Is she quirky or is something else going on? - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Is she quirky or is something else going on?
mommyofgb's Avatar mommyofgb 04:59 PM 07-21-2011

I am posting this in the toddler forum as a recommendation:

I have a 34 month old dd who has some ''quirky'' for lack of better word, differences between her and her peers. She was/is a lateish talker. Never feel behind the norm, but does not talk like her peers. She is super shy and sensitive and after enrolling her in a preschool, I can now see how big her differences are. I thought maybe I wasn't looking at her objectivly, but her teacher mentioned to me that she only will respond to instructions directed to her, meaning she has to say her name, look at her and tell her what to do where the rest of the class just gets it when told as a group direction. She doesn't really interact/talk with the other kids, I don't know if its because she doesn't talk as well as them or what, but she has a little friend that leads her around class but my dd won't say a word to her. She smiles while there and talks if called on for an answer by her teacher, but won't initiate any conversation where all the other 2 year olds can. She won't talk to anyone she doesn't know, if a stranger approaches her in a store, she will smile at them when they are talking to her, but won't answer and will eventually cover her face. Is that just shyness? She is very sensitive, crys a lot over small things. She reverses pronouns still and even after working with her, she is just not getting it. Sometimes she will say something like ''are you done going pee?'' When I know she means to say ''I am done going pee.'' What concerns me is that its a question inflection, and not a statement. It's the question I ask her when she's done. She also talks to herself a lot. While coloring she can spout off random things. She is my 1st child, so again, I don't know what's ''normal.''  I had an eval. done on her and the psychologist gave her a stamp of normal and said I would ''never have to worry about autsim again'' with her, but as she gets older, and her quirks and aloofness aren't disappearing, I wonder if she will eventually be diagnosed with something. I also took her to a SLP who said she will catch up and didn't even really consider her behind. I just don't want her to struggle as she gets into school because she is so shy and sensitive and has trouble with communication. Am I being ridiculous? I think I have exhausted my resources trying to figure out what's going on with her. I am just concerned with the communication issue and social issues as a conbination. 

mamadiamond's Avatar mamadiamond 09:07 PM 07-21-2011

some kids are just very shy. i wouldn't worry about that part at all. many very shy people do well in the world, and it almost never works/helps to push more social interaction than she's ready for. thomas edison was thrown out of school in 4th grade because he was too dull to learn anything, and einstein's teachers thought he was retarded. as long as she is having a good time in her class, don't sweat it. she sounds like a shy but very normal not-quite-three year old to me. as for answering you with a question, when she does that do you explain to her how she ought to answer and then practice it? my nephew had "yours" and "mine" mixed up for a long time because his mom would say "this is mine" and hold an object to herself, and "this is yours" and give the object to him. so he was picking up on the body language and figured that "mine" meant mom's and "yours" meant his. kids pick up on funny stuff, without it signaling a problem. as long as she seems to be learning and growing, let her do it at her own pace. try to figure out if she is confused by how things are being explained, but otherwise, relax.


HappyTomato's Avatar HappyTomato 12:17 PM 07-22-2011

My DD wouldn't talk at daycare for a long time. We didn't know until the teacher approached us one day and was concerned that she had a speech delay. We were shocked because at home we couldn't get her to be quiet for a min! She talked our ears off back then at age 2 and still does today at age 3. She did come out of her shell at daycare eventually. I think a pre-school/daycare environment can be overwhelming at first. There's sometimes alot of noise in a room with active toddlers playing, etc. Its alot to take in if you've never been around it. If you've had her evaluated then I wouldn't worry too much. She might just need to get the hang of it all. You might find that she's not the least bit shy after all. I've been surprised by oldest who I thought was shy but makes friends quite easily now at age 7.

mommyofgb's Avatar mommyofgb 03:24 PM 07-22-2011

She talks to me more than anyone, especially at home where she is comfortable, and to both her grandmas and daddy, but most other people, you have to prompt her to get her to talk and even then its only answers to questions, otherwise she clams up and clings to me. I am really hoping its all a phase, but its sad to see her struggle with her shyness/nervousness around strangers. At least she does smile at them, and I tell her she can wave and doesn't have use her words, but its still sad.

Peony's Avatar Peony 03:55 PM 07-22-2011

My almost 5 year old still refuses to talk to most people she doesn't know well. She talks now in preschool but is certainly not chatting it up with everyone. And her older sister was the same way, now DD1 is just fine talking to anyone but it took years for her to gradually open up to people. Mixing of pronouns at her age is very common. Speech for 2-3 years can be widely different, there is a wide range of what is normal, some children are speaking in perfect paragraphs, others are not. In a couple more years, there is usually no difference between the two. Speech delays are different but it sounds like that was ruled out in the eval. 

Caitlin0919's Avatar Caitlin0919 09:27 AM 07-23-2011

HappyTomato: I was the same way! My parents love to tell the story of how the daycare providers thought I was handicapped in some way because I never talked at daycare and my parents couldn't believe it because I never shut up at home. 


OP: I turned out just fine and don't even consider myself a shy person. Language is actually something I've always excelled at, so I don't think your DD's lack of communication with other kids is a signal that anything is wrong with her at all. She probably just has to feel comfortable with a person before she opens up and talks more, which is why she'll talk with you and daddy and grandparents. If it helps at all, I was always in advanced English classes and I got a perfect score on the English portion of the ACT, even though I had similar issues when I was very young. I think your DD will be just fine smile.gif