastfeeding when she was ready. In fact, I still let her use a pacifier at night because she is more comfortable with that. And, if she wakes up in the middle of the night we let her sleep next to us. I think co-sleeping is important. I know it's contrary to what a lot of people say, but it's MY child and I'm going to raise her MY way. She had a couple hiccups along the way but it's nothing she can't overcome. Sashamom, don't be afraid to let a counselor come in. If he/she says something you don't agree with, stand your ground and say "no!" It is against my religion to use medications that alter your brain like antidepressants, etc. so even if they labeled my daughter I would never let them give her medication. People worry way too much about children. I know it's hard not to, but children are smarter and tougher than they look.
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Truthfully, child development usually happens with no teaching whatsoever.  Focus and attention span is something that kids usually develop on their own and aren't taught.  And there is a normal range for kids at 2, at 3, at 4 and so on.  Most preschool programs do not have long sitting in circle time periods for that reason but have shorter ones that most kids can manage.  A few will not . . . not most or they wouldn't even try.  Most kids by 3 can sit for a short span.  It is age appropriate.  This doesn't mean sitting at a desk and doing arithmetic, but listening to a story or singing a song usually goes alright and kids don't have to be taught typically to do this.  

Anyway, I am not arguing with anyone.  I told myself all of that stuff too with my son.  I'm not saying every child has an issue that can't sit or falls out of the norm in a class but some do.  That is all.  A parent should be on top of it and help if the child needs it in terms of intervention.  I'm not with any child on this forum to know any true details but that is a good rule of thumb.  If a child does not progress in an age appropriate way, I'd follow up.  This is not personal to any child but meant to help the woman who posted.  She is concerned about her child and looking for some ideas.  I am thankful for my child's label because he is doing nearly perfect now.  He wouldn't be had I not intervened.  No meds involved whatsoever!  A diagnosis of a speech delay or a sensory issue does not mean medication.  Luck to all families!!
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three is young for an adhd diagnosis, at this point, I would not focus on that label.  Also, a lot of kids have difficulty with circle time.  It's hard for my son who is now 6.  How long are the circle times.  My son has trouble w/transitions and I have a feeling that this is waht makes it hard for a lot of kids, esp to go from an active activity to sitting in a circle.

I don't think having someone come in and observe is a BAD idea at all, it might be more helpful than the social worker who only hears what you tell her, for someone to see the real deal is MUCH better.  I don't think they would diagnose her at this point with ADHD and if they did I would go againts that diagnosis, too young.

I have been reading a book about sensory processing disorder and a lot of kids push other kids to get sensory input, I don't think they mean harm.  You might pick up a book or check out your library if you are like me trying to save $$.  ONe good one is the "Out of Sync Child".  Try it.  It can't hurt.

Also, at age three they go through stages.  
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Benjimon, your son is like mine and has a sensory integration diagnosis, correct?
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Yes, specialmom, we just had the eval done.  We will go for OT as soon as the eval comes out and we can schedule OT appts.
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Benjimom, I think you will be very pleased at what occupational therapy has to offer.  good luck
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Thanx, specialmom, I just noticed this post is 2 plus years old. I wonder how the kid is doing now in elementary school!!
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Specialmom and Benjimom,

Thanks for your replies. I'm going to start reading up on sensory issues...  I should note though that circle time is just one of the issues. In a nutshell, my 3 1/2 yr. old daughter is currently academically advanced for her age group, but is defiant, demanding, is hitting / shouting at friends, doesn't seem to feel guilty about her actions, etc. She's very articulate, can clearly express what she likes / doesn't like, likes music, and can be very sweet / polite at times...   Did you both experience similar behaviors?

