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Does this sound like something, or PFB?

(11 Posts)
Abitworriednow Tue 28-May-13 11:28:44

I'm not sure why I've even name changed for this. I talk about DS quite a bit here; feel an odd need to protect him. Long, sorry!

DS is 2.3. Has always been a bright, happy boy, no concerns. However recently (over the last 6 months) I've noticed that he's exhibiting some behaviour that none of his peers seem to be. That may just be his personality in which case, great, if a bit odd but I'm slightly worried it could be something more.

First off, should say that he does smile, can be affectionate if cajoled for a bit and talks a lot. But:

1) Dislikes other children. Will tolerate those at nursery but doesn't make eye contact and prefers to be in a corner, doing his own thing. If children try to play with him in the playground he will either run behind my legs, or mutter, "no" leading to a crescendo and eventually nervous squeaking. He will grudgingly share items/space if told that 'it's the rule' to do that. He's a lot better with adults.
2) Loves rules. Will tell other people off, loudly, for not following rules i.e. crossing the road before the green man appears, or not using oven gloves, etc. I guess this links in with him being controlling, which he is.
3) Loves being clean. If he gets his hands messy he will be distressed and hold them out to be cleaned, and won't calm down until they are definitely, definitely spotless.
4) Sits very, very close to the TV and plays with things about 2cm from his face. Only really plays with things with wheels (trucks, vans, cars, buses, airplanes as long as they have wheels, taxis, trains) - loves the wheels.
5) Very self-sufficient. I sometimes think if I disappeared for 24 hours he'd be absolutely fine. He doesn't cry when he falls over, amuses himself until you actively come along and hates having things done for him.
6) Bizarrely good memory. He has memorized lots of words, and I think has memorized the look of letters and the phonics (which they teach at nursery), and can now read new words. Generally his memory is oddly good.

All this does sound PFB when I read it back. On the surface he is just a bright, extremely obedient little boy. I just look at other kids running around having fun, and he doesn't do that. He watches, and backs away when they come towards him, I worry.

We took him to a fair yesterday and it took him 45 minutes of examination of the carousel and looking at each horse individually (there must have been some sort of selection criteria, who knows), and mild panic and whimper of "Oh dear!" before he got on for a ride. He then refused to come off for 45 minutes. Is this normal?

oscarwilde Tue 28-May-13 11:40:06

To me, he sounds very bright, but otherwise very normal developmentally. Children don't generally play together at that age, some do I'm sure but most don't. Just because he has advanced intelligence doesn't mean he won't be just as basic as the next toddler.
That said, some of the behaviours, are to my knowledge, markers for Asbergers/autistic traits. I imagine that you are much like me, and have a very limited [and probably cliched] understanding from posters on Mumsnet and popular media and when our kids are bright and a bit introvert, there's a tendency to worry it might be something more.

I'm sure someone more expert than me will be along but if it were me, I would keep an eye on things and be gently encouraging of more messy play and increase social outings with other children with adults alongside to encourage social interaction.

The fair - probably perfectly normal. Sounds like he had a blast once he got over his nerves. We're all guilty of procrastinating before doing something new that makes us nervous.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 28-May-13 11:41:49

Well he sounds single minded! My own DD was a bit quirky like this...she's 8 now...still quirky but fine socially. Does DS point? Share toys with you...as in bring things over to show you or instigate a game? Does he understand the concept of pretend play? What I mean by that, is if you play picnics or tea parties with him, will he for example "feed a bear" a cup of tea?

He's young yet...and lots of people will insist he's got plenty of time to develop social skills...which he has...not all young DC like playing with others at 2.

mawbroon Tue 28-May-13 11:46:21

A lot of this sounds similar to ds1.

He would play on his own for hours sometimes and also was completely obsessed with wheels and spinning things. He went through a phase where a drop of water or a speck of dirt required a change of clothes. He was also a stickler for the rules and would come and tell me if others were breaking the rules. He was also extremely cautious and the park or soft play was a total waste of time at that age.

He is 7yo now and has loads of pals, not fussed about wheels any more, gets filthy head to toe and doesn't care, climbs the same as the other kids and so on.

I would say he is still a bit obsessive, I notice that when he has friends round, they want to move on and play something else before he does, but he goes along with it.

