worried about my toddler

My darling little boy is 2 years 3 months old. He has always been a bit "difficult" but at the same time adorable and loving. Recently he has been ill with a cold and fever and all his symptoms seem to have come to a head. He is very aggressive with me (his mum) and climbs on top of his dad when he wakes up crying in the night, and won't let me go near him. This morning he walked down the stairs counting them with me, and as soon as he got to the bottom, starting crying out and hitting me with his little fists, only to stop and go and play with his toys one minute later.

He goes to nursery and is fine on the whole but cries every time I drop him off until I walk away when he is then fine. The nursery says he is not very communicative with the others but plays quite happily. He is growing up trilingual (not intentional, an accident of birth as we live in Catalonia, Spain and my husband is a native SPanish speaker).

I am especially concerned as I have always thought I have borderline bipolar, very borderline as generally I am fine. I have a second cousin who was schizophrenic and an uncle (same family, my mother's) who seems to have some kind of mental disorder that is unnamed; by his very nature we would never know!).

Yesterday I went to see a psychologist as I want to know how to deal with my son's difficult and often confrontational behaviour. Having read this forum and others I am now extremely concerned as everything we discussed seems to match this, plus the questions she asked. My husband and I are going again next week

and I am worried what I might hear. She wants to meet our son after having talked to the two of us.

Most of the time he is a charming and sociable boy, really loving and sweet, but when he wants to he drives me crazy. He usually sleeps and eats quite well but recently spits out his food and laughs to see my reaction. He frequently runs away from me and seems to be attracted to danger. I would be interested to hear any comments and questions that may help us all with our problems, bipolar or otherwise. Thank you, Sarah

Hi Sarah

It's wonderful that you are investigating help now, while he is still young. I have to tell you that his illness makes me concerned that there may be some other medical contributing factor to his behavior. Certainly PANDAS comes to mind, which is an illness that looks like bipolar and is brought on by Strep. I dont fully understand it, but know that it overlaps some with the population I work with. I am not sure however, of the nature of the symptoms prior to that. Let me say that I believe that a two year olds who has a physical ailment that caused discomfort may behave that way. Especially if it was chronic, whether or not they have mental health issues. It is wise, however, for you to consider your family history and report that to the doctor. I know there has been some suggestion in my live support group that some of the kids do not sense danger or over or under react to danger and to injury. Perhaps it may be helpful to post to the online group and get some feedback from parents? Good luck with your psychologist.


Kristen McClure

Comments for worried about my toddler

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Dec 21, 2010
Abrupt language change
by: Anonymous

Hi Sarah: Your post caught my eye because of your son's behavior, but also because of the language aspect. My son is seven. He has beendiagnosed with ADHD/ODD; however, I suspect something else. He can be extremely sweet and awful the next minute. He is very mean to his younger brother. He is very defiant, and can have rages where he follows me around and won't let me get anything done. He slams into me or stays attached to my leg. He also has sensory issues and a lazy eye. Some days are miserable. He takes Adderrall for ADHD. At school, he does pretty well. One minute, he is yelling or hitting, the next he tells me he loves me. When he was about 10 mo.old, I started speaking almost exclusively in Spanish to him. Before that, it had been mostly English. Was it too much of a trauma for him. I wonder if I caused his problems because of the abrupt change. I thought it would be beneficial, but now I am terrorized on a daily basis that it is my fault. Did your son go through a drastic language change or has he always been exposed to more than one language. The psyc. tells me that this is not the cause, but the fear is unbearable. Thanks!

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