Nigel, only just seen this thread. Let me reassure you that you are not alone! If you could talk to my mum and she told you what my little'un used to be like... well as I said you are not alone. We never got a label to go with it, but until she was 5 and a a half I couldn't leave her anywhere happily, by which I mean major, stop-breathing heeby-geebies that she could keep up for hours!! The only word to describe her was inconsolable if I had to be away for any reason...
Her attention span then was only good if it was what she wanted to do. If I wanted/needed to do anything was was not focussed on her she was incredibly disruptive!
Thanks to Hannah's dad, I had to spend a lot of time in family court as he decided it was all my fault she was like that and thought the best idea was to take her away from me altogether... >
Still makes my blood boil just to think of it.)
Thanks to him and the courts, I had to drag my screaming child up the road to nursery school every day for over a year, knowing that she was just not ready for all that, but also under the threat that if I didn't force her to go she would be taken away from me for good...
I had to spend the most important years of her life in and out of court and I can't tell you how stresful that was and what was going on when she was sent to her Dad's.
Main thing is, we got through it and we are very close still, but she is building more relationships now with others and basically blooming. Her bahviour is vastly improved. Her father has improved beyond all recognition. Neil has been a fantastic step-Dad to her and she gets on brilliantly with her new bothers and sister. They fight like all kids do but there is a real bond there which is lovely to see. She's very happy at school now she's 7 and academically doing really well too.
(BTW I was at parents' evening tonight. Couldn't help smiling when she wrote "If am am angry it helps to count to 10 and breathe out"!
Nigel, we all worry about our kids, but for what it's worth in my view it is a problem with society that we expect such young kids to sit stil and learn. My nephew went to a Steiner school at Oliver's age where they only did half days, went out into the woods for an afternoon, learned cooking and learned to cut with sharp knives... he was very happy there! You don't have that option, but I would strongly advise get out and about as much as you can.
Mine loved being outside - used to even run with her round the block when she was being disruptive and couldn't settle at night. We were out most of the time at that age - one reason she hated nursery so much!
I took her places like the science museum and art galleries where she could stretch her mind, we did singing gardening, painting, cooking, "washing up", is water play, went swimming a lot. All sorts.
Oh boy, I know exactly what you mean about that 1:1 time!! It may just mean he is very bright... My little un defeated a childminder with 10 years experience when she was only 8 months old - reduced the poor lady to tears and I had to quit my job... Glad I did though. You should see her now - an absolute star and doing really well. All the hard work paid off in the end, including a much - needed parenting course! I got the court make her Dad go on one too...
This is getting long, but I was given a lot of bad advice by various professionals when things were difficult. I was labelled as having "depression", whereas I defy anyone to go through all of the above PLUS the loss of my home, PLUS the death of my father and supporting my griving Mum all in one go - I defy anyone to go through that and not be affected... it wouldn't be human!
What I am getting at is sod the labels. Good that the medication is helping. Homoeopathy helped mine, glad we never got in the situation of getting labelled or medicated... He's your son in the end and you can listen to the advise but in the end you must do what you feel is right. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and you are so right to see the boy and not the "condition".
In our story the hard part for me was accepting that I could not keep letting a small child control my life... she got angry if I so much as walked across the room. Once I took back control, and set some boundaries, life got better for us all. My fear for you and Oliver is that all the hard work is expected to be done by the medicine wheras there is so much you can do as a parent, most of which is fun!
On my course, I learned to praise her more (I was constantly cristised myself so found this hard), set clear aims about what I wanted her to do better at, set up a clear reward scheme, and (most importantly) established the "two minutes of calm" rule. My hysterical child could not reason, so I learned to wait until she was calm and talk with her about what was wrong for her and also what I expected from her before she got rewards. The latter were mostly free things like play time with me, a trip to the park, painting, cooking and an elaborate puppet game through which she could express her feelings.
Nigel what works for your son and you may well be different, but whatever you do don't give up on him. He's got a lot of growing up to do and I'm sure he will do just fine!