HELP with my daughter please. Not sure if she needs to be evaluated - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-02-2013, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everybody. This is my second post on mothering.com and I need some help. DD is nearly five years old. She's been somewhat sheltered in that she is not around a lot of children. My husband and I are not very close to our families (long story for another page) so she does not have the usual hang out with cousins other kids in the family kind of thing. We've done mommy and me classes before and we do a lot of activities but those activities are usually just me and her or me, her and her dad.

 

Her issue is not learning but when she's in a structured setting with other children. She is all over the place. She'll sit and participate when she's interested but usually goes off and plays or doesn't want to follow the instruction. She says she rather play. We've discussed with her and she understands the difference between play time and serious time. After she doesn't listen she'll tell me she knows she's supposed to but wanted to play. This is frustrating because she's going to start K in September.

 

Could she have an issue? If so, what could it be and how can we deal with this. I spoke to her doctor and asked her what she thinks. She told me she thinks Melissa seems "distracted" sometimes but any child would be after sitting in a doctors office for hours. She told me my DD is the only child who sits in the office without screaming and crying. I get compliments on her behavior all of the time but when it comes to sitting in a classroom or doing activity a and listening and following the instruction something goes awry. The doc told me most evaluations find something wrong and considering this is the only issue I should take a wait and see approach. She's not five yet and her behavior is probably because she's a bit socially immature.

 

No offense to anyone who feels differently but every child I know who has been evaluated, they find something wrong even if it turns out to not be legit and write the child a prescription for some drugs. 

 

Any opinions please.

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#2 of 10 Old 03-02-2013, 11:09 PM
 
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Opinions! Yes, I have some. 

 

1. I do not agree that any time a professional assesses a child for a problem they find a problem and prescribe drugs for it. Also, you know what? If you have the child assessed and the assessor finds a problem and gives you a name for it, you still don't have to decide to administer drugs. There are books and websites full of advice about non-drug alternatives. 

 

It might seem like most assessments find something wrong because parents don't take their children to be assessed unless there seems to be an issue--an element of self-selection.

 

2. I agree with your doctor that you shouldn't rush off to have your child evaluated if at four she can't sit still in a group. That seems to me within the bounds of age-appropriate. She's four. She's not five. She's not in kindergarten yet. There's no rush. 

 

3. Take her to some more group activities that seem exciting so she can get some practice. You know her best--what interests her enough to draw her into group activities? You can even tell her you're trying to give her some practice for school. 

 

4. If, once she's tried more than one thing (story time at the library, swimming class, arts and crafts) you see that she still sticks out as the ONE KID who can't pay attention, ask a trusted, experienced teacher or parent how they see this behavior. That might be helpful. 


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#3 of 10 Old 03-03-2013, 12:41 AM
 
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She's never been in a classroom type setting but I'm sure my almost-
5 year old would act much like yours. Just from watching her wander off while playing board games with older sibs, movies at home, etc. If she gets really involved in an art project or something she'll sit still awhile but if it's not her idea forget it! Sometimes she'll want some schoolwork to do while her homeschooled sister does book work but she always loses interest within 10 mins.
I really think it's well within the realm of normal. When does your daughter turn 5? Even if you don't think she can pay attention now enough for K...they change SO fast! You might see a huge difference by Sept. smile.gif
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#4 of 10 Old 03-04-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

Opinions! Yes, I have some. 

 

1. I do not agree that any time a professional assesses a child for a problem they find a problem and prescribe drugs for it. Also, you know what? If you have the child assessed and the assessor finds a problem and gives you a name for it, you still don't have to decide to administer drugs. There are books and websites full of advice about non-drug alternatives. 

 

It might seem like most assessments find something wrong because parents don't take their children to be assessed unless there seems to be an issue--an element of self-selection.

 

2. I agree with your doctor that you shouldn't rush off to have your child evaluated if at four she can't sit still in a group. That seems to me within the bounds of age-appropriate. She's four. She's not five. She's not in kindergarten yet. There's no rush. 

 

3. Take her to some more group activities that seem exciting so she can get some practice. You know her best--what interests her enough to draw her into group activities? You can even tell her you're trying to give her some practice for school. 

 

4. If, once she's tried more than one thing (story time at the library, swimming class, arts and crafts) you see that she still sticks out as the ONE KID who can't pay attention, ask a trusted, experienced teacher or parent how they see this behavior. That might be helpful. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

Just to reassure you, jhawkins, I know several parents who took their children for evaluations and were reassured that their children's behaviour was developmentally normal. No diagnosis, no prescriptions. I also know others who received diagnoses, and some received prescriptions but not all. Those parents were much relieved to have someone take their concerns seriously, provide them with some insights into the behaviour beyond suggestions that their children were badly behaved, obviously due to bad parenting (which is the kind of judgemental nonsense often heard), and give them strategies (counseling and psychotherapy, OT, school interventions, etc.) that helped them cope.

 

I also agree that your DD's behaviour sounds developmentally age appropriate. It doesn't sound like  an evaluation is warranted at this time unless there are other concerns. You mention "she doesn't listen", which may indicate an actual hearing problem rather than lack of interest or disobedience.

