June 19, 2008,
S.P. asks from Swarthmore, PA on June 15, 2008
Normal 3 Year Old Behavior?
I am hoping that other Mom's who have already raised a 3 year old boy can give me some advice or insight. I just don't know if this is typical 3 year old boy stuff or not...
My son turned 3 this past January. He is a very bright boy, his daycare staff has always made it a point to tell us how bright he is. The troubling behaviors I am dealing with are as follows.
He is terrified of loud noises. It doesn't even need to really be loud to most people if it is a bang, buzz, whirr, thunder, firecracker, he is terrified. He trembles through any thunder storm that wakes him, I mean trembles. Memorial Day was terrible, he fell asleep with his fingers in his ears after all the noises outside died down.
He has weird food issues: he takes the ends off of french fries b/c (I think) they are crispier than the rest of the fry - he does this to every fry. Mac and cheese - must be the "kraft mac and cheese" type meaning shape and flavor. If those macaroni are damaged, he will put it to the side and not eat it. He sorts through as he goes to pull out the broken noodles. He overall a very very picky eater.
He goes from 0 - 60 in a millisecond. He is very difficult to get to concentrate on a task and takes constant prodding to get dressed, brush teeth, pick up toys. Sometimes I have to start counting to 3 with the threat of a time out etc for him to just put on socks without taking off to go do somehting else.
Talking back - I probably don't even need to explain, but he is so "fresh" at times. I don't know what to do other than time outs when he is fresh. We were in church today and I had to take him in back and make him stand facing the wall for being fresh.
Finally, since our daughter has been mobile he is very rough. He pushes and takes things from her constantly. He can't go near her without putting her on her butt or pushing her to the side or out of his way. He gets a time out for this and gets up and does it right over again. He can tell me, I had a time out for pushing and giving Caitlin a boo boo, but just does it right away again. I just don't know what to do. We are having another baby in the beginning of September and I am afraid of how it's going to affect him. I don't know if he is just seeking attention with the pushing, or if all of his quirks signal something else.
Thanks for any input from you all.
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all of your responses. It is reassuring to hear that many others have dealt with, or are dealing with similar issues with their toddlers. I contacted the Intermediate Unit today for him to be evaluated because I know that it will set my mind at ease. His daycare providers have said he interacts well but they have a very hard time with him switching tasks. They aren't sure if it's because he's the youngest in the group, or if he's too involved in what he's doing or if it's too hectic for him. They again reiterate that he is very intelligent. With all that in mind I need to find out if there is something we are not doing for him and we should be. Just an FYI, I had also placed a call to DuPont's Behavioral Health services and was very taken aback by their attitude. The person I spoke to on the phone sighed when I explained that I wanted to set up an appointment for an evaluation and then said " you know he's really young for this." Good Lord, I thought that catching any issues earlier was better than later. Thank you all again for your advice and thoughts.
M.M. answers from Harrisburg on June 17, 2008
Eventhough this sounds just like a typical boy, I think you should get him phsycologically evaluated just to be on the safe side.
A.J. answers from Williamsport on June 19, 2008
Sorry this is late, but I just saw your paragraph and I hope this will be reassuring to you. You almost sound as if you're trying to describe one of the popular lists of disorders of the day, which is how many people think, especially since they hear these things listed by other people all the time. I have a friend who watches other peoples kids lining up things and doing obsessive things with their food and going, "Oh, he could have Aspbergers Autism ADD ADHD ODD spectrum blah blah blah." She self diagnosed her daughters with three disorders and the psychological evaluation backed her up not knowing that she deprives them of sleep or anything to eat but sugar etc. I know that's not you, but evaluations will almost always find SOMETHING if the moms insist on these long lists. Please take this to heart, there are oodles of kids in my family, all my sisters and brothers have like 7-12 kids each:
For boys this age:
0 to 60 in a millisecond is totally normal.
Needing constant prodding and distracted from any and all small tasks is totally normal.
Bullying younger sister. Normal-entirely a discipline issue.
