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  • 3 year old on the spectrum?

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    Old 07-09-2017, 08:40 PM   #1
    Erin986's Avatar
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    3 year old on the spectrum?

    I have three year old twins (girls, fraternal) and I'm worried about the behavior of one of them. The main concern is her tantrums. They don't seem typical. She can go from perfectly happy to throwing herself in the floor screaming in an instant if she perceives something as not going her way. For example, if I close the bathroom door and she comes looking for me. As soon as she sees it's closed, she goes into full tantrum without even trying to open it and see if she can come in. I have three children and her tantrums are way more extreme than her sisters tantrums.

    Another issue is her car seat. She always complains that it's too tight and will scream/cry a lot of times while buckled in. She used to move her chest clip down but she learned we would just pull over and wait until she put it back so luckily she stopped that.

    She also tends to be aggressive. There have been a couple of times we had to move her twin out of their room for a few nights because she would hit/bite her sister after we put them to bed. There are also times she just randomly hits us or her sisters without being provoked.

    She is also terrified of dogs and birds. If one comes anywhere near her, she screams and finds someone to hold her.

    She is obsessed with everyone else's pee and poop, but refuses to sit on a potty.

    She's very intelligent in some ways. She sees clues and asks questions - example I pick up my keys or put shoes on and she asks if I'm going shopping. Or she'll put her shoes on the wrong feet (on purpose) and say "look! Wrong feet!" Her vocabulary seems appropriate for her age. But she can only count to 5 and she doesn't know her colors. She knows all the colors names but doesn't identify them up correctly.

    She's very social, no issues with eye contact. Loves hugs and kisses. She's good at creative play too.

    Should I be concerned? If so, what do we do now?

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    Old 12-31-2020, 07:57 PM   #2
    Join Date: Oct 2003
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    Hope2Heal HB User
    Re: 3 year old on the spectrum?

    HI there,

    It sounds like you are obviously concerned so just follow up with it. Most states have some sort of Early Intervention Screening. They will do an evaluation and provide you with services and supports if necessary. It sounds to me that your child has difficulty with communication, and that is causing a lot of the problems. That is typical for toddlers in general, but some kids may require speech or other strategies. Her fears and car seat issues sound like sensory causes, and some kids are super sensitive to sounds, touch, etc. Also animals can be unpredicatable and causes fears in kids who need to feel in control.

    In the meantime, change your approach to communicating. Put some visual signs on the bathroom door and discuss ahead of time. This one means someone is going potty. The other sign can say, I am washing my hands, or I am taking a shower. Then teach the skill, when the door is closed, it doesn't mean I don't want to be with you. But everyone needs privacey. etc. etc. discuss ahead and have a visual menu posted. What should I do? I can wait, I can knock and say, will you be finished soon? I can go play or watch TV, I can sit near the bathroom with my favorite books, etc. She will soon realize that the world won't end if mom is in the restroom, and get a handle on what you are doing, and what she can do in the meantime.

    You can also put together choice menus for other things that are stressors. What should I do if.... I see a dog, a bird, my seatbelt feels tight, etc.

    There are a lot of online resources if you search visual aides for autism.

    I hope these help. As an an educator of students with autism and other disorders for many years, I can tell you early intervention is the key to recovery. Try not to worry, and just reach out for an evaluation. Best wishes and keep us posted.

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    Old 01-01-2021, 05:19 PM   #3
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    Re: 3 year old on the spectrum?

    Early Intervention ends at 3 years of age. I work in an EI program. Since she wouldn't qualify for EI, I would ask for a referral from your pediatrician for an assessment from whomever s/he refer their patients to for this. There's a clinic here that does this along with lots of psychiatrists but every place is different.

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