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Am I missing something

(13 Posts)
Doneinagain Wed 21-Nov-12 22:25:27

Have posted before about 3yr old DD1 mainly about what a fussy eater she is and how she is limited to wanting only about a dozen types of food. But I'm worried that I may be missing something.

She doesn't like large groups. When we enter a coffee shop or kids party she immediately wants to be held or hugged and gets teary and clingy. She doesn't like to get messy. If she gets any food or paint on her hands or clothes she has to have it wiped off straight away.
She is very particular about her routine. She wants her food served on certain plates and if not she throws mild tantrums. She doesn't like her food touching on the plate and cannot stand any visibly herbs or sauces.
On the other hand she knows her numbers, letters. Can play well with other children but sometimes gets stroppy.

When she has a meltdown, if I try to discipline her it goes on and on with her often screaming at me that she wants a hug or 'I want you mummy' and no amount of calm reasoning seems to snap her out of it.
I'm just worried that there is something else going in with her that I should be helping with but don't know how. She has a younger sister who is now 15 months. I guess I am just wondering if this is normal three year old behaviour and the usual tantrums or am I missing something. Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

3b1g Wed 21-Nov-12 22:30:15

Does she go to a pre-school or nursery? If so, how are things there? Reading between the lines, I can imagine some of the possible things you might be concerned about. Having been through a lengthy assessment and diagnostic process with one of my DCs, they looked at his difficulties in more than one setting, ie at home and at school.

3b1g Wed 21-Nov-12 22:33:07

One thing you could do that I wish I'd done is to keep a journal of unusual things or difficulties she has (the sort of things you've listed above) then if you do decide to seek advice then you have all your concerns to hand.

narmada Wed 21-Nov-12 22:37:57

I don't have an answer but you could be describing my 4.5 year old daughter. I don't think our DD has ASD but I am pretty certain she is hyper-sensitive to sensory stimuli.

DD appears to have really outgrown her fear of groups and joining in now although she still struggles a bit socially.

Doneinagain Wed 21-Nov-12 22:39:38

Thanks 3b1. In many ways she seems to get on with life as it comes and when we are around our NCT group of children she seems "normal" in comparison and her tantrums seem well within the range.

But then today she asked me if her friend was going to be at the coffee shop we were going to I said I wasn't sure ( she adores this friend they go to nursery together) and when we got there her friend was there. My younger dd happily went over to say hello but DD1 just clung onto me got all weepy and demanded a hug. I'm not trying to be coy just am not sure what it could be. The only thing nursery have picked up on as she only goes two mornings a week is that she likes her food plain. There was an incident where she hit some another child but I clamped down on that and it hasn't happened since.
What do you think?

hellymelly Wed 21-Nov-12 22:44:04

She sounds normal to me. My dd had some of those things at three. She hated herby bits in sauces, and was keen on certain plates, hated food touching other food etc. (I remember myself at three insisting on one particular dish at my Granny's, known as the "tin dish"). Three year olds can be super fussy, they can be restrictive in what they eat, and how it is served (my dH lived on three foods for an age when a toddler, much to MIL's despair). My dd is much less like that now, she is still fussy about certain things sometimes, and still clingy sometimes, just like the others in her class at school. I would say all the things you mention above are very normal and common in todders and small children.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 21-Nov-12 22:44:35

sounds quite a lot like DS1. Uncomfortable in large groups, prefers one to one with his friends, won't eat anything that has 'green' on it inc herbs, has quite a limited diet although he is getting better and will now eat all types of seafood inc mussels, still has tantrums/meltdowns if he doesn't get his own way.

he is 7 and totally fine, if a tad artistic, enigmatic and quirky as described by his teacher and also quite a perfectionist. Oh and you can't persuade him to do anything he doesn't want to, he really knows his own mind, hence the tantrums

Doneinagain Wed 21-Nov-12 22:48:51

Thanks helly. This is why I am so torn on the one hand her behaviour is calmer and much less irrational than some of her peers. But then when she overreacts to entering a coffee shop when just moments ago she was enthusiastic.... Well I just want to make sure I'm not missing something and doing her an injustice by not handling if better.
The truth is I get embarrassed, angry and irritated by what feels like her irrational outburst(I know I know she is 3 she's allowed to irrational) but if I understood it better maybe I could react to it better.

