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Strange obsessions

(13 Posts)
Julia2132009 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:34:18

My DS (2.4 months) is obsessed with fans. Especially ceiling fans. He pesters me every day to go to our local museums and shops that have ceiling fans just so he can watch them. Lately he spends most of his play time at home spinning things (toys, socks, blankets - anything!) round and round pretending they are a fan. He also loves washing machines and drains, but not as much as fans. Should I be worried about this? Have your children had any strange interests?

IndigoBell Fri 05-Aug-11 14:48:47

Obviously it could be a sign of ASD, or it could be nothing.

Do you have any other concerns about him?

How's his speech?

Julia2132009 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:30:36

I have thought of this. Although his speech is great (he spoke in quite long complex sentences at 2 years), there are other points of concern like sensitivity to noise, reluctance to mix with people. He has never been very cuddly, although he is sometimes affectionate and ask for comfort when things go wrong - asks for mummy to kiss it better, that kind of thing. He will sometimes hold hands with other little children who are friendly and affectionate towards him, although he is not the one who initiates it. He has sometimes appeared to demonstrate empathy at quite an early age – for example showing concern and worry when characters in books cry or get frightened. I think of these things as contradictory with asd but I also worry I could be wrong as I admit I don't know very much about it.

IndigoBell Fri 05-Aug-11 15:43:32

Most people don't know very much about ASD.

There is no one trait you need to have or not have that means you have ASD. There are many symptoms you may have - and if you have enough of them then you get a diagnosis of ASD.

Sensitivity to noise would be another red flag to me.

I think, to put your mind at rest, you should go to your GP and ask for a referral to a child development paed. This is the only way you can tell if your DS does or doesn't have development problems.

Take along a list of concerns with you.

Here's the MCHAT screening tool which will give you some more information.....

Julia2132009 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:44:07

Also I have always thought of him as quite good at sharing (compared to most other toddlers) and quite gentle towards other people, although in the last couple of months he has developed an angry streak and has lots of trantrums about seemingly little things. Now he doesn't seem quite so gentle or happy to share but that may be normal for his age.

IndigoBell Fri 05-Aug-11 15:47:17

ASD is nothing like most people think......

You can be gentle, and share things, and have ASD.

However the angry streak and lots of tantrums are more red flags......

Julia2132009 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:51:01

Thanks for your advice. I will look into this.

olibeansmummy Sun 07-Aug-11 13:30:25

Don't jump the gun with worrying just yet! My ds is 2.2 and if he started doing this at this developmental age I wouldn't be overly concerned ( and yes I do work with autistic children). The noise sensitivity can indicate asd, but my ds is also sensitive to noises such as the hoover at the moment. To be honest if your ds is otherwise developing normally I would not be seeking help just now, they will not diagnose asd so early anyway. Maybe keep a diary of "odd" behaviour incase you do find you need to see a doctor later on if other indicators of autism appear or his obsession does not fade away after a while.

lingle Sun 07-Aug-11 21:02:53

his senses might be a bit imbalanced and i think this happens in quite a lot of children. Seeing the spinning might just make him feel "right". Whereas loud noises might genuinely be registered in his brain as louder than they are registered in your brain.

If you know anyone who can't bear the feeling of rain on their head or has an issue with certain noises, they may be examples of the same sort of thing.

Olibeansmummy will know better than me, but Ithink in most children the senses gradually "integrate" until the messages his brain gets are just like the messages you and I get. they call this sensory integration.

Mouseketool Mon 08-Aug-11 10:55:52

It could just be a rotation schema

Meeshamie Mon 08-Aug-11 11:20:22

My 3.4 yo son is obsessed with hoovers, fans, holes in the road, drains, lawn mowers - anything he sees in his life - I've never thought any of it was ever strange - just a normal part of growing up and gathering an understanding of the world. For example just recently we had a leak under our kitchen sink. Now he's "obsessed" with checking the pipe work under sinks.

He is a loving boy who has tantrums like most toddlers and gets angry about stuff. He was once terrified of the hoover but that is a distant memory. He is however scared of hand dryers but I always thought that was perfectly normal.. toddlers are short, hand dryers tower above them blowing out hot air noisily. What's not to be afraid of?!

I'm not sure any of that helps you but I'm not sure you should be worrying all that much smile

Mamma101 Fri 12-Aug-11 23:42:47

My 3 yr old LOVES hoovers especially Henry type ones. He likes to play with ours, take bits off, have it on the sofa sometimes. There's a guy down the road who cleans cars and hoovers, he must be sick of seeing us, we drop in so often to say hello to George (the hoover). He often plays around with songs by slipping in the word "hoover", or uses it randomly as an answer.
Quite a handy really - if only he'd stop flinging toys all over the carpets!

Jesusgirl Sat 13-Aug-11 04:04:18

I don't think you should be worried, More than anything, I'm tempted to think it's a sign of 'giftedness' of some sort. I recently was looking through a list of characteristics of gifted kids and your ds seems to tick a few of the boxes.

If he likes fans then indulge him. Try to explain to him in a simple way how fans work. Get him a cheap hand fan from the pound shop and take it apart so he sees what's in it. And just leave it with him to fiddle with.

I'm no expert on ASDs but it doesn't sound to me as that at all. He sounds like a curious child who is more sensitive to his surroundings than most kids his age.

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