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6yo DS lack of concentratio, at end of my tether - AGAIN

(16 Posts)
JillMLD Mon 20-Jul-09 00:19:58

I have a 6yo DS who is a lovely lovely boy, very bright, in top groups for reading and numeracy at school, plays well with friend and his two little sisters aged 4 and 1. He has a great sense of humour and seems to have made lots of friends at school. He can be very loving at home and can be very kind, sharing toys and sweets with his sisters.

However we just seem to have to be on his case about everything at home all the time.
He never does anything he is asked, it doesnt seem to be out of naughtiness, he is just in another world ("fairlyland" we call it), have to remind him repeatedly for example to put his shoes on, when I ask him for like the 6th time he will go "oh yes, sorry, sorry, I'm doing it now".
I can only ask him to do one thing at a time or her just forgets what he's doing.

He is forever licking his fingers and his arms, or sucking his fingers, he goes through phases of licking all round his mouth so it gets all chapped, he sucks his tops and his duvet so they get wringing wet.

At bedtime he is out of room several times each night although we give him no extra attention, we just nicely shout upstairs "back to bed please". He goes to bed about 8pm but rarely is asleep before 9.30pm even though his light is out he is in and out like I say, or else lying in bed singing, feet up the walls just not tired.
I get him up for school around 745am and have to drag him out of bed every day. We have tried getting him to bed earlier but he still sings and chats til gone 9pm.

He's been just awful to toilet train and still wets himself loads and just doesnt care. I have to send extra clothes for school trips (they have spares at school but not on trips). Only today he wet his pyjamas this morning after getting up, and then wet his jeans (just a bit) this afternoon.

He can sit and play with the computer or Xbox or DS but cant sit for a film. At the dinner table he is awul, waving his cutlery about so the food is falling off all over the table, fidgets about on his chair, whoever sits opposite him constantly gets kicked by him. Once he even fell off and hit his face on the floor so hard he had a nosebleed.

He sometimes gets quite engrossed in lego, that seems to be the one thing that he will sit at.

His school report was great in terms of the numbers/grades, but the wordy bit just said he gets distracted, loses concentration, works slowly, wanders off topic (to fairyland I guess), daydreamsand so on. We had a lot of problems at the start of the year where the teacher was very harsh on him (eg making him stand against the wall at playtime because he had to be aaked several times to do something - barbaric in my pinion).

We constantly seem to be giving off:
- do you need a wee
- sit still
- stop licking yoru fingers
stop kicking
- dont wave yor fork around
- dont eat with your fingers
- have you washed your hands
etc etc

Oh and we tried that stop bite stuff but he quickly realised that you can lick it off.
We tried reward chats but they only work for about a day or two. And all the while of using them he drives me crazy negotiating for stars , wokring out if he does something first time and does it fast and does something else does that mean stars, then we have to do a star chart for the 4 year old as well and then it turns into a big competation.

He is not overloaded with activities.
He does swimming one day after school and has just started football on a Saturday morning, But even that isnt going great as he has a tendency to just stand in the football field and go into fairyland and everyone runs straight past him.

He has massive meltdowns for no good reason - just before he started the football club he went hysterical saying he didnt want to do it, says he just wants to be at homw with Mumy and Daddy, but then the next day "Actually Mummy its fine, I do want to do it".
We give him loads of attention, he gets far more one to one than the other two (and this is part of my issue with it - its always about him. The mood of the house is dictated by his mood. And I am fed up of walking on eggshells all the time.)
Today Daddy spent all morning doing lego with him, then took him to have a kick about with the ball after lunch. He sad he wanted to go but once they got out to the grass area opposite he said he wouildnt play and when Daddy came back in DS threw a big tantrum, Dad went back out, he refused to play again so Dad came in and stayed in. So DS came in and went loopy on the sofa.
And didnt get to play football in the end. Its like he gets so angry he just cant control it. He went through a phaseof every day coming out of school and punching or kicking me before I even said hello. Is he really angry with the world and I dont know why ?
After the football class meltdown he sat at the table and said "I dont want to be in this world". I felt sick when he said that. I said "oh, so what world do you want to live in then" thinking he might say Indiana Jones world or Start Wards worl but he said "No world, I dont want to live in any world". Should I be worried ? Or am I being over sensitive ??

Sorry for the load of waffle. I have periods every few months where I just feel in despair about it, dont know where to turn for help, every day is a massive battle, I get so cross and shout a lot, he constantly tells me he loves Daddy more, and it is breaking my heart.

Please does anyone have any advice or suggestions ?


ps I just re-read my post and it doesnt sound so bad when you read it, it sounds like I am describing any 6yo boy. But I see my friends' children and they dont seem as challenging as my DS. Is it all about my expectation ? I dont want to lower my expectations and end up with a rude cheeky lazy child who has just been allowed to get away with loads of stuff.

