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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Today DS2s teacher called me in to say his concentration has become a serious problem. He is falling way behind his targets, not completing work in class, easily distracted and slow to settle, forgetting and losing school books and homework. I noticed that homework he;d completed at home on time had gone into school and come back unmarked three weeks in a row. Seems he'd forgotten to hand it in. His teacher says he is now falling very far short of his expected targets. Twice this week he's had to complete classwork at home because he hadn't done it, and it was WELL within his capability.

At home I've noticed he is very distracted. He's always been quite dreamy but it was getting far worse. Did a Bond comprehension recently and scored 35% because he just wasn't concentrating and only answered about 1/3 questions (and that was with help and prompting.)

He is scatterbrained and dreamy by nature but since Christmas there's been a sharp decline. Two possible reasons:

He got an i-pad for Christmas and oh my how he uses it! He has clubs, sports, tutor, friends round, lots of family time too, but he's plugs into it whenever he has free time.

He sleeps very poorly. Always has, since birth, but since Christmas has often been unable to get to sleep until around 11pm, despite age-old routine of bath, supper, stories, prayers and lights out by 8.30-9pm. He's only 9.

Any advice or tips? Games or strategies?

From today he's earning screen time with hard work and help around the house and we're back to tick charts for progress (I do loathe those things, but the school has requested them and they are instigating one too, for him.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:35 pm 
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My daughter (Yr 6) is very similar & has a Specific Learning Difficulty with working memory (we had her privately tested by a dyslexia specialist). Very dreamy and disorganised. A great tip I heard recently was to get her to (quietly) mouth the questions to herself. Incentives work for her, but not for long - or we have to change them regularly. Let me know if you find anything that works!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Thanks for your reply Turtle. I do get him to tell me back what I just told him, out loud, mainly so I know he has heard it. Mouthing questions would be very helpful at school as it won't disrupt the others.

He sat and worked beside me, going through all his missed bits of work today, very meekly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:26 pm 
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If your DS is having trouble getting to sleep, then stressing about it makes it worse. I'm not up on bedtimes for 9 year olds, but have you considered putting him to bed a bit later, when he may be more ready to get to sleep? Then he won't lie awake for hours, worrying that he should be asleep. If he is tired during the day, then this will no doubt affect his concentration.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Y, he's shattered but can't sleep. he's always been this way. He gets very tired but the mechanism that lets you actually drop off seems not to fire up when needed for him. So he rests quietly and reads in his bed. If I let him stay up physically he'd be wasted. He gets wired and then doesn't properly drop off all night long. Last night I turned his light out at 9pm because his teacher had complained about his ditziness, and he didn't get up and move about as usual so I hope he got more rest. Bless him.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Menagerie, this is what I did with my kids (easily distracted, very poor concentration), or rather, a version of it involving colouring at the kitchen table whilst other kids banged saucepan lids together.

It's a bit long winded, and don't be put off but the references to kids with ADHD.

http://www.educational-psychologist.co.uk/Developing%20concentration%20skills%20in%20primary%20age%20children.doc

It really did work, and quickly too! I was starting to despair, as teachers were telling to do something about my DD's concentration levels but were completely unable to tell me what to do.

Pixiequeen


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Pixiequeen, thank you so much! That looks like a really valuable resource. It's great to know you got a good reaction to it too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Pixiequeen, thank you so much! That looks like a really valuable resource. It's great to know you got a good reaction to it too.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:33 am
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I've scanned through the post so I may have missed something but have you considered relaxation techniques at bedtime such as music? You might want to consider hypnotherapy. This can teach relaxation techniques which will help for bedtime also helps with insomnia and possible help with focus. Worth looking into it.

Lastly, computer games have been shown to have a negative effect on sleep and concentration so you might want to restrict these to daytime at weekends only. I know I certainly see the difference in my kids if they have access to computers (non-academic) during the evenings.

Cinnamon oil fragrance is suppose to help and fish oil supplements (but that could be a the placebo effect!).

Good luck!

_________________
MangoMum


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Thanks Mangomum. We are thinking of restricting screen time to weekends only.
A friend of mine is coming to teach him relaxation/self hypnosis style meditation next weekend, funnily enough.


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