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3 year old behaviour worrying, is there something wrong?(15 Posts)
My ds who is three behaviour in public is really getting me down, we can't take him anywhere in public without him screaming, if we take him to a resterant he screams at the door to go and eventually we have to as he causes a huge scene and everyone stares at us, we can't go for meals at all anymore as he will just scream the place down. When I go shopping and have to que up at the checkout till he screams until I have finished throws himself on the floor, I dread going doctors because in the waiting room he will just scream at the door because he wants to go, i try distracting him with snacks and toys but it doesn't work ,even waiting for the bus he will scream until it comes because he has to wait but once on it his fine. I get dirty looks from people all the time even been told to control my child and none of mine have ever been like that. I get so frustrated don't know what I'm doing wrong I actually feel depressed and all our family days out are just ruined I see other children his age or younger behaving in public and always feel like i'm the only one, he does have a bit of a speech delay but surly it can't be the cause of all this behaviour. Even at nursery I dread getting there early because his terrible at waiting and is the only child that whines and screams because its not open yet and he has to wait l, why can't he wait yet all the other children can, so stressed out his such a lovley sensitive boy wants cuddles all the time ect but taking him out I actually dread it its having a real impact on our life any advise please? I just don't know what to do i have tried ignoring it but it doesn't work, I have tried being strict with him and get nowhere. Is this normal?
GEt him some ear defenders and try that. To be honest OP, have you thought he might have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder?
Thanks for your reply and yeah it has crossed my mind I have taken him doctors when he was 2 and told them my worries he was referred to a pediatrician who we have seen twice, but as yet no diagnosis they just tell me to watch and wait, his eye contact is quite good, his very affectionate the only thing that makes me think it isn't autism is that he does not play up around other people for example if my mum took him shops he would be fine could he really turn it off like that? And at nursery he has never had a tantrum just does it as soon as he comes out or as soon as he gets there when he is with me. He is a very picky eater which does make me think maybe there is a problem and when people speak to me in public for example the lady at the shop or doctor he screams or even if I'm on the phone I don't no if he is just very strong willed and stubborn or he does have autism if so why can he act in a good way around other people why is it just with me and his dad? Thanks for the advice I will definitely try ear defenders but to be honest I can see him just taking them off his head, if he had autism at least I could understand. When he was younger he used to sit and watch the washing machine for ages and have to closed doors ect but he has now grown out of this which the pediactrian said is a good sign if it was autism he would be progressing apparently 🤔 I just don't no I do compare him to other children and I think he does act different and there definitely could be something 😔
Also to add he has a obsession with buses, he always has to take this little red bus everywhere with him and any cartoon he watches on TV has to be about a bus. When we are out he is constantly on the look out for buses dont know if this means anything. Just to mention he stays round his nans some weekends and is good as gold why can he do this for other people and not with us Is it something I am doing wrong I don't spoil him or anything, just don't no what I'm doing so wrong 😩 just want to have a normal family day out I get jealous watching all the other children with there parents as bad as that sounds but I'm literally always the mum with the screaming toddler guaranteed it's causes arguments with me and my partner, we are just not coping well at all, sorry for going on I just want someone's opinion on the outside, I'm also pregnant and am petrified on how I'm going to cope,
I wonder if his discomfort is with noisy or busy places - waiting in a queue with so many people so close together could create a sense of a very busy place (i.e. no room to move). Maybe you could try to avoid going to restaurants or places which may not be essential so to try to decreases his anxiety levels. You mentioned autism, and while some of the behaviors you described can be associated with autism they can also be associated with typically developing children. Autism tends to normally come packaged with other co-morbidities or stereotypical behaviors (like stimming, obsessions, ritualistic behaviors, etc - but many are and can be totally normal), and hence it is better to focus on what autism actually is; a social communication disorder. If autism is at play, then by 3 years old the signs will normally be very apparent and at it's core will be impacting on his ability to communicate on a social level, and by social level I don't mean making friends or playing with other children, at this age those things are not concerning at all. You mentioned that he has a speech delay, that should not stop him from