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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:02 am 
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My DS is in Year 1 and turns 6 next month. We were informed by his teacher that he finds it difficult to concentrate in class and doesnt focus very long on any given activity. We were aware of this before as his reception class teacher had to sit him in the front so she can keep an eye on him and make sure he doesnt get distracted. One of his teachers mentioned that he might be better in a smaller class with one to one attention. In the last parent meeting we had, his class teacher asked us whether we have considered private schools as he may benefit from that setting as the school is short staffed and their hands are 'tied' as they have to follow the curriculum. I told her that DS is already on the waiting list for the Indie his sister attended but as the school is so popular, they have no places and we have been told that the only route for him to get a place would be through the 7+ although they would bear in mind he had a sibling who attended the school and this should give him priority.
DS is very able according to his teacher and is way above his peers in reading and exceeded most targets in his last report.
My question is, could it be that he is bored in class or could it be something like ADHD that has not been diagnosed. He is well behaved generally and does focus with me most of the time whilst at home and he has a talent for doing puzzles well above his age and could spend ages doing that or playing on an Ipad so I dont want to think it may be ADHD.
Has anyone else come across this lack of concentration in boys and is it something he may grow out of or should I be trying to seek medical help now before it gets worse. Any suggestions welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:27 am 
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It could be ADD rather than ADHD - but he is only 5 so rather early to diagnose!

It sounds to me as if he is bored and that the work is not engaging him. I feel the school is not making much effort and telling you to move him is pretty poor ...

If he is bright then why aren't they giving hime extension tasks? There are plenty of resources out there ...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:48 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
It could be ADD rather than ADHD
Or it could be that he is just one more small boy who is the victim of our culture of sending tiny children into classrooms and expecting them to sit still for prolonged periods and concentrate on things which don't really interest them. If he were mine I would resist very strongly any attempts to get him diagnosed or labelled with anything at the age of 5.

And I think the school has a damn cheek to suggest that you look at private schools - what a nerve!

Zeezeemum wrote:
Has anyone else come across this lack of concentration in boys?
Well yes! Of course. He is only 5. It is very very normal for 5 year olds of either gender to not want to sit still and comply with the formalities imposed by school. I would say it is more normal for them to do this than to lap it all up and love it. Sadly this indisputable fact of child development hasn't reached those who take the decisions and sadly too the Government has a direct say in what happens in classrooms: and this Government and the one before it like nothing more than the idea of tiny tots lined up in rows reciting times tables and phonic patterns. I know it is hard when you are the mother of the 'difficult' one but please please try not to medicalise this - I would be finding ways to use up all that energy outside school, not with more formal or organised activities but with things like running around and playing freely, learning to ride a bike, going swimming, whatever. Enjoy your little bundle of fun and try not to worry - my biggest hunch is that he will be just fine.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Sounds like a rubbish school to give you that kind of feedback on a year 1 child who is doing extremely well. Did he learn to read etc at school? What benefit does he get from this teacher do you think other than criticism? What are these tasks that he does not focus on very well? Maybe the teacher could just let him read a good book. However, I think she might be giving you a subtle hint that she doesn't think this particular school has anything to offer your child and maybe she's right .........


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:47 pm 
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I agree with all the replies. It does sound to me that your child is bored in class. Having said that, my understanding of ADHD is that children would not spend much time concentrating in most settings. You say he concentrates at home and does puzzles, etc.
If I were you, I would ask the teacher what works better to help his concentration. For example, could he be seated at the front of the class; be given extension work, etc.

Both my sons have switched off when bored, gone to their own worlds and as long as they were getting the grades, the teachers didn't care. However, my youngest's teacher commented during parents evening that my son was too dreamy to which he blurted
"It's because I'm so bored!"
I didn't know what to say in such an awkward moment, but the teacher has taken it on board and has further reported that he's very engaged now. Well, she must be doing the right thing in class and maybe needed a very honest answer from him.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:05 pm 
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Yes. Good for him. The boy at our school that got the "best service" was one that misbehaved when he was bored. One of mine used to tell me she felt so bored she wanted to cry but this did not get a result as if I had gone in and repeated this I would just have been seen as rude.

The biggest mistake I made was teaching my children before they started school how to listen politely at school and put their hand up and wait to be chosen before answering a question at school.The children who shouted out answers and told the teacher they were bored stiff when given the same thing for the nth time had a better deal - particularly in reception where the assessment for next steps seemed to be very much based on loud and obvious showing off of what one could do to the teacher at inappropriate moments so that it was most definitely "child-led" activity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:06 pm 
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He is only 5, for goodness sake! Children that age have an attention span of up to 20 minutes... or less if they are very intelligent, because they get bored quickly and want to move on to another thing! Sounds like the teacher wants an easy way out, without having to put too much effort into keeping a bright child engaged.

Maybe you could suggest to the teacher to give your DS something a bit more challenging to do and he will be fine.

This is what I've found on the website below:
http://www.parents.com/kids/development ... ion-spans/
"Child development experts say that, on average, a 4- or 5-year-old child should be able to stay focused on a task for two to five minutes times the year of their age. So, young kids should be able to focus between 4 and 20 minutes, possibly more, depending on the task." How long does your DS's teacher expect he will be able to sit still and pay attention?

I've had the same problem with my eldest - throughout his primary school teachers complained he was not paying attention, suggested ADHD and even Turret's, believe it or not! Yet, he was on top of his class, got into a super-selective school and is doing very well there.

Do not let them 'statement' your child. Any form of a formal assessment, especially at such a young age, is likely to have a negative impact on your child's confidence.

I once had a chat with a very good educational psychologist, who I asked whether my DS teacher might be right and he said this: 'Teachers need to learn how to deal with a classroom full of children, or don't go into teaching. If they could, some of them would add ADHD medication to tap water'. I am not suggesting that this applies to all teachers, but sadly, you can find teachers like that in most schools.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:34 pm 
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Child put on Ritalin at age 6 in one of my children's classes. It made my blood run cold.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:36 pm 
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mystery wrote:
Child put on Ritalin at age 6 in one of my children's classes. It made my blood run cold.

That is scary... :shock:

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It felt like I hit rock bottom; suddenly, there was knocking from beneath... (anon.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:14 am 
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"....suggested ADHD and even Turret's, believe it or not! Yet, he was on top of his class, got into a super-selective school and is doing very well there...."

No surprise here. They are, of course, NOT mutually exclusive... :shock:


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