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  #1  
Old 01-28-2016, 07:29 AM
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I have a four year old with some issues (seizure disorder, processing delays, extreme prematurity at birth). He's come a long way since being with me. He used to only play with a teacher or by himself,if he was corrected about anything at all, no matter how gently, he'd go into hysterics that included vomiting.

He doesn't do those things anymore and he's making great progress, but ALL he talks about are trains. If you start him talking about something else, he quickly switches back to trains, and then one train scenario in particular where he saw a train at his dad's job. He tells that story at least once a day.

He also almost exclusively plays trains. Of course he gravitates toward the actual train toys we have and would only play there if we let him. But for example in the Art center he connects all the markers to make a train. At meal times he makes a train with food.

This is not a huge deal but I want him to expand his interests and at least be able to have a conversation without switching back to trains. His parents are pretty much taking everything in stride and support his obsession . Any ideas on how I can stretch him a little without making him too uncomfortable?

And what it with trains anyway? Almost every special needs male child I've had has had an extreme attraction to trains. Is there something to this?
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:34 AM
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It is funny you say that about special needs and trains. My kiddo I am worried about loves Thomas, and every train toy he sees he calls Thomas even if it is a random toy. I am trying to to use his love of trains to help with learning. I feel like I am beating my head against a wall with the alphabet!
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:55 PM
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I've also noticed this with boys with special needs here. I found an article that discusses the link with autism, but it's definitely not just for autism.
https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/20...ism-and-trains
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:18 PM
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I am starting to think mine has dyslexia. He will be 5 in March. Can't remember letters and numbers after going over the same ones for three weeks. He switches hands constantly with silverware and writing utensils. He can't hold a pencil correctly even when I show him. His use of language is slightly off at times. He can get his point across, but sometimes jumbles the words in the sentence. He also wants to start writing all his letters at the bottom and work up, I am always reminding him to start at the top. He can trace letters, but most of them he can't make without tracing, even when looking at a sample letter.
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MaryF View Post
I've also noticed this with boys with special needs here. I found an article that discusses the link with autism, but it's definitely not just for autism.
https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/20...ism-and-trains
I just read this last night! A child I have played with my train set for literally 4 hours straight. I finally had to take them away so he would interact with us. From what I read you can use trains as a reward for other behavior. OP I'm not sure how that would work in your situation though since he uses trains with everything.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
I am starting to think mine has dyslexia. He will be 5 in March. Can't remember letters and numbers after going over the same ones for three weeks. He switches hands constantly with silverware and writing utensils. He can't hold a pencil correctly even when I show him. His use of language is slightly off at times. He can get his point across, but sometimes jumbles the words in the sentence. He also wants to start writing all his letters at the bottom and work up, I am always reminding him to start at the top. He can trace letters, but most of them he can't make without tracing, even when looking at a sample letter.
Well my guy cannot control writing utensils at all. All of his drawings/writing are still shapeless squiggles. He knows all of his letters/numbers but as with your DCB, he uses strange inflections, emphasizes the wrong words/syllables and runs his words together in a strange candence.

"Ms, yes yes we are GETTING our coats on, so we can go outside wecangooutside. Yeah."

It's kind of cute which is why nobody has really looked into it, but something definitely is a little off.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hunni Bee View Post
Well my guy cannot control writing utensils at all. All of his drawings/writing are still shapeless squiggles. He knows all of his letters/numbers but as with your DCB, he uses strange inflections, emphasizes the wrong words/syllables and runs his words together in a strange candence.

"Ms, yes yes we are GETTING our coats on, so we can go outside wecangooutside. Yeah."

It's kind of cute which is why nobody has really looked into it, but something definitely is a little off.
I have written up a little report to send home with mine today about what we have been doing and such. I put on there that I was concerned and think he should have an evaluation. I put on there the signs I see of dyslexia. I am guessing they won't do anything though. But I feel better about writing it all up knowing that I have done what I consider to be my job, I can't control the rest. Sigh.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:25 AM
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Oh my goodness. Dcb2 almost 3 was so strange this week. Two days in a row, he literally stood there and didn't play with anything or talk to anyone for hours. When I would ask him what was wrong he wouldn't answer me. We would offer him toys and no response. I finally found out from Mom, it was because the trains weren't out. I rotate toys every couple of weeks.
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:40 PM
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Oh my goodness. Dcb2 almost 3 was so strange this week. Two days in a row, he literally stood there and didn't play with anything or talk to anyone for hours. When I would ask him what was wrong he wouldn't answer me. We would offer him toys and no response. I finally found out from Mom, it was because the trains weren't out. I rotate toys every couple of weeks.
Has he been assessed? This is what happens here as well. At home mom gives him whatever he wants because she simply sees it as "boy behavior". I always have to encourage him with other toys by basically hiding the trains and cars. He is doing a lot better but he will literally search and search for anything with wheels to play with.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:41 PM
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Ok, this has me concerned about my 2 year old son. He has had a pretty strong attraction to trains over the last 8 months. He has been evaluated at his checkups, which is standard, and he is considered not autistic at all. He's very social and engaged.

