Advanced search

Screaming/obsessive 2 year old...worried about autism...

(14 Posts)
Discodolly100 Fri 09-Oct-09 13:33:02

My son is 2 yrs 3 mths. He doesn?t really speak much, when he does it?s unclear and only single words. (He does have glue ear).

He?s quite obsessive and often only plays with one toy (trains). He gets very upset when the trains come off the tracks, or if another child encroaches on his play. He also has a row of trains lined up on his pillow at night which he lines up in a particular order. He gets quite distressed if any of the trains are missing or fall off his bed in the night.

He also screams ? not tantrums, but very short loud shrill screams ? when ever he is frustrated, tired, anxious; if another child bumps into him; if I ask him to do something he doesn?t want to do etc etc. It?s worse when he?s tired, and some days, he screams probably every few minutes. It is VERY wearing.

This combination of things is making me worry about autism, although I should point out that generally, socially, he?s fine, and if often loving and cuddly towards other children. I am also worried about how his screaming will affect his younger sister who is 10 months.

So far, GP/HV aren?t interested. Should I be pushing for more help??

whensmydayoff Fri 09-Oct-09 14:04:37

Im not sure Discodolly.
My DS (2.4) is very obssesive with certain toys. Possesive.
He spends ages lining them up but not in any order - your son just may be a bit brighter, more organised.
I wouldn't say your son sounds too different from mine though and they are more or less same age.
Im no expert though and if I was worried at all I would want to know one way or the other instead of having potentially unnecessary worries.
My DS also screams and gets very very frustrated with toys. I have been keeping on top of this lately and giving him a row, taking the toy away if it gets too much and walking out the room until he calms down.
When he calms down (eventually) I explain that shouting and screaming at toys is very silly and if he needs help he asks.
It doesn't help that your son has glue ear and therefore a little behind in talking. Before they talk they ARE generally more frustrated and this will ease.
I hope this is all it is, good luck. x

Chaotica Fri 09-Oct-09 15:40:05

DS just 2 screams regularly. And he's suddenly hypersensitive to noise and some textures, so screams sometimes in response to that kind of thing. I think (hope?) this is a normal phase at this age.

BTW - your ds might be having more trouble because he wants to speak and doesn't. My DS is very good at speaking but gets very very upset if he says something and we don't get it. Could your son be wanting to say much more than he can?

I would wait a little before pushing GP, and try to ignore/distract screaming (I'll add to this thread if I have any tips). (FWIW DP wants to take DS to the GP sometimes.)

Stigaloid Fri 09-Oct-09 15:54:09

My son doesn't scream because he is very chatty and was an early talker, however he is the same about his trains. Lines them all up in a row and wouldplay with trains all day if he could. he also likes to go to bed with his tractor toys. He is 2.3

Chaotica Fri 09-Oct-09 16:09:38

DD goes to bed with trains and she is 3.6.

linglette Fri 09-Oct-09 19:59:08

Hi, I think that quite a large subset of 2-year-old boys behave this way. Within that subset, most will not have ongoing autistic traits, a few will have. And within the "autistic" subset, some will go on to be the next Bill Gates, others will face greater challenges.

How is his relationship with you?

If he can't talk, how does he tell you what he wants?

What's the sort of thing you could say to him that he would understand out of context? (ie if you said "shall we go to bed?" at breakfast-time would he realise you were suggesting something out of the ordinary? Or might he think you were saying "shall we go to nursery?" or whatever the next logical step in his routine is?)

smileyboy Sat 10-Oct-09 12:41:59

The screaming, though anoying is normal. Basically my ds (2.2) does it either through bordom or just to get a reaction (which I am learning to not give!).

DS is a pretty happy placid boy and always has been. He is quite vocal and talks in sentences of about 6 words (though not all of them are clear) yet he still shows massive signs of frustration with his toys. He squeals if his train falls off the track or if he can't get a shape in his shape sorter and so on. I think it is just their way of saying 'oh bugger, why isn't this bloody thing doing what I want it to do??!!!'

There's so many things that they feel but don't understand and can't express. DS also doesn't like children interfering with his toys or bumping into him, he either bursts into tears or just screams at them and then cries anyway. At this age, they don't understand other children or how to play 'with' eachother so to him the other child is just invading his space.

Him being loving and trying to talk etc would lead me to think that you have nothing to worry about but of course you should get it checed out as you will worry no matter what mumsnet says! Good luck, it sounds normal to me so try not to waste time panicking.

Discodolly100 Mon 12-Oct-09 16:46:56

Dear All

Thanks very much for all your advice and tips. It’s reassuring to know that others are experiencing the same or similar problems as me!

Smileyboy – very interesting that your ds still screams even though he can talk. I’m sure it’s frustration for my boy as well; but assumed that it’s because he has so few words. I guess even when they can talk, they still get annoyed if they can’t get the words out right....

Linglette – His understanding is excellent – he knows exactly what I’m saying; and acts on instructions accordingly. It’s interesting when you say “how does he tell you what he wants?”... I’ve actually found that quite hard to answer....

