Fear of strangers

Silvia - posted on 06/12/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Is it normal for my 3 year old to have a dislike for strangers? If they are friendly they can win him over. If they are average maybe after 20 minutes he will be ok to say bye or high five them. If they try to impose themselves on him by grabbing at him to hug when they first meet he will throw a fit.

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Silvia - posted on 06/16/2014

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Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I really appreciate it. Thank you for all of your imput. I am grateful. Have a good night.

Chet - posted on 06/16/2014

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A speech delay is common when children are exposed to two languages. If your son is learning both English and Spanish that would be enough to explain his delayed language development. It's really good for children to learn two languages like this, but it's more challenging and often takes more time.

Of course this is just my opinion, but again, I think your son sounds pretty normal. Lots of preschoolers are busy and ignore their parents 20% of the time. Lots of three year olds don't enjoy their first group activity. Lots of kids don't like to share their toys. Nothing you've mentioned is a huge red flag.

Silvia - posted on 06/15/2014

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Well I took him to the speech pathologist; 10 month speech delay but supposedly not enough for therapy. She was concerned he ignored when I asked for the teddy bear and duch (at her request) but I told her he didn't know those words; I'd never bought him a teddy bear and he only knew the word for duck in spanish. But she sent me to behavioral development.

He diagnosed my son with autism based on:

1. I said he ignored me 20% of the time
2. One of the many times my son spoke to me about the toys in that Dr.'S office he kept his back turned to me but only 1 time there did he not look at me.
3. I said we quit the parent and me sports class because my son would stay away from the group; turns out he's not so fond of adults. He likes kids though.
4. I said 1X at the park my son said no when a kid tried to take his ball; I think the Dr. Labeled him anti-social.

Kaiser's genetics counselor, their OT department and his pediatrician said no signes of autism.

The state outsources exams to Harbor Regional and they said only speech delay.

The school district started assesment and said upon first visit no signs of autism so far.

But Kaiser outsourced further assessment to Easter Seals who is done with report but sitting on results and I'm stressed.

Thank you for replying; it makes me hopeful that he may not be that bad.

The only sign I see is that he repeats the same question 5 or 6 times. But I thought its how he can make whatever conversation he can.

Chet - posted on 06/15/2014

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Their evaluation sounds really off to me (I saw your other post about the toys too).

Our kids have participated in a couple of autism studies as part of the control group (the group of typical children used for comparison). I've filled out at least a dozen long questionnaires about behaviours that could indicate autism. Nobody has ever asked about how our kids react to complete strangers or about bringing toys when we go places.

Why is your son being evaluated for autism? What behaviours flagged him as a child to be checked?

Normal three year olds will often react badly to hugs from people they don't know. Normal three years often want to take five or six toys with them when they go places.

Silvia - posted on 06/15/2014

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Thank you for your comment; Kaiser's Dr. Assures me that most 3 year old are very social and I said not the boys in my family. My son would also glare at grown up but I'm constantly on him about not doing that so it stopped. Now he just prefers a 2 foot distance unless they win him over. Kaiser used these incidents along with the toys issue to support a diagnosis for autism.

The only symptom I see for sure is that he can ask me the same question 6 times in a row but I thought it was because he's limited in the conversation we can have: 10 month speech delay. But his brain is quick as a whip!

Chet - posted on 06/14/2014

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Our forth child was like this, and started outgrowing it when he was about three and a half. He was all about glaring at people who looked at him in public. He 4.5 now and can still be slow to warm up sometimes, but is nothing like he used to be.

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