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3 year old is obbsessional and needs routine

(14 Posts)
frankiebuns Fri 15-Aug-14 10:24:54

As my title says my son has his quirks, he is very obbsessional and I mean obbsessional! We went to the circus 3 weeks ago and now every day we have to sit down about 3 times a day and watch a show, thankfully this is detracted from his other obbsession cars n motorbikes but its getting tedious, we also have to go to a park every day and when its not a routine my god I get a wobbly boy and I cant handle it! We are slowly getting hv in place but they are taking ages, we have to pik a school in sept and wanted an idea of what things ee can do to help him, he won't eat in public and numbers 2s are really difficult he wontg go near the loo and only goes in a corner in his pants , he cries if we get him near the loo! I think its adpergers but iim not sure

vickylu1 Fri 15-Aug-14 19:34:56

It could be an autistic spectrum disorder of some sort or it could just be his personality. How's his speech and interaction with others? Is he an only child or oldest child? My oldest daughter was obsessed with lining things up and wouldn't go for number 2 in public toilets. She probably gets that from me as I'm really fussy when it comes to public toilets. Anyway, she could speak well but she didn't interact that well with others until she started school, my younger daughter is very social but I think that's because she had an older sibling. From what you've said I would guess that your son just has his own personality quirks and not aspergers. It would be difficult to tell at 3. If he goes to nursery then they could refer him to an educational psychologist if you're concerned but usually they would be concerned too to do that. As for prepping him for school, you've got some time before school so unless you think he's going to freak out there by the time he starts, I would probably just go with the flow. Three year olds change so much between now and when they start school. I'd guess that all will be fine by the time he starts school but if you think he needs checking out and he's not at nursery, I'm sure your GP could point you in the right direction or assure you. With aspergers being so mild in comparison with autism, it's not something that is easily diagnosed at such a young age. Hope you manage to find him the right school. I chose a smaller school for my oldest because of her social ineptitude and it was perfect for her, I think a big school would have swallowed her up but who knows? Good luck.

vickylu1 Fri 15-Aug-14 19:40:34

Sorry just re-read your post and realised HV is health visitor. I hope you have a good one, I've not had much joy with mine over the years. The not eating in public thing you could probably work on by starting with something not as foody, like a smoothie? Somewhere not particularly busy or even at home or someone else's house if he can bear it. You could start by inviting someone over and give him a snack (don't know if he won't eat in front of others at home), he would feel more secure at home, you could then take a snack to the park when you're there and build up slowly? Anyway just suggestions I'm not expert but it might work.

Goldmandra Fri 15-Aug-14 19:52:48

What you have described could be a child with significant symptoms of Autism. Asperger's is simply Autism without speech delay but I'm not sure that it is offered as a diagnosis any more.

You can't separate a child's personality from their Autism traits. What matters is how much their symptoms affect their ability to access what we consider a normal everyday life.

The difficulties you have described sound quite severe but it's very hard to tell from such a brief description.

If you think your DS will struggle to cope when he starts school it is really important that you request a neurodevelopmental assessment now. Your GP can refer you and the assessment looks at all areas of a child's development when considering if a diagnosis is appropriate. You would be a big part of this process.

Does he attend an early years setting? If so, have the staff expressed any concerns? If not, is it because you don't feel is ready or could cope there? That would be considered significant.

Early intervention and support does make a difference to the outcomes for children with Autism and there is support available to help you understand and manage his behaviour and help him to feel less anxious if he does have Autism.

Whatever you do, don't leave this until he is at school. If he needs support in school it can easily take a year to get the statement or EHC plan he would need to ensure he gets it.

frankiebuns Fri 15-Aug-14 20:41:51

My son is a walking dictionary although he does have his own ways of pronoucing / like machines are mashashines or fountains are mountains. He plays alongside children. He wont speak to his pre school teachers he adamently refuses i made a summer book with pictures etc i said to him he could take iy into school for the interest table and he was like no one can touch it. Im not speaking to them i wont! They have refered us to speech therapy but nothing yet! I dnt think its speech therapy he needs. New situations do overwhelm him and i know everything hinges on the food im stressing

Goldmandra Fri 15-Aug-14 21:25:14

Speech and language therapists can help children with selective mutism if that is what your DS has. My DDs both have AS and DD2 is currently sitting through consecutive CAMHS appointments refusing to speak. She is also unable to say a lot in school and has been for years.

I think it's a self defence mechanism for children who feel overwhelmed and anxious in certain environments. The problem is that they can get kind of stuck and unable to start speaking when they want to because they can't cope with the possible reactions they may encounter.

The more you describe, the more I think he needs an assessment ASAP to help you get support in place for when he starts school.

vickylu1 Sat 16-Aug-14 13:35:49

I agree with the other posters that if you're concerned then get him an assessment as soon as you can. If he has autism or aspergers then at least you'll know for sure and can get support for him. You said he can speak and play alongside others which to me suggests he doesn't have autism or aspergers. I'm no expert, I did two modules at uni on autism and child development so know some basics but that's it. I work with a couple of older children who have aspergers and they have their moments and now I know them better I know what not to do and so on. I'm a piano teacher. The best thing you can do is ensure you keep consistent and gain all the support and knowledge you can. Please make sure you get support for yourself too as you mentioned you're getting rather frustrated. If it's a friend, posting on here, talking to a professional, whatever it may, don't forget about you.