PS - Sorry for my late response. I wasn't getting email notifications.
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Yes, I did.  My son is very smart and his expressive and receptive language were always past his age level.  They still are as well as his academics.  But the other behaviors were also present. Not all the time and definitely worse at school.  My boy can be the sweetest, most loyal friend but then can yell at them and stomp away two seconds later.  A sensory child changes moods quickly.  
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If your child does not do well in preschool daycare KEEP THEM HOME WITH YOU!!!!!!!!
Teachers and teachers aids are under paid and expected to have college units. Alot of parents expect them to be miracle workers. Remember they are not just watching your child they are watching several children. You want indvidual attention stay home with your child.
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Chris, that wasn't really the point of the post.  In early childhood education, one of the jobs of a teacher in preschool is to look at  development.  It is about more than watching your child while you go grocery shopping.  A GOOD preschool teacher understands that looking at each child in terms of their development and helping to move them along the continuum is an essential element to their job.  I wouldn't want a teacher that didn't.  
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As a teacher (and a preschool one at that) I can appreciate just about every comment above.

1. No child should be held or restrained unless it is a part of a behavior plan and is being carried out by a CPI or TPI trained professional. Children can be hurt or killed by restraints done incorrectly.

2. Circle time is WAY more important than the people in this forum seem to understand. It is a part of school from preschool on. So it's wonderful that your child is getting it in day care! It will benefit her so much. There are suggested lenghts of time (by age) that circle time should last. A 2-3.5 year old circle time should be no more than 10 minutes. A 3.5-4.5 year old circle time about 15 and 4.5-5 year olds should be able to sit for 20-30 minutes.

That being said, Preschool (even 2 days a week is SO important for kids now and NO ONE should be judging you for placing your child so young. If anything, you are providing her with a social advantage as many students who come to us with no day care experience have absolutely NO idea how to socialize. And if they go to kindergarten without any preschool or daycare, they often fall behind and find themselves in a lot of trouble...all because they have never been part of a group.

I agree that in day cares, the quality of teachers can SOMETIMES be questionable. This is not always the case. Day care teachers are rarely trained in behavior and sometimes it just takes finding the right school.

Good luck in your endeavors. Hope things have gotten better!  
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I read this post today after what happened at my 3 year old son's preschool. On his second day of preschool, the teacher and the director took me aside and told me about my son;s behavior, which is similar to Cleveland Mom's daughter. My son cannot sit even at home, though we are trying. However, he does not run around at home. The behavious comes up when he sees other kids especially in a group or playdates. I think its his way seeking attention and wanting to be the "life of the party".

