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Very odd behaviour from DS1 (2.9y) - should we be worried?

(25 Posts)
bohemianbint Tue 02-Jun-09 16:16:52

Summer is turning into an absolute nightmare as DS has developed a massive problem with flies (the flying sort, not trousers) and freaks out insanely if there is one in the room /car/wherever. Which as you can imagine is a real pain in the ass at this time of the year; today has been ridiculous. Can't stay in because there apparently was one in the house. Went into the yard but one really did come and he was inconsolable for ages afterwards. He also did not appreciate his ice lolly dripping onto his trousers and went nuts about that as well, to the point where we are now in the house watching a dvd as there's nothing else we can do that is agreeable.

Other behaviour that his worrying me is that he wakes up in the night quite often at the moment, some nights aren't too bad but often he has terrors about bees/crocodiles/dogs/butterflies in his room, or complains that his "bed is not right" ie the toys are not as he wants them.

He also puts his fingers in his ears quite often now if the hoover/food processor/coffee grinder and I've read that this behaviour is common with autism? I'm wondering if it's something he's picked up because I can't bear lots of different kinds of noise at once, perhaps? Or has he maybe got ear problems?

I dunno, it might all be a stage, do they go through a really insecure odd stage at this age, or should I be taking him to the doctors? Would be really grateful for any advice.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Tue 02-Jun-09 16:33:17

I can't really help that much, particularly with the noise/ears thing, but just wanted to say I know two little boys around the same age who have exactly the same thing about anything that flies. We have roof windows in our kitchen, a fly was trapped there once when these friends were round and their little boy was obsessed about it the whole afternoon. I remember the same day he cried for 15 minutes because his mum offered him a bit of felafal that wasn't 'whole'.

Both my ds (2) and my niece (2.5) have had minor freakouts when there is a bit of dirt or something on their hands.

I would say this is completely normal!

bohemianbint Tue 02-Jun-09 16:34:19

bumping...mainly because am stuck in alone with stroppy child!

bohemianbint Tue 02-Jun-09 16:35:52

ooops - x-posted with you Fattipuffs! Thank you for the reply, it's slightly reassuring. I'm hoping it's just a stage but he is starting to really drive me nuts at the moment, everything's such a battle!

izyboy Tue 02-Jun-09 16:36:41

My little boy has a thing about bees (anything is a bee to him) and doesnt like noise. He has been like this since about 2.5, he is 5 yrs old now and not autistic. I think they start to become more aware of the environment about this age.

crokky Tue 02-Jun-09 16:38:00

My DS is 3.2. We had this fairly recently with the flies and bugs. Get yourself a bug pot (think elc do them, I got mine from garden centre) and catch a fly/bug and let him look at it knowing that it can't get him. My DS was afraid of the pot at the start, but now everytime we see a little creature, he wants to catch it!

justaphase Tue 02-Jun-09 16:47:17

He sounds very much like my DS who is 3.6 and I am pretty sure not autistic.

You need to read "The Highly Sensitive Child", I now understand what it feels like to be him.

On a practical note, I bought DS a toy fly and a toy bee to play with. We also do a lot of role play, we talk to the flies in the garden etc. I also got him some DVDs - Ants and Bugs Life but this backfired as he was totally freaked out by them.

Similarly with the frequent waking, we have tried to make him feel very secure and in control. He has a night light on all night, door open, his books and toys with him etc.

With the noise, all we can do is try and avoid it.

It is not easy but having read the book at least I understand where he is coming from. Plus I have stopped worrying and just enjoy him.

LeninGrad Tue 02-Jun-09 17:03:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 02-Jun-09 17:15:44

my ds now was exactly the same. He was also terrified of people in make up or sunglasses or fancy dress. We then discovered that if he couldn't see eyes then he ws scared. Same applies with insects. he started to growe =out of this about 8 months ago. He will be 7 in October. Having said that he is still no better with noise. I recently took him tooa disco and we lasted 5 mins before h started to scream and after 20 mins i left to come home.

