walking habits - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: my 4-8yo child has quirky walks as described
very often 3 21.43%
sometimes 3 21.43%
not at all 6 42.86%
all of the time 2 14.29%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 13 Old 02-23-2012, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My six yo son sometimes drives me crazy by certain 'quirky' behaviours, especially when walking; not particularly because these are quirky, but because he does it at moments and in places where it is less than convenient (for instance, in traffic , and often when its dark, on stairs) and because it is physically inconvenient to me, as we're holding hands. He's also been tripping or falling, often while crossing a street (!), or even partly dragging me down in his fall and regularly jerking my arm and shoulder, hurting my back or squeezing and pinching my hand because of it. He has this habit of doing weird walks when we go and pick up his brother, and he needs to hold hands since it is dark and we're in traffic and need to cross few busy streets. He sometimes walks 'squatting', or hopping in different ways, taking little little steps, turning his upper body left and right, walks backwards, sideways or even with his eyes closed! Sometimes it just drives me nuts. Sometimes I do not notice he's doing it untill he trips and I realise he must have had his eyes closed, again. He knows very well that it is not handy and even dangerous and that it really bothers me physically, that I cant always be his extra pair of eyes for him and he needs to look where he walks. He does get opportunity to do as much funny hopping and the like, safely and freely, when he walks home to or from school earlier in the day, and I tel him it is ok for him then but not in traffic (except for the blind walk).

I also caught him coming or going downstairs with his eyes closed, several times over the past year (and possibly earlier), this really makes my heart skip a few beats!

 

Sometimes he does other things like hiding or crawling behind or between my legs, under my coat or blouse when we're in a crowd or so, sitting on my toe-tips, jerking at my arms, which does make me feel pretty uncomfortable or 'used' as well...

 

And I sure tell him when I am not comfortable and if he could pls stop this or that when it truly bothers me or others.

 

Now, can anyone tell me their kid is doing similar things and or that  it is probably age-appropriate behaviour, he is 6 and will start primary school next year. I really never saw this with my other child, so I don't know. 

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#2 of 13 Old 02-23-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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I voted not at al... but it could be partially because I broke my wrist a few years ago and it got drilled into them to be gentle with me. I'd probably make it his job to look both ways for us, so he'll hopefully be more aware of safety crossing the street, and have a consequence for not walking properly in the road.

 

My kids play 'grounders' at school that involves a lot of walking around with eyes closed, could he be familiar with that game? Sometimes kids get extra clutzy when they're growing, he could be tripping over his own feet, even with his eyes open.

 

Maybe he's ready to not be holding hands all the time anymore (though I'd carry it on crossing the road until he's really good at being safe) One way to maintain some control without holding hands is to use telephone poles, light stands or fire hydrants as markers for how far ahead he's allowed to go, and then he can turn back toward you or wait there until you give him the next mark.


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#3 of 13 Old 02-24-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortuntely he's a child needing to hold hands; it took me a huuuuge effort to finally get to the point of him holding hands habitually (he's very touch-sensitive and has other sensory issues too that have been either hard or impossible to overcome) and it is definitely not time for him to let go when we are in or near traffic or even on the sidewalk. Sometimes there is no sidewalk, and sidewalks/roads in general are not in very good (safe) condition either, crossing, even at traffic lights, is very risky where we live. And he sure does the eyes-closed walk, today he went down a quiet but steep street running his legs out (me going after him because this wasn't intended) and the lady we came across told me he went down running with his eyes closed, it is not my imagination; he often hides in his hood for me not to see if he does it or not!

 

Oh and he is very well aware (instructed, informed) about safety in traffic, it's like he just can't help what he does when he does it, as if like it's what he feels he needs to do, I don't really know how to explain it better because I can't ;-).

(Recently he started to spontaneously dance on music, so cute, and said: ''My brain is doing that''...?)

 

My feeling says it is not something most kids would do and definitely not at 6 and, looking at the reactions I guess I'm right about this. Maybe better moving this topic to special needs then?

Many things he does are 'normal' to me (by now), since my son does them and that's how I know him, but actually I do not think those habits and traits are that 'normal' in comparison to most other children. It's like only I am experiencing or seeing this with my son, though.

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#4 of 13 Old 02-24-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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I'm so surprised that nearly everyone voted "no".  My now 8 year old still does that stuff a bit, but did it a lot more at 6, I think.  He doesn't habitually close his eyes when he's out walking, but I think I've seen him do it.  More often, he's just really dancing around and hopping and being silly.  I have always been really firm with him that we don't play in parking lots or while crossing streets and he has been pretty good about it, saving his antics for the sidewalk mostly.  But I do often have to remind him.  

 

He also has a hard time standing still.  Like, when he's at karate or basketball practice, sometimes I'll notice the other kids are all standing there calmly listening and he's jumping up and down or dancing.  I've seen other kids do that, too, but the majority of the time he's the only one jumping around.  It's funny though, because he's not particularly hyper otherwise, but just a typical energetic kid.


