Help for my 3 year old DS. TIA! — The Bump
Special Needs

Help for my 3 year old DS. TIA!

I have a 3 year old son. He is a silly, funny, caring and lovable littly boy. He also has some strange/concerning behaviors.

His gross motor skills are great. I have no worries with those. His fine motor ones could probably use some work. I just noticed that he isn't holding his pencil correctly. I have seen him do it correctly before, but he got an easle for christmas and is holding the colors with a fist. He knows his colors and shapes and can count to 20, but avoids anything having to do with the ABCs. I know he knows they are letters, but he's never said the ABCs past C and cannot identify any letters.

His speech is ok. He was evaluated by EI at 2.5 and did not qualify for services. At the time we could not go to a private speach therapist and he wasn't old enough for the school system. I'm thinking about having him evaluated through the school system when school starts back up. He talks A LOT; although it is not 100% clear. I can almost always figure out what he's saying, but others understand him about 75% of the time. He understands everything I tell him. Occasionaly he doesn't seem to get what i'm saying, but if I say it a different way or show him then it clicks. Usually this has to do w/ being corrected. I sometimes think he's pretending to not understand.

I am considering getting him evaluated because the director at the school he goes to 3- half days a week suggested it. They say that he does not talk as much as the others in his class. I am wondering if he is quiet at school. We once ran into his teacher outside of school. He was talking to me like normal and she looked shocked! She said that she never heard him talk that way and that he doesn't say very much when he's in her class.

He is aggressive toward other kids some of the time. He is aggresive towards his little sister multiple times a day (sometimes multiple trimes an hour!) and  towards the other kids at school. He hits, scratches and pushes. He does not listen when corrected or put in time out. It does not seem to phase him. It only makes him angry or try to figure out a way to get out of it. This is the method of descipline we use at home. At school they use a green/yellow/red light system. He is on yellow light at least once a week sometimes more. It's usually for hitting another kid or not listening when corrected several times. He has only been in a reportable incident once this year when he bit a kid who was sitting on his chest and wouldn't let him up, but his teacher sends me a note home every time that he gets on yellow light and tells me what he has done. He is also younger than his classmates. His birthday is just 2 days before the cut off date. Some of the kids in his class are already 4. I plan to send him to kindergarden when he is 5, not in a year and a half from now when he will still be 4.

My other concern is his need to touch others. He gets in trouble for this at school too. He seems to not be able to keep his hands to himself. He does not mean to upset the person next to him. It's almost like a compulsion to touch them. At home he wants to be as close to me as humanly posible. He will literally try to sit on my head. Also, when he's next to me he must touch my ears. This started when he was nursing. He would play with my ear, but now whenever he is near me especially when he is tired or upset he can not keep his hands off my ears. He says that he needs to touch them. I admit that it drives me insane. He likes to be touched, held, squeezed and played with roughly. The rougher the better.

Recently he has been having these big fits of anger. He is honestly extremely mad over xyz. It overwhelms me and I almost always want to cry when I see him this way. Usually he calms down within 10 minutes. I guess this is a tantrum. He's never done this before. I find myself trying to avoid situations that will make him upset, but sometimes it is very small things that I don't see coming.

 I am concerned because these things like the ear touching, need to be so close to others and aggresiveness and tantrums seem to be getting worse. His aggresiveness is affecting us in ways such as staying home from birthday parties and playdates because I'm afraid he will have an altercation with someone else.

His pedi, my mom and some others say that he's just a 3 year old little boy. I don't know what to think at this point. My husband  and I feel like we need to gain control of his behavior before he gets older and more out or hand. My husband is concerned because he remembers feeling this way as a kid. According to his parents he didn't talk until he was 3.5 and he also has some learning differences that were never diagnosed.  My son seems frustrated and angry. He gets lots of attention and love, but he is jealous of his 1 year old sister.

Anyone have any ideas as to what may be going on or can relate?

TIA!

Re: Help for my 3 year old DS. TIA!

  • image -auntie-:
    image TELK83:

    I have a 3 year old son. He is a silly, funny, caring and lovable little boy. He also has some strange/concerning behaviors.

    His gross motor skills are great. I have no worries with those. His fine motor ones could probably use some work. I just noticed that he isn't holding his pencil correctly. I have seen him do it correctly before, but he got an easle for christmas and is holding the colors with a fist. He knows his colors and shapes and can count to 20, but avoids anything having to do with the ABCs. I know he knows they are letters, but he's never said the ABCs past C and cannot identify any letters.