He only started saying “Mama” at 18 months old, so I guess he calls me when he wants my attention and then I sort of guess what he wants, or he uses his few words “Jzzz” for “juice” for example, if he’s thirsty.... He also just uses noises like “Nah” and gestures – if he wants to be picked up for example. Although he has just started saying “down” if he wants to get down from the table, so things are improving slowly. Before this he used to just reply on noises and sounds I suppose, and gestures.

I do worry that he might have a weak tongue or mouth... bizarre as it sounds. He still dribbles and can’t blow properly. I guess speech therapy will determine if there is a physical reason for his lack of speech. I am just hoping that the screaming is a by-product of the lack of speech. I’m not so worried about the obsessiveness now – sounds like this is quite common in this age group!

linglette Mon 12-Oct-09 19:56:51

OK, no more questions from me - here's an answer for you from someone who knows:

(Stanley Greenspan: "The Child with Special Needs", p386

"By 18 months a child should be warmly engaged and capable of initiative and two-way communication. She should also be able to use complex gestures to communicate what she wants - taking her mother's hand and leading her to the door or toy chest, or pointing, for example. Without the use of words, she should be communicating with her parents, clearly understanding much of what they say to her, and communicating many of her own wishes back. If by 18 months the child can do these things, her gestural communicaction is developing on track and the building blocks of symbolic expression and langauge are present. .......The child who has a circumscribed language problem that will take care of itself will be mastering these preverbal gestural communication patterns."

I hope this helps.

By the way, in the event that he does have delays that will take a while to overcome, the good news is that the best therapy is lots of spontaneous joyful interaction with you.

PS my DS2 was very similar at 2.3 and is blossoming at 4.2

linglette Mon 12-Oct-09 19:57:56

PSS except that my DS2's comprehension of language was nothing like your son's

Washersaurus Mon 12-Oct-09 20:08:37

DS2 is the same age as your DC and I could have written your OP.

DS2 has very few words, but does understand and communicate in other ways. He is VERY possessive, to the point where for a brief period he had to sleep hugging my arm...all night. He screams and bites when things aren't going his way. He is very 'OCD' about wearing particular clothes and has to have certain toys and books in bed before he will sleep - it is very very tiring.

I have worried about him having developmental problems, but have noticed (slow) progress with him recently. I have been wondering about seeing the HV about a SALT referral for his speech just in case though.

plod Tue 13-Oct-09 10:00:42

My DS is 2 yrs 6 months and his speech is very advanced for his age, he is obsessive about things though....currently wheelie bins. He wants to see them, put things in them, push them. Very bizarre.
However, my friend has a DS, 2 years 2 months. He had glue ear when younger, went in to have grommets fitted but had been up the night before with high temp so they wouldn't operate. Couple of weeks later he was taken for hearing test and the glue ear and cleared up on it's own. He doesn't speak at all. Not one word. He is bright enough. If my friend says bring me the red ball/blue/yellow whatever he can do it. He knows shapes and can follow instruction which has got better recently (which we think is connected to his hearing improving), but she is very worried that he doesn't say anything. He also does the screaming thing which you say your LO does. It is at a pitch which you would think is impossible to reach. He does it if you try to make him do something against his will, if you take something off him, or if someone encroaches in his play/space. He doesn't really interact with other children either and tends to play alongside them rather than together.
He also doesn't seem to engage properly with you. Although he understands what you say to him and follows instructions, he often acts as though hasn't heard you and just completely dismisses you as if you haven't spoken to him. At first my friend thought it was all down to hearing, but now she knows his hearing is fine she is worried there is something more sinister wrong.
The professionals don't seem remotely concerned and although he is obviously considerably behind in speech, I think they believe he will catch up by school time.
I am just telling you all this so that you know you are not alone and to try to lessen some of your fears. I have waffled on I know but I hope you feel better knowing that there are other people in similar boats

linglette Wed 14-Oct-09 10:07:05

Hi Plod,

Playing alongside other children is entirely normal at 2 years 2 months.

I hope you don't use the word "sinister" with your friend. There is enough fear out there already.

Now her child can hear, he may need to improve his listening skills. Your friend might like the DVD "Teach me to Listen and Obey" (google it). The emphasis is more on listening than obeying. Or she might like to buy "It Takes Two to Talk" published by the Hanen Foundation. This is a 100% non-scary book (does not mention autism or anything else likely to paralyse a parent with fear) that is essentially a parent-training manual. It will show her how to use the best techniques to help her son communicate better. It is superb and ought to be handed out in maternity wards.

linglette Wed 14-Oct-09 10:14:11

Should add that "It Takes Two to Talk" is hideously expensive. It is slightly cheaper to go through the UK distributor (Winslow) and copies tend to turn up on Ebay and sell for £20. My copy is currently circulating around other mums!

But it's the same price as a pair of new boots and infinitely more important.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: