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#1 of 35 Old 08-22-2012, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had an interesting convo with my son's pre-k teacher this morning. 

 

He recently turned 4 (less than 3 weeks ago) and she mentioned that he is having a hard time following directions and sitting still for longer than 20 (which is what he should be able to do). He doesn't want to do the activities and he is very vocal about not wanting to do something. 

 

Additionally, she said that he is on overdrive from the time he gets in the classroom until nap when he just crashes. 

 

I know preschool is a huge transitional period for any child and with him being a "new 4", I try not to stress too much because there are certain things he will just get better at as he ages (i.e., listening to the teacher). But now she's saying that if the situation continues on for an extended periods of time, then the state will have to get involved and assess. I don't want to jump to the conclusion of someone saying my son may have a "problem"; I just sum it up to him being 4. Besides there are 14 boys in his classroom and he isn't the only one having to adjust to this.

 

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Any tips or recommendations on what I can do with him to improve this?


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#2 of 35 Old 08-22-2012, 05:31 AM
 
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Can he sit still and concentrate with you?

If so, then try sharing with the teacher the circumstance/methods you use to get you son to concentrate.

You could also see about staying at his school for a day or two to interact with you son and encourage him to concentrate at school.

If not then its possible your son needs interventions. Don't see involvement by the state as a bad thing; see it as a resource you can choose to use.
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#3 of 35 Old 08-22-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Can he sit still and concentrate with you?
If so, then try sharing with the teacher the circumstance/methods you use to get you son to concentrate.
You could also see about staying at his school for a day or two to interact with you son and encourage him to concentrate at school.
If not then its possible your son needs interventions. Don't see involvement by the state as a bad thing; see it as a resource you can choose to use.

He can which is why I suggested to her to perhaps I come and spend a day in the classroom to assess what may be triggers for him to lose his attention. He doesn't expect a 4 yo to keep his attention very long but long enough to do the task.

 

I don't see the state as a bad thing per se, but I don't want to jump to that immediately as a resolution instead of exploring if this is just one of the quirks of a busy body 4 year old.


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#4 of 35 Old 08-23-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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I have personally found that with little boys especially, the more active they are the more precocious they are. He may also be more of a kinesthetic learner as well. Needs to do with his body rather than passively sitting and writing/reading/coloring type activities. Or, to get him to be able to do those other activities he may need to really move his body around a lot more - especially with all of those other distracting kids! If he's not used to a lot of kids around while he's attempting to focus, that could be the main issue as well.

Best of luck!


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#5 of 35 Old 08-23-2012, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by organicviolin View Post

I have personally found that with little boys especially, the more active they are the more precocious they are. He may also be more of a kinesthetic learner as well. Needs to do with his body rather than passively sitting and writing/reading/coloring type activities. Or, to get him to be able to do those other activities he may need to really move his body around a lot more - especially with all of those other distracting kids! If he's not used to a lot of kids around while he's attempting to focus, that could be the main issue as well.

Best of luck!

 

He is definitely an "active learner" although he becomes bored easily with things. My son enjoys a challenge and I often wonder if maybe I've overtaught him (is that possible)? I am definitely going to keep my eye on what is going on and see if maybe there are some changes the teacher and I can up with that may benefit him. 


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#6 of 35 Old 08-23-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE!!!!

 

I spoke with my son's teacher about midday yesterday and learned that he had yet another rough day. Lots of not paying attention and running around. I could tell she was a little annoyed even though she didn't want to say it. As a Pre-K teacher, I'm sure she has seen this and I'm curious to know what she's implemented before with other children to rectify it. Nonetheless, I told her that I will be visiting the class today, first watching him from the monitor to see what he is doing during different times of the day (particularly circle time) and then sitting in the classroom if need be to work with him. 

 

I keep reminding myself that he just turned 4 two weeks ago and there are some growing pains that he must go through. He is adjusting to new classmates, new rules and new things. I'm trying to be patient and understanding while we work this thing through. 

 

Last night we had several talks about why its important to listen to the teacher and do as your told. We even practiced circle time a few times to test it out. When I dropped him off this morning, I sat with him in class and we practiced circle time there and went over what we are supposed to do. I'm praying today is a little better but I certainly want to stay on top it before other things are introduced.


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#7 of 35 Old 08-23-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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I only have a 2 yr old, so cannot speak from experience, but I can tell you the 2 things that came to mind while reading your posts.

