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Micat

Kindy kid trouble focusing

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Micat

Long post, my apologies. I've done a lot of reading, but don't post much :)

 

DS started Kindergarten this year, turning 6 in January, making him the oldest in his class. We elected to start him a year later than he could have, to allow him to catch up socially. He is a sensitive boy who wasn't very resilient a couple of years ago, and we saw huge improvement in this the extra year at daycare. He's very social, chats easily to adults, has variable success with kids his age- often tending towards the 'trouble makers' who he then gets in trouble with, as they get carried away and silly and he follows without thinking. If he's not in one of these silly moods, he's normally very eager to please, doesn't like breaking rules and is a sweet kid. He's also bright, he taught himself to read last year, has a great memory and is very enquiring.

 

He'd always been highly distracted and insanely slow to complete tasks such as getting dressed etc. He's also super forgetful. While he can remember facts/something interesting from years ago, he will acknowledge a request to perform a task, but then get distracted and completely forget, even with 5 or 6 ongoing reminders. We've tried to help in all ways we can think of- constant reminders, encouragement, punishments, rewards, charts on the wall, lists etc. None seem to help.

 

As frustrating as we found these behaviours, I had thought these were just 'normal kid things', however since starting school, it has been raised as an issue by his teachers. While initially they were discussing potential giftedness as he is clearly very bright, they are baffled by his behaviour- he interrupts the class as he needs to constantly ask for instructions to be repeated, he can't keep his space tidy, he loses stuff constantly, he never seems to notice the mess right in front of him. He's asthmatic and has been needing to go to the office for his puffer the last two weeks- his teacher would tell him to go after eating, and yet he would forget. In the end his classmates were reminding him and getting frustrated with him for forgetting!

 

Nearly 2 terms into school, his teachers are now saying that for a smart kid he hasn't made the progress he should have (they're not worried in that overall he'd doing well- reading at the level of a 10yo etc, just that if it continues, he just won't reach his potential and may even fall behind). They're trying not to say it, but I can tell that he is frustrating them on a daily basis. Any techniques they have tried to implement have not made a difference.

 

Personally I am concerned about him socially. While at the beginning of the year he seemed to be making friends well, he now has only 1 or 2 friends. He can't seem to relate to the other kids. He's always been stubborn and had to be in charge of games. If other kids won't play his game, he just ignores them. To the point of being rude. We've always put an emphasis on being kind and inclusive, now he won't even say hello to most of the kids in his class when they speak to him, he just runs of trying to find his one main friend, or does his own thing.

 

Honestly, I'm not too sure where I'm going with this. I've been trying to read up on learning/processing disorders etc, but I'm not sure they seem to suit what's happening. Am I worrying unreasonably? I keep trying to tell myself I am, but I'm now getting pulled aside by the teachers weekly to speak about it. They are saying wait a little longer (they're hoping it's maturity, but he's behind the rest of the class on this despite being nearly 18 months older than some of them), but if no improvement, we may need to seek additional help (haven't suggested who to see etc).

 

I just thought I'd post on here as there are so many knowledgable parents here who may have suggestions??!

 

In case it's significant, he was premature, born at 28 weeks. He is a bit behind on his motor skills, particularly fine motor, we worked with an OT before school and are thinking of going back to this again. Otherwise no major consequences of his prematurity.

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José

i would be seeing a psych. an educational psych would be good.

they can assess his abilities and also conduct assessments in relation to attention

 

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CrankyM

Adhd? If this are an issue socially it could be a combo of adhd and asd. It was pretty apparently when my youngest started school that his focus, his constant need to instructions to be repeated and then broken down that there was a problem.

 

I’d be organising a developmental pead appointment and likely some psychometric testing. Whatever anyone tells you adhd and asd is not a quick process to be assessed for. Both are not uncommon with kids who are also gifted or bright but can’t work to their potential.

 

In the mean time an OT might be able to help with strategies to work on behaviours and improve focus. Good psychs and developmental peads (not a normal pead) have waitlists. And don’t let them fob you off with the “oh but we won’t do anything until school results are an issue” either. Just because a child is academically doing fine doesn’t mean it is impacting them.

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Ozquoll

Definitely a few red flags there. I’d see a developmental paed. and see what they advise.

