Needing advice on 3 year old grandson

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lar, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. lar

    lar New Member

    I have been a follower for many years and have posted a few times regarding my now 29 year old daughter. She, her husband and 2 small children currently live with me (long story) and I am needing some advice regarding my 3 year old grandson. He is very bright but has a few behavioral issues that really concern me. One being potty training which has not been going too well. He just turned 3 in June and I know that he is still very young but the big issue is that when he poops in his pull-up he has started taking it off and playing with the poop. He has done this about 4 times within the last 2 weeks. One night he was in my room, took his pull-up off and started smearing poop on my bed! We were downstairs and started to smell something before we realized what he was doing.

    I wasn't too concerned the first time he did this but since he has done this several times I am really concerned. This just started to be a problem about a month ago.

    Background on Mom and Dad. Both are bipolar and Mom is also ADHD. Grandson is definitely showing signs of ADHD but Autism has been ruled out. I'm just not sure who to go to for help with this before it gets out of hand.

    Any advice would be welcomed!
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont kow whats wrong, but I can guarantee you that at pnly 3 years old no professional can rule out autism. He is way too young.
  3. lar

    lar New Member

    Thanks for your reply Somewhere and I'm glad to get your input. I haven't ruled out autism myself. He has several habits that are very questionable. These could be sensory issues. One habit he has that we can't seem to get a handle on is that when he is drinking any liquid from his sippy cup he will take a couple of sips and then start pouring the rest out either onto the table, floor or whatever toy he may be playing with. For example, the other night he was in the play room with his cup of milk and when I went to check on him he had poured it into his dump truck. This is a constant thing with him. Sunday morning in his class at church I noticed when I went to pick him up that he had poured out his water from snack time onto the table. What made me frustrated was that he is the only one that does this! He also does not like to sit in group time which is only 5 to 10 minutes long. He would much rather be playing with trucks, blocks, etc. And sometimes causes a big scene. Again he is the only one that does this.

    We are trying to get him into a head start program hoping that a structured setting will help him. Hopefully it will but I really do question what is going on with him.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Take him to a neuro psyhologist (a psycholovist with extra trainig in the brain). They do itensive testi ng and you will have a better idea of his issues. I think he does have some autistic traits. Beware of certain teachers who feel they see enough kids to diagnose (they dont. They are educators, not psychologists). You will hear from some "ADHD and medicate."

    I worked at Head Start. I do not reccommed it. They put on a good act when parents were there, but whoa. If your grandson is not good with structure and is very different maybe he needs an early intervention classroom for children with challeges. I would test him by a neuro psychiatric before seding him to any school.

    My 24 year old son has high functioning autism. He was 11 when he was diagnosed. All the diagnosticians before that gave us various reasons why he couldnt be on the spetrum. We still suspected he was.

    He clearly is. Thank God for the neuro psychologist.
  5. lar

    lar New Member

    Thanks for the reply and I truly appreciate the suggestion. I have thought about the Neuro psychiatric route and feel like we need to look into that. I would love to find an early intervention program for him but finding one that will accept him is turning out to be difficult. We are going through the TN Early Intervention Services program which has a long waiting list.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would also suggest a developmental pediatrician. In my area they would be the ones to evaluate such a young child. A neuropsychologist would not work with a child so young here. The ones here work with older kids who can do the written testing. I would call and ask if they work with kids so young.

    Hard as it is, I would keep this one in eyesight as much as possible. Maybe make him keep his drinks in the kitchen and stay with him when he has one. As soon as he starts to turn it upside down, take it away. Or just buy the sippy cups with the valves in them that the kid has to suck on to get anything out of. It really cuts down on the mess. When my oldest was little he kept wanting his TRex to have a drink. Only his dad and I didn't know he was pouring juice and milk into the plastic dinosaur until it stunk inside. It was his favorite toy so throwing it away wasn't possible. It was incredibly tough to clean in there. And of course my husband wouldn't do it no matter how hard I tried to get him to!!! Neither would Grandma!!! Trust me, I tried HARD!!

    As for the diapers, does he poop at about the same time each day? Some kids do. If so, make sure you are close to him around that time. Also try giving him a reward for telling you if he needs to be changed rather than getting his hands in it. What is his favorite thing? Give him that in some quantity if you manage to change his diaper without him getting into the poop. If he gets into the poop, no reward. If you have the right reward, one he wants bad enough that he ONLY gets for getting changed without getting into the poop, he will start to come to you to be changed and to get his reward. You will have to be consistent. Don't EVER not reward him even if he is in trouble for something else. It will confuse him.

