My son is 6. He just finished Kindergarten in a very small private school, only 14 kids in the entire grade. He has recently been diagnosed as profoundly gifted, (February of this year) last week he was diagnosed with ADHD, with impulsivity and hyperactivity as major issues. Because he has been ostracized in class as being weird and crazy, he craves attention to be liked. He says he wants to make his friends laugh so they will like him. He is impatient with the class because he already knows answers to the questions. His teachers stopped calling on him because they were “teaching him patience”…crazy method if you ask me. He talks all the time, wanting to share ideas or things he learns in books or just wants to know why? Why? Why? Recently a parent has screamed profanities at me because my son was too rough with her child at a pool party. My son really wanted this little girl to like him…in his mind he was being playful. He does things without thinking about consequences. What he thinks, he says, what he feels like doing, he does. His talking is disrupting classes and he is being perceived as rude or disrespectful. Most of the time he is so intense with what he is doing he just wants to participate all the time, not thinking about others who want to share or have an opinion. His heart is huge, would do anything you ask of him, would give toys away to make another child smile. I am having a difficult time deciding which school to enroll next year…he will not be returning to his current, looking for suggestions on Great school environment, public with. GT program or private with a strict adherence to rules and social skills. How to handle his impulsivity - he has so much energy and enthusiasm its a bit overwhelming and he’s so erratic.
Your son sounds a lot like mine, Boymom. For us, the local Highly Gifted program was not a good fit, as it expected the kids to be advanced beyond their years in social skills as well as academic ones. Those who were highly gifted/ADHD were all pretty miserable in the program. We tried homeschool for a few years, but it wasn’t a great fit for my son, because he is highly social, and I couldn’t provide enough “excitement”. We wound up putting him in an intensive dance program, where he spent six hours a day dancing. With that exercise level, he did just fine taking standard public high school classes in the a.m., and then headed off to dance at 11, taking the rest of his classes online.
There are an increasing number of non-traditional school programs that allow kids more time for conversation, more flexibility for projects, and more freedom of movement. These schools are generally more respecting of individual differences, as are their students. For your son, extra-curriculars that he is passionate about with like-minded peers should be very helpful, whether it is scouting, basketball, science club, or some other.
What state are you located in, Mom?
I just reread and see that your son is 6. At that age, my son could not do "carpet time." Nor could he sit still at the dinner table. A awful lot is expected of six year olds these days. Perhaps try a Montessori or Waldorf program? something more child-led?
We are located in Texas, Dallas area. Your comments are amazing, thank you for your insight. I am hesitant about public GT program, clas sizes are large. I decided against homeschooling for the same reason, my guy is way too social. He loves being around other children. My son is an only child. He is involved in swimming team, martial arts, basketball, and piano. He also does a after school math and reading program, he’s working at fifth grade level in both. Never heard of Waldorf, will research. He was in a Montessori in pre k, curriculum was not challenging enough. I am thinking of op having him join an acting class, he’s got s flare for the dramatics…
Yes, would love a more child led program…only found one in a neighboring city and it is full for next year. Thinking of a charter school who has a reputation for a vigorous curriculum, but the problem of impulsivity might not work. Love the suggestions…need help. Wondering if play therapy helps with ADHD?
The Winston School in Dallas might be worth checking out. In middle/high, perhaps the Dallas Learning Center. On the other hand, it looks like Dallas is trying to open a free school: http://boingboing.net/2015/05/01/crowdfunding-a-democratic-free.html . Free schooling is exactly what it sounds like -- the child decides what he or she wants to learn. I visited a couple of free schools and loved the idea... except for one thing. I felt like online computer games made it all too likely that my son would spend all his time online. However, your son is young and academically ahead of schedule. If you really want him to build his social skills, you could take a year in a free school and see what happens. Perhaps something marvelous. I visited a couple of free schools and saw that, in contrast to my kids, who were miserable at the time, these kids were happy. they were learning, and they were free.
Also, I would recommend signing up for Dallas homeschool websites just to see what the homeschool families are onto. They usually know the best educational opportunities around town.
That sounds so much like my son before I started medication with him. He simply could not control his impulses AT ALL. I just had that situation of someone shouting at me because of my son's behavior. Nothing could be more upsetting, especially if it's someone you might run in to frequently.
My son has an IEP and goes to public school. Last year he did comparatively well, as I believe the teacher he was matched with was ideal for him. It was like night and day. The medication was a large part of the change, but having a teacher who understands ADHD makes a big difference.
Montessori and Waldorf are good options as Madere points out, a little expensive for me but I might consider it for my son if this next year in public doesn't go well for him.
Good Luck to you!