He likes to line things up like a train but only if they're trains or cars, nothing else. I've always kind of wondered about it because he does this mostly when he just wants to relax i.e. he gets a little overwhelmed from daycare and he's an only child so when we're at the end of the day or towards it he'll retreat to his room to play at his train table. Choo Choo was his first word even though his speech is booming now. I don't know but this post makes me anxious.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
Ok, this has me concerned about my 2 year old son. He has had a pretty strong attraction to trains over the last 8 months. He has been evaluated at his checkups, which is standard, and he is considered not autistic at all. He's very social and engaged.

He likes to line things up like a train but only if they're trains or cars, nothing else. I've always kind of wondered about it because he does this mostly when he just wants to relax i.e. he gets a little overwhelmed from daycare and he's an only child so when we're at the end of the day or towards it he'll retreat to his room to play at his train table. Choo Choo was his first word even though his speech is booming now. I don't know but this post makes me anxious.
It doesn't have to mean there is a problem. But do you have someone besides the doctor who can assess him? Maybe the assessment they are using is missing something. If you are concerned, then it is worth digging into.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
It doesn't have to mean there is a problem. But do you have someone besides the doctor who can assess him? Maybe the assessment they are using is missing something. If you are concerned, then it is worth digging into.
I truly don't want to make my child a 'patient' if it isn't needed. There are other resources that I can check into but I'm hesitant. This post just got me thinking. I would really hope that not every boy who has a strong interest in trains is a symptom. I read the article and he does have many other interests so I think I'll take this with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee View Post
I have a four year old with some issues (seizure disorder, processing delays, extreme prematurity at birth). He's come a long way since being with me. He used to only play with a teacher or by himself,if he was corrected about anything at all, no matter how gently, he'd go into hysterics that included vomiting.

He doesn't do those things anymore and he's making great progress, but ALL he talks about are trains. If you start him talking about something else, he quickly switches back to trains, and then one train scenario in particular where he saw a train at his dad's job. He tells that story at least once a day.

He also almost exclusively plays trains. Of course he gravitates toward the actual train toys we have and would only play there if we let him. But for example in the Art center he connects all the markers to make a train. At meal times he makes a train with food.

This is not a huge deal but I want him to expand his interests and at least be able to have a conversation without switching back to trains. His parents are pretty much taking everything in stride and support his obsession . Any ideas on how I can stretch him a little without making him too uncomfortable?

And what it with trains anyway? Almost every special needs male child I've had has had an extreme attraction to trains. Is there something to this?
my youngest was like with hot wheels.

I used it in my favor.

can you count them, how many do you have.
what colors do you have
how many are red, green yellow, etc.
where are they driving to?
can you sort them by size? color, vehicle type.

where is the car driving to? who's going on the drive.

does your car have a name?

My son made up all kinds of stories with his cars and I played a huge roll in his interest. I couldn't force him to like something else. eventually he gave them up.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
Ok, this has me concerned about my 2 year old son. He has had a pretty strong attraction to trains over the last 8 months. He has been evaluated at his checkups, which is standard, and he is considered not autistic at all. He's very social and engaged.

He likes to line things up like a train but only if they're trains or cars, nothing else. I've always kind of wondered about it because he does this mostly when he just wants to relax i.e. he gets a little overwhelmed from daycare and he's an only child so when we're at the end of the day or towards it he'll retreat to his room to play at his train table. Choo Choo was his first word even though his speech is booming now. I don't know but this post makes me anxious.
No need to get anxious. Like any developmental issue playing with trains doesn't occur on it's own with no other "symptoms". If this is ALL your child is doing then that is just fine. If he is using it to calm himself it might just be that he is a bit anxious but developing typically. My daughter for example 'stims' or does complex motor stereotypy behavior but she is not on the spectrum because she does not exhibit any other ASD traits. She does this and apparently it is quite common but DR's do not not know the purpose of this in typically developing children.

Do you see any other "odd" behaviors? have you looked into the traits for ASD? Maybe try checking those out before jumping to any conclusions about his behavior.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Hunni Bee View Post
Well my guy cannot control writing utensils at all. All of his drawings/writing are still shapeless squiggles. He knows all of his letters/numbers but as with your DCB, he uses strange inflections, emphasizes the wrong words/syllables and runs his words together in a strange candence.

"Ms, yes yes we are GETTING our coats on, so we can go outside wecangooutside. Yeah."

It's kind of cute which is why nobody has really looked into it, but something definitely is a little off.
Has he been evaluated for Autism or Asperger's? That speech style and the obsession with one topic reminds me of several children with Asperger's I've worked with. Does he rock, twirl hair, or have other repetitive habits?

