Everything Turned Upside Down

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jahir, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Jahir

    Jahir New Member

    I am new here and am really lost.

    Earlier today my wife and I met with the school principal to discuss my 6 year old's behavior in school so far this year.
    He is a very bright and attends one of the city-wide talented & gifted programs.

    He has always been very energetic - always fidgety, can't sit still, will look all over the place as you're talking to him, loves to touch everything, etc. We thought he may have ADD or ADHD a when he was younger but his doctor didn't think so. When I put in a small basketball program when he was 3 (with other 3 year olds) he was all over the place and would not conform to any of the simple rules. I chalked it up to him being a kid, looking back may be it was an early sign of things to come.

    He had a really hard time in pre-school and we have to pull him out of one school and more him to another. We felt that the teacher was a bit too strict and he need more activity than what the system the teach was using. He did well in the school we moved him too. We were relieved.

    He took the test for getting into the gifted schools and scored in the 99th percentile.

    Kindergarten wasn't perfect but it wasn't anywhere near what we are dealing with in first grade.

    He has been pulled out of class and sent to the office nearly 10 times. He gets out of his chair and walks around the room; the teacher now accomodate his need to move around, but he started touching things he's not supposed, enters the closet to get things he should be, will get angry at other kids because of little things. When the teacher or others tell him to stop he does not listen.

    Over the past few weeks we would talk to him... tell him you can't do this or that, and do this instead. Really deep talks and it looks like he gets it. When I drop him off in the morning I give him some words of encouragement and send him off. Without fail, he repeats the behavior. It's as if he walks into school or the classroom and his emotions take over; nothing he's been told, nothing he is told, matter. He has essentially missed many days of school by being in the office or with the guidance couselor. The other day he went to the bathroom and started climbing the toilet and the school had a tough time getting him to get down. Recently he kept flushing the toilet and no one could get him to stop and listen.

    We took him to see a psychologist and got some comfort when we were told he's perfectly normal for six, but were told by the school psychologist that his behavior needs to be considered in the classroom environment. One-on-One he's marvelous.

    We are going to see another psychologist this weekend.

    We spoke to his doctor and started the process for evaluating for ADHD/ADD/ODD etc.

    We will start the IEP process as soon as possible, but we are scared out of our minds. It's as if everything we've come to believe has been turned upside down. The school mentioned the possibility of getting him a one-on-one person in the classroom (if IEP found that was needed) or moving him to a gifted class with a smaller student to teacher ratio, but that may not exist. We'd have to find one in NYC. But, I fear this is these are the signs of something bigger and more drastic. The kind of thing that make being gifted or not meaningless because there are bigger things to think about. Can he make it through high school? Can he function independently? Etc.

    I feel absolutely terrible. I have never felt this stressed out, this concerned, this worried, ever in my life and I haven't figure out how to cope.

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome--

    First of all, a child CAN be gifted and talented AND have a diagnosis of some kind. My son is very, VERY ADHD (emphasis on the H). He had an IEP for many years and spent time in the Special Education class for subjects like writing...PLUS he attended gifted and talented classes. He just needed a few supports in place to excel in a school environment. That's what the IEP is for.

    So don't panic about the future.

    It sounds like you need to have some evaluations done to find out exactly what you are dealing with and see what kinds of support might be needed. Find a pediatric neuropsychologist who will do a complete work-up on your child. Once you have a few answers about the behaviors...you will know which direction to start looking to correct it.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    First... you are at the START of a process. And that is scary. There is SO much you do not know.
    We understand - on this board. All of us have been THERE.

    I can tell you that "gifted" and "adhd" very frequently go together. I can also tell you that adhd does not prevent a person from living a very full, productive, "normal" life as a contributing member of society. You'll see in my signature below... I live in a home where we are ALL adhd. Grew up in a home like that too. ADHD has its challenges - but also its advantages.

    To me, this might be one key flag. There are other problems that often go with ADHD - and are most often missed. When you are getting evaluations done, you will want to push for the following either before or at the same time as a comprehensive evaluation:
    - hearing
    - auditory processing disorders (there are multiple; if they tell you he can't be Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) because he has great language... tell them that he does very well one-on-one and very poorly in the classroom, and you need to find out why)
    - Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills issues

    ANY of these would be enough to cause an otherwise "wonderful" kid to become a "monster". It did for mine! (difficult child has good hearing but all of the others)

    The more you find out about your complex child, the better equipped you will be to deal with the various situations.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to. This is an awesome place and you will receive alot of support from the CD family.

