I have an extraordinarily intelligent 5 year old boy. Since PK 3 years ago, he has had consistent behavioral issues. The teachers comments are often around self-control, excessive playfulness and failure to listen. He exhibits these same behaviors at home. His teacher is frustrated because of the constant redirection. They would like to send him to the school psychologist for evaluation and all these batteries of tests. I would like to positively change his behavior rather than medicate it. He is not a bad child, not mean spirited and eager to please. When we ask him why he doesn't listen to a particular instruction, he simply says, "I forgot." Even if the instruction was given 5 minutes ago. We have had his hearing tested and everything. Help please!
Well, an evaluation of your child in no way means medication. My son has similar characteristics to your child. He is very smart and academically outperforms his peers. He has conceptual understanding of things that amazes me. However, during his first and second year at preschool, things went down hill with his behavior. We were encouraged to do an evaluation of him and we did so, twice. My son has a developmental delay called sensory integration/processing disorder that involves his nervous system. Many kids have sensory issues---- for sure. But some kids can't cope well with them. Eventually if nothing is done, they find ways to cope but they aren't usually very posative. After his diagnosis of sensory integration disorder, we did occupational therapy and have done so for the past year. His change in the classroom and overall has been remarkable. It is night and day. The occupational therapy includes things to feed his nervous system and then we do things all week long to continue the process. Get your son outside playing everyday for as long as possible. Go to parks and run, climb, jump, swing and slide. Have him ride his bike, carry a bag of books or the laundry basket for you, etc. It will make a difference. I don't know if your son has a mild delay or not (which has NOTHING to do with intelligence)----- but an evaluation and knowing what the problem is can change his life. I've never been told to medicate my son. His progress was from directing our activities torwards sensory integration disorder. But if he had ADHD, I don't know. Kids like your son suffer in other ways. I hear people say they don't want to label their kids----- so then their child ends up labeled in another way. Giving a name to my child's behavior has made him successful both socially and scholastically. He is 5 years old and I couldn't be prouder of him. So don't be afraid of the school system trying to figure out why your son's behavior is not working in school, they are trying to help. I honestly believe that. Maybe I'm a glass half full kind of person, but I've had such a posative experience with my family.
Anyway, if you aren't willing to have him evaluated---- increase his physical activity substantially. (even if he already gets some) It will have an effect. Good luck.
When we ask him why he doesn't listen to a particular instruction, he simply says, "I forgot." -- your words
What your son means is that he unable to listen - and a psychologist might be able to find out the reason. By the way, a psychologist can not prescribe medication. If your child had a severe illness, would you not seek out medical help? The same should be true when your child has a "learning" illness. I wish you the best ...
Hi, I am also a mother of a highly intellegant 5 year old boy. He attended preschool last year and I was constantly reminded about his "behavior" at school. His teacher would always say that he was overly active, but was very smart. We came to the conclusion that he was just to smart for preschool, and bored with the easy shape sorting, and color recognition teachings. A few weeks ago he started Kindergarten...and the letters are rolling in. Every day his teacher keeps a behavior chart for each child, weekly we, the parents, are to look at this chart to see our childs behavior. My son's paper always states that he is distracting to other kids, loud at rest time, never follows the rules and directions of the teacher, but a very bright intellegant boy. My son is very smart to be 5. I just wonder if kindergarten is "boring" to him as well. He already knows his ABC's, counting, problem solving ect. I am meeting his teacher in the morning to discuss the latest letter that was sent home, they want permission to paddle him!!!! I am shocked! There has got to be a reason for his behavior, and I am bound and determined to get to the bottom of it.
