47 answers

Seeking Answers 8 Year Old Wont Pay Attention in Class

my son goes to a magnet school this year he doesnt pay attention he was put on probabtion last 6 weeks but he did bring it up and get off of it this time.
should i have him tested one teacher suggested it but mom in law says no
any advice.
T. c

What can I do next?

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And others with children having problems paying attention. I have been an educator for 29 years and raised a truly ADHD child. She has grown into a lovely and responsible young woman. The main theing we did was control diet for sugars and artificial colorring. We removed them all. She was much better but had to learn to deal with frustration when whe couldn't concentrat. Try the diet first. Second actually talk with the child and ask why? Sometimes it is conflict or noise in the room.

I have been through this. First, do not allow a teacher to tell you what you need to do unless they have a PhD. Second, work with the teachers by getting ideas that could help him focus better such as, moving him next to quieter kids, rewarding him with 1 or 2 skittles or m&m's if he does well. Also, try a great chiropractor, healthy diet and health food store alternatives for active kids. For my 8 year old we are working on this but I have been thru the ringer with my now 14 yr old. Whatever you do Do not be bullied by the faculty at the school and never go to a meeting with counselors or teachers alone. Take a spouse, family or friend for support. It is hard to think clearly when you are alone and it is regarding a child you love so much!


A few non medicinal things that each school can provide since you are a tax payer.

You can request a (FBA) functional behavioral assesment to make a (BIP) behavior intervention plan at the time of the request it will not cost you a dime to get him tested academically maybe he is bored may kids are just not pushed enough and they see no reason to follow with monotnous work maybe he needs gifted classed just the same the work may be to had all could be found out with testing and it is required by law to do the testing if the parents both request and consent to the testing many people request but forget to consent and sign the letter with handing those over to the school they have 60 calendar days to complete the results and report them to you..

if you need any help just ask


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And others with children having problems paying attention. I have been an educator for 29 years and raised a truly ADHD child. She has grown into a lovely and responsible young woman. The main theing we did was control diet for sugars and artificial colorring. We removed them all. She was much better but had to learn to deal with frustration when whe couldn't concentrat. Try the diet first. Second actually talk with the child and ask why? Sometimes it is conflict or noise in the room.

I would look up any information I can about Immaturity and ADD. Try the internet. When I was in college I learned that the symptoms can Mimic each other. You know your child best. Some children really have this problem others do not and it is easier to put them on meds then deal with their problems. I have a friend who put her daughter on the meds because a medical doctor said it was necessary and then friend of hers at the school called her and told her that her daughter was like a zombie. She took her off and everything has been fine since. So first off check out the differences and see what your child exhibits most and then if neccessary take him to a child counselor who can let you know more than a medical doctor. Chances are that he is just a little immature and that the kids in the magnet school are more mature. Good Luck

Your child could be just bored in class. Sometimes when kids already know the material they act out. It could also be that he felt he was so far behind why bother with paying attention. You may want to get him evaluated on his reading level. If all else fails, then I would try to get him tested for add.

I have struggled with this for years with my 12 year old. The first teacher to suggest a problem was his second grade teacher. I loved her, but she was a new, very introverted soft spoken teacher. I knew there was not a problem with him, she was not taking the inititive a seasoned teacher would take telling him to quit daydreaming and get back to work. I did talk to my pediatrician about it, luckily we have a DO and he is totally against medication except in extremem cases. He said that ADD or ADHD transverses all areas, so if he can concentrate on certain activities and not others, it is becasue he is bored.

His 3rd grade teacher was very energetic and kept the classroom alive- he flourished. Then in 4th, he had a teacher on the verge of retirment and had shorttimers disease. She just did not engage the students, so again it was suggested that it was my son's problem and I should get him tested. I of course mentioned that it is out of the scope of practice for a teacher to suggest medical diagnosis, and is on the verge of illegal for her to do so. I suggested practices we do at home when his attention drifts away from chores or homework or scout projects- very simple and it works. Tap him on the shoulder or tap the table and say "hey, whatcha workin on" AMAZING results- he gets back to work!

