I hope you are all having a good night...it is boiling hot where I am.Sorry about the weird format, it went crazy when I edited it.
I am writing in hopes of getting some mothers' perspectives on my daughter. She just, just turned three, and I have always noticed some oddities about her behavior. Right now, I am not considering evaluation, since I don't want to jump the gun and put a label on her before I need to...but if intervention becomes needed, I don't want to lag on that, so I'm hoping to solicit your honest opinion/ideas.
~~She is very bright. Not really interested in drawing, but learned many colors (including tertiary shades) by 1-and-a-half. She will memorize stories and songs quickly after hearing them once or twice. She knew all her letters by 2, and can match them out of context and recognize some words. Is very interested in numbers, loves to talk about them, can count pretty well to about 15 or so...not so remarkable for three, I guess, but leads to the next item
~~Motor delay that seems to be resolved. She was 3 weeks preterm, normal length, low weight for gestational age, and head circumference below the curve (it did catch up). Missed the milestone for laughing, otherwise normal language.
~~Number obsession. She is obsessed with the number eight! If you have something with an 8 on it, say, a book with a page number of 48, she will demand that you give over "my eight page", sometimes having a fit if she doesn't get it. Notices 8s and 8 shapes/figures of 8 everywhere, even in unintentional spots like a looped rubber band. Always mentions it. Sometimes, if she is having a meltdown, she will invoke the number eight like a deity, yelling "number eight!!!" while she struggles. She will also invoke the name of her favorite color (yellow).
~~Handwashing preoccupation. Maybe just stalling for time sometimes, but often genuinely upset if she can't wash her hands at a moment's notice.
~~Avoidance of contact with other children, and some adults. She has stated to me "I don't like children", and she will avoid them in social situations (she is an only child). Example: the other day, she was in the playground on a riding-horse, and a little girl came up to her. "Hi, I'm Sophia. What's your name?" the girl asked. My girl's response was to clamp her eyes shut and sing "boom boom ain't it great to be crazy" (sadly apt, jk). Seems to avoid eye contact with people other than her parents and grandmother.
~~Meltdowns. These examples of extreme noncompliance involve laying on the ground/floor, screaming "No!" repeatedly, some physical aggression, and disregard for her body in space. She frequently hurts herself on accident during these tantrums. They are increasing by the month. Once she's on a roll, she is pretty unstoppable. The trigger is generally a difficult social scenario, such as being in a playgroup or "school" of some kind, especially if there is some kind of program to it. If she is asked to do something as part of a group, a meltdown is likely. I did send her to Sunday School last week, and she was very noncompliant with me before it started, but then pretty good (if uninvolved) once she was alone with the teachers and other kids. I spied on her through the door and she was off in her own world eating popcorn and staring into space while the other kids chattered and watched a Bible show together (wtf Sunday School screentime!). So anyway maybe it's a parent rebellion issue, since she seems non-tantrumy when we're absent. Unfortunately, I have taken to offering her "rewards" for good behavior in an attempt to avoid tantrums, which as we all know can lead directly to the bad behavior. At any rate, these tantrums are scary for me because she could so easily hurt herself or somebody else, and because their frequency is increasing.
~~She is very sentimental, and will cry at sad songs or stories. Especially upset about any story/song where a child is separated from its mother. Seems mother-oriented and has some kind of separation anxiety issues (not sure why, maybe because I had to go back to work when she was 4 months old. But I've never even spent the night away from her. We cosleep and she nursed until she was almost 3). When I'm around, she is often cruel to her daddy and won't even talk to him. A common refrain from her (in response to many things, and directed toward different people) is "Don't look at me!". She is very obsessed with a little boy she knows, but when she sees him she won't even say hi. However, her extreme interest remains--when he's not around. She does a little pretend play on her own, which is good.
~~No allergies/intolerances, but when she was an infant she had a bad reaction to wheat; this reaction involved the bowels so I won't gross you out with details. I had to eat gluten-free stuff for months on end. She also outgrew an intolerance to chocolate (as a nursling, that is, if I ate chocolate).
Sorry this is SO LONG! I hope it provokes some kind of response from one of you. Of course, I love the little thing like crazy and I expect that if she's not exactly typical, she is at least headed for a good, full life. I am very grateful for how lucky I am in any event. So, if this rings a bell let me know. If it seems like a normal three-year-old going through life, let me know. I really and truly appreciate your time and caring.
editing for a PS:
She has been given a selective/delayed vaccine schedule. No shots at birth, no MMR or Chickenpox, had flu shot last year, and as an infant had DTaP, meningitis, and one or two other baby shots.