I apologize if I'm not in the right forum. I skimmed through the categories and didn't see anywhere else this would fit. Feel free to move it if I messed up!
So, the topic says it all. I've suspected it for years, but tried to chalk it up to "boys being boys." He's my only male child, and I grew up in a family full of girls so his behavior has always been a bit of a mystery to me. But recently I started coaching soccer for his age group, and now that I can see a large cross section of other boys his age, I'm starting to think that maybe my suspicions could be right, as he's so different than the other kids.
-Cannot sit still, ever, at all. It drives me mental. Even if we sit down to watch a movie as a family - one that he chose, himself - he's bouncing around, sliding off the sofa, spinning on the floor... Constant movement. His teacher complains about this at school, as well. He is completely unable to be still, ever.
-Can't concentrate on anything for any period of time. When it's time to do his homework, he actually cries every time because the concept of having to read an entire paragraph (like 6 sentences) is so overwhelming for him. I help him break it down, which helps. But it's often a fight to get him to just sit still long enough to battle through his homework. I have to sign that his homework was completed, and he gets docked marks at school if he doesn't do it every night. So it's 5 evenings of torture for him, every week.
-Inappropriate outbursts of activity, all the time. This has really become evident while coaching his soccer team. I'll gather the kids to go over the next activity with them, and they all stand in a circle and listen to me....but not my son. Oh no. He's running off to dive into the dirt, and then rolling around and doing summersaults for no apparent reason, all while I'm calling him back to join the group, PLEASE join the group, you won't understand the activity if you don't join the group. The reason I decided to volunteer for this, honestly, is because the past few activities he's begged to join have ended in failure after he shuts down after being corrected (karate), or flips out after making a mistake (bowling) and instantly wants to quit/cry/pout/shut down. I decided to be his soccer coach because I couldn't, in good conscious, put another adult through his antics.
-Poor decisions making skills. And yes, I know this comes with the age. But having a daughter two years older than him and NEVER having experienced anything like this with her, it's a totally foreign world for me and I honestly have no idea if it's normal...or cause for concern. Example: Last night at soccer, we were getting ready to line up for the post-game snack, and he ran off to pull a large piece of loose concrete out of the freaking ground, and threw it down to smash it. We left immediately.
-WEIRD decisions. Like putting a wet wash cloth away in the cupboard full of clean towels, or hiding an apple core under his pillow, or spitting on kids on the bus for no reason (yay, another call from the principal...) Every single day, he does something completely mind boggling, and I wish I knew what was going on inside his head that causes him to make these off-the-wall choices.
-Easily frustrated. If he struggles with something at all, he flat out refuses to continue. This has become an issue at school, as I've had a few tests come back from school that I had to sign (in topics that are second nature to him and he knows inside-out) with scores of negative 32 and negative 28 respectively. HOW is this possible? He struggles with one small thing, and totally shuts down on the rest of it and refuses to continue with the tests. =/
What's weird is that there ARE some things he's able to concentrate on, and I see a different child when he sits down to do a puzzle (he's awesome at them), and will sit still for any length of time when he's allowed to play a video game. So he's able to concentrate and be still with a few very specific tasks.
I just feel like the world's worst mother because I don't know if I did something wrong to cause him to behave this way, or if this could be something deeper that I'm not familiar with. I have been raising three children and he is so totally different than the other two. I have NO idea how to parent him. I feel so lost and I just want to help him pull his way out of whatever this is.
Thoughts? Do these behaviors sound familiar to anyone? What am I dealing with here? A boy with a learning disability? Or just "regular" boy behavior? And where do I go, from here??
