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TamiWoods January 17, 2012

My son is 5 years old, born November 2006. He is currently in Kindergarten and is having the worst time sitting still! He is learning great, the teacher has come to me to let me know that he is really picking up on his alphabet. He counts great, can recognize letters, and I think will be ready for first grade when it comes to the actual work. My concern is that when they are sitting on their carpet squares he moves and wiggles, when they walk in line he crawls or wiggles, he is distracting for the other children. I dont know what to do!!! His teach has asked me if I have had him looked at by his pediatrition but I dont want to be told he is hypactive or has ADHD and encouraged to drug him. I am so emotional and so confused about this, I want him to do the best he can do but I dont want to push him too hard if he is actually not able to sit still!

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ClarityCandy January 23, 2012

First, I connect with this post on a deep level and have never replied to a post before. Thanks for bringing this up. I am guessing there are many more of us with these concerns.

I have the very same concerns with my 4 year old. I don't have answers but I'll share with you some info I am using to make decisions.

1. Check out "Boys and Girls learn differently" by Michael Gurian. In summary boys do better when they have movement and conventional classrooms can be stifling for all kids but especially for the active boys (and girls). Boulder schools (and others) have implemented Gurian's recommendations based on brain research in their schools and it's working!

2. My child was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder. Long story short I'm not sure I buy in to the "disorder" part (which is necessary for any kind of intervention/insurance to kick in) but the ideas the occupational therapist gave (lot's of physical outlet stuff) really helps.

3. I moved schools. He is in a school now that has much more realistic and healthy attitudes about age appropriate expectations and climbing, playing and being a kid is incorporated in to his day. He is thriving there and they are teaching him and his friends how to play together with all their unique preferences. He is learning that his "big kid" roughness can effect others not wanting to play with him and "being gentle" = friends want to play. They are not the typical school that expects kids to fall in to what is easy for them vs. finding out what kids needs are and doing what works for children to thrive and learn to love learning.

4. We are still popping in to the Occupational Therapist (recommended by my trusted Pediatrician) and it doesn't hurt. I feel lucky we have the means. I still have my critical Mom hat on and I am very careful with what I adopt/believe and take bits and pieces that seem to make the most sense for my little guy. Regardless of the label or stigma the ideas have been useful.

5. I have started keeping a journal to track foods, level of exercise, routine changes etc. Everything that might give me more clarity around what works/and doesn't and gives me info for others when I am collaborating with care givers/teachers and the OT.

6. Screen time seems to really throw my child's behavior off. The less TV etc, the better he does. We have implemented a weekend only policy. He gets to watch Sid the Science kid (slow simple stuff) on Sunday mornings. There is a lot of research out there suggesting fast moving screen activity actually changes the brains pathways and there may be a link to a rise of some of the disorders we are talking about.

7. I have listened to my instincts and it has served me well. All of our kids are unique. We know the many unique bits and pieces that make up who he is. I have appreciated all the ideas other Mom's have given and the amount of caring they put in to helping me out. At the end of the day, he is my child under my care and that is a big responsibility I don't take lightly. I take it all in, keep what works for me and discard the rest.

I do know if my child doesn't have that need for physical exertion met, the rest is much more difficult. Think of what our kids would have dealt with 100 years ago. Our society has changed a ton, our kids have more stimulation coming at them than ever before. Our demands on them have shifted dramatically in this information age. Our institutions priorities and what we need as humans sometimes conflict. As mothers we play a role in balancing it all. It isn't an easy task but how cool to be working on it together.


FaithHeals January 22, 2012

I have a child with AD/HD, so I understand your plight ... Talk to your pediatrician, and if necessary, get a consult with a pediatric neurologist. There is a lot of misinformation about this medical condition - but if your child does have it the signs are obvious to one who is trained to know what to look for ...
AD/HD is a medical condition, not a choice or a result of "bad parenting". It is also not a food allergy, unless there is something your kid is eating on a daily and continual basis that causes a reaction. And while the symptoms of bad parenting and food allergies may resemble AD/HD (at times) - kids who do have this condition are remarkably different.
For example, Kids with AD/HD can concentrate for prolonged period of time on subjects that interest them. They are also unable to regulate their moods.
Good luck to you!


MzIyall January 22, 2012

As a mother and grandmother, and former Kindegarten teacher, I think I understand your concern. Part of your son's activity may be developmental--he'll grow out of it. Some may be boredom--have you sat in on a class to see how long and for what activities the children have to sit on the carpet. In these days of too much testing, I believe students are often pushed to excel beyond their developmental capabilities. If so, you may need to talk to the principal to discuss the kindegarten program. Finally, there may be dietary issues at work. Too much sugar and Red Dye in the diet (or caffeine) can contribute to hyperactivities. Does your child have time after school to play outside and expend energy, then get a good night's sleep? All things to consider. Good luck.


MagnetMom January 17, 2012

There are other methods to controlling ADHD than simply medicating children. On the other hand, children are so quickly diagnosed that even extremely bright, active children get labeled ADHD before they can be identified as gifted.

First, have a nice sit down with your son's teacher. He *is* clearly one of the youngest in the class, but so long as he meets the age requirement, she doesn't have much to go on here. Ask her what she does to keep him engaged in the group, and what more could she do, assuming he isn't diagnosed. Keeping a bright kid involved is hard, but many good teachers can find ways to keep them busy without distracting from the rest of the class.

Then at his next appointment, ask the pediatrician what his take is on your son's behavior. He may need a little behavior modification or a seat closer to the teacher, or he might be diagnosed and need medication.

It could be that your son is young, but you want to nip this in the bud, before he's affected socially. Class clown is funny in class, but it doesn't make friends, and down the line he can be ostracized for it.

Good luck!

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