OK, so my childcare provider has told me that she feels there is something not quite right with my son, and I'm curious what other parents' experiences are/were.

Some background: He is 3 and a half, an only child (so far), was born about 10 days before his due date, and is healthy. He does have a "lazy eye" and wears glasses to correct mild farsightedness. He is very high energy, but does not seem to have problems focusing when he wants to (ie on games on my husband's iPhone, reading books, playing with certain toys, etc).

My childcare provider has had 4 kids of her own and has been taking care of kids for 30 years now so I don't just want to dismiss her concerns. The list of symptoms and behaviours that my childcare provider has given that she is worried about are:

  • eye contact : my son will avoid eye contact when being spoken to

    • I don't feel this is a concern, as he will initiate eye contact when he is talking to me or my husband, he just doesn't like to make eye contact when he is being chastised for something he's done wrong
  • repetitive behaviour : my son will repeat the same word or sound over and over again without stopping when asked

    • I notice this as well, though he usually snaps out of it if we distract him with something else. I suspect this may be an attention getting thing, but it's hard to say for sure.
  • lack of focus : during "circle time" when they are doing songs or reading books, my son will often have a hard time sitting still and will often be doing some kind of toddler acrobatics, curling up in a ball or doing a handstand in the corner... he does learn the songs, etc, but just won't sit still

    • again, I can't help but think this is normal for a 3 year old...

So, community, what do you think? Should I be concerned? Is it normal for a 3 year old boy to behave like this? What can we do to help him focus and cut down on the repetitive behaviour? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

asked 06 Jul '10, 11:42

Melanie's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%


My three year old daughter repeated the word "book" over and over for about 15 minutes the other day while she was playing, when she stopped I asked her why she was doing it and she said, "It tastes good in my mouth!" and started up again. Okay, good enough answer, it is a lot of fun to say when you think about it. Book, book, book!

(07 Jul '10, 00:37) Neen

Nobody can diagnose anything by a description on the internet, but I wouldn't take any chances with this kind of thing -- take him to a pediatrician and lay out what you're seeing. Best case, you'll be told you're worrying over nothing, and you're just embarrassed and have to pay for a doctor visit. Medium, there is a problem -- you know it can't be too bad, because he's fairly functional, but maybe there is a real issue that could benefit from help. Worst case is that there is a problem that could be helped with some kind of early intervention but he never gets it because nobody ever followed up on these suspicions.

Let us know how it goes!


answered 06 Jul '10, 19:04

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

thank you...I think I will do that, and take Neen's previous suggestion of getting her concerns in writing so I don't forget anything. Thankfully here in Canada it will not cost me anything to see the doctor about it, other than a bit of my time in the waiting room. Thanks everyone!!

(08 Jul '10, 01:05) Melanie

From your description, it does sound to me that your son is behaving within the normal range of typical 3 year old behaviour. However, as you said your childcare provider does have a lot of experience with children and without knowing your boy it would be hard for any of us, no matter our experience to provide a good answer.

If it were my child I'd want to take a better safe then sorry approach. If you are concerned my recommendation is to bring these concerns to a pediatrician as they are professionals in child development and behaviour.


answered 06 Jul '10, 14:47

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 06 Jul '10, 16:13

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦


Sounds normal to me too, I think I'd get the daycare provider to write me a letter with her concerns to take with me to the peditrician so I wouldn't forget anything she feels is important.

(06 Jul '10, 23:34) Neen

@Neen that's an excellent suggestion. It's easy to forget something or have difficult explaining something from another person's perspective.

(07 Jul '10, 00:19) Tammy ♦♦

Thank you Tammy, I agree it is hard to describe or interpret via internet, and will take the matter to his doctor. Hopefully it is nothing!

(08 Jul '10, 01:05) Melanie

@Melanie, let us know how it goes!

(08 Jul '10, 06:05) Benjol

Our family doctor feels his behaviour is normal, and said that if we're still concerned once he's within 12 months of starting school (ie, 4 1/2 yrs old), we should come back and talk about it. And for what it's worth, he's improved light years in terms of his at-home behaviour, and I haven't heard any recent comments/complaints from his childcare provider.

(22 Dec '10, 15:23) Melanie
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 06 Jul '10, 11:42

Seen: 2,045 times

Last updated: 06 Jul '10, 19:04