I used to worry that he didn't seem like the other kids, but over time, he's turned out just fine!

cathan Tue 28-May-13 11:46:53

Is there any history in the immediate family that would lead you to worry about his development? Without meeting him/seeing his behaviour myself it is very hard to say, but what you describe sounds a little bit similar to my son, who was diagnosed with Asperger's (an autistic spectrum disorder) at age 6. You could have a look at Autism.org.uk and read up a bit to see if you think he "fits" the criteria for ASD. Just to be clear though, my son is doing really well at a mainstream school and has friends etc so if your son does have Asperger's it isn't the end of the world! The fact that he seems to be very intelligent is more of a plus in the long run and his social skills can be improved with help.

Abitworriednow Tue 28-May-13 15:26:52

Back! Had to do some work.

Thanks for all your opinions, this is very reassuring. Yes,*Oscar*, I have a very limited idea of aspergers/autism, and am really just comparing DS to the children at nursery. I think he's a wonderful little chap and it's very useful to have a toddler that loves rules and cleanliness, he is just very different. And I worry he knows that, too.

We are being encouraging of physical play - going to the park, water play, etc. DS likes being outside, I think, but stands on the sidelines of most play scenarios.

Does DS point? Yes - and asks, "What's that?" "What does it do?" "Why's it do that?". He doesn't instigate games (he likes playing by himself) but if you ask what he's doing, he'll explain and answer questions about it - he won't necessarily look at you or involve you. He doesn't pretend play; he knows it's not real so doesn't bother, and looks at me a bit funny if I try. I've recently introduced a soft toy that he quite likes because it talks. He doesn't play with it or interact; just makes it 'speak' over and over. But otherwise doesn't 'do' teddies/soft toys - he goes to bed with a little metal bus. confused

Cathan - his dad is very, very, clever and mathsy - there was a suspicion he might have autism/aspergers but this was years and years ago so nothing verified. He now has a good social circle and is just a bit awkward and needs quite a lot of alone time. No other family history that I know of.

I should reiterate - I think DS is great, he's a wonderful child and it's a great to have a toddler I can have a conversation with and who responds to rationale. I just wish he had more fun, and hope that he starts to want to do so in the coming years.

Looking at autism.co.uk, thank you!

DeWe Tue 28-May-13 19:12:48

Sounds very similar to dd1 who was reading fairly well at that age. The only one that didn't sound like her was point 4-but we didn't have a TV. That sounds like an eyesight issue. Worth asking for a check I would have thought.

Dd1 is now 12, not very social, but enjoys being with friends, of which she has a small circle, and still very bright.

The ride was just like her: I have a photo at Butlins where she looks like she's terrified-then the ride started and she loved it. She's still cautious of things, and won't go on unless she's confident.

Abitworriednow Tue 28-May-13 22:41:52

DeWe - thanks. You know, I never even thought about his eyesight. It's a lot better than mine so I thought it was fine, but I have awful eyesight so better than me isn't really saying much! I'll get this checked out at an optician rather than relying on the HV.

I've decided not to worry for now - I was watching DS this evening and he seems happy, and content with his routines and way of doing things. If it starts to adversely affect him, I'll explore further.

dietstartstmoz Tue 28-May-13 22:59:25

Hi OP. Your DS sounds great but I would say make an appointment with the GP and talk about your concerns. I also have a wonderful son, in fact I have 2 and my youngest has autism. He was diagnosed aged 3.5yrs. He is funny, completely gorgeous and a joy to us all, but he does sound like he has similar difficulties to your son. He did enough eye contact and affection to slip under the radar but difficulties became more apparent aged 2.5-3yrs. I have think you have enough concerns about to get a referral for an assessment with a paediatrician. Continue to enjoy your ds and if you have any further concerns you would be welcome on the mn special needs children boards with any questions whatever the outcome.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 29-May-13 00:00:59

both mine stand close to the tv they just like it.,!

jade80 Wed 29-May-13 00:09:25

Look up schemas, in particular rotation schemas. Schemas are repeated patterns, one of the ways children learn, and it sounds like he is interested in rotation at the moment. Reading up on them might help you understand some of the things he is doing.

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