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#5 of 13 Old 02-24-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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At that age my kids would actually walk into things as they were not focusing on their surroundings.  

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#6 of 13 Old 02-25-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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i am also surprised by not all the time.

 

as i was reading your post i was thinking oh boy, such age appropriate behaviour. 

 

dd and i walk a lot. i notice when we are walking a lot she does these things. meaning if its just a walk to the car then no i dont really see it. 

 

the only difference between you and me - her behaviour actually makes me laugh. i used to say - i have a child who cannot 'walk' anywhere. she has to skip, hop, power jog to places. however i dont have to hold her hand. i havent had to since she was 3. 

 

dd has a v. active imagination. and yes the grounders game makes her walk blind. however she is not fearless as your son, and always tells me when she is going to walk blind so i can guide her if she walks into things.

 

and yes, she has been coming down the stairs with her eyes closed when she was young, but cautiously so i am not so concerned  


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#7 of 13 Old 02-25-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Yep, 6 yo - eyes closed, backward, occasionally hopping/jumping, running far ahead, always trying to race me. I voted "very often".

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#8 of 13 Old 02-26-2012, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I first posted this under general parenting (maybe should have done in childhood years but didn't think of that form first), then asked for it to be moved to special needs since suspected it might fit here better. Does anyone here think this behaviour is typical for children with specific special needs/issues? It's not the only thing I'm oncerned about regarding my son, there's many more, but this is one that stood out lately so I wondered if it is or isn't neurotypical, age-related stuff.

 

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#9 of 13 Old 03-05-2012, 11:01 AM
 
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My DS has been diagnosed with Aspergers. Not sure if the weird walking is associated with that or just a normal kid thing, as I'm not really familiar with how a typically developing kid grows up.

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#10 of 13 Old 03-05-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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Yeesh, my almost-7 year old cannot.just.walk. He skips, or skips sideways, or leans against a wall, or rubs his arms against a shrub if we're outside, or goes out of his way to step on anything bumpy on the ground or floor, or balances on the very end of the curb, or takes time to swing in circles around sign posts, or stops and picks trash off the ground... the variations are endless. We have no diagnosis but he's been getting OT a few years now and it's definitely considered a safety concern. Am working on getting the paperwork in to get on the 3 month long waiting list for a developmental eval and maybe we'll finally have some answers. ETA that I sometimes still hold his hand or head or shoulder to try to steer him.


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#11 of 13 Old 03-05-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Don't freak out, total long shot ahead:

 

My daughter stared doing what I thought was purposeful falling and I posted about it here almost two years ago.  Since then she has been diagnosed with dystonia.  EVERYONE here encouraged me to take her to a doctor when I thought it was just her being "quirky" and "a bad habit" and I was adamant that I knew my child and she was doing this on purpose.  It had to get REALLY bad before I would admit it might be an issue.

 

I have no idea if this is your child.  My daughter also had a lot of other odd little habits that made me think the falling was just another one but I was so wrong.

 

I am NOT trying to scare you, I'm just putting it out there.  I noticed my daughter "fell on purpose" or did a "weird walk" when it was least convenient so I was convinced she was just trying to slow me down because she didn't like to be hurried (still doesn't).  I brushed it off for at least a few months as it came and went but one weekend it was just too bad to ignore.

 

Does your son run?  Like full on, all out run? 

 

You can probably search my old posts for details.

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#12 of 13 Old 03-10-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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it sounds like sensory issues to me. i would get him evaluated by an ot. my son was diagnosed at age 6 with spd.  if was a relief to find out and to be given tools to help him.

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#13 of 13 Old 03-12-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, he can run and he does (preferably not with eyes closed !). Personally I do not concern about dystonia in my son (I remember your thread and hope your daughter is doing well (better)with the assistance she needs). My ds is pretty good at walking distances, I never have to carry him anymore, we can walk places. He has complained about being tired when he had an obvious reason to have really tired legs. His general motor development is good. It's just a pain regarding the way he (often) goes about, but it doesn't match what you described in your posts. He also seems to take certain pleasure in his 'weird walking' but it's not always that pleasant to menut.gif.

 

When there's snow or ice at the side of the road or edge of the side-walk, he can NOT 'not step on it', and not just 'step' but walk it the whole way, even if it's really hard/tricky to do so. I understand this can be fun, I've also been a child, but he does this too without exception, not just once in a while; it's like the walking within the lines of the tiles or hopping over the red bricks or other 'markers' in the sidewalk (which he sometimes does, too).

 

He also has a weird way of riding the subway n(no walking involved here so of topic  ;-). He can not really do it any other way (like sitting on my lap or standing) then sitting on his knees while staring outside, and not being able to  sit still when he does this (I used to take his shoes of so he won't get the seat dirty, however it starts looking weird doing that with a 6yo, it also feekls as if more stares are coming our way then when he was doing this at a younger age), luckily I could talk him out of the occasional window-lickingeyesroll.gif. Luckily we don't need to take public transport too often ;-).

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