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    #246311 - 11/14/19 12:41 PM Functional difficulties caused by ADHD?
    readermom123 Offline

    Registered: 09/22/14
    Posts: 68
    Hi all,

    My son is 8 and in 3rd grade at a highly-rated public school. He's participating in their pull-out GT program and also leaves class twice a week for speech therapy (articulation difficulties, although he's about to graduate from speech). We've only done gifted testing through the school district - in first grade he qualified with Cogat scores (Verbal 153, Quantitative 139, and Nonverbal 121) and an Iowa test (98th percentile for reading, 95th Language, and 99th Math) as well as some sort of Creative Product and Parent/Teacher survey.

    During our parent-teacher conference for the beginning of the year I learned that the teachers feel he has a lot trouble with focus. He needs lots of reminders to listen to instructions, stay in his seat, finish work, not talk to his neighbors etc etc. Talking to other students is probably the most common (and has been an issue every year, to be honest). He's a very sweet boy and they feel he is doing his best so the teachers have so far been pretty lenient with consequences (I have to admit I'm not sure this is the right approach...). They both said he's very intelligent and so far his grades are fine (A's and B's although realistically he 'should' be getting all A's). He has lots of buddies and doesn't seem to be having any major social difficulties. In fact, he's been paired up with another gifted boy in his class that is the 'difficult one' (angry outbursts, breaking things, etc) and my son does a great job of helping him stay calm, doesn't react, etc etc. He's not particularly athletic but loves to be outside and play pretend games, climb trees, etc. He also loves video games and reading. He's a bit 'immature' in some ways, although it's hard for me to express it exactly. He tends to enjoy playing with younger kids, doesn't like more mature movies, etc. On the other hand, he has a great sense of humor and can be quite wily socially in certain ways - he's never mean or defiant but is still good at pushing certain boundaries in very subtle ways.

    Based on the parent-teacher meeting, I've already started talking to him a bit about some of the major issues. I decided to start by asking him to work on sitting and listening to instructions quietly and respectfully. We've talked about fidgets that are socially acceptable and won't distract his friends or teachers (twiddling thumbs, tapping fingers against each other, etc). I've also started to be a bit more structured at home since we'd lost track of that over the summer.

    However, I'm trying to figure out what other steps we need to take if he's having trouble with focus. I'm trying to figure out what needs to be done to find out if ADD/ADHD is in play vs. immaturity vs. discipline issues vs. a bad classroom fit. Here's a couple of questions I have.

    1. How do you determine that your child is having enough of a functional problem to pursue testing? What do functional difficulties look like?

    2. What sort of testing is most important? Is it necessary or recommended to get detailed IQ tests done when dealing with a gifted kid?

    3. Any practical suggestions to help my son learn to focus before we aim for testing/medication/etc?

    Thanks for any input you might have.

    #246315 - 11/15/19 05:52 AM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: readermom123]
    Portia Offline

    Registered: 03/17/13
    Posts: 1766
    Something to consider... when the level of instruction is not challenging, it is extremely difficult to stay focused. I have found that the academic/intellectual growth comes in spurts/leaps rather than the steady climb the typical population seem to have.

    #246316 - 11/16/19 06:55 PM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: readermom123]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2014
    I read somewhere the other day that if your child is having problems at school it is usually the school that is the issue not the child.

    #246322 - 11/18/19 06:43 AM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: Portia]
    readermom123 Offline

    Registered: 09/22/14
    Posts: 68
    Portia, I'm sure this is part of it. It's a great school and a pretty challenging school district overall, but I'm fairly certain the rate at which they introduce new material isn't 'perfect' for my particular kid. It's a hard thing to bring up with teachers though. During the PT conference I ask if he could be a little bored with the material and they both dismissed the possibility. And maybe they're right, who knows...

    #246323 - 11/18/19 06:46 AM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: puffin]
    readermom123 Offline

    Registered: 09/22/14
    Posts: 68
    Puffin, yeah, school is tricky. With 20 (or more!) kids in a class I'm sure it's never perfect for anyone.

    #246342 - 11/21/19 08:54 AM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: readermom123]
    readermom123 Offline

    Registered: 09/22/14
    Posts: 68
    I'm feeling a bit frustrated with this situation up at the school. I ask my son how things are going and he says he just got 'a warning'. Then if I ask the teachers they say no he got a warning because he was up and running around the room. However, since he sits down the first time they remind him, they're not really giving him any discipline or reprimands other than the initial correction. I feel like they want me to take him in for testing and get him put on medication but they aren't really giving me any detailed feedback about his behavior or trying any serious discipline strategies. I'm not even sure I could give a medical professional an accurate description of his problems at school since I've gotten so little feedback. And I feel like by putting my son on the spot each day I'm just letting him practice lying and stretching the truth (already a bit of an issue this year, we've had lots of 'I forgot' or 'I didn't realize' about things). Maybe I should just quit worrying about it until they give me some more solid feedback? Blergh.

    #246347 - 11/22/19 06:34 AM Re: Functional difficulties caused by ADHD? [Re: readermom123]
    Old Dad Offline

    Registered: 07/30/12
    Posts: 422
    While it certainly won't hurt anything to have your son assessed for ADHD, I would ensure that if you do the person doing the assessment is well versed in GT issues. GT kids are often misdiagnosed otherwise as ADHD when the issue is being bored.

    I think it's also important to note, he's an 8 year old boy, that's the nature of young energetic boys for heaven's sake. As you've mentioned, he respects authority when he's instructed, he's doing good work, this isn't an issue that is degrading much of anything it appears. A lot of teachers aren't very good at taking enthusiastic energy and directing it in a positive manner. Discussing ways to do that would seem a good start, it appears you've already started that. Now the same needs to be discussed with his teacher. See the link below for a start.


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