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3 year olds and social skills (lack of!).

(6 Posts)
TheDetective Thu 04-Feb-16 22:45:39

My Ds is 3 years and 2 months old. From birth he was a high needs baby. He still is really high needs to this day.

I've always had worries and concerns about him, but one of the issues which stands out are his social skills. I wondered what other people thoughts would be on these (I'm a single parent and have no one to bounce these thoughts off).

At home he is very chatty, most of his talking is statements 'I do it', 'mummy fix it', 'I do it by myself', 'black car going left or right' (black car is our car, and he needs to know which way we are going when we leave the house), 'I can't find my cloth', 'mummy build track please' and this kind of thing. He doesn't really ask questions. We do get some 'what's that' and 'where is it' but not much really.

When we are out he remains chatty, but only to me. Most of my interaction with other children this age is that if I asked them their name, or asked them a simple question they would either answer, or look at me, while shying slightly and not respond. My DS just ignores completely, won't engage, won't give eye contact. Yesterday I was asked if he talked.

Then he will go the opposite way and be over familiar to strangers, going up to other adults in soft play, and taking their hand, saying 'please come and play with me'. Or going up to other adults in toddler group and trying to get them to pick him up for a cuddle.

I know all this could be normal, but I've lost count on the amount of times people have asked me if he is autistic now. His nursery have flagged concerns up. But HCP's have told me no, nothing wrong.

Would you be concerned if this was your 3 year old?

Things he can do - he is able to play along side other children, he is starting to engage in some play with other children, fleetingly. He will join in with circle time and activities, but needs a lot of encouragement to remain focussed. He is very focussed on numbers and letters, knows his alphabet, can count up to 20 with no help, and up to 100 with occasional reminders. He knows what letters some words begin with 'rrrrr roundabout' would be something he says. Doing some very simple maths (2+1). Knows all his colours and shapes. Starting to be able to read some words in books.

He seems very bright in that sense - but he has learned those things with no additional encouragement from me, other than me letting him chose what we do and what we play with. I try to do some social skills stuff with him, role play so he knows what behaviours are normal and expected, but he refuses to engage with it.

What, if anything can I do to help him? Or should I stop worrying and just wait and see? Thanks!

BackforGood Thu 04-Feb-16 23:23:35

From what you have said, there are probably enough concerns there that if it were me, I'd want further investigations.
Ask the Nursery to refer to a paediatrician for a full assessment. It doesn't have to be a GP or HV - the Nursery SENCo can do it.

ThoughtfulPenny Thu 04-Feb-16 23:30:32

It wouldn't concern me but obviously you are so I don't think it would hurt to chat with a teacher or GP.
My DD is 4.5 and never speaks to adults who she doesn't know (and quite often won't speak to ones she does know) she either completely ignores them as if she can't hear or buries her face in me. She's just incredibly shy.

Jillstolemytea Thu 04-Feb-16 23:33:50

The lack of questioning seems unusual to me (4DC)

All 4 of mine never stopped asking questions at that age

The rest could be fine

MigGril Fri 05-Feb-16 00:05:23

What are nursery concerned about? Not concentrating or finding it hard to sit down for carpet time at 3 is normal for some children this age. Some reception age children still struggle with this. He seems quite bright.

His social interaction maybe a little behind is that the part your concered about. Does he make eye contact with you?

My DS was very shy at this age wouldn't talk to anyone else either. Doesn't mean anything it's there personality.

Interestingly your DS seems quite advanced in numbers and letters starting to read words knowing numbers upto 100. This is ahead for a 3 year old. DS was like this with numbers but he had a slight speech delay like his brain was focusing on doing one thing really well. He did have some speech therapy. Strangely enough DS was also over familiar with other adults, embarrassing so at times. You know what he's now 5, he's turned this into a brilliant tool. He can charm the snake of a Donkey back, the things I've seen him get adults to do for him, total stranger's. It still embracing I'm hoping he manages to keep that tool though.

From what you have said if he's was autistic, he would be high functioning. I'm not an expect but the children we have at school. In main steam school, who are much older then your son, have less speech. Doesn't mean he isn't but not badly so.

If it's the nursery that are concerned they should be able to bring someone in to see he. Or go to the GP with the information that the nursery have given you.

Thing is sometimes it can be hard to pick somethings up when they are this small. But it's worth getting it checked before school of possible. He could just be emotionally imatuatre for his age and it'll even out a bit later on.

But I pushed to sort out DS speech issue before he started school so he wouldn't have any problems then. I think it's always worth looking at things sooner and nursery are seeing him more often then a HV they can tell more.

MigGril Fri 05-Feb-16 00:08:17

Jill DS was also late with his why stage as well. Was 4 before he started with the constant questions. Was glad he waited really DD hasn't stopped since she started.

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