Being fresh. Normal. Entirely a discipline issue-sounds like you're doing a great job.
Hypersensitivity to noises and excessive fear. Probably just that-hypersensitive ears and sensitive nature, this could pass.
Obsessive playing and manipulating food and picky eating is sometimes a side effect of something bigger, but very often not, and TONS of kids do this. I mean tons.
Whatever you do, don't lump EVERYTHING together. A lot of people think that if there is something "wrong" with the kid, they can't be diciplined, which makes the problem worse, because even if they have a disorder, the routine and structure is all that much more important.
I would act as if everything is fine, give him tons of love and discipline-this a crucial tough age where he is learning rules and self control, and only go for an evaluation of some kind if he's obviously intellectually challenged in a few years and having trouble learning. Evaluating and drugging and all that now will not help him or change anything. Lots of quirky people go far in life. He'll probably outgrow the food thing soon. If he's very bright, you are very blessed.
K.C. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
I do think it's best to talk to a pediatrician and not make any assumptions. My first instinct when I read your email it that is sounds like a disorder on the autism spectrum. Sounds like most feel that is it "normal behavior," but as an advocate for your son, it's better to get a professional opinion. When my pediatrician first mentioned the word "Autism" regarding my daugther, I was in complete denial. I took some time to think about it, read about it and prayed. Sadly for my daughter it is a diagnosed reality now, but we deal and we are getting lots of help for her. If your son's behaviors are "not normal," it is soooooooo much better to find out now rather than later and get him the help he needs.
Best of luck to you.
C.B. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
Our oldest son (now 6) was also a major handful at 3. He is also very bright, but had other issues around behavior, food, etc -- violent and scary tantrums were the worst part of it. We found three books to be helpful:
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka;
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish; and
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.
I'd suggest reading the Spirited Child book first. It was a life-saver. Our son is still bright and can be difficult, but we've learned better ways to work with and communicate with him to suit his personality, and it has helped a ton.
A.C. answers from Reading on June 16, 2008
oh god I know how you feel, same stuff I have a 3 year old boy and one year old daughter. I thought it was just me, same deal our son is extremely smart he tests at a 6 year old level, but if I want him to clean up or get dressed it takes all day it drives me nuts, me talks back and bites my daughter, I put him on time out and about 10 min later he does it again.
although he is much better when my husband is home alot but that's not always consistent with his on call job. And it's not like he lacks the ability to do the tasks I think my son is just down right lazy.we have used his trains (thomas) as punishment. I have even locked his closet more then once out of complete fustration. Is your son potty trained? cause I am still using chocolate as bribes without it he goes right in his pants.But pees with no problem. he's scared of everything these days while my daughter is fearless.
I have spoken with friends of mine that run a daycare, they tell me get him in school and then get him pushed as far ahead as you can so he isn't bored. It's like having arguements with a teenager. Sorry my advice isn't very helpful. I just make sure I spent one on one time with him, because they are constantly fighting for my attention. And I make sure he knows I mean business, last week I actually but them immediatley to bed after out supposed to be 5 min shopping trip to get a bra since the washing machine ate mine. it was a disater and it took 2 hours they were terrible.
So when he is good he gets praised and rewarded when he is bad I tell him what he did, that it makes me sad or mad cause that's pretty much the range of emotions for him and then time out or take privledges accordingly.
If anything I feel for you, your not alone. God good luck to you having another one I don't think my sanity allows one more but everyonbe says 3 isn't as much of an adjustment.
S.V. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
You got a lot of good advice from other moms, but thought I'd add my two cents. Some of the behavior is normal, and some seems to be a "request" for attention. It's hard, I know it's hard, to find time to give each child individual attention. Little things like letting each child pick the book to read at night -- even if that means you have to read two books -- makes a difference. Talking one-on-one for a few minutes, snuggling during a movie or TV show, coloring or other activity and talking. I know they are young, but they will get used to the idea of talking and you may get him to say things that are bothering him.