1. A friend has a son about his age and they were having a ton of the same type of "trouble" with him recently. I don't know the details but it turned out he REALLY didn't like his teacher. Again, I don't know any of the background here. She & her husband took turns giving him a break from her during lunch for the last couple weeks of the summer. Now that he's in a new classroom she says things are much better. They have also said "but it's only been a few days".

2. I recently visited a local Montessori school we are considering switching our son to. One of the things they do that I like is the kids can do their work outside. Each classroom (this is an infant - 6 building) has an outside door with a fenced in outside area. The kids can take their work, grab a rug and work outside. I LOVE that. Also, I asked what they do when they have kids that need more running around time that others. She told me the story of one boy they had who was allowed to go outside and shoot baskets for 5 minutes if he concentrated on his task for 20 minutes. She says he became a much better student.

Good luck!

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#8 of 35 Old 09-05-2012, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE!!!

The teacher actually called me yesterday and wants his father, myself, her and the director of the center to meet to discuss my DS. I guess she still feels that he is not showing any progress in sitting still or paying attention to her for long periods of time. He still does great in small centers time (which is when they get to work a smaller group on an individual activity). We had a long discussion yesterday and the guy and I have concluded that we don't think her personality is meshing well with hers; we would like to transfer him to another classroom. 

 

I spent most of yesterday crying and upset because I felt as though she has already mentally labelled my DS and not accepted the fact that he is 4 and everyone else turned 5 last year. I'm not making excuses saying that he is a perfect child; that would be silly of me as a parent. But I do know what my son is capable of and in the 2.5 years he's been attending this daycare, we have never had any issues until he got into this classroom. I'm not going to discredit her success as a teacher but she just isn't the teacher for my son.


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#9 of 35 Old 09-08-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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I was wondering how did your observation day go? I didn't see an update for that. Since your son has been at the same daycare for 2.5 years and not had any problems before, I was wondering how the other classrooms were structured that seemed to work better. Were the classes smaller? It looks like he does fine in the smaller groups for centers so maybe he is either over or under stimulated in the larger group of kids.
 


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#10 of 35 Old 09-08-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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I can relate to your situation. My son (now 16) had difficulty sitting still at that age. In fact, if he wanted to remember something, he *needed* to move. Concentrating on being still distracted him from learning. I felt he would outgrow it or learn coping technique. I was right about his behavior. He settled down, and moves fingers or feet when he has to stay seated. Still, he thinks best on the move.

If you think he's just an active 4 year old among 5 year olds, you're probably right! You know your child! Trust your instincts! Believe in yourself!

Good luck!
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#11 of 35 Old 09-10-2012, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*UPDATE**

 

The DB and I met with the Director of the center, his two teachers and her former teacher to discuss his behavior in class. We can pretty much concluded that he is a typical 4 year old though they all seemed to think he needs to be observed by someone to see what his triggers are for his behavior. They also feel he needs to be tested to see if anything is going on with him - which his father and I are absolutely against. What we discussed with the teachers was to let us "parent" him and they reinforce what we are working on. We need to come together as a team to maybe find different ways to get his attention. What I also worried about was him bonding with other kids int he class. They seem to think he has no social skills although he has been playing organized sports for 2 years now and not with the same people. I worry that he isn't bonding well with other students in the class and that he is lashing out because no one wants to play with him. My DS is a playful and joyous child; you can't not like him. It's impossible 

 

The final agreement was that we would give him a month to see what happens. Maybe these are just part of the 4 year old growing pains and he has to learn t adapt. He is also going from a more free-time type classroom to a structured classroom where he has to adapt to new rules. If we see no change after a month, then we will meet and discuss next steps such as having someone come in observe.


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#12 of 35 Old 09-10-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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Hi,

 

I live in Atlanta as well. Is the four year old classroom at the daycare part of the GA Lottery Funded Pre-K program? 

 

I totally understand you not wanting to label your child at this young age. I have been there, done that! But I was just wondering why you are absolutely against testing? What if you picked the evaluator? I could point you in the direction of some very well respected, experienced experts in the field of child psychology that you could interview. Testing isn't just some grueling paperwork thing. If it's done correctly a lot of children just think they are playing games the whole time. I wouldn't use just any old psychologist though. You would really want someone who knows what they are doing so you get a good evaluation. There are really only two outcomes from testing, everything is fine and now you can tell the school to back off or something is identified that needs working on and now you know what interventions need to be put in place. Early intervention is better than leaving a child to struggle with an unidentified disability.
 