    This could be a function of immaturity or of not caring about the letters. I know a number of little boys who weren't into "academics" at 3 and 3 1/2. It's a concern if it persists past 4. Does he know his shapes? colors? body parts? Yes. He knows his colors, shapes, body parts and can count to 20. He can't identify numbers when he sees them. He only knows that they are numbers.

    Pencil grip could still be emergent at this age, so it's hard to tell if there is some underlying glitch impacting his graphomotor skills. How does he do with other fine motor tasks? Can he zip a hoodie? Fasten a button? Work Logos? He can work legos, stack to the roof tops, zip a hoodie as long as I clip the two pieces together first.

    His speech is ok. He was evaluated by EI at 2.5 and did not qualify for services. At the time we could not go to a private speach therapist and he wasn't old enough for the school system. I'm thinking about having him evaluated through the school system when school starts back up. He talks A LOT; although it is not 100% clear. I can almost always figure out what he's saying, but others understand him about 75% of the time. He understands everything I tell him. Occasionaly he doesn't seem to get what i'm saying, but if I say it a different way or show him then it clicks. Usually this has to do w/ being corrected. I sometimes think he's pretending to not understand.

    If listening comprehension comes and goes, there may be an underlying reason. Two that come to mind are auditory processing delay and literalness. Auditory processing is the act of hearing what is being said, figuring out what it means, whether it requires a response and then formulating that response. It's hard work for most little kids, this skill remains emergent until puberty in a well developing child. APD/CAPD can be a stand alone issue, but more often it's a comorbid with something else. I know lots of ADHDers, Aspergers and LD kids with a side of CAPD.

    Kids with APD/CAPD often appear less bright than they are because they are slower; if they are very slow it can be off putting to peers. They tend to do poorly with adults who are highly verbal. They need simple, concise communication to function at their best. If he has an auditory processing glitch, and you talk as you write (lots and lots- like me), you will want to simplify your manner of communicating with this child. Routine tasks and prompts could be offered in a  visual format. DS's psych would suggest keeping all communication with this child down to 12 words or less- more than that and they can't "hear" you. His psych and the teachers at his former lba school would also suggest limiting his access to screen time and building auditory skills through reading aloud and books on tape. I have been limiting my words with him when I need him to understand me and it seems to work. Again, expect when he's being corrected. He will look away or look down and then "UGGGHHHHH" at me. At school He leaves out the UGHing and just looks away with no other response. That's why they think he doesn't understand them. I'm not sure what words they use, but maybe they are different than the words I use. I think i'll be going to school for the day if he starts to have issues often again.

    This is a good introduction to CAPD-

    http://www.amazon.com/When-Brain-Cant-Hear-Unraveling/dp/0743428641/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1293791496&sr=8-1

    Another communication glitch that comes to mind is something often seen in kids on the higher end of the autism spectrum- literalness. Folks with things like HFA and Aspergers struggle mightily with idioms, sarcasm, many jokes, hyperbole, etc. This can improve with maturity and rote instruction, but a three on spectrum will take you at your word- literally. If you tell him he can have another cookie when pigs fly, he'll look up.I don't think this is for him. If I told him 'when pigs fly' he would tell me I was being silly.

    I am considering getting him evaluated because the director at the school he goes to 3- half days a week suggested it. They say that he does not talk as much as the others in his class. I am wondering if he is quiet at school. We once ran into his teacher outside of school. He was talking to me like normal and she looked shocked! She said that she never heard him talk that way and that he doesn't say very much when he's in her class.

    This is a concern. Assuming he started in September, he should be acclimated to the class where he'd be settled in. He wouldn't neccessarily have exactly the same behavior in school, but the teacher shouldn't be shocked. This is an issue. As she is not a 'seasoned preschool teacher.' She was a respiratory therapist who was laid off and b/c she had a friend who is a teacher there, she has taught little girls dancing, and teenaged girls religion class she was hired as a preschool teacher. Some of the teachers at this 'school' have degrees/years of experience and some don't. My lucky son got 2 brand new teachers w/ no appropriate education or expierence 2 years in a row. Him going there was supposed to just be for socialization purposes, but now i feel like it has had a negative effect on him. He won't be going there next year. I don't know why he doesn't talk at school. Could he be very uncomfortable or anxious?

     She is likely seeing a constellation of issues worthy of investigation even if she can't articculate what seems different about him. I think this is true, but I also think that they expect a lot of them. His teacher told me he usually gets in trouble towards the end of the day after they come in from playing outside. This is the time of day they sit in a circle for 20-25 minutes. He has a hard time sitting for that long after he's just been outside without pestering the kid next to him or paying attention to the teacher. I've asked other moms who have kids in other places and they think that 20+ minutes it a long time to sit on the floor and listen. what do you think, Auntie?

