6 year old not concentrating or focused at school

(15 Posts)
Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 08:58:11

Sorry this maybe quite boring as i know there are a lot of these types of threads.
But would like your opinions.

6year old DS is a bright child, very sociable and inquisitive. He is very articulate and often appears older than he is. He’s also very confident so his academic performance is not matching up.

On the reverse side we’ve been told his not concentrating in class, he has a short attention span and can often distract others.

I’ve read and read about it and I’m trying to fond out is this part of a learning difficulty or is this just someone who needs time to mature.

Specifically school have said he’s just not consistent in his performance so they can’t get an accurate picture of his ability.
EG some days he will write all his numbers correctly and sometimes he will transpose them.
They said a lot is going on in his brain and he can be quite impulsive and the first answer that comes to mind. Basically shouting out the wrong answer. When re asked he gets it right most times.

We try and make him work independently at home and at school he needs somebody to sit with him to complete a task. At home he can do simple addition and subtraction but on some days he transposes numbers or adds instead of subtracts.

So basically I’m confused. He does know how to do these things but often is rushing or I don’t know can’t be bothered!? Or is it something more serious!?

Am I going mad - do I need to see and educational pyscologist at this age!?

OP’s posts: |
thedayismine Wed 16-May-18 15:48:02

Hi OP no real advice for you but my DD now year 2 sounds similar.
She is probably a right pain to teach as often will just be too distracted to focus on the task she is set - some days she will be fine other days she won't produce much at all.
She is bright, creative , full of ideas , reads and writes well , at expected levels for maths
But homework can be torture for all of us and she will make mistakes when tired / busy / distracted.
She even now will occasionally transpose numbers.
School aren't concerned particularly so I am not either - I feel it is just her personality. To be honest I am perhaps similarly flitty of mind !
Not sure how much that helps you but I will watch with interest in case I am being too laid back .


Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 16:17:41

Hmmm thanks
Our school are highlighting it and sort of but not outwardly suggesting ‘learning difficulty’ of some sort - nothing specific.
SAying he does have knowledge and intends to do right thing but almost cannot help but do things wrong!?
It’s the impulse and excitement - tends to blurt out or do things wrong first hand.
I feel he’s really capable and feel r sad it’s not showing in his work.
Then i listen to myself and think he’s a child! Don’t give in to the system.
I don’t think he has ADHD or ADD but your mind tends to wonder and I do think he might have symptoms of it.
Everyone can just get on with tasks and he’s hit and miss.

OP’s posts: |
thedayismine Wed 16-May-18 17:53:57

Thisisme I would worry in your shoes as it's always hard when school express concern I will hope you get some more advice form others.
I guess my DD has been different as she does manage to hit expected levels , just is inconsistent and distracted.
If it's any reassurance my DD has got a lot better in the last year .

BubblesBuddy Wed 16-May-18 19:15:35

Is he seeking attention by shouting out answers that are wrong? Sometimes other children find this funny - although some will find it annoying as the school has said. Is he rushing to finish work rather than go a bit slower and get it right? This may also stem from wanting to be first. Is he competitive? Will anything do as long as he’s first to finish?

I would ask the school if the TA can sit near him and monitor what he does. The TA is there, presumably, to keep him on task and get him to slow down so accuracy trumps speed? Also to avoid him distracting others. I would be inclined to sit with him at home. I don’t see that working independently is necessary in y1. I would chat to him about what he is doing whilst he is doing it, giving praise when it’s done correctly.

I think I would not get him to do too much at home. I would concentrate on things like board games and improving concentration by reading together. Any games involving number are useful. Even snakes and ladders! We did lots of cars games.

I think he will mature. He may also get to recognise that shouting out isn’t a good thing. I’m sure the school will keep working with him and perhaps you can do the same.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 16-May-18 19:43:03

Inattentive version of adhd?

Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 22:12:20

Thanks for you suggestions

He doesn’t have any behavioural problems and isn’t really badly behaved. He just hates following instructions! So maybe some type of ADD are there - I don’t really know.

It’s frustrating as he’s very capable

OP’s posts: |


BubblesBuddy Wed 16-May-18 23:10:33

Has he ever followed instructions? What was he like at Nursery? Has he done what he wants when he wants in a previous setting? Why do you think he does not want to follow reasonable instructions and disrupts other children?

