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3 yr old being normal, or should I be worried?

(9 Posts)
Mummamel Tue 16-Jun-15 23:46:54

Hi all, my DD is turning 3 in under a week. Recently I have been getting worried about her behaviour.

My first concern is going to sound trivial, so please do say if I'm worried over nothing. I know the whole 'terrible two's' 'troublesome there's' thing, but after having a look at recent surveys I'm a bit concerned that my DD's tantrums are a cause for concern. On average I would say she has atleast 4 tantrums a day. And everyone of her tantrums is violent and destructive. She hits me, kicks me, hits herself (especially on her legs) she spits, scratches things around her, bangs her head (intentionally) on the floor, she tries to break things and has recently tried ripping my carpet up. This is every tantrum, not just the odd one, every tantrum!

My next concern is she doesn't like other children. She goes to nursery 4 mornings a week. A lovely little girl there comes running up to her every morning to say hello, DD will smile at her and tell me who the other little girl is and may possibly be coaxed into holding her hand, but apart from that, that's it. She doesn't want to play with the other children, or interact with them at all. She would rarer sit in her own little world and be left there.

My next concern, she doesn't like physical contact. I lived giving her cuddles and kisses and endless skin-to-skin before she could run away from me. She will sit on my lap, or snuggle into my side, or cling to my leg, but if I try and snuggle her back or give her a cuddle she screams at me and runs away! She will give cuddles but only on her terms. She has to instigate it, I can't go and sit on the sofa and put my arm round her, she hates it!

Another concern of mine is she never refers to herself as 'me' or 'I'. She calls herself 'Leela' which isn't her name, but sounds phonically like it. For example if I try and put her coat on she would say 'leela do it! Not mummy do it!' Instead of 'I want to do it, not you'. I don't think she has ever referred to herself in first person. Despite my best efforts.

Possibly my last concern is that she is so ignorant! I could call her name 5 or 6 times and she just ignores me. Sometimes until I actually go and tap her shoulder or sit in her eyeline. Sometimes It's as if she's staring into space. She tends to look at me from the corner of her eye quite a bit aswell. Instead of giving proper eye contact.

Ok I lied, thought of another thing that's troubling me about DD. She does play imaginatively, she will pretend he has a cup and is drinking out of it. Sometimes she pretends to be talking in the phone, but will only copy the conversations she has heArd me have on the phone or ones from peppa pig. When she plays with her peppa pig figures they only ever do the same things they do on the programme. They don't do imaginative things like climbing mountains or skiing etc, they only do things like jumping in puddles, or going to bed, or having a bath, things she's seen on the episodes. Her dollys do the same aswell, they have a bath or eat dinner or go to bed. Am I missing the point with the whole imaginative play thing? Her games seem very structured and realistic based.

Now in all honesty my brother has autistic spectrum disorder and aspergers, so I know that it may sound like I'm trying to get at autism, but really I just want confirmation that other peoples LO's do these things and that she is just normal. Any advice?

Brightonmumtoatoddler Wed 17-Jun-15 07:29:37

Hello, I didn't want to read and run and all this sounds really distressing for you.
Firstly, speak to your nursery. They must be able to know if her behaviour is normal or not.
A lot of what you are saying doesn't sound normal to me if I'm honest. Maybe some of it isolated but not put all together. There was an episode of 'born naughty' where a three year old girl would look at people out of the corner of her eye, have massive tantrums and ignore her name and they did eventually diagnose her as autistic. Episode 2 I think if you want to watch it on catch up.
However you should speak to your HV and doctor and nursery to get a clearer perspective as I could be taking rubbish I'm clearly not a professional.
Please let us know how you get on, sending you lots of luck and a hand hold xxx

tostaky Wed 17-Jun-15 23:50:07

My 3 years old DS - who i am not worried at all - does only cuddles and kisses on his own terms (to my despair). One of my niece did that too and she is 9 year old now and normal.
But speak to your GP just to reassure you. smile

MiaowTheCat Thu 18-Jun-15 05:40:59

My eldest went through the calling herself by her first name thing and came out the other side fine. Tantrums- my eldest again has had a phase where the sheer rage of hers terrified me.

karatekimmi Thu 18-Jun-15 05:47:21

I think bits of it sound like my 3 year old - he referees to himself as boy!! Boy do it!! He can easy ignore you shouting at him to get his attention, he doesn't tantrum too much, but sometimes doesn't want to be cuddled (however not all the time)

If your concerned speak to the nursery and your health visitor x

wannaBe Thu 18-Jun-15 05:57:18

A thread like this is always going to have some people posting that their children are absolutely fine after not doing x or y behavior at a certain age, but in truth we only have a snapshot to judge on, and very few people would want to post that someone else's child doesn't sound normal.

Ultimately your concerns are real, and if something feels wrong to you then I would say trust your instincts and have a chat with your hv/gp. Referrals can take time, so if there are concerns then it's far better to pursue these while your dd is still young. That way if there is reason for concern she (and you) can receive support at the earliest opportunity.

BarbarianMum Thu 18-Jun-15 12:56:33

OP I'm not a doctor, or a specialist at all, but I can see several possible 'red flags' for autism (or hearing loss) in your post. Given that you are already worried (I wouldn't mention it if you weren't) I would go to your GP and ask for at least an initial appointment with a developmental pediatrician to discuss things. Oh and definitely ask for a hearing check if she's not had one since birth - even severe hearing loss can be very difficult to detect.

Strawberrybubblegum Thu 18-Jun-15 23:48:41

I think wannabe is right that if you're worried, you should speak to your GP or HV.

However, I have to say that while I'm not sure about the rest, what you are describing for your DD's imaginative play at least is exactly what I would expect.

What they know - and what concerns them - at this age is jumping in puddles, having a bath, having dinner, going to bed. What do they know about climbing mountains or skiing?! Phone calls as well: they know that they're important, so they copy them, but they don't really understand them so all they can really do is copy exactly what they've seen you do.

So that doesn't seem at all strange to me - although I'd be interested to hear if someone has a different opinion.

Limpetsmum Fri 19-Jun-15 04:39:04

My son does similar things to your daughter (not the tantrums, and gets confused with 'my' and 'I' rather than using his name), but I've put it down to shyness rather than autism.
I've actually logged onto mumsnet to get advise on how to approach the shyness and stumbled across your post. Could thing ring true for your daughter as well...?

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