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Do NT children also do sideways glancing?

(54 Posts)
TepidCoffee Mon 11-Feb-13 18:15:33

Just that really. DS has been doing it a lot over the past couple of days - he's 27 months.

He's very fond of spinning things but apart from that (if that's not just part of normal development, which it might be), he seems to be developing as expected. Speech was late (almost nothing till 24 months) but now uses 2-3 words sentences, lots of eye contact, interested in other children etc.

Not too great with imaginative play as he prefers physical play but will eg feed a teddy, scan his toy shopping if encouraged.

I have a history of anxiety issues so may be completely over thinking things...

Jbmummy1620 Mon 11-Feb-13 23:39:46

Hi,noticed you had no replies,maybe try posting this in the special needs forum,might be more likely to get replies over there.

Sorry I can't help,my 4 year old does this who has autism,my youngest is only just 1 so I'm not sure if NT children do this.


gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 23:49:58

What do you mean by sideways glancing?

TepidCoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 07:49:59

Gaelic, I mean watching the telly (or looking at something across the room) out of the corner or his eye with his head turned slightly away, rather than looking at it straight on.

Thanks jbmummy, I'll try that.

Isildur Tue 12-Feb-13 08:01:20

My 26 month old does it.

She has just discovered a sense of humour, she thinks that if she looks at us out of the corner of her eye, we can't see her making off across the room with a box of chocolate, or someone elses book, or having taken all her clothes off!

She will watch TV out of the corner of her eye for a few minutes if she is also trying to focus on hanging on to another toy/activity, it's as though she wants to be in two places at once.

Generally, if she's looking at someone side on, it's because she has a scheme in mind, or is teasing them, or has her mind somewhere else. She will keep it up for quite a while.

Her speech is almost non existant, but the others were the same at that age, they bacame fluent and clearly spoken overnight at about 3.

DeWe Tue 12-Feb-13 09:12:48

One of mine did it like Isildur, as a joke type of thing, or trying to do two things at once, particularly if I was trying to get her to do one and she'd prefer the other.

Is it just the TV, of TV mostly, in which case it could be connected to the TV. Perhaps too bright, or maybe saw something on the TV which scared him, and the sideways look is so he can look away quickly. Dd2 went through a stage of watching through her fingers after something had scared her.

TepidCoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:34

It's mostly the TV, although he also does this vacant sideways looking thing when in the highchair - looking out the window at home and at the wall at my parent's house. I haven't noticed him doing it in any other context, actually. He doesn't seem to be scared, and he doesn't look away or dislike any programmes in particular.

I don't think it's to do with more than one thing going on at once, either. Bit of a mystery...

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 13:39:01

Ah OK. Well I was going to say what Isildur said, my DD also does this in a cute, cheeky kind of a way, looking at me. But I think you're talking about something else but hopefully nothing for you to worry about!

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Feb-13 15:25:19


We've moved this to SN: Children at the OP's request.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Tue 12-Feb-13 15:43:48

DS does this a lot but he has autism so I'm not much help, didnt think anybody else's child did it so I don't know.

MummytoMog Tue 12-Feb-13 15:58:53

I think lots of kids do it from time to time. Worth a mention to the Health Visitor as they can do some useful opthamology tests at this age to check he doesn't have a problem with his vision. My DD has been going to opthamology for years, and it's amazing what they can tell. It may be that he does it without thinking, or there are a few tunnel vision things that make them sideways look (because the vision is better on the periphery of their sight).

bialystockandbloom Tue 12-Feb-13 17:15:41

My ds did it, and the excessive spinning too. He has asd (high functioning now). I told myself at the time that both were 'normal' but actually I suspect not. I have never known of an NT child who did the sideways looking thing, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen! The spinning thing, on its own, is probably not much to worry about but in my ds's case there were of course lots of other signals of something amiss - the biggest being impaired interaction and play. Has your ds had a 2year check?

TepidCoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 18:09:19

He had it the other week, but it was a group session and they just asked if we had any concerns and we said no - the sideways looking thing has been present for a while but over the last couple of days has been really obvious.

The group session thing didn't work for us as I felt self-conscious, and I was also keen not to appear neurotic (have done in the past, e.g. With the late talking thing, had him observed briefly by SALT in a drop-in session and got him a hearing test. His hearing is fine and she had no concerns). I'm also feeling quite anxious at the moment, worrying about having PND again, so my worries may be more founded in that rather than reality.

I may discuss it with HV in a 1:1 situation...Ds2 due very soon so I'll be seeing a lot of them!

TepidCoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 18:23:02

He is very interactive - seeks eye contact, very affectionate, interesting in other children. His language went from delayed (basically no words at nearly 24 months) to fine (3-4 word sentences now at 27.5 months).

MummytoMog Tue 12-Feb-13 22:45:06

I don't know that I'd worry just on that basis tbh. Have you tried doing the mchat for him? You can print it out and give it to your HV if you get a result which suggests you need further assessment. My bratling started off absolutely fine on MChat then at risk and then fine again. Reminds me that I want to go try it again smile

isthatallyouvegot Tue 12-Feb-13 23:02:50

Hello, Have you had your sons eyes tested? I know there are other signs you are seeing but I would just like to tell you this: I don't know much about my own development (I have tried to find things out from my mum but she really can't remember) but I used to watch tv through the corner of my eye and also do the same if I was speaking to somebody...I remember getting into a lot of trouble for it even though I didn't actually know I was doing it confused. When I had my eyes tested at school at the age of 5 it later came to light that the sight in my right eye was really really really poor so when I was trying to look at something straight on it used to turn and bizarrely I would turn my head in the same direction so I would end up side glancing all the time...I still do it now even though I have been wearing glasses for 25 years blush force of habit I suppose.

