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Hi there,
I’ve noticed over the past year or so that my 5yo has become more and more restless and listens less and less. At first I put this down to typical child behaviour, but it seems to be getting worse. For instance, at swimming today she could not stand quietly with the rest of the class, but was hanging off the bar (even knocking a girl on the other side of.. by accident, of course), jumping up and down, letting the kickboard go, and not paying attention or listening to her teacher. I’ve also watcher her in class before pickup time and she’s at the back of the classroom squirming and rolling around on the floor and under tables.
She also just doesn’t listen when she’s asked to do anything. It’s like I’m not even talking to her. Sometimes she’ll even start talking to her sister while I am talking to her. We’ve even had hearing tests done, but they come back fine.
When I asked her why she couldn’t sit still and pay attention, she said that she just can’t.
Before I jump to the worst case scenario, I was hoping to hear from other parents who have had a child like this and have managed to work out a way to help them get back on track. I can just see her teachers (and me!) getting frustrated with her and possibly thinking that she should have some tests done. As I said… worst case scenario. Please help!


Posted anonymously, 22nd July 2015


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  • Yes I would visit the Gp and get a referral to get it tested too.


  • Sounds like my son. Turns out he has adhd – I nearly panicked, but once it was explained was far happier. Medication helped with concentration and his school work has come ahead. Have a chat with your gp and teacher and go from there.


  • Yes I would talk to the teacher and see what she thinks!


  • I’d suggest to speak to your doctor. There may be an underlying issue. Also look up “retained neonatal reflexes” she may have a condition that can be intervened by a chiropracter. Good luck :-)


  • well docs don’t want to rush to adhd diagnosis as quickly now. Talk to the teacher and see what she thinks. The doc will try other avenues before coming to any conclussions


  • Have her hearing checked ASAP. A glue ear causes deafness, discomfort and because she is not looking at you to lip read does not hear a thing. The other behaviour is boredom while waiting. Test walk up to her talking while her back is turned. See if any response also watch her face when you talk she will look at your lips.


  • Hello, well she sounds very like my son when he was that age. He was taller than the other kids and didn\’t realise his own size or strength. He knocked a boy over whilst they were playing chasey. I took him to a Paediatrician who referred him to a psychologist. He was diagnosed with ADD and after trying a few things like change in diet etc we put him onto Ritalin. He only ever used it during the week, never on weekends or school holidays and it was a very low dose. It was only ever so that he could sit and focus, never for behaviour. We never accepted bad behaviour at home and it wasn\’t an issue. He stopped taking the medication when he was in high school. He told me that he knew himself well enough then to know when he had to \’pull his horns in\’. He did well and I hope that it gave him enough space and support to get through school. My second son was a very placid child but when he started school it was plain to see that he was struggling to focus and could never remember to bring home books or to take them back to school. We saw the same experts and he was diagnosed with ADHD. I was so shocked, it really took me a long time to come to terms with it, but we set out on the medication road again. I was warned that he would struggle all through school because without one on one tuition he was not going to to very well. I felt such guilt, it must have been something I did while I was pregnant, maybe I\’m just a bad mother…..maybe, maybe, maybe. But I am happy to tell you that my young man who is now 21, did very well at school and is working in IT now. He also stopped taking the Ritalin in year 11 but said he didn\’t need it anymore. Other mums at the school told me I should never tell the teachers about the diagnosis\’ but I did because it was not a dirty little secret, the boys had enough to contend with and didn\’t need me to tell them \”shh don\’t tell anyone at school about this\”. For my family, this strategy worked and I am grateful and proud that they have turned into such loving and thoughtful young men. I don\’t know what you will find in the years ahead but don\’t let it overwhelm you, if you just remember to always do what is the best for YOUR child, then your heart will be in it and you can handle anything that is thrown at you. I had 3 children and my youngest was assessed but never diagnosed with any learning issues, maybe you will be the same. I don\’t know if you wanted all this information from a stranger but once I started I thought I should give you all the advice I could, just in case it would be helpful. I wish you luck with it all.


