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Attention Seeking

(23 Posts)
sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 13:11:36

DD turned 3 suspect she is on the spectrum. I wanted your opinions on one aspect of her personality and to tell me if this is part of ASD. She constantly wants attention as in she will say "mummy look" for pretty much everything she is doing. If im busy I will just respond quickly without looking but she will come over and physically turn my face towards her and redo whatever she wanted me to see.

Do any of your children do this?

Chocolatemoosemama Thu 04-Apr-13 14:03:29

Imho, that sounds more like typical 3 year old girl behaviour than anything to do with possible ASD.

DS1 is 10 and has ASD and it's true that he is the most demanding of my children in terms of requiring constant attention, but it's more a kind of relentless barrage of questions and chatter that he is unable to stop. He isn't as likely to share what he's doing as my other two dcs are, but will talk at me for hours, barely drawing breath, on his favourite subject/s.

My dd was 4 in January and is NT. She's more demanding of attention in the way your dd is. She wants to share whatever she's doing with me and when she was younger would do the face turning thing if I didn't respond quickly enough or in the way she wanted. She has learned not to do that now, because we kept reinforcing that it's not polite to turn people's faces. Being the youngest of three dcs, she is used to getting a lot of attention and has come to expect it. blush

I think three year olds are quite ego-centric in general and haven't yet developed the level of understanding necessary for them to realise they aren't actually the centre of the universe.

alwaysinhiding Thu 04-Apr-13 14:15:24

Cant really help but ive suspected ds1 is on the spectrum since he was a toddler he is 7 now and along with the constant barrage of questions he is a MASSIVE attention seeker and always has been he tells you everything he is doing every step of the way despite repeated asking for him not to, he needs to be the centre of attention at all times be it talking, shouting, crawling over people etc hes like an excited puppy 24/7 and he's showing no signs of outgrowing it

these are the main reasons im suspecting hes NOT on the spectrum though

zzzzz Thu 04-Apr-13 14:34:29

Sounds very nt three year old to me. Ds has just learnt to do this at 8, I greeted it with joy as "normal" behaviour.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 04-Apr-13 14:35:02

Sharing attention like this ("look, mummy") is actually something that ASD kids often DON'T do

Dinkysmummy Thu 04-Apr-13 14:49:27

No, not dinky.

My neice does it ALL the time to the extreme but there is no question about the fact she is irritating NT. Although I may see it that way as dinky doesn't do it?

Chocolatemoosemama Thu 04-Apr-13 14:56:02

I was popping back on to say that sickof. Not sharing attention is considered a red flag for ASD, eg pointing to indicate a need or interest.

DS1 never pointed or shared interest as a toddler, he would happily play on his own without needing me/us to be involved or show interest. If we tried to get involved it seemed to confuse, rather than delight him. The only thing he enjoyed sharing really was books and I think that was because we were 'useful' to him, because obviously he couldn't read the words himself. As soon as he was able to read he stopped sharing books with us and learned to read in his head well in advance of his peers.

Oddly though, he has recently started reading aloud passages of books that he finds particularly funny or interesting. I hadn't considered that a developmental thing until I read this thread, but now I'm starting to wonder if it is.

sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 16:54:47

I only thought it might be one of her quirks because its so constant that I thought surely thats not normal. And chocolate the face turning thing is so annoying and Iv tried explaining it to her but I don't think she understands cuz she does it again later lol.

sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 16:59:08

Is pretending to be cartoon characters normal 3 yo behaviour? She will often pretend or do a role play of Pingu ( shes infatuated with him) she talks, acts like him.

Dinkysmummy Thu 04-Apr-13 17:23:11

It is normal for dinky to pretend to be characters (this is normally an avoidance tactic tho "I'm not dinky, i'm Simba roar roar" then she will be Simba all day. --which includes scratching and biting clothes like a lion cub--)
She is going to the paed to be assessed for ASD/PDA (as soon as the referral comes through).
Role play is one of the things that is apparently more difficult for children with autism, but not so much for children with PDA.

zzzzz Thu 04-Apr-13 17:58:27

Pretending to be characters is very normal 3yr old behaviour.

However "being" that character repeating the same bit of script repeatedly without ever being able to be, say, "Pingu" cleaning his teeth, is less typical.

