Many questions about 3 year old son...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Many questions about 3 year old son...
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 4:03pm
Hi there...I have a son (Derby...pronounced Darby) who just turned 3 years old and I have questions and concerns about his behaviour. I have lurked here a little and feel that this is a place for us.

Derby has known his letters and numbers since just turning 2 years old. Now he can read sentences. He is a perfectionist. He likes to line things up...his cars, his letters, drink name it. If something doesn't fall into place, he gets extremely upset. He also likes to do puzzles but finds them frustrating...has anyone else noticed that puzzle pieces aren't made perfect and sometimes you have to fiddle with the pieces to make sure there are no gaps? This drives him crazy and he gets really agitated.

He has a sweet personality and is sensitive. He hugs and kisses and pats to show affection. He can speak and will ask for things but has a very difficult time answering questions. About a month ago, my husband spent an entire morning with him to get him to answer "yes please" to the question "do you want some food?" We know that he understands the question because he runs to the kitchen table, but he will only with the greatest persuasion and reminders, answer the question.

He doesn't have a temper and doesn't have any impulse control issues. I'm confused about him because in some respects he is so bright and lovable but he is so unlike any other kids his age. While the neighbourhood kids are running around backyards, Derby is climbing up and down a rock, over and over and over. Either that, or he's reading license plates.

Does this sound familiar? I spoke to his pediatrician at his appt last month, and he had absolutely no concerns. He mentioned that many boys don't develop this social speech until between 3 and 4. Does this seem right? I see 18 month year olds that I can converse with better than my son.

Thanks for any input, Amanda

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 8:47pm
I have 2 thoughts,

1. Get and evaluation. You mention a number of red flags for me. Most importantly is the lack of social conversation. A child with that much language if developing normally should take less time than a month to learn to say "yes please". baby's have social interactions even if they do not have full language yet. At any rate, can't make a cyber diagnosis, but I think your concerns warrent a full evaluation. He is 3 so you can call your local district and ask them to evaluate. You could go our route and pay for your first privately to see if your concerns are accurate before going teh whole school route, or you can insist on an evaluation from your pediatritian and get it through your insurance.

2. Get a new pediatrician. Our first ped did the same to us with Cait. Although we raised concerns since she was 18 months, he kept blowing it off telling us all kids were different and we were to sensitive. After hearing that again at her 3 year check up we had a private language eval done and found she was significantly delayed. We finally "trained" him by the time my second son was 3, but it was a pain and if I did it again I would just find a new pediatrician. BTW she also new her colors and letters at 2, loved to line and spoke in 3-5 word sentences (although they were very odd sentences). She did have trouble following directions that were new to her, couldn't hold a real conversation with her, and had difficulty really understanding us.

HTH and welcome to the board.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Thu, 09-04-2003 - 9:45am

I have to back Renee up on both points. Derby needs to be evaluated by your school district. Contact the central administration office and find out what the process is for your area. Federal regs mandate that the evaluation should be completed within 30 days of your written request, and it should not cost you a penny.

Discuss *all* of your concerns with the district and I recommend also that you request an Occupational Therapy evaluation. This is not usually included as standard, but my feeling is that it should be. Some indicators what an OT eval may be warranted:

A very over- or under-active ('low-energy') child

A child who craves certain activities such as: spinning rocking swinging

A child who can be difficult to dress because s/he hates certain clothing types (tight clothes, long/short sleeves, labels, certain textures, hates *new* clothes & shoes)

A child who appears unable or very unwilling to engage in certain age-appropriate physical activites: hold a crayon, ride a trike, roll along the floor, stand on one foot (to kick a ball, for example)

Sorry I don't have any good OT sites to point you too. (a catalog site) may have some stuff.

I also agree about changing your doctor. You need a pediatrician who is 'clued in' and on your side. I was lucky and found a different doctor in the same practice who is my 'go-to' person on all the special needs stuff. The first doctor I asked told me to wait six months (my kid was OUT OF CONTROL at the time). If you know anyone with s special needs kid, ask them who their ped. is, and if they are happy him/her. My feeling is that female pediatricians are generally better at handling and understanding these issues than their male counterparts, but that is probably just a gross and biased generalization.

Good luck with the evals and let us know how they go.



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