 

You may also want to seek out a school environment that allows self-directed, independent learning. Montessori is well-known for encouraging students to choose their own work and progress at their own pace. That kind of learning environment minimizes the issues that arise when children prefer to follow their own interests (after all, who doesn't) rather than go along with everyone else. You may want to read up a little about self-directed learning. You not find a Montessori classroom near you but you may find it helpful to keep the principles in mind as you research the schools in your area. 

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#5 of 10 Old 03-04-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jhawkins View Post


No offense to anyone who feels differently but every child I know who has been evaluated, they find something wrong even if it turns out to not be legit and write the child a prescription for some drugs. 

 

none taken, but I do feel very differently. My DD has had evaluations and has several labels (the main one being "autism") and has never once had a prescription for anything related to her labels.

 

I work in a school and about half my day is in K, and a lot of kids start the year not having any idea how to be at school. A good kindergarten teacher helps kids develop these skills in a gentle way with lots of positive reinforcement. In some ways, its easier at school because you have the same rules and teacher every single day. Kids get a chance to DEVELOP skills rather than just being in a situation where someone expects them to already have the skill.

 

I agree with the others that nothing in your post jumps out at me as warranting an evaluation at this time. I'd wait and see how she does once she does next year and what her teacher says.

 

Classes that meet once a week for an hour don't give a teacher a chance to get to know a child and figure out how to reach them. Next year will be different.

 

I hope it goes well!


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 08:48 PM
 
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thoughts on helping her get more ready for kindergarten -- encourage her to attend to tasks at home, such as:

 

  • sitting at a meal with parents and talking
  • playing board games or doing puzzles
  • listening to books being ready to her
  • helping with simple chores, such as picking up her toys, helping with cleaning around the house, setting the table
  • making simple crafts together than involve cutting, gluing, etc, and finishing it and helping clean up from it

 

Start smaller and with things she already likes, and build up to longer periods of time and less desired tasks.

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 10 Old 03-08-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jhawkins View Post

 

 

Her issue is not learning but when she's in a structured setting with other children. She is all over the place. She'll sit and participate when she's interested but usually goes off and plays or doesn't want to follow the instruction. She says she rather play. We've discussed with her and she understands the difference between play time and serious time. After she doesn't listen she'll tell me she knows she's supposed to but wanted to play. This is frustrating because she's going to start K in September.

 

 

 

This seems age appropriate to me as well.  I noticed the same issue with my DD when she was 3 and I enrolled her in part time preschool.  She is an only child and most of her playmates at that age were older children.  She was used to them, and us, giving into most of her wishes because, really, I don't care if now she wanted to play this instead of finishing what we were doing.    I found it helpful to follow the same preschool routine on the days she was home (arrival/free play, story time for 1/2 hour, etc) so that she got used to being on a schedule and transitioning between activities and we started talking more and having more follow through about finishing something even if we'd rather do something else, how to behave during group activities, etc.

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#8 of 10 Old 03-09-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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This is a great question....Some ideas to increase her attention to tasks

She is not to young to have her help you set the table and clear the table but I wouldn't let her stop in the middle I wolud help her to finish

 

Less toys is more If she has a playroom with a million toys cutting down on the toys helps kids learn better
 

Attend library groups and make sure to sit with her during the reading time.  Do not allow her to wander around.

 

When doing a puzzle set out 10 pieces and sit with her and encourage her to finish

 

Self direction she made be good at.....so set up things that are directed by you  For example, baking  muffins, making a collage and you direct looking through books

 

Hope this helps 

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#9 of 10 Old 03-13-2013, 06:02 PM
 
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As the mother of a very active, independent daughter, I can relate to some of what you shared. I worried about whether my daughter would be able to sit and be attentive at school, when in other settings she was all over the place and tended to be off by herself when there was a group activity going. She ended up being totally fine, and it has not been an issue, though still out of school, you would think she has an attention problem. Different environments/structures can bring out different aspects of our kids. Wait and see. 

 

Should she start K and these issues persist, there are lots of alternatives to prescriptions, which in my opinion, should be a last resort. Many alternative therapies are incredibly effective for children, who have high vitality and energy, and so they respond well especially to therapies that engage the energy system. I'm a homeopath, so I know the most about that. Many parents and children have had excellent results with ADD, ADHD and even autism with homeopathic treatment. Cranio-sacral therapy and acupressure are both very effective as well, and safe for children. 

 

It's great that you are aware and observant. Connect with her teacher early, and stay present.  


I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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#10 of 10 Old 03-21-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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My son did get an ADHD diagnosis this summer (but no prescription!) and I've got to say your daughter doesn't sound like she has the same issues at all. I think she's developmentally normal and if the pediatrician agrees you should take that to heart (our ped wanted DS evaluated YEARS before I did). Learning to sit is one of the skills they work on in K--it's not expected that kids enter K knowing how to do so. And six months is a long time in the life of a 5 year old. If you haven't already I would suggested reading "Your 5 yeard old" by Lousie Bates Ames--it's part of a series. Some things are dated but they were so helpful to me in identifying what is "normal" and what is not.

 

Back to the evaluation thing--however don't let fear of prescriptions keep you from an eval--for example my son has benefited greatly from speech and occupational therapy--there is lots that can help kids that are not drugs.
 


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