I have been thinking about these preschool teachers who had the guts to talk to me aboit my son having a problem the very second day of preschool. My son has never been in a daycare or preschool before. he has been with me at home for 3 years of his life. I did take him to community mommy and me classes once a week, but he wouldn't sit there either. Does my son have a problem or is he also finding it difficult to transition from being the king of his house to being restricted in a preschool setting?
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    Yep, you (probably) hit the nail on the head when you said, "is he also finding it difficult to transition from being the king of his house to being restricted in a preschool setting? "   Its only his second day - maybe third by now.  He is going to have to change a learned behavior.  That can take up to 3 weeks if his teachers know how to apply consistent, immediate reinforcement.  There is very little you can do at home.  It is up to them.  In 3 weeks, if he has not changed- then there might be a problem if the teachers have been doing their job correctly.  By the way - it doesn't hurt to sneak into class (with the teacher's permission) and watch what is going on.
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I have a three year old that has started preschool this year and has only been in school two weeks and I have already had to have two meetings at school. Last week one of the coordinators tried to convince me to put him on adhd medicine because he does not sit still.  When I describe him I tell people that as soon as his feet hit the floor he runs "wide open" until he goes to bed.  I told them no medicine because I was on it as a child and I remember how it made you feel and I wont put him through that.  I had another meeting today and they told me they are going to cut his time at school down to 2 hours a day instead of the 5 that the other kids go.  I dont feel this is fair because he will see that he doesnt get to stay and he will begin to ask why he has to leave.  He is very smart for being three and is very curious and observant and can figure things out if he spends time thinking about it.  They accepted him into the program knowing he was three and they were forwarned about his hyperness and they said it would be no problem.  Now I feel they are discriminating against my child and the only option I feel I have left is to talk to a lawyer in order to get them to do their job and be patient and help him learn these new concepts.  He hasnt been in daycare since he was 1 and he is the only child but is always around other kids.  He is very active and he loves to play and gets frustrated with things as well as gets mad when he has to stop doing something he enjoys.  What am I supposed to do? The only option they seem to put out there is putting him on drugs and I am not willing to do that because he is only 3 and he can learn to grow out of some of it but might need something later in life.  I am mad and dont know where to turn....
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   First, you are very correct to not put your child on meds at 3.  Very few doctors if any would do so.  The standard time is typically around 5 or 6.
   Second, you can't compare your reactions to meds when you were young to what his might be.  Unless, of course, he gets a horrible doctor.  The meds have changed.  The care and knowledge that doctors have now compared to then are also very different (most of the time).
   Third, don't waste your time trying to see a lawyer.  Its a private school.  They can pretty much do what ever they want.  Spend your time and resources trying to find a school that can work with your son.  There are many things that a school can do, but it would be I think a school with not a lot of kids.  In other words the pupil/teacher ratio would be low.  I do think that you should go visit the school and watch him.  For one thing, watching how the teachers interact with him will be helpful when he trys other schools.  You do need to know how he does work in that kind of a setting.
    And yes, there is a very good chance that he is still too young to handle this kind of a setting for that period of time.  I am kind of impressed that they are willing to take him for two hours.  I'm not sure that many preschools would even offer that.  It may be that a compromise can be reached where you start with the two hours and then slowly extend the day.
   Finally, you  apparently had ADHD as a child.  So its a pretty good chance that he has it as well.  Hopefully, you don't want him to repeat what may have happened to you as you grew up.  I (of course) don't know what happened to you.  But I do know what the standard of care was like back then.  Make sure that you are up to date on all of the latest info on ADHD.  I primarily post to the ADHD forum.  If you have any specific questions, please post over there.  Also, there is a book I recommend a lot (for a variety of reasons).  Its probably worth your time (and very little money on Amazon) to get it.  The book is -  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.   Oh, and if you do have any more questions, please start a separate topic.  I just kind of stumbled into this because I thought someone was responding to my last post.  Best wishes.
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Preschools and daycares have other children in the classroom, they cannot devote all of their time to one child the entire morning while other children are there to learn too. Some of the comments I have read sound like they are saying the preschool/daycare is responsible for making the child adapt, however parents are a child's first teacher and therefore should be consulted first when deciding on something.

As a successful daycare/preschool other strategies could be applied that didn't drastically change everything that was set in place with the other children, however it is the parents job to also help the child transition to what they need to do at school. When parents and teachers are on the same team then everything flows much easier.

If a teacher was suggesting your child to be monitored then you can ask them to write down on paper (always a great idea) what strategies have been attempted so far and if they haven't attempted any others then ask why not; possibly need to find a new school. Never assume though that the teacher should drop everything and force the other children to change completely for one child, it should be a medium ground point; I had a friend whose child was disruptive and the teacher suggested he be monitored, and they also worked on other strategies, well it didn't work out and when he was monitored he was accepted into a school that was able to provide the one on one he needed. Good luck everyone
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not all day cares are horrible.  You have to do your research and find the right one.  It needs to be a learning center, not babysitters.  They are out there...Campus For Kids Learning Center is one of them.  They really invest in the children's lives. The teachers are loving and dedicated to what they do.  They prepare the children for school, life and most of all they show them by example, how to treat others.  Awesome school, check it out!!
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HI my daughter is 5 in october and has been displaying similare behavioural patterns from around the same age. We are now seeing a child psychologist for help. I do not want her medicated i made that very clear. He said they do nothing of the sort, and if it was warranted that the child displayed symptomes of any behaviour disorder they explore and exhauste every other avenue possible before even thinking about medication, they wouldnt even do that until she reached 3rd grade where their little brains have matures a bit more. My daughter suffers what they say is adhd but its more often than not hereditary and neurological, Its the very few one ini 30 suffer the problems due to their diet. Sometimes trying more organic foods, some with less gluten, sugar and preservatives work for my daughter and more brain testing activities to keep their little brains working. Apparently children who have trouble concerntrating, sitting still and behaving have a little brain that works differently or backwards to ours and its not their fault but the kindy your daughter goes to needs to make sure shes not singled out or bullied because no one realises we all have these same behaviour traits just some grow out of it and the brain starts to recognize signals properly and some dont and suffer with it into adulthood and dont realise whats happening.I hope things are okay with you both good luck
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For goodness' sake. The poor kid isn't even three and the experts are all over her. If she doesn't have problems now, she will with all of the inappropriate attention.
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Today I was told that my 3 year old's teacher has trouble with him listening and cleaning up and running in the hallways.  It has been less than one month of 3 year old pre school and I am upset with the school.  No one has told me any of this, yet the director and teacher have spoken of it.  I find that those first few weeks or even couple of months are quite a transition stage where children are starting to learn to stay in line and follow the routines of pre school.  But, the director did not sound like she thought that way.  My son also has a speech delay and has a hard time communicating and gets frustrated easily when he is not understood.  But, they do not seem to be taking that into account either.  Are these behaviors normal and is my preschool too strict for this age group?
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bbug2008,

