By Sam Goldstein, Ph.D.
My first-grade son is doing okay in school but he receives extra help in reading and speech. He has a very hard time focusing and concentrating and sometimes it seems like he is in another world when you talk to him. It can take an hour to do a short page of homework with him. He is the only one on his soccer team who has no clue what is going on. He has been going to karate for three months and every day is like his first day. He doesn't seem to remember anything and his mind is everywhere else, even though he says that he likes going.
He has no real friends and he has a very hard time socializing. He frequently jumps in place, flaps his hands and has a hard time sitting still. I am very concerned that he has ADHD or something acutely wrong with him. I have spoken to his teacher and I am working on having him evaluated but I am very worried. Any thoughts?
In your question you have provided a great deal of concerning information about your child. He appears to be impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive. You note that he appears to struggle to maintain friendships and exhibits some repetitive behaviors such as flapping his hands. On the positive side, you say he appears to be making academic progress and likely doesn't suffer from a specific learning disability.
At this point I would caution you to not think about your son's problems in terms of any specific diagnosis but rather focus on understanding his impairments, such as his problems with socialization, behavior, attention and school performance. You note that he does not appear to be aggressive, significantly depressed or anxious; nor does he exhibit patterns of odd or atypical behaviors. Here is what I suggest you do:
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
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