communicating effectively. A typical 18M or 24M old with zero words (due to a speech delay) will have no trouble in communicating his needs and sharing interests with his carers through the use of gestures like pointing and other hand movements, social referencing, directing attention, seeking praise, sharing/showing things of interest, etc. By 3 years old they would be masters of these skills with ever increasing complexity on their gesturing. Does he share exciting things that happen around him with you? like a plane in the sky, or a police car passing by? by pointing to it or saying "look!", was he doing that at 18M-24M old? when cautious or unsure does he look at you for comfort or reassurance (social referencing)? does he pretend play? does he seek praise or feels proud and looks at you (for praise) when he does something interesting/new? these are the areas that autism would really be impacting at this age. And while some things may be uncertain, one thing that is certain is that it is nothing that you are doing wrong
@AladdinMum thank you for your reply, and yes couldn't definitely be to do with crowed places as if we go to for example a Christmas Market that is very busy he would be a nightmare and scream until we leave, regarding his communication when he wants something he will point or grab my hand to show me, he does share exciting things with me for example if he builds a tower out of lego he will come in to show me what he has done and be very proud of himself, if we are out he will point out cars to me. I think I just worry as my brother had undiagnosed autism and it was only picked up when he was 17 he had a awful time at school they didn't treat him very well and no one once suggested anything was wrong with him and he really struggled. I just don't wnat my son to ha e to go through that so I suppose I'm just paronoid about it and watching for any sign I may have got a bit to obsessed, I also don't want to label him because of my fears. Thank you very much for the helpful reply
He also does pretend to be on the phone ect and hoover when I am doing it so yes he does do pretend play
@AladdinMum thank you for your reply, and yes could definitely be to do with crowed places as if we go to for example a Christmas Market that is very busy he would be a nightmare and scream until we leave, regarding his communication when he wants something he will point or grab my hand to show me, he does share exciting things with me for example if he builds a tower out of lego he will come in to show me what he has done and be very proud of himself, if we are out he will point out cars to me. I think I just worry as my brother had undiagnosed autism and it was only picked up when he was 17 he had a awful time at school they didn't treat him very well and no one once suggested anything was wrong with him and he really struggled. I just don't wnat my son to ha e to go through that so I suppose I'm just paronoid about it and watching for any sign I may have got a bit to obsessed, I also don't want to label him because of my fears. Thank you very much for the helpful reply smile
to add he can switch it on and off and still be on the asd spectrum. Some do. Some kids can hold it together then let it out when with their main carer as they become more relaxed. These kids often have a harder time of getting a diagnosis . It sounds like something might be amiss . I would peruse this further
@orangetriangle yeah sometimes I do wish he would play up at nursery or with someone else just so they can see what I mean half the time I think people think I make it up and yes he is still under the pediactrian I hope he grows out of it and it isn't asd but if it is I would rather know them at least it would make sense, thanks for the reply
OP, I also wondered if there is something sensory going on that is triggering anxiety - doesn't necessarily happen to be autism. It could be another form of sensory processing disorder.
Can highly recommend a book called The Out Of Sync Child...
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I could have written this about my 3 nearly four year. He runs off everywhere when it's in a busy place, he can walk with me for ages if we go out for a walk and it's quiet. He lashes out a lot and can be quite aggressive. He hates loud noises. He much prefers to play on his but if he does play with other children he is stuck to one child and barley acknowledges other children. If we have grandparents etc over for meals he can't sit at the table because it's to busy for him. We have all our family coming over for Christmas Day and he said today he doesn't want everyone to come because it's to loud and busy. He adores all the family coming so it's not that he dislikes them. He is incredibly stubborn and I havent seen a child a strong willed as him within my friendship group (we have quite a lot of children between us all)
At nursery he isn't aggressive but they do comment on how strong willed he can be, they have noticed he is happier to play on his own but does interact well with others. I'm completely lost as what to do, I spoke with the HV and she said he does hit a few red flags but it's difficult to diagnose at this age. She also couldn't refer me for any form of assessment I would need to go to the GP. But I then doubted myself thinking oh he is only 3 but 6 months down the line he is worse. So just to say your not alone OP x
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