What is wrong with my child?
My daughter hasn't started speaking yet; is she autistic?
How can I help build my daughter's self esteem?
Why is my child becoming a fussy eater?
How should I handle a child with low IQ?
My son urinates in the bedroom or closet, what should I do?
How can I make my son sleep in a separate room?
Why does my son keep questioning about private parts?
Why doesn't my daughter mingle with her classmates?
Why does my son get very excited when guests are over?
Why does my child not share with others?
Emotions – depression
Why is my granddaughter not responding to us?
Shy and reserved
Should I force my child to use his right hand?
Why has my son lost his concentration in studies?
Does my nephew have autism?
Is my adopted daughter autistic?
Will sitting in W position affect the child's hip joints?
Q. My daughter is 2 years and 4 months old. She
has not started speaking yet. We have been confused by speech
therapists and doctors about autism, ADHD and speech problem, etc. She is a
happy child and generally likes to play around. She does make a lot of
noise and says a lot of words like dadi, mama, etc. If I try to snatch away
things from her or scold her she starts yelling. She flaps her hands when
she is happy. She is not very attentive and we are not able to teach her
new things. It seems she is not able to understand things and she sometimes
phases out also like she is thinking of something. Yet she is able to do a
lot of things like, she tries to pull me to the door to take her to the park,
she shakes hands and hugs me. She does not respond to her name often but
sometimes she does look back. She maintains eye contact with strangers. If
I play with her she giggles. She is fond of playing with water. She cries
when we remove her from there. She eats well. She tries to eat with her
hands. She obeys commands like bring your shoes etc. While dressing her up
she raises her hand to pull out her frock and even puts her legs in the
shorts properly. She plays with all kind of toys. She might not be very
interested but if we try she puts blocks, shapes etc. and I feel she is
good at her age. One of the speech therapists told us to go for some lovaas
technique for improving her understanding. We are extremely confused.
Should we go for further evaluation of our child? We want to know whether
she is autistic or not? If she is not, then how to help her and if she is
then what is the cure? Are there any specialists in
Your daughter seems a
happy, lovable and bright child. Where did you get the idea that she is
autistic? She is definitely not autistic. It seems to be a word that people
are pulling out of the net and using it to label a child who varies even a
little, from their perception of the normal.
Q. My daughter is 14 years old. I am a single parent, her father died when she was a month old. She is a brilliant and beautiful girl. She is very good in studies, awesome in singing and graceful in dancing. Offlate she is losing confidence in herself. She often says that she is a boring communicator, she cannot make friends, which is true because some girls in her class avoid her. Talking about this to the school counsellor is useless because they don't keep the matters within themselves and make the issue bigger by spreading it. As a parent, I am letting her grow as she is. I give her the independence to take her own decisions. It hurts, when I come to know that she is being avoided. I tell her to be good no matter what, but this doesn't really help. I often arrange get together for her classmates. I am a working parent and have my own ups and downs sometimes. But I feel that she is in a tender age. She needs to build confidence in herself. Her weaknesses are that she can't accept failure and likes to be a winner all the time. She likes to be appreciated and can't accept criticism. She doesn't have a best friend. I guess she is longing for a reliable best friend.
Your daughter is going
through typical adolescent problems in peer interaction, and this is
causing her to lose self-esteem. It is clear that she is superior in looks,
studies and extra-curricular activities. This can lead to feelings of
jealousy in peers, and it could be one of the reasons for their reactions.
Q. My daughter is 4 years and 4 months old. Although she is not a fussy eater at home and used to finish her tiffin at school till last week, from this week, she brings back her tiffin without eating. Also, at home she wants to hear stories from her father every time (with breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinking milk or going to sleep). She says if no story, then no milk or food. What should I do?
Mealtimes often become
a battle-ground and parents try their best to make the child eat, not
realising that more the fuss made, more the chances of the child getting
into the habit of manipulating them. The best way to deal with this
situation is to be firm, make a variety of foods available, and simply
allow the child to eat herself. Let her eat at the table with you, and do
not make a fuss.
