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Avatar universal

What is the problem when a 6 year old child can't learn correctly?

He can't focus on homework.
he doesn't answer when we call his name many times.
he keeps asking same questions over and over.
his mind is always occupied with some specific things like cars, pets, and babies.
he can't follow instructions well.
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Hello, welcome.  Well, it can be hard when a kiddo is your son's age.  Sometimes boys just are 'out there' and it's normal.  It becomes more clear as they get older. Are the teachers complaining or giving you negative feedback or these things your own observation?  Is he behind other kids in terms of where he is at developmentally?  Teachers are good at being able to give this information as they see so many kids of the same age and can kind of gage that.  Although, always important to remember kids are all unique and different.

My son has sensory issues.  That impacted him (still does) in the ways you describe.  But it really interfered in a noticeable way (as in teachers and administrators keyed in on it).  One thing that helps many kids with focus believe it or not is physical activity.  If he runs, jumps, climbs, rolls before doing his homework, he may be able to focus better.  ??

So, provide a bit more info and I'll try to help.
Avatar universal
Could possibly be Adhd, i have it ( im 19 slowly getting less severe ) and i had a severe case of it as a child and sounds wuiet similar to my experiences
Avatar universal
ADD? ADHD? Autism? Asperger's?
Avatar universal
Hard to say for sure without professional assessment, but to me that sounds very much like an autism spectrum disorder (both my daughters and my step-son are on the spectrum, and it has been suggested that I may be, as well). I would ask your GP or pediatrician for a referral to a neuro-psychologist or a developmental psychologist, ideally at a children's hospital, if you have one in your area. Mention specifically that you are wondering about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), because I believe that ASD assessment is a specialized field that regular psycho-educational testing doesn't always include.

While you're on the waiting list for assessment, ask for a hearing test (if the doctor doesn't suggest it first), a referral to occupational therapy (for sensory issues, attention/self-regulation/communication strategies, and motor-skill development, if applicable), and a referral to a speech and language clinic if he has any speech delays or difficulties.

If you can afford it, or have insurance that will pay for it, it might also be worthwhile for him to have an auditory processing assessment (especially if the hearing test comes back normal), which is significantly different from a regular hearing test, and usually has to be done privately, especially for children. A hearing test only covers the physical health of the inner ear, and determines how well he actually hears sounds at different frequencies; whereas an auditory processing assessment looks at how his brain interprets what he hears, and things like how well he can distinguish between different phonetic/language sounds; how well he hears when there is also background noise; if there's a delay between when he hears something and when his brain recognizes that he has heard something and what the sounds mean (and if so, is the delay significant enough that he is altogether missing the first few words of what has been said, for example?); how well he can focus on and extract information  when there are competing sounds or different sounds presented in each ear; how much auditory information he can keep in his working memory (ie. has he forgotten the beginning of a sentence by the time he hears the end of a sentence? Can he remember multi-step instructions long enough to carry them out? How many steps can he hold in his working memory at a time?).

Some areas have playgroups or parent support groups for families waiting for assessment, so they can start learning and getting support even if the child does not have a diagnosis, yet (and these groups will most likely also be able to help determine how likely it is that your son is on the spectrum, and give suggestions for different avenues to explore if it seems like you are "barking up the wrong tree". ASD is very complex, and there are many other conditions that have similar or overlapping symptoms, so don't be surprised if you get a lot of different "advice" before you figure out how best to help your son.

Also, if a psychologist says that he "has traits" of whatever condition is suspected or being tested for, but that he "doesn't meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis", it doesn't mean that he does not have the condition or disorder. It just means that the psychologist hasn't seen enough signs or symptoms to distinguish it from another condition or a "developmental quirk" that he might grow out of.

If you have a gut instinct that your son needs a particular kind of support or intervention, don't give up on it just because a "professional" tells you that he doesn't qualify for it. When it comes to attention, communication, social skills, and a lot of other "soft skills", there is a lot that you can start doing, yourself, at home, to help strengthen those areas of your son's development even without "therapy".

My older daughter was assessed when she was four, and "did not meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD", so I tried to convince myself that I was just a paranoid, overprotective mother, but when she was six, the pediatrician recommended that she get reassessed, and this time, the same psychologist said that "it is very apparent, now, that she's on the spectrum", even before she had finished the assessment.

It wasn't that she had "suddenly become autistic."  Rather, the "traits" that we had seen when she was younger (I first noticed them when she was two-and-a-half), had become more pronounced, and also were no longer age-appropriate for a 6-year-old, whereas they were on the outside edge of "normal" for a 4-year-old. I had not understood that, though, and regretted not starting to work with her, myself, when I first had my suspicions. I felt like I had "wasted" those two years, given the emphasis on "early intervention" for ASD.

Read books, talk to other parents, and trust your instincts. Ask for a referral to a specialist pediatrician (but do be aware that their first suggestion may be to medicate, so do your research, and make your own decision whether to do so, because once you start down that path, it is hard to get off of it. In some cases, though, it is a life-changer for the better - I've seen both). Investigate dietary changes - sometimes the benefits aren't worth the hassle or the expense of a special diet; sometimes the benefit may be so significant that medication isn't needed once you find the right "tweaks" to his diet.

Well, I know that's a lot to take in, but I hope it's helpful. I apologize if I've alarmed you unnecessarily (I really don't know how severe your son's issues are, so I could be totally off-base). Feel free to ask more questions if you want. I am a licensed teacher, with very basic special education qualifications, and like I said, 3 of 4 of my kids are on the spectrum, but I do not have any medical or psychological qualifications, so don't rely exclusively on my judgement. I wish you the best, and would love to hear how things are going for your son, every so often.







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