TepidCoffee Tue 12-Feb-13 23:07:27

Isthat - I will pursue the eye test thing. My vision is fine but I forget that DH has a really strong prescription! And comes from a country where almost everyone seems to need glasses. Can eyesight be tested so young?

isthatallyouvegot Tue 12-Feb-13 23:16:53

My Ds was referred to an orthoptist when he was 12 months when I noticed his eye turning in on all of his photos, this was done by the HV. They discharged him saying they saw no problems, when he turned 5 he ended up being referred by the school and his right eye was close to shutting down I was fuming to say the least. I had my daughter referred when she was 3 and they did the same but also recommended this time that I take her to the opticians if I still have any concerns so I'm not sure if you can just take a 2 yr old to the could always contact your closest opticians to enquire. My son had drops in his eyes on his first appoinment and he actually said my DS's eye was the shape of a rugby ball and we were very lucky that the orthoptist caught it when she did. angry

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 23:22:06

Agree with others who've mentioned getting his eyes tested.

Ds2 has an astigmatism in his left eye and he used to do something similar. He's 8 now and tells me that when he's not wearing his glasses, if he looks at things from a certain angle they sort of squidge and distort.

I would imagine a little one might either find that interesting to test out and/or be turning their head to get a less distorted image, like isthatallyouvegot said.

We discovered ds's eye problem and he was seen at the hospital clinic when he was 3. Obviously it's hard for them to do actual vision testing in the manner of holiding up pictures for them to name, but there is a lot they can tell from just looking at the actual structure and anatomy of the eye eg in ds2's case his eyeball is shaped like a rugby ball instead of being spherical.

Ds has a strong prescription and thick lens for his left eye and practically nothing on the right.

BrittaPerry Tue 12-Feb-13 23:25:17

Me and my mum both do this. I thought it was just a weird thing we do, but I do have a lot of autistic traits so it isn't impossible that they are linked.

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 23:28:53

Cross posted! Isthatallyou've got - ditto re the rugby ball shaped eyeball. They had a pig of a job trying to get the prescription right for ds2. He was only discharged from the hospital to general opticians a few months ago and is now telling me his vision is 'squidging' even with his current prescription. hmm

When we first went to the hospital they dx amblyopia and wanted to patch him, but I knew that wasn't it. They forced me to patch him. Fortunately, after just a couple of weeks, a senior orthoptist listened to my concerns, rechecked and announced there was no amblyopia. If I had continued to patch him, it would have seriously damaged the sight in his good eye!

TepidCoffee, I would advise going to your GP with your concerns and asking for a referral to the paediatric opthamology clinic to rule out the possibility of any vision problems.

MummytoMog Tue 12-Feb-13 23:37:33

If your DH had glasses from early on, they should refer you to opthamology, especially with the sideways glancing thing. I had childhood myopia (wore glasses from five when they spotted it) and although DD's possible squint resolved itself by two, we still go back every six months because of the family history. There's a strong genetic link apparently (my dad was also very short sighted from early childhood) in childhood myopia.

The tests are fun and less fun - if your DS will name objects on flash cards, then he'll be fine with most of them, but they also pop sunglasses on them to check out single eye vision and then a delightful eye drop thing to check out retinas. DD hates this bit sad take bribery treats with you. Our HV referred us, so yours might be able to refer you.

isthatallyouvegot Tue 12-Feb-13 23:44:28

moosemama my Ds went to see a neurologist today and while he was doing his physical tests on him he picked up his squint straight away and said that he could tell he had one and that he had to turn his head due to his vision becoming distorted from a certain point shock...does make you wonder how this would affect them in a classroom? hmm

TepidCoffee Wed 13-Feb-13 08:20:39

Thank you everyone, this has been very helpful.

Just had an interesting conversation with DH (first time I've mentioned what I've noticed to him). He does have myopia, but it's very unlikely to have a genetic component in his case as he is Japanese, and in the last couple of generations they (and other Asian countries like China and Korea) have gone from levels of myopia equivalent to the UK - so 20-30% - to up to 90% in major cities shock. Probably because of the studying culture. Bonkers. DH did not start wearing glasses until he was 16/17 and apparently this is typical.

He did however say that both he and his DM have noticed DS's sideways looking habit and apparently both DH's older brother and grandfather did similar, and older brother started wearing glasses earlier (6 or 7). Sadly he is no longer with us to ask, but this is very useful information. I will speak to the HV.

moosemama Wed 13-Feb-13 10:05:36

Tepid, no-one else in our family wears glasses - other than grandparents who have reading glasses. Ds2 is the only one.

I'm ashamed to admit that I had no clue there was a problem until he started nursery and I realised he couldn't tell me from the other parents when I went to collect him. blush sad

He did the sideways looking thing, but I wasn't as on the ball as you are. blush

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