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#13 of 35 Old 09-10-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Patti, 

 

Yes is in a lottery funded program. And I would definitely like the names of any docs that you can recommend. 

 

The testing thing scares me quite frankly. We know in our heart of hearts that there is nothing wrong with him but I want to be fair to him and give him time to adjust organically before thinking some sort of intervention with testing needs to take place. I've heard that testing is play based and that many things can be concluded from it (i.e., gifted, bored, needs more of a challenge, emotional issues.).

 

I just really want us (me, his dad and the teachers) to try and come up with alternate ways of getting him to settle down and learn to play well with others. 


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#14 of 35 Old 09-10-2012, 12:00 PM
 
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Being in the lottery funded program may give you more flexibility with having the state pay for testing with your choice of evaluator. Evaluations can run anywhere between $1500-2500. I suggest you contact the following people for referrals and recommendations:


Dr. Angela Delvin-Brown
(770) 973-1336 office; (770) 235-3363 cell; (770) 973-5234 (fax)

 

Carol Sadler http://www.iepadvocate4you.com/index.html and

 

Parent to Parent of GA http://www.p2pga.org/

 

Tell them exactly what is going on and see what they recommend.

 

I was more afraid of the labels than of the testing. You also might want to try and change your mindset a little. My son is dyslexic (among other things), we discovered this through testing, and there is nothing "wrong with him"! smile.gif He just learns differently than other kids and if I didn't find this out we may have kept using the same old standard methods for teaching reading that were never going to work for him. 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.


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#15 of 35 Old 09-12-2012, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the names Patti. I appreciate that. 


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#16 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey guys - just wanted to let you know that we have a two week follow-up meeting at DS's preschool today. I'm about 100% sure the teacher will claim that there has been no change but we will see. Something new his dad and I implemented was no tv during the week. Sure we were giving him 30-40 minutes but then we talked about it and decided to completely remove it Monday-Thursday and do other activities instead. Before we know it, it's 8:30 and time for bed.


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#17 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Let us know how the meeting goes! I am glad the change in routine has helped at home. You can always try giving him fish oil or adjusting his diet in different ways too. Does he bring food from home for lunch or eat school food? Just trying to throw ideas out there smile.gif
 


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#18 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let us know how the meeting goes! I am glad the change in routine has helped at home. You can always try giving him fish oil or adjusting his diet in different ways too. Does he bring food from home for lunch or eat school food? Just trying to throw ideas out there smile.gif
 

He eats school provided lunch. 

 

What does fish oil do?


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#19 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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He just sounds like a kinesthetic learner to me. And of course a typical 4yo boy. Have you considered different schooling for him? May'be something like Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia? Would homeschooling be a option? Or, could you try taking him out of school now and giving it another go next year?

 

Best of luck to you!


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#20 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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He eats school provided lunch. 

 

What does fish oil do?


There could be something, a preservative, food coloring, gluten, any number of chemicals in the school food that can cause a "allergic reaction" so to speak that effects his behavior. I haven't found any particular triggers for my DS but a lot of people have eliminated things from their children's diets and got positive results.

 

Fish oil is used to treat all kinds of brain disorders from ADHD to Dementia.

 

The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22232312 This is from pub med which is peer reviewed published medical literature.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1684.html  Alternative ADHD Treatment: Fish Oil This is an article on the use of fish oil.

 

Here's a thread on Mothering discussing fish oil http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1357856/children-with-adhd-has-anyone-tried-vayarin-or-phosphatidylserine-dha-epa-supplements#post_17113317


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#21 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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I give fish oil to my typical kids as well as my special needs child. My husband and I also both take it.


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#22 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 08:59 AM
 
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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.


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#23 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


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#24 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 35 Old 09-19-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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I haven't read through all the posts, but I did read most of the OP's.

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.
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#26 of 35 Old 09-20-2012, 05:13 AM
 
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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.


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#27 of 35 Old 09-20-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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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.

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#28 of 35 Old 09-20-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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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!

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#29 of 35 Old 09-20-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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I totally agree that some children learn best in motion. I tested my son after reading to him while he sat still and he remembered nothing. I tried again (different passage) with him moving as much as he liked and he remembered everything!

Maybe you should switch schools/classrooms.
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#30 of 35 Old 09-27-2012, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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