    He is aggressive toward other kids some of the time. He is aggresive towards his little sister multiple times a day (sometimes multiple trimes an hour!) and  towards the other kids at school. He hits, scratches and pushes. He does not listen when corrected or put in time out. It does not seem to phase him. It only makes him angry or try to figure out a way to get out of it.

    This sort of behavior sounds a bit like ODD, but I have seen kids on spectrum who have this MO where nothing is their fault. It can be a function of immaturity/magical thinking. He accepts that he did it and that it's not okay, but he still doesn't listen or stop! I think I need to learn more about ODD b/c he is defiant often. Just a few minutes ago he kicked me and I have him the look. He said sorry immediately, but if he had kicked his sister it would have been like pulling teeth to get him to say sorry to her. Also, he is sort of like Dennis the Menice! He will find things to get into and distroy them. I have tried to make our house a safe place and set him up so that he can't get in to too much trouble, but he somehow finds new things to do. Maybe this is my fault, but others don't seem to have this issues as much as I do and their pantry is accessible too!

    This is the method of descipline we use at home. At school they use a green/yellow/red light system. He is on yellow light at least once a week sometimes more. It's usually for hitting another kid or not listening when corrected several times. He has only been in a reportable incident once this year when he bit a kid who was sitting on his chest and wouldn't let him up, but his teacher sends me a note home every time that he gets on yellow light and tells me what he has done. He is also younger than his classmates. His birthday is just 2 days before the cut off date. Some of the kids in his class are already 4. I plan to send him to kindergarden when he is 5, not in a year and a half from now when he will still be 4.

    It might be useful to keep a log of the antecedents to his incidents. Sometimes there are obvious triggers like being tired, thirsty or hungry that can undermine appropriate behavior.  He is probably all of these things when he gets in trouble at school as it is at the end of the day and after recess when he's been allowed to run around. He can't calm down and regroup to finish the day. Often, it's a reduction in structure- free play, lunch and recess are often when incidents occur. Biting another student for bullying him isn't something that would get my panties in a bunch at him, the teacher who allowed it to devolve to that point would be getting a red light from me. Me too!

    I like this book for tantrummy kiddos-

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061906190/ref=noism/oasisonlinesp07

    If he's immature for his age, i.e. he doesn't have the emotional and social skill set of his classmates he may have difficulty interacting at their higher performance level. ding ding ding!!! I feel like this his him right now. Watch for this as he starts real school. The gift of an additional year, especially if he isn't loving the letters, is probably a good idea. DS has Aspergers and like those with AS has a social and emotional delay of about 1/3 his chronological age even though he has a higher IQ. Redshirting him was one of the single best parenting decisions I have ever made on his behelf. Thanks. I have heard that from everyone who has ever redshirted their kid. I'm sure that will be benificial to him in the long run..even if he will be able to get his drivers liscence at the begining of the 10th grade! AAHH! lol

    My other concern is his need to touch others. He gets in trouble for this at school too. He seems to not be able to keep his hands to himself. He does not mean to upset the person next to him. It's almost like a compulsion to touch them.

    This is a behavior described by a lot of parents of young kids on spectrum. For them, the antecendent to this is a weak understanding of peers/adults being people with their own feelings. It's a lack of theory of mind combined with the impulsivity of being three. ADHD impulsivity can also play into this. He is very concerned with others feelings. He knows when others are sad or mad or happy and wants to know why they are that way. He doesn't seem to understand how his touching them could be upsetting to them though. It makes him feel good, so why doesn't it make them feel good too? ADHD impulsivity is something I will look into. He seems very impulsive. Thanks!

    At home he wants to be as close to me as humanly posible. He will literally try to sit on my head. Also, when he's next to me he must touch my ears. This started when he was nursing. He would play with my ear, but now whenever he is near me especially when he is tired or upset he can not keep his hands off my ears. He says that he needs to touch them. I admit that it drives me insane. He likes to be touched, held, squeezed and played with roughly. The rougher the better.