We took him to see the milkshake show live last summer and he HATED it, closed his eyes and put his fingars in his ears and pyhsicall shook nearly all the way through it. he wants to try walking with dinosaurs live this year, so fingars crossed!

Don't really have any advice but wanted you to know you are not alone with this, i think some children are just noise adverse, (i am as an adult). He might grow out of it, he might not please don't worry, i thinks its just a phase.

reducedfatkettlechip Tue 02-Jun-09 21:26:38

Try not to worry about things you've read on the internet. I took ds to a party the other week where there was a noisy generator powering a bouncy castle and about 90% children were covering their ears.

ds1 is probably mildly autistic, he's never had any phobias but all children with ASD are so different. Sensory sensitivity can be part of ASD but isn't exclusively an ASD thing. I have sensory sensitivities (can't bear certain pitched noises, scratchy fabrics etc and I'm not autistic) Are there any other concerns with your ds? Does he communicate well with you and show interest in other children?

cory Wed 03-Jun-09 08:33:28

My db was terrified of stoves, tunnels and railway crossings.

Dd was completely freaked out by people in animal costumes and by balloons and was also quite sensory sensitive.

Neither has shown any sign of ASD. It was just a phase in their development. (dd is now 12 and db is 44).

brimfull Wed 03-Jun-09 08:38:28

My ds was like this when he was around that age.
I would say it sounds like normal behaviour .
Ds still doesn't like flies etc but doesn't freak out anymore ,he's 6.5 now and not autistic.
He also hates getting anything messy on his hands ,his father was and is the same.

Try not to worry and I'm sure he will get over these hang ups.Don't pander to them too much.

bohemianbint Wed 03-Jun-09 09:12:23

thank you - it's all very reassuring, and I certainly should stop reading crap on the internet and obsessing about it!

Will check out "The Highly Sensitive Child" and try some of the other suggestions (like the bug pot, brilliant idea!)

It's so difficult to know how to handle it, on the one hand I want him to snap out of it, but on the other hand he is genuinely terrified and I want to try and be sensitive to that. (Unlike yesterday when I did just end up shouting at him. blush)

BriocheDoree Wed 03-Jun-09 19:00:56

DD is 5 and has PDD ("mild autism") and has none of the above symptoms, except that she didn't like loud noises when she was a toddler. DS is two and, far as I can tell, not autistic, but he doesn't like noises or getting wet and sticky. He's terrified of hoovers and will refuse to go past the cupboard where I keep ours. My sister (also not autistic) used to have bad dreams about snakes in the curtains and bees in the bed. Would agree with Kettlechip that it's best not to worry too much about stuff you read on the internet smile

pagwatch Wed 03-Jun-09 19:10:39

bohemianbiny
FWIW I don't think that the internet allowing parents to recognise and identify issues such as autism early is 'crap' - as early intervention and diagnosis can massively help a childs outcomes it actually helped me enormously and stopped my son being in a residential home by now.I know that sounds poe faced but people shouldn't feel defensive about using the net as long as they don't allow it to over ride good judgement.

That said the 'symptoms' you describe are ones that my son who has ASD exhibited AND also ones that my DS1 and DD who most definately do not have ASD exhibited too.(and I stress not as , trust me, I looked grin)

He is little and little children have phases and quirks - nearly all of them do.
I would only be at all concerned if they spread and intensified.

the hearing thing is also probably nothing but,even if it persists, I would look at it being a sensory issue and not an ASD issue.
But I suspect he is just ...little grin

pagwatch Wed 03-Jun-09 19:11:18

grin at bohemianbiny blush
sorry bint !

noddyholder Wed 03-Jun-09 19:12:32

My ds is/was like this.He is 15 now and as a toddler frequently woke up saying there were birds in his room and hated insects etc.I had to cut all labels out of clothes as they sent him mad and mostly bought from charity shops as he could 'feel' anything new.He is dypraxic but not autistic.He still hates flying bugs etc but evrything else stopped

HuffwardlyRudge Wed 03-Jun-09 19:15:43

Might be worth getting his hearing checked. My dd is the same age and puts her hands over her ears when things are noisy or she is anxious about things. She has just been diagnosed with a limited hearing range, which as well as meaning she can't hear some things also means that loud noises are painful for her. There's plenty of things we can try to fix the problem and make things easier for her so I am glad we have investigated it.

saintmaybe Wed 03-Jun-09 19:24:18

My ds is autistic and does have these kind of reactions, but of course LOADS of other things as well; what you're describing sounds like sensory issues, which ds does have too.

