This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Disruptive Yr6 - naughty or something else(23 Posts)
We're struggling with ds (10) behaviour and I'm starting to wonder if there's something else going on we've missed.
He cannot seem to focus on any one thing long enough to finish the job whether it's getting ready for school in the morning (bloody nightmare!), tidying his room, homework or simply going upstairs to get something - he'll find something else to do and generally forgets what he was meant to be doing. We've just found out that since early in the start of term, he's had a table outside the classroom where he is either sent out to work if he's distracting others with talking (most days ) or where he can take himself if he feels he can't concentrate. I'm a bit that we weren't consulted about this but trying not to let that take over my desire to get to the bottom of what's going on. He's a bright boy (passed 11+ comfortably with minimal home help & no tutor) good at maths, science, well read etc so could be bored, but then struggles with English (mainly getting anything down on paper!) School aren't being particularly helpful other than now telling me when he's been in trouble (3 out of 5 days this week ) and we can't afford £££ on private consultations if that's even relevant but concerned that he'll be starting secondary school in less than a year and I can't for a minute think they'll entertain his request for a quiet little desk outside the class!
Any thoughts or guidance much appreciated.
ADHD? What has the SENCO at school
Never met the SENCO let alone spoken to him/her! He's always been a chatterbox but school feedback has always been along the lines of - well within or above target academically, really lovely boy, easily distracted, bit of a chatterbox etc certainly nothing that's had us concerned. Last year the teacher did comment a couple of times that he felt he wasn't fulfilling his potential as some of his work was a bit lacking due to messing around, chatting in class but again, no alarm bells ringing and she seemed to have a handle on it. Either this current teacher isn't handling him/it as well or things have escalated but either way, I don't want to let it continue with him being sent out everyday. Luckily he's a very bright and breezy natured boy so it doesn't seem to be bothering him.
Thinking back it was probably really in the 12-18 months that he's got harder work at home and when the teacher was talking to me yesterday I recognised some of her frustration at his inability(unwillingness?) to follow simple instructions. I don't know much about ADHD so you think I should I be looking at something like this? I obviously hope it's not but then I'm not afraid of a diagnosis if it helps him and gives us some guidance on managing behaviours.
You don't have to wait for the school to act to investigate ADHD. You can ask your GP to refer you to a paediatric consultant. If it is affecting his learning and you think it is more than just messing about and not bothering now he has passed 11+ then I'd try going down this route.
They can use a very ingenious computer programme now to assess ADHD so it isn't just going on reported 'symptoms'.
Thanks that's helpful to know about go refer real and not just symptom spotting as I do worry about whether I'm trying to label something that doesn't exist and he's just being a bit of a sod and is bored at school!
Im wondering if the being out of class is because he is distracting others who need to work to pass the SATs.
Dc1 -7yo is similar but also defiant often. Literally will find something else to do other than supposed to. Dc1 is quite bright though i dont think it's boredom more interest in everything so easily distracted.
Your ds could be more inattentive adhd. But if they keep up in class they must be listening. Can he organise his stuff for school and coming out of school?
Imo we do a lot of kids a disservice with having such busy classrooms.
Im quite surprised school havent sorted this sooner if possible and worked with you to mitivate him to be quiet as you say if he's distracting constantly in secondary he could be in a lot of trouble.
With the adhd i imagine it's the difference between
Does he really want to stop but cant
Does he not care about being sent out?
If he does have ADHD and the classroom is busy or noisy, he might actually prefer to be working in the corridor!
He definitely prefers working outside on his own so doesn't really see it as a punishment more that this is the teacher saying enough now, going and get on with some work and recognises that he works much better on his own. Certainly at home, I wouldn't say it's an act of defiance as he genuinely gets distracted - sending him up to clean his teeth before school yesterday he up there for 20 mins and in that time played some guitar, went through his card collection, practised a magic trick and generally made a mess with plenty of reminders and prompting from me to clean his teeth and then says oh yes doing it now then moves on to something else the minute my back is turned!
A good point about teachers wanting him out if he's distracting others during SATS practise something I hadn't considered - helps for the other kids not a long-term solution for my ds though.
All food for thought so thank you all and I'm going to request a meeting with his teacher and the head next week.
Can he get ready without prompts if self motivated? Or reward motivated?
