Our child ignores people???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TezzaH, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. TezzaH

    TezzaH New Member

    Hi there,

    I'm new to this forum and am writing to see if anyone else hear has a similar problem (or not as the case may be). Our little boy is 30 months old and appears to be developing normally. My partner is convinced there is something wrong with him because the helpers at his preschool group said today that he ignores them completely when they call his name and he has a habit of dropping toys on the floor on purpose.

    We have noticed that when we speak to him he doesn't make much eye contact and when we call him by his name he ignores us (mainly my partner - the mum). If i call him and he ignores me i only have to raise my voice and he usually responds right away unlike my partner who he ignores unless she really appears annoyed (angry even) with him.

    He does drop toys on the floor a lot however i believe he does this as he's testing how resilient they are. It's not like he randomly picks something up drops it then picks up another toy drops it and so forth. It usually happens with toy cars and i've heard him saying 'crash' when the land so i feel this is normal behaviour and i'm happy to be corrected).

    With the ignoring us part yes he does ignore us however he does respond when you offer him something he may want or desire (ice cream for instance).

    He does not have any other symptoms that i can recognise, i've looked at dozens of websites looking at autism, adhd etc however he doesn't have hardly any of the symptoms mentioned.

    He's our first child and we are at a loss, could it be that the pre-school staff are struggling to deal with him ignoring them. We're used to it and i always make a point of correcting him if he ignores me so why does everyone else struggle?

    Help!!!
     
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi Tezza, welcome.

    I don't know what's going on here but the usual rule of thumb is that if mom suspects something might be going on, it's a good idea to follow up on that hunch.

    Selective hearing can be just a phase a child without neurological issues can be going through but it also can be an early warning sign. Kids who have auditory discrimination problems sometimes will lock into one of the primary caretakers voices (sounds, inflections, word patterns, etc) and actually have a higher level of understanding when that person speaks than with other people. What typically happens with this pattern is that primary person winds up doing a lot of translating between the child and other people they encounter. Because you're seeing both weak eye contact and selective listening, I would suggest going ahead and arranging for evaluations in audiology and speech/language. Let us know what country you live in and we can give some direction there.

    Dropping toys can be absolutely nothing at all but a fun time for a child this age but it can also be a repetitive behavior that is a warning sign. Is he doing anything else with the toys: playing with them, lining them up, sorting them, etc?
     
  3. TezzaH

    TezzaH New Member

    Thanks for the response. We're in the UK (England). Funny thing is, when i asked our next door neighbours daughter whether he ignores her she called him and he responded right away. When i bathed him tonight he was his usual chatty self and responded to virtually everything that was asked of him (until he got bored with me and his toys took preference over me :laughing:

    Maybe i'm refusing to see a potential problem i don't know, i just don't see a problem, i just see a little boy who decides who he wants to listen to when he wants too. His speech is very advanced, he was putting sentences together far quicker than other boys his age that we know of.

    The dropping toys part, i suspect you are right, it's for fun. He does line toys up now and then however they don't stay that way, he will move them about as soon as he has done that. He's not obsessive about things in the way that you suspect though.
     
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I know this is hard--you don't want to read too much into behaviors but neither do you want to downplay things that might be red flags. 30 months is still pretty young: typical behaviors are pretty wide ranging and kids need to be given leeway for temperament differences. I'd probably watch him for a few more months but I think in the UK you might want to mention your concerns to the health nurse.

    Things to watch for:
    -Not functioning well in preschool, due to non-compliance, continued selective listening, or other reasons.
    -Lining up toys or household objects in straight lines or formations
    -Speech that starts to seem delayed in comparison to peers--this can happen even with a strong start
    -Speech that's very advanced when compared to peers (using terms above his age level, adult sounding speech)
    -Fascination with unusual topics for his age (alphabet, words, mechanical things, geography, bathroom fixtures, etc)
    -Behavioral problems--serious tantrums, aggression, not handling transitions well, not coping when routines are changed
    -Sleep problems
     
  5. TezzaH

    TezzaH New Member

    Thanks SRL.