I'm no expert, but it does sound like there is two problems: 1) communication and 2) misunderstanding about the relationship between speech and behavior. For #1, I would try to talk to the teacher on a daily basis to get a sense of both the "good choices" and the "sad choices" that your son is making. I would also talk to other parents to see if they are hearing similar things. It may be that it's only with a particular teacher or is the environment in general. If there is a way for you to observer your child (without being noticed), that would be ideal. For #2, you should be able to find plenty of information on the internet to support how hearing and speech can result in behavior issues. In our preschool, it was common for the teachers to say "use your words". If he can't use his words well yet, it's logical that he will be frustrated and may act out.
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My son is three and is very hyper! I know he doesn't have ADHD because he sits and watches tv when something he likes is on. Other than watching nick jr tho or eating he is go go going! He also has fits about EVERYTHING that doesn't go his way. I've done time out and tryin to make him look at me... And well pretty much everything!!! He also attends daycare and just to argue a bit, daycare is a very good thing for children 1 and up in my thoughts. How are they going to learn social skills and make the transition to school as easy as possible? If you wait til they are past three to start teaching them behavioral and social skills it will only make things more difficult. Every child is unique and different in their own way and these teachers are just trying to help find a coping skill BEFORE they start school so that it isn't so hard on them when that transaction comes. I have recently learned something that has made everything so much easier on me and my child. I learned that he is very sensitive to peoples emotions around him. Even if we think we are hiding our personal stress from them we are not. I noticed a HUGE improvement on my son the past 2 weeks just from calming down everytime I start to feel my emotions coming. Just be happy and enjoy these stages. They will be gone before you know it. I agree that it's very hard when they are always going or talking and repeating everything they say 5 million times. But when they won't listen just sit them down, drop to where you are eye to eye and level, and talk to them calmly until they calm down. The first couple times it took me 45-60 min to get him to stop screaming and crying like I was beating him just because I was making him sit down in a chair (which is really embarrassing in public when they do this because you get scared of a secret cps worker jumping out and tackling you thinking you are abusing them) but it gets shorter everyday and it only took him a little less than a week and now I barely have any fits out of him and my stress level is as low as it's ever been. Now I get to be one of those mothers that is proud when it's not "my child" throwing the fit in church or walmart :) feels great! Hope I could help!! Just remember that you would rather have a child that does more than a child that never does anything :):) hang in there and realize how many people have a hyper 3 year old like you. You are a great mother because you are researching what is in the best interest of them!!!!
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Dear specialmom,

I think i really need your help and advice. My daughter just turned 3 and having trouble with the circle time at her preschool. She has no problem with other art activities, and outside play though.

She has attended school for 8 days now, 2 days a week.

She has been speaking Bengali (an Indian language), and I never trained her in English, hoping she would pick up from school. Well, she has started understanding the language now from school, but she tries to escape the circle times. First few days, she wouldn't even sit, she was just roaming around the classroom. On one day, she sat, and was asked to count the number of students, and she did it (that was one fortunate day!)
But last 2 days, she managed to sit in the circle but did not participate/respond to the teacher when asked a question.
And when it is story time, she is not paying attention, looking around/elsewhere when the teacher is reading (this is not the case at home, she loves listening to stories, and even sits for 30 minutes when I read to her and explain the stories in Bengali).