Q. My son is 8 years old and is categorised as a slow learner. He is smart looking, healthy, active, mischievous, likes to mix with people and wants to take the lead in various activities even though he doesn't know them. He has a lazy eye and the other one has a power of -9. He wears spectacles. He is epileptic and on treatment, but hasn't had an attack in the last two years. He has a very good memory but poor comprehension. His handwriting is bad and cannot read properly. His grip is not good while writing. He can think and gives proper reasoning. He adjusts well in the given circumstances. Currently he is studying in vernacular medium, but I am worried about his future, as he is not coping with his classmates. His IQ test score is 70. What should be his line of treatment?
Even though your sons
IQ has been formally assessed at 70 which is below average against standard
norms, it is important to remember that each child has unique strengths and
weaknesses. As a parent, you should try to encourage the strengths and not
focus only on the weaknesses. Try to praise him for his superior memory,
reasoning skills and leadership skills.
Q. My 5-year-old son has many times got up at night and urinated either in the bedroom, closet or hallway. Is this common or unusual? Several family members think this is rather odd. Do I have to worry about this?
Children are usually
completely toilet-trained by the age of 5 years. But there are individual
differences. Try to identify the reason for this behaviour, as it could be
due to a variety of reasons.
Q. My 13-year-old son is a student of class 8th. He is not ready to sleep in a separate room. Even in the same room, he is not ready to sleep with any one other than his mother. If we force him, he starts weeping. He is very introvert and has several fears like he cannot see blood, serials etc. He is afraid of insects as well. What should we do?
A. It is certainly not desirable for a 13 year old to insist on sleeping with his mother. You must try to identify reasons for his fears and anxieties. Instead of scolding or criticizing him, try to make him take small steps towards independence. Reward even his small efforts towards confidence. It would be advisable to consult a psychologist or counsellor to assess the extent of his problems and suggest interventions.
Q. My 38 months old granddaughter chews food and then spits it out - just lets it fall out of her mouth onto the table. She spits out any kind of food when she appears to be full. She has been diagnosed with delayed speech and goes to a disabled daycare run by the local school district. She is bright and knows more than many other four year olds, but does not communicate what she knows. I hear her talking to herself and naming shapes, colours, objects in books. I hear her talking to her dolls and having them interact, but she will not look us in the eyes, or answer questions except those that begin with what is, where is, etc. She always chooses the last item when you give her a choice. Other than the day school, she has no opportunities to interact with children or other people because her father is the day care provider and rarely takes her anywhere. My daughter-in-law is a loving person, but she is the sole provider (that was their choice) and works many hours and is frustrated. I have spoken to my son many at times, but he gets irritated. He says she will grow out of her problems. She is not even toilet trained. I cannot interfere for all the reasons familiar to you, but I am going to have her for a week at the end of the month and at least I can work on toilet training and her food habits. My questions to you are why does she chew and then spit out food, and what can we do to help change this behaviour?
A. From your description of your
granddaughter, it seems that she might be an autistic child. Perhaps you
could find out about autism from many websites, including www.doctorndtv.com
As a first step, you could avoid the kind of foods that she spits out. There
are good nutritional substitutes for them. Also do not overfeed her. When she
says she has had enough, stop feeding her.
Q. My only daughter who is 6 years old is very shy and reserved type.She doesnt mix up with other children though she loves to play with them.But at home her nature is very opposite.Thinking that after some time she will adjust we never forced her also.She is free with our relatives kids.She is very good at her studies and other activities.If other children bullies her she will not react .Her this nature worries us a lot.Please help us.
A. Many children are very shy outside home.Try to find out from her teachers if she is unusually shy or if it is only your perception.If there is a real problem,telling her directly will not help.Instead,try to -*help her gain confidence at home by letting her take decisions and involving her in conversations*talking about school and classmates to her in order to find out what the root of the problem is*helping her understand how to be assertive and not be taken advantage of through your own example and also by role playing*not labelling her as shy and not belittling her or mocking her about it.The more you speak about it ,the more the problem may increase.Children often outgrow this shyness with time,through small successes,and by gradually making friends.Remember that some shyness is not really undesirable.