Everyone falls somewhere on the spectrum and as I said before he's still very young and he might just need time to get used to social life. To me he sounds more anxious about public situations than anything else and maybe speaking to an expert about this could help. The health visitor should be able to point you in the right direction.

I really hope that you find out what's causing the eating in public issue, I think once you figure that out, the other social worries will figure themselves out. If he does have a disorder (autism, aspergers etc) then a statement would ensure you could have a good choice of school which will have the right supports in place and know how to work with him to give him the best possible start to his education.

Best of luck, hope you find out what's going on soon. Preschools usually have a SEN coordinator, could be worth speaking with them about your concerns. Sometimes the preschool doesn't mention things they're concerned about straightaway if they're mild. If you bring it up first then you can find out what they think sooner rather than later? They should say something if they have concerns though.

Hope all goes well and you get an answer to your worries. Please look after yourself too smile

frankiebuns Sat 16-Aug-14 16:42:02

Hv told me if he doesng play with others but next to them he flsgs up problems

BackforGood Sat 16-Aug-14 17:20:57

Go and talk to the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) at Pre-school and say that you are worried, and what your concerns are, and ask them what they think.
As vicky says, some pre-school staff are hesitant to discuss their concerns if the parents haven't mentioned them.
The Pre-school will be able to refer him for a Paediatric Assessment directly if the HV hasn't got on to it.

Goldmandra Sat 16-Aug-14 18:18:46

You said he can speak and play alongside others which to me suggests he doesn't have autism or aspergers.

Sorry, vickylu, but you have been badly informed here. The fact that a child only engages in parallel play at this age and is not beginning to play cooperatively is a cause for concern and it is very common in children with ASDs. Other qualities of play to look for at this age include lack of imaginative play, insisting that toys cannot be used except for their expressed purposed, e.g. you can only use a toy phone as a phone, never a toy banana, and becoming angry or anxious when others, including adults, try to direct the play.

My DD1 was able to speak in sentences before her first birthday and this is more common in children with ASDs. Asperger's Syndrome is defined by many as Autism without speech delay. Very early reading is also a sign. My DD1 taught herself to read just after her second birthday.

Preschool SENCos should be able to inform you of anything unusual they have observed but they are rarely qualified to do more than that. I'm not aware that practitioners can refer to paediatricians for assessment but I am happy to be corrected if that happens in other areas than my own.

Food issues are also more common in children with ASDs, including eating around others, problems with textures and food being mixed together. This needs more careful handling than with NT children as the rule that a fussy eater won't starve themselves doesn't necessarily apply when a neurodevelopmental disorder is present.

The key to supporting children who have or may have an ASD is usually managing their anxiety. Lots of children seek to gain control wherever possible as a way to manage an unpredictable and overwhelming world. Stable routines, clear and calm behaviour management based on rewards rather than sanctions can help a great deal, as can ensuring that daily plans are explained clearly with regular reminders and kept to wherever possible.

vickylu1 Sat 16-Aug-14 19:52:29

Thanks Goldmandra. That's really useful information. From what you've said my older daughter exhibited pretty much a lot of those behaviours.

She played alongside others instead of interacting until she started school, she then did though. She could read by the age of two and spoke very clearly at that age. She didn't have a problem with imagination or adult directed play most of the time although sometimes when asked to draw pictures she would just scribble in frustration.

We had a very strict routine at home so I wouldn't really have noticed if a break in routine affected her.

She seems fine now she's 11 although she does fine it difficult to talk to adults and doesn't make eye contact when talking to people. She maybe has very mild aspergers? I don't know now. When my sister started med school they all did an autistic spectrum diagnosis on each other and she scored as having mild aspergers. Is it a genetic thing?

I'm now wondering if I should have pushed the GP more with the concerns I had when she was younger? She's a lovely, bright, funny girl and she does have her quirks and her behaviours when she was younger remind me so much of the OP's son. My daughter is doing well, has lots of friends and never in a million years would I have thought of aspergers. You've got me wondering now.... smile

Goldmandra Sun 17-Aug-14 10:44:35

There is a strong genetic factor although not much is known beyond that. One important question in a diagnostic assessment is whether there are other family members with the condition.

There are plenty of people who have clearly recognisable traits of Autism but are still able to live a relatively normal life, accessing their education successfully and coping with social interaction. Some of those people probably could get a diagnosis if an assessment were carried out by that diagnosis would probably not make a great deal of difference to them.

The children who need a dx are those who can't cope with the sensory environments and the social, emotional and organisational demands in school and other environments or who need the people around them to understand their difficulties in order to manage their behaviour appropriately.

My DD1 coped until she started High School and Autism wasn't on our radar at all up until that point. She was diagnosed at the age of 12 with AS and severe anxiety and needed lots of support to get back into school after missing a year. She's now doing really well with a statement and consistent support.

So I guess what I'm saying is that there is no need to push for an assessment unless there is something your DD needs that a DX would bring. It doesn't sound like that is the case at the moment but you know what to do if that changes.

chocisonabikinidiet Mon 18-Aug-14 11:58:52

OP, I would skip the HV and go straight to GP to request/demand a referral to a developmental paediatrician. make a list of all your concerns and take it with you. the diagnistic process can take ages.

good luck!

adrianna22 Mon 18-Aug-14 21:02:47

Autism spectrum disorder is a tough one.

Does your DS like going to the park to play? Or is it that you have to walk past the park.

Now if you have told me that your DS has serious issues with his speech and language skills, then I would be hesitant. But it does sound like he may be on the spectrum and you need to warrant a referral for assessment.

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