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Thread: Is this normal behaviour for a 2.5 yr old toddler?

  1. #1

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    Default Is this normal behaviour for a 2.5 yr old toddler?

    I have been wondering a bit lately about some of the things that Aidyn does... wondering if they are just part of 'normal' toddler behaviour, or if its a bit odd?

    Firstly is the way he plays and organises his cars and trains. He will spend up to (or even more than) 30mins just arranging and rearranging his cars, (and small thomas trains). He arranges them all in lines, sometimes like a carpark, and sometimes just one long line. Last night we took a photo where he had lined up nearly 50 of his cars, side by side in a straight long line...
    He also really enjoys getting our huge piggy bank and having us empty out all of the coins in there, and he usually stays theres to put every single coin in the slot (and there are a few hundred of them!)

    He is also extraordinarily particular about everything. For example, he will only let DP flip him if DP is sitting on his usual lounge chair. If DP is on a different chair Aidyn wont have a bar of it.
    Same with cuddles when he wakes up from a nap... it had to be on a certain chair, or he will tantrum...
    If people move things/put things where he doesn't want them, he gets cross and yells - even if he is not using whatever it is at the time.
    After he's had his shower, he will not hop out until he has pointed at the drain, and I tell him what it is. This has been going on for 6 months, and he still has to do it every night.
    There are so many examples of him being particular about something, and it happens ALL the time, but funnily enough I cant think of any more specific ones just as I'm writing this.

    If people watch him whilst he is eating he gets upset and yells - he doesnt like to be looked at.
    Whenever I have guests over, or stop walking to talk to people/friends when he is with me, he is very rude and yells 'BYE!!!' at them, or points to the door and says GO!!, or tries to push them out himself.
    I am really trying to curb this one, as I find it quite rude, and am not going to accept him treating family & friends like that.
    But is that sort of antisocial behaviour normal for a toddler??



    Seeing as he is my first child, I dont really have much to go by, so am not sure if all of this behaviour is common in a 2.5 year old, or not??

    I should also mention that he is behind in his speech, although has been rapidly improving lately at a much faster rate than ever.

  2. #2

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    Aidyn sounds like a very smart, clever little boy. If you are really concerned, you can ask to see a child psychologist (they are now bulk billing as they used to be very expensive, over $100 a visit) to put your mind at ease. He obviously has a reason for doing those particular things and you just need to find out and understand the reasons why these things are so important to him. I wouldn't be too concerned, but a health professional could help explain it. Kids do the strangest of things for the strangest of reasons and you would be amazed at why they do things. Good luck with it

  3. #3
    orianna Guest

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    Dear Ambah,have you spoken to your health center nurse,or explained this behaviour to your gp on any visits?as they are the best ones for advice,I had a friend with a son with almost identical traits,in his behaviour,and have worked for ten years,in an early intervention program.for children who behaved in a similar way .tThis behaviour could be put down to a few things.and i am not qualified to give you my oppinion.I would love to see how you go getting advice. You are obviously a very loving mum to be so intune with your son,and i hope you get some answers, wishing you all the best and look forward to hearing how it all goes......

  4. #4

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    I have to say I'm not overly concerned, as in every other way he is a perfectly normal happy boy. But I am just curious if other toddlers have any of these traits... and if I find that they do not, then I will probably start to be a little concerned.

    I have looked at the diagnosis lists for Autism, and the majority of the categories he doesn't fit into, because he WILL point at objects, or look at them when we point. He doesnt avoid eye contact, and he loves cuddles, and tickles and rough play and laughing, he loves interacting and playing with us too.
    The only ones he seems to fit into are the ones where he doesnt handle a change to routine, and having trouble expressing himself. - but maybe that is just language based, because he is good at communicating through pointing and showing me what he wants.
    Last edited by Ambah; November 12th, 2006 at 07:00 AM.

  5. #5

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    Ambah.. Matilda puts her cars in a row & then rearranges them in a line and then in colour order and then again she'll put them in the "car park".

    She also empties out all the coins in our piggy bank and puts them back one at a time.

    She'll take up to 30 minutes on each activity, so to me it sounds normal We have a close friend (remember Levi??) who is strong willed as well & is very obsessive compulsive about certain things... if they drive home a different way he has a tantrum. He will refuse to get out of the car until they go back & drive home the right way. He has to eat out of a certain coloured bowl or plate and will not drink anything out of any cup that is yellow.

  6. #6

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    I think he is a very normal and CLEVER little boy. A lot of little boys wouldnt have the patience to do wat you explained.

    Im obviously not a mum, and not an expert but I am a very devoted Aunty I would say he has a big comfort zone and if you take him out of that, he gets scared, ie. the different chair?

  7. #7

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    Alexzander is starting to line things up as well, I think it might just be another way of learning ?? He has also loved putting money into his money box for w hile now, although he has 4 of them he always puts it in the same one!

