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Old 02-16-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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So. I have a bright four year old little boy who literally bounces off walls and has a hard time following any sort of direction. He's in a Montessori school for morning preschool and is somewhat bright, he turned four in January and is reading basic phonics, doing simple math and just started writing sentences on his own.

He has trouble following directions (or choosing to follow directions), doesn't seem all that interested in other kids and can be rude to them (but has friends in our neighborhood), and touches everything whether the teacher has asked him 20 times not to or not. And he is of course, bouncing off the walls with energy. He's the kid who's climbing the bookshelf and taking apart the electronics.

He can however play with legos without interruption for an hour or more at a time. If I give him a job like "sweep the garage" I can not see him for 30 min or so in a stretch. The teacher is now talking ADHD or some kind hyperactivity/sensory issue. The teacher taught our daughter for three years and is a friend, she's been teaching for 25yrs.

Other possibly important info: We adopted our son at 6mths and he has always been physically hyper. He walked early (especially for a child who was in an orphanage) at 10mths and was sprinting by 11mths...walking calmly is extremely difficult for him. When he was 2yrs old I started taking him on mile long walks in the morning...he would run beside me and not be tired by the time we got home...I'm not kidding. He gave up naps at 2 but goes to bed early at 7pm. He is happy and loving and seriously the sunshine in our lives.

So what now? I'm not keen on medicating my energetic, happy kid but I can't see how he's going to function in a traditional school environment...well ever. I'm a SAHM so I could home-school but I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. Montessori school seems to be working ok but I wonder if more structure would be better?

For the record he doesn't watch tv except for Saturday morning cartoons, no video games and we limit processed foods. He has limited toy choices and most of those are very traditional..ie legos, lincoln logs and books. We have an indoor trampoline as well to try to burn off some of the energy. We are pretty strict disciplinarians and do believe in spanking along with being sent to the corner and/or doing chores as punishment. None of that is working.

I'm looking for any and all advice and experiences...thank you!
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Florida
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He sounds like a normal four-year-old to me. Some normal four-year-olds, especially girls***, are quiet and happy to sit and color a worksheet or whatever. Some normal four-year-olds, especially boys, have little impulse control and can't sit still for more than a few minutes. By the end of third grade, I bet you would not be able to tell the difference.

This is actually one of the reasons we homeschool. There is no way that my son, when he was five, would have been able to sit still for any real length of time. Now, at 10, he has no problem. I think that putting kids in school so young is not helpful to rambunctious little boys. Is there any way you could pull him until he's kindergarten-aged? Or even first-grade aged?

*** Before I get lambasted, I will add the disclaimer that I have a little girl who was VERY rowdy and spirited when she was younger. At nearly 8, she's still a handful in some ways. So I am in no way saying that boys hold the market on obnoxiousness!
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: here
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Look into Sensory Processing Disorder first. It is often mistaken for ADHD, and is often seen in kids who are adopted or had a traumatic birth. My 7 year old starts occupational therapy for SPD next week. Read The Out of Sync Child. I recognized my son immediately as a "sensory seeker." The OT who did his eval said he also shows signs of ADHD, but for now we're going to concentrate on the SPD and see how things go. I have known something was "off" with him for years and kept being told "he's just a boy." Go with your instinct and be your son's advocate!
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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Yes, I should have mentioned that our daughter (also adopted) has some sensory issues and saw an OT for a year or two. The Out of Sync Child is on my go-to bookshelf

I don't think he has sensory issues...he's not a "crasher" and isn't physical with other kids, doesn't spin, doesn't like to be squeezed etc. And while he is always in motion, he doesn' twitch or shake a leg or anything while sitting still.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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Congratulations HML, you have a boy! Love him for his energy, channel it when you can, and don't medicate at this young age. He sounds perfectly normal to me.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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RKB, can't rep you more, but that is very good advice.

Re: the Montessori school, if your son has trouble sitting still then a traditional classroom will be tortue for him. The "more structure" aspect that you mention troubles me.....Montessori schools do have structure, of course.

Also, do you have him in any organized sports? Soccer, t-ball, or some pre-karate might do wonders for him.

I think my son has SPD...traumatic birth, too....does the OT help a lot and how do you get referred for OT? Is 8 too late to start?
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Yes, he is sports...does gymnastics twice a week, I figured he was doing it at home anyway

Yes, Montessori schools have structure (I went to them through elementary) but I guess what I mean is the freedom of choice. One of the problems that he is having is the need to "try" everything in the classroom, of course especially things that he hasn't had lessons on yet. I guess I'm wondering if an environment where the choices are more limited may be better for him?

As for him being a "normal" boy...well yes, its hard to explain the level of hyperactivity in writing but trust me, he's way more active than the other boys in his class or in our neighborhood. We've taken him hiking since he was a toddler and he can easily run 2-3 mile trails while the rest of the family is yards behind him and then spend the afternoon at the park and has been able to since he was 2.5.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgirlinnc View Post
RKB, can't rep you more, but that is very good advice.

Re: the Montessori school, if your son has trouble sitting still then a traditional classroom will be tortue for him. The "more structure" aspect that you mention troubles me.....Montessori schools do have structure, of course.

Also, do you have him in any organized sports? Soccer, t-ball, or some pre-karate might do wonders for him.

I think my son has SPD...traumatic birth, too....does the OT help a lot and how do you get referred for OT? Is 8 too late to start?
I don't think it is ever too late. Mine will be 8 in July. I am frustrated, though, that it took this long to figure out. Our pediatrician was one who said "he's just a boy" so that was no help. I will try to make a long story short. I started seeing a therapist myself which lead to taking my son to the same family therapist. She is the one who suggested it might be SPD. From there we had the OT eval, and have been on a waiting list for OT since fall. He hasn't started yet, so I don't know if it will help.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Congratulations HML, you have a boy! Love him for his energy, channel it when you can, and don't medicate at this young age. He sounds perfectly normal to me.
He doesn't sound perfectly normal. His mother doesn't think he's perfectly normal. His teacher doesn't think he is perfectly normal. There are treatments that don't involve medication, and OT would help show this mom HOW to channel his energy.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
He doesn't sound perfectly normal. His mother doesn't think he's perfectly normal. His teacher doesn't think he is perfectly normal. There are treatments that don't involve medication, and OT would help show this mom HOW to channel his energy.
But trying to fit him into a traditional (or, really, any kind of ) classroom doesn't sound like the best plan, "normal" or not! How old does compulsory schooling start in your state? You really don't need to worry about "school" until then! And until then, I'd have him outside and physically active as much as possible - honor who he is! Trying therapies and treatments to get him to fit into some kind of box doesn't seem like the best use of your energy.
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