Disagreements Over Your Child's Behavior
Q: My son's preschool teacher wants him to be evaluated for behavioral issues because he talks a lot and can't sit still for circle time. I think he's a normal, active 4-year-old. Should I let him be evaluated anyway?
A: Educators tend to agree that many preschoolers are too young to be evaluated for attention deficit disorders. "Most kids that age need to be peeled off the ceiling," says Bempechat. And if you let the school evaluate your son, the evaluation becomes part of his school record, which could trigger a series of actions by the elementary school that could permanently label him.
Instead, watch how your son behaves on the playground and in other group settings. Is he more disruptive than other kids, or is his teacher just less tolerant of boisterous boys? If you suspect the former, you can have your son evaluated privately and keep the results confidential, or you can hold him back a year, giving him time to mature. But if your gut tells you he's perfectly normal, listen to that, says McEwan. "Parents need to give themselves credit for having common sense and knowing their kids."
Originally published in the September 2002 issue of Child magazine.