WarmAndFuzzy Thu 04-Apr-13 18:47:08

My two ASD boys have spent all day being dragons today (they love the 'How to Train Your Dragon' books and films - despite there being no relation between the two imho - and Dragon City. It's always baby dragons who need to be looked after though (by me) hmm

Neither ever did the joint attention thing though, they just get on with their own thing and only call me if there's a problem. NT kids that come round are a shock to the system!

sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 19:09:07

zzz what do you mean? She just repeats everything she sees, so will copy his mannerisms but not use his character to make new scenes or adventures.

sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 19:11:37

For example she was drinking from a straw and started to blow air into it so made bubbles in the cup, something she saw pingu doing one time.

zzzzz Thu 04-Apr-13 19:23:38

Well for example some children with ASD can repeat huge parts of the script of a TV show, or the actions, again and again, but are not innovative in that play. They resist attempts to change the sequence of events they are reenacting or are even incapable of changeing that sequence. The pleasure they get from the play is about completing the sequence. This is (IMO) unusual for a nt child.

Other more nt play (IMO) would involve being "in character" but the joy comes from pretending to be that character.

MareeyaDolores Thu 04-Apr-13 19:32:20

Is it only for you? Or with others too?

Does she recognise there is a you?
or does she think you're her fave computer/ robot / do-anything-toolkit?

Dinkysmummy Thu 04-Apr-13 19:37:16

<<I like that "does she think you are her fave computer/robot/ do-anything-toolkit"

I am defo dinkys do anything toolkit, so is my dad!>>

Chocolatemoosemama Thu 04-Apr-13 19:37:31

Sammy, yes, the face turning thing used to drive me batty - it's really annoying isn't it. Dd was the same at that age, but eventually got the message.

Although if I'm being totally honest - she'll still try it on her Dad occasionally, mainly because he is a devil for doing the half-listening thing and she's already repeated herself a dozen times and been ignored by the time she resorts to head turning.

Chocolatemoosemama Thu 04-Apr-13 19:38:41

Mareeya, that is an excellent description. Dh and I are soooo ds1's personal toolkits.

sammythemummy Thu 04-Apr-13 19:49:05

thanks zzzz I cant say about the script becuase shes speech delayed so can only say a few two word sentences, but will shout out/call out their names and at times she invites me to play with her and pretend alongside her.

mareeya Yes I am her toolkit, she will say " mummy come here" and point to whatever she wants me to do, but she also recognises me as a person because like I said she involves me in what shes doing. For instance if shes watching something she finds funny she will call me or turn my face , laugh whilst looking at me and waiting for me to laugh.
She does the face turning thing to others as well, mostly me and my mum, but I guess its because we spend the most time with her. And my little brother who is 12, she adores him and will call him to play with her constantly. She gets upset if we don't get up to play with her as well, not full blown crying but just lowers head and makes an "oh" sound, very animated (I suspect its from the shows she watches).

I don't know, she confuses me so much. Although some of her behaviours might be normal for her age, I also see her peers and they do not act like her.

alwaysinhiding Thu 04-Apr-13 20:23:54

Im even more baffled about ds1 7 after reading this, i've always thought he was on the spectrum although he seeks people out too much always in their face but doesnt get the 'rules' of play, he spins, flaps, doesnt get jokes, touches people, is a sensory seeker, only intrested in dr who play is always centred around that and is very basic mainly repeating episodes he's watched etc but he does do joint attention always showing me things and wanting to share

I have no idea what ds is but im sure hes not nt hmm

MareeyaDolores Thu 04-Apr-13 20:31:27

Full joint attention is the ability to take an interest in someone else's priorities, whereas my ds wants everyone to join in his thinking...

Chocolatemoosemama Thu 04-Apr-13 22:48:20

Alwaysinhiding, I think Mareeya's last post hits the nail on the head. Ds1 does show me things and share, but only on his terms, relating to his interests and more specifically, whatever aspect of that interest he is obsessing over at the time.

Like your ds, he could be described as seeking people out too much, he gets in their faces, sensory seeks with his feet (think proddy toes grin) and expects everyone to play only what he wants and by his rules. He doesn't read the signs that say someone isn't interested or doesn't want to talk/play right now or that he is invading their personal space or monopolising them. We have worked on the latter two though, teaching him rules about comfortable distance and practising turn taking in conversation etc and he is a lot better than he used to be. Although to be honest, he is better with others than he is with us, as he is relaxed at home and with close family, so seems to think the same rules don't apply to us. hmm

I have recently started playing a few computer games and he has taken this as a huge red light to talk at to me for hours about various games now, as obviously I must think the same way he does about them. He then gets very confused and sometimes even upset if I don't agree or don't like a game he loves.

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