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

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#1 of 6 Old 10-08-2012, 08:18 AM - 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 an 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 6 Old 10-08-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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He sounds like a normal "spirited" child, not necessarily adhd.  True ADHD has symptoms of inability to focus on tasks, even for very brief periods and can take time to diagnose properly, for just the reasons you bring up.  I highly recommend "Raising your Spirited Child".  You will recognize your son in that  book, and it does include advice not only on determining whether your child is just spirited, or if there's something else at work, like adhd or sensory processing disorders.  It also offers great advice on working with your child, with his teachers, etc. to make his day (and yours!) easier.


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#3 of 6 Old 10-08-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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a few things in your post do stick out to me- if you don't diagnosis him what are your plans?

 

if there are things that his behavior is preventing him and your family from doing is that something your are just OK with and no desire to change them? (eating out, not participating in sleep time, standing out as different to other children, etc) if you do start K and have other things he can not participate in- what are your plans at that point?............just wondering because I don't see it clearly in what you posted

 

I have grave concerns on the long term effects of daily melatonin use in small children but others think it is just great- in your case without a diagnosis and a under the guidance of a professional if could be an issue (not saying it will but it can be)- do you see a ped on a regular basis? 

 

 

ETA - has anyone mentioned his behavior to you? the ones running the program he is in? being lay-people is one thing but those who have had years of experience with children tend to know what they see, I was just wondering if you have had any feedback on those who do seem regularly

 

 

hope with cross posting you get some answers-good luck


 

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#4 of 6 Old 10-08-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Hi Boot,

 

What jumps out at me from your write up :

 He is not impulsive

 He verbalizes his intention

 He functions in kindergarten (albeit not for napping)

 He can have 2 way conversations

 He is strong willed and likes to make decisions.

 He doesn't like rules

 He socializes well.

 

 I assume the kindergarten program provides routine, structure & learning beyond the playschool format. If your child can consistently sit for circle time, perform teacher requested activity and play appropriately with materials at hand he is probably not ADHD or ADD.

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#5 of 6 Old 10-09-2012, 04:08 AM
 
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Quote:

What jumps out at me from your write up :

 He is not impulsive

 He verbalizes his intention

 He functions in kindergarten (albeit not for napping)

 He can have 2 way conversations

 He is strong willed and likes to make decisions.

 He doesn't like rules

 He socializes well.

 

 I assume the kindergarten program provides routine, structure & learning beyond the playschool format. If your child can consistently sit for circle time, perform teacher requested activity and play appropriately with materials at hand he is probably not ADHD or ADD.

If you are assuming that meeting your list means you don't have ADHD or ADD you are very mistaken!

 

 

The OP should seek a professional-IMO


 

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#6 of 6 Old 10-09-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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try the chocolate covered coffee beans test. if that has any effect on his behaviour then there might be something to it.

 

otherwise honestly he sounds like a really high energy child who hasnt settled down yet. 

 

cant sit still - in k i had dd in afternoon kindy so that we would have time to have her run around and do some physical activity before she went to school helped her hugely.

 

honestly asking him to lie down for 20 mins in afterschool care is really asking a lot. i dont know any afterschool place that has that where i am. 

 

how is he doing in kindy? that should be a big clue for you. many many boys have a hard time siting at circle time in K. i recall that from dd's K.

 

how is his school work. usually ADD/ADHD really prevents the child from focusing. 

 

on paper he sounds like he could go either way. 

 

but really in a way he does sound like a typcial 5 year old. high energy and spirited. 

 

in K i had dd sit on an exercise ball to do hw, eat. never a chair. 


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