His were helped hugely by changing his diet to gluten/ casein free one. It is a long shot, butwould it be worth trying for a while? If it made no difference you've lost nothing. My ds's auditory sensitivity was massively reduced when we took dairy out of his diet, and one of the explainations we were given was that his difficulty in processing it was leading to inflammation, including in his ear canal. We saw a difference in days. He didn't have a hearing loss of any kind, btw.

Travellerintime Wed 03-Jun-09 19:50:21

Hi bohemianbint,

No light to shed on the bug thing, but my dd (now 4.7) is and always has been pretty sensitive to noise - hates the hoover/blender/fan, even hates things frying too noisily in the frying pan. She's not autistic, and I don't have any other concerns about her. The noise sensitivity thing seems to lessening a bit as she gets older.

CatIsSleepy Wed 03-Jun-09 20:07:28

dd1 is 3 and has quite recently developed a fear of flies etc and yes it is a pain as it being summer if we leave doors and windows open then flies will get into the house...she demands we kill them/shoo them out or whatever and can get quite hysterical about it (although the hysteria now seems to be lessening somewhat). It seemed to come out of nowhere and I can't understand it at all. She doesn't seem bothered by them when we're outside!

it's funny you mention the noise thing too- she (also recently) started to freak out about the noise the boiler makes when the hot water is run. The boiler is in the bathroom which is next to her bedroom and now we daren't run any hot water after she's gone to bed as she's liable to start kicking up a tremendous fuss (mind you most things cause a tremendous fuss these days...)

Oh and she has just started to want to keep the light on in her bedroom at night too.

I was sort of thinking it was all part of her adjusting to dd2's arrival...but seems like it might be normal 3 year old behaviour judging by this thread...

so...i would say perhaps a phase probably rather than anything more serious. At least I hope so!

bohemianbint Wed 03-Jun-09 20:19:01

cat - yup, all of a sudden he wants his light on and his door open at night too.

Thank you for taking the time with this - I will get his ears checked, but it is so good to know that it is mainly just toddler weirdness! He is verbally very good, and he seems to have limited interest in other kids, including his brother, who he loves, and he is acutely aware of other people's feelings. (Question of the moment is "mummy, are you not happy" ad nauseum!) He is generally quite "high needs" but I guess it's not the same thing, necessarily.

Much appreciated. smile

kalo12 Wed 03-Jun-09 20:26:53

apparently boys have more ear complaints as when they have growth spurts their ear canals get very thin, something which doesn't happen as much in girls, so this could be why he is hating those buzzing noises.
my ds has hated this kind of noise since birth

hellymelly Wed 03-Jun-09 20:37:59

I really think it is an age thing.My dd is not as much of a fussy pants as she used to be -she is 4-but she went through a phase of washing her hands a lot which made me worried about ocd(!),and then a phase of total paddying if there was a single loose thread or speck of dust on her clothes.Her friend has hysterics about certain sorts of noise,they ALL have hysterics about broken buiscuits.Seems normal for this age,older toddlers.

barnsleybelle Wed 03-Jun-09 20:56:23

I think it's totally normal tbh.
It's very very important that you respect his fears, however irrational they seem to you. Telling him he's being silly etc (and i'm not saying that you are doing this), will make the matter worse. To him, they are something to be feared and he doesn't know why. Just like adults who have phobias, we know they are irrational but can't help it.

My friends dd had a completely irrational fear of balloons which was completely out of control. She contacted a lady she had read about in the daily express who sorted it out quite quickly. The lady's name is Lynda Hudson, so maybe you could google her. Also a website www.firstwayforward.com may help.

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