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Worried about everything?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi there. I'm pretty new to Mothering and mom to a 22-month-old DD. She is a good kid -- smart, funny, sweet and very nurturing to her toys/dolls. It just seems like I can't stop worrying about her for a second though. Now I am worried about her for no milestone-related reason, just that I "have the feeling" something is different with her. She can entertain herself easily (and always has) but does interact and engage with her parents and caretakers (showing, pointing, communicating needs, etc). She's not very social with other kids (doesn't like being hugged or kissed by them, and doesn't like when they grab her toys from her; seems shy and doesn't like saying hi or bye to a lot of people) but does observe and copy other kids, and smile at them when they're both doing the same actions. She is super verbal but even then, I worry (because she has some stock phrases and sometimes repeats things, although usually in context of the situation). Also her pronunciation isn't as good as some kids her age, and sometimes her speech seems like it takes more effort (little pauses in between words with longer sentences, for example). We had a play date yesterday and I was shocked at how coordinated my DD's playmate was in comparison to her-- swinging from monkey bars, etc. My DD is not clumsy but a bit slower to move and not as fast of a runner. No bad tantrums (she can be redirected easily) but then I worry she is too passive. She's not in the 'mine' stage yet either and then I worry she should be.

 

Seems like I am constantly worrying and comparing rather than just enjoying her, and I hate it. 

 

How do you know when your worries are truly founded versus just neurotic? And how do you cope with this on a daily basis? I've had her checked out at a local autism center and they didn't flag any concerns, but that was a couple months ago before some new behaviors like echolalia started. I just feel like I am constantly running in circles, thinking she is fine one day and then worrying the next. How 'normal' is that? 

 

Sorry if this isn't the right place to post... just having a bad morning greensad.gif

post #2 of 13

Hugs... breathe...

 

If you really think this is you just worrying when there's nothing wrong, then ask yourself "What would happen if there WAS really something wrong?"  I mean, really--it's generally not the end of the world.  You'd just deal with it, as everyone here deals with it.

 

You're right--you're not enjoying your child.  You COULD call Early Interveniton/Birth-to-Three and have an evaluation done to put it to bed, but I suspect you might worry even then.

 

Go get some exercise or find a way to relax (walk with her in her stroller).  Make a list of the wonderful things about your child.  Post them somewhere prominent and in your face.  When you lay in bed, envision a happy life with her daily to model it for yourself.

 

Hope this helps!

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I did call EI but I'm not sure what they say will help either. I've heard stories of EI only looking for very obvious cases, and if something is truly wrong with my DD, it's subtle. Anyway I will try what you suggest. Thanks!
post #4 of 13
I teach kids with autism and I've seen a lot of initial posts in this forums that contain many red flags for autism. I don't see any in your description of your daughter. Obviously I'm not qualified to give a diagnosis, nor have I met your daughter, but everything you've described sounds like a typical 22 month old. Many kids her age don't say hi or bye regularly yet, esp. on command. I know my next door neighbors' son very well. He's 23 months, and I babysit for him and and he only said "hi" to me for the first time this week.

Many kids use echolalia as they learn to talk. Some kids repeat things over and over, both to help them learn, and also as they learn how to converse.

The range of development at your daughter's age is very wide. I suggest spending more time with other kids her age so that you can see how different they are - size, range of motion, number of words, sociability, etc. How about looking for a playground that meets regularly in your area so that you can get to know other moms of kids her age and then you'll get the benefit of more friends and support while she has more kids to play with?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post

I teach kids with autism and I've seen a lot of initial posts in this forums that contain many red flags for autism. I don't see any in your description of your daughter. Obviously I'm not qualified to give a diagnosis, nor have I met your daughter, but everything you've described sounds like a typical 22 month old. Many kids her age don't say hi or bye regularly yet, esp. on command. I know my next door neighbors' son very well. He's 23 months, and I babysit for him and and he only said "hi" to me for the first time this week.
Many kids use echolalia as they learn to talk. Some kids repeat things over and over, both to help them learn, and also as they learn how to converse.
The range of development at your daughter's age is very wide. I suggest spending more time with other kids her age so that you can see how different they are - size, range of motion, number of words, sociability, etc. How about looking for a playground that meets regularly in your area so that you can get to know other moms of kids her age and then you'll get the benefit of more friends and support while she has more kids to play with?

