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I'm a nanny of a 22 month old girl (and mother to a two year old boy). When K first came to us she was extremely well behaved and clean, like you couldn't even tell she had eaten clean. Well in the past several weeks her behavior has changed and she does very strange things. I'm not sure how to address them with the mother, because she's not acting out necessarily, and I don't want to put any awkwardness between us. But I would love to take her to a dr myself!
(First of all, sorry this is so long, but I can't really talk to professionals)
1) She barely speaks. She's almost two and calls me Mama (she refuses to call me by name) but when she tries to say something, which is rare, it comes out like a little toy doll and hardly close to the word. I worried about her hearing at first but she makes singing/humming sounds and can imitate a tune fairly well.
2) She acts embarrassed or like she's being punished when you speak to her. She'll pull her hair, whine and look away. It becomes extremely frustrating, and I get tense, because she will not communicate her needs.
3) She grunts, whines, and sweats in her bed at nap time. I'll run upstairs to check and she'll be laying on her side like she's trying to get up but can't. She'll stop when I come in the room so it doesn't seem like pain. It's like she's filming a thriller movie about rock wall climbing!
4) She also cries sometimes when I put her down, and she can makes sounds like nothing I've ever heard, one day she was sounding like three different children crying at the same time. It was quite frightening but she won't communicate what's wrong so I just guess and try to help.
5) The clean thing... out the window. All the sudden she eats like Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Oatmeal in the hair and all over the house. I cannot for the life of me understand why that would change?
6) She rolls around in the floor like she's in a Miley Cyrus video... I kinna think maybe she's exposed to music videos. It gets embarrassing during library story time when she's 'posing' with the chest out and legs spread. How do you ask a parent about that?
7) She is pretty bow legged, and gosh it just breaks your heart to see her stumbling around, but some days are worse than others, and she just doesn't stay up well.
8) Things she used to do repeatedly and well, specifically putting on and taking off shoes, suddenly has stopped. All I knew about her at first was she was clean and was obsessed with shoes. Now she can barely get them on.

Her parents seem nice and they're all very happy to see her at the end of the day, I just think they don't encourage development, like they want her to stay 'the baby'; and whenever I mention something to them they always compare her to the older son ('Well R was a good eater/sleeper/etc....), or give me a different story (at first "Oh she'll eat anything', then I ask and 'Oh she's really picky'). It's all so strange and I'm about at my wits end. I'd feel so bad though to quit because she needs help (although there's little I can do) and they're always saying that they're so glad they found me and don't know what they'd do without me. SO Stuck! Does any of this sound weird or just fairly normal?

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I didn't want to read and not respond. Yes, it does seem odd. I would think any one thing was just the quirkiness of toddlers, but all together.....

I would think, look at one thing that's readily identifiable. The speech is the easiest thing to point to. Just approach the parents in a no big deal way and say, "I was wondering if you'd ever consider speech therapy for junior? My friend/cousin/ neighbor's kid went and it really helped. It's probably covered by your insurance and (in Illinois) it's covered by the state's early intervention program, so it will probably cost you nothing, but it really might help Junior express herself better. And, they come to the house, so they can come here while I'm babysitting. Whadaya think?"

This would give an outside professional a chance to evaluate her.
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