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    Behavior Issues
    brittneyS posted:
    My son is 5 and he is having some behavioral problems in school. He's having a hard time listening to the teacher and following directions. He has a hard time focussing on work he is doing--he is i Kindergarten. He is chewing on erasers and pencils and horse playing around with the boys instead of learning. My husband and i are working with him at home; and seems to do well and show some improvement at home. We are in contact with people at his school for some help but they have wanted us to take him to a doctor for medication and i don't want my son on medication and i would want that to the last choice. Wondering if other moms' have had this happen or know anything that i may try. Your input would be greatly useful in helping my husband and i try and help our son:) Thanks.
    iocasta responded:
    You should have a conference with his teacher to find out what kind behavior modification approach you should take. Boys, especially if this is his first time in a school setting, can have trouble with settling into the school routine. Medication seems like a rather extreme response. Having him evaluated doesn't mean that he will be put on meds. He may need some help with getting rid of excess energy or to learn appropriate behavior. Unfortunately, teachers can have a lot of effect on how well a child adjusts to the classroom. Levi was evaluated by a neuropysche in JK at the request of his teacher. We learned that he is a bright (a solidly high IQ) and a high energy guy but not out of the norm and that by the time SK came around he would settle down, which he did. Of course, we were on him to help him see when he was getting out of control and how to reign it in. His JK teacher had us convinced that he had a behavioral problem. Other friends of ours son did some weekly therapy. They also got him a chew necklace. You might want to get yours a chew necklace, so he can chew on that instead of erasers and pencils. Another thing that is helpful is gum. There is a boy in Levi's class, (he is in first grade now), that is allowed to chew gum in class to help deal with his excess energy issues. FYI-- by the time SK came around, he had been in formal school for two years. His school starts with preschool at 3. All-in-all you need to have a face-to-face with the teacher and come up with a game plan on how you are going to deal with this. Because even if he is just high energy and needs to learn appropriate behavior the sooner you deal with this the easier it will be.
    brittneyS replied to iocasta's response:
    Thanks for that:) My son came home again today with a bad day in the color (Orange) which means to think about it. I have consulted with my sons' teacher and she is pretty short with everything; She keeps telling me about maybe going to see the doctor and about some meds that can relax him. I talked with a social worker today about it as well, and they said they will see what they can do. I'm trying hard not to feel like it is my fault..We are working very hard to try and let him know that this behavior is not right. Today was that he was throwing rocks at people and when they have circle time he will get up and go play and not listen to the teacher. So i bet the teacher is just getting overwhelmed with the behavior because it sets off others to not listen. She's using a heavy type pad to put in his lap during circle times to see if the pressure would help calm him in sitting. When i talked to him today after school about what happend--he feels bad and doesn't know why he does these things, but then he goes off and sits by himself and when i try to talk with him he has to fidget with something. My husband and i are going to talk more again about it tonight after he gets home from work. But i do like hearing others input because it helps for support--so thank you:)
    brittneyS replied to iocasta's response:
    Oh and his school starts them in Pre-school at age 3 as well. So he's been in school for 2 years. Just started Kindergarten Sept. 4th.
    brittneyS replied to brittneyS's response:
    We are trying to keep things positive as well. A lady today had told me about a time-out chair or maybe a awards chart. So he can maybe see a visual out-put of the behavior--like if he is good he gets a sticker but if bad or not listening he would get no sticker. And then if that doesn't work to start and take away privileges as in going to the park, things like that. Do you think something like that would help as well?
    seeit2 replied to brittneyS's response:
    Does the heavy weight pad seem to help him stay still and more focused? If it does seem to help then an Occupational Therapy eval might be the next step - sometimes sensory issues can affect a child's ability to stay still and focus, and it is easily addressed with OT (and without meds). You could talk to your pediatrician as well.
    Esmerelda Supercalifragilistic (41) DD (5) DS (2) Just eat it, will ya
    iocasta replied to brittneyS's response:
    Is this the first year that these problems have been identified? In Levi's school they have a take-a-break chair to help them get themselves back in control. Levi will still voluntarily go sit there when he feels like he needs to pull it together, even he isn't the one getting out of control. Given what you have said you may want to get him evaluated. He may have some impulse control issues, which could be helped with OT like Deb noted. He may need extra help in learning how to reign his impluses in. This isn't unusual and generally easily fixed, if addressed sooner rather than later.
    sarah0323 replied to iocasta's response:
    I have two sons who have ADHD. To different degrees they both sound alot like your son. One is very hyperactive and has zero impulse control. The other doesn't have the hyper activity but has zero attention span.

