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how can I help my 'different' 5 year old girl?

(16 Posts)
deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 21:54:52

Please help. I am torn apart with worry and regret to the point I can hardly function ...and have no one to turn to...

My 5 year old daughter was struggling in school – she hadn’t seemed to have made any friends and didn’t seem to fit in somehow- I put it down to a bad crowd. So at the beginning of Year 1 I moved her to another school hoping it would give her a fresh start and a better chance to make friends… but it has been the same story – and she seems to want to go back to her old school. She is very distractable and I have always worried she may have ADD – the new school is very strict and seems like less of a happy place.

I am worried I moved her to somewhere worse – when it wasn’t the school but was underlying issues with her… I cannot live with myself for this misjudgement.

I also want to understand what is wrong with her- why cant she make friends? Why is she different somehow to them? And why is she so fidgety and distractible? I want to be able to help her – but I have no idea how..

Also will this stricter environment just be soul crushing for an ADD/spirited child? or could it be a positive thing

Please help – any advice would be greatly appreciated

deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 21:58:09

everytime she says she wants to go back to her old school I feel physcially sick and devastated - I have no idea what to say to her... how should I approach this?

Quangle Tue 18-Feb-14 22:00:57

Sorry to hear this. I have no experience but couldn't read and not post. You sound so worried and thats a huge burden in itself. Have you had your daughter assessed in any way? How does she interact outside school?

rhetorician Tue 18-Feb-14 22:03:21

When you say she doesn't make friends, what do you mean exactly? Does she play with others, enjoy their company? Did she tell you that she was unhappy? What did here teachers say? I ask because I have a slightly quirky 5 yo dd as well, and I wouldn't say she has really made a friend yet either, no play dates or anything like that. But she is settled, plays well mostly with kids in her class. I just think that she has two good friends out of school, isn't very socially mature. My point is that she is very small and lots of children don't form strong friendships until later.

Why do you think she has ADD, apart from being distractible? Can she sit down and focus on tasks? How is her academic progress?

I'm really not dismissing your concerns,on the contrary, but just want to get a fuller picture of why you are worried

deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 22:07:15

she's very active and needy - and her behaviour ranges from different extremes - painfully shy in new situations, agressive if she doesnt get her way and wild when she feels at home somewhere!.. but she can interact sweetly with other children and her baby sister and is very loving.
Its very subtle but something just seems different about her to other girls...

Bythebeach Tue 18-Feb-14 22:09:18

Have you spoken to her teacher? What does she say about your daughter and her social skills? How was interaction with her peers at nursery? The teacher should be able to point you in the direction of appropriate services/assessments if appropriate. Alsi, have you tried playdates/having kids round to help her integrate?
It is heartbreaking worrying about your child!

deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 22:12:18

thanks rhetorician -
she does play with others ok (when they come here for playdates) but she continually tells me no one will play with her at school. all the other girls seem to have their little crews and she just cant seem to infiltarte.

she can focus on tasks- like when we do her homework she sits for 10 mins but then will just be compelled to literally run around the room/swing on her chair ... i suspect it as it runs in my husbands family (the boys though). she is definately at the bottom of the class academically but teachers have so far put it down to switching schools and she's been given one on one help to ctach up...

lucysnowe Tue 18-Feb-14 22:13:42

I am so sorry this is upsetting you. What does the teacher say? Is she having problems with her work or is just socially? FWIW my daughter is quite socially immature too. She doesn't have any best friends and generally tags along with two girls who always play together. However because she is only little this doesn't seem to bother her.

deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 22:16:44

teachers very defensive about things - say everything is fine socially.. put any issues down to her being 'new' (now 7 months in the school...)

phoolani Tue 18-Feb-14 22:28:02

Your description of her (shy/aggressive/wild) sounds exactly like my dd! And she's very popular - not to boast or anything but just to show how difficult these things can be to judge! I wouldn't jump to any conclusions based on her desire to move back to her old school - we all 'romanticise' what's passed if there's anything other than perfect with what's new. Is she seeking attention from you? I only ask this because my daughter recently moved school and often said no one would play with her when actually (as it turned out) that wasn't at all true, but more to do with, due to several factors, at the time she moved school, I also became massively less available to both my kids. She was just trying to turn my attention back on her.

rhetorician Tue 18-Feb-14 22:34:13

deemee from your description she sounds quite like my dd as well. She finds the social niceties of little girl play quite hard to understand, and often just runs around. She can play very well one to one, but struggles a bit to fit in with a group dynamic. Little girls can be very adept at excluding other kids (my dd pushed out of playhouse etc). I'd try and focus on building her confidence in who she is, rather than worrying overly about fitting in, especially if she herself isn't too concerned. Teachers really would know if there was a major issue, they've loads of experience of 5 yo girls and their peculiarities!!

PontOffelPock Tue 18-Feb-14 22:37:24

deemee - my DD is exactly like you describe. We are having her assessed for ADD - might be worth you doing the same?

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 18-Feb-14 22:57:14

R and Yr1 are hard years for friends and feeling noone is playing with them etc.

I would say that she is at this school now, going back to the old one probably isn't an option and it is unlikely to help so the aim is to make this school as successful as possible.

If the teacher says there isn't a problem socially then I think you need to try and trust them on that. I have daughters in Yr1 and R and they go through patches of saying noone will play with them and if I walk past at break times they are on their own some of the time which is worrying but I know they have friends and other parents are saying similar things, especially the Yr1 ones where friendships from last year are changing, children are maturing at different rates etc.

If you are worried about her behaviour in general then I would speak to the school SENCO (you don't have to go through the class teacher, just send in a note saying you have some concerns about your daughter's development and would appreciate a phonecall or meeting with the SENCO to discuss your concerns and ask for their advice). or you could go to your GP and discuss it with them. Quite possibly a good idea to try both as at least then you would feel you have done everything you can.

Please don't worry you made a bad decision changing schools, there are enough things to feel guilty about as a parent, don't add any more in to the mix. You did what you thought was right at the time, now move forward and don't worry about what might have been at the other school, she is at this one now and I am sure they will be able to help put your mind at rest when they realise how concerned you are.

deemee Tue 18-Feb-14 23:05:17

Thanks so much to you all.. I will speak to her teachers after half term about her development.. Debating whether to get her assessed for ADD by a physchologist...
Any advice on what to say to her when she asks to move back to her old school... It is always a remote option I suppose as they still have space

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 18-Feb-14 23:15:41

hard one to know what to say to her when she asks to go back to her old school. perhaps just something along the lines of she has to do this year at this school and change the subject.

The school/GP should be able to refer her to the community paediatrician who I think would be the person to diagnose ADD rather than a psychologist? I might be wrong on that but I think that would be your first route anyway.

BeginnersGuide Wed 19-Feb-14 00:39:44

Read your post and parts of it made me think of my dsd at that age (she is now 11). She experienced the same kind of extremes, anger (even violence) when frustrated, shyness, but then confidence with familiar people. She was also far more comfortable with adults and 121 attention. Kids would come up to her and she would just pull a face. She found making friends difficult but didn't seem too bothered by it (she did play with kids). She was also a bit more like the boys in her class, fidgety, energetic and easily distracted.

She has now grown and some of the traits have disappeared and some are still there. She can take or leave 'friends' but at the same time tries to do the right thing and is loyal, she is focused in class, her grades are now great and her teacher described her as delightful. She is still energetic but she channels it into a lot if sport.

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