    I would also get him evaluated by an occupation therapist for sensory issues/sensory integration disorder. Given the history, it is entirely possible. Sensory issues are not treated with medication, and the earlier they are caught, the better. There is much that can be done, and it can make a HUGE impact on his life, and on your life, if you start treatment early. One thing is to provide a sensory diet. Your grandson might be playing in poop because he likes the texture. If so, you could provide finger paint or playdough or something else he could play with that would fit his need and be more pleasant for you. It could be he likes the strong smell also, in which case a homemade playdough made with koolaid for coloring and scent might be a substitute. It is super easy to do (I once made enough for 300 kids in about 3 hours.) and cheap. To learn more about this, read The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz. For activities to provide a sensory diet (and hours of fun for every child not just the one/ones with sensory issues) get a copy of The Out of Sync Child Has Fun also by Kranowitz. Adults have fun with lots of these too. At least hubby and I did. The neat thing about sensory issues is that the activities your child needs will be the activities he is drawn to. This means you get to do that fun parenting job and say "Yes! You must go play with this toy. It is medically necessary." How often do we get to do that??

    One sensory toy that most kids enjoy is pretty easy to make at home. Get a selection of small beads, buttons, figurines, etc... that will fit through the top of a clear plastic bottle. You will also need rice to fill the bottle and silicone to seal the bottle closed. Make sure the bottle has no label and is clean and completely dry. Mix the beads and other things with enough rice to fill the bottle most of the way up. You want it full enough for the items to be mostly covered but with enough room to shake so that different items can be uncovered with each shake or by rolling the bottle. Pour the rice and bead mixture into the bottle. Seal the top on with silicone seal like you use for windows so that the kids cannot take it off and make a giant mess. This is a great toy for car rides and for waiting rooms. You can use it to provide story prompts, or to have the kids try to find a certain number of items, or items starting with a certain letter or whatever.
  7. JRC

    JRC Active Member


    He's young. Don't panic. But certainly pay attention to the red flags being waved in your brain. My son who is 16 seemed to me for many years to have autistic traits...but he isn't and he doesn't. He had significant' sensory processing issues and ADHD. Some have resolved as his brain has matured. Also, neuopsych testing and Occupational Therapist (OT), PT lead me to believe that my oldert is absolutely fine but he had a different trajectory at a young age. Please don't panic. There is plenty of time for that if it's needed.

    Consult a pro. You won't regret it and you might find that you are doing all the right things anyway. My only advice based on my experience with my oldest is to be explicit, blunt and SUPER obvious with instructions/information. I.e. "If you run into traffic you will get hit violently by a car and die." Sounds awful but...

    Best of luck.
  8. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the same thing. I used to give Ferb shaving cream in the bathtub to play with. He loved it and it smelled better than poo. He went through a short phase of smearing poop on the bathroom walls. I made him clean it up. (I supervised and recleaned it afterward.) He really was not thrilled about the clean up phase and stopped quickly.

    Sandboxes are great. Digging in the dirt. Macaroni in pots. Kids need to get into things. They love to get messy and explore.

    Please don't compare your grandson to the other kids. I worked with preschoolers for 9 years. Three year olds have a whole range of behaviors. My son would not have sat for 10 minutes either. I used to read to him as he wandered around the room.
  9. lar

    lar New Member

    Thanks everyone so much for your suggestions. I appreciate them so much! I really like the idea of the sensory diet and am definitely going to try this idea. He is currently receiving Occupational , Speech and Physical therapy which have helped in some areas but not with these behavioral issues. I'm thinking that he is needing more intense therapy than what he is receiving or a different type of behavioral therapy. My daughter is going discuss this with his occupational therapist today. I think a lot of it is going to come down to more structure at home and how we handle these behaviors.

    I am really going to try not to compare him so much to other kids his age and I know he is still really young. It's just really hard sometimes!
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    -For some reason, not all occupational therapists do the sensory integration therapy. We had to go to a private Occupational Therapist for the evaluation even though he got occupational therapy at school every week. The school therapist only worked on his handwriting. It was as though his other sensory issues didn't impact his school day or his education in the therapist's mind. I found that bizarre. You might have better luck just asking the Occupational Therapist (OT) you are working with to do the sensory evaluation, or you might have to go private. I found we got what we paid for. It was well worth it to go private and suddenly school had to provide a LOT more for my son.

    Every kid is different. I always felt it worked better to try to find ways to appreciate the strengths especially in those things that drive you nuts. It kept me from strangling my child many a day.
  11. lar

    lar New Member

    Thanks Susie! We will definitely ask about sensory integration therapy. Yes, it's so important to remember that every kid is different! He is a beautiful kid and does have a lot of strengths!