Mothering Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm posting this here before I post in special needs 'cause I want to see if this is common for this age first.
My son is extremely bright, perceptive, introverted, intense, sensitive (to sounds, smell, etc) and persistent. I'm fairly sure that he does not have any hearing problems. Getting him to pay attention to what I am saying is a nightmare. If it is something he is really interested in he will pay attention but otherwise, it is a challenge. He started a basketball class the other day. It was at a new park, new coach, new kids, new sport, etc. The coach was explaining a drill and my son was standing there with his ball and when it came time to start the drill, I could tell that he had not heard a word the coach said. So I asked him if he knew what the said, and he said "no" so I had to explain everything to him and he started to do the drill. I think he was just standing there taking in all of his new surroundings. My concern is that he doesn't know how to filter out all the stimuli and pay attention to what is "important". He can focus on things, so much so that nothing else in the world exists. I'm used to that because my mom is an artist and whenever she was painting, she didn't hear a word I was saying. I guess I'm worried about ADD or something else.
Is this normal for this age or should I be concerned?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,596 Posts
Being unable to focus with distractions is pretty normal, I think. The basketball scenerio sounds typical.

But what about when distractions are minimized? How is he then? Will he sit through a story book and pay attention, if your surroundings are calm?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, yes. He loves books! He has been able to sit through Dr. Seuss books since he was at leat 1 1/2 if not younger. He is better at home with less distractions unless he is busy doing something which is most of the time. I also think I talk too much so he tunes me out. My husband and I always think that he doesn't listen but we just have not gotten the whole touch him, get to his level, and get his attention before you talk thing down yet. I still find myself hollering from the other room if he is ready for lunch and not getting a response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,596 Posts
Based on this little bit of info I'd say that he is normal. Yes -- most 3 yo's need you to attract their attention, get on their level, and minimize distractions before they can really listen. Even with my older children, I still have to say, "Can I have your attention?" before I can generally expect them to fully process what I have to say. (Heck, sometimes I need that from people too!)

If he can sit and listen to books, then I don't think he has ADD. Just my personal opinion though. I'm no expert.

Something that helped my children at his age was to talk to them about how we can get their attention. I asked them to give me a "reminder word." When I use that reminder word, it means, "I need your full attention." That way - I could cue them without lecturing or drawing attention to the problem in public.

And yes -- I strongly suggest you stop shouting from the next room! I guarantee that habit will bite you in the rear end as he gets older and starts doing it to you!

Also, work on short and to the point statements. Say only what you have to say. Expect that if you are using superfluous language that he will tune you out!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,445 Posts
Based on your description, I would suggest that you read the book "Sensational Kids" or "The Out of Sync Child" -- the 'bright, perceptive, introverted, sensitive' could describe our son too. We recently had him tested by an Occupational Therapist (OT) for Sensory Processing Disorder (sometimes called Sensory Integration Disorder) - he too has trouble in very stimulating environments (always has).

Basically, our son is overresponsive to stimuli. You know how for most people, they become accustomed to background noises or other stimuli? So, when you first take off your shoes, you notice the texture of the floor or the grass, but after a few minutes you don't? Not our kid. It bothers him as much after 10 minutes as it did the first minute. He also has trouble with backgrounding/foregrounding information. So, the cicada singing in the distance is as noticable to him as the conversation going on around him.

The OT is really helping him to be able to be able to get used to textures, movement and noises. Last summer he would not wear shorts. Forget about sandals. He would never take off his socks. He was disturbed when OTHER people took off their shirts and shoes. This morning I sent him off in shorts, sandals with no socks, with his bathing suit to play in the sprinkler at school!! We're also doing a listening program to help him learn to foreground/background information better.

That being said, 3 1/2 is pretty young to be able to listen and follow a drill for basketball. I guess I'd read one of the two books I suggested and see whether you think your son fits. If he doesn't, then I'd chalk it up to being 3 1/2, if he does, then you can pursue an assessment.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top