Hi, sorry about your son. It is so disconcerting to get those notes. I would pick my son up from preschool with white knuckles and a grim expression to see what might have happened that day. I have often heard this from parents about their child being "bored" in school and that is the result of bad behavior. But school (especially preschool) really isn't about academics in many ways---- it is where they make friends (which is NEVER boring), play (where they learn problem solving, thinking skills, etc.) and learning how and why it is important to follow a routine. My son is off the charts smart and went to kindergarten not just know his letters but reading. He picks up things very quickly and always is ahead of his peers. He is not bored in kindergarten. He is loving the interaction and fun of it all. ----- however, it wasn't always this way. My son has a developmental delay called sensory integration disorder. This involves his nervous system and makes him overwhelmed in a classroom which looks like behavior. We've done occupational therapy which looks like play (swinging, jumping, climbing through heavy pillows, etc.) and now he functions well in a classroom. I don't know if this is going on, but behavior problems are often not due to boredom at that age. There is something else most likely going on. He could (and I have NO IDEA and wouldn't presume to suggest he does) have a mild delay (which has NOTHING to do with being smart), there could be a classroom dynamic he is uncomfortable with, he could have a discipline problem in which he could behave but chooses not to (which would be the case even if he is bored), he could be anxious in the classroom, etc. but I would look for the underlying cause of his actions as kids who act out usually feel kind of bad inside.
I wouldn't let them paddle him though. I'd have a big problem with that. Google sensory integration or processing disorder and see if any symptoms match. It can cause this kind of thing and a few simple steps can make your child a different kid in the classroom. Things like going to playgrounds and running all around and using the equipment to climb, swing, hang off monkey bars, etc. will effect his behavior posatively. Have him lay on the floor and make a sandwich out of him with pillows and smoosh him gently (he'll either love it or hate it ---- stop if he hates it but if he loves it, it is very calming and has a lasting effect). Jump on a mini trampoline or mattress on the floor. All of these things help the nervous system. Otherwise, I am not sure what to tell you. You could ask the teacher to provide extra academic stimulation such as giving him worksheets from the grade above. Switching him to another class higher may solve the problem but then kids may often have social problems and have trouble fitting in with peers due to maturity. So good luck. You seem like you are searching for answers as to why your kid is having some difficulty in school---- so I was just giving you one other idea that may very well be way off base. But I'd hate for his self esteem to suffer which it will if he is getting into trouble all the time. My child was in the same boat and we addressed his nervous system and we aren't having the issue now. He will have the occasional bad day but now it is once in a blue moon instead of every day. Good luck.
Hello! My son sounds just like your son. By 1st grade a panel consisting of the principal, several teachers, and specialists at the school tried to convince me to seek treatment for ADD. Now, my son doesn't have ADD. I believe that the school system does not care to deal with children that are high spirited. Just because your son has some spunk doesn't mean there is something wrong with him. It just means that he won't sit there quietly all day like many of the other kids. Think about what boys did in the past, historically speaking. They did a great deal more physically. Kids now are just all pent up and need to get it out. When I started taking my kids to school about 30-45 minutes early so they could play on the playground, it really helped! It gave them a chance to burn off some of that energy. Please don't just assume that there is something wrong with your child...and be careful of who you let know, if you do decide to speak to a Psychologist. You don't want that in your child's academic file. Good luck!
and be careful of who you let know, if you do decide to speak to a Psychologist. You don't want that in your child's academic file.
A comment on the above statement. Many school districts have a policy whereby parents can remove any information from the child's academic file they see fit (usually the request need be in writing) - of course, any file with all the marks removed would be a "red flag" to any future college application. Ask your principal about the policy in your area.
If a child has a delay or a condition that is in their academic file, the same laws protecting children in elementary, middle, and highschool apply at state colleges and universities. (same disability act). So this should NEVER keep you from helping your child. Not every child will outgrow being "spirited"----- mine didn't.
I do agree that physical activity is so beneficial to our kids. There is a direct link between a sedentary lifestyle and being unsuccessful in school. But my active and always going a mile a minute child still didn't cope well in school. Every parent knows their child best---- and seeing a child unhappy and losing self esteem can often be the turning point for a parent to step in and really dig to find out why they are having trouble.
I've not medicated my child but did early intervention---- thank goodness!!!. Good luck to all the parents that don't want to risk it if their child isn't able to outgrow what is going on with them. (and to those parents that do----- good luck to you too.)
There has been some very good advice for you, but (unless I missed it) no one mentioned the fact that the school wanted to paddle your son.
