View Full Version : Help for my twice exceptional preschooler


Stenaphie
10-18-16, 02:28 AM
Hi, first time poster here, and I'm kinda new to all this.
My 4yo son is very bright and catches onto things very quickly, but is already struggling in school because he can't focus on his work. He hasn't been diagnosed yet but clearly has ADHD (a gift from me). His preschool has a rule that each child must finish his desk work before going to play time. He is capable of doing the work but he gets bored with it and gets distracted and caught up in his vivid imagination so he doesn't finish it, then ends up crying when he misses out on play time. His teachers are very positive and encouraging with him and are careful to clarify that he's not being naughty or getting punished. I don't necessarily disagree with the rule, and I don't want to set a precedent with my son that he should get special treatment or get excepted from the rules because he's different. But it breaks my heart that he's sad and missing out on important play time, and that at 4 years old he's already associating school with negative feelings. His teacher asked me to "work with him at home" on the problem but what can I do? Help! I want so much for school to be a positive experience for him, especially this early on.

sarahsweets
10-18-16, 03:39 AM
Hi, first time poster here, and I'm kinda new to all this.
My 4yo son is very bright and catches onto things very quickly, but is already struggling in school because he can't focus on his work. He hasn't been diagnosed yet but clearly has ADHD (a gift from me). His preschool has a rule that each child must finish his desk work before going to play time. He is capable of doing the work but he gets bored with it and gets distracted and caught up in his vivid imagination so he doesn't finish it, then ends up crying when he misses out on play time.
This is sooooo not ok. It doesnt matter how nice and encouraging and positive his teachers are. Punishing a child by taking away important playtime that encourages socialization and gives kids a break is totally out of line IMO. Its the same as taking a child's recess away. All kids need breaks and they also need to interact with their peers.


His teachers are very positive and encouraging with him and are careful to clarify that he's not being naughty or getting punished. I don't necessarily disagree with the rule, and I don't want to set a precedent with my son that he should get special treatment or get excepted from the rules because he's different. But it breaks my heart that he's sad and missing out on important play time, and that at 4 years old he's already associating school with negative feelings.
Of course he is going to associate school with negative feelings. He is being punished for a-being 4 and b- possibly having a disorder.


His teacher asked me to "work with him at home" on the problem but what can I do? Help! I want so much for school to be a positive experience for him, especially this early on.
If you really believe he has adhd then take him to a specialist that understands adhd and young children. While rare, kids his age can be diagnosed with adhd. My son would have been considered twice exceptional but this was 20 years ago. He was diagnosed with adhd at age 3.5 and took meds beginning at age 4. He is almost 21 now.

StudyTimeGM
01-05-17, 08:25 PM
Sorry to hear - that sounds terrible for a young child. Unfortunately I don't have advice for directly addressing their policy, but perhaps there are ways you could work with the teacher to try some tactics that could help him focus on his work? (I would still try addressing the policy at the same time though). For example, are there things that help at home, that you could offer to the teacher to try? Maybe changing his seat location (or even changing throughout the day) could help among other things. You mentioned his teachers are encouraging and positive with him, so they sound like they would be willing to work with you to figure out what could help him. Hopefully they would be open to trying some things you suggest, as well as offer their own ideas to try. The important thing is to have good communication, so be sure to ask how they prefer you communicate with them (email, phone, in-person).

Best of luck!

dvdnvwls
01-07-17, 12:25 AM
What does "twice exceptional" really mean?

Does it mean something like my childhood experience of being in the remedial class and the advanced class at the same time? :)

brittni1226
01-19-17, 04:06 PM
I am a teacher as well as an adult who has struggled with ADD/ADHD her whole life and am now watching my oldest daughter go through the same thing. While I firmly believe that 'desk work' in preschool is counter-productive, it is a practice that lots of teachers (especially older ones) seem to enjoy. We refer to them as the 'ditto queens'.
Definitely speak to his teacher and let her know your concerns!!! Explain that you believe your son may have ADD, and that while he is capable of performing the 'desk work' task, he is bored by it and therefore distracted by the opportunity to go play with classmates. The teacher should be able to come up with a reasonable alternative!

I would suggest something like a reduced portion of the 'desk work' or an appropriate alternative activity. It would depend on exactly what the desk work is- is it writing letters and numbers and things like that? Or a coloring page? I can't even fathom what kind of 'desk work' would be given to 4 year olds!

If it's practicing formation of letters and/or numbers, maybe suggest that he do it with his finger on a baking tray full of rice. Or even on a sheet of construction paper with glue and pasta or tiny pieces of paper or beans or something of the sort.

If it's coloring, ask for him to paint the sheet while standing at an easel instead of sitting at a desk. That would work just fine for formation of letters and numbers too, actually.

Anything that gets him standing up or moving around instead of sitting still at a desk would be a better alternative.

I'd be happy to help you come up with other suggestions if you'd like to share more details about this 'desk work'!

tearsong
04-09-17, 02:39 PM
I realize this was a few months ago now, but I figured I would chime in anyway. :P

@Stenaphie -- If you're still here, what have they already tried?

What does "twice exceptional" really mean?

Does it mean something like my childhood experience of being in the remedial class and the advanced class at the same time? :)

Essentially, yes.

An exceptionality is (essentially) anything which makes a learner 'different from the average.'

The definition of 'twice exceptional' (2e) is literally having both exceptionalities possible: gifts/talents (extreme strengths) AND 1 or more disabilities (extreme deficits).

(That said, the definition of 'gifted' is entirely grey, and depends on which model you use to define it. Personally, I use the Renzulli 3-Ring Conception (http://www.gigers.com/matthias/gifted/three_rings.html).)

This is one of my areas of focus in my graduate studies. :)

Stenaphie
04-09-17, 08:32 PM
After discussing it with the teachers they made some slight accommodations. Most of his class is required to color their worksheets after finishing the written work, but he gets to skip the coloring if he's not done by playtime. They also allow him to now write just his nickname on his paper instead of his full first and last name. He still has rough days but even the small changes seem to have helped a lot.
I'm still worried about how he will do in school going forward because he catches on to things really quickly but then doesn't want to put in the practice work. Plus his wild imagination has him bouncing off the walls and tuning everyone out. We justed turned in his Kindergarten registration for next year... Wish us luck!

sarahsweets
04-10-17, 09:08 AM
Ive always been a bit leery on the idea of twice exceptional.

tearsong
04-23-17, 11:44 AM
Ive always been a bit leery on the idea of twice exceptional.

Why is that?