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3 year old singing all the time

(12 Posts)
Lookingforadvice123 Thu 21-Feb-19 09:56:02

Well, all the time is an exaggeration; he doesn't tend to sing all the time at home unless there's not much else to do eg sitting in bed waiting for us to get him up!

But he started pre-school in September (turned 3 in December) and they've mentioned he sings/hums a lot. He was doing it a lot more at home before Christmas but it seems to have died down a lot. The songs/tunes he hums vary (it might be the same one for a few days, he sang the ABC song all last weekend when we were in the park and it drove me nuts!) but pre-school clearly think it's a concern.

He recently had a schedule of growth check with the health visitor who had no concerns.

Do any other children of a similar age do this? And more so in pre-school/nursery etc? At home it's really not a concern...

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AladdinMum Thu 21-Feb-19 11:08:11

Humming to that extent would be classified as repetitive behaviour (or stimming) which has links to autism. However, humming alone would not make a child autistic, there would have be other markers. If you have no other concerns about his development then it will probably just phase out by itself.

Lookingforadvice123 Thu 21-Feb-19 11:17:24

I didn't have any concerns myself, at all, until pre-school suggested we have his hearing checked as he sometimes ignores them. It's all escalated from there a bit. He reached all his milestones re gestures, joint attention, his speech is better than average...

I don't know what my next steps should be after the health visitor check though - she was adamant she had no concerns and I even asked if he had signs of autism and she said "he's not autistic"...

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lovely36 Thu 21-Feb-19 11:34:23

He loves to sing so if I were you I'd enrol him in music lessons. Maybe piano and guitar? He's obviously has a natural drive to music and signing so if that were my child I'd really nurture that. You might have the next Justin bieber in your hands😉 lol not but really that's lovely, and I'd really consider music lessons for him. (If he wanted to of course)
I began drawing and painting very little and my mom put me in a art studio very young. I was able to really flourish and won various art competitions, scholarships for art and had my painting in a exhibit at a museum when I was only 6. I am forever thankful that my mum did that for me.

AladdinMum Thu 21-Feb-19 14:54:51

I am not sure if a health visitor telling you that "he's not autistic" means anything as they are not qualified (or allowed) to make that kind of comment, even a GP or general paediatrician are not allowed to make that kind of assessment. The pre-school probably has autism concerns as lack of name response is also associated to autism but can also be caused by many other reasons (hearing issues, child is too engrossed in activity, child is being over tested and deliberately ignoring you, etc.). The best predictors for autism tends to be deficits in communicative gesturing and joint attention in early age (specially pointing to share and request by 18M). From your description I don't think it's autism and more likely be a phase that he is going through until he gets bored of it. Him humming/singing all the time might also be making it a bit more difficult for him to hear clearly beyond the humming/singing (i.e. if you try to hum you hear the hum loudly inside your head) and could explain a lack of name response (without having any actual physical hearing impairment).

Lookingforadvice123 Thu 21-Feb-19 18:15:03

Ye, it was a bit random, although she was obviously just trying to reassure me.

The pre-school haven't come out and said anything about autism, it's just been the comments about his hearing and now more recently, the singing. He sings a lot eg in the push chair on a walk if we're not having a chat, but otherwise at home it isn't all that much. If he was singing and I engaged him in a conversation he would stop and chat.

I do think his pre-school are fussy, but I didn't want to just ignore things.

I wonder what the next step would be after the health visitor?

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Lookingforadvice123 Thu 21-Feb-19 18:17:41

But in answer to your post no issues with joint attention whatsoever, he points to show interest/request something and has done since 13 months, exceeded all the speech milestones, follows my gaze etc eg if I'm helping him with a puzzle and glance to the piece he needs. He also communicates things like I'm cold/tired/need a drink and he seems to understand emotions too (eg things that make us sad).

The singing is...quirky. But I was hoping people would respond saying their child does it too!

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AladdinMum Thu 21-Feb-19 21:09:28

A nursery or pre-school would never mention the word autism unless you ask them directly and they tell you "off the record" - officially they are only allowed to raise concerns and not speculate on what it could be.

I don't think there is any next steps for now, I don't think it's autism or anything else, it could just be a toddler thing or a genuine interest in singing and, like a previous poster mentioned before, maybe you should enroll him in a singing toddler class if he enjoys it - who knows, in a few years time we might just see him in Britain's Got Talent! smile

Lookingforadvice123 Fri 22-Feb-19 07:01:05


He does rugby tots which he enjoys but I don't think he's going to be too sporty somehow (bit like me grin) so maybe it's the way to go!

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Lookingforadvice123 Fri 22-Feb-19 09:08:39

Well this morning after he'd finished breakfast, he announced "I didn't sing my ABC song! I'll sing it now." Then launched into it.

If it was a stimming thing surely he wouldn't be so aware?

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AladdinMum Fri 22-Feb-19 10:09:36

Stimming tends to be more automatic, however, it can be also be more aware driven. Previous posts from this forum describe children in the autism spectrum that might say something like "it's time to flap my hands". However one quirky behaviour (if it's even that) is not enough for any kind of diagnosis, there needs to be a group of them together with marked deficits. Some people might say that his behaviour resembles rigidity (or ritualistic behaviour) more than stimming, i.e. that his day doesn't start until his has a sing. But even that, from your description, he sounds very relaxed about it, and not rigid. I don't think it's any of this. Ritualistic or OCD behaviour tends to be very rigid, i.e. a child has to touch all the doors of the house as soon as he wakes up every morning (as described in a post a few months ago) he would do it with determination as soon as his eyes open and nothing would stand in his way, not hunger, not toys, not TV, nothing - that would be rigidity. I genuinely think that you have nothing to worry about.

Lookingforadvice123 Fri 22-Feb-19 10:30:00

Ah no it wasn't like that. In fact he doesn't even sing every morning or at breakfast time, it was like it just occurred to him to have a sing song! (He also said I didn't sing the Greatest Showman either, which isn't something he sings all that often except for in the car when it's on!). And he didn't even sing that. I would prefer Greatest Showman to ABC...!

Thank you for your help it's been great!

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