Does this sound like ADHD or just regular active 5 year old stuff? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-07-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting to wonder about 5 1/2 year old DS. I used to think he was just a regular active toddler/ preschooler, but it seems to be getting worse, not better, as he gets older. 

 

Let me try to describe him. He is bright, sensitive, outgoing and funny. He is incredibly active and can hardly ever sit still for any reason. The only time he sits quietly is for TV but we have almost totally cut it out as it causes poor behaviour afterwards. He is a poor sleeper. He is very argumentative and hard to discipline. He still has tantrums. He struggles with transitions. He talks A LOT. He has a lot of very interesting things to say and he needs me to pay attention. He asks a lot of questions and has a lot of surprising observations. Mostly this is charming but it is also exhausting. 

 

He makes friends and plays pretty well with other kids. Sometimes he is a bit too intense for some children but mostly he is well liked. He can take turns and has reasonable social skills (better than a lot of 5 year olds I know). He is popular because he is fun and funny. He is not very empathetic. 

 

Now for some examples. The main one is that he CANNOT lie quietly for the 20 minute rest time at after care (12-3 programme after kindergarten). He physically cannot do it. He's ok while the story is being read but when it is silent he can't handle it. Also, I basically avoid taking him shopping with me. He starts jumping around, climbing in and out of the cart, spinning, whatever. We cannot eat out with him. Food courts are about our level. He doesn't play with toys imaginatively unless he is playing with another child. He mostly wants to know how the toy works, what it 'does', and then he is done with it. He loves novelty. 

 

He's not particularly impulsive. I would say he is more VERY determined. So he won't dash across the road but he will say 'mummy, I can cross the road on my own, there's no cars coming. I'm going to cross now.' So I either have to tell him very sternly that he may not cross the road until i'm ready, or I do a check myself and allow him to do it. He won't just stay by the car because that's the rule.

 

He is gluten free and we just took out dairy. He does have some sugar but no dyes, hfcs, etc. I give a low dose of melatonin every night and with that he gets about 11 hours sleep a night but he wakes up and comes into to our room every night. Without melatonin he gets less than 10 hours a night. 

 

So what do you think? Does he sound like your adhd child? Or does he sound like a typical high energy 5 year old boy? The only reason I'm questioning this is that since he's started kindergarten he does seem to stand out as different to the other kids. Even the other energetic ones. I don't want to pursue a diagnosis at this stage but I'd like to know if it's a possibility as there may be other things I can do to support him.

 

Thoughts? 

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#2 of 8 Old 10-08-2012, 05:16 AM
 
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Sounds like it could also be sensory processing disorder which can cause ADHD like behaviors.  You can find a checklist of behaviors here... http://www.spdparentzone.org/resources/Sensory%20Processing%20Disorder%20Checklist.pdf


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#3 of 8 Old 10-08-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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Five is the upper end for preschool age. 3-5 year olds typically need 11-13 hours of sleep. However 6 year olds only need 10-11 hours. If he's close to six, 10-11 may be enough sleep.

As far as his behavior goes, my son was similar at that age. At 16, he can sit still, but even now won't lie still for no reason. If he's not tired, the rest time is going to be a problem. Maybe he could spend it another way, like drawing, coloring, reading, or some other quiet activity.
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#4 of 8 Old 10-08-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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We took ds for a comprehensive evaluation at a children's hospital clinic that evaluated developmental, behavioral, and educational issues with a team consisting of a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, an speech language pathologist, a psychologist, and a social worker. There are a several things that can cause ADHD like symptoms including lack of quality sleep (you may want to consider a sleep study) and other diagnoses. Melatonin also comes in a time-release formula that could help with the night waking.

 

My ds' psychiatrist immediately diagnosed the ADHD but didn't seem to have awareness of other potential contributing issues which is what we got from the hospital eval. It was actually an OT we consulted that suggested we consider evaluating for Asperger's (we already were on the hospital path at that point); ds is justthisside of an Asperger's diagnosis, primarily due to his deficits in social reciprocity and pragmatics.

 

It may be that your ds doesn't fit any particular diagnosis at this point but has deficits that are better addressed when you know more about what they are and who to go to for assistance.

 

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#5 of 8 Old 10-08-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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Most 5 year olds don't take naps!!

Why does a five year old need to lie still for an hour every afternoon?

