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Social anxiety in toddler?

(4 Posts)
PonderLand Fri 03-Nov-17 09:20:00

I'm really struggling at the moment with my son, he's 17 months. I'm just wondering how normal his behaviour is, I've put a list of his behaviours which worry me/I don't see in friends children etc.

Fear of vacuum hand drier hair dryer

Sits and plays on his own happily for 1-2h, usually with different cars/trucks etc doesn't like it if you try to join in.

During tantrums purposefully injuring himself - head banging, thrashing backwards, hitting head on your chest/shoulder/face if held

Hates ears, nose, mouth, eyes and hair being touched, cleaned, wiped. Gets very upset. Refuses us brushing his teeth.

Hates 'sitting' 'staying still' in busy places, happy to pass through a shop etc but melt down if at a baby group/class play gym or restaurant. He seems happiest when out if he is in his pushchair when it's busy.

Usually cries if someone speaks to him or approaches him in busy places, cries if someone sits near him and tries to involve themselves in his game, inconsolable if touched by another baby/child in a group/play gym setting

Bangs head against floors, furniture, cot or parent when in pain/upset or frustrated

Spends most of his time playing with cars/trucks/tractors etc, things like books, puzzles, music doesn't keep his attention for more than a few minutes. He does like stacking cups inside but will only ever knock down towers/cups if built. Gets angry after one attempt at building towers and hits head or throws toys

Will only eat certain foods, He first took and enjoyed - food at 11m, for now the food volume increases (and his weight gain) but we are struggling to find things to give him a balanced diet.

He hates getting his hands messy, I've been to 5 messy play classes and each one he's never voluntarily touched anything but will instead sit on my lap and cry for the full hour. If he stops crying and another child/adult speaks to him/smiles at him he'll start again. I think the reason we are having much trouble with food is partly due to this aversion to mess as he only wants to pick stuff up that are mess-free. Spaghetti, yoghurt and shreddies is the only thing he will let us spoon feed him or do loaded spoons with.

As he's shuffling around he can become transfixed on the carpet and pick up tiny pieces of fluff, usually he keeps them in his clenched fist but does sometime pass them to us, if we drop them or put them to the side he gets them back. Puts them in his mouth occasionally.

Obsessively picks at his blankets if he has them, falls asleep doing it for bedtime and naptimes

Very worried about his social interaction with other children, he seems frightened of them. Especially so if they're similar or younger in age to him.

If we enter a room, house or place he tends to stay very quiet for an hour and sort of assess the space, he won't eat drink, bumshuffle, engage or look at me until he's comfortable there. He sits on my lap scrunched over and peers out, if I try to put him in a different position and pick him up he stays in the current position as though frozen.

Sorry that's long! I have been to see the HV and he was very withdrawn to them, she is coming to do an assesment at home but home isn't where the issues are. I am worried she's going to dismiss it as him being shy but I feel it's so extreme and is preventing us both from enjoying life out of the house!

PonderLand Fri 03-Nov-17 10:32:56


Anyone experienced similar? Any tips to help him?

HashtagTired Fri 03-Nov-17 10:40:06

Haven’t read full post as I’m feeding my ds and have to run out the door with him in two mins... but I have you read about highly sensitive children? My friend has a daughter and she could have written this, particularly about the mess and social anxiety and meltdowns. She believes her dd is HS and there is a lot of support out there for it. Maybe your ds isn’t, but some of the techniques may help?

PonderLand Fri 03-Nov-17 10:48:06

@HashtagTired I've never heard of that before but after googling toddler symptoms for it my son does seem to show quite a few of them! Thank you very much for that, I will see if the HV mentions it when she comes round.

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