    Intelligence and impulse control are two entirely things. I found that it was difficult to get the school and the Pediatrician to acknowledge my difficult child's issues because he was very handsome, very polite and also very bright. One on one or with a small group you would never know that he had ADHD but...in a group setting he could get out of control from all the stimulation. Our Pediatrician told me when he was five or six "I've known him since he was born...he is not ADHD." Ironically five years later when I joined an ADHD support group the leader invited this same Pediatrician to address the parents. As soon as she came into the room she sought me out and said "I have learned alot since X was a little boy. I was wrong." in my humble opinion Pediatricians either over diagnosis ADHD or under diagnosis ADHD. Very few are that knowledgeable.

    I am a strong supporter of neuro/psychological evaluations. That said, there is a simple evaluation sheet called the Conner (if I remember correctly and I think I do). This sheet is completed by all the teachers who come in contact with the student as well as family members and sometimes others.Probably there is a blank ond available on the internet. Our elementary schools are well aware of this form and don't hesitate to share their experiences.

    Now is the time for you to see proper evaluations before he becomes convinced that he is a "bad boy" as he soon will. Self image is set early on and peer relationships are hugely important. I am sending you understanding and caring thoughts of support. Your child is special. Hugs. DDD
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip



    You do need to have him evaluated. Honestly, one of the things I have worked on with Jett is... "I love you, and I know you're a smart/good kid, you just made a bad choice. Happens to us all." (He was convinced he was stupid for a long time... LDs will do that when un-diagnosis'd.)

    I also have worked on my reactions. When he was first diagnosis'd ADHD, I denied, denied, denied. I'm still not convinced, but I'm willing to believe it's possible. (This board has worked wonders on ME!) But... The behaviors point elsewhere. I think maybe I know too much about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) now!

    It's not so much that he "forgets everything he's been told". It's probably more likely that he remembers, but he's stuck, and having problems acting out what he knows to be right. Jett likes to say he "forgot" chores or homework, when the fact is, he has been thinking about video games for hours, so they're more important to him than the boring stuff. He remembers the stuff, it's just not top on his priority list! And for your son - getting those supplies out of the closet is the priority.

    NOW - he could, in fact, be ADHD. There's behavioral management, and medication. I look at the medications this way - if they improve focus enough that the child can learn the coping mechanisms, then they're great. If no coping mechanisms are learned, not so much. (I used to be TOTALLY anti-medications...)

    And one thing I have learned... Kids especially, but people in general, do not hear "don't"... So when you say, "Don't touch the stove," they hear: "Touch the stove". 5 minutes later, while holding their hand under cold water, you ask, "Didn't I just tell you NOT to touch the stove?" and they cry and are confused. We had to totally reword stuff. "Don't spill your milk" became "Let's move your cup away from the edge of the table".

    Just a thought...
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, just adding my welcome and ditto-ing what the others are saying. I would add to make sure that you are not having him go into any evaluation to rule out or rule in any SPECIFIC thing. Make sure you just discuss the behaviors that are challenging, when where etc. discuss all the places he does well. The evaluator should be someone who will look for any possiblity that might be part of the big picture. Whether ADHD, a mood issue, a developmental issue, Processing Disorders, Sensory Integration issues, whatever.

    It can be a huge worry wondering about IF there is a problem, how can they possibly have a fulfilling life? As people have said, having ADHD or even some kids who have other conditions can be gifted and talented. They may have to go at things differently. I had a student once who was diagnosis as anxiety/adhd and as he got older (4th grade) he was diagnosis with Aspergers. Once he had the supports he needed, no more being sent to principal's office or kicked out of gym etc. He is now and has been since 6th grade (he is in 10th ) in the gifted and talented program. Better to know what is going on and then to clear a path as best you can to help him reach his potential!

    hang in with us here for support and ideas...I am sure you will find yourself that you and your wife have a lot to give others here too.

    Welcome! Luv, Buddy
  7. keista

    keista New Member


    I would add Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to those evaluations, specifically Asperger's. From my scope of knowledge (I'm a mom, not a DR) it's an obvious possibility.

    Welcome :notalone:
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh... and please, do NOT "evaluate" for ODD. It is a totally non-helpful diagnosis. Yes there are behavior issues... at this age, there will be reasons. Do not let them brush you off with an ODD diagnosis.
  9. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    I don't have any sparkling advice. I haven't been here long. But the ladies here are very smart, they love to help people.

    When you go to see the doctor/psycologist, take info with you. Any discipline reports from the school. Notes from teachers. I always felt better is I had these things. One, as a reminder to tell the doctor about the incidents and Secondly, to be able to say "Hey, *this* is whats happening at home and *this* is what's happening at school--see?"

    I wish you well.