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2 year old lining up toys - should I be worried?

(120 Posts)
Anotherbook Sun 27-Jul-08 21:26:33

Ds just turned 2 (in the last week) has in the last couple of weeks taken to lining up toys.We went for a picnic yesterday with a bag of toys and he got all the balls and lined them up side by side.He has also been doing this with his bob the builder vehicles and his play animals on his bedroom window shelf (so they look out of the window) and they have to be exactly level or he has a mini tantrum.He has also started to tidy his toys into boxes (thrown in mostly) sometimes.
He does play normally with the toys as well although compared to my older dd doesn't really play with toy kitchen/doll in imaginative play.
What I am worried about is ASD as his speech is also not that great for his age.He does point,wave and use some words (have counted up to 70)but it is variable and not as well as the children at his toddler group.
I did take him to the GP to ask about his speech a couple of months ago (he was saying less then) but she said as he was communicating well non verbally to wait and see.He is due for his 2 year HV assessment so I am going to ask for speech therapy referral (in case his progress doesn't continue) but wondered if I should flag up the recent lining up of his toys too.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 27-Jul-08 21:28:29

my ds1 lined up cars into sizes etc, I was really worried about autism (other factors) when he was about 2. He is fine.
70 words at 2 sounds alot to me, but then both of my boys were late talkers.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 27-Jul-08 21:28:58


They all do it smile

Please don't fall into the trap of comparing DS with his peers, stress and worry lay down that path.

70 words at age 2 sounds fine.

2point4kids Sun 27-Jul-08 21:29:33

Every single 2 year old boy I have known has lined up their toys.
DS1 is nearly 3 and still does it all the time!
Yesterday he lined up every single magnetic letter and magnet across the fridge and was very proud of himself.
Very very normal imo.

2point4kids Sun 27-Jul-08 21:30:08

and yes, 70 words sounds good for his age too smile

gagarin Sun 27-Jul-08 21:30:58

70 words at 2 sounds like he's brilliant!

Lining up toys is normal.

Don't compare him with his siter as girls and boys are different in their play (IMO!)

mrsmacc Sun 27-Jul-08 21:32:08

I think they have quite obsessive behaviour at this age, but think it is totally normal. My ds is 2 in a couple of weeks, and has been lining up cars for 6 months now. He'll line them up side to side, and if dh turns one round, ds goes mad - really amusing. Think he may be anally retentive like his mother!!

TotalChaos Sun 27-Jul-08 21:32:25

follow your instincts re:looking for speech therapy referral. far better to be put on waiting list unnecessarily, as you can then cancel the appointment, than for a child to miss out on help they need. The lining up is worth mentioning, but I really wouldn't worry about it, particularly as he does play with toys in other ways. if you have free time during the day, surestart children's centres often run brief courses about helping you to help your children's speech, which you may find useful.

TotalChaos Sun 27-Jul-08 21:33:33

and some speech therapy departments let parents refer direct, no harm you phoning up to see if you can bypass GP/HV.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 21:34:47

The speech therapist won't want to see him if he is speaking at two years old. His speech sounds fine. tidying up is a good thing, not a bad thing and it shows he has expectations of routine - again, good, not bad.

boys don't use imaginative play as much as girls. Especially not with kitchens and dolls. they just don't. I bet he's really good with balls, and things with wheels. You are doing what I do with my children - hyperfocusing. When you next go to toddler group, make a conscious decision to hyperfocus on a different child for once - you will be surprised at how odd every child can be!

Spidermama Sun 27-Jul-08 21:35:38

Yes Boysarelikedogs is right. It's a boy thing. Very cute IMO.

2point4kids Sun 27-Jul-08 21:38:02

You know what, my nearly 3 year old doesnt have many more words than that and he has no clue about imaginitive play really. He can throw and catch like a star though and is very good at climbing.
He is completely normal.

lucyellensmum Sun 27-Jul-08 21:40:19

My DD does this from time to time, i thought they all did. Rather wish she would develop some of your DSs tidiness though. Dont worry, he sounds fine - go out and burn those development charts and baby books.