To put it bluntly - this is not acceptable and in many states is illegal! It also puts into question the whole psychology of the school. I would immediately let the principal know that this was suggested to you. If the principal is ok with this suggestion, I would yank him out of the school as fast as I could. (By the way, I have been in education for almost 40 years as a elementary and middle school teacher - and a elementary school principal and middle school viceprincipal.) I can't believe that this would still be going on.
my son will be 6 in April. He is getting in trouble at school for not listening to student teachers and volunteer parents. He is also having trouble sitting still and focussing. However, the teacher tells me he is picking up all the subject matter and is like a sponge. Acedemically he is doing well or above average. I ask him what happens in school and he tells me he forgot. She also tells me he is very well liked by the other students and that can be distracting. So far he is just getting sad faces and missing free activity. It sounds like he may have similar issues as the other stories I read.
My son is having issues in school too so I can relate, he does not listen and has become very impulsive at school. He's hit some other kids. They think he might have adhd. I just really don't know anymore....
Hello specialmom, I have a 3 and half year son. I think I am in same boat of everyone here : my son is very smart ( he can read books in 2 languages at his 3 ) and he didn't follow teacher's instruction at school. His school encouraged me to send him to Child Find to let them evaluate my son. I read your advice and could I ask you a question ? Where you had sent your son to have a evaluation ? Thank you so much.
Not sure if Specialmom will notice this on such a long link. You could always message her. But, since I do know that her son had Sensory Issues, she used an Occupational Therapist for the evaluation as they are the ones who deal with this.
If he does not have SPD and they are thinking something like ADHD, then I would use a pediatric psychiatrist. While SPD can be diagnosed at this early age and treated. Something like ADHD is not usually diagnosed till slightly later.
Hope this helps.
Hi there. I DID see your post. :>) Sorry you are having trouble with your son. The good news is that he is very smart which will help him with whatever other challenges he has. First, know that many kids do have challenges. Your son is not alone. Finding out what they stem from is really helpful in order to provide the proper intervention. We had a very wise preschool teacher who correlated my son's challenges to sensory processing disorder and she was right on the money. As Sandman mentioned, my son was diagnosed by an occupational therapist formally with sensory processing disorder and did occupational therapy. We did go the private route as we found an excellent OT who specialized in sensory but always included his school in what we were doing--- with the OT communicating with the school too if I needed. My son received occupational therapy for six years. Yes, six years. :>) But well worth it. He's now 12 and doing really great. Because of early intervention, I think we headed off what could have been great difficulty in elementary school. My son learned ways to maintain his symptoms and control his behavior that he took to school with him--- so that he has never had a behavioral issue in elementary school. Preschool was difficult--- no doubt. But by kindergarten, he had a good handle on what to do to get through school without his sensory issues causing problems. We worked hard on helping him every single day outside of school with the physical activity that improves sensory symptoms. But well worth it.
If you could share some about your child so we can help more, that would be great.
And by the way, the behavioral help that an occupational therapist gives can help with adhd as well. Our OT did work with adhd kids. :>) Often, actually, those two diagnoses are confused and occasionally they overlap.
Hi Special mom. I'm wondering what sort of activities did the OT do with him that you were able to do at home and at school to help? Was he sensory seeking or avoidant or both? My son seems to be sensitive to noise but mainly sensory seeking. Poor sleeper. Likes weird smells, is VERY physical, impulsive and has a very hard time focusing., He is only 5 soon to be 6 but having a hard time in school. He is in K and I am having him repeat as most of the kids are 6 and soon to be 7. He is definitely young and I am hoping he will mellow out in time but if he does have a sensory issue, I do not want to miss it. I feel like he is too young for ADHD testing to be valid. K is way too intense and there is not nearly enough movement/recess and social time allowed in school. K is more like 2nd grade. No show and tell, no time to socialize and play. Indoor recess is not the same. Too much technology, video games and screen time is making everything worse for these kids. It is heartbreaking.
One of Specialmoms forums is - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396 You can get some pretty good descriptions on that site of the activites, plus post there.
She is a CL for a number of different sites and sometimes will miss some posts for awhile, so you could also try and message her directly. I know that Sensory issues are special to her.
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