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Toddler whining anxiety. Autism? Am I going crazy? NON-STOP

My son is 33 months old or 2 1/2. He is DRIVING ME INSANE and has been for a long time now.

His constant whining is taking its toll on my mental health and my physical, as well. It IS that bad.

I can't now, nor could I ever go potty without him, go to another room without him without him standing at the gate whining, jumping up and down for...however long I'm busy. For instance, each meal is filled with tantrums. This shout-out for help is filled with the word, "Mommy" being said a million times while he jumps over and over and over again while hanging onto the gate that separates us.

I'm not going to lie...not many people come by and it's because of this type of constant behavior. I can't take it anymore. I've tried the ignore treatment, but he can do this for hours and hours and hours.

Is he possibly Autistic? I have considered this a possibility that he's on the spectrum! He would have to be low on the spectrum, but still, he could be. He does have some sensory issues with some sounds and such.
He has Severe Verbal Apraxia. He has Moderate Expressive Language Disorder. He was treated for both and I was told that now his language is where it should be for his age.
He has many, many food allergies, if this makes any difference to the reader, also. His gut system...has always seemed off-balance...Chronic diarrhea and such.
He has a condition called EoE. It has to do with food allergies.

About ten minutes has passed since I began writing this letter and he sounds like he may have a stroke or pass out. I have not made one sound back to him. I told him that I will be back in a few minutes. Now he just coughed and screamed, "MOMMY!"

Any advice? Has anyone ever experienced a toddler like this before?

He seems to have PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder) when I leave the room in his own house...but why? He's constantly with me. I'm a full-time mom - stay at home.

Alright, well I hope someone can help.

Thank you for listening!

Answer Question

Asked by Letmeloose at 11:27 PM on Nov. 21, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Maybe there is something hurting him that he is unable to verbalize. When little ones are in pain, they can't pin point the spot that the hurt is originating, so they just whine. My granddaughter was like that up until about 4. She got sick and was hospitalized.... kept telling us it hurt when she went potty. She was dehydrated, so it did originally hurt her when she urinated. The hospital explained that because of that, she was afraid to use the bathroom again for fear of it hurting... in her mind... it did. But, again, she was pretty sick.

    I'm thinking he has some sort of underlying cause for the chronic diarrhea, maybe even the food allergies.

    Ask his physician about it, maybe a referral to a nutritionist.

    Answer by m-avi at 11:32 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • Have you been in early intervention yet? It does sound like he's on the spectrum. But I also agree with m-avi about the nutritionist too. What does his doctor say?

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:38 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • Don't take this the wrong way because I'm sure you are loving and attentive, and it must be lonely and frustrating, and nobody can be on one hundred percent all the time. But do you try to let him follow you from room to room as much as possible? Limit the time he is behind gates. Include him in your activities, or let him toddle along with you, keeping your home child-proofed, and amuse himself as he goes. I'm sure you know this, I'm just saying, toddlers get anxious when they're separated from Mama, who is literally the sun in their universe. How is he when he is able to come and gofom you as he pleases? Does he wander off and come back, or is he stuck to you like glue? Will he play with you some of the time and then entertain himself with his toys while you do things around the house, or does he demand your constant attention?

    Answer by Ballad at 11:56 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

  • When you're as stressed & depleted as it sounds like you are, it can turn into a push-pull of resistance & counter-resistance. A mom who feels overextended can pull for any space/time she can get, especially if she feels she CAN'T get ANY (not even to pee, etc.) This triggers anxiety in the child, who is wired to behave in ways that are likely to prompt contact & soothing. It makes sense that your son displays increasingly anxious & demanding behavior. I think addressing that intense anxiety & feeling of NEED will be important for any improvement to show. But the improvement won't be apparent as long as the urgency of his attachment needs are front & center in his consciousness, even as he's GETTING attention & contact.
    I really think it's hard for a parent to manage the "front-loading" that's needed if she's tapped out. Can you get ANY support? Even contact with a therapist would help there. But childcare support, some time?

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:00 AM on Nov. 22, 2013

  • If you want to try shifting things by front-loading with time & attention, even as you try to arrange some support so that you can become a little more resourced inside, then I'd suggest taking a day (or at least a morning) and letting go of any expectations. Instead of planning to get things done (such as, I'll pay attention to him & then do X), recognize that your only expectation is for "face time," that this is what you're giving him right now. That's your goal, lol!
    I have twin sons & when they were about a year younger than your son, I recognized that my resistance OF them triggered intense counter-resistance IN them (anxiously resisting my pulling away from them) that was a vicious cycle. And I recognized that I needed to take resistance out of the equation & focus on "OVER" meeting their attachment needs, to correct the dynamic. This is different than responding BECAUSE of intense demand, which perpetuates insecurity.

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:08 AM on Nov. 22, 2013

  • The idea would be to take that day/morning and make it clear (by your responses to your son) that he doesn't have to struggle for your attention. That you aren't going anywhere, and you aren't trying to get away. Children don't have to be physically separated from a parent to feel insecure. They don't even have to be separated by a gate, or a room, to feel anxious. They notice more than just physical presence. Attuned responsiveness is important for babies & young children, and being "attuned" means connected to what the child is experiencing, how he feels.
    It's easy to be triggered by parenting a young child. Being responsible for meeting their needs, and responding to their crying, can trigger all sorts of unresolved hurts for which we have no conscious, narrative memory. We feel this as agitation, anxiety, strong aversive feelings. If their crying triggers anxiety in us we can't be well-attuned to THEIR feelings.

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:17 AM on Nov. 22, 2013

  • He's 2 1/2 & he's fine. I think you have Munchhausen's Syndrome. Have YOU been checked?


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:01 AM on Nov. 22, 2013

  • I think the fact you are with him 24/7 might be part of the problem, how does he act when Dad has him alone? I would first suggest the doctor, but I think you are going to have to put some seperation between you.
    Is there a Mother's Day out or anything near you? I am sure at first it will result in meltdowns, but sounds like he is pretty needy and needs some help learning to be more independent. Now I am only suggesting this, after your doctor gives you the all clear.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 2:56 PM on Nov. 22, 2013

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