Obviously, not for me or us to diagnose, but those are some red flags. An evaluation might be advised. Now it's "cute", but his parents may need to do a lot of advocating for him when he gets to school. It may be helpful to know what they're dealing with more fully.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I truly don't want to make my child a 'patient' if it isn't needed. There are other resources that I can check into but I'm hesitant. This post just got me thinking. I would really hope that not every boy who has a strong interest in trains is a symptom. I read the article and he does have many other interests so I think I'll take this with a grain of salt.
Well that is just it. I mean if you don't think it is a "symptom" then it isn't a big deal. But if you (or any parent) has a concern it doesn't hurt to check it out. But just having a huge like of something in and of itself means nothing. I love to read, would do it all the time if I could, but it is just what I like. And it is possible for a child to just like trains. I just like to tell people if they think something is off, get it checked out.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:37 AM
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Thank you for all you replies on this! This is my own son. The only thing he would do that I thought was 'stimming' is jumping a lot. That has greatly subsided and now he just does it when music is played or watching Mickey.
His speech has been watched closely and his vocabulary is booming now, repeats everything and talks really clear and puts 3 to 4 words together.
My concern comes from the fact that he watches the wheels, he'll lay down on the floor even just to watch the wheels go back and forth.
Other than that, he has no other symptoms and his doctor assured me that they always watch closely because autism can show it's signs at any time during the developmental stage. He can also be a little OCD at times, but I'm like that, he needs things a certain way, is very into routine but normally it's just a normal toddler tantrum that subsides, it doesn't wreck his whole day.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:31 PM
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Has he been evaluated for Autism or Asperger's? That speech style and the obsession with one topic reminds me of several children with Asperger's I've worked with. Does he rock, twirl hair, or have other repetitive habits?

Obviously, not for me or us to diagnose, but those are some red flags. An evaluation might be advised. Now it's "cute", but his parents may need to do a lot of advocating for him when he gets to school. It may be helpful to know what they're dealing with more fully.
No, I'm pretty sure he hasn't been. He was seeing a developmental specialist once or twice a year, just because he was so premature... But I think he's aged out of that too.

He sucks on his tongue and rubs the collar of his shirt on his face. He used to only do it if he was tired or cranky, but since this latest string of seizures (he had one Friday ) he's been doing it almost constantly.

His parents are great people but they have a super blasť attitude about all of this. It might be their way of coping with the fact that their son probably will have lifelong issues (he's got a couple other health things going on too). If you tell his mom anything she just kinda nicely blows you off.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
Thank you for all you replies on this! This is my own son. The only thing he would do that I thought was 'stimming' is jumping a lot. That has greatly subsided and now he just does it when music is played or watching Mickey.
His speech has been watched closely and his vocabulary is booming now, repeats everything and talks really clear and puts 3 to 4 words together.
My concern comes from the fact that he watches the wheels, he'll lay down on the floor even just to watch the wheels go back and forth.
Other than that, he has no other symptoms and his doctor assured me that they always watch closely because autism can show it's signs at any time during the developmental stage. He can also be a little OCD at times, but I'm like that, he needs things a certain way, is very into routine but normally it's just a normal toddler tantrum that subsides, it doesn't wreck his whole day.
Excellent vocab is not a sign that he is not on the spectrum. Many children with Aspbergers have excellent vocabularies. It is the way they use that vocabulary that is different from typically developing children. They do not use language to interact socially but more in a way to convey information.

Have you done an online checklist? Perhaps completing an M-CHAT online will put your mind at ease. He is showing some signs but he could also be a typical toddler. It is very hard to decipher without a ton of experience with children.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:03 PM
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Has he been assessed? This is what happens here as well. At home mom gives him whatever he wants because she simply sees it as "boy behavior". I always have to encourage him with other toys by basically hiding the trains and cars. He is doing a lot better but he will literally search and search for anything with wheels to play with.
He hasn't been assessed. I got a phone call from Mom this morning that he won't be coming back.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:18 PM
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Excellent vocab is not a sign that he is not on the spectrum. Many children with Aspbergers have excellent vocabularies. It is the way they use that vocabulary that is different from typically developing children. They do not use language to interact socially but more in a way to convey information.

Have you done an online checklist? Perhaps completing an M-CHAT online will put your mind at ease. He is showing some signs but he could also be a typical toddler. It is very hard to decipher without a ton of experience with children.
They do an M-CHAT at every checkup and if I bring him in with a specific concern for development, he has passed every one so far since 1 years old, he is almost 2.5 years old now.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:22 PM
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He hasn't been assessed. I got a phone call from Mom this morning that he won't be coming back.
That's too bad. It's so frustrating when you are honestly trying to help a child and the parents decide to pull from your care. Hopefully, in the future they will be grateful for your effort.

As providers, we know when something might be a little off, especially when you've had a child in your care for some time and you know their quirks.
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