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How do I know if my 3 year old's behaviour is normal or not?

(9 Posts)
notmuchofaclue Tue 11-Aug-15 18:39:56

My DD (3y 3m) has always been different to other kids her age that I've met. From the very early days she has never liked strangers, and has always seemed grumpy/serious to people who don't know her. As a toddler she hates most of the things that kids her age enjoy - birthday parties, soft play, swimming etc. and will cling on to whoever has taken her and will whinge/cry a lot. She is really awkward around new people (often friends of ours) although will sometimes initiate interaction with complete strangers in shops for example. She particularly hates it if someone she doesn't know comes too near her or tries to touch her. She also reacts strangely to certain things - for example, if you ask her not to do something even in a non shouty way she gets disproportionately upset about it. She is super whingey about a lot of things and her meltdowns are usually over things we can't even comprehend. If she falls over she just gets really angry and won't let you comfort her. I've looked on NHS website and some of these things specifically are symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. But some of the other elements don't fit - her speech is pretty advanced, she can be quite expressive and whilst she isn't good at playing with other children she will sometimes make the effort to try (although it's often quite awkward but I've previously put this down to her not having attended nursery).
How do I know if this is just her personality or signs of something more? I don't know if I'm reading too much into it, but I know for sure that I've not met other kids like her. Even if it were something more, is there anything positive that could come from it being diagnosed?

DangerGrouse Tue 11-Aug-15 19:48:18

Have you called your health visitor? That would be a way of finding out.

Ktay Tue 11-Aug-15 19:57:59

Watching with interest as you have described DD2 to a T (<<sp??). I started a thread about it a couple of months ago but it got derailed a bit by someone putting 2+2 together about my behaviour towards her. But I'll try and dig it out and PM you a link to it if interested. One poster on there suggested sensory processing disorder, which I'm still looking into.

JontyDoggle37 Tue 11-Aug-15 20:13:37

Maybe the answer here is simple - she just isn't used to having to 'rub along' with other people/get on with things. You say she hasn't attended nursery - surely a stint in nursery wod help her socialise with confidence, play with others, get over herself when she falls down, etc? If that doesn't work then maybe investigate disorders etc but I wouldn't jump there first...

girliefriend Tue 11-Aug-15 20:17:30

Sounds like Sensory Processing Disorder tbh. I would see if you can get her assessed by an OT. The book the out of synch child is an excellent starting point.

girliefriend Tue 11-Aug-15 20:20:47

This link might help spd

notmuchofaclue Tue 11-Aug-15 21:09:26

I'm not in any way keen to have her labelled, it's just that if there is something affecting her and there's something that could be done to help, I'd want to know about it. She is due to start pre school in September - something which I'm sure will be pretty tough for her - so I guess that will either resolve or exacerbate some of her behaviours. I'll definitely look into that link, thanks for that. And Ktay, do send me the link, I'd be interested to read it.
I've not spoken to anyone about it, not even my OH to be honest as I think he would tell me I'm overthinking/overreacting - which I'm not discounting at all, I am prone to a good worry. But there is something just not quite right in the way she reacts to certain things, and that's not something I'm imagining.

Ktay Tue 11-Aug-15 21:23:13

Have sent you a link, hope it's useful

girliefriend Wed 12-Aug-15 19:26:25

notmuch i was the same about not wanting my dd to be labelled and was quite defensive about some of her behaviours for a long time. However I now see that actually having a reason and some understanding of the issues affecting her is a positive thing.

It has helped my dd as well as having SPD undiagnosed can over time erode a childs self esteem, they like you don't really understand why they are reacting differently to other children.

There would certainly be no harm is asking for a ref to a local paediatric OT to assess her, I imagine the earlier they can pick it up the better tbh. My dd has only been assessed this year and she is 9yo but like you I knew her reactions to certain things were not quite right. Her self esteem was starting to be affected as she would say things like 'I am such a wimp' (she tends to be over sensitive to pain) and 'why do I feel things that other children don't feel?' sad

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