Sounds all too familiar to me with my 8 1/2 yo SD, except her shcool work has only now begun to suffer a bit. She mostly is able to sit and concentrate in school, and it's only this year that her teacher has begun to see that change for the worse. She's in soccer as well, and for the most part can concentrate on that as well, but if she's not playing (they have subs and rotate kids out) she will go off with other kids not playing or siblings of kids on her team and get distracted). She can't seem to sit still watching tv or a movie at home (she lays down with her head and arms hanging off the sofa, kneel down and put her top half on the sofa with her butt in the air, practically sit on her head, wriggle around, stretch out and touch me with her feet even when I tell her not to). She does things that make me angry as well as wonder what the heck is going on in her brain (I come into the bathroom to see the rug in front of the toilet flipped upside down, told her to get a brush one time and found the rest of the brushes and combs on the floor of the bathroom in a corner, find she's hidden the cat bed, hidden other things, unwound the toilet paper roll, and many, many other more aggravating things that I simply can't think of now). She also can't take a shower unsupervised because 10 minutes will go by and all she's done is get herself wet while singing and "washing" her father's shaving mirror. She has also had trouble keeping her hands to herself ever since preschool. Mostly it's hugging, squeezing, touching, but she has also hit, kicked, and has got in trouble for kicking or throwing other's belongings. Her school has been working with her closely (she's in 2nd grade now) but there is no really rhyme or reason to what seems to help and what doesn't. She has "good" days and "bad" days and you never really know what you're gonna get. Sorry, got off on a tangent. I feel your pain, and we are starting the process of ADHD testing and getting her to see a therapist/psychologist. Start with her school counselor. We filled out a questionair and had her teacher fill one out, then went to her pediatrition with it. He is holding off on medication so the next step is being evaluated by the town's school system. However she goes to private school, and when we sent the paperwork in to the town, it got lost so they won't be doing the eval until the Fall (not happy about that). We can also have her evaluated by an independent therapist/psychologist/counselor/what have you and that is our next step, to get her to see someone. Good luck with your son. (((hugs)))
Your boy sounds a lot like mine, especially with the school stuff. I have a few threads in the Learning at School forum about things that have been going on with him. My dh likes to say (when ds1 can't hear him) "that boy's got a whole lotta quit in him" b/c, like your son, anything that takes effort or is difficult he just doesn't do or totally shuts down.
Anyway, our pediatrician thinks that ds1 does have ADHD w/o the hyperactivity (he wiggles a ton and never sits still, but on the question sheet we filled out his level was at a normal kid level) but also another learning disability (he'll be getting tested at the beginning of next school year). He'll be starting a very light ADD med when school starts again, just enough to take the edge off.
Wife to an amazing man , mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) , and ds3 (9/26/10) . Part time librarian, full time mommy, occasional chef and maid.
Sounds familiar to my 7 yr old, who is diagnosed ADHD. We medicated him with Focalin in September because he had a horrible kindergarten year and his first g rade teacher confirmed that she thought she was seeing ADHD as well. I hated the idea of medicating him, still do, but is has really helped him focus at school and bring his grades from D's up to A's and B's. As a young boy, he never had any desire do do anything that didn't involve running, climbing, wrestling, any other very active things. It is really hard for him to do things that require him to sit still. His teacher has been great this year and implement some strategies to help him in the classroom-when he finishes his classwork(he's always one of the first), she has him bringing papers to the office for her or other busy work and that has really made a difference for him. The medication helps tremendously and we always are discussing the fact that he needs to learn to control from the inside, not just from meds. I think it is very important that he learn some form of self control so that when he is older, he may not have to rely on meds to be successful.
Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)
Have you read The Edison Trait by Lucy Jo Palladino? I think the new edition may have a different name, but I strongly recommend it. She's not completely opposed to the concept of ADD/ADHD, but does a good job of showing the positive aspects of people who are wired this way, and how they can often become very imaginative, inventive adults. She offers a lot of strategies for helping these children build on their strengths and address their weaknesses.
Is homeschooling an option that you'd ever consider?
My younger brother is diagnosed with ADHD (combined type, I think) and I have all the inattentive-type symptoms myself (plus a lot of wiggling which I think is more related to sensory issues). A lot of your description sounds familiar. But regardless of the potential diagnosis, the fact that he's having so much trouble is a good reason to pursue testing or whatever, right?
For the record, just because he's able to sit down at one activity for hours doesn't necessarily mean he's had hours of unbroken concentration. It may just be that the activity in question is still fun even if you do lose your concentration constantly. I think most (not all) modern video games either give you one straightforward task at a time OR they have a built-in to-do list. If you lose track of what you were doing, it's easy to pick right back up where you left off. On the other hand, if you're trying to read and you keep forgetting the first half of the sentence by the time you get to the end, that's incredibly frustrating.
I certainly sounds like something's up! There are lots of things that it could be other than ADHD tho, many learning differences look like adhd but then aren't. For instance, my dd was on the verge of getting an ADD diagnosis from one proffessional (altho it was disputed by another), and it turns out she has a hearing issue (CAPD) not an attention issue. If he can pay attention for puzzles and other non-verbal activities, maybe he's got some kind of language disorder. Some kids look like they've got serious issues, but are really suffering from a lack of sleep (sometimes unknown to parents, if they have apnea or are getting up at night). Testing is really the only way to sort it all out, it seems. Sounds like you have good reason to investigate.
Also, before/if you get into the possibility of medication, see if diet changes will help. Gluten free has worked for some people, studies in England have linked fake food dyes with ADHD behaviors...you never know!