    The only thing I can think of is obsessive compulsive, but as far as I remember he'd be too young for that... I'll check out my psych books & see if I can see anything for you.

  8. #8

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    Hi Ambah, I'm not a mum yet either, but my Goddaughter Bethany was very much a 'routine' girl, and would do similar things to what you've described Aidyn doing. It is really just a personality thing I think - neither of her sisters do these things. She's a year older than Aidyn and she's grown out of the 'rude' behaviour you've described - she's more sociable and comfortable around people now.
    Like others have said, Aidyn sounds really smart and maybe as he matures he'll channel his intelligence into other things besides routines...?

  9. #9

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    T does things similar to this he also lines up his cars (all 200 or them) by colour he is very particular and knows the name of all of them !?! he is also the same with money boxes !
    my two little brothers were the same they line EVERYTHING up like farm play sets and soldiers , they are a little hyper but both seem like "normal" little kids one is now 9 and the other turning 6

  10. #10

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    The lining up of things is part of children's development- I teach Junior Primary and still at 6-8 kids like to line things up. IF we are doing any activities with counters etc I have to give them enough time to play with them before doing any other tasks otherwise they are too distracted.
    As for the other traits I am not sure, but like some of the others have said it might be worth just checking with a GP of MCHN because if it is something that needs intervention the earlier the better.

  11. #11

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    Mason was very similar to how you've described Aidyn. He barely spoke a word till he was 2 1/2.
    He'd line up his cars and trains like that. Even in his bed next to him they would be lined up either next to his pillow or up against his body.
    When it was bed time he had to go to bed riding on dad's shoulders and on the way to bed would have to touch the knob at the top of the archway in the lounge, then wave goodnight to his reflection in the door (daylight savings really stirred him up because it wasn't dark enough for a reflection in the glass) and then tap on the top of the archway going to the passage. He wouldn't go to bed until he had done this and if Trevor was out for the night he's crack it with me because I'm not tall enough for him to touch the archway!
    The kinder teacher also noticed that if she changed the routine then Mason would freak out. ie Play outside first instead of inside activities. And they had to put away the trains because he would go straight to them at activity time and line them up and god help any other kid who wanted to play with the trains too!
    I was told that some kids find comfort in obsessive routines. It's not nescessarily a bad thing but it can be sign of immaturity. Try not to worry about it too much.
    By keeping Mason for a second year in 3yo kinder and allowing him time to mature without any pressure he is a lot better. I know this change comes about with age too but I can reason with him about stuff now.

  12. #12

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    Hey Ambah

    I'm a paediatric Speech Pathologist...I work with kids older than Aidyn...but here are some of my thoughts...

    Like has been said already, lots of kids line things up...it's part of development...

    Lining up and ordering helps kids to make sense of their world...to start putting it into some organisation "framework"...seeing what is the same about things and what is different about them...

    It may become a problem though, if that is exclusively what they do with their toys (ie. only ever line and order toys rather than play with them).

    It's also fairly common for kids with speech and language delays to be a little more ordered/routined in how they do things...it just helps them make sense out of things..

    You may want to have him checked out by a Paediatrician at some stage...but I would only pursue that if you are worried...if you aren't that worried, then I would probably just wait and see...

    Take care!

    And that's great news about his speech development...fantastic!

  13. #13

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    Wow.... thanks SO much for the responses everyone! Some of the things said have certainly made a lot of sense!

    I'm glad the the lining up of things is a normal stage... and he does 'play' with toys, not just line them up, so thats a relief.

    They have a free speech pathology service at a uni near me, so I'm going to be putting him on a waiting list, and when the time comes, hopefully we wont need it, but its worthwhile doing in case we do need it.

  14. #14

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    Wishing you all the best Ambah!

    Cheers!

  15. #15
    Melinda Guest

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    Ambah, Jacob does some of the same things that Aidyn does.

    He too does not like to be looked at for the most part when he is eating. Sometimes he will be alright, but other times if you even *think* about looking at him, he will grunt angrily at us or throw his food etc. So by and large, we just put the food down and look away LOL. He even eats better when we're not in the room would you believe!

    He too will line up his cars and says "park" because he is "parking" the cars LOL. He gets quite particular about it as well and will get upset if one of us moves a car! Like the others have said, he will play with his cars in plenty of other ways, so it doesn't concern me. It also happens with other things, i.e. if you move things into a spot where he doesn't want it to be, then he will yell and get angry (like Aidyn, even if he's not using it at the time!).

    Jacob will also let us know when he's had enough of a certain situation by saying "bye, car, home" meaning lets go get in the car and get home out of here LOL. He's not rude about it, but if you don't act on it fairly quickly, he will start to get upset. I actually appreciate the fact that he does this because it helps us to understand when certain situations/events are becoming a bit overwhelming for him IYKWIM?

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