Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Help! I don't know what to do!

Questioner: Anonymous

Subject: I dont know what to do!!

Question: I have a 19 month old son who is, like most toddlers and parents, driving my up the walls! From the time he wakes up in the morning he is on the go.

We bought him all new toys for christmas because he figured out how to play with all his old ones and just grew tired of them. its only january 11, and he has almost grown tired of the new ones. I noticed that he plays pretend with his stuffed animals like hugging and dancing. Is that normal for a boy?

Also, if i dont constantly, and i mean constantly, stimulate him, he gets bored, which leads to him being frustrated and then he acts out. He wasn't like that before. When he was younger people would comment on how quiet he was. He would always just suck on his index finger and observe everything with his eyes wide open. He loves to read and can rote read back to me simple worded books that i have only read to him two or three times.

He recognizes everywhere no matter how they are written. He knows a few colors and all his letters. He would sit on my lap while I read my novels and would started pointing out to letters and that's what got him started on that. he is now trying to count and can follow 3 step commands. He has a great memory. We only teach and does those things because he seemed ready and seemed to.

We took a trip to the living museum and he saw the chipmunks and was fasinated with them. Our next visit he knew exactly what hall to take and when straight to the chipmunks with no help. he was only 16 months at that time.

People often comment that we might be overloading him because he seems to know alot and thats why he may be frustrated and aggressive. But He's only like that if we DONT do things with him. He loves playing bananagrams with my husband and I and I always let him pass me certain letters that i call out. also im nervous that he may be showing signs of autism.

When he was around 14-15 months, he had these small different shaped blocks, and i went in his room and he had stacked then until he could no longer reach them. He does that often. He seems very smart but i dont want it to be because my husband and i "overload" him. If anything, I'm always trying to run away from him or get him to do little stuff by himself lol.

My question to you, Keller, is this: Does he exhibit signs of being over stimulated or even prehaps autistic? And if so, what can we do to change that and what activities can we do to keep him busy.

Answer: Dear Anonymous,

My concern is that your are concerned because he no longer sits and suck on his index finger. He sounded less "normal" then. I am not sure why you are concerned he is autistic. If this is a fear of yours I suggest you check with his doctor however he sounds like a 2 year old who is exploring his world. I can't imagine a 2 year old driving anyone up the wall.

I strongly encourage you to check your attitude towards childrearing and the role that children are suppose to play in your life. I am more worried that your perception of this child is going to do him harm.

If you are this overwhelmed please do get into a child development class and figure out what is healthy behavior. Do spend time reading up on brain development and what he needs from you. His job is not to make your job easier. His job it to grow and develop. If you are tired then get more rest. Get someone to watch and play with him while you sleep. Toss out the friends who tell you he is overstimulated and do not provide support to you or to him.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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