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School Behavioral Problems with Gifted 8 year old Child

My 8 year old son is having behavior problems in school. He is currently in the third grade but has actually had problems throughout his formal schooling. He does not listen or follow instructions and is frequently defiant...especially if his teachers tell him to do something without explaination. He also does very poor work work in school nobody wants him in their group because he doesn't do any of the work...and it is a battle to get him to do homework. And when he does do it is hurried and shoddy work. In fact we had to pay to get him tested because the school did not believe he was gifted (he scored in the 99th percentile). Today he was suspended from school for insubordination...he would not obey his teach when she told him to stop a disruptive behavior and he refused. When things escalated he became extremely upset (not violent) and was sent to the office and subsequently suspended.
At home we try applying a reward demerit system but sometimes he just cant seem to control himself. In fact he seems to understand that he can't control himself and is actually upset by this after the fact. Tonight when I talked to him about todays incident he said "I don't know why I do things sometimes...it is like I am controlling my brain but not my body".
Anyway, he is extremely intelligent and can do amazing things when he wants to (he has completed very complex computer games since he was 5...Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, the Sim and Tycoon games, etc.). He also reads voraciously. But some times he is just uncontrollable and needs to be told several times to do something or stop doing something. Other times he is so wound up that he just bounces off the walls.
The Psychologist who administered the Wechsel test suggested that he is likely ADD but that we needed to get him formally tested (in fact she said this probably hurt his score on some of the more mundane and focus related sections). And even then she said the solution would likely be meds (which didn't thrill me). We do have an appointment in several weeks but in the mean time we are at our wits end...and the school seems to be taking a no nonesense approach (which frankly is a little disappointing) and just wants him to conform. We are set to meet with them on Monday and need to come up with a behavioral plan.
2 Responses
242606 tn?1243782648
You will be wise to focus like a laser on his behavior. The fact that your son might be intelligent is beside the point right now, because he is not using his intellectual gifts to his advanatge. The evaluation should not focus solely on ADHD, but rather should adopt a wider focus. Is the evaluation with his pediatrician or with a mental health professional? While he may well display ADHD, oppositional and defiant behavior are not typical of children who display ADHD alone. If he does display ADHD, he likely display some other co-morbid condition as well. Likely possibilities are other manifestations of Disruptive Behavior Disorder (ADHD belongs to this category of conditions) or Mood Disorder. It sounds like you are getting on the right track. And don't underestimate the benefit of a 'no-nonsense' approach - it may well be a component of just what your son needs.
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A related discussion, adhd meds dont work was started.
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