Child-like interests?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2004
Child-like interests?
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 2:15pm

My DS is 14 with a PDD-NOS dx. I'm just curious if anyone else has a child of similar age that is still interested in things from toddlerhood like Thomas the Tank and Toy Story. He still enjoys the TV shows aimed at preschoolers like Fireman Sam (even Teletubbies sometimes)and watches them exclusively when given a choice. DH and I worry he will never outgrow these things. Most of his toys are at this level too. Currently he is into Mr. Potato Head.

We have never been able to get him to make friends because of his strong resistance to social situations (which is also a problem or perhaps part of the problem?). We have never forced the issue of joining a sports team or attending music/art classes. We attempted them all but gave up when met with such resistance. When he doesn't want to be somewhere it is obvious to all around him!

I understand that this is his comfort zone but when or should we force the issue of giving these things up? He is currently very depressed and refusing to go to school. I think he is lonely but he doesn't see it that way, saying he has friends and knows how to make them. He does not.

I know this age is hard on all kids and expected it would be harder for DS but...

Any feedback is appreciated. Especially from parents with older kids. We need to know what to expect.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 05-17-2010 - 4:16pm

One bit of advice I got from a therapist was to try and offer social situations around interests, rather than around 'opportunities to be social' - eg chess club, music club, computer club etc, rather than sports. That way they can focus on enjoying the activity, and might put up with having to socialise to get to the activity. There's a book focusing on teenagers with Aspergers Syndrome called 'How To Be Yourself In a World That Is Different' that you might find helpful.

I'm not sure what to offer on not outgrowing things: the motivation just isn't there! He'd get nothing he values from giving up his interests (he probably doesn't really care if people think he is babyish) and he'd lose things he likes. So unless it is *really* important and you can find a substitute that he likes and values, it is going to be hard to get him to let go of old obsessions. I have occassionally managed to wean Euan off things by appealing to his love of rules (eg 11 year olds are not *allowed* to take teddies to scout camp) but this kind of involves some deception and explanations. You could try some structured explanations (like social stories for teenagers) and outright bribery.


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (3, NT)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 11:09am

Yes! Our soon to be 10 year old daughter is interested in Blue's Clues, Baby Einstein, etc. But she's also interested in Pokemon and Bakugan...go figure! The only age appropriate things she likes would be considered "boy toys" to most 10 year old girls. *sigh*

In our case, she spends the vast majority of her time "talking" to the cartoons in her head and drawing childlike pictures of her "friends." I wish I knew how to handle it. It's frustrating and bothersome, but nothing we offer her is an acceptable alternative to her toddler interests.

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Meez 3D avatar avatars games

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2004
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 5:19pm

Thanks for your reply. I will look for that book you mentioned. It dawned on me today that Jonah's recent emotional difficulties may be due to the fact that he is tired of being a square peg being shoved into the round hole. Who wouldn't feel beat up and battered? The book title kind of says it all doesn't it? I also liked your advice about social stories and "rules." Thanks. I think DH and I want DS to fit in so badly that we keep trying to mold him into what we think he ought to be. I need to remember to let him be himself and embrace him for who he is. I guess we just assume he should want to fit in and if he doesn't he will not be happy. We need to remember that probably the exact opposite is true!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2004
Tue, 05-18-2010 - 5:22pm
Your second paragraph sounded very familiar! It is frustrating because I worry as I am sure you do, he will be ridiculed for his babyish interests. I guess the lesson I need to remember is to stop caring what others think because he sure doesn't! Thank you for your reply. It is comforting to know someone else is dealing with this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2010
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 1:03pm
Hello, :)
I am 13 going on 14, and I am a suspected 'aspie' but we still haven't ruled out PDD-NOS. I do tend to have child-like interests as well. When i was 10, i still watched 'boogie beebies', big cook little cook' and 'the tweenies.' As a matter of fact, i still do now, sometimes. Im into things like pokemon and yu-gi-oh, and I i even still have imajinary friends. I didnt stop playing with dolls until i was twelve, when my mum threw them all out, saying i needed to grow up... i still bought another doll behind her back, and she grounded me. It is hard to fit in when the only interests i have are childish, or different. (another ine of my interests is my music- i play flute and recorder at grade 6 /7 level. i am so intensely interested, i will have a 'fit' if someone tried to stop me doing it.)
There is no reason why anyone should try to stop their child from doing what interests them, the bet thing to do is to be supportive.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2004
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 12:24pm

I'm 43 and still love Hello Kitty!

I'm sure it is hard doing your own thing right now, but go ahead and do it.