    In response to the things to look out for,

    -Not functioning well in preschool, due to non-compliance, continued selective listening, or other reasons. POSSIBLY
    -Lining up toys or household objects in straight lines or formations NO HE DOESN'T DO THIS
    -Speech that starts to seem delayed in comparison to peers--this can happen even with a strong start NO, THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN
    -Speech that's very advanced when compared to peers (using terms above his age level, adult sounding speech) NO, NOTHING OUT THE ORDINARY
    -Fascination with unusual topics for his age (alphabet, words, mechanical things, geography, bathroom fixtures, etc) NO, NOT AT ALL
    -Behavioral problems--serious tantrums, aggression, not handling transitions well, not coping when routines are changed NO, HE'S ACTUALLY VERY WELL BEHAVED AND IS NOT A PROBLEM TO BE HONEST.
    -Sleep problems SLEEPS LIKE A LOG, HARDLY WAKES UP AND IF HE DOES IT'S USUALLY FOR A GOOD REASON, HE LOVES HIS NIGHT SLEEP.
     
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    This is just my opinion, but if everything else is developmentally on track, I wouldn't be overly concerned about the selective listening at preschool and toy dropping at this point. He's only 2 and there's going to be a lot of variation in behaviors, including responses to different people and play preferences. Two suggestions though: continue to observe the speech and if it continues to cause problems in the preschool realm get him checked out by a speech pathologist and/or consider it might not be the best fit preschool for him. Also, if mom continues to be concerned, it's definitely worth mentioning to your son's healthcare provider. I'm a big believer in mom's picking up on subtle things that others might not see--it's prudent to listen to mommy radar, especially if she's not otherwise a paranoid type.

    If you see any other major changes that persist in the areas I've listed, those should be noted as well.
     
  7. TezzaH

    TezzaH New Member

    Thank you. :happy-very:
     
  8. busymum

    busymum New Member

    i dont know if this may be a little late but i found your thread when searching on google and thought i'd throw my opinion in. I have had the same problem with my child and I was completely certain there was no problem. The women at daycare were complaining constantly that he was ignoring them, to the point where they pushed me to take him to the doctors. He also wouldn't speak to them and had slighlty delayed speech so I understand their concerns. I honestly thought they were targeting him. I was studying psychology at the time and i'm now researching in child psychology and I fully believe that he did to feel a sense of control because he felt vulnerable in that environment. It turned out that the women who worked at the centre were really dominant, to the point of being kinda abusive (in my opinion) and within 3 days of leaving he began talking more and became significantly happier. Prehaps your child was the same and felt more secure around you than with anybody else, even mum (It happens everyday). Getting angry will only reinforce any insecurities and if that what mums doing, its unsurprising she's getting that responce.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you sure there are no others strange behaviors? How does he do around loud noise or is he fussy about what clothes he wears? Do certain textures of material or foods bother him? Does he get upset if things are out of order and does he know how to play with toys in an imaginative way? Any strange or quirky behavior such as lip smacking or hand flapping or copying what you say? Does he interact with his little peers, at least liking to play side by side with them? Does he make good eye contact with you and strangers? He is an awfully young little boy...

    If everything is normal beyond the "I'm not listening" I'd still keep an eye on him, and you will soon see if other problems develop and if this gets better. If there are other things going on, I'd take him to a developmental pediatrician just to be safe. If anything is going on, the earlier it is caught and treated the better the child does.

    These can be early symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder, however there are many other things to take into consideration. The lack of eye contact and lack of response to his name (because often they are caught in their own world) are common with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). So is dropping or dismantaling toys rather than playing with them. Speech delays are common (or echolalia). Just keep an eye out and see what happens. Don't be concerned yet, but also don't be in denial. Listen to your partner for feedback.
     
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