You can ignore “the system” and remove him from school and let him be the child you want for longer. I’m not sure if that solves anything but if you want him to go to school, then there is a “system” to be followed in that he cannot annoy and disrupt other children. I think that’s fair enough.

Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 23:39:10

Oh I don’t agree with the ‘not following instructions’. I want him to listen to what he’s being told to do at school and feel he should get on with it.

Yes he’s always had this in his nature since nursery. He’s a lot better but he still has moments where it seems he can’t do what he is told.. it’s very frustrating.

I honestly cannot tell you why. I have a 2 year old daughter and she’s the exact opposite and they have been brought up the same. I can only assume then it’s in his nature. I’m trying the best I can to shape him and try and get him to listen.

OP’s posts: |
BlankTimes Wed 16-May-18 23:40:06

Ask for an assessment, you have school's support which in itself is worth its weight in gold.

If he needs extra help in some areas, better finding out now than ignoring it and potentially letting it become a very large problem later. NHS waiting lists can be very long, so again, the earlier you start, the earlier you and school can put strategies in place to help him.
Some kids distract others because they are finding their own tasks difficult but don't want anyone to notice.

Initially, you can go to your GP on your own, with a letter from school outlining what they've noticed and ask for a referral for your son. Different areas use different practitioners, some use individuals, many use teams.

Don't try to second-guess a diagnosis or pigeonhole him, let the professionals do their tests and wait for the reports that outline his strengths and weaknesses and recommendations of ways school and you can help him.

scrivette Wed 16-May-18 23:43:58

This sounds exactly like my 6 year old and he is being referred to the Educational Psychologist.
He really struggles with concentration, he is improving and learning but at a much slower rate than expected so is falling behind.
A lot of the issue is that they are not sure if he can't or won't do things as one day he seems fine but the next day appears to not know things.

Like your DS he is extremely articulate.

So far the school have done a speech and language assessment which he came out fine in, they are going to look into the possibility of dyslexia next term and his teacher this year is working with the SENCO for the transition to next year.

He has his own workstation area that he can go and sit at if he feels he is being distracted/he is distracting others. I suspect that he likes to play the 'class clown' at times.

Have the school suggested anything?

BlankTimes Wed 16-May-18 23:52:17

"Not listening" to instructions and not interpreting them in the same way as a younger sibling can often be a sign of a processing issue, it depends how that child processes the same information as the sibling but reacts/responds differently.

Again, the professionals can identify that quite easily and recommend strategies to help.

I can only assume then it’s in his nature. I’m trying the best I can to shape him and try and get him to listen
You are trying to get him to respond in the same way as his sister. however IF he processes the same information as her in a different way, you are not going to succeed. You need to learn how to present that information to him in a way that he can process it. The professionals can identify this and give you strategies.

Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 23:54:06

They have said that praise often gets good results. It’s just like I said before the ‘good’ results don’t last he will then often go and do the opposite of what he’s told - the next day maybe the same day.

They also send extra worksheets home so we can help him. They have suggested a sticker chart approach.

I asked for him to be given thinking time before completing a task and perhaps looking at where he is sitting....

As with your son they have said that he’s made improvements tho I’m unsure whether they are good enough.

The learning support said she was reluctant to bring it up but Perhaps next year we could consider seeing an educational pyscologist if he doesn’t improve!? This is what sent me into a panic. Until now I’ve told myself it’s maturity!?

OP’s posts: |
Thisisme1 Wed 16-May-18 23:57:44

BlankTimes yes this is a fair point. I probably need to accept that I do need to see someone that can help me find strategies.....
I want to kid myself into thinking he’s just a 6 year old boy and it will be fine in the long run.
But I can’t take that risk clearly. Thanks for your points

OP’s posts: |
BlankTimes Thu 17-May-18 00:09:50

I want to kid myself into thinking he’s just a 6 year old boy and it will be fine in the long run
That may be, if you don't investigate, you won't know for definite for some time yet.

From what you've described in your posts, try to think about his situation as though you and the teachers are speaking English to everyone but sometimes when you give him instructions he doesn't hear the English words, he hears it as a different language, one he doesn't understand, so he doesn't know what to do. The more he doesn't understand, the more you tell him to listen carefully and the more he doesn't understand.
Does that help you to understand his situation any better?

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