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    #44352 - 04/12/09 06:51 PM Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"?
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    I am new here and my DS is 4 y/o and was identified as gifted last year. He has always been very emotional. If he's happy he's extremely happy but if he's mad he throws a full tantrum. Screaming, stomping, crying. He gets so worked up that I don't think that he even know that we are there trying to talk to him. Now that he's 4.5 they seem to be getting a little less frequent but with even more intensity. Does anybody else deal with this and what kinds of things do you do when it happens? We talk about it and he tells me that he just gets very angry and instead of talking screams. He says that he knows that talking to me would be a better thing to do but that he just can't do it.

    Another thing that I'm really worried about is his inability to pay attention. He is always either looking in the sky or behind him or to the side of him when he's walking. I can be standing right behind him telling him over and over to watch where he's going but it seems like he's in such a daze that he doesn't even hear me. When we are out in public I usually have to hold on to his shirt and kind of lead him around so he doesn't run into people or things. If I want him to listen to what I'm saying I have to physically hold his face and get him to look at me and sometimes even when I do that he can't repeat back what I've said yet 30 minutes later he can recount our whole conversation.

    Another part of the problem is that he's very impulsive. Not only does he not pay attention but he seems to need to be in constant motion. This gets him into a lot of trouble at school because instead of sitting on the mat to listen to the story he wants to stand behind the class and jump up and down or crawl on his knees. He'll absorb everything that the teacher is talking about but he just can't seem to do it sitting down.

    I've considered autism but I really don't think that's what's going on. It seems more like he's stuck in his little brain so much that he has a hard time living in the world around him. Is this a common thing or is it something that I need to really worry about?

    Thank you for reading!

    Jamie


    Edited by Jamie B (04/12/09 06:53 PM)

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    #44368 - 04/12/09 09:01 PM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Jamie B]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    its hard to know. Was your son tested ...if so can you talk to the tester? your pediatrician? is your son in preschool? how does he conpare to other kids his age? other boys i should say....best wishes....i cant remember age 4 any more.....grinity
    _________________________
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    #44370 - 04/12/09 09:09 PM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Grinity]
    S-T Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/28/08
    Posts: 207
    Sorry I have no help on the tantrums.

    On inattentiveness, could it be interest related? I always remember my mistake of signing DS up for baseball when he was 5yo. When it was time for pitching, he was out in the field... either scratching his legs or looking up in the sky. After the game, he asked me "Did you see the clouds? They looked like candy floss!". I should have known he was never into team sports.

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    #44371 - 04/12/09 09:11 PM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: S-T]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    Haha...that sounds like mine. I tried soccer for one season. He was more interested in tasting every single flavor of Gatoraid on the bench than playing!

    When it happens in school I think it's interest related. His teacher told me when they do centers (where they get to pick what they want to work on) he is fine but it seems to happen way too often for it to be that.


    Edited by Jamie B (04/12/09 09:11 PM)

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    #44372 - 04/12/09 09:21 PM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Grinity]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    My son was tested through the school board but I really, really, really (I can't say that enough) didn't like the tester. I do love his ped though and have been thinking about calling him to schedule a meeting.

    The reason this has become a worry for me is because I see him with my step son who is only about 20 days older and the difference is very noticeable. The other day when we were at the grocery store I watched DSS walk down the aisle and pay attention to where he was going while I was making a mad dash for my DS who was about to run head-first into a cart full of groceries.

    I'd like to talk to his teacher too to see what she thinks.

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    #44378 - 04/13/09 05:29 AM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Jamie B]
    JDAx3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/09
    Posts: 247
    DS used to have fits like this sometimes, we used to call them 'rages' and they were very worrisome to us. It was like a tantrum to the nth degree. We couldn't console him, couldn't calm him down, nothing. It was as if he was completely out of control and not aware of anything but what he was feeling. We mentioned it to his pediatrician, but were told that all kids have tantrums and it was normal. BUT, none of the other tantrums I witnessed in other kids were like this. So, we just figured out that if we just sat down out of the way and let him get whatever it was out (watching him of course), that was about the only way to get thru it. The more we tried to intervene, the worse it got. He was always worn out afterward, but then it was over and like nothing had happened, he was ready to be comforted. The only way I can describe it is like a purging. It was as if he just had to get everything out and language wasn't his strongest area. I still don't know what exactly the cause was, but I believe it was frustration and stress. We didn't know DS was 'gifted' at those ages, although we had an idea that something was different. I wish we had known or had access to people who could have clued us in, perhaps we could have helped him thru some of those tough times. Things are definitely better as he's gotten older - almost 9 now. Good luck to you and your little one.


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    #44379 - 04/13/09 05:50 AM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Jamie B]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    hi jamie b - i don't know if it's "normal" or not, but it sure sounds familiar. I think i must say "watch where you're going" every single time we're out somewhere with DS5. There are just so many other things to think about that are much more interesting than watching what's ahead! It seems like this is improving a bit - i remember I used to have to pull him out of the way of carts at the grocery store a lot more. hmmm - maybe that's only better because he's been sitting in the bottom of the cart lately...

    We still get a few out-of-proportion tantrums too, but these are definitely starting to go away. Usually a frustration related to not getting what he wants. We found that these were reduced with parental consistency - we didn't give in to his screams/pleas, then he knew what to expect next time.

    Our DS5 also likes to run around. Sometimes he just runs up and down the length of the house and says "i need some exercise!" After running around for a bit, he's fine. Last year, when he was learning something new, he would get very excited and run around - a whole body response to the excitement of learning.

    As for paying attention, i think it's very common for 4yos of all types to not pay attention. That said, it seems that sometimes DS5 is completely entranced by something (computer usually) and doesn't hear repeated questions from parents. Those times we have to get in front of his face for him to notice us. But then other times, when he seems to be not paying attention, he will hear something we didn't necessarily want him to hear and ask about it later! he definitely can pay attention to several things at once when he wants to.

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    #44384 - 04/13/09 06:37 AM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: JDAx3]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    It's good to hear that the tantrums have gotten better. I'm the same way with letting him get it out. I'll put him in his bed and tell him to come out when he feels better. They last way longer if I try to talk to him while they're gong on.


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    #44386 - 04/13/09 06:38 AM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: st pauli girl]
    Jamie B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/12/09
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Louisiana
    St. Pauli Girl, your son sounds a lot like mine. Especially being so into the computer that he doesn't hear you. And hearing what you don't want him to hear smile

    Does he go to school or do you homeschool? How do they deal with his energy in the classroom, if he is in one?

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    #44388 - 04/13/09 06:48 AM Re: Lack of Attention, Tantrums...What's "normal"? [Re: Jamie B]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    He goes to a very part-time preschool now, so it's not much of an issue. He's going to public kindergarten in the fall, so we'll see. smile

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