So my DD is 3 1/2 and she is incredibly affectionate, sweet, bright and perceptive, but I've often noticed that she's different than her peers. I have had concerns and am getting more concerned lately, so please share your advice on whether or not I should worry so much.
DD seems to have anxiety, especially regarding large groups/parties, new experiences, new people,etc. She almost always ends up happy and loving the new experience, but beforehand and during she almost always clingy and nervous. Usually before something "new" she has a meltdown over small things. Just last night we were headed out to a preschool event and she had a huge, huge meltdown over what?? En route to the event, she articulated how she felt. "I don't want to see a lot of people, just some people that I know." This is a pretty common comment from her.
So is this level of anxiety normal? I want to be as compassionate as possible and handle her meltdowns well. I admit that I haven't always recognized her behavior as a response to anxiety (thought she was just cranky, tired, etc), and therefore didn't respond appropriately. I want to change that.
Second part of my concerns are regarding her freak outs about her clothing (often times when dressing for something like school, gathering, event, etc), so the two could be related, right? Regarding the event last night, we were going to be outdoors and she needed to bundle up. She freaked. Didn't want to wear socks because they don't feel right in her boots. Didn't want to wear a coat because it's too puffy. Didn't want to layer with a sweater or warmer shirt because it felt too tight, etc. etc. Is that excessive or normal? She often seems to be focused on her clothing in every day situations, too, and will change because her pj's buttons feel weird. She cannot stand to wear anything that goes on her shoulders (like a jumper), has zippers, snaps or turtlenecks.
Like I said in the beginning, DD has always seemed a little different than her peers and is definitely more perceptive, in tune to emotions, adults and less "active" than other children. But the anxiety and the fixation/meltdowns about her clothing worry me.
Worth noting that she's always been a very picky eater, gags easily, needs "tiny bites", doesn't like certain textures, has an amazing sense of smell (often too sensitive), and has ALWAYS been a very high-needs, wakeful sleeper.
Just wanted some feedback. Perhaps it's worth an evaluation?
Thanks so much.