There are a couple of books that have helped me. They are not new, but they were some lessons in there for me to help me. "Raising Your Spirited Child" which certainly sounds like your son, and "Siblings Without Rivalry" which may help with the sibling relationships.
Good luck to you.
T.Y. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
I agree with some of the other moms. Most of the behaviors sound normal but you definitely should talk to your doctor and have him talk to a specialist. Getting dressed still takes my son a long time and with alot of prodding, he used to be deathly afraid of noises at around 4 yrs of age, and he still has a "fresh" mouth at 8 yrs old but I think the food thing is what makes me think there may be something else going on. You should get a doctor's opinion, maybe even two, just for your own sanity.
M.M. answers from Harrisburg on June 17, 2008
Eventhough this sounds just like a typical boy, I think you should get him phsycologically evaluated just to be on the safe side.
J.H. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
Ok, *don't* want to scare you, but it sounds a lot like my nephew that has Asburgers Syndrome and Sensory (ugh, really don't want to scare you!) Autism. Asburgers (and I'm not sure that's the correct spelling) is a defiant dissorder. He has *big* problems with authority and rules. Now, most kids are defiant, and I think you're doing a good job handeling it. But with his Asburgers he will throw a fit for *hours* and some of the things that come out of his mouth are terrible. He will literally go to sleep during a fit, and wake up the next day to continue it. And you never know what's going to set him off.
But more the sensory side, he will put on a winter coat on a hot day and refuse to take it off. He gets incredibly attached to things like shoes, or even when he was little a dirty diaper (he just liked feeling his was wet) etc. He is constantly looking for a "fix" of sensory stimulation. He will lick anything, he will just spin in circle indefinately to get a fix.
My other friend has a son who has some sensory "issues" but not autism. He goes to therapy and his mother has learned techniques to help him. These include rubbing his body, or doing other sensory things to "get it out of his system" so he doesn't freak out when he is out and gets excited. He would get so excited just seeing people he would shake like crazy even when he was an infant. The therapy channels his feelings physically.
Hopefully you'll see that your son just likes things the way he likes him and he's just going thru a phase. I just wanted to give you a window into what kids with diagnosed problems deal with so you can measure them against your son.
N.R. answers from Pittsburgh on June 16, 2008
I am a mom to a 5yr old child with PDD. It's autism spectrum disorder (he's high functioning)/ and there are some things that made me wanna respond you should have looked at.
My son was 2 1/2 when I offically said "there's something off here" so this is why I want to express some minor concers from what I read. By no means am I a professional but a mother who has now dedicated herself to make Autism Awareness more out there.
Your child appears to have major sensory issues, the noises, eating preferences and hyper activity all falls under a sensory processing disorder or Sensory Integration Disorder.
The "autism spectrum" is super complexed from behaviors in various areas.
Someone mentioned Aspberger syndrom, another part of the autism spectrum.
To know for sure ask your ped doc....KEEP IN MIND MOST PED DOCS ARE NOT TRAINED IN AUTISM.....SAD BUT VERY TRUE.
I got a diagnois via Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh...huge waiting list however there are other ways of getting your child tested..to be sure its just "kids being kids" or IF it would be the onset of something more.
Just because your child may able to talk and isn't rocking back & forth banging his head...doesn't mean it's not autism.
PDD-NOS is what my son has...Pervasivve Developemental Disorder--Non Other Specified...in a nut shell, he has difficulty in speech and sensory issues, hyper activity, social skills problems BUT is HIGHLY INTELLEGENT and very very loving to people he knows. He looks like anyother kids on a playground.
Please, for your own peace of mind, get a professional opinion by a TRAINED individual who specializes in this area.
That way you can put your mind at ease.
If you have ANY questions...feel free to send me a personal message. I'd be MORE than happy to answer any questions or offer s phone # if I am able to.
