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Concerns about 3 year old DD social skills - Please advise

(31 Posts)
BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Fri 31-Oct-14 21:23:02

DD1 is 3 and a half and has no social skills whatsoever...! Her method of making friends usually involves going up to another child, putting her face in theirs, and laughing manically. This may be accompanied with a repetitive phrase, which is currently "you're funny" or "gaga" (yes, like a baby....). At times she may try cuddling/kissing them. This usually leaves the other child looking a little confused/freaked out/scared.

She also has a problem with names... If I ask her about friends at preschool, she'll tell me she has friends, but when I ask their names, she can't tell me. I guess at this point I should say she has delayed speech. She can speak in sentences, but her vocabulary is limited and her speech is not clear (a lot of tat's instead of cats). SALT have not helpful (but that's a different thread!).

I've never personally witnessed another child behave like her. I've tried telling her that people need space and they may not want to be kissed/cuddled, and that it is not appropriate to laugh in peoples faces, but she ignores me and carries on regardless. She also does it to DD2 (8mth) despite me asking millions of times for her to stop...

I guess I'm wondering if this is normal or a sign something else is going on? Has anybody elses child behaved like this and how did you help them?

corkgirlindublin Fri 31-Oct-14 21:42:48

I can offer no advice unfortunately but as a mother of a similar aged child that behaviour sounds unusual and I can't recall ever seeing a child behave as described.

Anything else going on ? How does she eat / sleep? Does she have tantrums?

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Fri 31-Oct-14 22:11:21

She eat and sleeps really welk but tantrums are a daily occurrence...

MajesticWhine Fri 31-Oct-14 22:17:33

Do the teachers at preschool have similar concerns to you about her behaviour? It does sound really concerning to be honest, and I would be tempted to check it out with GP or health visitor.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Fri 31-Oct-14 22:25:12

Dd is the same age, I'm really sorry but her behaviour does sound a little unusual. I would speak to the GP about it and ask her key worker for advice too.
Oh my dd has tantrums most days too, she's started foot stomping too (yay).

Homebird8 Fri 31-Oct-14 22:35:44

Not an expert on the behaviour stuff but the SALT my DS2 had cured his tats into cats in a day. The technique was called 'magic finger'

If your DD puts a finger on her tongue (reasonably far into her mouth) when she says tat, it comes out cat. It also works for date becoming gate. Try it yourself.

DS2 insisted it had to be magic thumb because he's contrary like that but within a day he was saying the letters naturally and had got to the grand old age of 4 1/2 without it being sorted until this point. The first time he called 'Dranny' Granny was a magical moment.

Ignore me if there is more going on here but hope it might be some help with one tiny aspect of your post. Good luck.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Fri 31-Oct-14 22:45:28

I will try the magic finger with her tomorrow! Thanks for that!

She has a caf and is due to be seen by a paediatrician. Preschool have not mentioned anything about this but have noted she plays alone a lot...

AlexD72 Fri 31-Oct-14 23:06:01

"New baby" could explain some of her behaviour. How do you interact with your 8 month old? Is she copying? A lot of three year olds play alone. She may be finding having a baby in the family difficult. He's so cute and well behaved. Everyone laughs with him and kisses and cuddles him.
Sometimes a three year old might find that a bit difficult.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Sat 01-Nov-14 07:32:52

Saying "gaga" has definitely happened since DD2 arrived. She says it a lot, even when just talking normally ie. She'll point at a tree and say gaga even though she knows its a tree.

But the other things - laughing crazily and invading personal space - have been occurring before she was born. No matter what I say to try and help her she carries on! Its frustrating and quite embarrassing at times.

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 01-Nov-14 07:43:38

Well I think you're on the right track with seeking professional help.

In the meantime maybe try role playing with her and acting out aging and meeting people or try with toys too. Maybe it would help her understand how to behave a bit more

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 01-Nov-14 07:44:56

Not aging! Playing with confused bloomin predictive text

Hitabottomus Sat 01-Nov-14 07:56:46

I'm a nursery manager (and therefore not qualified at all to make diagnoses, let alone over-the-internet ones!) but the behaviour does sound unusual. The nursery should at least have a plan of how to help your DD make friends etc if they've noted she always engages in solitary play. It doesn't have to be a weighty written tome, but even being able to say that they've noticed she plays alone so will be structuring lots of cooperative games/small group games is a start.

I think I would see a health professional just to get her in the system. It may be nothing and is just a phase to be outgrown, but a health professional will be able to sign post which route to take if not, and some are notoriously slow at arranging for further assessments etc.