Q. Hi, I am having a child who is 4 years old he is in junior KG. Recently the teacher complained that he does not talk in English nor does he understand it. In our house we talk in Hindi and English both. Since then we are trying to talk more in English as much as possible but at the same time I would like to know that are there any such classes or activity clubs where they teach English and how to behave, basically where they teach children to talk in English and also to learn manners so that he can be a better person in society. Please help.
A. However, you must understand that every
child is different and so is their capacity and inclination to learn a new
Q. My son is 6 years old in class II. He is left-handed and uses his right hand only when he eats. He is a slow child but he listens to what is taught in the class. The problem is with his handwriting which is very bad. Moreover, sometimes he reverses the words. This worries me a lot. My husband and some of the teachers in class force him to use his right hand. And I was blamed that I made him to use his left hand. Is it because of this problem that my child is not able to write the words properly? Please help me. I find it difficult to take a child of 6 years to the child consultant.
A. Ensure that your child is not forced to work with any hand. Let him have the freedom to choose. Handedness depends on brain functioning and forcing would simply frustrate the child. If his handwriting problems continue, you should consult a child psychologist to rule out any learning disability
Q. My 4 and a half years old son is studying in lower primary. He has completed his pre-primary and first term of lower KG in Tamil Nadu. There the school was very strict and he was considered an outstanding student. Then we got transferred to our native state, where he joined a reputed school, which is not very strict in the primary levels. For the first few weeks he was a very good student. He became very active as compared to his earlier school. Now his teacher complains that he is not at all attentive in the class and keeps talking and playing all the time. This causes disturbance to other students also. His teacher says that he is a very talented boy with a very good grasping power. But nowadays he is very playful and not at all concentrating to what his teacher says. How can I handle this problem?
A. Your child is obviously not finding class
work challenging enough and is therefore getting distracted. This can be a serious
problem for not only the teachers and parents but also for the child himself.
This happens in cases of children who are more intelligent than their peer
Q. Does my nephew have autism? He is in first grade and is 6 years old. He is an only child. He seems to have obsessive behaviours like if a child touches one of his toys or he is asked to share his toys, he will stand right next to that toy until he gets the chance to snatch it back. While he is waiting he also looks very nervous and groans and sometimes flaps his hands. He speaks well and understands well, he is in a special help class because he does have a hard time understanding his schoolwork. He has only one friend. He takes his special toys everywhere he goes and is very obsessed with snowmen. He has a blow up one for his front lawn and blows it up to watch it go back down.
A. Your nephew does seem to be autistic.
However having the label alone is not enough. There are several kinds of
behaviours classified under the label of autism. Each child must have his own
routines and treatment.
Q. My daughter is 1 year and 8 months old. She is an adopted child. She hasn't started speaking as yet. She says "amma" and "appa". We adopted her when she was 7 months old. The problem is that we speak Tamil at home. Our neighbours speak Telugu & Hindi. She was hearing Marathi when we adopted her. She is a happy child and likes to play around. But, she is not very attentive and we are not able to teach her new things. Now, she is able to understand Tamil very well. We are worried that she is not repeating what we say. The doctor says her vocabulary is very low. We do not find any problem in her hearing. Should we go for further evaluation of our child? Is she autistic?
A. Your daughter may seem to be a little slow in language development, but then all kids are different. Children who speak later than usual, sometimes pick up very fast during the latter half of the second year. If she is a happy child, why do you suspect autism? Parents tend to be hyper-sensitive sometimes, especially if the baby is adopted. In case you find problems continuing e.g. in attention, or in language development, it would be advisable to consult a child or clinical psychologist at any major hospital in your city.
Q. Does sitting in W position for children bad for their hip joints? My child has been diagnosed with autism. He is able to run and climb like normal children. He tends to sit in W position while on the floor and I need to remind him not to do so. Please advise.
A. Children who sit in W position have inward rotation of the thigh bone (femoral anteversion) which in turn promotes inward rotation of the hips joints. This is not good for the normal hip development. It should therefore be discouraged and the child be encouraged to sit cross legged. If the child has an abnormal gait or cannot sit cross legged, he/she should be examined by a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon.