I give fish oil to my typical kids as well as my special needs child. My husband and I also both take it.
Prek-K & the busy body - Page 2
One more good link on fish oil from the FDA http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html
Let us know how the meeting at the school goes today.
UPDATE FROM TODAY'S MEETING:
The teachers informed us that his behavior has increased and that he has become defiant. When asked to do something he now tells the teachers "No", covers his ears, or crosses his arms while pouting. They also said that they noticed that he just simply cannot seem to stop making IronMan or character noises. He is a bit obsessed with ironman so we get on him to "turn it off" so that he settles down but that is hardly working for us.
The director informed us that she is having someone come to generally observe to class and if maybe the room is overstimulating or perhaps the teachers need to change the way they do some of the large group/small group activities. She isn't having the person to come and observe my child directly but she is going to see if the observer picks up on his behavior and what he is doing. DB and decided that they were OK with someone observing the director even offered to set something up so that we can speak to her/him to see what they noticed in general.
The director thinks the the changes as of late may be causing him stress and that that is the reason for his acting out. I do have to agree with her on that thought process but at this point, I don't see how this entire situation can be resolved without everyone feeling some sort of stress.
At this point, we do not feel that what he has going on is anything super major but to hear that there is an increase in his behavior after the last meeting definitely causes us to pause. The teachers are going to continue with the methods they have been trying and will try to alter depending on the situation. At home we have agreed to take away all of his action figures leaving him with toys like balls, cars, etc. Since the things he is emulating are the action figures, perhaps removing those will help the situation a bit.
I also spoke with his pediatrician today and she believes him to be an active 4 year that must be taught to settle down. She also thinks that maturity plays into this and that two months for now this will be a thing of the past. I told her that I would bring the report and discuss things with her from a medical perspective. She's known him since he was 5 days old so I value her input into the situation.
On a positive note, the teacher said that he has made some new friends in class and that academically he impresses them everyday. They have been able to keep him focused on certain assignments and he does them exceptionally well. We do have to work on him cutting with scissors since he tends to use both his hands and hasn't decided if his left or right him will be dominant (both his grandfathers are ambidextrous). Anyway, that's the latest on the situation. We're going to have a family talk tonight about good behavior and go from there.
Remember when I said this earlier in the thread:
Of course your son is young and you should give him time but keep an open mind. If all the "alternate ways of getting him to settle down and learn to play well with others" (these are the same things as interventions if you are using something different from what the rest of the class is using, which by saying alternate I think that's what you mean) don't work it could just cause your son stress and that could lead to additional behavior problems.
And now the teachers are saying this:
The teachers informed us that his behavior has increased and that he has become defiant. When asked to do something he now tells the teachers "No", covers his ears, or crosses his arms while pouting. They also said that they noticed that he just simply cannot seem to stop making IronMan or character noises.
Of course I am just some lady on the internet but I really don't agree with this:
I also spoke with his pediatrician today and she believes him to be an active 4 year that must be taught to settle down. She also thinks that maturity plays into this and that two months for now this will be a thing of the past.
Poor little guy. I truly believe he is so stressed out. He sounds super smart but he is struggling. If he has something else going on that isn't diagnosed you can't just teach him to settle down. He can't help it. There is nothing wrong with him and he's not being bad but he is going to end up with horrible self esteem if demands are constantly put on him that he can't handle. The school will eventually just start to treat him as a behavior problem and he is just being himself.
I know I am sounding like a b%tchy know it all but I have been there done that. I went through denial and grief and everything else not wanting to label my child but the label has been his protection in school.
Please post a link to this thread in special needs parenting. See what other mommas have been through. Maybe I am over sensitive because your son sounds a lot like mine.
Keep us posted because I will keep worrying about him.
My assessment : he's a 4 year old -- an active, intelligent 4 year old.
A friend of mine who is a retired special needs teacher once told me he was surprised to learn that intelligence and a desire to be active go hand in hand. Good luck.
Your son sounds a lot like my child - one of his big triggers was food dyes. They are in a lot of prepared foods, candies, etc. and can cause severe behavioral issues. I wonder if you tried a trial of making his lunch and controlling the content (no food dyes) and see if that changes anything. Also, how many kids are in the classroom? He could be on sensory overload if there are too many people (while it may be within the guidelines - having say 20 kids and 6 adults is overwhelming for a lot of children). For the record - the rule of thumb at 5 and younger is one minute of floor time per year - so if your son can sit for 4 minutes - he's fine.
If your gut is telling you that there is nothing developmentally wrong with your son, I'd say trust that. However, if you even have the slightest worry that there may be something more going on - please please please get him checked by a developmental pediatrician or a neuro-psychologist. It can make the difference in a positive or negative learning experience.
It truly does sound like he is either not ready for a preschool experience, or this particular preschool is not the best fit for his personality and learning style. Also, punishing/disciplining him at home because of this is not going to help, it will only make the situation worse. I do not believe for one minute, and regardless of whom is telling me this, that any preschool aged child needs "to be taught to settle down". Preschool should be about having fun, playing with kids around their own age, art and crafts, music and movement, and possibly the child soaking up information that interests him; not about learning to sit still and keep quiet for up to 20min at a time, academics, and settling down.
Your child sounds sincerely stressed out to me. It sounds like he is sending clear signals to anyone who is willing to listen that this situation is not working for him. I think it would be in your child's best interest to listen to and respect those signals, if he continues to feel not listened to and not respected it is very likely he will either continue to up the ante to force someone to listen or he may start becoming withdrawn.
