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What's 'normal' like vs. ADHD behaviour for a 6 year old boy?

(20 Posts)
Gameboy Tue 27-Dec-05 21:58:08

Would appreciate anyone’s views on whether we might have a problem (I’m thinking ADHD or something…) with DS, or whether he sounds normal to other parents of boys of similar ages…

He’s 6.
So far in life through nursery & school people have always described him as ‘very bright’ and a ‘lovely boy’. We’ve had the usual playground scuffles etc, but nothing major IMO.
He has a variety of friends – some closer than others (including a ‘best’ friend he has known since he was 6 months old).
No one else has made any significant comments, but DH and I have recently been talking about a few things we’re observing which just ‘don’t feel right’…
E.g.
- in any group situation (swimming, parties etc) he always places himself on the ‘fringes’ and then doesn’t listen or take notice of what’s going on – he fidgets, finds something to fiddle with, and, given half a chance will distract others. As a result, when it’s time to ‘take part’ he doesn’t know what to do..
We both watched him at a ‘football party’ recently and were quite concerned that he simply wasn’t ‘part’ of it – didn’t seem to know/ understand what he should be doing (he’s been doing football for a term now after school) – just seemed to run around enthusiastically, but without any relevance to where the ball was for example!

When we’re out and about, I’m often aware that he’s doing ‘strange things’ such as walking like a gorilla with his tongue hanging out (for fun….?) Yesterday he was walking along with his head thrown back “Looking at the sky, Mummy…”

At home he RUNS everywhere. If I call him for tea, he’ll come screaming down the hallway ‘Tea! Tea! Tea!’ in an over exaggerated way?

He never shuts up! Constantly interrupts us, can’t stop blurting out answers etc if he knows them.

I’ve always considered him ‘high maintenance’ – he’s always looking for DH and I to do stuff with him – seems very poor at finding things to entertain himself.

On the +ve side he DOES seem very bright. He has a reading age of about 8, and is, by all accounts, doing well at school (nothing coming out from parents evening, other than he ‘needs to fidget in order to concentrate’ says his teacher..?)
He’s very into computer games and also gets completely absorbed by construction – lego, meccano etc. (these are the few times when he IS quiet!)

When he was younger I put it all just down to him being an active toddler, but surely some of this stuff should be settling down by now?

I just don’t know if this is all normal, or if he’s borderline ADHD or something?

Miaou Tue 27-Dec-05 22:25:51

Well, I haven't got a 6 year old boy, so I'm no expert, but it sounds normal to me.

"Needing to fidget in order to concentrate" is a recognised thing - it's called (I think) being kinesthetic - he prefers to learn through doing rather than sitting still and listening (hence being good with lego as he can get his hands on it and learn through manipulating it).

The football party/swimming thing - does he find group situations rather intimidating? Some children do not operate well in groups.

The running/shouting/staring at the sky/blurting out answers-type behaviours - just like my dd2 - part of her (slightly attention-seeking but loveable) personality.

I do know a little boy who does much the same as your ds (he is 7 now) - like yours, very bright, loveable, articulate, gets silly and overexcited easily - but normal.

I don't think he sounds ADHD to me.

rummum Tue 27-Dec-05 22:32:16

just wondered if you have any concerns about his hearing or eyesight?

Gameboy Tue 27-Dec-05 22:33:46

Miaou - thanks for responding.

No - he doesn't particularly get intimidated by groups/parties. He's no shrinking violet - quite the opposite in fact! He's been going to stagecoach classes for about 2 years because he really likes being in the centre of things - acting/ singing etc. SO far at school he's often been picked to do the readings/ act speaking parts in assemblies etc.

Maybe he IS just over-excitable? ANd I suppose we didn't think about it until DS2 came along - and he's very different....

Gameboy Tue 27-Dec-05 22:35:16

rummum - yes - eyesight was a concern at one point (when he was 2.5) but he now wears glasses.
I don't think it's a seeing/hearing issue though

rummum Tue 27-Dec-05 22:40:21

just wondered as you said...
"he always places himself on the ‘fringes’ and then doesn’t listen or take notice of what’s going on" -

Have you tried Omega 3 fish oils?... This helped with my childrens concentration, and calmed them down. Boots do a nice (?) strawberry one that the kids like..

