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How do I tell if my son is ADD or just normally active?

My eight year old son's teacher thinks he has ADD because he is talking out of turn in class, fidgits in his seat and doesn't seem to be paying attention in class. Isn't this how eight year olds normally behave? He doesn't seem to act the same way at home that he does in class and tends to be content watching TV. playing with his toy cars and trains and he sits still at the dinner table! He says he just wants to know answers he has in class and that if he waits until the teacher calls on him, he'll forget the question he had! His doctor and the psychiatrist he's seen in the past haven't suggested he's ADD or to have him tested!


Asked by trainrider2 at 9:44 PM on Nov. 3, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • The problem is that schools want the perfect child in the classrooms so that they can teach everything they need to but they are not giving the kids the time away from work to get the energy out. We use to have more recess and more gym time so the energy was expended and you could concentrate they don't give that to our kids now and they say that they are ADD or ADHD when they have no basis for it and can not diagnosed it themselves. Good Luck with you son.

    Answer by pbilotti at 10:58 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Teachers should NEVER make any type of medical diagnosis. He may have all of the symptoms but she needs to figure out a plan that works for them at school. She can certainly keep in contact with you, and let you know if his behavior is abnormal or disruptive but it is up to the parents to have their child diagnosed.  And even if he is diagnosed it doesn't necessarily mean he will receive medication and be magically transformed into the perfect student.

    btw... I am a teacher and have a child with ADHD, but this is just completely inappropriate!!


    Answer by skittles1108 at 9:49 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • if his concern is forgetting the question then you could tell him to write it down on some scrap paper and then wait for her to call on him. that will solve the problem (or you could give hima little notebook to write the question on while he's waiting)

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:55 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • Teachers can not give medical diagnosis, but they can offer a suggestion that a child might have a difficulty. If the teacher said, we have noticed some attention issues, you might want to talk to your doctor about it, then it is appropriate. If the teacher said "He has ADD" then they are inappropriate.

    Personally, I think ADD/ADHD is over diagnosed. If he is not acting impulsively and hyper at home, then most likely he is not ADD/ADHD. I agree with princessbeth about having him write it down.
    But, he also may just need to mature a bit and learn how to sit still.

    Answer by layh41407 at 10:05 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • If you're truly concerned that he may have ADHD, then you could have him tested I guess. If you don't feel your child has ADHD, then it is your right to tell the teacher that she's out of line. It sounds to me like the teacher just doesn't want to deal with kids, but that's just my opinion. I like the above suggestion that he write down the question and wait until the teacher calls on him. That could help.

    As a parent with an ADHD child, I can tell you that you would know if he had it. I've known for several years that my dd had ADHD, but I was hoping she would grow out of it. When she didn't, and when she was showing signs of other learning disabilities, we got her tested. Right now it's 8:11 pm and she has been running around and making weird animal noises for the past 30 min. Her melatonin should kick in soon, but this is what our nights are usually like. You son doesn't sound like that to me.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 10:12 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • If the teacher is truly concerned you can always have him evaluated at the school.

    Answer by KTMOM at 9:47 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Have the school evaluate him or take him to the Dr/s

    Answer by sstepph at 9:57 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • When it starts affecting his grades look into getting him evalutaed!

    Answer by J.Norman at 5:21 AM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • he seam to what to learn so ask your son to write down what he wants to tell the teacher and be a little patient

    Answer by dorispierce at 11:51 AM on Nov. 6, 2010

  • As a former third grade teacher, I'd say that is very normal behavior.

    Answer by Pnukey at 8:21 PM on Nov. 6, 2010