TheLadyEvenstar Mon 20-Jul-09 00:38:33

i didn't want to read and run but i have a 10 yr old who is like this. will reply more tomorrow.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 20-Jul-09 00:42:20

Have you spoken to the school? Do they hav a senco you can talk to about him?

How is he with his friends?

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Mon 20-Jul-09 12:32:34

He sounds similar to my DD (7) with needing constant reminders to do anything, and the tantrums, mealtimes, etc. She can occupy herself now with reading/playing thank goodness! She doesn't have the dark moods though and we don't give her any special treatment or "walk on eggshells" if she has a meltdown she has a meltdown.

I used to get very frustrated with her (which seemed to make things worse in retrospect) but I read up on ADHD (I think she has some mild tendencies) and "How to Raise your Spirited Child" which both helped me understand her better, and now I just accept that she can't help the way she is - she's not being naughty and I love her for who she is.

It helped me accept that all children have different temperaments and she gets hers from DH - he's the one we have to "walk on eggshells" for! hmm

JillMLD Mon 20-Jul-09 17:31:46

Thanks for the replies.

He's ok with his friends I think, though his report said likes his own company. They didnt say if he prefers his own company or if he just is happy either way. The only time I see him with friends is when we have them here to play and then he gets very excitable and showy-offy (normal I suppose). He goes to swimming lessons and enjoys them and is prgressing well. He plays fairly well with his 4yo sister and is very loving towards his almost-2-year old sister.

I havent spoken to school really. We had problems with his teacher at the start of the year , she wasnt letting him go to the toilet , made him wait til breaktime (he was only just 5 for goodness sake), she was making him stand against the wall as a punishment for not doing things in a timely manner. We had several meetings and her disciplarian stick-as-opposed-to-carrot approach has changed a bit but we still have a frosty relationship with her so I dont look to her for any kind of support at all. I know the teacher he is getting next year and she is great so hopefully our relationship will be ok.
Maybe I should give it a few weeks in September then approach her and see if she thinks I should talk to the SENCO at school.

Takver Mon 20-Jul-09 18:24:47

Loads of this could be describing my dd (age 7) - totally on another planet a large part of the time - she can quite happily get distracted half way through putting on a shoe, even if she does start doing it in the first place.

Like your ds she is perfectly able to concentrate for long periods when she wants to - to the extent (when playing with lego or reading) that you can sit next to her and say 'would you like a chocolate biscuit' and get zero response (experiment to prove that she wasn't just ignoring us!).

The description of him standing in the middle of a football game with all the others running past him could also so be my dd.

I don't know if it helps, but I started a thread along these lines a few months back, and got several responses from MNers whose DHs were much the same (as well as those with DCs like this). I didn't establish whether the DHs manage to leave the house with both shoes on & get to work in time though.

I feel with my dd there's no way that she's going to be different, thats just how she is, so if your ds is the same maybe you just have to accept that you're living with a complete space cadet and focus on all his really positive attributes?

mouseling Tue 21-Jul-09 18:38:22

So many bells ringing for me reading your OP. My DS1 is also 6 and we have many of the same issues with him. In fact it felt almost spooky reading so many similarities in your OP!

Not sure that I am in a position to offer any helpful advice really but I do absolutely empathise. We have trodden a difficult path at school this year and will probably continue to do so in September.

My feeling for our DS1 is that he has ADHD and possibly / probably ODD but no diagnosis (yet)

buy1get1free Tue 21-Jul-09 18:49:07

JillMLD The fact that he appears to be accessing the curriculum at school would imply he is able to concentrate there .... is that correct? The licking sounds like a sensory issue and you may want to try posting on the 'Special Needs Children' board as I'm sure there will be parents who have experienced similar behaviour. I think if you are really worried about him, pop along to your GP, mention everything you have posted on here and they could either refer him to an appropriate specialist or put your mind at rest there and then. Good luck smile

wendus Tue 21-Jul-09 18:50:53

Your little one sounds just like my 7 year old - I really do not want to self diagnose but I really would suggest you see your school Senco. My little one was diagnosed last year with Dyspraxia, it has made life a lot easier and we understand him a lot better (still have to repeat myself all the time though lol).

buy1get1free Tue 21-Jul-09 18:57:39

Wendus That's really interesting .... would you mind telling me his dx process and symptoms, please ? I am experiencing several similar to OP with my ds and was wondering about Dyspraxia ... hope you don't mind me asking

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Tue 21-Jul-09 21:27:37

Takver LOL at the chocolate biscuit experiment grin I could say that five times to DD and she wouldn't hear me if she's engrossed in her reading. I have to say everything at least 5 times - I've tried shouting, singing, thing that works is to call her by the wrong name eg. by inserting a random middle name. Then she pipes up "My name's not....!" and her attention is got. wink

I'd be really interested to see the other posts you mentioned about DC's and DH's who are like this - could you post a link or let us know the title of it.


cornsillk Tue 21-Jul-09 21:34:30

From what you have posted about the teacher it sounds like there is a lot of pressure put on him at school. If he is only able to concentrate for a short period of time or needs extra time to think through things, then he is likely to become frustrated if the teacher is making unreasonable expectations. The place where this frustration is likely to be released is at home.

mummypig Tue 21-Jul-09 22:07:29

Hi do post on the Special Needs section as I think you'll find lots of people will be able to comment. I'm on there a fair bit as ds2 has epilepsy and also some kind of sensory processing problem - it appears that the combination of these make him behave like a child with ADHD and it can be very wearing.

