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Posted by: PP | 2011-10-08

4-year-old not like most kids

My friend''s 4-year-old seems different from most kids. Her mouth is always open and she drools a bit. The area around her lips is always red due it being wet and the cold air. We tell her to close her mouth, which she does, but a second later she opens it again. She is very dreamy too. Sometimes she just stares into the air, daydreaming. She''s a calm child, she can play by herself without disturbing us too much. But when her brother and sister (3 and 5) and her play together, she always has the bad ideas.
The other day, they saw a cat on my grandma''s roof and she found a way to climb onto it to chase the cat. The other children followed, which caused us to panic when we saw them all on top of the house. This is only an example. She likes to jump into the pool, even though she can''t swim. Dangerous things like that.
She doesn''t provoke us on purpose. She always takes a chance when we aren''t around, which I find very cunning for a child so young. But it''s scary too because she dreams too much, plus she gets asthma sometimes. It''s scary if she has an attack just when she''s in a dangerous situation. The doctor advised her mom not to let her run too much because it triggers her asthma, but she doesn''t listen. She''s either too quiet for too long or gets too wild and does all these crazy things. She also climbs her aunts fig tree to get figs, a tree that could break so easily.
And another thing which I find completely abnormal is that she''s been potty trained for 3 years and she is okay during the day but she still wets her bed. She even wets her pants occasionally if we tickle her.
I don''t want to tell my friend, but I''m starting to think her daughter has some sort of mental illness or maybe retardation. My sister has a daughter who is 2 and she doesn''t drool at all, nor does she wet her bed. She is also more able to concentrate for longer periods of time and she''s not even half as wild. I''m worried because this girl is considered my friend''s most beautiful. The whole neighbourhood finds her really cute, and I don''t want to destroy that. But I have a feeling she''s not like the other kids. What do I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its really not practical to be sure whether this child is OK but a bit weird, or seriously unwell, without having her properly and directly assessed by a child psychiatrist / psychologist.
Like Jenna, I am more immediately worried about the sense of parental neglect. It should be made impossible for kids to get onto the rood, and a swimming pool without a child-safe net is a tragedy waiting to happen.
She may nnot routinely at sensibly, but she doesn't sound "retarded".
It would be wise to have her expertly assessed -either to put everyone's mind at rest, that she is normal if inconvenient, and with advice on how to modify her behaviour to get her safer in her choices ; or if there is a problem, to identify it and the best way of dealing with it.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jenna | 2011-10-08

And another thing, most people pee a bit when certain things happen, like being tickled or jumping on a trampoline or sneezing. It is a bodily reaction, not a sign of retardation. Again, the poor child is only 4- how do you expect her to act?

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: Jenna | 2011-10-08

The child is still only four. If you were saying she''s 10 then there''d be a problem. I have a big family with some wierd people and my cousin acted the way you are describing re the open mouth, drooling, keeping herself occupied, etc and there is nothing wrong with her today. Kids are very cunning, my little sister used to con my parents all the time at her age. Is this child at play school? Could she be picking up habits from other kids? One thing I do have to ask though is WHY IS THERE NO POOL NET? If the parents know she jumps into the pool, THEY are the ones that are supposed to keep the child safe, not just tell her not to jump in. And another thing, how on earth did she get onto the roof? These, frankly, are things that the parents are supposed to prevent and it sounds like this girl is taking opportunities where her parents are slipping up. Children are odd characters and to want to tell the mother you think she''s retarded is MADNESS!

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-10-08

Its really not practical to be sure whether this child is OK but a bit weird, or seriously unwell, without having her properly and directly assessed by a child psychiatrist / psychologist.
Like Jenna, I am more immediately worried about the sense of parental neglect. It should be made impossible for kids to get onto the rood, and a swimming pool without a child-safe net is a tragedy waiting to happen.
She may nnot routinely at sensibly, but she doesn't sound "retarded".
It would be wise to have her expertly assessed -either to put everyone's mind at rest, that she is normal if inconvenient, and with advice on how to modify her behaviour to get her safer in her choices ; or if there is a problem, to identify it and the best way of dealing with it.

Reply to cybershrink

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