I would question a program that seems designed around those in charge instead of the children.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View Post

Sounds like it could also be sensory processing disorder which can cause ADHD like behaviors.  You can find a checklist of behaviors here... http://www.spdparentzone.org/resources/Sensory%20Processing%20Disorder%20Checklist.pdf

 

I will check this out. I haven't noticed much sensory seeking or avoiding behaviour in him though. Is there something in my op that points to this? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Maybe he could spend it another way, like drawing, coloring, reading, or some other quiet activity.

They let him look at books but it doesn't hold his attention for long enough.

 

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Most 5 year olds don't take naps!!
Why does a five year old need to lie still for an hour every afternoon?
I would question a program that seems designed around those in charge instead of the children.

It's 20 minutes, not an hour and the children are 4 and 5 so some of them still sleep. He's not the only child who finds it difficult to lie still however. Another boy has been moved to a different room where he does better. 

 

At the moment, this 20 minutes of the day is the only REAL problem. Otherwise, he is exhausting but not impossible. I'm concerned about next year when he is grade one however. If he doesn't grow out of this by then he's going to have trouble sitting at his desk quietly. He will concentrate on new, challenging, interesting tasks but not hum drum tasks which I understand is one of the hallmarks of ADHD. 

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#7 of 8 Old 10-08-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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If another boy was moved to another room, maybe your son should, as well.

It sounds to me like you're borrowing trouble by worrying about next year. Wait and see what next year brings. Focus on this year.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-09-2012, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boot View Post

I'm starting to wonder about 5 1/2 year old DS. I used to think he was just a regular active toddler/ preschooler, but it seems to be getting worse, not better, as he gets older. 

 

Let me try to describe him. He is bright, sensitive, outgoing and funny. He is incredibly active and can hardly ever sit still for any reason. The only time he sits quietly is for TV but we have almost totally cut it out as it causes poor behaviour afterwards. He is a poor sleeper. He is very argumentative and hard to discipline. He still has tantrums. He struggles with transitions. He talks A LOT. He has a lot of very interesting things to say and he needs me to pay attention. He asks a lot of questions and has a lot of surprising observations. Mostly this is charming but it is also exhausting. 

 

He makes friends and plays pretty well with other kids. Sometimes he is a bit too intense for some children but mostly he is well liked. He can take turns and has reasonable social skills (better than a lot of 5 year olds I know). He is popular because he is fun and funny. He is not very empathetic. 

 

Now for some examples. The main one is that he CANNOT lie quietly for the 20 minute rest time at after care (12-3 programme after kindergarten). He physically cannot do it. He's ok while the story is being read but when it is silent he can't handle it. Also, I basically avoid taking him shopping with me. He starts jumping around, climbing in and out of the cart, spinning, whatever. We cannot eat out with him. Food courts are about our level. He doesn't play with toys imaginatively unless he is playing with another child. He mostly wants to know how the toy works, what it 'does', and then he is done with it. He loves novelty. 

 

He's not particularly impulsive. I would say he is more VERY determined. So he won't dash across the road but he will say 'mummy, I can cross the road on my own, there's no cars coming. I'm going to cross now.' So I either have to tell him very sternly that he may not cross the road until i'm ready, or I do a check myself and allow him to do it. He won't just stay by the car because that's the rule.

 

He is gluten free and we just took out dairy. He does have some sugar but no dyes, hfcs, etc. I give a low dose of melatonin every night and with that he gets about 11 hours sleep a night but he wakes up and comes into to our room every night. Without melatonin he gets less than 10 hours a night. 

 

So what do you think? Does he sound like your adhd child? Or does he sound like a typical high energy 5 year old boy? The only reason I'm questioning this is that since he's started kindergarten he does seem to stand out as different to the other kids. Even the other energetic ones. I don't want to pursue a diagnosis at this stage but I'd like to know if it's a possibility as there may be other things I can do to support him.

 

Thoughts? 

 

I've highlighted what sounds like sensory reactions.  Not all sensory kids are seekers or avoiders.  Some kinda fall in the middle and just react.    TV can cause sensory overload causing bad behavior after viewing.  Poor sleeping ability, difficulty with transition and  and tantrums are all signs of SPD.  SPINNING - huge red flag - sensory stim behavior #1.  Restaurants are a sensory nightmare.  Any crowded place will be.  Inpulsive.... that's usually a big yes in the ADHD category. My son (who is comorbid with SPD & ADHD) has zero impulse control which is a classic ADHD symptom.  My nephew who has SPD but more on the reactionary side - has no impulse issues whatsoever.


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