Home education and diagnosis

(9 Posts)
DoJo Tue 24-Apr-18 23:33:13

We have been home educating my 6-year-old for just over a year and I am starting to notice that behaviours we thought he might grow out of are getting worse if anything, and certainly aren't improving. A lot of them match the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, but then those seem to describe a lot of 6-year-olds I know!

He has poor impulse control and often has to be asked multiple times (often, to my shame, with what I consider excessive volume on my part after several times of asking 'nicely') to stop doing things
Cannot stand or sit still (unless it is in front of a screen at which point we struggle to get his attention) and is constantly windmilling his arms etc even when he is already walking/running
He has boundless energy, goes to sleep ok (although this is becoming less of a given) but wakes EARLY and then struggles with tiredness
He is incapable of seeing anything without fiddling, touching or otherwise interfering with it,
He's increasingly incapable of waiting his turn to speak and interrupts us even when we are answering a question he has just asked (but gets frustrated when his younger brother does the same)
He is capable of interacting very maturely with adults or other children, but then he'll shout out random words or use a weird voice which makes it impossible to understand him (especially if he feels under pressure e.g if a stranger asks him a question directly)
He often cannot explain why he does things which seem counterproductive e.g. will agree a time frame for having a turn with something and then either snatch it just before his turn comes or refuse to take it when it is his turn, then seems as bewildered as we are as to why.

On the other hand he can focus on things that engage him - Minecraft, intricate designs with things like Hamma beads etc and will read voraciously when he's interested.
He is fascinated by science and has no trouble retaining information and putting it into context
He can be hugely generous and will often share unprompted, offer toys to children who he has noticed have not had a turn or will arbitrate with others in dispute using the techniques that we try to use on him (oh the irony!).

I'm not asking anyone to diagnose him based on this description, but I am at a bit of a loss as to how to decide whether to pursue any checks with anyone (who would that even be and how would we go about it?!) or whether this is perfectly normal and is going on behind closed doors of all the apparently well-behaved, compliant children I seem to see waltzing past me on their best behaviour while I am wrangling an increasingly recalcitrant child and hissing at him about not being allowed to watch TV ever again. Any advice would be much appreciated!

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FrozenMargarita17 Tue 24-Apr-18 23:35:40

A friend of mine has just had her child diagnosed with adhd and has all of the behaviours you describe. She started by taking her child to the Gp for a referral so she could be diagnosed properly. She also home schools.

DoJo Tue 24-Apr-18 23:36:17

Wow - that was long! Thanks for reading if you got to the end but the TL/DR version is just that I'm worried my son has ADHD but have no idea what to do about it! smile

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DoJo Tue 24-Apr-18 23:38:48

Thanks Frozen - I sort of wondered if the GP was the first port of call, so it's good to know that that's an option! TBH we were there about something else today, and I almost mentioned it but he was wrapped in a curtain so tightly that it took the best part of a minute to unroll him and I just wanted to leave by the time he emerged!

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FrozenMargarita17 Tue 24-Apr-18 23:43:51

Definitely worth having an entire appointment for it so you can talk it through with them. Good luck!

Saracen Wed 25-Apr-18 05:56:37

I don't have knowledge of the diagnostic route, but wanted to make a suggestion. You may find it useful to read a few books aimed at parents whose children have ADHD, and try some of the strategies suggested for helping your child. That has been helpful to me.

Whether or not your son turns out to have ADHD, you've identified some similarities, such as the fact that he seems to have poor impulse control and needs to be active, so the approaches which have proved most successful there may help.

You don't have to wait for a diagnosis to start doing something. The diagnosis might not tell you anything you don't know about your son, though a diagnosis may have other benefits.

The8thMonth Wed 25-Apr-18 06:27:19

Hello, my 6 year old son is a lot like this but I have never thought he was ADHD. He's got lots of energy and is up by 6am. He goes to school and his teachers are always more concerned about him "socially" than academically. He frequently has selective hearing and just yesterday was sent out from his before school martial arts class for being disruptive.

To get through the energy we keep very active. Walk to and from school. Play out after school for an hour. Weekends out morning and afternoon. We've taken him on two day hikes and 30km+ bike rides. We don't drive very often, so always out on public transport.

To be honest a PP's advice about using some ADHD strategies from books is a good idea.

I find my older son's behaviour worse on days we are not able to get out and do much activity. I've also got a younger son who he likes to wind up and just generally annoy.

I try to get creative with my threats on bad behaviour. I'll send to bed early or not read or no dessert or just a time out depending on what he's been up to.

Just wanted to let you know that not all little boys are well behaved and you are not alone with being that mom hissing threats while out and about. M

Velvetbee Wed 25-Apr-18 12:40:06

My 10 year old has a lot of ADHD traits but we haven’t yet sought a diagnosis.
It does impact his ability to concentrate and produce academic work, for example his impulsivity wrecks his maths scores. I’m planning to wait a couple of years, until we’re thinking about GCSEs, before pursuing assessment. If only to get him extra time in exams if he needs it and possibly a room on his own if he can’t sit still.

The great thing about HE is that they can expend energy between each sentence they write if they need to and can work at study skills without being judged as failing by their peers.

DoJo Thu 10-May-18 22:09:20

Apologies everyone - I thought I'd posted to say thank you but apparently it didn't actually appear on the thread!

Based on the advice here, I am taking a 'watchful waiting' approach to try and get some objective idea of whether he is just 'boisterous' or if there is something more. I have some books on ADHD on order to see if I can use some techniques to help him manage his energy levels and attention a little better.

I have also signed him up to some classes and groups where I will leave him in the care of someone else to see if he behaves in the same way when I am not the 'authority' figure as I believe that will be an important way to distinguish whether these behaviours are always present or if he does have the capacity to focus for a little longer in different settings.

I really appreciate all the advice and am reassured that even if I am just struggling with an energetic 6-year-old that there are strategies I can use to help us both! Thanks all.

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