6 year old having trouble in school

Cathryn - posted on 09/28/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son is 6 years old and is a couple of weeks into his first grade and is starting to have more and more problems at school, as far as paying attention, following orders and acting out. My husband, his father, grew up with add, adhd but hated being on medicine. We are concerned that our son will also have add, adhd too. This, I'm sure, is just the very beginning of the problems that we could have with him. Should I start talking to his doctor about this? What age and time is right to discuss this with the doctor? What can I do at home to help him? HELP PLEASE!

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Cathryn - posted on 10/12/2010

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Thanks for your comments! I will definitely get him to see the doctor and discuss this issue. Wendy, we did have an allergy test done before but they only showed that he was allergic to tree nuts and we have kept watch for these and educated him on what he can't have because of his allergy. I'm not entirely sure if the test was just for nuts or an entire food allergy test....I'm not sure on how many different tests there are...but I might read up on it like you suggested. Thank you also Maria for your advice about taking him to the doctor. I definitely want to do what's best for my son and what will be best for him to succeed!

Maria - posted on 09/30/2010

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YES! Talk to a Dr asap. We knew that something was off with our son in grade 1 also, but it took til this summer (gr.5) to get a diagnosis because we didn't know what it could be. (he was not hyper). We put him on meds (concerta) and he is doing soooooo much better. He is getting his work done at school and he is getting along with the kids too. We were concerned about meds. , but the doc told us that meds have come a long way. Our son also says he feels better when he takes his meds. This is a choice you will have to make as hard as it is to admit that your child isn't "perfect". That was pretty tough for me.

I hope this helps. It is not an easy road to walk. I wish you all the best.

Wendy - posted on 09/30/2010

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Hi Cathryn. I am going through the exact same thing right now with my 6 yo son. We seem to go through waves of this behavior and then waves of being just fine. We've known that he has some ADD tendencies (like his father), and have done a lot with it so far, but we are still working on it. School has been in session for about a month now, and his teacher has already contacted me a few times about some concerns she has with his behavior. I am a big believer in reading books to educate myself on the best ways to help my children. My younger son has issues with intense emotions and I've been reading about that lately. My next book is about ADD and sensory issues, which I believe my 6 year old has a little of both.



As far as things we've done so far that have helped, we did a food allergy test several years ago and discovered that my son had an allergy to wheat/gluten. As soon as we removed that from his diet, his behaviors calmed down a lot! It was a big challenge at first to take it out of his diet (wheat is in so many things), but we've found a lot of great wheat alternative foods that he *likes* and now it's normal and easy. We also make sure that he gets a good dose of omega 3's/DHA's every day, which is good for their bodies in so many ways, one being helping them to stay calm and focused. (Highly recommend Nordic Naturals.) We also watch out for food additives, and food coloring (esp red and yellow), which have been linked to ADD behaviors as well. A good night sleep consistently is SO important too.



As far as parenting techniques, try to help him figure out tools to help him. All kids WANT to be good and usually act out when they either don't feel they have the tools to control themselves and this is all they know, or because they are feeling unheard, *not validated* or are upset by something. Not to say that this is the case with you, but to mention for thought - too many times, parents are just telling their kids what not to do, instead of what TO do in adverse situations. Additionally, everyone makes mistakes - at every age - it's about learning from them. It's something that had to be brought up to me to really think about. Our kids are not learning, if we're not teaching. Taking deep breaths and getting his mind back in control of his body, is something we work on a lot. Sometimes it's anxiety too, which is part of the thing for us. (School starting has been an anxiety point for my 6yo.) As far as the attention thing, try doing games like getting a timer and time him on going to get three items and see how fast he can get them and get back to you. That takes focus and it can be fun.



If you can find a good child psychologist, I suggest giving it a try. We recently started that process ourselves, but I really find that I find most answers in books. There may be other tests that the doctors can run (in addition to an allergy test) that may help. I'm with you on medication though. If it can be avoided, then I'm all for it! (Avoiding it that is.)



It is all very frustrating and challenging. One thing I read in a book recently that I keep replaying in my mind is "You are a great parent and doing the best you can, but you can always do better." Seems contradictory, I know, but it's true when you think about it. :o)



I hope you found something helpful in all my rambling. I wish you all the best!

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