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How can I stop my DD being a fidget and maintaining eye contact ??

(23 Posts)
anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 22:29:17

DD is 8, and a lively and bright little girl. However she has keeps getting complaints from her teacher that she can't sit still as she fidgets and this subsequently distracts the other children. The teacher also complains that DD does not like maintaining eye contact when the teacher speaks to her, and this is interpreted as DD being rude/indifferent. DD's teacher is losing her patience with DD's behaviour so is constantly putting DD on the bad list - which in turn is making DD quite upset. DD's school work is exemplary, so she is actually taking things in - however I am at a loss what to do, as DD is upset and remorseful about being on the class bad list, but can't seem to stop fidgeting. Past teachers have complained about this too - I was hoping she would grow out of it - but it doesn't seem to be happening

Has anyone got any ideas about how I can help my DD and my DD's teacher too??

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 22:36:49

Does she have problems with maintaining eye contact with you too?

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 22:38:55

When I am telling her off - yes. But she does listen and takes everything in.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 22:39:39

Is she maybe not looking her teacher in the eye because she is expecting to be told off?

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 22:39:40

Arrgh - sorry i meant when I am telling her off NO - she doesn't maintain eye contact.

Monkeyblue Sun 26-Oct-08 22:40:11

Does she not keep eye contact and fidgets because she is nervous´?

Putting her on the BAD list surely would be making it worse

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 22:40:38

But she maintains eyecontact with you at other times?

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 22:46:46

No she isn't nervous at all - quite the opposite in fact - very confident - too confident - has to be reminded I'm told not to shout out answers

Re - the eye contact at other times - generally she doesn't like maintaining eye contact for a period of time. BUT she takes everything in.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 22:50:31

My neighbour has an 8 year old son. Very bright, he does chess tournaments and will even bring his chessboard into the bathtub with him. He is a lovely confident boy. But, he wont maintain eyecontact. He is a little clumsy in sport. Doing well in his school subjects. He was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. Not saying your dd has it, but maybe read up on it and see if any thing else corresponds?

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 22:55:23

Quitessential - it is interesting you say that - I did wonder if my DD had a mild form of it - but none of the SN teachers have identified it. Her yr1 teacher was the school's SN teacher but never said anything - as did DD's nursery either who are very good at pinpointing if there is anything they feel the parents should investigate further.

Hence I am at a loss now.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 23:03:16

It took my neighbour since reception to get her son statemented, so nearly 4 years. She realized something was "wrong-ish" with him, but not what, and she thought it was just related to a little clumsyness at sport, he had a leg injury when little. She said it could be very hard to diagnose. She also said, the only thing about him that sort of bothered her a little, was that she could not really look him in the eye. He would lock eyes with her, but always avert his glance, which she found very frustrating. I dont know if he was fidgeting, but he found it hard to sit still, unless he was playing chess. Why dont you post on the SN board?

mabanana Sun 26-Oct-08 23:05:52

Why do people make such a stupid fuss about eye contact? For some children it is very hard, even painful. For many people, it is hard to listen and look someone in the eye, and they process information better if they look away. She can't help fidgeting and it isn't harmful.
My ds has Aspergers and fidgets like a mad thing. Thank God his school is understanding, he is statemented and he is given a squashy cushion to fidget on!

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 23:14:49

I think my DH and I are so used to DD's lack of eye contact and fidgeting we have got 'immune' to it. However, for the teachers at school it does seem to be a big issue. I suggested to DD to sit on her hands, but she was told off for that!

The funny thing is that she although she fidgets she loves doing detailed work like Hama beads. But on the hand she can trip over her feet etc.

I have 2 younger children - and they are not like this at all.

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 23:16:22

Quintessential - thanks - I will post on the SN board and ask for advice there too

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 23:17:44

I hope you find your answers. She sounds like a lovely girl, shame her teachers are so Rigid in their responses to her. Good Luck! smile

anniemouse Sun 26-Oct-08 23:21:11

Thanks QuintessentialShadows - she is a lovely girl I really just want to find a way of making her happy and her teachers happy too

My DD has Dyspraxia and constantly seeks 'feedback' by touching and stroking things, she fidgits all the time too.

It drives me bananas, but at least now I know what it is!

She has low muscle tone in her trunk (as part of it) and gets tired easily just sitting, in a way that other children may not, so she often props herself up, slumps etc just to 'get by'.

DD is also 8, with a verbal IQ of over 141 and a reading age of 12+ BUT she cannot ride a bike and has only just learnt to tie her shoelaces.

DD's 'differences' were not picked up in a major way at school until she reached Yr 3 (it is a highly competitive indy school, so Yr 4 curric) and her intelligence could no longer overcome her shortcomings iyswim - as she works at a slightly slower pace, is a little disorganised, forgets instructions and is a bit of a day dreamer. She had been put into mind gym classes when in pre-prep but that was just for the clumsyness.

You can get special 'feedback' cushions which can help fidgiters sit still - DD's don't like them, so we've not tried it.

please excuse me (i am ill and have bumped my car today) fidgEt

mabanana Sun 26-Oct-08 23:35:25

Marmaduke, that sounds exactly like my ds. He constantly seeks sensory feedback and has low muscle tone esp in trunk, and cannot sit easily for any length of time. My ds's teachers have been completely brilliant. He has a 1-1 and they really 'get' him, and like him. Well, he is lovely! grin

Mabanana, I bet he is lovely grin so is my DD, although she drives me batty sometimes - can't hold a request in her head for a minute. EG ME - DD can you go to the kitchen and get X? (DD disappears off to the kitchen...DD comes back from the kitchen) DD - What did you ask me to do? GAAHHH

I hadn't seen about the cushion on your post, I should have posted DD's school don't like them. I may have to insist shortly though, they don't like anything that shows a childs 'differences'.

DD occasionally strokes folk in the queue in the supermarket if the have a particularly soft/furry looking jumper blush but is getting a little better at impulse control!

mabanana Sun 26-Oct-08 23:50:08

Ah yes, the impulse control! Nightmare. Ds (bit younger than your dd) was fiddling so much with scissors the other day (he's also a chewer) than he managed to accidentally snip his lip, saw the blood and absent mindedly and impulsively used the teacher's scarf to wipe his mouth! shock
At times like that I am so glad we have his dx!
He's also very bright and a great reader, but quite daft, eccentric and totally forgetful. It is maddening sometimes.

childrenofthecornsilk Sun 26-Oct-08 23:50:23

She could be looking away because she is processing the information and eye contact on top of that could be overload for her. Teacher should try to ignore that really. Can't she give her a ball of blu tac to fidget with?

Madsometimes Mon 27-Oct-08 11:01:03

When my dd2 was a baby she was fab at eye contact, she would stare and stare at people. Now at 5 she is terrible. I'm not great with eye contact, and I am very shy. I do worry that I have socialised her badly. sad

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