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The Overstimulated child?

My DS is great, and I don't see nor does his ped see any signs of special needs/autism/development concerns. That being said, I've noticed in the past few weeks (he did just turn 2, but still...) he doesn't handle overstimulation well at all. For example we had a birthday party for him, and he was just all over the place, then you could actually see him get overwhelmed as kids drug his toys everywhere, and he just started crying to the point of almost throwing up (first time ever!) And I had to take him in his room turn off the lights and sing to him while he sniffled on my lap. He also doesn't do well in loud places..he just gets louder. Then he seems to need to leave within 5 mins and is completley calm at home! Anyone go through this? Or is it a phase?

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Asked by Sarahbeth7 at 8:28 AM on May. 13, 2012 in General Parenting

Level 15 (2,164 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I've been noticing this in my daughter, too. I think anyone can become overstimulated in certain situations, doesn't mean there is any kind of sensory/developmental disorder. If you don't notice funny behavior from him in any other way I wouldn't worry too much about it. I think it's just a phase/part of growing up and learning how to handle situations.

    Answer by Ludvik_Smith at 8:33 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • I'm an adult and I sometimes can feel overwhelmed in really loud or busy situations. If you're not noticing anything else, it might just be a phase or an indication that his personality will be the type that prefers more quiet, calm situations. If it continues, and it really bothers you, I'd mention it to the ped, but with no other signs/symptoms of anything, I wouldn't worry too much at this point.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:35 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • There's nothing unusual about a two-year-old getting overstimulated at a birthday party.

    Answer by SWasson at 8:54 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • Is he an only child? Do you stay home with him a lot, alone?

    Answer by louise2 at 9:28 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • He's an only child but we rarely stay home! We do Gymboree, Playgroup, church nursery, MOPS. He's out and about alot

    Comment by Sarahbeth7 (original poster) at 9:46 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • I have a DS who is 'mildly' Autistic. My best friends DS is Mild-moderate. I also have a nero typical DD who I see 'red flags' in, like HATES loud noises, she can't even flush the toilet- but not that's not enough to diagnosed her with anything. They are just her 'things' If you look at the criteria list for Autism you will find that you may have 1 or 2 things on the list. I have about 6! My point is- One or two red flags alone is not enough for concern. Not that you shouldn't mention it to his ped if you *are* concerned but honestly at 2 kids are FULL of quirks! My guess is he will learn to handle more stimuli and loud noises/places. :0)

    Answer by But_Mommie at 10:26 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • I think it's hard to find anyone who actually "handles overstimulation well"! It's more that they have a higher threshhold FOR stimulation (so they're NOT getting "overstimulated.") Once ANYone reaches that window of tolerance, then they're overstimulated and are likely to get reactive & rigid.
    Little children typically are good about broadcasting their inner states & signaling their loved ones that they need help.
    I don't think the situations you describe are any kind of red light or problem, but rather evidence of a pretty effective communication & response system in place. It sounds like he is very competent at signaling, and you are a responsive parent!
    The more understanding you bring to his feelings in response to situations, the less resistance to his feelings & his honest limitations you're introducing. (Resistance as in negative pressure, disapproval.) This gives him room to build his tolerance so he's more resilient.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:08 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • He could have a sensory integration problem. Have you noticed him overstimulated in other situations as well? I wouldn't jump to an issue from one experience, but if continues to happen it might be something to have you pediatrician look at.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 11:22 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • Maybe at home where he expects it to be quiet he gets overwhelmed because he cannot get away from them. Its one thing when your out another when your at home.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 11:41 AM on May. 13, 2012

  • I think it was a weird situation. It was his home, where everything is usually kept his way. To have other kids invade his space was upsetting. I think you handled it perfectly.

    Answer by mompam at 1:08 PM on May. 13, 2012

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