First off, it's not that he doesn't interact well with the other children, it's more that when things don't go his way he withdraws and pouts but does not continue working with the group to finish the task at hand. This (I believe) comes from being an only child and always getting his way. He never has to compromise with another child here at home so when he wants to do something we generally are able to do it. I am sure that with time he will learn how to deal with this sort of thing and continue working with the group instead of just being upset about it not being the way he thinks it should be. He never argues with the kids or yells or abuses them in any way what-so-ever. The teacher said she sees him interacting with the same few boys everyday during snack and a totally different group when he's out at recess, but he's always hanging out with other kids, not withdrawing or sticking to himself. In general he's a happy well rounded sort of kid and she never sees aggression of any kind.
What she does see is the inability to pay attention! She will be giving the class instructions and half way through she'll notice that he's off in la-la land daydreaming or just zoning out. She is constantly redirecting him back to his work and it's interfering with the class because she has to watch him very closely which takes her attention away from other students. So it's not that he's not smart (of course I already knew that) it's just that he doesn't get full instructions so he only completes part of the task....thus the lower grades since he will hand in only partially completed work and can't get full credit on it. For tests she has to have him sit at the table right next to her desk so that she can keep on him and make sure he completes the test...and when he does complete the tests he always get A's! This shows that he does not suffer from a learning disability at all (again I already knew this).
So in order to combat this situation and help him get better grades in the next term we are working together to come up with a solution. First off, she told Orion that for every lesson he is to make sure he raises his hand at least 3 times...this will help him pay attention because he'll have to know the answer to the question and it will also help him learn to speak louder (he mumbles a lot, afraid to give the wrong answer) plus he'll have to pay attention to how many times he's raised his hand. At the end of each week she will report back to me how he is doing in this area. As for me, I talked to his doctor and we will be upping his dose of Adderrall XR to 30mg dosage. She does not feel that switching his meds at this time is a good idea because 1) it could have worse side effects and we don't want to have that happen at school and 2) the aggression seems to be an at home only thing when the meds are leaving his body so it is something we can combat and win against. First, we'll give him an added dose of 5 mg in the afternoon to help make the meds leave his body more smoothly...I know it sounds wierd but apparently it actually works. Second we will work on changing our parenting strategies a little bit to better accommodate his unique situation. For instance my husband is going to have to learn to be more tolerant when he gets home from work and Orion is at the worst point of the meds leaving his body...thus his highest point of aggression. He needs to be left alone at this time and of course Daddy wants to talk to him and ask how his day was...not a good combination really. Daddy is going to have to learn to wait a bit. We also need to work on ignoring some of his actions when he's not on meds so as to stop feeding his low self-esteem. Right now the poor kid feels like he can't do anything right because we are constantly on his case about his bad behavior or his wild and crazy ways. He's being stifled as a person because we can't tolerate a little wildness. Of course this doesn't mean we stop being parents and let him get away with everything, but we do need to tolerate more than we do because he is his own unique person and he needs to let loose sometime regardless of how much we want him to be the perfect little boy. He's not going to stop running in the hall, he's not going to stop having the activity level that he has when he is not on his meds and we need to learn to tolerate that a little better and work with it. I will be bringing out my mini trampoline for him to use and help him get rid of some of his energy in a safe manner, I'm also going to look around for some indoor playgrounds that I can take him to where he can let loose and have fun. I think once he starts paying better attention in school and getting better grades because of it and he's allowed to relax at home and get away with a little bit of wildness he'll be a much happier boy and I'll start seeing less aggression and sadness out of him and more smiles and laughter in its place....at least I hope so!