Sometimes (at school) it seems she is in her own world, and not noticing whats going on around her (this is not at all the case at home, she is very responsive every single moment).
Sometimes she is just roaming around the classroom, and the teacher had to yell "come here" to get her to sit in circle.
Could it be because of the school environment, there is so much stimuli, so she is behaving that way?

Another thing we noticed about her behavior  is, she does not like being touched by people she hasn't known well enough. She loves to be cuddled by me, my husband, and some of our relatives. But she feels very uncomfortable and reacts when anyone unfamiliar pats or touches her. However she has no problem if any kid touches her, its a problem only with new adults.

I must add here that she hadn't been to any school/daycare earlier, and had never been left alone with anyone else other than me(her mom), our social life had been very poor and she hadn't been with too many people around her except for 2 short vacations that we took. So I am not able to figure out if it is separation anxiety, or if this is because of less social interaction, or is it because of a new language that she is still in the process of learning, or is it sensory integration issue.

My pediatrician says she will outgrow it, but her teachers points out those behavior and I am very concerned.

We are planning to put her in a special needs school where they have a therapy clinic, (but I guess that us going to be expensive and on private pay) is there anything else that you can point me to. We moved over to California from India just a couple of months back and still trying to figure out what to it. I would really appreciate any advice you can offer!

warm regards!
a mom
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"I don't know what to do."

You can let her grow up. She is just a baby. And tell that dumb teacher to stop grabbing the struggling kiddie. "Circle time," whatever that is, hardly sounds that important.
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Hi lovingmomm.
I just saw your post now. Because you had written on an old thread, it may be overlooked. I would suggest you start a new thread, but will add some comments here.

First off, to me, it does not sound like there is anything wrong with your daughter. I am a preschool teacher and have worked with young children for over a decade. We try to get kids to sit for circle, we tell them it is expected, but honestly it is normal and not uncommon for a child, especially a young 3 year old who is still learning English. So, what we would do if your daughter were in our classes, is make accommodations. If her teacher is unwilling to try accommodations then I would consider another school. This is not special treatment, but rather modifications that make learning easier for all of the children (your daughter and the rest of the class). Here are some things I would try before deciding that there was something "wrong" with your child
~ give her a special job (such as counting how many children)
~ try different spots. Some children do best when sitting directly across from the teacher while others do better right next to the teacher. Some children who physically cannot sit still will be seated in a chair. Others need a teacher's assistant sitting right beside or behind them with a gentle hand on their back. Some children still need that assistant to actually gently stroke the back or hair to keep them focused.
~Some children need something in their hands like a stuffed animal or stress ball.
~And some children simply are not ready to sit. NAEYC and ECERS both tell teachers that they have to make accommodations for children who are not ready to sit in circle time.This is especially true for a 3 year old classroom.

Since your daughter is an ELL (english language learner), she may need additional modifications. This is NORMAL and EXPECTED, and I would expect the teacher to understand this and make the modifications. For my ELL's (and honestly all the kids) I make sure my circle times are interesting and exciting. I make them WANT to sit. We sing songs and do rhymes. I always have something interesting to talk about. Young children and EL's like songs and routine, as it gives them security and helps them learn the language. When I read stories, I try to make sure I use animations and voices, and whenever possible I use props.

I am guessing that the teacher makes all of the children sit. She probably does the weather and calendar every day, and then counts the children. Your daughter is zoning because it's boring and irrelevant to her. And she doesn't understand it because it is a foreign language.