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Veritas Vinum Arte

Another who suggests seeing a developmental paed.

 

 

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ERipley

Gifted boys more often have inattentive or combined type adhd rather than hyperactive. Sounds a lot like inattentive to me. It’s very common in the gifted population. Feeling like an outsider is very common too and with the I-ADHD it can be hard to follow long conversations or not lose interest in lots of games. The more outlandish behaviours of certain kids might hold his attention more so he’s more attracted to them? Hyper focus is a big part of that diagnosis too which allows him to do incredible things when interested and leave you scratching your head they breakfast takes 1.5 hours. If that sounds familiar an IQ assessment might be a good idea. Comparatively low processing speed is common in adhd too.

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Micat

Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate it. Lots to think about. Would you wait as the teachers are suggesting (they’re saying wait until next terms parent-teacher interviews, when we will also have his first report available). I suppose if it’s a time consuming process maybe we should start now?

 

Do you have any suggestions of resources I can use for research/planning?

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ali-song

Definitely a few red flags there. I’d see a developmental paed. and see what they advise.

 

Absolutely agree with this. If you post the general area you live in, someone may be able to give you a recommendation.

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Bauble Dinkleberry

I would start the process of getting referral for dev paed as suggested, the waiting lists can be long. Once you see paed they will want conners screening to be done by teacher, and school reports will be requested along the way. Get a jump start, and an OT or Speechie, or psychologist can assist you with some techniques straight away as the process of diagnosing begins. You will likely be using their support along the way along with a doctor.

 

BTW i have an inattentive DD and twice exceptional, combined ADHD and gifted DS with some other issues. Gifted can mask a lot of things along the way.

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CrankyM

I would get the referrals. It isn’t unknown to have to wait 6-9 months for a good developmental pead. That’s privately BTW.

 

I can’t find it on my phone but there is a thread in the disabilities section that is called adhd links and resources. I would go have a look at there as there is some really good information that isn’t scaremongering (which is pretty common for things like adhd unfortunately).

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froglett

Sounds pretty much like my DS - very bright, incredible memory, early language development, talks well with adults, struggles socially with kids his own age.

 

Teachers started reporting issues with distraction, in attention etc kindy year. He to takes foooorrrrrreeeevvvvveeeerrr to get dressed.

 

We’re now this side of an ADHD diagnosis. I wouldn’t wait personally, I’d be talking to a developmental paed.

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JoanJett

Prematurity is a risk factor for ADHD. You describe many behaviours/symptoms that are suggestive of ADHD. As the parent of a "twice exceptional" child with giftedness and ADHD, I can relate to much of what you're describing. The social and communication issues are also concerning and may flag other conditions like ASD, or be part and parcel of other issues.

 

The most time-effective and useful approaches now (which may result in a diagnosis or may simply give you a picture of his overall strengths/weaknesses and offer practical help):

- neurocognitive testing, including domains of attention/processing/working memory

- psychology review for play therapy around appropriate social interactions and emotional regulation

- Developmental Paediatrician review

 

This thread has plenty of good resources

http://www.essential...ren-and-adults/

Edited by JoanJett
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JoanJett

Coming back to add - don't wait. Everyone gets hung up on the academic impact of ADHD.

 

But in truth in my opinion, it's the social functioning that has the most long-lasting impact. Trying to catch up those skills and overcome the labels/problems in the playground is really difficult.

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Elsegundo

I'd also second the suggestion to see a developmental paed. My ds has asd and some of your descriptions resonate - socially challenged, can't follow instructions etc - there's a great Sue Larkey podcast about executive functioning, which is how we organise ourselves, and how asd and adhd can get in the way of that.

 

I also agree you should get referral asap from gp and start calling places to get on wait list. It is a very long process.

 

There are some great resources available once you have identified particular issues so it is worth the effort. Good luck!

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Charli73

Get a referral for a developmental paed and get in a list to see one now.. it can take months to get an appointment.

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BeAwesome

He sounds a bit like my daughter with ADHD.

She got diagnosed at 7 by the developmental paed.

Edited by BeAwesome
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Ozquoll

Coming back to add - don't wait. Everyone gets hung up on the academic impact of ADHD.