Thanks PikkuMyy, good suggestion. We are looking around for area playgroups and hopefully will find something soon. She had fun at the playground today watching the other kids, going on the slide and even offering another little girl a little stone she found, so that was good. Overall though today was awful-- tons of scripted speech, and craploads of tantrums, which she hardly ever has. She has been sneezing and coughing a little though and seems way more tired than normal, so I guess she isn't feeling like her usual self. 

 

Regardless, I did leave out one thing in my original post, which is that lately (seemingly timed with the increased echolalia) she has started to run in circles and occasionally spin-- just 5 minutes or so, usually once or twice a day. She can be redirected without issue but it came out of nowhere and I find it strange. My DH thinks it's no big deal but it's making me freak a little.

post #6 of 13
She's not even two - I think your exceptations are un realistic.
post #7 of 13
Once or twice a day is absolutely nothing to worry about. Kids love to spin, it's fun!

Spinning for long periods of time, multiple times per day instead of playing and interacting is what would be worrysome.
post #8 of 13

OP: I think we all have times when we worry lots about our kids. But when it becomes dominant in our thoughts about them, especially when all indications are that things are okay, it might be time to seek some help for ourselves as parents. A couple of possibilities: find a parent support group, see a therapist to work through the worries and find more helpful thought patterns, create a gratitude journal that tracks your daughter's successes.

 

When my middle guy was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (and, to be fair -- even he is very subtly affected), I spent quite a while fretting about every minor not-normal thing in my other two children. I had one of them formally evaluated and the other informally "looked at." Both are neurotypical with quirks we all have to some degree or another. I regret the time I spent obsessing about their development -- which kept me from fully enjoying them. Therapy for me helped me move past that stage.

 

And if at some point, your DD's quirks seem more pronounced, you can revisit and evaluation. But if a reputable autism center had no concerns, I would try to focus the attention on why I was worrying so much and try to address that instead.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much Christine.. I think I do tend to struggle with anxiety which flares every now and again. It also explains why some months I am fine/ have no concerns, and then other times I am worked up. Before DD was born, I was the subject of that anxiety (do I have X disease? are my finances stable enough? etc), and now it's her. Probably time to address that before it interferes further with life. I really appreciate the wise words.

post #10 of 13

I think it is a little early to be worried.  every child have a different personality.  The coordination could be a developmental thing (she's just not there yet).  Or it could also be a vision thing.  I would recommend a trip to a pedi opthomologist (not an optometrist) to check her vision if you are concerned.

 

My Nephew (G) and my son are 5 days apart, and they have never been on the same developmental level, they just grow at their own rates.  Even at age 6, my nephew is a better reader and is more coordinated my son has a better memory and problem solving skills and is better at math.  His fine motor skills are also better.  They learn very differently.  G will progress consistently at something and move right into mastery at an even pace.  DS will struggle at a low level for a while, then it is like a switch and he will master it almost over night (although sometimes we never see any struggle).

 

For now I would say spend time enjoying your daughter and do not worry so much.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to thank everyone again for your responses and encouragement, as well as your good ideas for how to manage my worry and stress. Just an update that we did have EI out to evaluate my DD. She tested slightly above her age (25 mos) for cognitive and on track (23 mo) for gross motor, but her language and social/emotional were very high, at 30 mos and 34 mos, respectively. That was surprising but also very reassuring. She tested slightly behind in adaptive skills (19 mos) but this was due to the evaluator "not giving her credit" for items that I told her my DD does, like dress/undress with help, because she didn't do them when asked. I thought that was a little unfair considering my DD routinely does these things, particularly dressing herself.

 

Anyway, I feel better for now but I am sure my anxiety will flare again. The evaluator did say my DD appears to feel a little "pressure" around me, and noted that perhaps we had a personality difference which was coming out in my parenting. It was interesting. She and I are going to keep in touch to see if the family could benefit from chatting through some of my worries with someone in the field. So overall, it was a worthwhile visit and hopefully that will do nothing but help.

post #12 of 13
That's great news about EI. I have a kiddo with special needs and i also spent many years struggling with anxiety. Truly it can overtake your life and suck the joy out of so many things. Oddly, in our family lots of people have anxiety that seems to peak between about ages 10 to 25 and then improve deamatically. During a few years in my early 20s, I was on lexapro and I can honestly say it was life changing. You really should consider therapy and/or medication. Its no fun living like that. Good luck.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

I would totally consider meds as soon as I am no longer pregnant and breastfeeding. I think then I'll feel much better about taking them. I do think that's a route that might help. I've heard some other IRL friends say that about Lexapro and what a difference it made for them.

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