I suggest you look for a different kind of program. I would look for an NAEYC accredited program or any program that advertises itself as being "developmentally appropriate" or "child-directed." A well-run Montessori might work as well. You need a program that takes in to account the interests and varying levels and abilities of young children. Avoid any program that has 3 or 4 year olds sit and do worksheets or has more time spent in circletime and structured activities than in "free play" or "interest area" time.
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My son will be 3 in a month. He is first born and up until a few months ago, was an only child. This past summer we started noticing some behavior issues when socializing with other children at a mommy and me fitness class. He appeared to not understand personal space of other kids, thus other kids who were all a little older never wanted to play with him. As a result, we enrolled him at summer camp for 3 days a week for 2 weeks at the preschool he was scheduled to attend in the fall. At first he did great- loved socializing with other children his own age. Then we had an issue with him non-maliciously hitting another child with a car and getting sent to the time out chair.  The preschool teacher at camp said that this behavior was expected from children this age a s they are testing their boundaries. Regular preschool twice a week started in Sept. and we have only had positive reviews from the school. Our concern about my son's behavior came at the Halloween concert that the preschool had for parents. All of the children were required to stand in the circle, sing the songs twice and then introduce themselves as who their costume was. My son was one of the only ones who seemed to never sit still, he would run around, try and get other kids to play, and seemed to want to constantly be center of attention. One of the teachers had to have him sit on her lap so that the other kids could have a turn to introduce themselves. My husband and I were appalled at his behavior, both of us wondering if he is ADD or ADHD, as at home he acts nothing like that. After the concert, I approched his teacher and asked her is he was always this disruptive. Her response was that she would never call a 2 1/2 - 3 year olds behavior "disruptive" - that that age group has some very high energy kids and my son is one who has very high energy. She said that they look at the positive's of high energy kids in that at clean up time, they are usually the ones who put the most away. She also said that preschools (or at least our preschool does) take cirlce time in steps and that they don't expect kids to sit through circle time, but strive to make progressive steps (based on the child) throughout the year in order to increase the amount of time kids can sit in the circle. As a parent it was a relief to hear from his teacher that they do not consider him a behavior problem, however my husband and I still worry about his behavior. Earlier this week when I picked him up from preschool he told me that he had to sit in the time out chair for hitting a girl with a car. He knows that it's wrong, yet he still does it. I don't know if this is a high energy behavior or a socialization behavior? At home, he is great, he shares with his little brother and is so gentle with him. But with other children at school, (from what we obsereved at the concert) he took toys from the other kids and seems out of control. Any suggestions on how to improve socialization issues or if his problem could just be considered a high energy issue?
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Hi!
First off, you are VERY lucky to have what appears to be a great preschool teacher with reasonable expectations. Everything she told you is true and correct, although so many teachers would have you on the phone daily. I encourage you to give it more time, and continue to have open communication with the teacher. She is right that for many kids, this is "normal" behavior. Of course, it doesn't mean that problems may emerge later on (we never have that guarantee) but it shows that she has reasonable expectations for a 2 year old.
At home, I would try to engage him in a variety of activities. Often, children who are not read to at home every night have trouble sitting for circle because they do not understand or appreciate books. Try to limit his TV, and keep it to programs directed at preschoolers (no spongebob, superheros, etc... for this age). Give him toys that encourage creative play and interaction- blocks, play food, play doh, animals, etc. Play with him and model appropriate interactions when it comes to personal space and such. Finally, I would try to arrange for play dates with one other child at a time to slowly get him used to interacting with kids his age. You can ask the teacher if she can think of anyone who would be a good match. Often, children who have not had too much exposure to peers will act wild when thrown into large groups with a lot of sensory stimulation going on.
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Can u please let me know the progress of ur kid becausce my son has exactly same problems as u did.He started preschool 3 months ago .He speaks indian language at home.He is 2 year 5 months.He is totally opposite of what he was at school.At home he is defiant , naughty  and loves sitting without moving when I read books and keeps on asking please  read one more book, loves doing jigsaw puzzles if I sit with him,can play with cars ,trucks,construction vehicles for any amount of time without me being there and narrates his play .He has very good memory and relates and interprets very good. He is very oral at home too.He keeps everything in his mouth but never swallow even a minute piece.If we say not to do something he likes to do that but neither agressive or wild.

He goes 2 days a week for 2.5 hrs.He doesnt sit in the music. sits for sometime and runs in the middle to press piano keys or goes near chairs at the corner of room  and sees wether  teacher comes to take him back to circle.He has the habit of running to the hallway of school sometimes or not going in line but checks wether teacher is coming to get him.He climbs on blocks table and when the teacher says no he doesnt listen.
He keeps everything in his mouth at school.While in the music initially he used to observe a lot  but he got better and imitates what they are doing but not as much as other kids.The teacher says he needs constant redirection and works only on one on one.He is not exposed to english sentences before going to school  or neither understands them but he knows words.
He has movement patterns such as running and walking on tippy toes not all the time, or flapping movements while running.She says he has  difficulty with modeling behavior, modeling play, or pretend imaginary play.  He does not appear to be interested or seem to grasp any part of it.But at home he does pretend.The teacher says  he has difficulty processing, and following what the other children are doing; and, prefers to do his own thing.

