Typical behavior for 3yo or do we need to seek help again? — The Bump
Special Needs

Typical behavior for 3yo or do we need to seek help again?

Ugh, I don't know how to deal with Owl's behavior, it seems like it's getting worse lately. She graduated from MH a couple weeks ago for the PTSD related stuff but these behaviors she's having have been persistent for awhile now. Please tell me it's not another thing to look into and that it's all age appropriate.

She picks battles over food every day (I walk away when she fights and praise when she isn't fighting, the vomiting has stopped but she still purposefully gags occasionally).

She is always in a bad mood unless we are around other people; she's playful and attention seeking, smiling and trying to be cute with others while keeping an eye on us for a reaction.

She whines/cries at everything we say to her.

She occasionally bites others, usually me.

She refuses to use words unless it's a learned phrase but will spontaneously use words with others or when she wants to get out of trouble - "Dada, no timeout" when I tell her to go to timeout.

She has started peeing her pants rather than going to the bathroom on her own or using words to say she has to go (this happens at the table and in a 3 minute timeout), she will, however, go to the bathroom on her own at night when we are asleep.

Owl has mild CP, doesn't meet the criteria for PTSD anymore, and is 3 years old. What say you board of vast knowledge?

Re: Typical behavior for 3yo or do we need to seek help again?

  • august06momaugust06mom
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Answers 100 Love Its
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    edited July 2013
    Food battles sound normal to me. I found DS1 did better when I kept drama out of it (which it sounds like you're doing). He's not very picky any more.

    The biting sounds concerning. I don't know your DD's history but is she receiving any services at all? Anyone you can brig this up to? The learned phrases only also sound concerning.
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  • I know this is a special needs board and most or all the parents are dealing with LOs that require accommodations, but have you tried treating your DD like a regular kid? Okay, bare with me... When you fix food, that's what she gets. Even if it means you have to put it back into the frig and reheat it until her gets hungry enough to eat it. If she bites you, bite her back. When she doesn't speak at home, don't respond or give her what she wants until she does communicate. If she pees her pant, make her stay in them (don't help her change). Trying this wont be easy. In fact, it will feel like 2 rams butting heads. The hardest part isn't going to be doing these things, but holding out until you get results. The fact that she pulls these things at home but not in public means she knows she can manipulate you. You've got to teach her that that's not acceptable. I hope it helps. :)
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  • Don't bite your preschooler or let her sit in urine.
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  • Food battles sound normal to me. I found DS1 did better when I kept drama out of it (which it sounds like you're doing). He's not very picky any more.

    The biting sounds concerning. I don't know your DD's history but is she receiving any services at all? Anyone you can brig this up to? The learned phrases only also sound concerning.

    Food has been a battle since she was 18 months, it's a control measure for her, definitely not on the normal spectrum of toddler pickiness.

    DD graduated from OT and ST in Dec, and MH a couple weeks ago (not with RC but another resource). I brought up some sensory concerns to our OT in June and she agreed that DD has some sensory stuff going on but not at a level that needed OT. Biting her own fingers to the point where her nails fell off prompted me to ask about sensory stuff, she also packs chewed meat in between her lips and gums which the OT told me was another sensory thing.

    The biting is somewhat new, maybe 6 montha, and it's only if someone gets too close to her mouth. She has a very strong and painful bite.

    She was with RC but they graduated her, said her CP was too mild to keep her past 3yo. Our SW is fighting to have RC keep her on (we haven't yet finalized the adoption so she is our biggest advocate right now) but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

    I can have her reevaluated by the other community resource we were working with but they are going to need to see something pretty significant to work with her again.

    I feel like a lot of her behavior is just that, she is bright, can speak clearly, and have wonderful behavior when she wants to but it seems like she enjoys a constant battle.

    And, there will definitely be no biting done by me!
  • Power struggles and food pickiness are a pretty typical toddler behavior. When you through special needs into the mix, sometimes those typical behaviors are magnified. I'm guessing that someone has already talked to you about this, but I would look into positive discipline and choosing your words wisely to avoid that battle with her.
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  • A lot of it sounds like typical three-YO behavior, if my NT three is any indication. She is such a drama queen, and the whining drives me nuts. My 5-YO with ASD is and was a comparatively chill child. 

    The refusing to use language and deliberate peeing might concern me enough to consult an SLP or behaviorist or psychologist. Not necessarily for ongoing treatment but for advice on how to deal with the behaviors in the most effective way given her history and needs. 

    And jebus, biting and allowing a three-YO with a history of PTSD to sit in urine is shitty advice. 
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    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • I know this is a special needs board and most or all the parents are dealing with LOs that require accommodations, but have you tried treating your DD like a regular kid? Okay, bare with me... When you fix food, that's what she gets. Even if it means you have to put it back into the frig and reheat it until her gets hungry enough to eat it. If she bites you, bite her back. When she doesn't speak at home, don't respond or give her what she wants until she does communicate. If she pees her pant, make her stay in them (don't help her change). Trying this wont be easy. In fact, it will feel like 2 rams butting heads. The hardest part isn't going to be doing these things, but holding out until you get results. The fact that she pulls these things at home but not in public means she knows she can manipulate you. You've got to teach her that that's not acceptable. I hope it helps. :)

    This sickens me. How would biting her teach her that its unacceptable? How would allowing her to sit in urine teach her that its not cool? This is awful advice. First off, she has PTSD. The aggressive act of biting could trigger something in her, so could the neglect of sitting in soiled underwear. I would think in a child that had a difficult start in life she need strong positive discipline. Not reactive decisions. I would definitely ask for advice on how best to accommodate her voice feeling heard. It sounds like maybe she feels out of control in her life so she is trying to control you? She has control at mealtimes and clearly can interrupt what you are doing to help clean her soiled bottoms. Does she do well with stickers or some other reward system?
    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
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