    The ear thing sounds like a combination of a compulsive behavior mixed with the theory of mind thing where he doesn't "get" that you are not a plaything for his amusement but a person whose boundaries should be honored. He does seem to have a boundry issue. For instance, if we see one of his friends from school out around town he will walk up to them and softly place their face in his hands. This is his way of saying hi. Needless to say, other 3 year olds don't really care for their face being touched at all. :( He also stands really close to the other kids which leads to them pushing him away and then he'll push them down. Some young kids on spectrum have a mindset of using parents as "tools"- these are kids who lead mom to the object they want rather than climb to get it themselves. He won't lead me to do anything for him unless he really can't do it himself. He will handle it even if it means he has to climb to the ceiling and risk his own life to do what he wants. lol. He will try and try and then tell me something like 'You need to help my bike. It's stuck' I think this is pretty normal, right? You should work on this because he will suffer socially in school as he globalizes this behavior in school. Other kids will not be as mindful of his feelings as you are. Trust me on this.

    Alternately, it could serve the function of a "stim", a repertitive behavior often seen in ASDs. This is especially likely if he does this when bored, tired, or stressed to settle himself. This seems to fit with the ear thing. It's sort of like his security blanket.

    Recently he has been having these big fits of anger. He is honestly extremely mad over xyz. It overwhelms me and I almost always want to cry when I see him this way. Usually he calms down within 10 minutes. I guess this is a tantrum. He's never done this before. I find myself trying to avoid situations that will make him upset, but sometimes it is very small things that I don't see coming.

     I am concerned because these things like the ear touching, need to be so close to others and aggresiveness and tantrums seem to be getting worse. His aggresiveness is affecting us in ways such as staying home from birthday parties and playdates because I'm afraid he will have an altercation with someone else.

    This is worrisome. Tantrumming is a common behavior in kids on spectrum. It's often driven by anxiety when their is a deviation from what the child has expected to happen. All kids tantrum, but if it's ramping up and coming out of no where and limiting your life, it is definately worth looking into. I'm not worried that he will have a tantrum out at a party or wherever. That's never happend. It's always been at home. I am worried that he will hurt another kid. He has a knack for making other kids cry within 2.5 seconds if i'm not there to watch his every move. I find this exhausting and stressful, so we've been avoiding it since we had a pretty bad bday party experience back in October. He often picks out the another strong willed kid and targets him. He does not find the weak link and bully them. He hits to get his way. I don't know where he learned it as we don't hit him, but it works for him even if it means that he gets in trouble or we have to leave where ever we are. He usually fine with leaving or being seperated. He'll just find something else to entertain him and move on like nothing happened. Meanwhile, I'm fuming from my ears and ready to die of embarrassment and frustration.  I don't know how my kid became a bully, but I don't like it and it has got to change! Are there any books about this?? Some of the time he is sensative and sweet and others he is in bully mode and is out for the kill. I just don't know what makes him this way. It's so confusing. Could his simply be jealous or angry that he has to share us with his sister now or looking for attention? 

    His pedi, my mom and some others say that he's just a 3 year old little boy. I don't know what to think at this point. My husband  and I feel like we need to gain control of his behavior before he gets older and more out or hand. My husband is concerned because he remembers feeling this way as a kid. According to his parents he didn't talk until he was 3.5 and he also has some learning differences that were never diagnosed.  My son seems frustrated and angry. He gets lots of attention and love, but he is jealous of his 1 year old sister.

    Trust your gut. You know best. I knew my kid wasn't like other kids. I used to ask my pedis at every appointment what was up with DS. Seriously. He has an AS/ADHD/Specific LD dx now, but at 3, 4 and 5 we were just told he was the really bright child of older parents who overvalued him. Ugh. If he were mine, I'd be contacting the school district for an eval as well as getting a referal to the best dev pedi in your general area. The fact that your DH was a late talker with subtle LD stuff going on makes this especially important as these sorts of things can run in families. Thanks! That's what i'll do!

     Also, I think my DH's LD are more like severe, but he grew up in another country where he was lucky he went to school at all much less one that cared if you learned differently. When he came to the states he was pushed along high school because he knew enough to get by with a little help from a few teachers and by taking as many shop/welding/pe classes as possible. I also probably have a LD, but was only ever tested for dyslexia as a kid. I spent  all of my school years trying to figure out ways to make everything work for me b/c I usualy couldn't make sense of what teachers were telling me to do..especially in math! Makes me mad now considering I could have had a much easier time in school than I did and graduated with As and Bs rather than Bs, Cs and Ds! I don't want that to happen to my kids!!!

    Thanks for your help! I know that my son can be a nice loving child. He's like a bully in a cartoon who goes home and cries in his mom's lap after he just beat the crap out of 10 people. We just have to figure out what is frustrating him. sorry these messages are so long, but I feel like he's complicated and it all needs to be said b/c he can be one way or another at different times. Thanks again!

    Anyone have any ideas as to what may be going on or can relate?

    TIA!

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards