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Worried about ds development

(13 Posts)
jenkins88 Thu 19-May-05 14:46:52

I have always been aware that 3 year old ds is not very bright, but lately I've been thinking it's more than that.

He's been refered to a salt because he pronounces a lot of words wrong and his language is disorganised. We haven't had our first appointment yet so I don't know what the outcome will be. At the moment though I am more worried about his behaviour. He hardly ever follows through with any instructions I give him. I used to think this was just naughtiness but now I think it's something else. I was in the bath just now and he came in and wanted to sit down where I put the towels. I said 'no, don't move the towels, sit on the stool'. He ignored me and I said it over and over again. When the towels were all over the floor I lost my temper and picked them up and said 'Sit on the stool'. He kept saying 'wha', everytime I said it. I was pointing at the stool as I was saying but all he was doing was staring at the tip of my finger and then at his feet. 5 minutes later he was trying to put his cars in the bath with me. I told him to take the cars to his bedroom and play, but he couldn't understand me. Just kept sying 'Wha, wha'. I'm sure he was listening and trying to understnd but it's as if I'm speaking another language to the one he knows. Then he said he wanted to wash his hands, which means him turning the taps full on and splashing water everywhere. I told him no, but he wouldn't stop. In the end I shouted at him really loudly and I think scared him into stopping. I felt so bad then, as he turned to me, and started to cry. He walked out of the bathroom with his head down and I could hear him sobbing in his bedroom.

I felt bad so went to get him and we had a cuddle and both said sorry. But half an hour later he showed me that he'd done a wee in his bedroom. I was trying to explain that he mustn't do that, and ask him why he didn't use the potty, but he just interupted me to announce that he was going shoppping and picked up a bag and put it over his shoulder. He thought this was very funny, but I just felt frustrated and tired of it all. I tried to hold him still and get him to make eye contact with me so we can have a chat, but he won't do it. He wriggles, closes his eyes and puts his back to me. I got so fed up that I told him that I was gonna count to 10 and that if he still wouldn't listenthen he would have to go in the naughty corner for 3 minutes. All he did was try to count along with me. I don't think he understood why I was counting, or that I was running out of patience and he was about to be disciplined. When I put him in the naughty corner he was devastated. Screamed like he had no idea why and hadn't had a warning. When I went to get him he was so upset. Just sat on my lap with his arms around my neck for ages, like he was terrified.

I don't know what to do to make him understand me. I used to think this was just normal behavour, but the lack of understanding on his part makes me think differently.

What do you all think?

Jimjams Thu 19-May-05 14:52:35

Cut your language right down so rather than say "no don't move the towels sit on the stool" say "<name>- sit on seat". Bet it makes a huges difference (it did for us when my eldest son was 3 )

Also use countdowns - so if you want him to stop doing something count down from 10 say finsihed - that helps us a lot as well,

I think your other concerns will be addressed when he's assessed- andd I think an assessment is important. But cut back your language, always use his name first and I bet he starts to respond appropriately a lot more

jenkins88 Thu 19-May-05 15:11:02

Thanks jimjams. Will definetly give your suggestions a shot. I was considering doing a countdown, but because he can't count yet thought it might interfere with his learning. He has trouble putting numbers in the right order. for example '2,3,1,4,5'. Do you think saying the numbers backwards would confuse him even more about the importance of sequence or do you think it won't really matter in the long run?

Do you think this sounds like a learning disabisility? He can understand some instructions, like 'turn the light on', and give me a kiss/cuddle/handshake', which is why I've thought for so long that he just ignores me when I ask him to do something thats not very rewarding. I have tried giving excessive praise, whe he gets things right to encourage him to think positvely about behaving well, but he doesn't seem to respond to this. I'm using a star chart at the moment to help with potty training, but it's not having any effect. He doesn't seem thatinterested in getting a star at all. When he does something on the potty we have to remind him that he gets a star for it. He gets a bit excited at sticking it it to the chart but not so excited that he see's it as an incentive. I took a star away from him today for weeing on the bedroom floor. I wasn't intending to do this becuase I don't think it's fair to punish him for having an accident, but I thought it would make him pay attention to me. He couldn't have cared less. Actually he tried to peel all the other stars off too.

I'm so worried about this. I've always had a feeling right from when he was a baby that things were not quite right with him, but health professionals have always said that he's ok. Does anyone else's kids do anything like this?

Jimjams Thu 19-May-05 15:19:44

I think it sounds as if something maybe going on- but learning difficutly is a huuuuge term and can mean almost anything (as can his behaviour- has he had his hearing tested?). I don't think the countdown will matter (but you could always count up if worried- my dh allways counts up from some reason with ds1). it's just giving warning that something's about to end......

Cutting down on language really did make a massive difference to us..... fingers crossed for you,

The star chart may be too abstract for him. Can you give him an immediate reward. Ds1 doesn't give a damm about stickers and wouldn';t have a clue with a star chart, but if I say "do x then button" he'll do it. (usually immediately)

Aragon Thu 19-May-05 15:25:19

Hi there

Just read your post. I am a HV and I wonder if your little one can hear properly. He probably is not deaf but may have problems hearing certain sounds which would contribute to his lack of understanding you. This could be for a variety of reasons such as fluid in the middle part of his ear (glue ear). You should be able to find out if this is the case with a simple hearing test. Your HV should be able to refer you.

Hope that helps a bit


coppertop Thu 19-May-05 15:54:58

I agree that it would be a good idea to get his hearing tested. Saying his name and cutting down on language (as Jimjams suggested) made a big difference to my ds2. There's a lot that he still doesn't understand but there have been huge improvements.

jenkins88 Thu 19-May-05 16:50:13

Thanks for your comments. I have just made an appointment for him to see his health visitor but they can't fit him in until June 2nd. The appointemnt is just for a chat and she will hopefully refer him to a clinic for a hearing test. I hope it is something like glue ear, at least then we know why he is behavour like this. I don't know whether this is significant or not but I know that he used to be able to say some wrods correctly that he now says wrongly. For example 'tickle'. It was one of his first words just after 'dad' and 'mum', and he used to say it perfectly and really fast over and over again. A bit like a parrot really. That was before he was a year old. Now he says 'took' instead when he wants us to tickle him, and no amount of correcting him changes this. I've tried using words that rhyme with tick to help him say it right, like I say 'can you say 'sick', or 'pick' and sometimes he gets it right but he can't say 'tick' or 'tickle'.

He hardly ever plays with toys either. It's all role play games. Like he pretends to pick up an imaginary phone and dial a number and then gives it to me and say's 'it nan', or 'it dad', and then thinks it's hilarious when I tell them I'm busy and pretend to be cross that they have disturbed me. Then I throw the imaginary phone in the corner and he runs and picks it up and the process starts again. The thing that worries me about this is that the game never ends until I refuse to do it anymore and sometimes he will say it's dad on the phone, when he really his dad is sitting on the sofa. I think he has a problem with logic, but don't know if this is normal at his age. The only time when I get a break is when childrens telly comes on at 3.30, then if we try to talk to him he usually ignores us. I've tried giving him option, like do you want milk or juice, but usually he just repeats both options back to me, so I don't think he understands what I'm asking him. He also reconstructs things which sometimes have happened and sometimes he's made up. Like if he falls over he'll go back to where he did it and put on a big show for us of exactly how he did it. He does this over and over and the show gets more and more wild each time. The last time he does it will normally be something like him running into the wall and being bounced around the room, falling on the floor with his legs on the air and then getting up and having a fight with the wall. Then he'll do actions like holding his face as if the wall has hit him back. He was watching micky mouse the other day and came to tell me what had happened. He did this mad reconstruction which I think was a car crash with lots of screaming and wailing. I'm quite sure it didn't happen on Micky Mouse, but if I ask him then he just starts talking about something else. I don't think he has any idea how to converse with anyone, or what the point of conversation is.

I'm so sorry that I keep going on like this, but I just really want some ideas as to what is going on with him, or if anyone else has gone through this and it's been nothing to worry about, or has been the start of some kind of learning problem.

maddiemo Thu 19-May-05 17:00:01

I don't have much time to post now jenkins but I have read this an your other post and understand what you are going through.

My ds4 who is 3 has problems understanding complex instructions. He also has a very poor attention span for language.

We have no diagnosis for him other than langauge delay. We have had some SALT which was very structured, all distractions in the room minimised. SALT used visual timetable and kept langauge very simple "work then play".
If he kept on task for a few minutes he was rewarded with a basket of cars for a few minutes then had another task.

I have to say it has been very hard going. Twice we had to leave the sessions as he would not cooperate. She said if this continues we would look at different ways of keeping his attention.

As jimjams says keep language simple it makes a huge difference. "Sit chair" while patting the stool would have been fine for your bathroom problem.

Wait for your SALT assessment. Perhaps write down your concerns so that your mind doesn't go blank when you get there{that always happens to me].

tortoiseshell Thu 19-May-05 17:03:54

My instant thought was 'I wonder if he's got a hearing problem' - it would really be worth getting him checked for glue ear. If it's any comfort, my nearly 4 year old LOVES role play games, and I do have to beg him to stop before I go mad! He does play with toys too, but always in the context of a 'story' he is telling.

Hope things improve, and I hope it is something straightforward like hearing.

jenkins88 Thu 19-May-05 17:13:19

Thanks for your replies. I've just had a bit of a breakthrough with him just after writing my last post. He came to me and pointed to his potty which had some wee in it. I praised him and he got really excited, helped me clean up and washed his hands, without washing his hair, which is what he usually does, even though I get very angry with him. Then when we came back in the living room he reminded me about his star chart. I was as pleased as punch. Obviously at least some of what I say to him does get through. I really hope it is a problem with his hearing, as it seems like something which is possible to sort out.

Aragon Thu 19-May-05 18:55:27

That's a long wait for a HV appointment. Are you in the south-east? I'm in the south-west and have the luxury of often being able to see people within 48hrs.
In the meantime - as others have said - just keep things simple. Cut all language down. If you can demonstrate what you want him to do that will help. When you're reading or playing with him it will help if there's no tv on in the background so he has more chance of hearing what you are saying (although my DH hasn't grasped this one with our DS who has glue ear he leaves the tv on then can't fathom why ds doesn't understand).

Hearing things are usually easily sorted out.

Jimjams Thu 19-May-05 19:07:09

ooh you're not my hv are you aaragon (its ok if you are as I've said nice things about her )

jenkins88 Thu 19-May-05 21:49:15

Aragon - yes I am in the south east. South west london. I was a bit disappointed when she gave me the appointemnt. I really expected it to be next week. At least DP is off work on that day so can come with us. I don't want to be told that this is something we should be worrying about and then have to relay it to him afterwards. I'm going to make some notes each day on the things that cause me concern and see if we can improve on things before the appointment.

Maddiemo - Is ds4 at nursery yet? I was just wondering who picked up on the language delay. I suppose it could have been you seing as you have the experience of 3 older ones. Do you have any other concerns about his behaviour?

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