If I can offer a few more words of advice (caution, really) for you & other parents reading this thread. My apologies in advance for my verbosity, but this is an area that is of great importance to me. I appreciate that your little guy is only just three, but hopefully, this advice will be of value as you continue on your parenting journey with him.
* First, sometimes when we parents come across a checklist or a term -- like Kurcinka's "spirited child" or a checklist for gifted kids -- we see our kids in those descriptions and lock in on them as THE answer to why our child is struggling with behavior...or struggling to make friends...or struggling to pay attention in class.
In the process, real issues -- like ADHD or SDP (sensory processing disorder) or ASD -- can be overlooked because we've already decided that we've found our child's "label."
Although I think "The Spirited Child" is a worthwhile book to read, I do think that some
parents run the risk of missing out on other issues because they mistakenly believe that spiritedness accounts for ALL of their child's unusual behaviors. Same goes for giftedness.
That's not to say that every child who is loud or talkative or spacey or disorganized has ADHD or a related issue, but we parents just need to be careful as we try to uncover what's going on with our child(ren). We need to read, ask questions, and keep an open mind as we search for answers -- especially if the tactics we are currently trying aren't working, and our child is continuing to struggle.
I've even had to keep this in mind with my own daughter! We thought we had her all figured out with the ASD + giftedness, and had grown quite comfortable with the whole "brilliant Aspie girl" label -- we could have easily missed for ADHD for a few more years if I hadn't learned the less common signs from other parents on EB and then consulted an ASD-ADHD specialist!
For some kids, finding real answers might require involving a specialist and/or getting a comprehensive developmental assessment, rather than just reading a popular book or looking at one aspect of a child's development (e.g. IQ/cognitive). For others, it might not be that complicated.
The well known educational psych who IQ tested our daughter last year had these wise words, "When a child's quirks or behaviors start to impact their daily functioning or the daily functioning of the family, it's time to consider professional help."
* Second, teachers aren't qualified to rule in or rule out developmental issues like ADHD or ASD (unless they also happen to be psychologists or developmental paeds!) Still, teachers CAN provide very valuable insights about how your child is presenting at school. They typically have a large pool of other kids against which to calibrate your child's behavior. If a teacher or child care worker ever voices concerns about your child, I encourage you to take their concerns on board. You might feel in your gut that they are off base, but don't shut them out completely. They could be seeing things that you are missing.
Third, be wary of any professional who tries to rule in or rule out a significant condition with only a cursory meeting with your child or with only one piece of information: "He can't be gifted, he performs poorly in class." "She can't possibly have ASD. She makes great eye contact." "He must have ASD -- he doesn't make eye contact."
Knowledge is power. Make sure yours is good!
(Whew! That was more than I had intended to say!)
Edited by baddmammajamma, 04 January 2013 - 07:31 PM.