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Really worried about my 3 year old

(9 Posts)
Screamer1 Fri 09-Feb-18 21:53:29

I've posted before about him. This week has been a bit of a hard one, and I'm starting to wonder if there's something different about him, or if this is just in the range of standard 3 year old behaviours. I've not got much experience with children so I'm a bit green about what is "usual". I'm so stressed about it this evening and have gone down a rabbit hole of googling which has inevitably led to an online diagnosis of something or other.

He just does certain behaviours that I can only describe as weirding me out. Clearly not the most articulate way of describing it. These include...
Gritting his teeth when excited.
Getting over excited when playing with peers or his sister so that physical contact turns into a sort of over enthusiastic squeezing (which I sometimes struggle to work of if it has bad intent).
He sometimes closes his eyes when he chews. This is only occasionally, and often if he's rushing to finishing something.
In the last week he's started making constant noises. I asked him what it was and he said him and a friend at nursery do it.
Last week nursery told me he'd been "getting in the faces" of other children. I've seen him do similar occasionally before. I obviously always redirect,must it worries me.

He is otherwise, very articulate, sweet, empathetic, and interested. He loves to read and can focus well on playing if in the right mood, but hates puzzles and doesn't much like colouring.

Does anyone have any thought? I'm really worried this evening.

user1495739076 Fri 09-Feb-18 22:13:00

He sounds maybe abit hyperactive
What's his diet like?
Does he manly display these behaviours when excited?
I don't have a lot of experiance with three year olds but what your discribing seems normal smile

magicroundabouts Sat 10-Feb-18 00:11:16

From what you've written it sounds like he could have some difficulty with Sensory Processing. Grinding teeth and over enthusiastic squeezing for instance, may indicate that he is hypo sensitive and requires more sensory input.

Maybe have a look online, there are a number of websites on SPD and see what you think?

magicroundabouts Sat 10-Feb-18 00:47:20

Just read my post back and hope it doesn't sound alarming! Both my sons have sensory issues and I recognised the over sensitivity in my eldest (hating loud noises/ wearing certain fabrics etc) but was completely unaware that the reverse also exists. I think it is pretty common, but just not understood that well yet.

Screamer1 Sat 10-Feb-18 07:19:00

Thanks magic for replying. I've actually just downloaded the out of sync child and have read up a bit about spd. I'm a bit confused as to what it actually is though. Does this mean he has special needs? Or will need additional help at school etc?

magicroundabouts Sat 10-Feb-18 09:48:10

I really hope I haven't made you worry that wasn't my intention. Have a look at this article childmind.org/article/sensory-processing-issues-explained/ It explains things pretty well.

Sensory issues are a part of conditions like ASD/adhd/OCD etc, but also exist by themselves. I think most of us have some sensory issues to be honest, but we don't recognise them as that. It is not unusual for people to find it hard to cope with loud noises, crowds, seams on clothing etc, we just describe them as fussy/over sensitive. Also, I think generally we don't understand hypo sensitivity as well.

My youngest has ASD (and please don't think for a second I am suggesting that your son is on the spectrum, sensory issues are only a part of my sons difficulties) and to begin with I thought he didn't have sensory issues as I didn't see his need to spin, bite toys and hug tightly as needing more sensory input. Family just described as a bit too rough, a boy's boy etc.

DS1 on the other hand also has issues but is definitely NT. I would say they peaked around age 3 and have improved a lot as he has gotten older and is better able to regulate himself. School run Sensory Circuits www.cpft.nhs.uk/Downloads/DVD-Documents/Leaflets/Sensory%20Motor%20Circuits.pdf which he does every morning. This is the only extra help he gets and he is doing really well at school.

Screamer1 Sat 10-Feb-18 10:22:01

Thanks so much that's really, really helpful. The thing is he doesn't really display any other asd traits I don't think. I've been really on the look out, but I know these things are complex.

He doesn't generally seek out extreme forms of sensation otherwise, although he has always really liked messy play.

Developmentally I think he's meeting all his milestones. I guess he can be a bit clumsy but not in any sort of extreme way. He's not great at puzzles or drawing.

The teeth grinding/ clenching happens just when he's excited or about to embark on rough play. So he doesn't do it just in passing. It's almost like he's trying really hard to control an instinct to be more rough. It's so hard to describe.It's like he's struggling to control his excitement. He also doesn't seek out bear hugs which I guess would go along with the squeezing thing that I described.

I don't know, for some reason I feel so stressed about this, and it's really been getting me down. I just don't know if I'm looking for something that's not there, and panicking unnecessarily. Or if I'm onto something.

magicroundabouts Sat 10-Feb-18 18:02:26

Honestly I don't think anything you've said about your son indicates ASD. I only mentioned DS2 as when his assessments started I really thought he didn't have any sensory issues. I wasn't aware that you can be under sensitive and seek sensory input. I had never heard it spoken about, but I have heard of lots of children who struggle with busy, noisy environments and are fussy about clothes.

When DS1 was 3 he would have the most awful tantrums if he got his clothes wet. He just couldn't bear the sensation. It is only as he has got older that he has been able to regulate his emotions and realise that he just needs to change his clothes. He still dislikes the sensation of wet clothes, but he can deal with it. He needed someone else to help him before.

It sounds like maybe your son is enjoying the physical play and wants more input but can't yet regulate himself yet so he becomes just a bit too rough? I hope that makes some kind of sense. At 3 he is still so young.

As I said before I think a lot of people have some kind of mild sensory issue, we just don't see it as it really doesn't impact their day to day life. The more extreme behaviours that DS1 had when he was younger really have vanished. Just growing up a bit really does help a lot and I doubt I would be as aware of it if it wasn't for DS2.

I don't want to say don't worry, as I know that can feel like your concerns are being minimised. I do hope though that you can see that these don't necessarily indicate any major issues.

Screamer1 Sat 10-Feb-18 20:17:42

Thanks so much magic, you've been so kind and helpful. The link and information you've given is really useful. I do really appreciate it. Thank you.

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