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5 year old having trouble in school
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5 year old having trouble in school

My son who is 5 years old is having alot of trouble in school. He is in Kindergarten.  My son cries and whines alot when he is at school..they tell me he screams so loudly that the teacher is unable to conduct class and has to move him to another classroom. He is not agressive towards anyone..but now he is having severe tantrums ..falling on the ground..kicking and screaming. He DOES NOT behave this way at home...we are at a loss to understand why he is behaving this way in school. When he was in preschool he had some of the same issues and they asked us to see a specialist because they believed he may have ADD or ADHD..the doctor never actually saw my son. Based on the evaluations submitted by both the school and myself and husband he concluded that there was nothing unusual in his behavior. Now things seem to be escalating and they are talking about "writing" him up at school and possibly sending him home. I guess my question is basically what should we do???? I should mention that my son was born at 28 weeks..2 pds 8 oz and does have hydrocephalus and a shunt but is testing above average at his school. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated..
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hello!  Kindergarten troubles are not uncommon.  It is a big change for a lot of little guys and gals.  He may just be adjusting and will grow out of it . . .

My son is also in kindergarten this year.  He had the behavior you speak of in preschool.  Once in a while we had the same issue at home but it was much worse at school.  His school at the time offered to have him observed by a therapist who then recommended he be evaluated by an occupational therapist and he was then diagnosed with sensory integration disorder which is a delay of the nervous system.  It can look like add (and my son is a sensory seeker which can really look like adhd) but is treated completely differently (ie:  drugs do not work).  Basically, sensory is when the messaging system of the brain goes haywaire.  I had inquired why it was worse at school and found that this is not uncommen because that is when a child is out of their element.  When a sensory kid feels overwhelmed or out of control, the messaging system goes even more kookoo.  So even if they can cop at home, the additional stress of the system at school makes them less likely to cope there.  We started occupational therapy (which is who diagnoses sensory) which we do once a week and do lots of things at home targeting the nervous system.  It all seems like play and is easy stuff to incorporate into our day (carrying something kind of heavy across a room, animal walks such as crab or bear, blowing bubbles, running, jumping, swinging, etc.).  My son is doing fantastic in kindergarten without one complaint from his teacher.  He is even an above average independent worker and listener!  (just got that report card.)  I would not have thought that possible a year and a half ago.  
I have no idea if your son has any delays and am not saying he has sensory.  But I would google it and see if any of it fits if someone suggests add to you as you should be sure of any diagnosis.  Your son was very premature which does put him at a great risk for some delays.  The good news is if he does have one, it sounds mild as he copes well at home.  Don't be afraid to look into the subject with your child because I can say from experience that a diagnosis helped my son become a happier person.  It is what got us on track to help him.  Before the diagnosis, he was becoming very sad, was left out from friends (teachers said he upset and scared the other kids with his tantrums and they started to shun him), couldn't sit and do anything in preschool which was all FUN stuff (like painting and playing blocks), and was losing self esteem by the minute.  If the school does evaluate your child, it is all confidential by law.  If something goes into his chart it is for the sake of an IEP (a plan to help him cope better throughout his day) and again is completely confidential by law.  If an aide is in the room becaue of add or behavioral issues, by law they can not identify which child they are there for. So try not to be scared.  I was very upset at the time of evaluation and diagnosis of my son.  I worred about lots of things.  But the bottom line is, once we knew what was going on-----  we were able to get down to the business of helping our son.  He now loves school and is doing great there.  

There may be nothing going on as well, as kindergarten is a super tough transition.  But gather your information to determine why your son is having difficulty (for him, not the school.  He wants to be happy.)  Good luck!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your response! I am looking for any answers I can find at this point. I did go ahead and ask for a core evaluation for my son ..a school psychologist will be there as well. I am hoping that he doesnt have any delays but I am more determined that he be successful in school and life and just ignoring this isnt going to make it go away. I watched him at school today without him knowing and it was pretty bad. He was like a child that I didnt recognize. He seemed lost in thought , staring off into the distance. Then he started to just be distracting to the rest of the students. When they tried to put him in a time out he fell out on the floor into a tantrum. He seemed angry and not respectful of the teachers at all. It was a wake up call that something is going on with him ..and the sooner it is addressed the better.
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973741_tn?1342346373
It is so hard to see our  kids in that position.  I remember the first time I looked at my son's face that I thought I knew very well and I saw a child that I didn't know.  I got to know THAT child and tried to help him.  I will tell you that it is the BEST thing I've ever done.  The outcome of addressing his struggles has been a boy who is happy and thriving.  It takes work -----  it is humbling, it is tiring, there are set backs along the way.  But when  your child starts to feel better in that  kind of enviroment----  it will be all worth it.  That was the bottom line for me.  Also, remember that if there is an issue----  your son may be doing his very best.  Kids like my son with sensory often have a flight or fight response when they are in overload.  Throwing himself on the floor and being disrespectful could be the "fight" response.  In occupational therapy, my son learned other ways to respond to overload.  He can make choices now rather than just reacting.  

Anyway, I think you are a smart and good mother to be trying to help your son feel better in school.  If you are interested in a list of things to try at home that help calm and organize kids with sensory let me know.  We do lots and I have lots of ideas on the subject.  It is all play type of activitys (wheelbarrow walk which is "heavy work" and calms a child while building core muscles at the same time that help with writing) and would be good for any child with or without a delay.  I would be happy to give you some ideas.  Good luck in the journey!
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Avatar_m_tn
    It sounds like he was in preschool for the full year. Did he adapt as the school year went on? If so, how did his teachers achieve that?   How long was the preschool day compared to kindergarten?  I am also curious as to when his birthday is - in other words is he one of the youngest kids in the class?
   And yes, I definitely think that being born early does affect development. What specialmom has said is worth thinking about.  I would try to get the opinion of someone who has dealt with children born early like your son.  I am not sure that a school psychologist has that experience.  Logically, I would think that your son still feels the need for the home environment.  Gradually, weaning him from that feeling may take a bit of work.  And the key word may be "gradually".  But, this is something that I really think you need some expertise help in.  Perhaps the hospital that he was born in, has some referrals that you could use.  Best Wishes!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again specialmom and Sandman2...my son did go to preschool for  a year and he did have the same concerns. He had to leave the classroom alot and meet w/ a school psychologist and other little groups for children who had trouble controling thier impulsivity. It did help but I dont think he ever completely got over it. I think the teachers just stopped complaining about it and just tried to deal with him. My sons b-day is at the end of August and he is the youngest and smallest child in his class. I have spoken to his teacher about him having a core evaluation by the counslers and school psychologist. The have a special student assistance team that is going to come in and evaluate him. I am also going to take him back to his pediatrian and go ahead and get a referral to a neurologist. I am hoping that it is nothing serious but we have spent the last year or so worried about his behavior in school and now I think it is time to try to find a solution.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I agree that it is time to find a solution, however, the being the youngest in the class thing could be a problem as well.  I would consider having him in preschool for another year while you work on the issue ------  then he would be starting fresh with more tools to cope and an extra year of maturity.  I know that is easier said than done . . . and you have to do what works for your family.  But it is just food for thought.  Take care.  ( oh, and early intervention programs in the public school system go through age 5----  he would still qualify.)  good luck
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