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Can anyone offer any thoughts about my DD (nearly 3yo)

(3 Posts)
AShadowStirsWithin Fri 14-Mar-14 23:33:17

DD will be three in April. I've been aware for about a year that I parent differently to a lot of other people because her reactions are different to a lot of other children her age and I wondered if anyone could give any experience or insight into some of this?

She rarely tantrums to push boundaries or because I've said no etc but she very frequently melts down when we are out of the house. Triggers tend to be things like having to wait in queues, being confined (lifts), having freedom restricted - like there being no seat on the bus and having to put her on my lap. I say meltdowns because she hurts herself and seems visibly distressed. She will bite herself or pull her hair.

She's also a very textural child. She sucks her thumb and will grab any cloth, towel, tea towel, jacket etc in the vicinity and run it between her hand and her fingers while thumb sucking. She uses this when tired or when upset. She will often put things in her mouth, play dough, wax crayons, mud. On numerous occasions I have found her tucked away somewhere with cream/sudocreme, talc etc all over her and the floor. She isn't being naughty, it's the textural aspect she craves. She sits there running her hands through it. We had the same issue with poo while potty training (touching it, smearing it).

I used to discipline and try and control these things but she just became hysterically distressed, she doesn't seem to understand what she has done wrong at all, whereas if she ate her brothers biscuit she would know she was wrong, say sorry and we would move on. The above examples are different.

Because I recognise the difference and don't believe it to be deliberate naughtiness I pre empt, I react differently and I'm starting to get comments. For eg, if I can see her starting to get stressed when we are in a busy shop or waiting for the bus etc I will pick her up or get down on her level and keep a quiet calm monologue going about all sorts of odd things! It doesn't matter what I talk about, it seems to be the constant quiet talking which helps. If I haven't pre empted it and she is in melt down and biting herself etc I will pick her up and cuddle her which gets me some very judgey looks! It works, she normally starts sucking her thumb and running my top through her hand until she calms down.

She has a slight speech delay but is progressing at a good pace so HV currently feels no need for SALT. HV has no concerns. She isn't always like this, sometimes things that would normally be a trigger aren't. With the pre empting we are having very few melt downs at all. She is a lovely happy girl, she's always smiling, loves making friends, is affectionate and kind, cares v much for her little brother etc. I just know other toddlers aren't like this. They have tantrums about broken bananas and wanting to go the the park in their pjs and DD never tantrums like that, never about things like that. I'm not so much concerned as wanting to know if anyone else has/had a child like this, how did things change as they got older etc.


Aelfrith Fri 14-Mar-14 23:43:35

You are doing a great job. You have a really intuitive understanding of your child and respond calmly and sensitively to her.

One of mine is a bit like this...very sensitive and lots of melt downs. I pre empt too, and talk through, and cuddle etc. why wouldn't we? What's the point in stressing them out further?

They do get better in time. Mine is 7 and mostly pretty calm.

Aelfrith Fri 14-Mar-14 23:46:44

And mine is still very into sensory things...chews and sucks fabric etc. but it's easier to channel these days...I get through a lot of very plain ice lollies as that seems to help, as well as cucumber from the fridge, cold pieces of apple. And lots of lego to keep his fingers busy.

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