Anotherbook Sun 27-Jul-08 21:41:16

Thanks - really quick replies!

He has clapped himself when it is done to his satisfaction.

It just makes me a bit paranoid when I come in his bedroom to see all the animals perfectly lined up looking out of the window and then go in the playroom to be confonted with a row of bob vehicles.

Although he has words he doesn't use them all the time and some are really unclear although some like digger are really clear.

Am comparing and shouldn't as he isn't a PFB but my first boy.He does seem to follow steretypical boy likes/dislikes without any prompting from me - wheelies dd's pram round the garden (having discarded the doll) and down the hill crashing into the fence.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 21:43:08

yes, they love pushchairs, and will play pushchair demolition derby all day.

It's really normal. I like to see little animals all lined up too, and am not remotely autistic.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 27-Jul-08 21:43:59

my ds2 is two and a half (today!).
I don't think he has 70 words, although I haven't counted. He certainly doesn't have more than a handful of CLEAR words.
When he was jus 2 he didn't have any words, clear or otherwise.

maidamess Sun 27-Jul-08 21:44:35

I was learning about this on a course recently. Lining up toys is called 'schema' or repetitive patterns of play. Your child is learning all the time doing this. its nothing to worry about

Anotherbook Sun 27-Jul-08 21:45:09

Can I just add again thankyou for all your help. I am a hyperfocuser! but you have reassured me. Mumsnet is great

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 21:45:59


candyfluff Mon 28-Jul-08 09:22:16

my son just turned 2 last week does this too its normal

davidtennantsmistress Mon 28-Jul-08 09:29:12

no sounds fine to me - my DS is 2.5 m and is still lining things up - one of his little friends is over 3, and does it - it's a boy thing, my dad did it apparently.

the talking thing sounds fab as well - you may find he has a lapse back - DS does but he's come on leaps and bounds again, keep talking to your DS, get him to watch your lips if he doesn't quite get the word, (have started this with DS now as he tries to repeat the words i'm saying), get him to read you a story (we do this a lot- DS makes a story up using the pictures.

re the pram thing - it's just something to push - my feelings are the more you make it an issue and a taboo thing the more they'll want to do it, DS has a buggy, shopping trolley kitchen, (and he's my one and only!! lol) oh and a teddy dolly as well. he's jsut dandy - althou putting on my lip balm was a step too far

KT14 Mon 28-Jul-08 13:34:02

agree with totalchaos, if you have any concerns about your child which won't go away, (talking from experience here) get on to it asap. Far far better to have someone professional be able to either put your mind at rest, or get him into speech therapy if needed. If he's communicating well non verbally he sounds like he's fine, but a professional will tell you for sure.

And where we live the speech therapists were interested in DS1 even though he had words aged two. The lining up is probably nothing to worry about in isolation, yes, they do all do it to some degree. It's when it becomes something that he has to do compulsively that it crosses the line and becomes an issue. Nobody knows him better than you - trust your instincts.

herbietea Mon 28-Jul-08 13:38:07

Message withdrawn

Kewcumber Mon 28-Jul-08 13:41:37

all toddler are as mad as a box of frogs - if they are not something is wrong. My DS 2.7 lines anything up and sometimes even colour co-ordiantes his queues! His speech is delayed slightly but unless you think he a) can;t hear what you say or b) can't understand what you say - I dont think his speech sounds abnormal at all.

25-50 words perfectly normal at 2,1511,929,00.html

Anotherbook Mon 28-Jul-08 13:49:30

Just put him down for a sleep with his thomas trains in a line in the kitchen and bob vehicles side by side in the playroom - KT14 it does seem a bit compulsive at the moment although he has just started this.Dh says he likes seeing them in a neat row too .
His speech is definately a bit slow despite the number of words I listed there are only some of these he uses frequently and usefully (lots of repeating after me) and I often think did he say that? He is however progessing and hasn't lost any skills he has gained. He has just started singing the first lines of songs (row row row / ba ba black sheep) which is sweet even though he appears tone deaf like this parents.

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