Fussy/particular behaviour(16 Posts)
I just wanted to canvass opinion on how normal this is for a 3 year old. My DS is 3.4 and becoming more and more particular by the day about almost everything.
He's very sensitive about how things feel - so will only wear clothes that are 'soft' (joggers not jeans) and I have to twist his socks around for ages to get them in exactly the 'right' place. He'll only wear one pair of trainers, which is becoming ridiculous as he needs to wear wellies in wet weather or boots when it's cold and refuses to do so. He's too strong for me to 'force' anything and too stubborn to persuade!
He's an incredibly fussy eater - just won't even try anything that isn't on a very brief list of trusted foods.
He also struggles to accept anything vaguely new or different - changes to routine, even driving s different route somewhere will upset him.
It's hard to describe but I feel that I'm sort of constantly walking on eggshells trying to smooth the path for him as I know he will react anxiously to almost anything. I'm even vaguely wondering whether this incredible stubbornness/attachment to needing things a certain way is an indicator of some kind of SN (I have an adult friend with Aspergers who can be very similar!) or am I overthinking it?
I don't think you are over thinking it. It sounds very much like he is hypersensitive.
Whereas this is very common amongst people on the autistic spectrum, it is only one indicator, and people can be hypersensitive without having autism. It is however one of the identifying features now.
Do you have any other concerns (speech, understanding of language, social skills) or is it the hypersensitivity only ?
Thanks for your reply Backforgood. Speech and language understanding are, I think, fine - we certainly have nice little chats and he's more than capable of expressing what he does and doesn't want/like!
The social skills is maybe the other thing I slightly worry about - again it's hard to express but he doesn't seem hugely interested in playing with other children. He goes to nursery 2 days a week and copes with it fine - often is tearful at drop-off but they tell me he settles quickly and at the end of the day he says he has had fun, so I think that's fairly normal.
But on days I don't work he doesn't really want to meet up with my friends and their kids - he'd rather just spend the whole day with me. I'm unsure whether that's understandable or a bit worrying - a lot of 3 year olds seem a bit bored of their mums by now! Mind you I do work so he doesn't have me every day.
I'm not sure I'm expressing this properly, it's hard to put my finger on.
It's just sometimes he seems more like a little old man who's set in his ways than a 3 year old!!
You could be writing about my son. He is now 45.
I used to worry that I pandered to his whims, but I now know I was absolutely right to just go with the flow.
As a young child he was anxious, fussy eater, every item of clothing itched. Unlike my other 2 he was a homebody, very sensitive but amazingly kind and understanding.
He grew out of many of his traits. He is still a bit of a fussy eater and has sensitive skin. He is shy around strangers but confident with people he knows.
He has had a happy life, a father of 4, his eldest is exactly like him. Hope this is reassuring.
I could say all the same things about our son 3.8 and we have just received a diagnosis of Aspergers. He started treatment over this past summer and it's made a HUGE difference in his ability to cope with the world. I'd ask for an assessment. They won't find what isn't there. If it is Aspergers there's so much that can be done while they are still so little. Best to deal with it now before school.
As for the wellies DS found them impossible and had huge meltdowns over them. The ed psych recommended the lightest pair going (crocs brand) and then did lots of social stories to help him understand why we wear wellies. She made puddles in the garden with the hose and encouraged him to splash in his wellies. He will now happily put them on if it's raining. If you'd asked me 5 months ago if I thought we would ever get wellies on him if have said no. Good luck!
We have a familiar-clothes-and-shoes-only lover but who doesn't go to quite such extremes. Obviously he has to wear new clothes sometimes because he keeps growing. We have had quite a bit of success with getting him to try new clothes on as long as he can take them off more or less immediately, and doing that a few days in a row helps.
Favourite coat was in the wash the other day and new, thicker coat had already been tried on - it was, reluctantly, worn, I think we probably need to make sure it gets worn every week or so now for him to remember it's not scary.
Fortunately he likes wellies better than normal shoes, but we are struggling mightily with the bike helmet.
Both my dc were like this (now 12 and 10), and still are to some extent. Very hypersensitive, particularly ds. The sock thing nearly drove me over the edge (try putting them on inside out). No asd diagnosis for either of them though ds is hyperactive.
I've just learned to be ultra patient
most of the time and let them learn through natural consequences wherever possible. I also don't give a stuff what anyone else thinks.
For instance there was a phase where ds was getting in a strop everyday over whether to wear shorts or trousers. I got him to go outside in clothing option 1, with plenty of time to change into option 2 if he decided. if he couldn't decide, we would
pretend to take the other option out with us.
On the shoe front, dd still refuses to try on/buy/discuss new shoes. Her last school shoes wore big holes in the soles and she still would not give in despite having wet feet everyday!! Peer pressure is working a bit now she has started secondary school, but she is still a nightmare about it.
i have just reread my post. I was not in anyway implying that you should not get him checked.
You are certainly not overthinking things. Back in the 70s my family thought I was 'spoiling' my son by giving in to him. Fortunately people are more enlightened these days.
My brother and his two sons are of similar nature, so it clearly is in our genes.
What are his motor skills like?
Sensitivity to taste and texture can be linked to dyspraxia.
Wow thank you for the responses. I'm actually s bit suprised, was half expecting people to say that's totally normal and I was being pfb.
Monster if you don't mind me asking what was it that made you go and have him checked? Did you just go to the GP? Did you say you suspected Aspergers or were just generally concerned?
Motor skills are average, I would guess? His drawings aren't particularly recognisable. He can't form a letter yet. No problem picking up tiny objects though. And his coordination is good, he's got good ball skills (catching, kicking, even throwing).
My DS used to have huge tantrums if things weren't just right and it took me a long time figure out what just right was to him. I got the comment 'what a serious baby' constantly when he was younger. You had to play physically with him (chase/tickle) to get a smile and a laugh. Baby/toddler groups were hard and he didn't really want to be there. Shoes and clothes have to be just right. I've sent countless pairs of shoes to the charity shop because he wouldn't wear them. I now buy the same pair of shoes over and over again! He wasn't very affectionate. Didn't really greet people even his father and me. His eye contact wasn't great. He didn't really mimic. Trying to get him to do the actions with the nursery rhymes was hard going. He's not flexible at all. He struggles to take on board other people's ideas when playing. I suppose rigid would be the right word.
I did go to the GP who told me it was a huge wait for a proper assessment but that we could pay privately to have the same developmental ped who does them for the NHS do it privately which is what we did in the end. The GP reckoned the NHS screening often fails to pick up high functioning as well. Hes been treated for a social/cognitive/emotional delay since June and the difference is amazing. The earlier they get help the better off they are.
Thanks Monster. I would say mine shares some of those traits but by no means all, I'm going to do some better research into warning signs and then decide. I'm genuinely unsure whether this is a concern or just his personality!
Either way it isn't the easiest thing to deal with. I often feel that other people think I'm pandering to him by trying to keep the environment he likes It as far as possible, but I'm just trying to pre-empt meltdowns!
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