H.H. answers from Sharon on June 17, 2008
I can only respond to part of your problem and probably wont be much help but here it goes... I have a 9 yr old girl who from day one has not liked loud noises. I think it is a kid thing. For her she hasnt out grown all of it, she still hates fireworks, a gun going off or race cars but the lawn mower and 4wheelers she has gotten used too. The food thing will pass too. Like someone else mentioned you need to let him know that it doesnt taste any differnt because it looks a little differnt. Take a bite yourself and show him. My daughter has just this past year started trying new things. She has found out that new or differnt foods are not so bad. You will find as he grows that things will change. Good luck time will help.. honest :)
D.L. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
Hi S.~ My son is now 12 and had the same issues as yours does.He is very smart but just had odd behaviors. A friend of mine mentioned to me when he was about 6 that he might be autistic. Fast forward 4 years from that..we moved from NY to PA and the behaviors were getting worse- the noise issue stopped but more agrressive behaviors began. I thought it might have been from the move but it continued. I had him tested for ADD. The results came back as ADD, ODD and anxiety/depression. My next step was a nuerologist. He said my son has Aspergers Syndrome- a form of autism. How I could KICK myself for not following up on my friends instinct! Please e-mail me if you want to discuss further- ____@____.com. D.
J.M. answers from Pittsburgh on June 17, 2008
I agree with the many responses that say these behaviors are normal 3 year old behaviors. I never had any issues with my oldest until he was 3 1/2.
My daughter, 4 is terrified of most noises. She is better than she was, but still is afraid of thunder, fireworks, noisy trucks driving down the street. Last summer I had to hold her in my lap with her ear pressed into my chest, covering her other ear with my hand, preferably under a blanket so she could not hear anything.
The food thing, some kids don't like the way somethings feel. My friends son is 7 and still wont eat many things because they feel weird in his mouth. He will make himself vomit at the smallest bite of banana because of the texture. And picky eating is a normal childhood behavior.
As for the talking back, I don't know exactly what you mean by "fresh", but if it is disrespectful, inappropriate talk, remember, 3 year olds repeat what they hear. he has to be getting it from somewhere, tv, daycare, family members. Monitor what he hears. Talking back is normal, kids test limits. They need to be taught what is acceptable and what is not. (Just because it is normal, doesn't mean that it is acceptable though.)
Remember, he is three. He is still a baby really. You can not expect a 3 year old to live up to the standard of an older child. Cut him a break. Teach him, love him and show him how to act. Don't expect him to know it, and don't assume he has something wrong with him. So you have to count to 3, big deal, he will learn to count. I have started telling my kids I will count to 1, and they do it immediately. Children will ultimately live up to the standard set.
J.I. answers from Pittsburgh on June 17, 2008
Sounds like a normal three year old boy to me. My son does many of the same things. The threes are the new twos.
They are pushing for independence, and hence the never hear you when you tell them to do something. Maybe he needs more emphasis on the positive things that he does, because it does sound like he is seeking your attention, and negative behavior gets it. That being said, be firm and consistent, because they are absolutely testing the limits right now.
food issues - sometimes they come to realize that food is the only thing they can control. Let him have more choices and control over other things, and I would not worry too much about this quirk, harmless. Let it be. Two choices at a time, more becomes a problem for them. Let him play role playing games where he is mommy or daddy and you are the kid and he gets to tell you what to do. Conversely, sometimes they like to play being a baby, too, wrapping them up and giving them a bottle and stuff, particurly when your next child gets here.
It is very frustrating, but he does sound normal to me. Sometimes, all we hear about in the media is the development problems to look out for, and we begin to diagnosis them in our very normal children.
S.T. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
My daughter is two and a half and she is still very scared of many thing. People tease us and say we live a sheltered life. I can remember my older daughter (who is now 16) if her seam on the sock did not line up perfectly with her toes, she would pull them off and refuse to wear them. My daughter has also been pushing buttons since our new baby came along six weeks ago. Some days it seems like she is in the naughty chair more then she is out. I plan to read the 123 magic book. I read it years ago with my older kids and I forget exactly the rules of the book for discipline, so I will read it again. Good Luck :) he's sounds like a typical child. www.livegreeneasy.com
B.W. answers from Erie on June 17, 2008
Children mature at different ages, and in different ways. Some things you mention sound to me like normal developmental issues, and others suggest (to me, who is not trained in this) that he can concentrate, and does concentrate on things other people don't pay ANY attention to at all, and he can get fully absorbed by them, and then he can be kind of 'lost' and not respond to you when you want him to get his socks on and get dressed. His focus is a little different from that of others.