BadRoly Wed 21-Nov-12 22:50:36

I understand your concerns.

i went to my HV about ds1, probably when he was about this age, because I had a feeling and was brushed off by her. Long story short he did have behavioural problems, caused by ??? that have been an ongoing issue from 2 weeks after he started school until now (yr5).

However, ds2 is 3.5 and is a beast. He won't eat food he ate last week. If a banana is peeled 'wrongly' he will melt down. sauce on pasta or gravy on a dinner is an absolute no. The tantrums are just soul destroying (5 today). And over the most ridiculously pointless things. He has regressed dramatically with sleeping. He is also wetting/soiling more. He dislikes loud noises and got very upset when the fire engine came to nursery.

On the flip side, he talks about who he plays with at nursery and seems very very happy and sociable there. He too can count and recognises numbers and has pretty much nailed his colours. His speech is not clear but he can communicate and clearly understands what he hears.

None of these are causing me concern at the moment (except the tantrums which may make him reaching his 4th birthday miraculous) as talking to the other mums at nursery, they are saying the same.

I think my point (after my long waffle post) is that if you are worried/concerned then act on it, but it is also quite possible that your dd is displaying "normal" 3yo behaviours.

Tis a bloody minefield this parenting lark...

Doneinagain Wed 21-Nov-12 22:58:19

Yes yes BadRoly to the peeling the banana in the wrong way...DD1 also has to have her apple sliced wouldn't dream of actually biting into it whole and has also regressed in the sleep department. For the past two months has been sneaking into our bed before morning or just standing by the side of the bed scaring the bejesus out of me.
What was the conclusion with your DS1 if you don't mind me asking?

BadRoly Thu 22-Nov-12 11:46:14

Hi again. Ds1 is a bit of an enigma tbh. HV asked if I thought he was autistic or aspergers but at that stage I didn't really know what they were and it hasn't crossed my mind.

His poor behaviour really kicked off in reception class 2 weeks in. With hindsight it was very poorly managed and teacher (school senco) was out of her depth. Add to this head was off long term sick and school failed ofsted all in his first term.

We moved him to another school and support improved dramatically. Senco put in various referrals to pcahms and ed psych. Upshot was a question mark over ASD/Aspergers but we moved house (300miles) before any formal diagnosis was made.

Current school have continued with Excellant support and he is able to manage his behaviour himself 95% if the time. Again various counselling/support involved. Still no formal diagnosis and don't think there ever will be. Head and senco (school has a special unit) suspect he is further along the ASD spectrum than many and possibly very high functioning Aspergers but no label is needed so they (and we) feel there is no need to take anything further.

I hope that answers your question - on phone so can't read back and post at same time blush

hellymelly Thu 22-Nov-12 14:09:38

As to your further post- she really sounds fairly typical for three. Bright and sensitive but nothing that would worry me tbh. My dd has been a monster tantrummer although that has improved hugely since I changed the way I dealt with them. She used to be very good all day in school and then come out and explode. All the things you've written were either true of my younger dd or her friends. I think clingyness goes in phases and the more you allow the clingy patch and really let them cling, the better. I think sensitive three year olds are feeling the shift from todderhood into being a small child, and they veer between wanting something and then not coping, and they try to bring order to things they find chaotic by making rules about food etc. I would give her lots of reassurance and one-on-one time when it is possible. Nothing in your posts rings alarm bells for me at all.

Doneinagain Thu 22-Nov-12 23:10:55

Thank you everyone feel reassured by your kind wise words. She was in nursery all day today and her carers told me she had had a great day. When I came in she was sat at a table with 5 other children playing dinosaurs so I felt a huge surge of relief.

Her grandpa has come to visit and when he walked into the house she went running up to him and gave him a big hug so no insecurity there must just all be about comfort zones.

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