Dc1 said if i get dressed myself can i have x. So we agreed on a week of doing it. And she did!
Back to me doing it now that the motivation has gone.
I think maybe giving him too much time so brush teeth would be 'youve got 2min to brush teeth'.
That was me telling him he's got 2 mins @Awkward1
As well as checking out ADHD, check out Dyspraxia too.
Talking can be a good distraction for having to do something when you can't remember what it was you had to do first or don't think you'll be able to do the task. When DD1 had an OT assessment for dyspraxia, this was one of the things the OT picked up on.
Has he always been disruptive or is this new behaviour in Y6?
You might want to read about dyslexia - the memory/focus and easily distracted point in that direct
It does sound like it could be mild adhd (or just immaturity). Even without a diagnosis I would look up strategies to try and see how he gets on with them. I would also ask to see the senco at school.
Just realised I forgot the follow up on this after all your helpful replies. So, we met with the HT who gave no mention of any specific issues ((ADHD, dyslexia etc) but felt it was a maturity issue, struggle with concentration & suggested his current teacher may not have the patience of his previous one! He didn't see it as a big concern for the school or feel he was being overly disruptive but did suggest some concentration techniques to try at home. He also said some lovely things about what a fab kid ds is which was lovely to hear as he can be quite irritating !
So, that's all great but having read up on ADHD I'm convinced this is DS. One of the websites has a 14 point checklist and he ticks 13 boxes and everything I read I just find myself nodding in agreement! It's obviously not significant or school would surely have picked up on it (you hope) but I am requesting a meeting with the SENCO when we go back.
If it is ADHD, I absolutely don't feel we need to go down the medication route but some lifestyle changes and learning some coping strategies for us and him could be invaluable.
They will be invaluable when he goes to secondary with many more teachers who may not be so understanding. Hope DS can improve and I would talk to the SendCo about transition to secondary.
Good update OP - remember you can always put strategies into place even without a diagnosis. Even if it is just immaturity similar strategies often help.
Could your son be dyslexic?
It may sound odd, but my DS was extremely clever, very good at maths, science and art etc but just couldnt read or write very much at all. He was years ahead at the majority of skills but barely able to even do the minimum in reading and writing, the thing is, because he was so clever it was almost completely masked. School wouldnt recognise anything was wrong, I realised there was
He couldnt concentrate in lessons where writing was involved, used to get very upset, wouldnt do his homework and get very upset about it. Used to get in trouble at primary school as the teachers always concluded he wasnt trying and was being distracted (he actually wasnt, just couldnt do it) which started causing issues. When he was diagnosed we were told that particular types of dyslexia which have certain types of deficits will cause the type of inability to remember things that they have just been told, total forgetfulness etc as it's to do with errors in processing. For my son it was a really slow process of learning particular strategies which worked for him, to be honest only really he has been able to find them out more now hes older, he was much better at secondary school.
OP said well read so I would assume not Dyslexic. I would have said that's ADHD from what you describe. Immaturity sounds like the wrong
fit because the main issue appears to be poor attention in that your DS can't focus on a task.
It's unusual for ADHD to suddenly appear in Y6 it usually manifests in early childhood
OP said well read so I would assume not Dyslexic
Dyslexics can read. A lot of dyslexics are diagnosed at university.
Just saying as I’m fed up of people assuming dyslexics are illiterate. They aren’t.
I will have a look into and speak to the school senco about dyslexia a- it's certainly not an obvious fit but his English is pretty poor (great at SPAG awful at writing stories, comprehension etc).
This is definitely not a new issue he's always been very lively and frankly a bit of a PITA at home with things like jumping on furniture, fudging and generally not listening to anything anyone says (we thank our lucky stars he's also a really sweet kid otherwise we may have killed him by now !) but we assumed it was just his nature/he'd grown out of it etc and more importantly it didn't affect his school work so weren't too bothered.
However increasingly in year 5 and very much since year 6, school expect certain behaviours and standards; he needs to sit for longer periods and there is a greater expectation in terms of quantity and quality of work (esp as he's bright) this is where he's struggling and becoming increasingly disruptive. As others have said this could be to mask an issue or it could be he needs to learn these things that come naturally to most children but whatever it is, I don't want him to leave small nurturing primary that have accommodated him so well and be labelled as a menace in the first week of secondary school.