I've only just started working this all out myself, so we are currently waiting for an appt with a paediatrician to assess him for possible ADHD or sensory processing disorder.

Try looking at these threads wledge-of-sensory-processing#15822876

and the one that I started

and maybe this one

and this website, which I found very useful One of the fascinating things is that it even includes the problems with knowing when to go to the toilet (under internal regulation section).

And again, when I posted my message I realised it didn't sound so different to any 5 yo - but it's the frequency of everything happening that gets you down. Just like you, we have to constantly repeat instructions or admonitions like 'watch out for that glass of water' or 'be gentle with your brother' 'get off your brother now' 'please go to the toilet now, you really need to go', 'put your shoes on' 'please put your shoes on' 'what did i ask you to do?' 'shoes, NOW'. And bedtimes - well, 9pm is an achievement!

Finally, that teacher sounds very cold and disciplinarian. Making him stand against the wall ffs shock And making him wait to go to the toilet! My ds1 is 7 and he wet himself at school once this year and it turned out there was a teacher covering who made him wait to go to the toilet. I was horrified and told me to let me know if it happened again - with the intention of going and complaining. I don't think that teacher took his class again, luckily for ds1 and for her!

Luckily for ds2 we have some very understanding staff at school and ds2 has been in a small 'nurture' group three afternoons a week (6 kids and 2 adults) and it really helps him to concentrate because of the better ratio. I think these are becoming more common in schools, for kids who may not have any formal SN diagnosis but find the 'whole class' situation difficult for whatever reason. Perhaps you could look into things over the summer and then go and talk to the SENCO in September and find out if they do that kind of thing?

Institches Tue 21-Jul-09 22:39:22

When I started reading your post, I thought it sounded just like my ds (6). He's
- bright, loving, has lots of friends
- doesn't do a thing we tell him (have tell him ten times to do every small step, every morning - finish you breakfast, drink your milk, brush your teeth, get dressed, put your socks / clothes / shoes / caot on - and no stage completed until you've shouted)
- still sucks his thumb (we ignore this)
- eats with his fingers (constant reminders not to)
- flops about all over/under chair/table during meals, gets down from table repeatedly
- is barely toilet trained (nappies at night, wee/poo accidents every day)
- stays up late reading books and then can't wake up in the morning
- school reports say they know he understands it all but it's difficult to get proof because he never finishes his tasks
- endless negotiation on rewards/sanctions
- bursts into tears if he thinks something is unfair
- can concentrate for hours on Wii / DS / pc but can't entertain himself to play anything else.

Apart from the toilet problems (which we've been through all the HV/GP/Paed hoops with to no avail) I'm assuming the rest is all entirely normal 6yo boy behaviour. I think the only things that would concern me about your list are the meltdowns, the anger and the frustration. When they are at the end of the long list, it's easy to see why you get to the point of despair. But if the rest is just normal then it's really just one issue.

TBH, I think the behaviour (daydreaming, bad table manners, toilet problems) is normal. My concern would the emotional side.

The school does seem quite harsh. It makes me wonder if they are over- disciplining him punishing him for things he can't control like daydreaming) and that's why he's coming home so angry. And taking his frustration out on you. Has this been a problem just with this teacher (a better one next year?) or is the whole school strict? If he's punished just for not doing things first time - well, my DS would standing by the wall all the time.

I can't really comment on SEN / ADHD / dyspaxia as I don't know much about them but I just wanted to highlight how much could be normal to see if that helps you narrow your concerns down.

Hope you get some answers.

wendus Wed 22-Jul-09 18:46:57

buy1 not at all. Started in reception with deficiency in fine and gross motor skills. Took him to doctors at schools advice, he sent us off and told us to forget about it and said we had a pushy teacher (boys prep school). Two years later it was still being raised. Senco confirmed that there was a marked defiency in both skills. He is very bright and was just not keeping up, severe coordination problems, daydreaming, inability to sequence, anxiety around change. Did things the long way round by seeing a Neurologist first but eventually ended up at The Londons Childrens Centre - A number of Occ therapist and Ed psychologist assessments it was diagnosed. is a great website. Still a struggle but I now understand him better and can see when he is trying and not able to succeed (its proving impossible for him to learn to ride a bike) and when he is just not trying.... hope this helps....

Institches Fri 24-Jul-09 19:58:28

Jill - have you found anything on the other threads that have helped?

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