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Avatar universal

Is this ADHD? Anxiety? What?

My son will be 4 next month.  He has always been attached, happy, calm and sweet at home.  Little to no tantrums.  When he started preschool is when the trouble started.  The teachers said he exhibited ADHD like symptoms, always running around, not focusing, even during free play.  Impossible to settle/stop chatting during story time.  That is 100% opposite of how he is at home and on playdates etc, so I thought it might be the school environment--huge class, 22 kids.  I switched him to a smaller, more structured preschool.  There, the teachers said he was doing alright, except that he was getting in other kids faces and annoying them.  They would tell him to stop, but he didn't stop.  He was getting better though.  So far so good.  He seemed happy to go to school.  Then, last week, they dropped the bomb... said the exact same thing the first school said, he runs around in circles instead of engaging in a toy, even during free play.  He blurts out answers and ruins games.  He can't settle and stop chattering during story time.  They say he is sweet, not mean or aggressive, it seems to them like a self control/impulse control thing.  They say he fogs out, appears to not be listening to them, even when spoken to directly, but then can repeat everything.  At birthday parties and play dates, he is social, happy, wonderful.  I can pretty much take him anywhere, restaurants, library, etc.  He's a good boy!  But at school, he is not controllable.   Could this be early signs of ADHD?  How can it be so uncontrollable at school, and non existant at home?
26 Responses
Avatar universal
Keep in mind this is what preschool is for. To prepare kids for school and these situations.
The teacher might want to come up with a reward system for him to get him motivated . You may want to do the same for him at home.
This sounds like a first time experience for him. How long has he been going? Is this his first time away from home and you? Mabye give him time to adjust. Try practicing with him at home. Have your own circle time and pretend its school.
If your truly worried about ADHD or Anxiety disorder get him evaluated by a developmenatal psychologist or a development specialist.   He may qualify for special needs preschool in your area if they offer this, If they do it is free.  
Good Luck.
164559 tn?1233711618
At home he has intensive one on one attention so certain behaviours would be minimized.

Do you have other kids?

I would talk calmly with your son about what is going on in school.  He may not be ready for that much structure.  Maybe he is bored.

Don't panic, but carefully evaluate the information you are receiving from trained professionals who are not emotionally attached to this child.  They probably have a very objective view.  Meet with them, ask them how you can help your son make this adjustment.  If they are truly concerned, I would have a specialist evaluate your son.

I think add is very over diagnosed.  Some children are just more energetic than others.  Sometimes the answer is very simple....
Avatar universal
He has been going to preschool since September.  Prior to that, he went to camp this summer (at the chaotic first preschool) for 2 days a week/6wks.  Prior to that, I had him enrolled in a 2s seperation class one day a week for two hours.  There, he was described as "delicious!" and "we have zero problems with him!"  They said he had a hard time in the beginning with the transitions, but got used to it and did well.  They said he was very quiet and they had to draw out answers to questions from him!  So, in 6 mo time, he's done a complete 180 at school.  In April, I had my second child, a daughter.  My DS has never been one to talk about his feelings... I wonder if this is all somehow related?  New baby came along at the same time school was switched (just about) and potty training too....  Normally, I would describe my son as being an easy, what you see is what you get kind of kid.... But lately I am wondering if he doesn't feel things a lot more deeply... like maybe this is some kind of anxiety that he has internalized?  Or maybe I am grasping....  My ped--who doesn't know him well, my son is never sick--thinks his group social skills might simply be a little delayed and he needs some time to catch up.  I hope that is all it is... But I can't help but worry.  He is also number crazy.  He is very very bright when it comes to numbers, and if it wasn't for the fact that he loves to share his number accomplishments ("mommy!  does that clock say 6:45?!  Mommy, is that a 704 over there!") I would be worried about it.... He is bright w/ letters and music too.
13167 tn?1327197724
He sounds like a very sweet little guy.  

But I would be prepared for a diagnosis of ADHD,  really.  His symptoms sound classic,  and for him to come to the attention of TWO separate preschools,  with behaviors that are so far out of the norm that they call and tell you,  that's pretty telling.

My oldest was exactly like that,  and although you cry a lot at first,  he's a terrific guy.  Sweet natured,  smart,  delightful.  He was on a low dose of ritalin during elementary,  and that helped a lot.  The worst thing,  I think,  is the fact that they can irritate other kids and it's SO IMPORTANT that they have friends!  I made a huge effort to be the fun mom who always had fun things planned.  I have a van and I drove small groups of kids everywhere - to the riverbed to hunt fossils,  to the county park for catch and release fishing,   etc.  During after school times,  as your son,  my son was never irritating and he was able to maintain a group of nice warm friendships.

One thing I will  recommend,  if he is diagnosed with ADHD and put on a medication,  don't tell anyone.  I refuse to put "yes" in the ADHD question on soccer sign ups,  cub scout sign ups,  even the school health form.  I had an answer planned if I was caught in the lie - "oh,  he's actually not diagnosed.  He's on ritalin experiementally because he has some characteristics of ADHD,  but no,  he is not diagnosed."  

Best wishes.  My son is now 17,  he's wonderful,  and his creativity and kindness has made him successful,  and well-liked.
Avatar universal
I'm sure the new baby has alot to do with it.
Dont listen to the advice of a normal pediatrician. Unless he is specifically a dev. ped.
Take him for an eval. somewhere if it continues.
Good Luck
Avatar universal
My ped recommended I meet w/ a child psychologist.  I have called him for 2 days, he has not called me back.  So annoying to sit here and stress and wait!
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