Hitabottomus Sat 01-Nov-14 08:03:00

Sorry, that sounds as if I think that there is definitely something to diagnose, which isn't what I meant. Children do all develop at different rates and master some things quicker than others but if there is something else, it's better for earlier intervention.

ohisay Sat 01-Nov-14 08:10:37

my daughter has a friend EXACTLY like you describe your daughter 😀 she's lovely, and for her it was mostly a maturity thing, very much linked with lack of speech. they're now on year one and she's catching up with her friends socially (no more being two cms away from someones face saying their name over and over grin)
I do agree with others that have said have a chat with her teacher/carer at nursery (?) and explain your concerns x

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Sat 01-Nov-14 09:10:21

I was hoping it was just a maturity thing and she'd grow out of it tbh. She is interested in other children. I will definitely raise it with her keyworker at nursery sad

Hitabottomus Sat 01-Nov-14 09:56:23

It isn't unusual for children with speech delays to find it tricky to make friends, and it may be that laughing/getting close to children is how your DD is trying to communicate that she wants to make friends. I've also observed lots of children who are learning English as an additional language doing similar things.

It really may resolve itself as your DD becomes more confident with her speech, and it's positive that she's interested in oter children! brew

Hitabottomus Sat 01-Nov-14 09:56:58

Other children, not otter children!

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 01-Nov-14 09:59:17

Yes I agree. If she is having speech difficulties maybe she is not able to say appropriate things to other children. An assessment by a paediatrician will never hurt though if you have concerns.

adrianna22 Sat 01-Nov-14 15:35:08

Yep true.

There was a boy I worked with who only had a severe language impairment. But he would bite kids if he wanted to play with them.

Homebird8 Sun 02-Nov-14 01:46:07

Did you try the magic finger Blah?

territoryaintshit Sun 02-Nov-14 11:40:02

My daughter is the same age and was having the same issues - speech delay and a stammer impacting on her social skills. Her pre school were also concerned and I self referred to speech and language therapy and health visitor. We are still on the waiting list for speech therapy and she has been observed recently at pre school. She has made loads of progress recently and is now making proper conversations with adults and children alike and has made friends at pre school. I was told that social skills and imaginative play tend to go hand in hand with speech development and this seems to be the case for my DD. I am no longer worried but if you are I would say ask for advice sooner rather than later. If it's a matter of time for her speech to progress then no harm will have been done; if she needs more help then waiting times can be long so earlier intervention is better.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Sun 02-Nov-14 14:53:49

I tried the magic finger but she wasn't taking it too seriously. Although it did definitely help with her saying gate.

I tried role playing with her and suggesting ways to introduce herself but I doubt it made any difference.

She engages in lots of imaginative play. She will pretend to be mummy to her dolls, a shopkeeper, a hairdresser etc but it is all very repetitive.

SALT just showed her pictures. Gave me some activity sheets to do with her, and that was it. I got told i would get a report and never received it. I have to refer her again this month if she still needs it (which she does). It was a waste of time.

The paediatricians appointment is January. And the last time we saw her she said her behaviour was down to her speech delay and that SALT would help....

IMO she does in ways seem more immature than other children her age. She cannot control her emotions at all and can be impulsive.

Hopefully this will all improve as her communication skills improve...

Homebird8 Mon 03-Nov-14 03:09:46

You seem on top of things for your DD. Hoping that the various people who might be able to help you cast light on things can help you see which things hang from each other (like social aspects hanging on communication development).

You do sound very worried. Are you ok?

CitizenOfTheWorld Mon 03-Nov-14 03:36:13

Has ASD been considered?

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Mon 03-Nov-14 09:14:26

I am worried homebird8. I have tried everything I can think of to try and teach her how to approach others but with no luck. Again this morning she was getting in DD2's face telling her she is funny. Nothing helps, I may as well talk to a wall.
With regards to speech, everyday I try and help with that too. And she can say cat when she is pushed, but she chooses not to. She is lazy with it. It is trider (spider), trog (frog), welephant, etc etc. She is very very repetitive and will say the same thing over and over and over and over. She has just me she has fixed her dinosaur at least 10 times, despite me acknowledging it the first time.
When talking to her, she cannot give eye contact. Especially when talking to her about something serious.
She still eats tissue and paper when she can get hold of it. Nursery told me she was eating sand and shaving foam last week.
She has always been difficult and never really listens. Even at playgroups when there is a story, she won't listen. If she can she will run around playing, but if she is made to sit she goes in her own world and has a glazed look!
She hates sitting still full stop, and is always flitting from one thing to the next. We have walked out of meals because she is up and down and will not sit still long enough to eat.

I have considered ASD. Particularly aspergers. I've read and read, and although she fits some criteria, she doesn't fit others. I've asked nursery, but they are reluctant to advise as she is so young. This makes me hopeful she will improve. But because she is my first child and I have little contact with children, I do not know what is "normal" and what isn't for a child her age.

Sorry thats a bit rambly!

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