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34 month old on spectrum

My son was dx on the spectrum for autism about 5 months ago and has been getting ot, speech and help in a preschool setting. I have noticed though that when we are in a place where he is confortable (home, daycare) he will act out everyday (hit, kick, spit, tackle, bear hug, ect) when we are in a place where he is not familiar with he will go to a corner and play or just want to play on his own. can anyone help me and let me know what might be going on. is this a normal spectrum thing? i just need answers.. ;)


Asked by magnane at 12:49 AM on Apr. 6, 2010 in Health

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Answers (10)
  • yep normal if anything in the ASD world is normal. Look, hon it is normal behaviour for typical kids too! Even if they are 100% hunky dory, at 3 many kids are overwhelmed in a social situation. They don't even have the developmental ability to share in a game, they can play along side but not usually together. My son who is ASD was very much like this, I believe mostly because when he was in a familiar environment he felt safe enough to express himself. My 3rd 'typical' child is also like this -just doesn't like noisy groups of kids.
    Be really careful to not attribute every thing as ASD behavior. There can be a tendancy in some groups to blame everything on ASD when actually it is quite normal typical behavior - If you are a shy person then a huge party full of unfamiliar people would send you to a quiet corner -not cos u are on the spectrum, but because it is not your scene.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 12:56 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • PS - " he will act out everyday (hit, kick, spit, tackle, bear hug, ect)"
    just as I said above, this sort of behaviour is not purely ASD either - you do not have to allow him to behave that way because he is on the spectrum, and it is no excuse. He can and will learn social etiquette, you have to be 100% consistent with what is allowed or not, but spitting and hitting are things he must learn not to do, if he is to have any hope of making some friends at school. Don't let anyone tell you he can't help it.- If he doesn't do it at an unfamiliar place, he can help it and can learn to not do it.. I know it sounds like hard work, and it is, but this is part of parenting ASD kids. They need to be taught social etiquette that other kids just seem to learn naturally.
    Good Luck sweetie, you can do this!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 1:03 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • I do understand. I have 2 other kids that have been on both side one will do anything and play with anyone and my other one is shy until she can warm up. My thing is unless you can keep him engaged with you in a activity with no more then 2 kids he is fine. If the room is busy or loud he seems to act out more then if the room is quite. i do not try to put everything toward autism but with him have this aggrestion problem for about a year and everyone pointing it first to maybe because of his lack of communication to know he can say stop and not and mine but still does not use them it just makes wonder what is causing it and what else i can do to provent him from doing it. I have parents that kids are scared of him and even just matthew walking by them they cry because they are afraid that he is going to hurt them. It makes me sad to see this and see an hear parents talk about him and speak about me as being a bad parent .

    Answer by magnane at 1:04 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • That's really hard work! First tell the parents to go **** off, you are doing in one day what they might deal with in a month. It is exhausting and thankless and you are constantly second guessing every decision you make. . My son had lots of trouble in a group - he had one friend he adored and it was though all the other kids weren't there at all. He would get so mad if other kids came and tried to get in on his friend time. - he would also go crazy if someone tried to play and didn;t stick to the rules- LOL Beware if you dared to park the toy firetruck in the ambulance station OMG WWIII would break out. He has improved vastly as kids have aged and got more detailed in their play - it is almost like he was waiting for them to catch up with him.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 1:11 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • You can't speed up the communication, some things that helped us were- a red card - if Jack got angry he took the red card to the teacher and that was his warning that he felt overwhelmed and out of control. Faces on a A4 card - he could point to the one he felt - we had happy , sad, angry, hands over ears (too noisy), a toilet, and a stop sign. The helpers all knew what they meant and could help him move out of an activity if it was too much to take. I don't know how much time you have spent in a play room, but they are noisy, messy, smelly rooms - the absolute worst situation for an ASD person. He is super sensitive to some things that you might have never noticed- it could be that the sound of a toilet flushing hurts his ears, or the smell of the paints or handwash. My son is super smell sensitive, he can walk in the house and identify who has visited today while he was at school by the lingering scent of fabric softener.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 1:17 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • he also had a special beanbag which was his safe spot - it was in the corner by the directors door and he could take himself there to give himself some time out from the room. These kids really do get hyper stimulated and need to be able to escape safely to de-stress.
    Please don't lose heart, he will improve. My gorgeous little boy has grown into a 16yr (tomorrow) lovely boy in a mainstream school, with a small but tight group of friends. He goes for sleepovers, on school camps, has an afternoon job and can give you a 5 hr lecture on the design faults of every army tank ever invented. He is still a little quirky, but hey aren't we all. And he has an amazing sense of humour, well ahead of his peers, this situation you have now is not forever I promise.
    And as for the gossipy mothers, they will have their own bridges to cross, perfect toddlers may not equal perfect teens.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 1:22 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • wow where can I get a copy or get a card like that from? Ya i know he has sensory problem because one day a noise could bug him and the next time it might not. I do know he thinks that the toys he likes to play with he think are only for him and so he will act out because another kid is playing with it. i actually work in the child enviroment he is at sometimes and try my best to help him and other understnad what to do and ways we can help each other with out getting mad. It is very hard and i get frustrated because i have tried alot of stuff with him. i know is preschool has told me there are something i need to just let happen such s if i told on kid they can turn the light off and matthew runs over there and hits the kid because he wanted to then i need to let matthew do it and make him my helper and explain to the other kid sorry and that i will have them help me later but matthew needs to do this so we can make him feel

    Answer by magnane at 1:29 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • that is very true. i do know that my little guy is very smart is being able to do things that my other kids where not able to do at this age.(grasp onto a song or at least the tune after hearing it, be able to throw a ball and swing a bat, pretend to play baseball, ect)

    Answer by magnane at 1:32 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • I made the card myself, but could see if I still have it in his memory box - There are lots of resources available like this , some are very expensive - have you heard about weighted vest and that sort of thing ? I'm going to add you as a friend so I can find you again, if thats okay. I tell you my honest belief is these are the people who will discover the cure to cancer, they think outside the box. And who the heck sat down and decided what 'normal' is?? He is still really young to be trying to understand sharing, and if he loves the light, then so be it. Its great your workmates are helpful and not judging.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 1:38 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • I would love if you would add me to your freind list. thank you for everything. i just look at the more help i can get the better i feel. i look for any resources i can get or anything that has worked for others i will willing to try out. if you do find it if you can explain what is says looks like that would be great and i can give that a try.

    Answer by magnane at 1:45 AM on Apr. 6, 2010