ParrupupumScum Tue 27-Dec-05 23:03:00

He sounds like a normal, lovely 6 year old boy from what you've said, Gameboy. In fact I'm struggling a bit to understand what's worrying you about his behaviour, exactly... Sorry- I bet that's annoying but he does sound like a real sweetie from what you've said! It seems like he's is doing well at school, has friends and is basically happy and playful. What more could any parent want? I do think most primary aged boys (and girls too probably) are fidgetty and excitable and often talkative too.

Miaou Wed 28-Dec-05 16:26:53

"ANd I suppose we didn't think about it until DS2 came along - and he's very different...."

I think that's it in a nutshell Gameboy - but just because he is so totally different, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong. My dd1 and dd2 are so different that people remark on it within seconds of meeting them - I think they find it hard to conceive that two sisters could be so different yet come from the same parents! And it's true - you do tend to notice the behaviour because it is so different (or absent) in the other sibling.

Sorry, very badly worded post - the dds are arguing in my ear!

busybusybee Wed 28-Dec-05 16:33:37

Hi Gameboy - I totally understand how you feel - Our ds is 4 and is similar in many ways - Yes as others have said it probably is perfectly normal but it is certainly difficult to deal with sometimes - and of course often irritating!

I often wonder if ds has got some sort of problem - but then think maybe its my inability to cope with him!!!

vhairi Wed 28-Dec-05 17:05:43

Doesn't sound too bad to me but i also have concerns about my ds who is 4. I've always felt he was hard work, never stops talking, runs everywhere, attention seeking, not great in social situations but is a very capable and bright boy. I've read quite a bit on ADHD and the only area that seems to fit my ds is the impulsive part where the child doesn't think of the consequences of their actons.There are areas where i also think he should be settlimg down and isn't but his nursery have commented on this and it is going to be tackled but if his school hasn't said anything i don't think i would worry too much. Easier said than done though , I knowI also make comparisons with dd who is 2 and they are both totally different kids. It's hard not to compare but if you're ds is able to sit and concentrate on something for a lenght of time, then that's a good sign, even if it's not always what you want them to concentrate on!

ImdreadinganAUTIExmas Wed 28-Dec-05 19:37:22

Doesn't sound like ADHD. 6/7 year olds I know with ADHD are very destructive. I'd say that is the worst thing about ADHD, the impulsiveness which leads to everything getting trashed. Also they are ususlly a complete danger to themselves, will climb out of windows etc (impulsive again).

Eaney Wed 28-Dec-05 20:26:29

You have just described my DS and I too have been worried. He doesn't hang about on the fringes but he has the additional thing of ordering everything or not leaving the house until the TV is off cos he doesn't want to destroy the planet. He too has a reaing age of 8(he is 6) and his teacher thinks he is very bright.

I have often thought if I took him for analysis I would get the ADHD label but I am no expert. I am so relieved to read that people think this is normal.

I know a minority of people find him difficult and most are highly entertained by him.

ImdreadinganAUTIExmas Wed 28-Dec-05 20:35:15

academically bright children are often immature socially. It really doesn't sound like ADHD, not the ADHD I know anyway.

tigermoth Thu 29-Dec-05 09:00:42

sounds like my oldest son at six years old and later. He didn't finally stop wandering round the class room randomly till he was in year 4. He wanted and still wants lots of attention. He's now 11 and at secondary school. Is the last few years, random singing in class has taken over - I thought that when he went to big school he would get too self conscious, but no, he belts out tunes whenever he feels the urge and then gets told to shut up by teachers and classmates alike.

He is not ADHD, and like your son, teachers have always described him as 'lovely' and 'bright' then usually followed by a BUT...

My youngest son (6)is a fidgit in class too, very active, finds it hard to settle down and concentrate on too.

Neither of them are ADHD AFIAK, but their behaviour seems a million miles away from the quiet, hesitant and more docile behaviour of some of thier classmates. When I see them at parties, I have got used to observing the differences. Both of my sons ( when oldest was 6) liked to be on the fringes, distracting, running around and only half listening.

Having said that, the active, impulsive traits that my oldest son had at 6 years old have changed. He is now slower, more deliberate, can concentrate much better and did well at school in the end. He slowed down gradually from age 8 onwards. In some ways he took a long time to grow up IMO.

