R.S. asks from Lakewood, CA on May 28, 2008
Advice Requested on Daughter's Group Function Freak-outs
I have a 22-month old daughter who seems to be developing just a teensy bit slow. She eventually catches up, but she seems to be a few months behind the milestones, which is fine. My husband, my daycare provider and I have taken steps to spend more one-on-one time with her, and it seems to be helping as she is saying more and more words and performs little tasks that she hasn't in the past. There are other little concerns I have, but no one else really seems to be worried except me, paranoid mom, because she is happy and healthy. I have scheduled her for the state's Early Start testing for late next week because the scheduler asked me a series of questions and said it might be beneficial. My biggest issue is that she has frequent melt-downs when it comes to trying to get her to do group activities. I understand she is very young and doesn't like to be forced to sit down to do crafts and activities, but the constant fits she throws worries me. I signed her up for tumbling classes, which is basically a free-for-all with 2 5-minute sessions of "circle time" where the whole class with their parents do some sort of stretching exercise with songs and movements. My kid is the only one screaming and throwing a fit each time and we are forced to leave the group. The other kids, some who are much younger, all cooperate nicely.
This happens in daycare as well. Thoughts? And can I be so bold as to ask you all to be kind in your responses. It's hard enough to post as it is. Thanks so much.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
First of all, I wanted to thank everyone so much for all the support you've given me. It's been almost 2 months since the assessment and the results turned out very well. The assessment staff was wonderful and patient and she participated like a gem. There are a couple of things that we were told to work harder on with her, and the results have been amazing. She turned 2 last week and while she still doesn't like to do group activities, she does participate more often of her own will for longer lengths of time. Long story short, I am SO glad I went ahead with the assessment. I got a ton out of it and the resources I was given to help my daughters grow have been absolutely incredible. Thanks again!!
T.K. answers from Honolulu on May 29, 2008
Try looking at Dr Harvey Carp's "Happiest Toddler on the Block" his methods help you to quickly and effectively prevent and deal with tantrems. It can help prevent the frustration that leads to the blow-up. I personally like the DVD, because I can see what he is doing and it seems like more of a quick start, but there is also a book.
E.B. answers from San Luis Obispo on May 29, 2008
It sounds like you truly love your children. Let them develop at their own pace. I work at an elementary school and children do not develop or learn the same way. At two years old, children do not want to share, and when they do willingly it is on their terms. I have not been big on organized activities for small children.(prior to three) Taking hikes, walks, exploring your environment in your town or other places will help your child feel knowledgeable and confident. Plus the added bonus of being with you. That in itself is fabulous and so special. If you spend the time having play days with others who have children, your child will get the socialization she needs. Throwing tantrums can be for control, frustration or just feeling irritable. I threw tantrums and finally out grew them. I didn't do them in public, but I definitely made my mom notice me at home.
I hope this helps a bit. Your children are blessed with two parents who love them and care about their quality of life. Life can't get much better than that!
1 mom found this helpful
B.R. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
Hi, R.. My son is 26 months old, and he has had a hard time around other children since he was 12 months old. I brought my concerns to our pediatrician, but he was certain my child was fine. Nonetheless, we had him evaluated by a ped neurologist, and he is fine. Be careful with the Early Intervention evaluation, it seems these days they are over diagnosing autism (per my pediatrician). My son is very observant, sensitive and prefers to be with family than anyone. It is natural to worry about your children, but sometimes we have to accept they have their own personalities! Believe me, I know it's hard when you look around and your child is the only one not participating. That happens to me all the time. You are not alone. Hang in there. It sounds like she is normal. We are all unique and created special in our own way.
K.W. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
As an Early Intervention Specialist and an Early Start Service Coordinator, follow through on the assessment with the team! With all of the services available to infants and toddlers, it is best if you get assessed by them now rather than waiting until she is 3 y.o. I noticed that one or two members wondered what type of testing can be done with a 22 month old. Assessments can be performed from birth...typically with a 22 m.o. it will look alot like playing and a parent interview. They will explain the services available and assist you with accessing them.
If she qualifies for services, you and the team will write up a legal document called an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan). This is the document used to fund services from birth to three.
C.M. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
The Early Start people are great and I think that is a great direction to go. I have no idea if your child's behavior is in the normal range, but I have two perfectly normal twins who at about her age were in a gymnastics class where for 10 weeks they were the ONLY 2 kids who would not do the group stretching, singing, clapping, etc. I was mortified. They would just resist any effort on my part to get them to engage. My daughter is still a little bit like this at age 6.5--she really has to want to try something, I can't make her.
Go with what the Early Start People tell you--but just letting you know there is a wide range of normal.
A.P. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
Hi -- my son is similar in group situations. We finally realized that he wants to be able to watch the group, see what's going on, then (maybe) participate. We had a similar experience with a gymnastics class, and soccer was a bust.
How do they handle it in daycare? Does it change depending on the activity? By that, I mean is it different if they are sitting down to read as oppossed to an activity?
What if she's with a group but not in a circle? Like a bunch of kids sitting down for story time?
My opinion (and, of course, I have similar issues!), is that it's perfectly normal to be a little freaked out when you are asked to do group stuff with a bunch of screaming 2 year olds. :)
How does she do with 2 or 3 kids? We have found that our son has gotten better as he's gotten a bit older (he's 3 1/2), but he is still reluctant to join group activities (although he's fine in school). We don't force it, he's got plenty of time.
We also switched schools and he is now with a wider age group, and that has made a huge difference. As hard as it may be, I think it's fine to accept that maybe she's just not a group person!
C.F. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
Don't feel paranoid. There could be something to it, but don't jump to conclusions until she is assessed. I have 1 daughter with a mild form of Autism and 1 ADHD, both have Sensory Integration Issues -- dislike noise, chaotic groups, etc (My now 6 yr old actually got so upset at a Kindergarten party she threw up during her Freak-out.) Once you know what may or may not be the problem, you will have a better idea of how to proceed. If after assessment they say it is nothing, wait a while and if you still think it is a problem, find someone else (psychologist) to assess her -- This is why I say this. I knew since my daughter was 3 there was something -- my guess was Aspergers Syndrome (form of Autism) but I got several diagnosis besides autism. 6 years later I finally got the autism diagnosis. So be persistent -- you know your child best. Good luck. If you get a diagnosis and want to talk later, let me know.
V.A. answers from Santa Barbara on May 29, 2008
I wouldn't worry. In some ways, your daughter's behavior is age appropriate. She also may have trouble with the over-stimulation of a group and this should eventually go away. For now, since she is so young, I'd just accommodate her as much as possible and not sit with the group. If she's fine tumbling with others around her that's great, just move away when it's group time. Some kids are just more sensitive than others and that's their personality, especially if she's always been this way. Does she have to be in daycare? If so, it sounds like the provider you've chosen is a good, caring one and is trying to work with the situation. If not, have her at home for now.
G.H. answers from Los Angeles on May 29, 2008
First of all, good job mom! Not sure what to say other than sounds like you're doing everything right. My friend's daughter too could not stand any group activities when she was that little. She's fully outgrown it and has no developmental issues. My daughter, I think, went through her early childhood years with an undiagonosed (probably slight) sensory disorder meaning large groups, activities, stimulation sent her over the edge. Her first trip to Legoland sent her into a screaming crying fit all night long (she seemed fine at the park) that could not be calmed. I wish you the very best and want you to know that this too shall pass.