I could not agree more with Mittsy. There is very, very good research out there that what children need at that age is play - not sitting still or being quiet. It is possible that there might be something going on with your son, but it sounds just as likely to me that he is simply not ready or well suited for that specific class.
Studies show that younger kids in classrooms are much more likely to be given an adhd diagnosis suggesting that attention and participation are closely linked to maturity. http://io9.com/5890989/are-kids-being-diagnosed-with-adhd-just-for-being-young
There are also studies that show that some kids literally need to move to learn. Some classrooms are allowing kids to sit on bikes or at standing desks and those kids' scores are going up suggesting that they are simply not able to focus when sitting still.
That all said, it is also possible that there is something up with your son. If you aren't worried, then I think I would push to get him into another classroom (and away from a teacher you think has already mentally labeled him). I don't know your situation but, if possible, I would strongly consider finding an alternative school/class, holding him back a year and giving him some time to mature, or consider homeschooling. The last thing you want is for him to learn to hate school!
If you have any niggling doubt, I would 100% suggest getting an independent evaluation from a developmental pediatrician. If there really is something going on, the earlier you find out about it, the better!
First let me say, thank you guys for the advice and feedback. I may necessarily agree with everything but you are forcing me to be a bit more open-minded and objective in my thinking about the situation. My gut tells me I am just dealing with an active 4 year old but I also know I need to make sure that there really isn't something else there.
I have spent the last two days in the classroom with my son to observe but to also just spend time with him, given everything that has happened up to until this point. Yesterday was a very good day for him. I didn't have to tell him to stop making the noises too many times and when I did he stopped immediately. He and his classmates played nicely but I was able to see the personalities of some of the boys he continuously has issues with. One kid in particular kept pestering the other kids intentionally. Several times I caught him pushing a child down and looking around to see if he got caught. I remember this child because this one of the kids my son bit the other week. My son has never bit anyone (not even me) so I was surprised to learned that he bit someone. Given what I saw yesterday, I have a pretty clear understanding why it happened now.
Today I spent the morning in the classroom and will return at lunch. He was in rare form this morning. He was extremely active and bouncy. I did have to keep telling him to be quiet while I read the class a story and made him come sit by me to settle down. I even pulled him to the side and had a talk with him. I could see some of the behavior the teacher identified first hand and I can see how it can be a disturbance when it is time for the lesson. Our goal right now is to get him to focus and settle down doing circle time (aka story time/lesson of the day). I even went as far as to let him bring his favorite Dr. Seuss book to class and I read that to the kids and he wasn't paying attention at all. Seeing how he loves the spotlight, I could tell that some of what he was doing was to get attention from others.
I'll be back up there for the second half of the day and the afternoon. I'm scheduling a meeting with his pediatrician when she returns next week to discuss him and possibly see a developmental pediatrician. It's not necessarily testing but I would like to see a medical review to make sure that yes is indeed acting like a 4 year old little boy who loves attention. I'm sure if Dad will be ok with that but I don't want to give the school any more ammunition to build a case against my son.
OH! And the other day I made him sit in timeout on the couch for 15 minutes because he bit someone at school. We talked about how biting isn't nice and we don't do that to classmates so because of his actions, timeout was the consequences.. He actually stayed there the ENTIRE 15 minutes. He whined a couple of times to get down but I stuck to my guns and said no and he stayed!
The website below will likely be of interest to you. I'd also Google some of the articles by a professor of gifted education for children named Miraca Gross. Testing might not hurt if you can find a psychologist who specializes in gifted assessment, as you don't want some hack mis-labeling your son ADHD, etc.
Finally, trust in your intuition and believe your son above anyone else. You are your son's advocate. His candid feedback at home is most important. The teachers are only seeing your son's reactions but don't understand his inner drive as you do.
This is a great blog written by the principal of an elementary school and an educational law attorney in Dekalb County GA.
Have you noticed the differences between boys and girls at the preschool level?
- Boys occupy larger space on the playground than girls.
- Girls express emotions through words; boys express emotion through action.
- Boys are interested in objects and things; girls are interested in people and relationships.
- Girls’ games involve turn taking and indirect competition while boys’ games involve bodily contact.
There are many more differences between boys and girls as most parents or teachers could enumerate. This raises an important question: why are boys being over identified as having disabilities or being medicated more frequently than girls?
Unfortunately for boys, the teaching profession is a female dominant profession. Most teachers are not trained in gender differences in learning and behavior. I recently asked an Early Childhood college professor who teaches in a much respected program if any focus on the differences between the genders is incorporated into the curriculum. Her somewhat sheepish response was “no.”
There is a whole section on how to talk to your child's teacher about gender differences and a lot of other good articles. When I read it I thought of you :)
Subbing, because I have a very active, physical just-turned 3-year-old boy. DS can sit still and scoop teeny-tiny shovelfuls of dirt in his little excavator for an hour, but won't sit still for an activity he has no interest in. He also loves to be the center of attention and has to move almost constantly, even if it's just wiggling a foot. I can completely see this type of situation in our future, if I don't choose to homeschool.
AKA_PI - any updates? This must be a very difficult thing to go through, and I really feel for you. You really seem to be doing a wonderful job advocating for your son, despite your own fears and misgivings. I hope I can do as well if/when the time comes.