I would start by talking to the daycare people -- they say he is very smart, but also quiz them on his social behavior. Is his somewhat problematic behavior happening there, too, or only at home? If it's only happening at home, then I would think he is tired and stressed when he gets home (not in a bad way, just tired and stressed, like you after a busy day at work), and is trying to exert his own control of his environment. If that seems to be the case, I would find ways he can control his environment that are positive. Not, "put on your socks!", but "Do you want to put on the green or the blue socks?" He gets a forced choice, (putting on his socks), but he gets to make a choice and take control without tons of options (playing, sleeping, etc)
When younger siblings start to move and get in the way of their slightly older siblings, it's not uncommon that the older ones strike back. You may need to talk about how to share the house -- if the toys are in the living room, they are available to be shared, but if he has special toys he doesn't want his sister to touch or break, or if they are just special and "big boy toys", then those could be kept in his room, and she can't touch them. I tried to let my kids know that it was okay to be angry, but it wasn't okay to act horribly in a public room. So, if they were out of control, they could go to their rooms for their tantrums.
I personally don't think standing and facing a corner is a good disciplinary action. When a child is disciplined, he or she wants to look to the adult for reassurance, and by being forced to look at the wall, he is being robbed of the reassurance he needs from you. If he can't behave in church, maybe there's a childrens' program he can attend? Even if you attend to for a while, that's okay, then soon he can go without you. If you want to keep him in church with you, you may need to discipline the smaller stuff sooner, so it doesn't get out of hand. Bring crayons and paper, or coloring books. Sitting still quietly is hard for a young child, but it IS good practice they will never get anywhere else in our modern society. If he has things to do, and maybe some kind of treat for being good, and quietly not bothering other folks, then that can reinfornce the positive behavior you are looking for. If you have to take him out, by all means, take him out, but I would simply have him sit quietly in the vestibule area, rather than stand facing a wall. This way, he is practicing the behavior you want him to exhibit in church. When he settles down, you can bring him back into the sanctuary and try again.
If, on the other hand, he is not behaving in a "normal" fashion at daycare, then I would talk to my pediatrician about it, and have him tested. There are many many syndromes out there today, and if there is something else going on, early detection and early intervention can help to make his elementary school experience more positive, and help him to be a success, regarldess of the "syndrome" attached to the behavior. there's a kid in our church with "asbergers" syndrome, or something like that. Most of the church doesn't even know. . . . and he very often shares something during "prayer and praise time". Sometimes he is off on a tangent and no one knows where the connect is, but we all listen and love him. Other times, he talks about normal kid stuff, like scoring a goal in a kiddie hockey game. And sometimes his mom and dad interpret for the rest of us once he's done. But the bottom line is that the church accepts and loves him, with or without knowing about the "syndrome", and he is building relationships with people who will enjoy watching him grow and supporting him throughout his life. Having some kind of "diagnosis" doesn't have to be a stigma. It can open doors, too, and doors can bring us to the point where we are successful adults.
R.M. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
I have worked with 3 year olds for almost 10 years. Some of what you have written sounds normal- like him taking forever to get dressed. However, some of it sounds like Aspergers Syndrome or some other sensory sensitivity. I would suggest you document the behaviors you've been observing, take him to your pediatrician and INSIST on a referral to pediatric behavioral specialist. These have long waits so the sooner you do it the better. Most pediatricians have a "wait and see" attitude so you'll have to be insistent. If he is in preschool you may want to speak with the teacher and see if she has observed and documented any of these impulsive behaviors. If not, see if she'll keep an eye out and document anything she notices. Also, you may be able to have them refer him for observation through the school phychologist. Again, usually a wait involved but worth it to get the school involved and on-board. You may be able to work out a behavior plan for him that works at home and school so he is getting a consistent response to behavior from both areas.