 

But in truth in my opinion, it's the social functioning that has the most long-lasting impact. Trying to catch up those skills and overcome the labels/problems in the playground is really difficult.

All of this, and I’d add that for the people I know with ADHD (who are admittedly all very high IQ) the thing that most affects their life is not academics or even socialising, but the inability to do the small everyday stuff like keeping a routine, noticing when they are hungry and eating appropriate food, going to sleep at a reasonable hour, following a basic budget, that sort of thing.

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José

as per others.

get the referral now.

often people wait to act until tbe problem is serious and needs immediaye attention and are then very frustrated by the lengthy waitlists to get into anyone.

get the process underway now.

Edited by José

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Kreme

I agree there are a few red flags there and I would not wait to book an appointment with a developmental paediatrician straight away as there is often a long waiting list. So you will in fact be giving him some more time while you’re waiting for the appointment. If you can share your location hopefully you can get some recommendations. It would be good to find someone who is experienced with children who are twice exceptional (gifted plus ADHD/ASD/etc).

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Micat

Thank you again. I’m in the upper north shore/hills district area of Sydney if anyone has recommendations

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Prancer is coming

Sounds so much like my 7yo that I am in the process of getting tested for ADHD. He is not gifted, but his older brother is, as well as having ADHD and a learning disability. My eldest was diagnosed at 9, much too late. As he was gifted, he masked symptoms for a long time. It fell apart in grade 3, not just failing subjects, but no friends, self esteem low, anxiety high and behaviour issues. It was terrible seeing him at crisis point, and then having to go through such a process to get assessed.

 

I started the process at school almost a year ago for mr now 7. The school psych has done cognitive testing and I am just waiting for her to collate paperwork from myself and the teacher re his ADHD symptoms. Will then book paed if those results indicate an issue. So many people say to me he is still little. And he is, but already he stands out and has social issues. He is hyperactive too and when he is the kid that is always seated next to the teacher at any event, I realise he is that kid that is the worst! Time will not miraculously solve that, and the social skills the school are doing are not really doing much neither!

 

So the teacher is speaking to you about issues at least once a week? I remember how stressed I was when I had the school on the phone regularly about issues. That seems frequent enough that it is not a minor issue, unless they are really strict or just being thorough. In my experience, kindy teachers have seen everything and do not have high behaviour expectations, so I would say they are concerned. What helped me was not just being DS’s advocate, exploring why whatever happened or what strategies might help. But agreeing I saw issues too, was totally out of ideas of how to help and asked them what help they could offer.

Edited by Prancer is coming
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FuzzyChocolateToes

I agree that you should start the process of having him assessed for both IQ and ADHD.

 

Regarding the teachers recommending that you give him time, I disagree. Unfortunately teachers in general know very little about ADHD and other disorders. (They don't learn much about teaching gifted kid either).

I think it's great though that they have identified some issues and raised it with you early.

 

I would start by taking him to the GP and ask for referrals.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes
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Kreme

I’ve heard good things about Dr Taryn Bloom. She is a psychologist, not a paed but she comes highly recommended by people I know who have 2E kids. She’s based in Beecroft.

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Pooks_

I’d do 3 things, finances and availability of services permitting

 

1. Go on the waiting list for a recommended paediatrician

2. Arrange a cognitive and educational assessment. We did this recently through a university clinic which kept the price low and was of impressive quality. Extremely useful to tease apart issues, extremely useful for paed and solid recommendations for teachers. Just took a while.

3. Find a recommended psychologist or OT to work with your son on executive functioning issues right away. I would lean towards an OT who could also do a sensory profile which would be informative for the paed, and also provide some really good practical insights and strategies to use right away while waiting for any further appointments and results. A friend of mine recently engaged an OT for assessment and a list of recommendations at home and school without ongoing therapy due to the expense of it, while waiting for psych and paed assessment, it was all done and dusted within a few weeks and very helpful.

 

My son has a similar-ish profile but with more average academic ability, he is able to mask a lot of his difficulties by intellectually devising strategies to deflect attention from them- but the disorganisation is something he can’t hide. As exhausting as this process is, it’s also so rewarding to start to crack the riddle, and start to see your child thrive when their needs are better understood and met.

Edited by Pooks Combusted
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