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concentration span of a gnat in an 8 year old, now beyond a joke

(11 Posts)
elfsmum Fri 16-May-08 17:54:38

DS1 is driving us (and his poor teacher) insane with his lack of concentration, he seems unable to to concentrate for more than a couple of minutes before going into his own dream world and begining to mess about.

he is now on a table on his own in class, he is very easily distracted.

at swimming his coach is giving him instruction and he's more interested in dipping his head underwater and doing his own thing.

We have tried rewards, we've tried withdrawing treats, we have tried talking, reasoning and I'm sorry to admit I've really shouted at him too - all on different occassions over a period of months.

when we speak to him he understands, he has written letters of apology to his teacher (he gets asked by the school to do this) he knows what he should do.

he also can be messing about fiddling with something appearing not to be listening but then can recite back to you word for word what you've just said - I've told him his teachers wont know that he must appear to be listening too

anyhoo now that's off my chest, is this common, will he grow out of it, any ideas on what else to try ?

I know he can concentrate, he can work really well to build, draw, read, play on his computer games - but how do I get him to concentrate at the other times

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! [frustrated emotion]

Saturn74 Fri 16-May-08 17:57:18

Has his hearing been tested recently?

It's a shame he's on a table on his own - can't he sit nearer the front so he can see the teacher, but with other children too?

Can school work with him to build up his concentration gradually - maybe give him a visual timetable or some class job to do?

elfsmum Fri 16-May-08 18:00:21

haven't had his hearing tested formally but nothing there that would concern me, seems to hear perfectly well

well apart from the selective hearing he seems to have inherited from DH grin

he's off now for half term, DH and I are going to talk about it again and see what we can do at home too.

Saturn74 Fri 16-May-08 18:07:24

Maybe he just needs to move about a bit to learn.
I think lots of boys do - mine included.

It's good that he's taking information in.

DS2 was allowed a twiddly, twisty thing to hold class, to help him focus.
It was pieces of twisted coloured plastic that fitted together - was v cheap.
I think it came from the Bright Minds website, but just had a rummage on there and can't see it on there now.
Will try and find link.

We worked with building up his concentration gradually. Bought him a stopwatch and he loved timing everything. grin

kittywise Fri 16-May-08 18:12:01

Ds1 HAS to twiddle with a lego brick( or a stone if no brick to hand) in order to concentrate. He is 9 1/2 and away with the fairies most of the time.

He takes the bricks to school.

It drives the teacher mad as he leaves them everywhere. The other kids just accept that that is him and bring him his bricks when they find them.

His teacher last year explained to the class that he was "A kinesthetic learner" which was very sweet of her smile

elfsmum Sat 17-May-08 17:21:36

Kitty DS was told off this week for playing with a stone in class - coincidental ??

thanks for the advice guys

humphrey how did you use the stopwatch ?

what else di dyou use to build up concentration ?

keevamum Sat 17-May-08 17:29:23

Hi I have exactly the same problem with 7 nearly 8 year old daughter. She is no probs to the teacher but she's sitting staring out the window not concentrating or listening. She should be doing so much better in school she is very bright but without the concentration this counts for nothing.

I wish her teacher would sit her on her own, her last teacher did and this seemed to work. We have just started to give her fish oils every morning with seemingly favourable results. We have also banned T.V, DS and computer Mon-Thurs to help her concentration at school the following day.

I have also started looking into ADD, ADHD without the hyperactive element...but I know if I go down that route she will prob be given medication and am not sure I want that.

I know some psychologists will give training for organisation which I think would help my daughter but don't know where to access this. I will keep checking this thread to see if any other posters have some good ideas.

Saturn74 Sat 17-May-08 17:32:13

use of stopwatch - eg: if he could do a piece of artwork for 3 minutes, then he'd get a star on his chart. build it up to 4 minutes next time etc.
20 stars equalled a small prize.

TheDullWitch Sat 17-May-08 17:35:12

My older ds was like that at 8. A nightmare. On table alone too because he fiddled and talked and daydreamed. He is much much better at 12. It is a boy development thing. Surge of testosterone around 8 makes them unable to sit still. Make sure he gets lots of exercise so he can focus.

gaxejo Thu 18-Sep-08 14:24:48

My son is 8 years old. I feel that the pressures of school is too much and that kids are forced to be like adults before they are kids. The question I have is, what is the actual researched timespan for kids of 8 years of age to sit and concentrate? Could someone refer me to a website with this data please. Just for interest sake: In our family, we do not wach television programmes at all, just the occasional DVD's (age related) on weekends for the kids, and DVD's for us when the kids already went to bed. Therefor I know that television, or the negative effects of this on the concentration span of children, do not have an influence on the fact that my son cannot sit and concentrate for longer than 30 minutes.

DesperateTooDyson Thu 18-Sep-08 15:10:28

I have just seen a product recommended on another thread that could help with children who need to fiddle while listening.

Hope nooka does not mind if I link it here

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