  • There is no harm in a referral for a professional to assess ‘restlessness and fidgety’ behaviour. Often useful strategies can be given and they can be successful!


  • give her things to do,or let her help you bake or whatever you like to do. Sometimes when together you are doing a together thing, conversations will begin.. Find this good with my new step grand kids too, they talk when things together we do..Was a youth worker once with homeless adolescents and driving them to appointments, we seemed to get more rapport, than sitting and making conversation was sometimes a chore


  • Well said CYNTHEA JENKE. I kept my son at home and sent him to school when he turned six. He was the eldest in that class and the youngest was 18 months difference. Poor teachers having to dear with this big age gap of kids with all kind of issues. I would keep her home for another year sort out these issues. Could just be maturity not ready to conform. No big deal. It’s amazing what a year will bring your child new interests etc. Use this time to hone in on look listen and do as I say. One thing at a time. “Please put the book on the book case”. Then say thank you! Ask another task. Put Mummy’s shoes in my bedroom please. Get her to return to you for her thank you! At first it’s a fun game but she is learning at the same time. If she has siblings get them to play as well. Best of luck.


  • Go chat to your doctor, And ask for your child to get some tests done, dont stress about if it comes back its is just your kid been a kid, My son has issues with listening. and behaviour He sees a pshycologist, Occupation theropist, and a speech Theropist.( he has a dignosis and is now funded by the NDIS) At fisrt i hated my son been label having issues. But now its the best thing that could of happened. Then school is now supporting the advie the theropists give as its has helped him catch up in class and behave a lot better.. My son was a selective mute and hypo at school a year ago but now he joins in and sits and listerns in class has made friends. The teacher also gets him to do little jobs here and there so he can move around. This has stopped him been so annoying in class and he is catching up. (he still has a few little quirks but we are working on them…
    Goodluck be strong and know getting your daughter help now while young will only help her be stronger in the future.


  • I agree with Cynthea Jenke. They are the words used at a lot daycare centres. Our elder child whispers to the younger one when she doesn’t want us to hear. I discovered she is sometimes telling him to do something she knows they are not allowed to do. Or if I growl at her she cons a cuddle from him to get him on her side. He also went through a stage of whispering instead of talking to people. The whispering technique could be a good idea if other children won’t copy. It also sounds as you daughter may be a bit hyperactive. I don’t know how long your daughter has been at school. I don’t know if it is still common practice….but… I have 2 nieces who are now in their 30s. I will never forget the day we were told that the teachers had told the class that “kids have rights” also If they didn’t want to do what their Mum or Dad asked them to, they didn’t have to. If their parents yell at them it is verbal abuse or emotional abuse. A group of parents discussed then went to the school principal and requested an explanation. Parents are supposed to guidw their children developmental stages, teach them good behaviour, obedience, manners etc. I won’t name the school, except to say that is a Public School in a southern suburb in Adelaide. A few kids were smart. Within a year some of them decided that parents are adults and so are teachers. They decided they didn’t have to do what the teachers asked them to do either….and the teachers wondered why they had naughty disruptive pupils. Then they tried to blame it all on the parents who were having problems with the kids at home because of what they had been told at school. I suggest you ask the teacher what the kids have been told whenyour daughter started school. My nieces were definitely told that their first week at school. Some of the parents had been to the school at the start of the second week.


  • Best attack for this I’ve seen with a teacher using the whispering technique…just speak in a whisper to her all the time. This teacher used to do it to the kids that never seemed to pay attention and eventually they realised they were missing out when the rest of the class got up to do something and that child had no idea what was going on and then it dawned on them to actually listen. She’d say in a whisper about a reward for listening and eventually they heard the magic word “reward”…


  • Use the words. Stop. Look. Listen ask do. Confiscate anything she does. You must have alot of patience


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