Hope this information helps. Best of luck to you.
R.C. answers from Philadelphia on June 17, 2008
My 3 year old is the same way with pushing his younger brother and talking back / saying no / being grumpy when we tell him something he doesn't want to hear. He also takes forever to eat or pick up his toys and stuff like that. I really can't think of many kids that don't do these things.
As for the fries & mac & cheese or the noises, hopefully the other moms might be able to help there. Both my boys are picky eaters, but not in that way. And they both run to me when the fire alarm (fire dept.) goes off, but that's cause it's on our block & is extremely loud. Sorry if I'm not much help.
A.Y. answers from Augusta on June 17, 2008
What does the petiatrian say?
D.M. answers from Pittsburgh on June 17, 2008
Upon reading your question and related your son's behavior to one very similar to my best friend's son. He would do alot of similar things that you described above and I would highly recommend that you have him evaluated by your physican. With some of the things that you have mentioned with him being highly intelligent and goes from 0-60 and the loud noises that bother him describe my girlfriend's son to a tee. You may want to have him checked for ADHD, Autism & Asburger Syndrome with the sorting of his foods and the pushing others. I certainly don't want you to feel stressed about this especially since you will be blessed again in September and the last thing you need is extra stress. The good thing is for all of these that I mentioned above there are meds out there. You want to make sure to have your son evaluated properly so that if he needs to be on meds. he is diagnosed properly. My best friend took a while to find the proper meds as there are many things to look at as far as side effects go. She is actually now one of the heads of the Autism Society in her area if you want to contact her for any further information, I am glad to pass her email info. on to you. I am not sure that this was the response you were hoping to receive back, but I know how she felt as a young Mother when her son would do these things and she would question me on if this was normal. I hope that you can seek the proper guidance and maybe some other Moms will have some good input for you as well. God bless your family.
J.J. answers from Sharon on June 16, 2008
It could be some sort of jealously thing.
Did he have any ear inefctions when he was younger??if so that could explain his ears or maybe he's just that sensitive to noise.I know both my boys have/had tubes and my oldest is now that sensitive to noise.For the longest time we couldn't do movies because it was just too loud for him.
Other than that i'm not sure........The food thing i woldn't worry too much about,maybe he seen someone eating fries that way and that's why he does it???My kids eat food weird too......don't make too big a deal about it atleast he's eating.
Sorry no real help but good luck with everything
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on June 16, 2008
I think a certain amount of "OCD-type" behavior is normal at that age. Some kids will only eat 2 or 3 foods, Kool Aid has to be blue, cars MUST be lined up on the table, etc, etc, etc, etc!!!
My son is 5, and while he does not have food issues, some days it takes us FOREVER to get dressed & out of the house! I, too, pray for patience MANY times each day! :)
The most used sentence in my house is "Tyler--focus!" LOL
Does the daycare staff see any issues? Sometimes terror at loud noises & social issues can be a sign of PDD or autism. PDD is not a reflection of intelligence and many of these kids are actually gifted. I'm not saying this to freak you out, but if there IS an issue, the earlier you catch it the better!
Maybe you could try using a reward chart or a visual cue chart to keep him focused on a morning routine. You could also reward him for positive treatment of his sister, etc.
Good luck to you!
T.C. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
I currently have a 3 year old daughter and she is terrified of loud noises (firecrackers, people talking loud, etc). She even screams and runs when my husband mows the lawn. I think that is something they will get over. My son at 3 was a very picky eater, he would never pick apart things he just would not eat. As far as talking back, my daughter and son both did it to a point. I punished them(naughty step, no snack etc.)and made sure I put an end to it before it got worse. As far as your 3 year old hitting your 1, my 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter at times still hit each other. I believe your son may be jealous and doing it to get attention, mine did. They have to get use to the fact that they now how to share your love and attention. It will take some more time for him to get use to but just keep telling him that what he is doing is not nice and if you need punish him, do it. Also, don't forget to spend some special time with him, it goes a long way. Hope it helps!!
