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21 month old obsessed with letters...

(7 Posts)
KW89 Sun 31-May-15 22:04:22

My son is 21 months old and has become obsessed with letters. He's got a play area inn our living room with the foam alphabet mats as the flooring, which he's had down since he's been crawling, and we'd tell him the letter sound if he bought it over to us, he also has magnetic letters on the fridge and likes to match them up to the big foam letters, and does this every day, as well as telling us what the sounds are (he knows all capital letters, and 15 lowercase ones) is this normal? I don't know if I'm being paranoid as I am a teaching assistant in a school for children with Autism. I have looked online (I know.....not a good idea!) and Aspergers and hyperlexia comes up alot, however I think he is pretty average in other areas of development; walked at 14 months, good understanding and can follow instructions, has around 60 words (not all understandable, my husband and I understand alot of what he says, but other people would understand maybe 30 of these words) just starting to join two words together, can do basic makaton. Socially, he can be shy if he doesn't know people, but is quite happy with people he knows, and will run around and play at softplay and toddler group, he doesn't play with other children his age (but I believe this is normal until around the age of 3?) The only other thing that makes me worry is his obsessive OCD with tidiness, if someone finishes eating, he wants the wrapper immediately in the bin, or an empty cup in the sink, if my husband has left clothes on the floor, my son will put them in the washing basket etc. Just need some Mummys and Daddys to put my mind at rest! Sorry for long post!

BaronessBomburst Sun 31-May-15 22:08:58

I was like that as a child. DM taught me to read and I was reading at two and a half. I'm still tidy. Other than that I'm totally normal and although not daft, I'm not exactly a brain surgeon either. I wouldn't read anything into it.

foolonthehill Sun 31-May-15 22:10:40

Obsessional and precise behaviours are common...especially at this age. Also attention is precious and his letter love has probably been rewarded with reaction lots of times, also tidiness.

Of course no one on an internet forum can say he does not have or will not develop issues...I can only say that these behaviours combined with your description of him as a social being don;t raise alarm bells with me.

Many toddlers are obsessed with order and control..

KW89 Sun 31-May-15 22:16:56

Thankyou for the replies, yes he has been given lots of attention when saying letter sounds and told how clever he is when matching up a letter to an object beginning with that letter. Hoping I am just a paranoid first time Mum, as haven't had much experience with toddlers, so other peoples views and experiences will hopefully put my mind at rest a bit!

Millie3030 Sun 31-May-15 22:18:16

Sounds quite normal to me, me DS loves letters and can say all of them and the numbers 1-13. Loves to tidy and put things in the bin and lines everything up in a straight line, cars, pens, blocks etc. he is 2 in 3 weeks, but has always been a bit like this. I think they are just good at things they are familiar with, so if he has seen the letters loads and the magnets he has become familiar and can say them.

I think there are other signs to look out for for autism such as eye contact etc nothing you are saying sounds different to me to an average 2 year old, but that's only from my experience.

mrstweefromtweesville Sun 31-May-15 22:19:43

He sounds adorable. Don't be shy, teach him to read (Glen Doman, forget hothousing but the big red words work).

My little one was noticing written words from around seven months, had all the 'exit' and 'way out' variables pinned by nine months, could hold conversations with strangers at 13 months, had 150 words in regular use at 18 months and could use seven-word sentences at that time, was reading at two years four months. Turned out to be Aspie. Very clever, very lovely. Married an Aspie boy and they have a toddler (three and a half) who hates to be sticky, tidies things up, and reads. Oh, and toddler said "Hiya, Hello" to me, clearly, at seven months.

Your baby sounds fine to me.

Goldmandra Mon 01-Jun-15 10:53:19

Don't worry unduly about the possibility of him having high functioning autism.

For a start, you must know that, as a pervasive developmental disorder, it affects many areas of a child's life and you would probably be seeing a whole host of traits now it's on your radar if he has it.

Also, having HFA isn't a disaster. Both my DDs have it. They are both lovely, kind, honest and clever. DD1 struggled at high school due to anxiety and a late diagnosis but now she's had the right support for a while she's got a lovely friendship group, is partying like mad after exams and is off to uni in the autumn to study a very academic course.

Yes, it is normal for one year olds to choose to play alongside, rather than with, their peers so don't worry about that for now.

You clearly know what to look for as he gets older in terms of rigid thinking, sensory processing and social communication. If you start to feel concerned as he matures, ask for an assessment to set your mind at ease or ensure he gets the right support in school.

He will still be your wonderful, smart, loving boy, whatever happens

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