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Is this normal 4 year old behaviour?

(7 Posts)
drypond Mon 03-Dec-12 19:15:45

My ds was delayed but seems to have caught up but I having trouble with clingy behaviour, hes waking me up constantly through the night saying he needs me, that he's lonely, that there's skeletons under his bed alsorts of excuses but I am exhausted, he's also started constantly asking me to play with him, I do give him lots of attention but I literally cannot eat without him asking me to play but when I do try play he still plays by himself.

Before he showed quite a lot of autistic traits and is under community paed but most f them seem to have gone but he's still very into routine and can go through phases of tantrums, he also can be quite ignorant he also is constantly asking me what is happening and what as happened through the day. School are happy with his progress and are not concerned but are a good school and are helping us where they can. I'm just exhausted I do not know what to do about the sleep issue

tacal Mon 03-Dec-12 19:31:17

My ds is very similar to yours. I am exhausted too. Most of the time DS and I sleep together so I can get some sleep. He does not have skeletons under his bed, he has big monsters and scary dragons in his room. I think it is a phase he will grow out of. Sorry I dont have any advice.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 03-Dec-12 19:43:04

My DS displayed similar traits at 4 and still does at aged 9. He is still anxious, wakes me at night and needs constant attention unless he's on the computer.

My son does have ASD. Please don't take this as me saying I think your DS has ASD but doing some research probably won't harm.
I starting researching when my son was 5 and even before the diagnosis I found lots and lots of helpful tips.
I realised even without a diagnosis being as clued up as possible strengthened my relationship with him.

I confess prior to that I'm not sure we had bonded properly because I was lost as to how to deal with him. I was exhausted and worried for much of the time.

tacal Mon 03-Dec-12 19:59:58

TheAccidentialExhibitionist - did the school suspect your ds had ASD or did he not show any signs at school? Exhausted and worried describes me but I do have a very strong bond with ds.

Good luck drypond. I hope things get better for you and ds.

drypond Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:50

Thanks, I did do some research with ds having the autistic traits and asd does run strongly in my family and i did find good tips on how to manage the tantrums and things but the bed time waking is exhausting now, he never slept till he was off dairy at 3 this is something new though with the constant I need you, it's almost like he takes a step forward with 1 thing which is his ability to play and some imagination but then he has a need fr me to be there constantly, at school he doesn't really make conversation with teachers, he does have a friend but only plays with him so I think maybe it's stemming from there? That need to have someone?

We do have a good bond, i did struggle at times when he was younger for the same reasons, exhausted, worried and no disrespect to my ds but when he was younger he didnt communicate or give much back, he's only just started showing proper meaningful affection towards me if that makes sense

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 05-Dec-12 15:00:45

Drypond and tacal.
Things get clearer over time and as they get older. Neurotypical children seem to lose behaviours like inattention, having tantrums and anxiety at quite an earlier age. My son stood out because he did and still does have meltdowns, feel extremely anxious, have difficulty sleeping. He is inattentive, controlling about food and has little empathy with people.
At the weekend he saw a clip of the 1970s film Superman 2. He's utterly traumatised by what he saw. His anxiety is high and he can't sleep because he keeps picturing it. A good example of how high his anxiety is.

School were very reluctant to say or commit to anything. The issue came to a head when he was 5. He was very frightened of other children and we thought he was being bullied. The school made no comment but advised that we seek a CAMHS referral for his anxiety. The whole process took years and it was only approaching Diagnosis that the teachers starting saying what they thought the problem was for him.
The most useful thing I found was a page on Facebook called 'Autism discussion page'. A specialist posts regularly on behaviours. They are like little lessons with lots of solutions. It was a revelation to me, they enabled me to really start learning and understanding about my DS.
That has enabled me to be his defender and spokesperson at school and social situations. We have adapted our lives to work around his ASD and while that may seem odd to parents of Neurotypical children, it works for us.

BTW my bond with my DS is excellent now, I just needed to understand him.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 05-Dec-12 15:14:48

Regarding sleep. Develop a really strong bedtime routine. We use Epsom salts in the bath water to make our son sleepy, don't let them drink the bath water though.

We use essential oils and night rescue remedy. The oils relax him and the rescue remedy stops the repetitive intrusive thoughts. A warm hot water bottle inside a cuddly ted helps.

We use a relaxation app for children that my DS can listen to whenever he needs to and our psychologist recommended guided relaxation. We sit with him and tell him a story involving relaxing things he finds comforting. We can use it anytime he feels anxious and it can be told throughout the night. That has been very helpful.

We put a couple of lava lamps in his bedroom and they reassure him when he wakes up. He loves having pets in the room with him too, because he doesn't feel alone. We leave the door open and the hall light on.

When he comes into our room, we listen to his anxiety, cuddle him and then within a couple of minutes we take him straight back to bed.
Some children like weighted blankets as it helps them feel secure.

Not sure if any of this helps but hopefully you'll find something here.

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