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-   -   Three year old won't answer a question, he only repeats the question... any thoughts? (

  • Jan 14, 2010, 11:12 AM
    Three year old won't answer a question, he only repeats the question... any thoughts?
    I have three children who have never had any learning troubles however I babysit 2 kids each day that seem to be a little socially awkward. The oldest (age 5 1/2) won't look me in the eye and can't follow a multi-step instruction. The younger (age 3) has never been able to answer a question I ask him. He only repeats the question back to me. I have my teaching license but it is not in special-ed so I can't pinpoint these issues. Any help would be much appreciated!
  • Apr 9, 2010, 11:20 PM

    May be they did not like your teaching style. You can change your style. Actually babies are their own choice. You did not get them your choice but you become their choice person. They they learning from you. I am also a teacher and I face many time this problem. So I have this method as best solution. You two kids are not listen, you can find out where and when they did not listen you change your mind and behavior that time. I hope they listen you. Btw Nice to talk with you. But now I am busy to complete my mcse and update me day to day in IT world. But it is my part time study I also like to do browsing, chating and meet peoples like you to make good and honest friends. Its my pleasure to send your article to all my friend and they also get knowledge after read you article. If you don't mind. I like to add you in the list of my friends. Have a nice day and keep it up. My all best wishes with you...
  • May 1, 2010, 09:48 PM

    Sounds like it could be mild autism or Aspberger's syndrome - or they may just be socially off. As the babysitter, it isn't your place to diagnose them anyway. Maybe just mention it to the parents that you are concerned about the behaviors (don't diagnose) and leave it to them as to what they do and whether they seek medical attention or not.
  • May 30, 2010, 06:13 PM

    This may be Aspergers/Autism.
    But also keep in mind it could simply be them still adjusting to your home.
    Talk to their mom. She may be aware of this and be able to give you more insight to them and how to help them.

    Until then, don't make a big deal of it and simply encourage in a fun and friendly way
  • Jul 11, 2010, 02:59 PM
    I'm sure that can get frustrating!
    First, I would ask the mom about these behaviors, and see if this is something that happens all the time or just at your house. I feel the answer to this question can give you a lot of insight on what's actually going on here. If this happens all the time, in all situations there may be reason to have the children tested for disabilities like autism. If this only occurs at your home, it may just be that the children are adjusting, OR... just being silly/unruly.

    Either way, as a babysitter it isn't your responsibility to diagnose or cure these issues. It is, however, your responsibility to report these behaviors to the parents in a calm, non-offensive approach.

    There are also things you can do in your home while the children are under your care to help them get over these issues.
    For the 5 year old, give one step directions like: Walk to the couch. Turn around. Smile big. And repeat those commands. This is how children learn multi-step directions. Also, Dora the Explorer is a good down time TV show to engage in directions like this.

    For the three year old, when you ask him a question, give two choices as the answer. Example: How are you feeling today, Happy or Sad? OR What would you like to drink, milk or juice? If this still gets no answer, try showing the answers (for happy or sad a smiling picture and a frowning picture, show the milk carton or juice carton.)

    Good luck!
  • Mar 25, 2012, 02:06 PM
    Try asking the 5 year old a FUN question and then after ahe answers ask the younger one the same question!
  • May 23, 2012, 03:05 PM
    My boyfriend has a four year old with another woman. Josh, the four year old, is like a son to me. I have been in his life for three years or so, and his mom is not in the picture. Josh has the same problem. When he is playing or excited he talks up a storm, but when he is in trouble, or even if he just thinks he is he shuts down. I thought for the longest time he just didn't understand what "why" meant. I would ask him why he is sad, or why he did what ever he did and he would just repeat what I said. What worked for us was holding regular conversations with him, but using only open ended questions. Like, what is your favorite color, or what would you like to play with next? We also starting talking through his fights. Instead of getting frustrated and yelling we would talk it out with him. Slowly but surely he started to understand more and responded more. Hope this helped!
  • Jun 9, 2012, 05:12 PM
    I think they overdiagnose kids especially young ones. I think maybe you should put less pressure on them and be more fun, meet them where they are at. Repetition is WONDERFUL, it's a tool. Teach him how to repeat the answer, not the question and praise him wildly. With the older one, start with one step directions and be fun and silly and move up. I agree with another poster, you will rattle and disturb the parents if you view their kids through this lens. Good luck!

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