I got him evaluated from the govt, and they got him  observed with a parent teacher consultant who came to class and observed him.They said he is not having stimulation and his english is not on par with other kids( all are english speaking kids).He is not having the support of me saying the sentences in our language while reading books.When he doesnt know the language they say he cannot  be expected to sit continously.His language,cognitive,problem solving ,proocessing all are ahead for his age
They disagree with them and thinks he is having sensory issues and strongly think an outside occupational therapist should come and see him.
I have checked the checklist and noticed he keeps thing in mouth,does have little bit texture problems but  can swallow and chew other than that I didnt see any major things.

Please pour in ur experiences and suggestions.
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about language- speak your native language at home. Children need to learn 1 language, their home language, thoroughly. He will learn English at school. You can increase his exposure to english through playgroups and such if you want, but continue to speak your other language at home. However, the evaluators are correct in that you do need to make sure you speak to him properly in complete sentences at home. If you use only labels and baby talk, then that is all he will learn.

Regarding his behavior at school- it may be due to the fact that he is so young, although he does show some signs of sensory issues and that was my first thoughts before I even saw you mention them. The good news is that he is very young still, and adding therapies at home by you and OT by professionals will make a tremendous difference- you will be amazed by the changes. Be sure to ask for activities you can do at home. Also, you can suggest the teachers try to direct him to certain activities at school. In the past some of the sensory kids I worked with had fantastic days if I gave them a sensory activity in the morning (sand or water play; play doh, finger painting, etc). That positive impacts of that one activity would carry over through the rest of the day.

Don't be afraid of having an OT evaluation. Either they will say nothing is wrong or they will be able to help your son.

Back to language- i do not expect my students who do not understand english to sit through a story. So, I make modifications for them. I add puppets, voices, actions, etc to help draw them in (which then exposes them to more language and helps them get interested and learn). I would make sure that the teachers are making efforts to help him learn english. We will also try other tricks like having an adult sit near the child to help redirect, seat the child directly in front of the reader so he can see the pictures better, etc. You may also want to ask the teachers for the names of some of the books they plan on reading the next week. Perhaps if you go them from the library and looked at them in advance you can help him learn some of the ideas and vocabulary so it's not as overwhelming for him.
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My son has been in school for 9 months. We had to change his school because we will get calls from school everyday regarding his behavior. Not sitting, running, hitting, spitting, Not listening, not sitting for time out and laughing at teacher and showing its funny. Does not like transition. Focus is very low only for 2 minutes for a activity. In the second school it has been a month and we are very facing the same problem. Not sure whom to approach ..if no schools take him how will he learn. I am very concerned
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   When is his birthday and how old is he?  Also does he have the same problems at home?
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He will be turning 4 in 4 months...He will not listen to me as well his dad and will do whatever he likes...The teacher tell us that he disruptive and does not listen even for time out he will laugh and run away..Also he does not like to sleep..Sleeps very less making him sleep is a very big task for us.we are very tired and helpless ...how do we get him things done the way we want..he knows he is wrong and he will also repeat that he will listen is school but when he goes there he repeats all the things again
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Hi there.  We had the exact same problems in preschool with my own son.  Ugh, I feel for you.  I dreaded what each day at school would bring.  

My son was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder.  What a blessing this diagnosis was because it helped me understand what was going on.  And we were able to do things that helped him.  By addressing things when he was in the preschool years, he was much better able to cope and be successful when he started elementary school.  

Things that helped in school was giving my son choices.  Lots of choices. Such as:  do you want to sit on the carpet spot next to Mary or do you want to pull up a chair next to the teacher?"  He will cope better if he feels he has some control.  If it is his turn to pass out napkins for snack "do you want to pass them out or do you want me to?"  If it is time to walk to music "do you want to walk by Jonny or do you want to walk by teacher?"  

