My son turned five in February and started Kindergarten in September. I just attended his first parent teacher conference last evening and (as expected from negative behavior charts coming home daily) he is struggling with hyperactivity and impulsivity in school. He is in a classroom of 16 with a Kindergarten teacher and an inclusive teacher. His desk is separated from the class and turned around so that the opening is not accessible to him. I am told the reason for this is that he has "space interference" issues, where he will invade the space of another classmate sitting next to him. His desk is turned around because he bangs his hands inside the desk and fiddles with things in the desk as well. I am able to redirect all of these behaviors at home by giving him leggo's, letting him ride his bike, jump on the trampoline or simply spend time with him snuggling on the couch. I feel like his level of activity is normal for his age, he does however, have a resistance to authoritarians other than his father and I. I understand that the teachers may not have these liberties, but I can't help but feel like they are not even trying to constructively allow him to expend some of his energy which may allow him to get re-focused on the lesson plan. A friend of mine who reaches first grade said if she has hyperactive/impulsive student, she will allow them to stand at their desk instead of sitting if that helps them concentrate, or she will let them walk to the water fountain 3 times a day to expend some pent up energy, whatever works to help get that child re-focused. I don't want my son to be suppressed to the point where school is unbearable for him. At the same time, I want him to be an enjoyable student for his teachers. Any advice on how to re-direct his hyperactive behavior in the classroom would be greatly appreciated.
There is a limit to how much overactive behavior can be absorbed in a regular ed classroom. A tactic that might be of benefit to a particualr child can serve to the detriment of the other students. Children, particuarly boys, of this age tend to be quite active. Having said that, the vast majority are able to accommodate to the requirements of a classroom.
Your description indicates that your son's activity level is beyond the norm for his age and that he might well display a hyperactivity syndrome. If this is true, it is a neurological condition that invites consideration of pharmacological treatment. You can arrange an evaluation with his pediatrician, a pediatric neurologist or a behavioral health clincian to figure this out.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have been researching overactive and impulsive behavior over the last day or so and was considering an evaluation also. I had an informal evaluation from his allergist, who stated firmly, that he is just being a boy. I will however strive to mold his behaviors into something more desirable for the general population. I will also continue to work on re-direction since he seems to be responsive to it.
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