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3 1/2 year old seems developmentally slow...

So I know this little girl who has me a bit concerned. I babysit her three days a week, for almost the entire day. She does odd little things like referring to herself in the third person, has to have her hand in her mouth or fidgeting in her hair (like a nervous tick). She is extremely quiet, and when I take her to kid-oriented activities, she never joins in. She also seemsto have a hard time making eye contact and giving verbal responses. The few times I have ever had to put her in time out, I think she literally would have sat there for multiple just doesn't phase her b/c she seems perfectly content to sit there quietly. She doesn't seem to play imaginatively like she should either. Very often she seems happier to play with my 16 mo. old's baby toys. And she seems to have a lot of fears (the stairs, the toilet, a funny mask that my own three year old put on, etc.) .Her mom told me she went to the local Headstart to do some tests recently (basic preschool work) and she failed each time, although only by a few questions each time, so she wasn't concerned. I don't know if maybe there is something weird going on here, but I really feel for this little girl, and I'm trying to get her to open up to me. Any suggestions or comments from other moms who know of or have a child like this? On the rare occasion where she gets into trouble, I don't know what to do with her, b/c time outs fail miserably.

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Asked by JeromysBabe at 6:40 PM on Jan. 17, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • She is likely the product of harsh punishment and being an introvert.

    What are time outs supposed to do, in your opinion? Are they only effective if YOU know they're effective torture?

    Lots of traumatized children have very flat responses to the world around them, having developed a rich, private inner life that more than compensates for their confusion in the real world.

    Answer by LindaClement at 6:49 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Hmm, well I know from what I see from her mom, that it is not coming from her mom....she may ignore her a bit, but I certainly don't think there's any abuse coming from her mom, who has the greater majority of the custody. I don't know her Dad at all, but I don't really think that's it. Actually I think some of the fear is being instilled by the mom/grandma combo? Her mom seems to be a little bit of a helicopter parent. Any suggestions on a better discipline tool? Getting her to say sorry so she can be done w/ time out is worse than trying to pull teeth.

    Comment by JeromysBabe (original poster) at 6:57 PM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • You can suggest to here parents to get her evaluated for autism etc, because most times autims and these other kind of developmental issuse goes untreated and un noticed. It's a good thing that you have noticed these issues. Good luck!

    Answer by Sakinsglow at 1:30 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • she actually sounds autistic, she acts alot like my 2yo who is in the middle of a eval for autisim

    Answer by SimplyErathy at 1:46 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • I have thought about saying something to her mom.....but I guess there's just that whole "not wanting to offend her" thing that keeps holding me back. My own little girl is 3 months younger than this girl, and is (I think I can say this without too much bias) quite a bit more advanced. Any discipline suggestions? She is so quiet the only times she ever gets into trouble seems to be when I ask her to apologize to one of the other kids she is playing with for fighting or not sharing, or ask to be excused from the table, or say please or thank you, etc. My own daughter finds it absolute torture to sit in time-out, lol. So I've never had this struggle before.

    Comment by JeromysBabe (original poster) at 6:36 AM on Jan. 18, 2011

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