Seeing this has made me much more laid back about my second son (whose behaviour in class is not as bad as his older brothers was). The first time round, I did wonder if my oldest son was verging towards ADHD, but whether or not he was, he slowed down just a little bit, enough to make a difference, as he got older.

maZebraltov Thu 29-Dec-05 20:39:21

I help out sometimes in DS1's class (Yr 1) & Gameboy's DS sounds like one of the slightly more boisterous/"handful" ones, but def. still mainstream and def. not ADHD.

Caroline5 Thu 29-Dec-05 21:09:21

This sounds so like my dd1! She also runs about everywhere, often shouts rather than talks, tends to be on the fringes socially and is certainly high maintenance! I too have wondered often whether her behaviour is quite normal (especially as she has a sister with severe SN's) and indeed she did have an IEP when at playgroup due to difficulties concentrating/listening. Since going to school, nothing further has been mentioned and she has calmed down a bit - maybe this is just a normal personality type?!

Do you have to be careful what he eats eg avoiding high sugar drinks/foods or colourings?

sickofturkeymoonfiend Fri 30-Dec-05 10:11:31

My ds (just turned 8) is very similar (esp the needing to fiddle in order to concentrate!) Had him tested at school and he is dyslexic (and very high iq but not academic ifykwim) suffers from poor fine motor control skills but other than that as normal as any small boy! He doesn't 'do' group activities either, yet is very extrovert in the classroom! At his birthday party, after the cinema, we had 8 boys home for tea. 2 disappeared off to be computer geeks with the PS, 2 started a game of indoor cricket (!)2 started jumping around/playfighting etc and 2 disappeared off to DS'1's room to play with lego etc. All very different and all 'normal'

darcireece Fri 19-Jun-09 16:49:42

hi i would reccomend omega 3/fish oil & vitamin c all help with behaviour my little boy is also 6 who has just been diagnosed with adhd & odd he does fiddle when he has to sit but he also gets out of his seat & if told to sit he will get very aggressive both physically & verbally he is always running shouting he picks fights with his sibling & adults he will run on to roads without looking he climbs on top of cars out of windows but his iq espescially with reading is high as he tends to learn on his ds. he has been stopped from doing swimming lessons as he jumps in the deep end when he cant swim he just dosent think before acting he will strangle his sister he needs to be watched 24/7 for his own safety & safety of others but he is very gentle with animals just a little bit of an idea what adhd is

ICANDOTHAT Sat 20-Jun-09 14:50:00

ImdreadinganAUTIExmas I think you are massively genralising ADHD. Many ADHD kids are not very destructive, a danger to themselves and do not jump out of windows. My ds2 is 6 and dx ADHD. He fidgets, talks A LOT, will drift from the subject in class and literally get up and have a wonder around the class room. He is bright, funny, loving and has many friends. If on the other hand you are including an ASD or ODD with a co-morbid of ADHD, then the behaviour will become very different again and may mirror a bit more of what you are describing.

Meanwhile, the OP should try looking seriously at diet - this made huge changes for us with ds2. EyeQ Omega 3,6&9 strawberry chews from Boots are great. Nothing with Aspartame (sweetner) in, start looking at the ingredients on all foods - don't buy anything with an E number in it - check for 'iffy' preservatives too. This web page might help: www.ukfoodguide.net/bestavoided.htm Also try: www.ukfoodguide.net/bestavoided.htm a charity that's been going for ages with some tips. My ds2 has also seen a cranial osteopath which was brilliant and a homeopath, again with great results. Take care smile

joburg Sun 28-Jun-09 10:54:39

Gameboy, did you consider a sensory integration test on your DS. Our DD has always been hyperactive and we also considered ADHD. In the end she has been diagnosed with serious sensory integration difficulties. The therapist described the present state of her mind as a busy junction with no traffic lights. I'm not implying this is the case but the way your DS reacts is so close to what our DD is doing .... if it is not ADHD, it might just be difficulties to organise and integrate outside information, just too much input from all directions for the brain to handle it. The gorilla acting, the fidgeting, the constant noise .... our DD acts just the same .... All (problems) actually starts from here as our therapist explained to us. DD feels a bit beeter since she started on Fish Oils as recommended above.

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