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  1. #1
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    Default 3 year old tantrums not normal - help

    He there , I have three kids . One is nearly 8 and has high functioning autism ( boy) . One is 5 and calm and thoughtful and is your everyday happy boy . One is 3 nearly 4 and she is very smart , switched on , has a good sense of humor , can be helpful and happy but she has these tantrums that I've never seen before even in my older child with autism . They happen and come from no where . For example this morning she woke up in my bed ( she creeps in every single night ) she starts making whimpering noises , then it escalates to full on crying about me cuddling her which I am . But it's not enough for her my hands have to be where she wants even if I have to bend them until they hurt . So basically I'm a hostage to her emotions , I'm in bed and if I move she screams . Then she screams she wants dad , so he comes to get her for breakfast and she screams and goes crazy . The kind of screaming from a horror film . She is loud and out of control . Over nothing . My husband told her to stop so she ran back to my room and crawled under the bed whilst screaming and saying she hates us - we have done nothing . So I pull her out and she is wild and crazy and saying horrible things . I told her she needs to stop or I have to take her to hospital ( please bear in mind she does this almost daily and I'm at my breaking point with her ) She cuddles me and crys and I'm back holding her telling her we love her but she cannot keep screaming like that . It's now 10'am and I'm not even out of bed .

    This happens almost daily . She is very bright , strong and has an amazing vocabulary . I've looked into food , low sugar , low everything ! She just switches over nothing . My 8 year old with autism couldn't talk at 3 and barely responded to me at all so I'm confused with her . This doesn't seem normal . Now she is fine - back to her loving cheeky self . But we will see this again today .

    I know girls present differently with autism , she has no problem making friends or changing plans or any other autistic marker .

    Is this a strong willed emotional 3 year old or would you be looking into seeing someone about this . We don't have a pediatrician for my oldest , we did therapy and now he is a talking happy boy at a wonderfully supportive school and is doing so well we don't feel the need for guidance with him anymore . So I don't have one on hand to ask and I don't want to begin that road with her if she is just a loud , emotional individual . But is this the terrible 3's girl style ? She is my only girl . It's so stressful 😩

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    I think (correct me if I'm wrong I am only going by your post) but she seems to get what she wants so you can avoid the tantrum/screaming.

    Personally I would get up and ignore her for a while. She will soon learn it won't get her attention.

    If she does have autism then I don't have any advice, sorry

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by babynomad View Post
    So I don't have one on hand to ask and I don't want to begin that road with her if she is just a loud , emotional individual . But is this the terrible 3's girl style ?
    I know it's a bit of a pain as you don't already have a specialist on hand. However I think it's worth the inconvenience of seeing your GP and getting hooked up with a specialist. If your dd does have other things going on (autism, sensory etc) then you could be doing more harm than good by maintaining the status quo and not getting help. Worst case scenario - your dd has no diagnosable condition and you and DH get some help with behavioral strategies. Win-win.

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    You have just described my physically, emotionally, mentally normal 3 year old girl. It is SO hard and you have my empathy. We now discipline with time outs, to save the rest of our sanity - it was very upsetting to my 5 year old, as well.

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    Thanks everyone . It's confusing because my middle child who is totally neurotypical is very well behaved and understands consequence - I've never had to use time out on him and his brother with autism I've been quite strict with in a nice way because he has to be able to no what is right and wrong . This girl totally confuses me . I can't let her scream the way she does as the neighbours are all old and I feel for them . I'm strict with my daughter when she goes crazy but I know the only way to calm her is tell her I love her and hug her . When she has calmed down back to her sweet self we talk about what happened and how she upsets us all and she always says sorry and that she loves me but then it happens again a few hrs later .

    I'm hoping this will be something I look back on and laugh about . I'm going to give her until 4 years old and then think about talking to a pediatrician.

    This isn't a normal tantrum that you can control with any form of consequence it's more of a total meltdown where she loses control . She doesn't care what I say or do . So it's a bit tough disapline wise . Thanks for your advice xx

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    This is my 3 year old to a T. It is not a tantrum to get her own way, it is an uncontrollable meltdown that she herself has no control over. She is also very bright ans clever. I would highly recommend seeing your GP and asking for a mental health plan. They can help you out with an OT & psych & see if there is anything that can be diagnosed - if not- they can give you and her tools to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by babynomad View Post
    . I'm going to give her until 4 years old and then think about talking to a pediatrician.

    This isn't a normal tantrum that you can control with any form of consequence it's more of a total meltdown where she loses control . She doesn't care what I say or do .
    If it's not a normal tantrum why are you waiting until your dd turns 4?

    Another thing to think about, depending on the area you live in, from the moment you walk into a GP it could be 1-2 + years before your dd can obtain practical help. Pediatrician wait lists can be 6 months in some places. Add to that the tests your ped will want you to do blah blah blah, wait list for a diagnosis, wait lists for treatment. Not sure why you would risk delaying the process further? Is cost a factor impacting your decision?

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    DD has just four. She is pretty much as you have described. She is a culmination of factors;
    - we are too lenient on her, and she gets her way,
    - normal tantrums for her age,
    - being naturally extremely independent and "spirited", I can only blame myself for this one- I was the same.

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    Default 3 year old tantrums not normal - help

    Hi OP, I agree with some of the other posters that if you feel these tantrums are not normal then I don't see why you need to wait till she is 4 to ask a GP or get a referral to see a specialist and/or child psychologist or OT. You already have a good comparison between how she behaves compares to your other 2 kids so if you feel it's outside of normal toddler behaviour then I wouldn't wait longer.
    I work for community health and the waiting lists are huge in NSW, at least. Up to 6 months sometimes.
    Last edited by Lillac; 18-06-2016 at 19:55.

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    How long has this gone on for? My DS went through a period of meltdowns like this...nothing and no one could fix it...just time....time for it to blow over and for him to gain control of himself. Usually ended eventually with him sobbing on my arms, but until that point he wanted no one and nothing would make it better. It was like he had simply lost it and he really didnt even know himself what he wanted. An emotional meltdown. If I couldn't resolve the issue within a few minutes I would walk away, put him in his room if necessary, and ignore it best I could. He grew out of it over time, probably around 6mths, as he developed some rational and emotional control.
    Maybe your DD is similar?

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