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  1. #1
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    4 year old behaving like a 2 year old

    Hi! I have a just 4yo dcb who has been with me for 1.5 years. Since Christmas he has been peeing in his pants again (i had another post about this), but on top of that, he is now making huge messes at meal times. Last week I kept asking him to use his utensils properly, he was eating with fingers and I caught him smearing food all over his face with the spoon. When I told him he needed to use a spoon and fork he took both and tossed his food into the air. Today at snack time he took his yogurt and poured a trail of it from his bowl all down his face and shirt and table, over and over until I told him no more, snack time was done. He didn't even seem to notice he was doing it. I also caught him drooling later all down his face.

    He has started to whine about other kids taking his toys more, cries whenever someone has a toy he wants instead of asking for a turn. His manners are gone with me as well. It is like he has gone from a 4yo to a 2yo.

    I know he has a very high needs older brother and his younger sister, whom I also watch, doesn't speak and has had a few surgeries on her eyes so the parents have their hands full. How do I approach this with them, or do I just keep trying to correct everything again. I have my suspicions that he may be slightly autistic but I of don't have the training to say to the parents what I suspect.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Could he just be thriving for attention being that his siblings get it for different reasons and unless he does something to get attention he gets left out.

  3. #3
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    Out of curiosity have you always suspected that something was up with him? Or just recently. What's his reaction when you correct him? Without knowing the child my first instinct would be to think that if he sees his siblings getting attention because of special needs, he could be out for a share too? Maybe? I certainly wouldn't say anything about autism because I (as in me) don't feel qualified to but I'd ask if they've noticed a change in behaviour at home and at least draw their attention to the fact that you have. It must be hard for the whole family with so much on their plate.

  4. #4
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    I have actually suspected Autism all along, when he started coming to me I googled his behavior a lot and it all brought me to sites for autism. I really don't think I should mention that to the parents because I am not qualified. The parents seem in denial with it all. With the oldest child, everyone that knows him suspected for at least the last 4 years that he had different disorders, the parents just got him diagnosed recently. The youngest one is 25 months and only grunts, no words and has very poor fine motor skills (as does dcb). I think the middle one is just easily looked over.

  5. #5
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    I know they have alot on there plate so that's why I'm wondering if I should bother them with this or just hope it's a phase and keep on carrying on, and try different things to correct the behavior

  6. #6
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    I'd certainly mention behavioral concerns because you don't want them coming back to you later saying that you never mentioned a thing. But also I'd hope that when the little guy goes to school the teachers will recommend testing.

  7. #7
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    I think you should say something. You don't have to say AUTISM, but you can mention that in comparison with the other kids his age that you have noticed he seems a bit behind in certain areas. Ask if they have noticed and/or if they have brought it up with their doctor. I think not saying anything is the worst thing you could do, qualified or not. You don't need to make a diagnosis, just point out your observations, after that the ball is in their court and you can have a clear conscience about it.

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  9. #8
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    Update: DCB has been drooling and hanging is tongue out constantly. He has developed huge sores on his chin. I mention it to the parents and I just hear "we hope he isn't like his brother" and "he and his brother have these habits they just seem compelled to do" They don't seem to want to get help at all. I don't have the training to deal with his special needs. Lately things have been hard with him, I try to talk to him and every answer is "yes" or ":uhhhh" When he needs to use the bathroom he stands in front of me and stares until I ask if he needs to go. He has been crying at drop off lately too. He followed me around crying for 20 min this morning but I couldn't get him to tell me anything. Then he had a runny nose and I gave him a tissue. He asked me what he was suppose to do with it. I have had him for 1.5 years and he doesn't seem to have advanced much and lately it almost feels like he is going backwards. I am just really frustrated. I don't know if I should terminate them or what. I feel so stressed whenever he is here and the other kids almost immediately start misbehaving and fighting when he shows up. I am doing dayhome so that I can stay home with my lil ones, but we aren't having fun and doing all the crafting ans learning games I had envisioned doing together, (both the dcb and dcg can't seem to do crafts, reading books is a chore as well, as they fight it and get up wander away, or sit and cry) *sigh* Just needed to vent really, If anyone has advice, I'd love to hear it. Thanks everyone.

  10. #9
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I would for sure keep a written record of your observations. Only ever record your observations, never an opinion on them. I think if this is a special needs issue it would be detrimental to the child to just be terminated. If you could bare with things for 2-4 weeks with meticulous record keeping and then hand a copy to the parents with an explanation that you have raised issues with them previously and as they are growing in frequency that your duty in the best interests of the child was to keep a record. You can also download the nipissing developmental milestones checklists which are a yes or no checklist and clearly state that if anything is checked no that it is recommended that a parent take the child to the doctors just to discuss the issue. If after presenting all of this info in a formal way, that really makes it clear that this needs to be taken much more seriously than just conversations at the door, and they don't seek out extra help and support, then I think it would be time for this child to go elsewhere. At that point it would be the best thing as some parents need to hear these things over and over from several different people before they want to hear the truth. You'd think with already having a high needs child that they would be on high alert for things or catch things early so it might be that their seemingly lax attitude is not something you can do anything about or work with. Its a shame for the child, but the fact that he is digressing and clusters of behaviors are coming up, it seems like this is not an attention thing and likely a Special Need which needs to be addressed. All you can do is your part which is to gather information in writing and pass it on to the parents and ask them take it to the doctors for discussion. I think you are well within your rights to insist and request this as his behavior is becoming disruptive to the group and you would like to have a professionals feedback so you may be able to implement some new strategies in your daycare setting that would benefit their child and make for a much happier day all around. Whether you do or not is entirely up to you, but putting it like that to the parent may really help them see things for what they are which is that you care about their child and want to work with them, not that you are right and they are wrong or anything else they may twist your words into as a result of not liking what you tell them and getting defensive.

    I had a situation where I cared for a boy for a similar amount of time and he had all sorts going on and I took this approach but in addition wrote a statement which initially highlighted this childs strengths, not just in milestones but personality too. I then listed areas requiring attention, not weaknesses but areas inwhich I wanted to work on helping him improve. Mum was very reseptive and loved what I did but dad was a defensive arguementative pain in my ass even arguing that psychology is subjective and that child development models could quite easily be very wrong and resulting in many misdiagnosis' in special needs. I'm not talking about misdiagnosed ADD and ADHD which happens more often than not for gifted or 2E kids but his arguement was for the fact that it was perfectly okay for a 3 year old to pick up branches and chew them because he was exploring his senses. Excuse me!! He has full use of his other senses at age 3 and isnt a one year old who explores things with his mouth which is normal. Eating all the appliques off my wall...not normal, lying on the ground chewing chair legs for the duration of the morning...not normal.....okay so off topic a bit but you get where I'm going with this I'm sure. Some parents just aren't open to hearing these things and can be very defensive, even delusional. Best to stick to the facts and hopefully the parents will work with you but if not then maybe its time for another caregiver to have him and report similar things to the parents before they get whats going on.

    Good Luck!

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