6 year old ds obsessive running back and forth(17 Posts)
Hi I've never posted on here before I'm concerned about my 6 year old ds he's always been a very active little boy and hasn't particularly been a great sleeper, he finds it hard to get to sleep and wakes very early, typically 6am. For the past 6 months he has began noticeably running back and forth in the house he says he's 'getting his energy' or 'getting rid of his energy'. It is unnerving to watch as he appears to be deliberately exhausting himself. I've tried to get him to stop but he gets distressed, I end up distracting him which often works.
Today I asked who he played with during break at school he replied that he doesn't play with anyone because he 'has to run' when I asked why he didn't play with his friend George he said ' well he asks to play with me but I say I can't because I have to run' then he says 'I wish I didn't have to run' I said he didn't have to run and that he should play with his friends instead but he just replied that he can only think whilst running. It breaks my heart to think that he almost feels 'enslaved' by this need to run. His behaviour seems fine in other areas, his first school report said he lacked concentration and was emotionally under target, also that he didn't make friendships easily. All other areas he is bang on target.
I would welcome any support or advice. Thank you
It sounds like he needs some support at playtimes and also, possibly he needs evaluating as the running sounds like a sensory issue or an OCD type compulsion.
In your position I would go to the GP and tell them what you've said here...they can refer him to a specialist who can then get him some help.
He doesn't have to go to the GP appointment with you.
Thanks VioletBam, I am currently looking into the sleep issues as he always looks tired and I wondered if sleep Apnea could be an issue. Apparently children who do not get good quality sleep often show hyperactivity and mirror symptoms present in ADHD. I have contemplated visiting the GP about it but could never be sure it wasn't just him being a very active boy. I guess I'm worried about 'labelling' him and hate the thought of him taking medication. I think I'll have a word with his teacher and the school health visitor. Thanks for the advice.
Remember that if he DID get a diagnoses...it's not a label but a diagnoses. Diagnoses are sometimes needed to ensure children get all they need.
Can I ask about his diet? Does he eat much processed foods/drinks?
Not much processed foods, I try and make home cooked where possible ( although he has many dislikes). Plenty of fruit although he does eat puddings and treats too. My DH and I have constant battles about him giving DS fizzy drinks!
Labels aren't a bad thing. They are a descriptor for a set of behaviours that become shorthand for those involved in someone's care so they know what is needed to support them. More harm can come from not meeting someone's needs than a word or two which describes the cause of behaviours.
Get a referral to your local child development centre. This can be done via your health visitor, or if you're signed off the school nurse, or your GP.
If it is ADHD you fear then please be reassured that medication isn't a first resort, it's a last one. There are all sorts of therapies that can be used to help, a sensory diet, body brushing to stimulate the limbic system etc. My middle son DID need meds but I've just heard today that after 7 years on Ritalin he doesn't need it any more, which is wonderful, but when he was four it saved his life on at least three occasions.
Thing is unless he's assessed you won't know what his needs are, and if you don't know they won't be met.
My son has ASD and sensory processing disorder and he will frequently run back and forth across the room as a way of unwinding. He seems to need extra stimulation in his sense to do with movement (I can't remember the name of it!!) and that's how he gets it. It helps him regulate his emotions and be calm. For a child seeking sensory stimulation in this way it's best to allow them to get the stimulation in one way or the other - so either let him run or find another way of replicating this for him. For him it will feel like having an intense itch and not being allowed to scratch it. Maybe try the SN boards on here for advice as sensory difficulties are really common - and don't necessarily mean autism, ADHD etc.
Agree with cakes, you can have sensory processing disorder without any ASD, ADHD etc. My children do have additional diagnoses but they do occur in isolation.
Thank you all for the advice, you've given me the push and support I needed in acknowledging there is something different about his behaviour. Family members are also beginning to comment on it. I did wonder about ASD but don't know much about it. Thank you.?
Ha ha, didn't mean to put a question mark at the end there!!!
Definitely sounds like sensory seeking to me - seeking some sort of input to 'regulate' himself. If it wasn't having any negative affect I wouldn't worry about it, but if it's stopping him forming friendships then I would definitely get it checked out.
It may simply be that he hates sitting relatively still at school and feels the need to 'rev himself up' when he gets out - but as I said above, even if the trigger is relatively harmless and something he'll grow out of, if it's stopping him from making friends then you should take it a wee bit seriously.
Try not to worry though!
Hello. I know this is an old post but I'm just curious what ever happened and if you found anything out? My 4 year old son runs back and forth for hours and he says he does it SO HE CAN THINK. Just as your child said. He does this for hours and hours. One night it was 6 hours. It is really bothersome. He is being evaluated by a developmental/behavioral specialist on June 20th. Thank you for any advice.
I also want to find out as my 5 year old also running back and forth.....
It does sound sensory, but at the same time I would question how he's figured out he can only think when he runs. It seems like a very self aware thing for a young child to say. Has anyone said this to him? Is it something that might worry him? The reason I ask is my mother said she used to wash her hands compulsively as someone said she would die if she touched nightshade. My son also refused to walk bare footed as he thought he would end up with hairy bear feet. Not a joke!
My ds has done this running back and forth since he was about 3 or 4. We used to joke that he would do it in his teenage years and right enough he is 15 now and still does it. He has a bigger bedroom now and we actually make sure he always has somewhere to do it if we go on holiday. It is a need that he has. He also used to say he thinks when he does it.
He was diagnosed with asd at 7, I'd say the running is his form of stimming. He will not run when people are around and he gets anxious if anybody notices or watches him.
He also whispers or randomly stops and asks certain questions so there is definite a lot of thinking happening I used to try to distract when he was younger but I gradually learnt that it was something he enjoyed.
Maybe it is a sensory seeking thing.
So no cure for this! I am so worried, lots of people has asked what and why is he doing, I told he is getting his energy out.....
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