Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Kea | 2011/10/04


Difficult toddler

Dear Doctor I have a 14 month old grandson who concerns us and is really " killing"  us. He started walking at around 10 months. He walks really well, runs a little actually, BUT, most of the time he will NOT walk on his own he insists you hold his finger. Now thats fine, we do that and encourage him to walk a little without the finger too, but I beleive that will come right with time. However, he absolutely cannot and will not do anything without someone going along with him. He never ever, as in never ever sits playing on his own, you have to entertain him for every hour that he is awake. You have to walk, walk, walk, or show him this, show him that, make him laugh, on and on. If you put a box of toys in front of him, he may lift each one out throw on the floor but he will then indicate, take my finger lets go. He might do this even after throwing out two or three of the toys. I have got three grown children, I know children can sit by themselves and play for a long time by themselves on the floor with some toys. We just want to sit next to him, read a magazine, watch a show, we are not asking him to be alone by himself in a room, just to settle down and entertain himself for 5 minutes. If you do not go along with him he just cries and cries non stop. He has an obsession with keys. He wants to walk all day long with a key he then fits it into each and every hole and each and every hole outside in the yard he walks and then stands making a frustrated noise as he attempts to fit the key into every hole. From early morning when he gets lifted out of the cot he starts, as you go past the first door he indicates he wants the key and each door after that and then the day starts, walk, walk fit the keys on and on. Not because he is my grandson, but I can see that mentally he is very bright. In fact a lot of his frustration comes from the fact that he is mentally more able than his body is allowing him hense the frustration. Putting him in his high chair to eat, he does not keep his legs still for a second, kick kick, makes a frustrating sound, indicates pass me this, pass me that, all the while you try to feed him quickly. My daughter lives in a very remote area there are no children for him to play with and it is deadly quiet. From the moment he was born he cried and he cried for 9 months. He had colic and she battled terribly. We thought once he starts walking he will be running around like a normal toddler, but this has not happened. It is the same enterain me, walk me, the only time there is peace if he is sleeping. The problem has come now she has just had another baby and we have no idea how she is going to cope with him and new baby. I know behaviour here has to be modified but how?

Expert's Reply



You have given an excellent desciption of your grandson's behaviour and of your concerns about him.He appears to be a highly intelligent child who had accelerated milestones. He is constantly seeking attention. He appears to have a very short attention span and is reluctant to play on his own.Of course his environment may have something to do with his behaviour, being isolated in a quiet and remote area with no other children. The story about his deep interest in keys is unusual and seems to have an obsessive quality He is not going to easily adjust to the presence of the new baby.The question is really is his behaviour just the result of his circumstances or is it sufficiently unusual to warrant concern.I am a bit concerned about his obsessive behaviour and also his constant demand for attention.I am concerned that he may be demonstrating some early features of a syndrome such as Aspergers or the autism syndrome. It would be a good idea for him to be seen by a child psychologist even though he is very young for an opinion.

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user comments


Posted by: Alice | 2011/10/05

My baby is also 14 months old. She only started walking at 13 months - but she is running already.
She has the same interest in keys - but she walks alone - do not want to hold a finger and she can entertain herself.
I am very lucky.

However I have never told her anything but that she is the sweetest girl in the world. I never tell her she is bad - for she has to know that being good gets the attention.
When she was born she had a very strict routine and now we do not always keep exactly to it, but we try to keep some of it... so that she knows more or less what to expect.

I believe love, routine &  dissipline is very important.

But - get the baby tested as doc sugests - at least you will be sure if its not it you can try something else...

Reply to Alice
Posted by: A | 2011/10/05

I''m not a professional but in my opinion he sounds like any other toddler his age... my son is 16 months and act more or less the same is your grandson.

He also loves keys and cries if we take them away, he also tries to unlock every hole he sees with the keys and also gets very frustrated if he can''t manage.

My son also started walking at 11months and is running already, he hate not being entertained and will also indicate to me that he needs some intertainment every now and again.

I think you grandson is very clever and needs more stimulation and he possibly seeks attention from you which ''cause he might lack some attention from his mother due to her working so far away and probably not spending enough time with her.

That s just my opinion, hope it helps.

Reply to A

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