    We tried several different elemination diets and did behavior modification. After months (almost a year) of trying different things and him going to therapy every other week we decided to give medication a try. At first I went to the Dr. and said I want to help my son but I don't want to put him on meds. She referred me to a therapist who deals with ADHD. We had him evaluated. The therapist supported our choice not to medicate. She gave him technics and tips on how to be better able to control himself. That wasn't enough for him. He would try so hard but he just couldn't stop moving and wasn't able to focus in school. He was a bright kid. His grades weren't affected. The teacher told us though if we didn't get him help then when he got older he would really struggle in school. He had the basics down but when the were building on those basics he wasn't able to focus to get the new information.

    We started on a low dose of medication. For us it was like night and day. He was able to focus in school. I remember the first week he was so proud because he got to stay on green all week. First time that had ever happened. Medication isn't a cure all. Both boys have to still learn to control their impluses and activity level. Jacob can't still even if you want him to. He chews his finger nails, picks at his fingers, chews up pencils, shirts really anything he can get into his mouth. He will even rock back and forth if the situation is intense. He tries really hard but he can't physically stop moving.

    Both of my boys have some sensory issues. They are both getting furture testing to see to what extent and what if any treatment can be done to help them. Sensory issues can make learning in school difficult. One of my boys work with OT in the school setting it has helped some.

    I wish you luck. I know how hard it is to get the help you need.
    Me 33, DD - O 13, DS1 -J 8, DS2 - Cr 6, DS3 - Co 5, DD2 - E (11/10)
    sarah0323 replied to sarah0323's response:
    I read this article yesterday.

    This is what I hate. Why would someone put their kids on meds who doesn't need it just to get better grades. Why aren't we as parents pushing back to the schools? There are some very serious side effects to these types of medications. It wasn't an easy choice for us. I really don't understand why someone would medicate their child without a need to.

    I'm sorry didn't mean to make this into a rant.
    Me 33, DD - O 13, DS1 -J 8, DS2 - Cr 6, DS3 - Co 5, DD2 - E (11/10)
    seeit2 replied to sarah0323's response:

    The effects of medication can be like night and day, I have seen it too, and for certain children is absolutely appropriate IMO. I have some real problems with what I read in this article though.
    Esmerelda Supercalifragilistic (41) DD (5) DS (2) Just eat it, will ya
    sarah0323 replied to seeit2's response:
    Me too.

    I just want to clarify. It is each parents choice wheather to medicate their child or not. If you have a need to and the benefits out weigh the risk then do what is right for your child. If your child doesn't need the medication and can use other skills to help them then why medicate? I know teachers jobs are hard but medication is NOT the answer for better schools, testing outcomes or teachers not wanting to do their jobs. These are children that we are talking about. There really aren't many studies that show what the long term effects are.

    Brittney...I want to tell that I've had the same thoughts what did I do to make my child like this? What did I do wrong? Did I do something wrong during the PG? The answer is we didn't do anything wrong. Some children are just different than other children. They need more from us. All we can do is to continue to help them. In whatever manner that is but as moms we will continue to love and support our children and to us they are just our kids. We love and take care of them the same as any other mom. Our children are just unique and that's OK to me.
    Me 33, DD - O 13, DS1 -J 8, DS2 - Cr 6, DS3 - Co 5, DD2 - E (11/10)
    iocasta replied to seeit2's response:
    There have been several articles recently in the NYTimes regarding this, especially high schoolers in ultra competitive schools using them to get an edge. There is an interesting discussion on this on the NYTimes Motherlode Blog.
    iocasta replied to iocasta's response:
    Here is a link to the NYTimes Motherlode blog on this:

    Brittney sorry for hijacking your post.
    brittneyS replied to sarah0323's response:
    I read that and he does chew his fingernails and can not sit still. Even when i am talking to him i ask him what i had said and he says i don't know. My son is doing that too where he cannot focus. I am scared about like the drug Riddilon..unsure how to spell it. But i'm sure going to try everything we have got to get him the help that he needsbefore i would think about meds first. I like all the output:) It helps!
    brittneyS replied to brittneyS's response:
    UPDATE: My son is doing well in school and is working on listening a therapist is working with him at school. I think it was a big change from going from pre-school to kindergarten! He is settling well and becoming more well aware of things around the environment in school:) Thanks for all your helpful cues!

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