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Is this normal for 8 year old behaviour?

(9 Posts)
Isobelbenjamin Tue 23-Jun-15 11:04:40

I have two DCs, DD 12 and DS 8. My DS has always had a strong character from day one. He is caring, loving, gentle and very intelligent.

Last year we decided to move him from his school (we were not happy with school because of expansion plans - we have not moved house) when he was at the end of Year 2, to a new school at the start of Year 3 in September.

DSL was very mature about this, accepted it with no arguments and has to tbh not complained very much at all. He has made friends which I think is brilliant seeing as he was new and friendship groups already formed from Reception. His school work has improved a little, but has not gone backwards which I am told is not unusual for year 3. He is an excellent reader, has been since year 1, he probably has the reading age of an 11year old. He is ok with maths, but his writing is messy, and irratic.

My worries are that in May the teacher called us in to say she was concerned that DS had some difficulties at school. She said that his organisational skills were a problem, and that he sometimes found it difficult to sit down and focus on getting school work done. To help him she allowed him (and a few others) to sit in a quieter area of the classroom to do his work. She also thought it was worth while having him assessed by a psychologist as she felt so of his behaviours were not choices but he couldn't help it. We told her we did not disagree and we agreed with her we would try various strategies at home and school to help him, one of which we said he should not be allowed to sit away from his school peers to do school work, he should sit at the table as everyone else. I might add that this school has some mixed classes. And DS is in year3/4, he is year 3 there are some year 4s. The school are a little more 'modern' in their approach to work and they always work in pairs. These pairs are not by choice, and they have to work with every class member at some point. They also allow some of the older ones in the class to act a bit like monitors and they can perhaps point out to the younger ones behaviour that is not acceptable.
My son particularly dislikes this aspect of other kids telling him off.
We were asked to go again this morning and she said there has been some improvements, and he is definitely more sociable. But she also had concerns. As he can be quite tactile with others (?) this is not so for us at home. She listed that he hugged a boy in his class (a friend) and then got upset with himself and that he always likes to touch his girlfriends (yes he has. Girlfiend) hair, or arm, and hugs her a lot. She also said during activ8 he does big movements that he can't seem control etc. all things she said were not as he is at home. He can control his movements. He is loving, but that is great I think and he is never violent or hits anyone or gets in to fights. I

I just feel so annoyed with the teacher and school because I feel she is making something out of nothing, over em phasing every minor detail. I agree he is not keen to sit and do his work but I feel that this is not usual for this age or even for a boy. Can the school insist on the child psychologist?

Sorry for long post. Probably missed a few things out.

SaulGood Tue 23-Jun-15 11:12:02

What do you think would be the negatives of him seeing somebody and what do you think would be the positives?

If it turns out he needs no extra help then you've lost nothing. If there is more that can be done to help him at school, then surely it's a positive thing?

Your teachers sees some different behaviour to you because it's a different environment and these behaviours might be further exaggerated by changing schools. If your teacher is saying he has been upset at school and is struggling in certain aspects, for now I'd work with them to establish whether this is just normal 8yo behaviour.

He is still your loving, tactile, wonderful boy. This is not a negative comment on him. It's the teacher wondering how they can help him to be happier at school.

Isobelbenjamin Tue 23-Jun-15 11:18:59

I see it as negative as I feel like they are trying to label him with something that he's not and I honestly believe he is just a normal (maybe doesn't tick all their boxes) little 8 year old boy. I have often said I think he has too much intelligence for his physical years and that he will catch himself up at some point. I think a lot of the time he just is not interested in the school work and he is just so bloody minded he will do anything to get out of it so he can play. I also think he is clever enough to know he was being assessed and that would be more upsetting.

CatsCantTwerk Tue 23-Jun-15 11:22:08

I think you should be working with the teacher, not against her, She see's your ds in a completely different environment to what You do, most dc are different at school than they are at home.

Surely it can only be a good thing that he gets the help he needs now at the age he is rather than in a few years time when it may be more difficult to help him?

I feel that this is not usual for this age or even for a boy. I really have to disagree with this statement op, sorry.

WaftingWilberry Tue 23-Jun-15 11:26:51

If the educational psychologist sees him it should help to define what is happening in terms of the behaviours (including problems arising from his being academically advanced) and the best way to tackle anything at school that's not working for him at the moment.

They are highly unlikely to create problems where there aren't any - it's good that school are looking to support him, often schools seem to be very lax about this and reluctant to involve outside professionals due to limited budgets and time.

He won't be 'labelled' as ed psychs aren't qualified to diagnose, they just help teachers to understand behaviours and put in place strategies which could help him.

Golfhotelromeofoxtrot Tue 23-Jun-15 11:33:46

The teacher is a professional- to arrange this assessment it will take her a lot of form filling in and persuading others to give up their time to also fill in paperwork, and give their experienced opinions.

As hard as it is to hear, she isn't doing it for fun. I would support the school. If nothing comes of it, there will be no long term harm done.

lexyloub Tue 23-Jun-15 14:47:02

No one is going to "label" him as something he's not I think you should go with the referral to the EP. The teacher is referring to the experts because they're exactly that she's not. You only see your son she sees (and has seen) other boys the same age so will notice any differences between him and other boys his age. My DS is the same age and isn't anything like how you describe your son but that doesn't mean either of them aren't "normal " (I hate that term). Children have different personalities and show themselves in different ways. You've nothing to lose by seeing the psychologist.

lexyloub Tue 23-Jun-15 14:53:50

Your ds sounds exactly like my friends son in fact she could you could be describing him, she took her ds to the EP they suggested that he has ADHD although they haven't had an official diagnosis yet he's on medication and seems to be a lot happier and settled in school. I'm not saying your son has ADHD or anything like that but it's not the end of the world if he has.

Goldmandra Tue 23-Jun-15 17:12:54

If your DS has difficulties that his peers don't experience, you are going to do him no favours by refusing to allow him to have the support he needs. You will effectively deny him equality of access to the curriculum, making school more stressful and limiting his ability to make the academic progress he deserves to make.

I get that you see him as normal. I saw my DD1 as normal but very intelligent, mature and sensitive, until she was 12 when she was diagnosed with AS due to falling to pieces on starting high school. It is the right diagnosis and still very much fits her now, six years later.

I realise now that my idea of what was normal was very much based on our own reality and she wasn't as normal as we thought.

Please allow your child to be assessed if that's what the teacher feels is appropriate. If he gets a diagnosis, it will be in consultation with you and because he needs it to access the support he needs to achieve in school.

If the EP doesn't see what the teacher sees that will be clearly recorded and your mind will be set at ease.

Don't let an irrational fear of a label diagnosis stop you doing the right thing for your child.

Inappropriately 'labelled' children are the ones who need support they aren't getting and end up being disengaged and disruptive.

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