Posted by: Engela | 2010/05/21


Toddler seems withdrawn

Im not sure if I should be concerned, or if some toddlers go through this.
Some background: My son is now 2yrs 8mnths. He is very intelligent and also speaks very well. He gets cery frustrated if he is not stimulated mentally and then throw tantrums (like they all do) My husbands family is very close, so we all live together (in a sense.... its 3 houses on 3 properties, not divided) At home he is very outspoken and loves playing with his cousins. He goes to a playgroup from 8 to 12 everyday. (Im a stay at home mom)
My concern: When he is with other ppl he gets very withdrawn. He also hates sharing. At the playgroup they have told me that he does not really interact with the other kiddies. He does at times, but most of the time he entertains himself. He has also become very dependant on me. He has been at the playgroup for over a year and sometimes still cries when we drop him off (it is a very good playgroup so I know its not them) We went away with my folks and did not want anything to do with his "  Ouma"  - only wanted me (and at times his dad) . On Saturday we got him a puppy. At one stage he got jealous of the puppy when he came to sit by me. He told the puppy to get off my lap and said "  Chaka, its my mommy" 
He knows what he wants and can have a "  full on"  conversation with him. How can I get him to interact with people a bit more and be a bit more open. Or is that just one of his characteristics. Im scared that he does not grow out of it.

Expert's Reply



This is such an excellent question and your problem has been clearly stated. When I saw the heading to your question I was concerned because as you are aware this is the main concern with children with the autism syndrome. However on reading further it became apparent that your little son certainly communicates well with you, his dad and your extended family.He seems to be a bit of a loner at the playgroup and has many of the behaviour features found in this age group. He still has some separation anxiety and is very possessive of you and to a lesser extent of his dad,but this is not uncommon in this age group. This is more so with only children and with intelligent children.Encourage him to share as much as you can and always reassure him that you will return to fetch him from his playgroup.Your son may be attending a good playgroup but I don't believe that he is happy there.

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user comments


Posted by: R | 2010/05/24

I read this with so much relief, as my 32 month-old is displaying very similar behaviour, only he doesn''t even want dad, and I was worried it may be depression. His teacher also complained last week of him not wanting to play with the other kids, and even chasing them away from him. Other than this everything else is great.

Reply to R
Posted by: Engela | 2010/05/24

Thank you very much! Im inisting he shares his toys with friends kids and praise him when he does. Ill discuss the playgroup with my husband. I have also enroled the two of us to join " cooking"  classes as I think this will teach him more about skills which includes his mommy! Tx

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