F.B. answers from Harrisburg on June 17, 2008
All of these behaviors that you mentioned in your post are normal. I have a 3 year old boy and am experiencing similar behaviors. Just keep disciplining him whenever he does something he is not supposed to do. Eventually, the behavior will get better. Hope this helps.
SAHM of 8 year-old girl, 3 year-old boy & 1 year-old girl.
L.T. answers from Pittsburgh on June 16, 2008
My son will be 4 next week and we have noticed these same behaviors develop in him over the past year. I am going to say it is normal, though undesirable, 3 year old behavior. Funny...I thought the 2 year olds were supposed to be difficult. LOL
Though I wouldn't say he is terrified, he does not like lound noises - even the stereo or tv, unless he feels they need to be loud for whatever reason.
He often puts aside crackers, chips and pretzels that are broken. Every so often he will surprise me and say, "You know, mom, just because they are broken doesn't mean that taste different. Then he will eat them.
We do a lot of prodding to get him to do things like go potty and get his shoes on, even when he knows that we will be going to do something fun - go outside or the church fair, for example.
Talking back!!! My sweet boy has said many totally un-sweet things in the past year. Demanding, obstinate, etc.
He gets physical with his younger sister. Sometimes he doesn't mean to - a playful hug will turn into a wrestling match. Other times he will hit, push, etc. He gets punished - timeouts, loses priveleges, etc - and can tell you why he gets punished then will turn around and do it all over again.
Good luck working through these issues. If you find something that works well, please share.
J.H. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
I am by no means an expert and sounds like a lot if this could be normal 3 year old behavior... but one of my best friends is dealing with very similar issues with her 4 year old son. Reading your post, they could be the same kid.
He was tested and they found out that he is very advanced academically, (possibly a genius) but also has a sensory disorder. They have started OT with him and he is improving very quickly. They feel that early intervention will fully recover him before he starts school.
I would talk to your ped and see what they say. If it is something like this, the cost is usually covered by the state and the results of therapy are immediate.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
S.F. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
My daughter was very sensitive to noise as well when she was young. The movie trailers in the movie theater are always loud and made her cover her ears, and she would do the same kinds of things at fireworks, thunder, etc. She is 17 now and has always been much more aware of sounds than others around her. Some people are just more sensitive to noise than others. Reassure him and let him know that noises can't hurt him, and he'll eventually learn to cope with it. As for having to be prodded to do what you want, that's a really normal kid thing. They tend to drag their feet when it's something they don't really want to do. Notice how quickly they respond when you ask them if they want to do something they love.
If you're trying to change difficult behavior - freshness and being rough and not responding to your requests to do things - sometimes a reward system works better than punishment - positive reinforcement. Pick one behavior to work on, explain to him what you want him to do. Then make a chart. If he behaves the way you expect, put a smiley face on the chart at the end of the day. When he gets a certain number of smiley faces (3 maybe, then build up) he gets some kind of reward for good behavior. Doesn't have to be something you buy (better if it's not) - maybe play a game he loves but you don't seem to have time for, or let him pick what's for dinner or dessert, or he gets to watch an extra half hour of TV, or something similar. Also, get the book "How to talk to your kids so they'll listen, and listen so they'll talk" by Faber. It is a great book on how to deal with these kinds of issues. It's an older book, but I don't think the advice in it ever goes out of style.
K.W. answers from Philadelphia on June 16, 2008
I would echo what some of the other moms have said - It's worth your piece of mind to have him evaluated for an Autism Spectrum disorder. I work with these kids a lot, and many of the things you are describing are indicators. That said, however, they also just may be behaviors that are made worse by your very busy household. Several of the other moms have mentioned Asberger's Syndrome. That's what first came to mind when I read your post. Get in touch with the early intervention program in your school district. They'll point you in the right directon.
V.F. answers from Scranton on June 17, 2008
Check out this website for some helpful information www.dianecraft.org