DS (age 5) is in Kindergarten - this is second year of school and he had a pretty good junior Kindergarten year last year. He has the same teacher this year again for his senior kindergarten year. He has not undergone any testing yet but we are pretty certain that he is gifted. He loves going to school and we have not had any issues with him not wanting to go but he has come home very frustrated on occasion lately and telling me that he is "never going back"...that being said, he will wake up the next day happy and eager to go again. Last week his teacher asked me to remain after school to talk to me and let me know that she is really having a hard time with him this year. Her issues were that he isn't following directions well, isn't participating with the group well (e.g. when she asks questions that she KNOWS he knows the answer to he doesn't even put up his hand), he is acting like a "class clown" (e.g. when the class was learning numbers and counting 1-10 my DS was saying the wrong numbers in a loud silly voice to make others laugh), he is not focusing well and has trouble sitting still, he has one toy that he likes to play with every day and he does not tidy up after playing (but I suppose this goes along with "not following directions").
I spoke with his teacher for a long time and tried to give her some suggestions that work well for me because my son is STUBBORN and when he has an idea in his head of what he would like to do it can be hard to get him to do something else. I told her that if she explains rationale of activities/expectations with him that he is more likely to follow the request, however she told me that it is not "normal" that a child would ever need to know the rationale or "why" of a request...that they should just do what they are told. Actually she found it odd that my son asks her "why?" when she tells him to do something. Welcome to my world!!! LOL
I understand school is all about conformity - but that certainly does not fit well with my son. I suggested that he may be bored and this is why he is acting silly and being a class clown...I mean, he has known how to count to ten since he was 17 months old. He learned his alphabet at 16 months and is currently reading at a Grade 2/3 level...so I can see how learning to count 1-10 and learning the letter "a" is boring to him. I asked her if she could possibly give him some more challenging work to do but she did not feel that is a good idea. His teacher said that she understood he may know these things but that he needs to learn to participate with the group and follow directions - skills he has not learned well yet. I completely understand her reasoning and also agree that in order to do well in school (and life) he does need to learn this...but how can we achieve this if he is bored and not paying attention?
As for all the other difficulties his teacher noted - I'm not sure why he is acting that way. Any ideas? Any advice on how best to work on this at home or strategies to try?? I know many of you have likely been through similar situations and have a wealth of experience in this area!! His teacher did suggest that possibly a developmental assessment may be warranted later in the year...she told me that she knows there is something going on with him, but just doesn't know what it is. I know that gifted traits can be similar to traits of ADHD and Aspergers (both were brought up by the teacher as potential things to test for) but I spoke with my doctor last year about this and she did not feel there were enough red flags to warrant testing at this time. Thanks for your help!