He should be given a healthy amount of physical activity.  He needs to be climbing, running, jumping, rolling down hills and running back up, swinging, etc.  This is very key to helping a child maintain themselves in school. AT school, they should have some go to things he can do when he gets wound up, is wandering, etc.  This would be taking two other kids and have them do leap frog down the hallway.  Have all the kids do some animal walks such as crab, leap frog, bear.  Have him 'help' by carrying some books for the teacher or moving a table.  When walking to the playground, have the kids march with their feet slapping the ground with impact.  While this may sound goofy, it helps tremendously.

He should have a 'cool' down spot in the classroom that he can go to when he starts to feel upset.  This is a safe place where he can go to calm down.  When he starts to look upset say "you look upset, maybe your cool down spot will help."  Under a table, in a corner, a small pop up tent, a bean bag chair, etc. are all good cool down spots.  He can also have 'helping hands' on the wall.  Use finger paint and have him make his hand prints on them.  When he is starting to rev up, tell him to find his helping hands.  Then he presses his hands against them (they should be placed at his level on the wall and you could do the whole class so he isn't singled out)---  and he pushes hard against them.  This slows the nervous system.

That is the thing, his nervous system may be out of whack.  I would look at this site "sensory processing disorder" and see what you think.  If it connects at all, get back to me.  I have lots of suggestions.  

Sleep is tricky for a sensory kid.  Lots of activity (physical) during the day helps.  Then you can begin his bed time routine.  Make it calming.  Dim lights, warm and cozy.  Before bed, provide some deep pressure such as holding him tightly while you rock him or have him lay face down on the floor and rolling an exercise ball over him with pressure or placing pillows on him and pushing down with pressure.  Very soothing.  You can also look into a weighted blanket which really helps some kids sleep.  Even a weighted lap pad placed on his chest may help.  

good luck
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Thanks for responding. The question is how do we determine what the child is suffering from..will a Occupational therapy help or should i go to child psychiatric...Really tired of the complaints from school and handling my son on daily basis..He does not listen to a single thing told by us..
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Oh, sorry.  We went to an occupational therapist for evaluation.  Call around and ask for sensory integration disorder experience.  We've had tremendous success with occupational therapy and I highly recommend it!
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Thanks..I will take Occupation therapist appointment
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I desire to decide that Phoenix preschool for my baby where he could learn writing skills by means of six character writing program. Is it a great agenda? Stipulation yes than please provide me contact detail of best preschool.
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   Guru has not posted in two years.  I doubt that he would respond.  The best way to check out a pre school is to visit it and watch the kids and teachers and then talk to the parents as they pick up their kids.   And, by the way, writing skills is one of the last things that I would be concerned about.
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I agree with ahelpfulteacher. Many of these comments are opinions and not backed with the proper education. I am a Child Development Major studying Early Childhood Behavior. From what you wrote sashamom it sounds more like the teachers are the ones that have a problem and not your child. Circle time is an important part of a Preschoolers day and should be a part of the curriculum, however there is a right and wrong way to approach it. The fact that the teachers are forcing her to sit tells me they don't have the tools to get to her to sit properly and it is their inadequacy not your child's. It was good that you got a second opinion. Please be careful with who you are seeking advise from.
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I do hope part of your formal education is learning about the various things that challenge a child in the traditional classroom such as sensory.  The 'tools' to make a child conform are not always what is necessary but rather getting to the root (as in your screen name) of what is causing the child to not participate as the other kids.

I know that in today's education environment, there is a lot of continuing education around this area and understanding kids better.  

The bottom line is that for my own son, it wasn't the teachers fault nor my son's fault. He had sensory integration disorder and the task was daunting for him.  Working on his sensory issues and then working with the teachers to better understand it in order to help him ultimately is what it took for him to be able to acclimate to the classroom and things like circle time.  He's now 10 and has not a single problem at school.  But he also has had teachers every year but one that is trained in understanding the challenges some kids face.  That helps so much and makes for a much better teacher.  
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I am interested in your strategies that you are using with your daughter to achieve a positive outcome for her.We might need them as well
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Sashamom posted a long time ago.  But, if you read through the other posts below hers, you will find lots of good ideas.
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