So then we moved to middle school. We had moved, so there were no students he knew. It was hard for him, but the hardest part was one of his algebra teacher. SHe was going through personal tragedy, her husband had been diagnosied with terminal cancer. She was gone 3+ days each week, yet it was Devin's problem he could not keep up. He is advanced in math, always has been. So he had skipped 6th grade math and was in a 7th grade class. In a conference she told us how her son excelled after being put on ritalin and devin would benefit from the same. (That was actually illegal to suggest)I told her my feelings as I had told all the other teachers up until this time. She told me I was an irresponsible parent ot not get him tested. None of his other teachers aggreed. I ended up taking him to our Pediatrician again, he wrote a report and gave me the paperwork to file with the school for a due process(?) hearing to test the teacher's classroom practices to make sure she was engaging learners of different styles. (It is their responsibilty by the way). Needless to say, the principal was not happy about the situation and it was remidied.

I know this is long, but my point is- YOU know your son. IF you thought he had a problem you would do whatever you can to fix it. Do you see those tendencies in him? It is hard going to a new school, because everything is new. Has he always been curious and maybe is just "checking everythign out?" Whatever you decide, medication is never a substitute for good parents, good educators and good nutrician. Good Luck!

Hey T.,
You should ABSOLUTELY have him tested. AND ADHD has 3TYPES. Not just the HYPERACTIVE type most people know about. It is important to get him tested for Hyperactive, Inattentive and Combined type. The Psychologist will make that determination as to which to test first. Also if it is present the severity will indicate the type of treatment and not all ADHD will require medications... much can be treated with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment). Also it is wise to have him tested while he is young as diagnosing gets harder with age. And a professional , namely a pyschologist who is licensed to admister the testing will explain that they can not find something that is not there. Keep in mind that your insurance may not cover the testing and it can initially be costly. Feel free to message me and I will give you suggestions on affordable treatment if this is the case. If your son does have any form of ADHD then a treatment plan will be determined. If medications are decided then he would need to see a child psychiatrist for dosing and meds. If behavior modification is the only needed component then treatment with a social worker or the psychologist will help. If none of this is on your insurance ... then you still start this way and transfer to your childs pediatrician once medications are correctly figured. I hope this is not the case for your son as it is an added challenge. Just remember that not all ADHD kids are over energetic and those are the ones that sadly get overlooked and struggle because of it. On the other side of it ... many people unprofessionally label kids that are just normal energetic kids that way. For this reason diagnosing needs to be done with psychological testing by a psychologist and no one else. I hope this helps you and others.
Best luck, M.

ADD does not just show up in middle school. It is inherited and children who truly have this are born with it. You notice the signals by the time they are 2. ADD and ADHD affect 7 areas of the brain so no two children are alike. It can cause language processing problems that make it hard for the children to communicate and makes it hard to learn to read and develop larger vocabularies. Or it can affect behavior that looks like daydreaming or implusivity that brings out behavior tantrums we don't understand the cause of. Depression can be another severe characteristic. I have raised two children with this and they were affected in two totally different ways. Since you have not had this problem before, I would sincerely doubt that ADD or ADHD is the problem. I would definitely go with the vision and hearing tests, check with the teachers to see if they are providing any minor interventions your child may need, or are they providing enough challenges to keep the child from being bored. Good luck and God bless...

Have him tested, don't wait another day. Imagine how he must feel. My son struggled for a year and a half before I could have him tested due to Hurricane Katrina. He felt he was just dumb and couldn't do it. Now, we has a name for it...ADHD. He isn't hyper but just couldn't focus and was very eaisley distracted. He made honor roll for the first time last 9 weeks. He is VERY proud of himself.... and so are we:)


Please seek professional advice for ADD. I used to think that we shouldn't "drug" children and now that I have the facts, I am SO sorry that I thought that way.

Please see www.concerta360.com for more information.

Let me know if you have any questions, K. B.

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